Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a recap of Ohio State recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Jaelen Gill appears to be back to form
It’s a good time of the year for recruiting as players from all over the country are settling into “camp season” and getting back on the football field, competing against themselves and others to prove who is the best of the best.
One of Ohio State’s top priorities and a leader in its 2018 recruiting class, Jaelen Gill, is definitely competing against himself. He’s still recovering from a broken ankle that cost him his junior season at Westerville (Ohio) South High School. His first real football activity since that injury was at Nike’s The Opening regional camp in Cleveland about three weeks ago. On Saturday, he traveled to Cincinnati for Under Armour’s premier event and put himself back to work.
Consider it done. Gill was selected for the Under Armour All-American game based on his performance (he’s already committed to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl so he won’t play in the UA game) and was a winner in the Under Armour “Ill-Speed” event, which apparently recognizes players who run really fast, which, in the parlance of our times, apparently is “sick.”
For the 6-foot-1, 182-pound running back, these events are as much about regaining faith in his health as they are competing against others.
“It gets me an invitation to Baltimore to compete in the Ill-Speed event against the other winners across the country,” Gill said of the honor. “But really, more than anything, it just gives me confidence.”
Gill says he’s not “back” yet. To make that happen, he’ll havet to hit a few more of his personal goals.
“The final step for me to feel like I’m ‘back’ is to win Mr. Football in Ohio and to lead my team back to the playoffs,” he said.
Jeremy Ruckert and the Buckeyes
Ohio State wants two tight ends in its 2018 class and there’s been no doubt that for much of the last year, the Buckeyes’ top target has been Lindenhurst (N.Y.) 4-star prospect Jeremy Ruckert. The good news is that right now, Ohio State is one of the four schools the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Ruckert is focusing on. The bad news? Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin are making this a very tight race.
On Sunday, Ruckert told Land of 10 that things with the Buckeyes remain comfortable and positive.
“They’re in the four schools that I’m focusing on,” he told Corey Masisak at Nike’s The Opening regional camp in New Jersey. “They’re definitely in it.”
The country’s second-ranked tight end according to the 247Sports composite rankings said he’s in regular contact with Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson.
“I text Kevin Wilson almost every single day,” Ruckert said. “He brings a lot of energy, and he knows what he’s talking about.”
To make a decision, for which there is no current timeline, Ruckert will have to decide between the biggest football powers in the Midwest. What Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin offer and what Ohio State offers is pretty similar.
“Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Ohio State. They all have the same general stuff, big-time football schools and big-time academic schools,” Ruckert said. “Ohio State’s life after football is really up there, like ‘Real Life Wednesdays’ and stuff like that. It’s really personal, it’s not just about football.
“Every week I call their staff. They’re always asking about my family, my brothers, my mom and my dad, everybody. They never ask about me, but always ask about them. It’s pretty cool.”
The Buckeyes would love to get Ruckert back on campus soon to try and wrap up this recruitment. That’s not in the immediate plans, though.
“I’m not sure yet,” he said when asked about his next trip to Columbus. “I’m going to through camp season and then we’ll worry about that.”
Ohio State currently holds 100 percent of the 247Sports “crystal ball” predictions for Ruckert.
Ohio State offers 2019 tailback from Texas
Last November we introduced readers to Katy (Texas) 2019 running back Deondrick Glass. On Saturday night, Ohio State effectively introduced itself to him.
Very honored and bless to have received an offer from The Ohio ST University! pic.twitter.com/A3v2f4i84e
— Deondrick Glass (@deondrickglass) April 30, 2017
It’s an offer that means a lot to the 5-11, 190-pound tailback.
“It surprised me,” Glass told Land of 10. “I was definitely not expecting it. They like the way that I run, the way I read my blocks.”
Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford had good luck in Texas in the 2017 recruiting class, landing J.K. Dobbins out of the Lone Star State. Now he’ll work to get to know Glass.
“I’ve not talked to him much,” Glass said of Alford. “I’m looking to build more of a relationship with him. I really can’t explain what [the Buckeyes offer] means. It really means a lot.”
The first step to getting that relationship where it needs to be? Ohio State will have to get the No. 5-ranked running back on campus. He’s got family in the Midwest (Chicago) and says he may be able to make a visit sometime this year.
“I’ve been to Texas, Texas A&M and LSU lately,” he said. “I may be going to visit Ohio State this summer.”