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.
Tucker (Ga.) 4-star LB gets his dream offer
A week ago, Tucker (Ga.) 4-star LB Michael Harris told Land of 10 that the chance to land a scholarship offer from Ohio State was the reason he’s worked so tirelessly on his football talents.
“All the work that I’ve put in is for that offer to come,” he said. “It would mean a lot to me.”
On Thursday, Ohio State made that part of Harris’ football dream come true.
— Money Mike? (@Illionairemike) March 9, 2017
Harris, 247Sports’ 15th-ranked inside linebacker in 2018, was born in Springfield, Ohio. And though he’s spent most of his life in Georgia, he’s always been fond of Ohio State.
“I’ve always loved that school and always said I was going to go there,” he said. “If my dreams come true, it just shows me that anything can happen if I put my mind to it.”
Next step in the dream process? Making an unofficial visit to the school.
Ohio State falls short — for now — in Jadon Haselwood recruitment
Despite being the listed leader in the recruitment of 2019 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood for much of the last year, Ohio State was dealt a bit of blow on Thursday afternoon: the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove wideout committed to the Georgia Bulldogs.
247Sports’ second-ranked 2019 wide receiver told Jeff Sentell of SECCountry.com that it came down to — you guessed it — comfort. In this case, it’s the chance to be closer to home and play in front of family and friends when college comes around.
Of course, that’s still two years from now and there is plenty of time for Ohio State, or any other school, to try to sway Haselwood’s mind. Had he instead chosen Ohio State on Thursday, the likelihood of a long-term commitment to the Buckeyes was somewhere between none and zero, anyway. The recruitment will continue.
How to lose a recruit in 10 seconds
In the world of college football recruiting in 2017, absolutely any ammunition given to your opposition on the recruiting trail will be used against you — and used mercilessly. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, they found that out once again on Thursday. Late Wednesday night, Pensacola (Fla.) Pine Forest 4-star WR Jacob Copeland tweeted — innocuously — something that would become very embarrassing for Ohio State.
Ohio state sent me some mail that say "Jason Copeland" ??♂️
— Jacob Copeland (@JCope5era) March 9, 2017
That kind of mistake, simply clerical and in no way malicious, doesn’t feel like it should be that big of a deal. However, to a recruit that gets hundreds of pieces of mail a day from dozens of colleges, it does matter.
“I feel it matters a lot,” Copeland, the ninth-ranked receiver in the 2018 class, told Land of 10 about the mix-up. “I’m not saying mistakes don’t happen, but the simple fact is that you are recruiting me and should know my name. How could you mix up Jacob with Jason?”
For Copeland, who is seriously considering Florida State, Florida, and Miami among his 30 offers, it felt familiar. In the 2017 recruiting cycle, Urban Meyer drew fire for reportedly not knowing the name of a Florida prospect committed to the Buckeyes.
“That’s a thing that happened with Bruce Judson,” Copeland added. “The head coach not knowing his own commit. I feel that’s putting me in the same boat and I can’t get drowned in (it).”
Sounds like Copeland is moving on from the Buckeyes. Adieu, young man, we hardly knew ye.
Jaiden Woodbey committed, but looking for comparisons
It’s getting more and more difficult to know who’s in and who’s out of a recruiting class. You can have a player committed to your school — and says he’s “100-percent committed” — while looking at taking visits to other programs. That sounds like a conflict of ideas, but according to Jaiden Woodbey, the Buckeyes’ 4-star safety commitment out of Bellflower (Calif.) powerhouse St. John Bosco, the two things ought not to be confused.
Last weekend, after a dominating performance at a 7-on-7 tournament, discussions began to circulate that the country’s third-ranked safety in 2018 was looking to visit schools other than Ohio State.
Specifically for Woodbey, visits to Georgia and Oregon. The Bulldogs and Ducks are two of the schools trying to maintain contact with Woodbey and he’s letting it happen, not afraid to listen to their pitches. For those who think that being committed is akin to being “engaged” in real-life relationships, don’t think that. This is a business decision, through and through.
“It’s not hard (to justify),” Woodbey said when asked if about considering other schools while being committed. “At the end of the day, you have to make sure that this is best for you. I am going to visit other schools to compare them to Ohio State. I’m taking three visits, that’s to Ohio State, Georgia and Oregon. I’m committed, and nothing is going to be changing.”
For fans, though, it’s not always that simple. The average football fan views their relationship with the team they follow as a personal one. But that’s not the case for recruits. There’s a misconception out there that a player who is using this process for their own benefit is in some way selfish or wrong, but that simply couldn’t be further from the truth. These players have to use this time to find out — without a doubt — the best situation for themselves. Meyer has been quoted multiple times encouraging commitments to visit elsewhere if they have questions.
There are nearly 10 months until signing day 2018 and when it comes to recruits such as Woodbey (and anyone else from way out of state) there’s nearly 10 months of freaking out about commitments ahead of us. So until then, take a deep breath and relax, Buckeyes fans.
I'm a buckeye y'all don't trip
— DUBSKI??™ (@JaidenWoodbey6) March 9, 2017
See? Don’t trip.