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 a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Texas 5-star trio taking a visit to Florida State
In just about one month from today, three of Ohio State’s top remaining prospects – all from Texas and all 5-star talents – will make their way to Columbus to check in on the Buckeyes with an official visit. Defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, linebacker Baron Browning and cornerback Jeffrey Okudah are three of the nation’s top 10 overall players, and if the Buckeyes are going to finish the recruiting season with the best class in college football, landing any of those players is a must.
Ohio State has led the way for Okudah, the No. 1 cornerback in the country, for more than a year, but the battle for Baron Browning and Marvin Wilson has remained hot and heavy. This weekend that group – along with another Texas 5-star prospct, offensive tackle Walker Little – will make another trip together: to Tallahassee, Fla., to see the Florida State Seminoles.
— Baron Browning (@baronbrwnng) October 26, 2016
Florida State – like Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, etc. – is always worth paying attention to when it comes to players visiting. Okudah has mentioned the Seminoles for months as a place he’s interested in checking out, and with a huge national matchup versus Clemson on tap, you can expect the atmosphere at Doak Campbell Stadium to be electric.
In recruiting, understanding what you have to do during a recruit’s visit to your place is often based on knowing what they experienced elsewhere. This is likely the final official visit that Okudah takes before heading to Columbus, though he has regularly mentioned a desire to take one to Clemson, so we’ll see if that comes to fruition between now and Nov. 26.
Also at Florida State this weekend? Five-star running back Cam Akers and 2018 5-star prospects Xavier Thomas (DE, South Carolina) and Teradja Mitchell (LB, Virginia).
That’s a huge weekend for the ‘Noles.
Darnay Holmes is a 5-star prospect and here’s why
The Buckeyes could be on the verge of an absolutely epic haul at defensive back (if they’re able to hold on to Shaun Wade while adding Okudah and Las Vegas star Bubba Bolden) but they’re still chasing after Calabasas (Calif.) 5-star cornerback Darnay Holmes as well. Why?
Because he’s really, really good at playing football and is equally as impressive on offense as he is on defense, where he ranks as the country’s second-best cornerback.
Holmes was once described as the “best defensive back ever” to camp at Ohio State after his performance at the 2015 version of Friday Night Lights, and he’s expected to visit Ohio State for its Nov. 5 home game against Nebraska, though that – like all visits – could change between now and then.
The country’s 11th-ranked 2017 prospect has visits scheduled to Ohio State and Michigan (in December) but a handful of West Coast schools like UCLA, Arizona and Washington remain in the mix as well. Holmes told Land of 10 previously that his relationship with Buckeyes assistant coach Greg Schiano is “one of the closest bonds” he has with any coach recruiting him.
How to woo Jackson Carman away from Ohio State
The crystal ball on 2018 5-star offensive lineman Jackson Carman reads 100 percent in Ohio State’s favor. He’s from Fairfield, Ohio, he’s a kid who grew up rooting for the Buckeyes, and he was offered by Ohio State very early in the recruiting process, marking him as a priority for Urban Meyer and his staff from the start.
So what will it take for the 6-foot-6, 290-pound Carman to end up somewhere other than Ohio State? Perhaps one school or another will appeal to his eccentricities.
“I think there’s a fascination with Jack to see what else is out there, to visit new places,” (Fairfield head coach Jason) Krause said. “I think that’s part of the reason he wants to take his visits. He wants to see, he wants to make sure. He’s an eccentric guy. There’s other things he likes. He likes music, he likes the arts, he likes cooking.”
There’s music at Ohio State. There are arts and cooking at Ohio State, too, but the reality is that for some guys, the thought of leaving home and forging a unique path is hard to look past. Right now, though, according to his head coach, it’s clear the Buckeyes are the team to beat because they’ve not taken anything for granted.
“I know right now that Ohio State is No. 1 on his list,” Krause said. “They’ve obviously done a tremendous job of recruiting him. You can tell, they don’t want their guys leaving the state. It’s obvious.”
Make sure you read the full story, it’s very well done.
The early signing period and the conversation that will never die
If you’ve not heard, there’s a pretty big push being made my some college coaches and administrations – especially among mid-majors and non-Power Five conferences – for an early signing period in football. Urban Meyer is against it. Nick Saban is against it. Most of the coaches at “big schools” are against it, primarily because those schools are the ones that most frequently take advantage of a player either developing late, or being identified late.
During his weekly call-in show on Thursday, Meyer took a question about developing NFL talent and turned into into another rant about why an early signing period is bad, at least for Ohio State.
Meyer on effect of an early signing period would have on late-blooming prospects: "I think it'd kill it."
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) October 27, 2016
Meyer mentions Sam Hubbard, Malik Harrison, Davon Hamilton and Robert Landers as late-bloomers who could be hurt by that.
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) October 27, 2016
Of course, Sam Hubbard was not really a “late-bloomer.” He committed to Ohio State in April 2013 as part of the 2014 signing class, though he certainly developed into a defensive end “late.” The others Meyer listed, specifically the defensive tackles who were each committed elsewhere early in their process, may have been affected, though Landers has said that – despite being committed – he wouldn’t have signed anywhere early because of the chance to end up elsewhere later in the process.
So, what gives? Why is this a big deal? If a prospect will have the right to decide whether to sign early or not, does either side really “win” here? That’s hard to say. One benefit of this concept, according to some, is that schools could potentially schedule official visits for prospects in the spring, rather than having to wait until the fall/winter to do that. Why would that be a big deal?
Have you ever been to Minnesota in November?
“This rule will help us,” Minnesota head coach Tracy Claeys said about spring official visits. “There’s no question about that.”
I think the entire thing is kind of overblown, because allowing an early signing period doesn’t mandate one, but the discussion seems to be ongoing and never ending.
Do you think an early signing period will hurt Ohio State and its ability to identify talent or just the ability to flip players it wants later in the process?