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.
Stop — Rumor time
We are just two days away from the end of the recruiting dead period and the start of the final, dramatic push toward National Signing Day on Feb. 1. With that comes a new rush of seemingly random rumors and misdirection from coaches, recruits, their families and more. It’s a lot of fun. Really.
So, let’s try to dispel one of the week’s biggest rumors, which centers around Wyatt Davis, one of Ohio State’s biggest — and most important — 2017 commitments. In December, the speculation was that Davis was still heavily considering USC. He rebuked it.
“I have no idea,” Davis told Land of 10 about the USC rumors. “I’m not going there.”
On Tuesday, the rumor is that the country’s top-ranked offensive guard will take a visit to Washington this coming weekend. That also, is false, according to Davis.
“No, I am not visiting there,” Davis told Land of 10 on Tuesday. “To be honest, I don’t know where these rumors come from.”
Davis spent last week in San Antonio, where he started at guard for the West team in the U.S. Army All-American game. He hung out with a lot of different players going to a lot of different schools, but said the time with Ohio State commitments helped strengthen the bond between the future Buckeyes in attendance.
“It was a really good week,” he said of the experience in Texas. “I felt like we all truly got to know each other better.”
Since he committed to Ohio State in June, there has been no shortage of rumors around Davis’ commitment but he — and his family — have refuted every single one. Could he be giving lip service to all those who ask? Sure, he could, but sources close to the Buckeyes are expressing no concern that he’ll sign, or even visit, elsewhere.
It’s not easy to predict the actions of teenagers, but — at some point — a rapport is developed that you hope allows for truth in conversation. Davis has never been anything but forthcoming and direct, so we’ll choose to believe him when he says he’s solid with the Buckeyes.
Tate Martell to arrive at Ohio State on Thursday
Eight of the nine expected Ohio State early enrollees have arrived on campus in Columbus. Only quarterback Tate Martell has not yet arrived, but that’s coming.
Signed, Sealed, and Delivered!
I'll be at Ohio State Thursday morning. Ready to be apart of such a successful program.#GOBUCKS
— Tate Martell (@TheTateMartell) January 9, 2017
Martell went back home to Las Vegas following the U.S. Army-All American Game to finish up a few remaining bits of high school paperwork that needed completion. Now that it’s finished, he’ll be heading to Ohio on Thursday morning. He had his first conversation with quarterbacks coach Ryan Day last Friday night.
“The conversation went well,” Martell told Land of 10. “We’re just getting to know each other, but I’m looking forward to seeing how he coaches.”
Land of 10 spoke with Jason Mohns, an assistant coach for the West team in San Antonio, this past weekend about his impressions of Martell. Mohns has led the Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.) Sabercats to three straight state championships in Arizona, and coached Texas A&M star Christian Kirk there.
“I’m extremely impressed. He’s got great arm strength, plus athleticism, and incredible poise in the pocket,” Mohns said of Martell. “He’s very accurate and understands how to throw receivers open. (He has a) very high football IQ and great leadership qualities. I think Russell Wilson is a great comparison for Tate, and I expect him to be a big-time player at Ohio State.”
Wyatt Davis, who was tasked with blocking for Martell last week, agreed with at least one part of that.
“Tate is a great player,” Davis said. “And a great leader.”
Martell is likely to redshirt during the 2017 season but Buckeyes fans will get a good dose of him during spring football, so stay tuned. He’s got big plans for his time at Ohio State.
I want nothing more than to win a National Championship at Ohio State! #GoBucks ?️
— Tate Martell (@TheTateMartell) January 10, 2017
Harbaugh-inspired recruiting changes coming?
If you’re a fan of Jim Harbaugh’s “hire a high school coach to get a good high school player” tactic and hope that it comes to your favorite program, you may be on the verge of disappointment.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Crabtree, that kind of staff building is about to meet some resistance.
One of the buzz words from Tuesday’s NCAA recruiting seminar is: IAWP. As part of recruiting reform, the NCAA has proposed during a two-year period before a recruit’s anticipated enrollment and a two-year period after the recruit’s enrollment, an institution shall not employ individuals associated with a prospect (IAWP) in a non-coaching staff position.
That means that, you know, if you wanted to hire a coach from South Florida so that you can land three of their players, or bring in a guy from New Jersey to fill a position you just created, you’d have to wait for two years after that player hit campus.
It’s a good idea, and one that could slow the unethical hiring of people closely associated with top-ranked players.
Brendon White to wide receiver?
Do you know why you recruit athletes who can play a number of different positions? Because when things happen you don’t expect – like Noah Brown and/or Curtis Samuel departing for the NFL – you can move that athlete to a position you didn’t expect to need him. An athlete, perhaps, like Powell (Ohio) 4-star Brendon White.
You see, White – who began practicing with the Buckeyes on Dec. 17 – has been tabbed as a linebacker prospect for months. Now, though, it appears he’s going to get a chance to showcase his skills on offense.
— Brendon White (@therealestbw0) January 10, 2017
Throughout his recruitment, White told Land of 10 and anyone who would listen that he’d love the chance to play wide receiver in Columbus. At least for now, it appears he’s getting it.