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.
Don’t freak out but …
Key names that you’d expect to be at an event like like Friday Night Lights at Ohio State may not show up.
In Oregon at The Opening finals, 5-star offensive lineman Jackson Carman told Land of 10 he was just going “to show up” at either Ohio State or Clemson on July 21, and to this point there’s been no deviation from that plan.
Two days ago, Ohio State commit Emory Jones, fresh off of a reportedly clandestine trip to Alabama, told Land of 10 he was unsure if he’d be in town, and it appears he will not be. Cleveland Heights 4-star defensive lineman Tyreke Smith is in California visiting family and USC and will not be on hand, either.
On Tuesday, Land of 10 learned it was now unlikely that Kamryn Babb would visit Ohio State this weekend, instead opting for a trip to see his great grandmother that he had put off previously so he could attend The Opening in Oregon. Today that was confirmed by a second source close to the recruitment, so you can cross Babb, who many felt could commit to the Buckeyes on Friday, off the list as well.
There are questions about whether we’ll see Virginia linebacker K’Vaughan Pope, who has remained patient while he waits for the green light to commit to the Buckeyes. In the last two weeks, there have been rumors of Pope visiting other schools — Florida, Tennessee and Georgia have all been mentioned — but none of those trips have been confirmed.
Zach Harrison, a 2019 5-star defensive end, has not committed to attending and neither has 2019 4-star linemen Cade Stover or Jowon Briggs (though he’s likely to). Those three have early Ohio State offers and are 1- or 2-hour drives (or less) from Columbus. Another 2019 prospect, Murfreesboro (Tenn.) 4-star wideout Trey Knox, informed Land of 10 on Tuesday night he was now unlikely to make the visit.
I have not yet put out a “who is likely to attend” list for this very reason. Things change quickly for the list to be accurate. Look for that Friday afternoon, but let this serve as a “warning” that some of the prospects fans are going to be clamoring for may not attend.
Who is John Holcombe?
Without the expectation of Emory Jones at the camp Friday, there are only going to be a handful of quarterbacks in Ohio Stadium that will catch your eye.
One of them, of course, should be Bellevlle (Mich.) Oak Park 2019 4-star standout Dwan Mathis. He’s a player the Buckeyes are watching closely after an eye-opening performance at a 1-day camp in mid-June.
Another is Texas prospect John Holcombe. A big, strong-armed quarterback, Holcombe caught the attention of the Ohio State coaching staff during a satellite camp in Texas in early June, and though he has no offer from the Buckeyes (and barring something devastating happening with Jones, is unlikely to land one), he’s going to come to town and take his shot in front of Urban Meyer and Ryan Day.
Holcombe has nine offers, adding one from Kansas State on Tuesday. He’s a 6-foot-4, 230-pound quarterback from Humble, Texas and is ranked as the nation’s 37th-best dual-threat QB.
At the moment, there is no plan for Ohio State to recruit another quarterback, but as intrigue continues to swell around Jones, it doesn’t hurt to keep in contact with talented players from around the country.
Who do I want to see at Friday Night Lights?
There are so many players that have bright futures ahead of them that it’s a fool’s errand to try and see them all, but I hope for his sake that Akron’s Darvon Hubbard, a 2020 running back at Buchtel High School decides to attend.
Hubbard camped with Ohio State on June 13 and was a surprise to me and a few others in attendance as he effortlessly moved in and out of drills. He is built like a tank, 5-foot-11, close to 200 pounds, and despite being just a rising sophomore, was without question one of the most talented running backs I saw at any of the three Buckeyes 1-day camps in June.
Pitt, Penn State, Michigan and others have had a chance to see Hubbard in person this summer, as well, and holds offers from three schools already, Minnesota, Kentucky and Toledo. This is a major talent and a player that could be the “next” big thing at running back to come from Ohio.