Dotting the ‘Eyes: Sept. 1 recruiting hysteria, 5-star basketball visitor for the weekend and more
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.
Welcome to Thunderdome, class of 2018
Just about 19 hours ago, at midnight Eastern time, college coaches all over the country got out their laptop computers, cell phones and any other messaging device available to begin reaching out to the players they view as the biggest keys to their 2018 recruiting class. New rules mean that there is no limit on communication, and with Sept. 1 upon us, it’s open season on recruits.
❗️ATTENTION 2018 Prospects❗️
We look forward to hearing from you starting tonight at midnight ET! pic.twitter.com/WOClkBDUwj
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) September 1, 2016
Ohio State assistants were all over the map, reaching out to players from coast to coast. Top targets in Ohio like 5-star prospects Jackson Carman and Jaelen Gill were on the Buckeyes’ immediate list. IMG Academy defensive tackle Taron Vincent, St. Louis defensive tackle Trevor Trout, speedy wide receivers all over the country like California 5-star Jalen Hall and Florida’s Xavier Williams were among the earliest players contacted. New York tight end Jeremy Ruckert was a priority, as expected, for Ed Warinner, Ohio State’s tight end coach. Toledo St. John’s linebacker Dallas Gant, Las Vegas 4-star Palaie Gaoteote and – let’s be honest – pretty much every player Ohio State has offered was contacted throughout the day Thursday.
“All the schools recruiting me,” Carman, out of Fairfeld, told Landof10 when asked who reached out immediately at midnight. “It’s not a big deal. Ohio State was first, though.”
— Jackson Carman (@Jackson_Carman) September 1, 2016
Gaoteote, the country’s second-ranked linebacker, is in Las Vegas and that means coaches had to wait even longer to reach out to him, since it had to be Sept. 1 in his time zone. That didn’t stop multiple Ohio State staffers from staying awake to do just that.
“I heard from seven or eight schools,” Gaoteote said. “Ohio State was one of them, I heard from a bunch of coaches on their staff.”
With only a handful of spots remaining in their 2017 recruiting class, expect the Buckeyes to get off to a fast start in the “Supreme ’18,” the official moniker of next year’s haul.
Wade looking at four?
The Buckeyes are working hard to keep all of their 2017 recruiting class intact but there is no battle more intense at this point than the one for Jacksonville (Fla.) 5-star cornerback Shaun Wade. The country’s third-ranked cornerback has been very active on the recruiting trail for much of the time he’s been verballed to Ohio State, and that doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
Wade will visit Columbus twice this season, an official visit when the Buckeyes host Indiana and a return trip to Ohio State for their Nov. 26 game against Michigan. He’s expected to make trips to Alabama, Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame, though if Thursday’s update from 247Sports.com is an indicator, the trip to Ann Arbor may not be happening.
“I’m going to Florida and then I’m going to Notre Dame September 17,” Wade told 247Sports. “I know Ohio State and Alabama [will get visits], but I got to set them dates.”
Michigan is not on that list, but he’s been previously quoted as saying he’d visit Ann Arbor on Oct. 1. Florida and Notre Dame are two spots his parents have not yet visited, and that’s the primary reason for those trips. The Irish have a lot of confidence that, given the chance, they could emerge as a legitimate threat to Ohio State and Alabama, who have been viewed as the two most likely destinations for some time.
Wade continues to say the Buckeyes are the team at the top of his list and he’s been committed to Ohio State since Jan. 12.
“Ohio State is still number one,” Wade told 247. “It’s Ohio State, Alabama and Notre Dame and Florida.”
Expect clarification on the scheduled Michigan visit to come soon.
Matta to see a 5-star 2017 prospect on campus this weekend
There’s no doubt that Thad Matta is working hard to find another big-time prospect to join Westerville (Ohio) South 4-star Kaleb Wesson in Ohio State’s 2017 basketball recruiting class. This weekend, he’ll get a chance to impress one of the country’s brightest stars, Las Vegas Centennial’s Troy Brown, Jr., a 5-star small forward prospect ranked as the nation’s 13th-best player.
Troy Brown, a five-star prospect from Las Vegas Centennial, will take an official visit to check out the Buckeyes this weekend, The Dispatch has confirmed. The 6-6, 210-pound small forward is rated the No. 18 overall prospect in the nation by ESPN.
What kind of player is Brown? According to ESPN’s Reggie Rankin, a pretty darn special one.
“Troy Brown is a versatile player that would be able to play multiple positions on offense and be able to defend multiple positions on defense,” ESPN recruiting analyst Reggie Rankin told The Dispatch. “He is terrific in transition. He can make plays with the ball in his hands, for himself or others. He’s a terrific athlete and he will bring (the Buckeyes) great versatility if they’re able to get him.”
It’s going to be a perfect weekend in Columbus weather-wise and Matta’s program has had some luck with 5-star prospects in recent years. Can he make a push for a superstar to come to Ohio State?
Woodbey likes what he finds in Ohio
Though he’s not yet had a chance to visit Ohio State, 2018 defensive back Jaiden Woodbey, a 5-star prospect from St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) told Landof10.com that he enjoyed his first visit to Ohio, which he took last week when his team played Cincinnati St. Xavier at Nippert Stadium.
“It was great,” Woodbey, a USC legacy, said of his first visit to the Midwest. “I loved it out there.”
Woodbey’s teammate, Ohio State commitment Wyatt Davis, told Landof10 earlier this week that some of his teammates weren’t too fond of the summer weather in Ohio, citing the humidity as a problem. Woodbey said he didn’t notice a problem.
“I liked the weather,” he said. “I could play in that.”
That’s music to the ears of Buckeyes fans, certainly.