Dotting the ‘Eyes: Urban Meyer on recruiting, update on 2018 lineman Matthew Jones 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 for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Meyer talks recruiting, saying no to big-time prospects
If you follow recruiting, you know that there are few programs hotter at the moment than the Buckeyes. Ohio State has the country’s top-ranked 2017 recruiting class and a whopping 13 of their current 16 verbal commitments were invited to Nike’s The Opening. Momentum is in the Buckeyes favor after a pair of huge recruiting “wins” after Friday Night Lights.
According to Urban Meyer, things are moving along at the right pace for Ohio State. The Buckeyes are not just preaching on the recruiting trail, but they’re producing on the field, in the classroom and more and that’s paying off big-time in 2017 and beyond.
“We’re hitting it really good right now,” Meyer said at Big Ten media days on Tuesday. “I always talk about theory versus testimony. Players want to go to the NFL. We’ve always done well, but last year is off the charts. It’s been very instrumental.
Now though, with potentially five or six spots left in the class, the real hard part begins: who do you turn down? Would you turn down a 5-star prospect who wants to come to Ohio State?
That’s already been happening according to Meyer.
“We already have had to back away from elite – I don’t know if they are 4-or-5-stars, but guys that we’ve started to back away, and that’s awful. Especially if they’re a great kid. But that’s the way it is numbers-wise. I don’t have a number, but I know we’re very close to that number right now.”
Matthew Jones visits Ohio State
One of the top two-way linemen in the country, Erasmus Hall (Brooklyn) 2018 prospect Matthew Jones visited Ohio State for Friday Night Lights and his head coach, Danny Landberg, said things went very well on his visit.
“Matt’s visit was one more of out of respect rather than needing to go,” Landberg told Landof10. “He already has a relationship with Urban Meyer and knows Ed Warinner.”
The country’s sixth-ranked defensive lineman had not yet gotten to know new Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa yet, so that was a big part of this visit to Ohio.
“I think meeting Studwarma left a great impression on him,” Landberg said of his 6-foot-4, 300-pound junior-to-be. “He made Matt smile and laugh and he felt very comfortable with him.”
While Jones himself had not met Studrawa, Landberg had and he was impressed with him from the start.
“I met him months ago when he came to visit Erasmus,” he said. “That day, Matt was absent from school, so we had a great conversation and he won me over. Anyone who doesn’t like him is an idiot. He’s a fun, energetic guy all the way.”
Right now, the Buckeyes have all eight predictions for Jones on the 247Sports.com crystal ball, and they have offered, but Landberg says there’s no rush for a decision.
“Matt is just taking his time right now,” he added. “He’s still really getting a feel for the recruiting stuff and there’s no hurry at all.”
OK now it’s a top five for Jermaine Eskridge
In last night’s edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes, we talked about the top three schools for 2018 4-star athlete Jermaine Eskridge, a Jefferson High School (Tampa, Fla.) star who is planning to make a college decision soon.
Hours after that story was published, Eskridge went back to Twitter and, at the request of his mother, revised his top three and just like that, it became a top five.
After talking it over with my moms she would like to add these 2 programs to me list!! Thanks everybody again pic.twitter.com/6eLkshkMec
— EJ2 (@Iam_Jermaine4) July 27, 2016
So, add Florida and Oregon back to the list for Eskridge, the country’s seventh-ranked 2018 athlete. What does it mean for the Buckeyes? Not much. If Eskridge decides in the near future that he’d like to commit to Ohio State, he’ll be able to – without a visit if that’s the case – and Greg Schiano will then work on holding onto to him until signing day in 2018. However, if you follow recruiting you already know that an early commitment from a Florida prep star rarely means much more than he’s interested, so I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in a commitment he makes anywhere.
Speaking of early commitments from a Florida star that didn’t mean anything, former Ohio State 2017 commitment Bruce Judson committed to South Florida earlier today.
Woodbey will not visit this week
Another week has passed and once more, there’s no good news for the Buckeyes and their hopes to get California’s Jaiden Woodbey, the country’s 30th-ranked 2018 prospect, on campus for a visit.
“No, I won’t be visiting this week,” Woodbey told Landof10. “Soon, but I’m not sure when.”
Woodbey was scheduled to visit for Friday Night Lights on July 22 but was unable to find anyone that could make the trip with him and unfortunately that still appears to be the case. He’s got the Buckeyes on the top of his list and is working hard to arrange a visit but to this point it’s just not been able to happen.
There is, however, a date that seems to make sense.
St. John’s Bosco travels to Cincinnati to play St. Xavier at Nippert Stadium on August 27, so there’s a chance that Woodbey could be making the short drive up I-71 to see Columbus as opposed to making the long flight from California.
Marco Wilson has Buckeyes in Top Five
In 2014, Ohio State was the runner-up in the sweepstakes to land 4-star Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson, who picked Florida over the Buckeyes. Now, three years later, the Buckeyes are back in the running for his younger brother, Marco, who lines up at defensive back for the American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale) Patriots.
— MARCO WILSON❗️ (@MjW_era) July 23, 2016
Wilson, the country’s 27th-ranked cornerback in the 2017 class, has an Ohio State offer (and has for a while) but he’s hardly been a priority to this point for the Buckeyes. Will that change now that they know he’s got sincere interest in the program?
Florida is the leader here and I don’t expect things to heat up between Wilson and the Buckeyes, especially now that Amir Riep as officially joined Ohio State’s class. The Buckeyes will continue to focus on 5-stars Jeffrey Okudah, Darnay Holmes and Shaun Wade, as well as 4-star cornerback Lamont Wade, as they look to round out their defensive back group for 2017.