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.
Tyreke Smith recruitment could be wild one to watch
On Friday night, the country’s fifth-ranked weakside defensive end attended a college recruiting camp he did not participate in. Tyreke Smith was at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, watching a camp highlighted by the presence of Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines coaching staff.
Smith talked about the meeting with Michigan with Kevin Goheen from Land of 10, and made a point to let people know that he’s not really from Ohio and that any assumptions made about his college future may be premature. The point? To illustrate to those in attendance that he was not, as many believe, a “lock” to end up in the Buckeyes 2018 recruiting class.
The following morning, Smith visited Ohio State.
— Tyreke Smith™ (@T_23_baller) June 4, 2017
“Ohio State was good, it was a last-minute thing,” Smith told Land of 10. “My high school was running in the state championship and so I hit coach up and asked if it would be cool to come through. I only was down there for a little bit, but me and [Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry] Johnson had a great conversation.”
Ohio State was likely talking to Smith about how he fits into its growing recruiting class. The Buckeyes now have two defensive ends already committed (Brenton Cox and Andrew Chatfield) and there’s little doubt that teams recruiting against them will try and impress upon him that the “need” isn’t as great for his services in Columbus as they would be in Happy Valley, Ann Arbor, or Los Angeles. Right now, there’s no concern from Smith about the Buckeyes’ other commits.
“Not really within my own class,” he told Goheen when asked if the other commitments were on his mind. “Personally, I feel like if I work hard enough I can beat anyone out. That’s just my mindset. That’s how I feel about stuff. I do look at the sophomores, juniors, the people that are going to be seniors when I’m there, people who are going to be juniors when I’m there.
“A lot of the schools I’m going to go to [visit], a lot of the kids are going to graduate early and stuff like that, go to the NFL. You never know, but I definitely do look at that a little.”
Despite the two other defensive ends committed, there has been no shortage of communication between the two sides. The Buckeyes are making Smith a priority.
“Ohio State is definitely [there],” Smith added when asked who he hears from the most. “They hit me up every day, [sometimes] four times a day.”
I believe Smith when he says there’s no slam dunk in his recruitment. If he was sure of a choice at this point, he’d already be committed and he’s not even close to that. He reportedly will be back at Ohio State on June 17 for a camp with his teammates.
Stay tuned. There’s sure to be a number of ups and downs.
Going off the rails for a second…
I apologize in advance if I go off on a little tangent here, but the circumstances of Smith’s meeting are exactly why so many college coaches are against the so-called “satellite camps” that have become a hot-button issue in the last few years.
Smith went to a camp knowing he wouldn’t participate in order to talk to a coaching staff of a team that had nothing to do with the school hosting it. The camp takes place in a recruiting “quiet period,” which means that there’s no off-campus meetings permitted (this particular quiet period runs from June 1 through July 31). If a player attends a camp and doesn’t participate in the camp itself, there’s little that can be done to prove he paid to attend, which is the only way he should be present, talking to a coaching staff at all if that staff isn’t the “home” school. Another example of that “camp” approach paying off came Monday in Florida, as recruits without any interest or reason to “camp” at Florida Atlantic, just happen to be present.
— Luke Stampini (@LukeStampini) June 5, 2017
It’s a rule that many hate for good reason but that the NCAA clearly isn’t that concerned about, so why make a rule about it to begin with? Open the floodgates or plug the dam. It is not hard to understand why so many people feel this is a loophole being egregiously exploited by teams around the country.
Emory Jones falls short in Elite 11
Ohio State commitment Emory Jones was in Los Angeles over the weekend, participating in the Elite 11 quarterback camp. The event brings together two dozen of the country’s best prep quarterbacks for a weekend of football, fraternity and fundamentals under a blistering California sun.
On the first day of the Elite 11, Jones was just as hot.
— Luke Stampini (@LukeStampini) June 3, 2017
Stampini wasn’t the only one impressed by Jones, who also drew rave reviews from SBNation.com’s Bud Elliott.
Some have said that Jones has struggled throwing the ball offseason, but I must have missed those events. He was good at the Under Armour Atlanta event a few months ago, and very strong Friday. The Georgia native has a strong arm, smooth stroke, and stood tall in the pocket. I’m higher on him than most, and comfortable in saying that.
As the weekend hit, Jones seemed to wear down a bit and struggled, as he’s been known to do at times, with his accuracy. After an only average day on Saturday and Sunday, he was not selected as an Elite 11 finalist, and therefore will not be heading to Oregon later this month for Nike’s The Opening. Still, Jones seems to have no regrets about his experience.
— Emory Jones (@eXjones6) June 5, 2017
Ranked as the country’s second-best dual-threat quarterback coming into the weekend, Jones’ game is not anywhere near complete. These sort of competitions, where he can learn and grow among the best of the best, are sometimes discouraging for players who don’t perform their best, but in some way that’s the real value of the opportunity. I asked Elliott, whose recruiting “specialty” has long been the Florida State Seminoles, for his thoughts on Jones, and he said he was surprised not to hear his name among the finalists.
“Jones is legit. Jimbo Fisher likes him and Urban Meyer is fighting like hell to keep him,” Elliott told Land of 10. “I had a list of 15 who I thought would make [the finals], and 10 who clearly would not. If this was a cut line like golf, they’d have taken 15 and he’d be in. I am somewhat surprised he didn’t make it. But, they only take 12 and this year is much stronger depth than previous years.”
Jones will continue to grow and to improve, and he’s the player Ohio State and Urban Meyer believe is the best fit for the future.
Jackson Carman plans key visit to USC
Ohio State’s top offensive line target in 2018 has set a visit to the West Coast for later in June.
Flight locked in 🔒I'll be in L.A from the 18th-21st ‼️✈️ Hope the Trojan Fam welcomes me #FIGHTON
— T H E J I A N T (@Jackthejiant) June 5, 2017
This will be the first major trip for the country’s top-ranked offensive lineman since his recruitment-altering visit to Clemson in March. Expect a similarly outstanding report from his first trip to Southern Cal.