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 in Brooklyn to see Matthew Jones
On Monday, Ed Warinner – Ohio State’s offensive coordinator – visited Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall and saw, among others, 2018 two-way lineman Matthew Jones, the country’s 49th-ranked 2018 prospect. Jones, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound former teammate of Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel, has been high on the Buckeyes for some time and continues to be one of their top targets in next year’s class.
Danny Landberg, the head coach of the Dutchmen, told Landof10.com that Warinner’s visit was short and sweet.
“Warinner basically just told him to keep working hard for the team,” Landberg said. “To lead by example and to trust his coaches with his future and guiding him.”
After Friday Night Lights, Landberg told Landof10 that Ohio State and Clemson were near the top of his Jones’ list. Today, though, he says his player is just focusing on his work and not on his recruitment.
“There’s no clue in recruiting right now,” Landberg said. “He has a long way to go. He’s made big-time progress from last year, physically. I need him to dominate. We are similar to Ohio State in the power spread offense that we run. He’s a 300-pound kid playing both ways.”
For Jones, right now, it’s about getting his body right, a challenge for anyone who is used to being the biggest and best player on the field no matter what. That will not be the case at the next level.
“Matt is unblockable right now,” Landberg added. “When he learns to finish on the offensive side of the ball, it’s going to get nasty for opponents. His biggest problem is conditioning. Most kids just want to lift. I’m trying to get my big guys to understand how much more important conditioning is than that.”
Blaine Scott continuing to hear from Buckeyes regularly
Ohio State has made Fairfield (Ohio) 2018 offensive lineman Jackson Carman, a five-star prospect, one of their top priorities in next year’s recruiting cycle, but they’ve also continued to talk regularly with Portsmouth East’s Blaine Scott.
A three-star prospect with 27 scholarship offers, Scott was very busy on the recruiting trail all summer, and that’s continued in recent weeks as he’s made trips to Illinois and Tennessee in the last two weeks. He’s not been back to Columbus since Friday Night Lights, but Scott says he intends on visiting at least once this season.
“Coach (Ohio State offensive line coach Greg) Studrawa and I text a lot,” Scott said. “I’ll visit for Michigan and probably another game, but I don’t know yet. This Saturday, I’ll be at Kentucky and next Saturday I should be at Clemson.”
The Buckeyes have been clear with Scott about their interest in him, though they’ve not yet offered. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound tackle for the Tartans – alma mater of current Ohio State freshman Tyler Gerald – continues to be patient and is trying to improve his game.
“Right now, I’m just doing what I can to be a positive influence (on my team),” Scott said. “We’re trying to go 10-0. I’m working 100 percent on becoming a student of the game.”
Kwantel Raines plans to visit this weekend
It’s time to get familiar with Aliquippa (Pa.) 2018 athlete Kwantel Raines.
The four-star defensive back from outside of Pittsburgh may visit Ohio State this weekend, according to his Twitter account on Tuesday night.
I think i will be at Ohio state this weekend
— Telly Mac (@KwantelRaines) September 20, 2016
Raines is the nation’s 11th-ranked safety prospect and the fifth-ranked player in Pennsylvania. He’s been recruited by Luke Fickell. Though the Buckeyes are off this coming weekend, that may actually be a good time for Fickell and the Ohio State coaching staff to get to know him better than they would be able to during a game weekend. What kind of player is Raines? I spoke to one Pittsburgh-area source who raved about the potential of the 6-foot-3, 190-pound athlete.
“(Raines is) as good of a run and jump athlete as I’ve seen in the class. He’s going to grow into a freaky outside linebacker or a very tall, rangy safety,” the source said. “He’s not quite on his level of an athlete (hard to say anybody is), but there are some Malik Hooker comparisons to be made. He and his teammate Marlin Devonshire (2019, and he’s going to be a stud) both told me they grew up Ohio State fans, so we shall see.”
If the Buckeyes were to offer Raines, could they land him? They’ve tried – and failed – in recent years to pull Pittsburgh area kids from their hometown university. Would this be any different?
“It would be a big offer for him,” the source added. “He doesn’t seem to be as married to Pitt as past Aliquippa kids, but they all end up there anyway so I’m skeptical.”
No Ohio State contact yet with recent Michigan decommitment
Antwuan Johnson, a four-star linebacker from Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar decommitted from Michigan just about two weeks ago, but he the 2018 prospect has not heard from Ohio State since reopening his recruitment.
“Ohio State has not been in contact,” Johnson told Landof10. “I’ve been hearing the most from Pitt, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan State, Penn State, Rutgers, Iowa and Tennessee.”
This weekend, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker will head south to Kentucky, although it sounds as if he had hoped to attend the Michigan State-Wisconsin game in East Lansing, Mich.
“I will be at Kentucky this weekend,” Johnson said. “I believe my parents will be gone so I can’t get up to Michigan State.”
Johnson is Ohio’s 14th-ranked prospect in the 2018 class.