Dotting ‘the Eyes: Tough news for Jaelen Gill, rumors around Antjuan Simmons 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.
Why are there rumors around Antjuan Simmons’ commitment?
Over the course of the last few weeks, rumblings have begun around Ohio State linebacker commitment Antjuan Simmons and whether his commitment status with the Buckeyes is solid. The root of the rumors, said Simmons, may come from something as simple as a tweet.
Official scholarship from Michigan State!!?? pic.twitter.com/s3r8MlvbFb
— Antjuan Simmons (@_antjuan_) August 2, 2016
That tweet, from early August, got a lot of people thinking, but he says there’s nothing to worry.
“Since I tweeted the official offer, people have been really skeptical,” Simmons told Landof10. “Everything is good with Ohio State.”
Surely, there’s more to these rumors than just a tweet, though, and that comes from reports that Simmons would be planning a visit to East Lansing, Mich. The 4-star linebacker from Ann Arbor denied that there is anything in the works.
“There are no visits planned, and there are no visits being planned as of now,” he said. “I’ve been invited to games, but that’s it.”
If you’re reading that, you may think the “as of now” leaves the door open for something, for some reason, and that may be the case. The Buckeyes are certainly not done recruiting at linebacker, trying to land either 5-star Baron Browning or 4-star Anthony Hines III (or both), and there’s some speculation – purely speculation – that Simmons is waiting to see what happens with the Texas prospects. In the meantime, he insists things are the same as always with the Buckeyes.
“I don’t know where people hear that stuff,” Simmons added. “I haven’t spoken about my recruitment in a while. I’m just flying under the radar right now. Ohio State’s coaches know what’s up, they know they’re my people.”
Jaelen Gill will miss the rest of his junior season
One of the Buckeyes’ top 2018 targets, Westerville (Ohio) South 5-star running back Jaelen Gill, will miss the rest of his junior season following an injury suffered early in the Wildcats’ loss to Gahanna Lincoln on Friday night.
From his father, Rod Gill, on Facebook:
“Jaelen is in good spirits as we start the rehabilitation process due to a fractured fibula, which will require surgery on Thursday. A 100-percent, full recovery is expected.”
Gill says the injury was just one of those “freak” things that happen. No one landed on him or caught him off guard.
“I was pushing into the end zone from the one-yard line,” the junior tailback said. “It rolled on its own.”
Recovery time for the 6-foot-1, 180-pound 5-star is expected to be roughly six weeks. He told Landof10.com that he heard from the Ohio State coaches this weekend.
“They just basically said that they feel for me,” Gill said. “They are sorry about the news. I’m all right. As good as I’ll be.”
The Wildcats’ junior captain rushed for 1,553 yards on 189 carries as a sophomore and also caught seven passes for 224 yards, totaling 22 touchdowns. As a show of solidarity for their fallen classmate, check out this homage to Gill from the South student section on Friday night as hundreds of them hoisted up a “21” with their fingers.
Blue Smith visits, talks to football and basketball coaches
Another of Ohio’s top 2018 prospects, Wayne (Huber Heights) 4-star wide receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith made the first of two scheduled football season visits to Ohio State on Saturday. Though he’s been a top target of the Buckeyes for a while, it’s the first visit to an Ohio State game since the 6-foot-6, 205-pound wideout was offered by Urban Meyer’s program.
“This is actually the first visit since they offered me,” Smith said when asked how this visit felt different from previous trips to Columbus, Ohio. “Now it’s like I have the offer, I could go here and that could be me on the field.”
With the offer comes a different level of attention from Ohio State, where Smith spent time with Meyer and receivers coach Zach Smith. The message from the Buckeyes came across clearly to Blue Smith.
“Their focus with me is just letting me know all the time that I am their top target in my class,” he said. “My visit was phenomenal and I had a great time like I always do.”
Smith spent time with more than just the Ohio State football coaches. He also talked with assistant basketball coach Greg Paulus, though right now there’s no specific conversation about playing both sports were he to choose the Buckeyes.
“They haven’t mentioned (playing basketball), but you never know,” he said about the meeting with Paulus. “I wouldn’t mind playing both at Ohio State.”
Smith is the country’s 81st-ranked 2018 prospect and checks in at No. 3 among “athletes” on the 247Sports.com composite rankings.
New Buckeyes offers
The Buckeyes have extended a few new scholarship offers during the past few days.
In the 2018 recruiting class, offers were extended to offensive linemen Cleveland Reed and Rasheed Walker.
— Corey Bender (@Corey_Bender) September 2, 2016
Reed, a 6-foot-4, 295 pounder from Fort Meade (Fla.), is the country’s 12th-ranked guard. The Buckeyes’ offer is his 10th, following offers from Florida, Miami and North Carolina.
Walker, a 4-star tackle out of Waldorf (Md.) North Point, also picked up an offer from Ohio State.
Blessed to receive and offer from The Ohio State?⚪?⚪ pic.twitter.com/1GqC3EqRK7
— CincoTres (@_SheEdCoolin_) September 3, 2016
A 6-foot-5, 280-pound prospect ranked as the country’s 20th-best tackle, Walker also has offers from Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Pittsburgh. He has nine offers and was expected to visit Ohio State for the Buckeyes’ spring game in April, but he did not make the trip.
Ohio State also offered Kendrell Scurry, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound sophomore out of Thompson’s Station (Tenn.) Independence High School.
The country’s 11th-ranked 2019 wide receiver is already committed to Tennessee, but there’s a long way to go before his name ends up on a dotted line, so it makes sense to express interest now.