Dotting the ‘Eyes: Ohio State offers 4-star tight end Josh Falo, Jaylen Harris updates recruitment
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 offer a big-time tight end, but why?
For months now, Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class has operated under the pretense that there would not be a tight end taken this cycle. Then today, seemingly out of the blue, the Buckeyes offered Josh Falo, the country’s fourth-ranked tight end.
— Josh K. Falo ® (@Josh_falo) August 24, 2016
Let’s just dive right in, here are the facts:
- Josh Falo is really good. If you can get really good football players on your team, you should try.
- Marcus Baugh is likely to leave Ohio State after this season.
- AJ Alexander has not been able to stay healthy and overall there are just a lot of questions at tight end for the Buckeyes.
Falo, who was one of just six tight ends invited to Nike’s The Opening this past July, is a legitimate 6 feet 6 and 230 pounds and has a very well-developed game overall. This isn’t a player like the aforementioned Alexander – or freshman Kierre Hawkins – that is an athlete-turned-tight-end.
People close to Falo shared a few key items with Landof10.com about his recruitment, a recruitment that will be “changed” thanks to the Buckeyes offer.
“He has interest (in Ohio State) for sure,” one West Coast source shared. “Tony Alford has been talking about him for a while. We will see how hard they recruit him and go from there. Ohio State is a changer for everyone I would think.”
Another source was more direct about Falo’s potential interest in Ohio State.
“He wants to come to Ohio State.”
So what’s next? First and foremost, expect Alford to continue the relationship-building and eventually to see country’s 151st-ranked player make an official visit to Columbus. Alabama, USC, Oregon, Michigan, and Nebraska are all heavily in the mix at this point but pay attention to the Buckeyes moving forward.
Jaylen Harris talks Buckeyes, Vols and others
With the recent commitments of two 5-star wide receivers to Ohio State, the talk immediately turned to whether or not the Buckeyes would be forced to pass on Cleveland Heights’ 4-star Jaylen Harris, Ohio’s top wideout and a player that has had an offer for more than a year.
Whether or not there’s going to be room for Harris come signing day, he’s not done looking at Ohio State.
“I saw they committed, but that really didn’t change the way I think about Ohio State,” he explained.
“I know spots are tight, but at the end of the day I feel like if a spot was to open up and I wanted to go to Ohio State, I would. If that’s where I wanted to go it wouldn’t be a problem with whatever receiver is there because I feel like I know I’m going to compete and compete hard and outwork everybody at my position.”
At any point in the last year, Harris could have committed to Ohio State, but chose not to and now – if he wants to be a Buckeye, and that isn’t a sure bet – those questions about having a spot for him are going to be asked louder than before. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound receiver has Ohio State, Tennessee, Michigan State, Penn State, and Alabama as his final five schools and intends to visit each officially this fall, though he says some days that changes.
“It’s funny. One day I wake up and want to take all my officials. The next day I don’t want to take any,” he said, laughing.
“Then somedays I want to take just a couple. I’m all over the place. I’m not too sure.”
For Harris and the Buckeyes, the longer this goes before a decision, the better.
Tyjon Lindsey dedicates verbal to his grandmother
As revealed earlier today in the second edition of Tate Martell’s Senior Walk, 5-star wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey has known for a long time that he was going to be a Buckeye.
“Tyjon actually was the one who convinced me, way back in January, to give Ohio State a look,” Martell wrote. “He told me in January that’s where he was going to college, but was I still committed to Texas A&M so I wasn’t sure what would happen.”
Knowing eight months ago he wanted to end up at Ohio State didn’t make the last eight months easier for Lindsey, though. He’s transferred schools twice as family issues have pulled him from Las Vegas to California and back. Lindsey’s life has had its ups and downs but through it all, he’s been close to his grandmother. He released a letter to her through USAToday High School Sports and it gives a unique look at their relationship.
You kept my head on straight, you helped me learn from you, and I simply wish I had as much heart as you have. You are my Wonder Woman, and therefore I want to truly say thank you for being the best granny anyone could possibly have.
On behalf of this message granny, I would LOVE TO SAY AND DO SO BY HONORING YOU by accepting a full-ride scholarship to THEE Ohio State University. I’m all about family and I couldn’t turn down this opportunity because the state of Ohio is where our family originates from.
Once again, thank you Mrs. Gail Jackson Brown A.K.A. Granny. I’m going to make you and everyone proud, see you SOON GRANNY.
It’s a pretty cool perspective into Lindsey’s life and decision so make sure you check out the whole letter.
The ones you miss
A little over a year ago, at Ohio State’s late-July Friday Night Lights camp, Egg Harbor City (N.J.) 4-star athlete Ahmir Mitchell – a top 10 athlete nationally – was making every attempt to show the Buckeyes coaching staff he was worth a scholarship offer. The 6-foot-3, 206-pound Mitchell had narrowed his list to Michigan and Ohio State and was making a final run at catching the Buckeyes attention, giving them reason to say “yes, you’re our guy” rather than continuing to chase another wide receiver, Buckeyes signee Binjimen Victor among them.
Mitchell was good that night inside Ohio Stadium, working at wide receiver. He impressed the fans in attendance with his size and speed and he said all the right things leading up to the visit and after. He talked to Tim Sullivan, reporting for the Detroit Free Press, and insisted he was tasked with making a difficult decision between the two rivals.
“I love Ohio State; it is a great place. Them and Michigan are neck-and-neck at one. I am going to compare (the two visits) and sit down with my mom. These two visits are mainly mom visits. I already have a good (feel) for both of them, so after I sit down with my mom afterwards, that is what’s going to be the big difference maker between the two.”
The problem though, was that Ohio State was not interested in taking Mitchell as a part of their class, at least not that early.
So, despite clamoring from fans who didn’t understand “why” the Buckeyes would pass on a player that was talented as Mitchell, when he committed in August everyone knew it’d be to the Wolverines and would trumpeted as a “win” for Harbaugh and Michigan over Ohio State. It wasn’t then, and it’s not now as Mitchell announced today he’s leaving Ann Arbor after enrolling in January.
You can’t beat someone when you’re not competing against them, right?
In recruiting, every year, there are cases like Mitchell’s. For one reason or another, a coaching staff just isn’t sold no matter how many boxes a player checks off. To win in recruiting, it’s not always just about who you take and develop in your program, sometimes it’s about knowing who isn’t a fit and who won’t mesh with what you’re trying to do as a football team, for whatever reason.
The ones you miss are often as important as the ones you land.