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 call: Toledo 4-star linebacker Dallas Gant
By this time on Tuesday we’ll know for sure whether Billy Davis, Ohio State’s first-year linebackers coach, has scored his first official recruiting win.
Four-star linebacker Dallas Gant, the country’s fifth-ranked outside linebacker (but 247Sports.com’s No. 1-ranked player at the position), will make his college announcement on Tuesday afternoon, with decision time set for 3:30 p.m.
As we’ve talked about here many times, Gant’s recruitment has been an interesting one to watch for months. He picked up an Ohio State offer in summer 2016 and was a favorite of Luke Fickell’s. In late November, all momentum seemed to be on the Buckeyes’ side and he was close to committing after a visit to Columbus on Nov. 26.
Ohio State had consistency and stability to offer the 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker, and his other favorite, Notre Dame, was fighting a losing battle in that regard after firing its defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in midseason.
However, Fickell left Ohio State for Cincinnati and Notre Dame made a smart hire, bringing in Mike Elko from Wake Forest, a well-regarded coordinator who prioritized Gant, and the Irish made a steady push toward the top of his list. In the last few months, as Gant narrowed his list, Michigan offered and quickly moved into his top group of schools.
But that was, in hindsight, not soon enough for the Wolverines to really make a play for Gant.
“I love Jim Harbaugh. He’s weird, but it’s good. I really like him. I think he’s one of my two favorite coaches,” Gant told Land of 10. “With Michigan waiting a long time – and I’m glad they came because it’s a great school. I’ve been up there one time and it’s a great school – but they came in late. I didn’t get a chance to see them when all those other schools were around. It’s just a little different in a way.”
Ohio State was there and Notre Dame was there from the beginning. So, too, was Michigan State, but in the end this is a two-team race and my final call for Dallas Gant remains: Buckeyes.
Jaiden Woodbey answering questions again
Here’s a funny thing about recruits: If you ask them questions, generally speaking, they’ll give you an answer.
Now, the truth is that the answer doesn’t always matter, nor does it lead you in the direction that you’d hope for. Sometimes, though, if your aim is to “use” that player for news-creation purposes, your aim will be true and you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for.
Take the case of Jaiden Woodbey, for example. Months ago, the Ohio State commitment began getting asked a lot of questions about the status of his commitment, if he had plans to visit other schools, etc. Woodbey, who, like every top prospect, continues to be recruited aggressively by other schools, would respond that, yes, he was interested in seeing other places, was hearing from schools around the country and so on and so forth.
This creates a bit of problem, you see? What happens is that when Woodbey says, yes, that he’s heard from School A or School B, he then hears from media covering those schools and stories get crafted to sow discontent. That happened a few months ago with the country’s third-ranked safety, though all those concerns were squished following a return trip to Columbus in March.
But, for a recruit from California, it’s almost a surprise it has taken this long for more discussion and rumors to arise.
— Adam Gorney (@adamgorney) May 15, 2017
There will be nonstop rumors about most Ohio State commitments from now until signing day, so just expect them to come. Woodbey is very solid with the Buckeyes, and if he takes other trips you can bet it’d be with an OK from the Ohio State staff.
Gervin talks to Urban
Land of 10 let you know on May 8 that Detroit Cass Tech cornerback Kalon Gervin had heard from the Buckeyes the day he de-committed from Notre Dame. The 4-star prospect, America’s 21st-ranked cornerback, has been recruited by Kerry Coombs for a while but Ohio State had not yet offered.
If you’re looking for a signal that could be changing, a phone call between Urban Meyer and Gervin on Monday may indicate such a possibility.
“I had a great talk with Urban Meyer on the phone today, I had never talked to him on the phone,” Gervin told Land of 10. “I’ve got to visit for an official offer. He said he was a big fan of mine and wants to get me down to spend some time with them.”
When that happens is now up to the 5-foot-11, 175-pound athlete. He believes it should be sometime soon.
“It’s going to be really soon,” he said of the visit. “I’m not far at all.”
PSA for recruits: Don’t do this
It is not easy for a recruit to deal with the scrutiny that comes from being recruited. I know that sounds obvious, but the truth is that so many kids get overwhelmed daily from the nonstop nature of this beast that they turn reclusive and shy away from any and all contact or exposure.
There is, though, another portion of the being-recruited population out there, one that is working hard, doing whatever they can to get more exposure and “bigger” or “better” offers. For those kids, the advice is simple: work hard, do the right things, get yourself to college camps and work with your high school coaches to find the best place for you. Using social media to get yourself noticed is a great tool as well, but there’s a trap that you have to be sure you don’t fall into.
I’m not going to name names here, because that’s not the way we work, but trust me, recruits (if recruits read this): don’t report fake offers. Don’t claim an offer you haven’t received. There have been two instances of this in the last two weeks, prospects claiming an Ohio State offer that haven’t been given one.
The same people you reach out to asking for help promoting your highlights are usually talking to the coaches or staff members of the colleges you want to hear from. People talk, and your reputation will be compromised with the teams that have offered.