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.
Alabama offers Emory Jones
In the 2017 recruiting cycle, Alabama signed the country’s top-ranked quarterback, Hawaii’s Tua Tagovailoa, while the Buckeyes landed the nation’s second-ranked player at the position, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman’s Tate Martell. Both 2017 signees have enrolled on their respective campuses and are embarking on their first spring practices in Tuscaloosa and Columbus, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes and the Crimson Tide are already busy looking for the guy who wants to take their spot. Ohio State has a commitment from 5-star Georgia prospect Emory Jones, the country’s top-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class, and on Monday night, Alabama threw its hat into the ring of schools trying to sway him away from Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.
Blessed to receive an offer from The University of Alabama. pic.twitter.com/KxlJQrqF0N
— Emory Jones (@eXjones6) March 6, 2017
It doesn’t matter if you’re Ohio State or Troy, the reality is very simple: If Alabama offers your guys, it’s worrisome and something to pay attention to, especially when considering a prospect from a Southern state that’s 300 miles closer to Tuscaloosa than Columbus. Jones is taking this offer, as with all of his offers, in stride.
“I’m just blessed to have this opportunity,” he said of the newest offer, acknowledging that a scholarship from the Crimson Tide is a special one to receive, committed elsewhere or otherwise.
The Buckeyes know that a player like Jones is going to be pursued by dozens of other schools until he is signed. For his part, Jones is just letting the suitors line up. One common attack is that Ohio State has “too much” depth on their roster at quarterback while others are being a bit less specific.
“The (other schools) are just saying I can come there if I want to,” he said. “They know I’m committed to Ohio State but they want me to come up and visit and get to know them.”
The Buckeyes, of course, would prefer that no trips are made, though they’re certainly not going to try to prohibit Jones from making them if he wanted to go.
“They trust me with my commitment,” Jones said of Ohio State. “They feel like I’m loyal to them, so I don’t see any problem there.”
One visit the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Jones knows he will make this spring is to Columbus to see Ohio State again. He’ll use that time to continue to develop his relationship with new quarterbacks coach Ryan Day. The strength of that bond is likely to be the thing that carries him through his recruitment if he signs with the Buckeyes. Jones says there’s been zero difficulty in his transition from Tim Beck, now at Texas, to Day as his primary recruiter.
“Man,” Jones said, “we have a great relationship. He’s a really cool and fun dude to talk to. I would have thought there’d be some awkwardness at first but the first time we talked, we clicked. I know he will develop me into the best quarterback I can be. I will be going up in a few weeks for a practice, and most likely for the spring game.”
Jones injured his shoulder in a game last season and is not yet back to 100 percent physically. He says he’s getting close, though.
“We just won our first 7-on-7 tournament on Sunday in Tennessee,” he said. “I’m at about 95 percent, but I’m throwing the ball really good. We’re just working on getting the muscles stronger.”
Meechi Harris talks Tuesday Buckeyes trip
Ohio State continues to work on getting to know Xenia, Ohio, 2018 wide receiver Meechi Harris. The 6-foot-2, 188-pound Harris made his second visit to Columbus since January on Tuesday morning and spent the day at the Buckeyes facilities watching practice and getting himself more familiar with the Ohio State program.
The Buckeyes did not offer Harris, Ohio’s 22nd-ranked prospect, and that is totally OK with him because he thinks it will come eventually. The lack of an offer didn’t ruin the visit.
“It was great,” Harris told Land of 10 about the visit. “Unlike last time, I got to watch practice. An offer is going to come, they don’t want to rush or pressure me. They want me to fall in love with the place and not just throw an offer in my face. Trust me, no offer or 100 offers, it won’t change or affect the way I play. I will continue to perfect my craft in every way to be the best I can possibly be.”
That seemed to echo Urban Meyer’s message to Harris on Tuesday. The Ohio State head coach spent some time talking to Harris in the middle of a 100-player whirlwind on the Buckeyes indoor field.
That’s a feeling that is hard to explain, according to Harris.
“It’s crazy,” he said of the time with Meyer. “It’s really crazy. It makes you feel like you’re special, you know? He’s telling me to just trust the process and to keep building myself up, to make myself a better player.”
Ohio State also made sure that the Xenia star saw more than just football.
“I want to go into the medical field and either become a doctor or get into something like sports therapy,” he said. “Academics comes first for me. I actually went over and talked to a biology adviser. That what I want to major in and I thought it was pretty cool.”
Harris is saying all the right things without a Buckeyes offer. What if Ohio State did offer? Would that change anything with respect to a potential commitment?
“It still won’t change my mind,” he said. “I won’t commit for a while.”