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.
Hines looking for respect, fit
The country’s top-ranked inside linebacker prospect in the class of 2017, Plano (East) Texas 4-star prospect Anthony Hines III, has as many offers as any player in the nation. Probably more. His 247Sports.com profile page lists 90 offers. Still, he’s not a 5-star prospect and – according to a profile of Hines by Bleacher Report’s Damon Sayles – Hines is feeling disrespected.
“I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me,” Hines says while sweeping. “With my competitive spirit, of course I’m going to be bothered by it.
“Of course I want to be a 5-star.”
The reasons Hines isn’t are varied, but ultimately it doesn’t matter why he’s not. He’s the country’s premier middle linebacker and a player who could be a difference maker for the Buckeyes if he decides that Ohio State is the school for him. Two weekends ago he visited Penn State officially, and on Wednesday Bucknuts.com analyst Bill Kurelic broke the news that Hines would make his official visit to Columbus on Oct. 29. So his recruitment – with a scheduled decision date of Nov. 29 – is ramping up.
— ♕ᴬᴺᵀᴴᴼᴺᵞ ᴴᴵᴺᴱˢ ᴵᴵᴵ♕ (@TheAntHines_Era) September 29, 2016
Ohio State last saw Hines in June, when he made a three-day visit to the school. The Buckeyes’ linebacker recruiting in 2017 has been focused almost exclusively on the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Hines and a fellow Texan, Kennedale 5-star prospect Baron Browning. The pair are completely different players and, because of that, there is still an outside shot that if both want to be Buckeyes they could be. As an inside linebacker, Hines is the best possible fit to replace likely NFL early departer Raekwon McMillan.
Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, UCLA and a host of others remain squarely in the mix for Hines.
Colorado star won’t visit this weekend
There was some thought – at least in my mind – that this weekend could bring the Buckeyes a commitment from one of the country’s top 2018 linebacker prospects, Colorado’s Adrian Jackson. In August, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Mullen (Denver) High School star told Landof10.com that Ohio State is his favorite and that no other schools were really in the mix.
“Ohio State is first (on my list) because they produce a lot of talent … I’m not really looking in at other schools,” Jackson said. “Not right now.
He also informed us at that time he was trying to make a visit to Ohio State for this weekend’s game against Rutgers, but that will not happen.
“Actually,” Jackson told Landof10.com on Wednesday night, “I can’t make it out. My mom took the wrong week off of work.”
Now the question becomes when – or if – Colorado’s top-ranked 2018 prospect will make a return trip to Columbus, where he camped over the summer. It will not be for the Buckeyes’ game against Indiana, though.
“I have homecoming next week,” Jackson said. “So I’m not sure when I’ll visit.”
Ohio State is in the top group for a number of big-time linebackers in 2018, including Las Vegas’ Palaie Gaoteote and Toledo (Ohio) St. John’s Dallas Gant, so the delay in Jackson’s visit may help them sort out the number they’re looking for at the position.
Jacob Lacey seeing the sights, Buckeyes on tap for Indiana game
One of the country’s top-ranked 2019 prospects will return to Ohio State for the Buckeyes’ game against Indiana on Oct. 8.
“I’ll be back at Ohio State for the Indiana game,” Jacob Lacey of Bowling Green, Ky., told Landof10.com. “Things are going great. I’ve been traveling to different schools the last few weeks and our season is going good.”
Lacey, a 6-foot-2, 290-pound defensive tackle from South Warren High School, has seen a number of the country’s hottest programs this season, and that’s not making it easier to separate the schools in his mind.
“I went to Notre Dame and Louisville and I was at Tennessee against Florida this past weekend,” Lacey said. “This weekend I’m going to Clemson, and then our last visit will be to Ohio State next week. I’ve liked everywhere I’ve been. In some ways it makes recruiting tougher. There are differences in each (school), not good or bad, just different. I’m just in a fact-gathering mode to help put a list together.”
Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes, who hosted Lacey for Friday Night Lights in July, are hoping to be on that list. At this point, Ohio State is not one of the six schools that have offered, but the 37th-ranked prospect in the 2019 class is hoping that changes soon.
“My coach spoke to (Larry) Johnson last week but he speaks mostly to (Ohio State director of player personnel) Mark Pantoni,” Lacey said. “I’m hoping to get an official offer, but I’ve just got to play my game and hope they like what they see.”
Dylan Moses changes decision date, adds new official visit to his list
The country’s top-ranked 2017 outside linebacker, IMG Academy’s Dylan Moses, has some thinking to do.
A former LSU commitment – and a Baton Rouge native – Moses is a player who, despite his decision to decommit from the Tigers and take a more comprehensive view of his recruitment, most expect to end up back in the fold at LSU. Now that Les Miles is out in Baton Rouge and the Bayou Bengals are searching for a new head coach, Moses – who had a mid-December decision date planned – is mixing things up a bit. He’ll now make his college decision at the Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 1.
Well, likely because LSU is still where he wants to end up, but the school needs a little time to find out who its next head coach will be. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Moses, who is still scheduled to make an official visit to Ohio State on Nov. 26, also made an interesting change to his visit plans and it’s hard to think it’s a coincidence: He’s added a Houston visit for Dec. 9. Why Houston? Well, Tom Herman of course.
From SECCountry.com’s Chris Kirschner, who covers Alabama for our sister website:
I think the visit to check out the Cougars is a big deal when evaluating where Moses’ recruitment stands. Tom Herman, one of LSU’s top targets for its coaching job, coaches Houston, so the official visit will give the 5-star recruit a very good opportunity to see the Tigers’ potential coach up close.
One Ohio State commitment I’ve spoken with said that he’s not sure what will happen with Moses now that the Tigers situation is up in the air. He doesn’t seem to think the Buckeyes have leaped into the conversation any more than before, but at this point, you just never know.
“Those LSU boys don’t know what they’re going to do,” the commitment said. “It will be interesting for sure.”