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.
Brenton Cox heading back to Ohio State
When last we spoke of Stockbridge (Ga.) 4-star defensive end Brenton Cox, we discussed his family’s reluctance to have him leave the south for college, with part of that decision coming down to a simple aversion to Ohio’s not-always-balmy weather.
“We are all originally from Tampa in Florida,” Cox said. “So my family really doesn’t like the cold. My mom does say this decision is all for me. So she will tolerate it. She said she will keep an open mind about Ohio State. I think she will like it.”
Mom is going to get a chance to see if she likes it in Ohio this weekend.
“We’re coming up for the spring game,” the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Cox told Land of 10. “The weather should be OK for her to come up this time.”
This is the second trip to Ohio State this spring for the country’s third-ranked strongside defensive end. It’s a visit that he hopes shows him a bit more about what life with the Buckeyes would be about.
“This trip,” he said, “I’m just trying to get a feel for what the real day of an athlete (at Ohio State) is. Not the tour guides and all that.”
Cox said the main message he’s gotten from the Buckeyes is simple: three top-tier defensive ends are heading to the NFL after this 2017 season and he can help fill the gap created there. He’ll head to Ohio on Friday with his mom, but they’ll have other passengers in the car.
“I’m going up with (2019 Georgia commitment) Jadon Haselwood,” he added. “And my mom and my coaches.”
Tyreke Johnson feels good about the Buckeyes
Ohio State might have a much better shot to land Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian 5-star safety Tyreke Johnson than anyone is talking about.
From Jeff Sentell of Dawgnation.com, who was able to spend some recent time with Johnson at Nike’s The Opening regional camp in Orlando.
Georgia and UCLA are still there, but he also mentions a high level of appreciation for Ohio State.
Ohio State last saw Johnson, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound cornerback, in November when he made an unofficial visit to Columbus with his high school teammate and good friend Shaun Wade. Though he rarely speaks about his recruitment, it seems that trip to Ohio has stayed in his mind.
- When asked about the best college visits he’s ever been on, he immediately named Georgia and Ohio State. But then he gave it to the Buckeyes. When he traveled with his good friend Shaun Wade to the Nebraska game, it was a seismic moment. Wade was on his official visit. Johnson was essentially his wingman. That trip on his birthday weekend moved the dial for him. Clearly.
- Johnson said that because of that Ohio State is in it for him. At this time, he said Urban Meyer would be the one head coach that is the most involved in his recruiting process. “Coach Meyer sends me a lot of videos and tells me about Ohio State. He says that I have a great chance to play there with Shaun. Ohio State is definitely a top school that I would love to go to. It is always a kid’s dream in Florida to go play for Urban Meyer. I would love to team back up with Shaun.”
Ohio State, no doubt, would love that too. The nation’s 18th-ranked overall prospect, who plans to enroll early, told Sentell the Buckeyes were one of the schools that has made up the most ground with him in recent weeks.
- Johnson noted that Florida and Ohio State have made the biggest gains with him over the last few months. Those appear to be the hot teams that are surging in his recruiting process.
- He said he feels like Ohio State and UCLA both offer the best fits for his academic goals at this time.
This is a recruitment to keep watching heading into the summer.
Rondale Moore happy to be offered by Buckeyes
Ohio State offered Louisville (Ky.) Trinity Catholic wide receiver Rondale Moore on Saturday following a campus visit from Moore.
— Rondale Moore (@Rondale_Moore03) April 8, 2017
Who is Rondale Moore? He’s not a player that we’ve talked about before, but he is someone to pay attention to moving forward. Why?
“The kid can fly,” one source close to the Buckeyes said.
That’s the general consensus from a number of schools in the last few weeks. Moore, who checks in at 5-foot-9 and 175-pounds, ripped off a 4.33 time in the 40-yard dash at the Chicago regional camp for Nike’s The Opening. That has turned a lot of heads. He’s amassed almost 15 offers in the last two weeks, bringing his total to 26. The Ohio State offer almost seemed like old hat at that point.
“I was expecting it,” he said of the Buckeyes scholarship. “Alabama and Georgia offered, so I figured Ohio State would make a move soon.”
Making the move for the Buckeyes was wide receivers coach Zach Smith. The visit to Ohio State was the first for Moore, a 2018 recruit.
“The visit was great,” Moore said. “Coach Smith, the wide receivers coach offered. It was my first time talking to him. He was cool.”
Ohio State and the rest of Moore’s suitors aren’t likely to get an answer about his college plans anytime soon. He said he plans to make a decision much later in the process. That provides the Buckeyes and others a chance to get to know the country’s No. 70 (but rising) wide receiver over the next few months.
Buckeyes make top 10 for Pope
The Buckeyes recently hosted Dinwoodie (Va.) 4-star athlete K’Vaughan Pope for a key campus visit. Tuesday, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker prospect included Ohio State in his list of top 10 schools.
my top ten pic.twitter.com/P1fL4SDjEw
— THE POPE (@Pop3Bad_81) April 11, 2017
Ohio State, as noted, is recruiting Pope as a linebacker. As we discussed in Dotting the Eyes on Monday, there are a number of moving parts at linebacker in the 2018 class. There’s no clear-cut timeline for Pope, but he has the Buckeyes’ attention.
Eskridge now has a top 3
We talked briefly Monday about a potential weekend visit from Tampa 3-star athlete Jermaine Eskridge.
Now Eskridge says he’s coming to Ohio State, a visit that apparently will be used as a backdrop for – you guessed it – his commitment.
Today, Eskridge upped the ante on this weekend’s visit by releasing a top 3 schools list that includes Ohio State.
Top 3 schools it's down to is Ohio state, Penn state, and Oregon
— EJ1️⃣ (@Iam_Jermaine4) April 11, 2017
So, if you’re doing the math at home, here’s what it happening:
- Eskridge has a plan to visit Ohio State, one of his “top 3” schools this weekend. There’s virtually no way to guarantee the visit gets made.
- He says he is going to commit to a school, on Saturday, when he’ll be at Ohio State.
- Barring a colossal change of (many) hearts, he is not going to to be able to commit the Buckeyes.
- Madness will likely ensue.
It should be one heck of a weekend in Columbus.