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Opinions may vary, and Jackson Carman isn’t afraid of his
The debate rages on, it seems, about 5-star offensive lineman Jackson Carman and his recent tweets.
We won’t go into them, but the conversation between Carman and former Ohio State captain Kirk Herbstreit felt like a turning point between the Buckeyes and their top offensive line target in the Class of 2018. That is not a good turning point, for the record.
However, in an interview with 247Sports.com’s Bill Kurelic, Carman said things are just fine with Ohio State.
“Everything is perfectly fine, I still have a great relationship with both Coach [Urban] Meyer and Coach Stud [offensive line coach Greg Studrawa],” Carman told Kurelic. “The things that people say, the opinions people talk about and discuss — especially when those people are not officially affiliated to Ohio State and have nothing to do with them — does not affect my recruitment with Ohio State at all.”
That probably is true. It would take a major catastrophe for Ohio State to walk away from Carman, and he knows that. As I’ve written before, in a lot of cases the leverage really is with the recruit. That said, Carman said he’s still learned a few things from these last two weeks.
“I’ve been kind of introduced to the reality of people’s minds and how they think — how they are able to act and react to things behind a Twitter screen,” he said. “Some things people say are absolutely outrageous and some things people say are really insightful and really make you think about certain things.
“I also learned things about the media, how they can — not necessarily like turn things for the worst — but they can sometimes release misguided information. It can sometimes hurt you reputation. Other times it can help boost your viewpoint and helps get your word out there.”
So would he do it differently if he could? If you’ve paid attention to Carman over the last few months, you should know he’s not going to back away from his opinions.
“My approach to different things may have been rash in some senses,” he said. “But as far as my initial comment, I think there’s nothing I would do differently.”
What makes Jaiden Woodbey special on and off the field
It takes a special type of person to become a Division I athlete, make no mistake about it. The guys that “make it” are cut from different cloth than most, and it’s something you usually can see early in their lives.
In most cases, the desire to sacrifice a little more of their social life, their teenage freedom, is what sets them apart. For Jaiden Woodbey, the Buckeyes’ 4-star safety commit from St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif., that sacrifice, just to get to school, is more than most would make.
Woodbey wanted to push himself and take his whole life to the next level. His mom always wanted him to attend a school like Bosco. Since Donnell owns and operates a hair salon in Bellflower, the four-hour roundtrip drive seemed more realistic. Woodbey transferred last year and started every game at safety as a junior. He helped the Braves win CIF-SS Division 1 and CIF State titles for the second time in four years.
“He makes a great sacrifice to come to Bosco,” coach Jason Negro said. “And he makes a complete commitment to be the best student-athlete he can possibly be.”
“Most high school kids are sleeping at 4 a.m. but we’re on the freeway,” Donnell said of the commute from Fontana to Bosco. “We drive almost 200 miles a day. And after that, Jaiden does his homework all by himself. He has obstacles every day that a lot to kids don’t even face.”
Those 200 miles a day to get to school and back would give Woodbey ample time to sleep if he chose to, but instead he does his homework. He’s on the honor roll at Bosco with a 3.6 GPA and takes AP classes to continue challenging himself. He plans to enroll early at Ohio State, and to do that, he had to take a performing arts class at Cerritos College.
Woodbey decided that was a good reason to learn to play the piano.
“It took about a month to actually start playing,” Woodbey said. “I’d look up songs on YouTube and copy what people do on video, and it takes me about 45 minutes to learn a song.”
Woodbey also writes poetry and draws in his limited free time.
“I’m not Picasso, but I like to draw and now I’m taking a class for it,” Woodbey said. “The poetry came from bible study when the instructor told us if we feel a certain way and don’t know how to express it, just write it down on a piece of paper. I’ve been doing it ever since.”
“I call him kind of an athletic romantic,” Negro said. “His personality is really something special. We’re fortunate to have a guy like that in our program who is so versatile on the field and in his personal life. It’s refreshing to be able to carry on a conversation with a kid that doesn’t always have to be about football.”
But, oh yeah, Woodbey is pretty good at football, too.
2019 tailback working on relationship with Ohio State
Ohio State has 5-star running back Noah Cain at the top of its list in the Class of 2019, but the Buckeyes coaching staff continues to build relationships with other players at the position, too.
Jordan Houston is a 3-star tailback at The Flint Hill School (Oakton, Va.). Like Ohio State verbal Jaelen Gill, Houston lost his 2016 football season to a broken leg. He’s returned to the field wth a vengeance in 2017, piling up almost 400 yards and 6 touchdowns in two games.
Houston — who already holds scholarship offers from Penn State, Virginia Tech and Tennessee — camped with Ohio State this past June.
“I’m hearing a lot from Ohio State,” he told Land of 10 Penn State recruiting analyst Tyler Donahue. “Coach [Urban Meyer] and [running backs coach Tony] Alford were very impressed with me at their camp. Since then, I’ve been on their radar pretty heavy. They’re recruiting me pretty hard.”
Why? Because Houston ripped off a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash at that June camp, which prompted his return to Columbus on July 21 for Friday Night Lights.
Since then, contact has stayed steady between Houston and Ohio State. Even today, on a Friday afternoon.
“Three of the Ohio State coaches just texted me,” Houston told Land of 10. “Wishing me good luck in my game today. The relationship [with Ohio State] is great.”