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Jeffrey Okudah prepares for key first official visit
The Buckeyes have been the top school on the list for 5-star defensive back Jeffrey Okudah for more than a year. This weekend, the Grand Prairie (Texas) standout will head to Norman, Okla., to see the football team that most people believe is running in second place.
That puts the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Okudah in an interesting position. Official visits are a time for the home team to go all out to impress their visitors, but Okudah will be there watching two schools he’s very interested in. Will his attention be divided? Whether it will be or not, it’s hard to imagine that attending this game is a coincidence. Aside from being one of the country’s premier matchups, it’s a chance to see two coaching staffs, two staffs that could be coaching him in college, up close and personal.
“I think it’s a pretty good way to look at both schools at one time,” Okudah told Landof10. “They are both top-tier schools.”
Okudah will likely make his visit to Ohio State for the Buckeyes’ Nov. 26 home game against Michigan. This weekend, it’s about seeing how he fits into the program at Oklahoma, though he’s not likely to be publicly rooting for either side when it comes to the game’s outcome. Still, it won’t be one of those unofficial visits where you’re on your own.
“It’ll be different for me,” he said. “It’s an official visit so I’ll get a chance to really vibe with the guys that they have up there.”
Zone Six going fishing in Texas
Zach Smith and Ohio State’s wide receiver corps have gone from coast to coast in recent years. Noah Brown is from New Jersey, Mike Thomas was from California, James Clark, Torrance Gibson and Ben Victor all hail from Florida. The strength of the Buckeyes brand is at an all-time high but one place that Smith and Zone Six have not yet tried to make an impact? Texas.
That may be changing.
On Thursday night, Ohio State offered Yoakum’s Joshua Moore, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound wideout in the 2018 class.
— JOSHUA MOORE ‼️ (@_TheJoshuaMoore) September 15, 2016
Moore was barely able to contain his excitement about the new offer, his 30th.
“It’s very exciting,” Moore told Landof10. “(Zach) Smith offered. We’ve been in contact for like 2-3 months. Still, it’s a surprise because we’ve never talked about an offer (before.)”
Smith was direct with Moore, the country’s 13th-ranked wide receiver: The Buckeyes are coming.
“I don’t know why they decided to offer,” he said. “He gave me the good news and told me ‘We’re coming after you, so get ready.’ ”
If you break down Moore’s game, it’s easy to see what the Buckeyes like. The 4-star gave Landof10 a self-assessment of his game.
“I describe my game as fast and physical,” Moore said. “I’m a vertical threat and will dominate every play, like Mike Thomas or JuJu Smith.”
As for what he knows about Ohio State, Moore says he’s just learning the details of the school but he’s grown familiar thanks in part to one of his closest friends, La Grange (Texas) 4-star running back J.K. Dobbins, who is committed to the Buckeyes. He’s also got a cousin who recently received an Ohio State offer.
“I’m really close to J.K. Dobbins. He’s like an older brother to me,” he said. “I played against him the past three years in high school. He’s the one that basically paved the way for me to get here. He helped me get to this point by telling me how to get in contact with coaches and things like that. They offered my little cousin, (2019 prospect) Jordan Whittington, a couple days ago. I have a few connections there.”
Moore told Landof10 there’s a “possibility” he could visit the Buckeyes this season, potentially when Dobbins makes his official visit to Columbus. He wants to see more of the Buckeyes but what he knows for sure is that there’s a winning tradition in Columbus.
“I know that they’re a winning program,” he said. “They win a lot. They put every position in the NFL, man. They’re everything I’m looking for in a school.”
Lamont Wade still in the mix?
While the questions around the recruitment of 5-star cornerback Shaun Wade – who will visit Notre Dame this weekend officially – persist, the Buckeyes are still in contact with Clairton (Pa.) 4-star Lamont Wade.
“We’re planning a trip up there,” Wade’s father, Carlton, told Landof10. “We’ve been down to Pitt and Tennessee, we’re going to Penn State this weekend. We’ve been talking to Luke Fickell.”
The Volunteers and Panthers are at the unofficial top of the list, according to most people around Wade’s recruitment, but the 2017 star isn’t cutting things down yet. There is still time before a decision is necessary and things that need to be figured out.
“It’s been a long three years,” Carlton said. “But it will be a top 5 soon and (Lamont) will make the decision on Dec. 17.”
The next few weeks will be vital in helping the country’s fifth-ranked cornerback cut things down. Aside from the visits he’s already made, there is a plan for an official visit to Tennessee, an official visit to UCLA and then a decision between an official visit to Ohio State or an official visit to Penn State on Nov. 5.
If there is any clarity with Shaun Wade, expect that to help situate things with Lamont Wade, but there’s a pretty good chance they could be on campus making their next – and final – visits to Ohio State together.
Unless otherwise noted, all rankings come courtesy of 247Sports.com.
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