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.
Okudah still talks to Buckeyes every day
The country’s top-ranked 2017 cornerback has had Ohio State at the top of his recruiting list for months but recently much of the talk around Jeffrey Okudah has turned from the Buckeyes toward Oklahoma, where he’ll make his first official visit on Sept. 17. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Grand Prairie, Texas, star visited Columbus twice this past summer and, according to multiple sources, things between Okudah and Ohio State remain as good as they can be.
“(Ohio State) feels really good about things,” one source close to the recruitment said. “(The Buckeyes) talk to the people closest to him more than anyone and things have not changed one bit in their relationship.”
That statement seems to be corroborated by Okudah himself. He says he’s been trying to stay quiet on the recruiting trail lately and instead focusing on his final year of high school football. Still, he’s finding time to keep his relationship with the Buckeyes strong.
“Everything is good,” Okudah told Landof10. “I’m just really focusing on this football season because it’s my last one. I talk to the Ohio State coaching staff pretty much every day.”
Okudah will make an official visit to Ohio State this fall, though he’s still not 100 percent certain when because of potential scheduling conflicts.
“I would guess I’ll be up there for Michigan,” Okudah added. “But that’s pending because of our playoff schedule.”
Isaiah Pryor talks Buckeyes, Bama
When Alabama is pursuing you, it’s hard to ignore the pull and power of the Crimson Tide, especially on the recruiting trail. Last week, when Ohio State commitment Isaiah Pryor told SECCountry.com that Nick Saban’s program was recruiting him as hard as it possibly can, it perked up some ears around Buckeyes nation. Alabama is already closely linked to a potential flip of 5-star cornerback Shaun Wade, but could they really make a push on Pryor, the country’s fourth-ranked safety, as well?
As we mentioned in this space last week, it’s not worth worrying about the Tide and Pryor and that was all but confirmed by Chris Kirschner, who covers Alabama for SECCountry.com, at the IMG Academy/Grayson game in Georgia on Saturday.
“I think (Alabama has) done a very good job, but I’m just set on Ohio State,” Pryor said. “It was one of my first offers. I go up there a lot and have family up there. I have a great relationship with the coaches and I just love it up there.”
The nation’s No. 4 safety did compliment Alabama on how hard the Tide are pursuing him, but he said there’s nothing the team can do at this point to change his mind.
“They’re very good programs, but I just like Ohio State more than Alabama,” Pryor said.
So again, on Isaiah Pryor: worry not.
Staying with Kirschner and IMG …
The aforementioned Chris Kirschner (who, if you’re a fan of recruiting in general, you should be following on Twitter) also caught up with the country’s top-ranked 2018 defensive tackle, IMG’s Taron Vincent, while at Grayson High School, and he talked to the Baltimore native about Alabama, Ohio State and more.
When asked if he was interested in hearing from Alabama on Thursday – Sept. 1, when the contact rules for juniors get significantly easier for coaches to navigate – Vincent was, in a word, apathetic.
Taron Vincent, a 5-star prospect from IMG Academy, shook his head no when asked if he cared if the Tide reached out to him come Sept. 1. Why is that? Ohio State seems to have a major stronghold on his attention right now.
“(Ohio State defensive line) coach (Larry) Johnson, the atmosphere, the school, just everything about the school,” Vincent said on what he likes about Ohio State. “Coach Johnson recruited my older brother (to Penn State), so I’ve always been around him and kind of grew up with him.”
He acknowledged that the Buckeyes are in fact the team to beat at the moment.
The Buckeyes are the team to beat for Vincent, and this battle is almost certainly going to turn into an Ohio State vs. Michigan battle thanks to the addition of Biff Poggi to the Wolverines coaching staff. Poggi is one of Vincent’s mentors and was his head coach at Baltimore’s Gilman High School prior to transferring to IMG before the start of his sophomore year.
Texas cookin’ for Dobbins, Browning and Hines?
If you’re a subscriber to the theory that 247Sports.com crystal ball predictors are the people to pay attention to among recruiting analysts, this next section may cause you some consternation if you’re a Buckeyes fan.
Daniel Seahorn of Hornsports.com, a USA Today offshoot, has been active in prognosticating lately and he’s got opinions on four different players that Ohio State recruiting fans should be very familiar with.
Seahorn has recently predicted that Ohio State commitment J.K. Dobbins will flip to Texas and that the Longhorns will also land linebackers Anthony Hines III and Baron Browning, each of whom will make their college decisions on Nov. 29. The Buckeyes are among the top competition for both Texas linebackers, and until recently, Texas was not really considered a viable choice for Browning, though his relationship with Longhorns sophomore Malik Jefferson has helped change that perception a bit.
Dobbins has been on record saying that he’s 100 percent committed to Ohio State but that, if the Buckeyes receive a commitment from 5-star running back Cam Akers, he’d take a harder look at other schools.
For the record, Seahorn also made a prediction for another Texas stud, Jeffrey Okudah, and has him forecasted for Ohio State.