Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a daily recap of Ohio State recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Buckeyes make Palaie Gaoteote major priority during weekend visit
From the sidelines of Ohio Stadium during a Buckeyes game, it doesn’t take long to see which players are really the top recruiting priorities for Ohio State. They get attention from assistant coaches who — rather than focusing on their team warming up — come to the sideline or the back of the end zone to chat up the prospect in attendance. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith shows up, randomly of course, and spends some time talk to said player, etc.
That’s your sign, Buckeyes fans: Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 2018 LB Palaie Gaoteote is a big deal to Ohio State.
The country’s top-ranked outside linebacker, Gaoteote visited Columbus this weekend with his teammate (and cousin), Ohio State 2017 commitment Haskell Garrett. From the moment he walked onto the field Saturday, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Gaoteote, with his right hand still wrapped as he recovers from an injury suffered during the Gaels colossal epic win over St. Thomas Aquinas on Sept. 30, was the focus for the Buckeyes.
Assistants Zach Smith, Tony Alford and Ed Warinner, along with director of player personnel Mark Pantoni and Smith, all took turns talking with Gaoteote on the sideline. He watched the linebackers intently — more intently than any visiting recruit I can recall watched warmups — rather than socializing with other recruits.
“It was more than I expected,” Gaoteote told Land of 10 about the visit. “The fans, the players and coaches were all great. Everything really impressed me.”
If there was one thing that stood out to the country’s 29th-ranked 2018 prospect, it was just the overall structure and stability of the Ohio State program.
“What impressed me the most was (head coach) Urban Meyer and his relationship with the players,” Gaoteote added. “Just how the program functions.”
There’s a long way to go in Gaoteote’s recruitment but there’s little doubt that the relationships he has at Ohio State will make the Buckeyes a key player in his recruitment all the way to signing day 2018.
Buckeyes in Final 5 for Donovan Peoples-Jones
After making an official visit to Ohio State on Oct. 8, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Buckeyes find themselves in the final five for Detroit Cass Tech 5-star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones.
— Donovan P. Jones (@dpeoplesjones) October 30, 2016
Michigan is still the prohibitive favorite to land Peoples-Jones and there’s not much reason to believe that he’ll end up anywhere but Ann Arbor for college. But there is some scuttlebutt in Michigan that he’s thinking about leaving the Midwest for school.
Ohio State offers 2019 Tennessee receiver
There are not many players — especially players who’ve not played their junior year of high school — who Urban Meyer gushes over. But Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Blackman 2019 WR Trey Knox received a pretty grand compliment during his Ohio State visit this weekend.
“Coach Meyer said that I was a beast and that I will be one of the best receivers in the country,” Knox told Land of 10. “(My visit) was amazing. The coaches showed me a lot of love. The facilities we nice and the game atmosphere was surreal.”
Knox, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound sophomore, was offered by Ohio State during the visit.
— Trey Knox (@Fbu1Tk) October 29, 2016
To land an offer from the Buckeyes — his fourth offer — is a big deal, according to Knox.
“This offer is a big-time one, from one of the best schools in the country,” he said. “It should show other schools that that I am good enough to play anywhere in the country.”
Paul Woods continues to be monitored
After a good performance at Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp in July, Canisius (Buffalo, N.Y.) 2018 WR Paul Woods returned to Columbus over the weekend.
Really at my first Ohio State game ❗️❗️
— W8️⃣ (@paul_woods_) October 29, 2016
“The visit went very well,” Woods told Land of 10 on Sunday morning. “I experienced a great game, it was a great day. I talked to Mark Pantoni and (wide receivers coach) Zach Smith.”
Canisius — the home of Ohio State 2017 commitment Blake Haubeil — is a run-heavy offense but Woods has the frame to be a major prospect. Ohio State is watching, but has not not yet pulled the trigger on a scholarship offer.
“They’re waiting to see more tape and they’re just trying to get to know me more,” Woods said.
Though he didn’t receive the offer from the Buckeyes, the trip still had a number of key moments for the 6-foot-1, 170-pound wideout.
“Just the gameday experience stood out the most,” Woods added. “Watching the players get ready, the loyal fans, everything. Even though they played Northwestern, the stadium was still filled. Overall, it was a great atmosphere.”