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.
Final thoughts on Teradja Mitchell, Ohio State
The decision by 4-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell – will it be Ohio State or Florida State? – is finally upon us. Almost.
In just about two hours, the country’s second-ranked inside linebacker is scheduled to announce whether he has picked the Buckeyes or the Seminoles, ending months of back and forth between the two schools.
The longtime leader, Florida State, received the most recent visit from the 6-foot-2, 243-pound Mitchell, but there was a lot of uncertainty about the Seminoles’ positioning heading into that trip. Why? Because of a mid-April visit to Ohio State, in which the Buckeyes overtook the Seminoles as the team to beat in this recruitment. There was a lot of speculation following that trip to Columbus that a commitment to Ohio State was imminent, but Mitchell held off so that he could make another visit to Tallahassee.
As that trip concluded, the buzz once again flipped on its ear and things seemed to be trending to Florida State, but there has remained a sense of calm and almost optimism from the Ohio State side of things. Why? Because this is recruiting in the year 2017. There’s buzz, there’s smoke, there’s misdirection, and the “rules” that seemingly were easy to read just three or four short years ago aren’t at all what they used to be. That, it seems, is intentional on the part of the players, their families and the schools to try to keep people guessing and interested.
It is working, of course. If you’re reading this column at 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, it’s because you, like many, are waiting anxiously to learn if the Buckeyes will grow their 2018 recruiting class by one. My prediction is that they will, and I’ve added a 247Sports.com “Crystal Ball” selection to back that up.
Why do I think Buckeyes? Of the two schools, Ohio State offers the best blend of high-level college football, NFL development, academics and focus on post-football life. The Ohio State campus is a few hundred miles closer to home, which probably is not a driving factor here – Columbus is still almost 600 miles from Virginia Beach – but does play a small part. The relationship Mitchell has with Zach Smith, and the work done by both linebackers coach Bill Davis and Urban Meyer in the last few months, helps Ohio State. The Buckeyes seem to have been the leader since his April visit and haven’t relinquished that lead.
But I could be wrong.
Anyway, final call on 4-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell? Ohio State.
So what about Nesta Silvera?
On Thursday night, in Dotting the ‘Eyes, we talked a little bit about a new name that is popping up at defensive tackle: Nesta Silvera.
As for Silvera, he’s a 4-star defensive tackle committed to Miami, but there is a growing buzz that he could be considering flipping from the Hurricanes to the Buckeyes. Ohio State has one defensive tackle committed in its 2018 class in Taron Vincent, but the 6-2, 310-pound Silvera could be the player the Buckeyes have been looking for as a 1-technique nose tackle.
After the Buckeyes landed commitment No. 11 on Thursday night from Andrew Chatfield, the talk about a potential – perhaps better termed eventual – flip of Silvera began to really amp up. Yes, Ohio State wants at least one more defensive tackle, and the commonly believed number of defensive linemen that would emerge in this recruiting class had been five. There’s almost no chance the number stays that low at this point.
Vincent, Chatfield and Brenton Cox are committed, and the Buckeyes are the team to beat – or are in the top group for – Micah Parsons, Tyreke Smith, Daniel Carson, Jayson Oweh, Aeneas Hawkins and Stephon Wynn Jr. With Chatfield and potentially Silvera (if all the rumors of him wanting to flip are true, and I have no reason to believe they’re not) in the mix, things are going to get real interesting moving into the summer months.
Yes, there are ways around things, such as the idea that Chatfield is potentially a standup end/outside linebacker – and Parsons could be that kind of player as well. But when it comes down to it, unless the plan evolves and involves six or seven defensive linemen, there will be a big-name player or two who surprises us by not signing with the Buckeyes.