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 a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Marvin Wilson talks Buckeyes at Under Armour All-America Game
Down in Orlando this week, a number of the country’s best prospects are gathered for the Under Armour All-America Game. One of those top players is Marvin Wilson, the country’s third-ranked overall prospect and top-ranked defensive tackle in the class of 2017. On Tuesday, Wilson released his top five schools and the Buckeyes were included alongside LSU, Florida State, Oklahoma and South Florida.
On Wednesday, SEC Country LSU recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman spoke with Wilson about his trip to Ohio State, which happened to be the weekend the Buckeyes hosted Michigan in late November.
“I actually took that with a lot of guys I know,” Wilson told SEC Country. “Baron Browning, Jeff Okudah, Markquese Bell and Trey Smith, guys like that.”
We spoke with Wilson following that visit and he was very clear: The Buckeyes made a big impression.
“Their players were real chill and just welcomed me,” he said. “It was a family environment the whole time.”
The weather was also chill, and that’s something a big defensive lineman from usually warm Texas would have to adjust to. However, he told SEC Country that the environment at Ohio State goes beyond weather.
“It was one of the best college football games I’ve ever been to,” he said of the trip. “Actually, that made a big mark on my recruitment, because I’ve never been to Ohio, never felt the cold. It was bad, but it wasn’t that bad. I was like, it may take a little bit of getting used to, but it was all right.”
With a month left until Wilson makes a college decision, there’s plenty of time for the Buckeyes to warm things up.
Final answer on Xavier McKinney
Earlier this week, we wrote about scuttlebutt from the South that Xavier McKinney, a 4-star safety from Georgia, had been leaning toward Ohio State with a decision looming Sunday. You can officially write that off as “smoke,” and I firmly believe that McKinney will pick Clemson during the Under Armour All-America Game on Sunday.
“He’s not coming to Ohio State,” one source on the ground in Orlando told Land of 10. “There are too many defensive backs committed.”
On Wednesday, McKinney told SEC Country Alabama analyst Chris Kirschner that he already knows which school he’ll be announcing for on Sunday.
“I’ve had a long thought process of where I’m going to commit to,” McKinney said. “My decision will be just something that I feel in my heart.”
Final (?) answer on Markquese Bell
The other recruit at this weekend’s Under Armour game that Buckeyes fans should be paying close attention to is New Jersey athlete Markquese Bell. The 4-star prospect from Bridgeton will announce his college decision during the game and, as we reported Tuesday night, he’s down to two schools: Maryland and Ohio State.
I do not think that, at this point, Bell is going to choose Ohio State. However, as we’ve written here a few times, I do believe that’s where he wants to play his college football.
So a final thought from me on Markquese Bell: I think he picks Maryland on Sunday, but there’s a good chance we could be talking about him two or three weeks down the road if the Buckeyes get some clarity on exactly how many scholarships they will have available after the season.
The challenge at hand for a new defensive assistant coach
Ohio State has been tasked with replacing longtime linebackers coach Luke Fickell, and Billy Davis, a close friend of Urban Meyer’s with more than 20 years of NFL coaching experience, is the man who will likely take over the role of coaching the linebackers. He has been officially announced as an assistant coach but no specific positional responsibilities have been assigned, though it can be safely assumed he’ll take over for Fickell.
On Wednesday, Fickell spoke about Davis and the challenges he’ll have replacing a guy – himself – who has become a staple of the Silver Bullets. It’s not going to be easy, but the new Cincinnati head coach says the biggest adjustment will be recruiting.
“He’s seen our culture, he’s seen how we do things,” Fickell said. “It’s not like he’s new to the game, obviously, with all the years and experience. The only thing Bill is going to have the toughest time – not tough time – but adapting, is recruiting.”
Davis has one year of being a college assistant coach under his belt, but that was 25 years ago and a lot of things have changed since then. Fickell said that being in Columbus, with a program like Ohio State, will make that transition easier.
“What is recruiting?” Fickell asked. “Recruiting is just socialization. At Ohio State, recruiting is not nearly as tough because, I mean, look at what you have to sell. It’s like going out on Scottsdale (Road) at a Porsche dealer. The people that are walking on that lot, they’re looking for the elite, the top of the line.”
Chase Young is a terror on defense
We’ll end the night with a small reminder about why Chase Young is a 5-star talent. The defensive end from Hyattsville (Md.) De Matha Catholic committed to Ohio State in July and he’s done nothing but terrorize offenses since.
Check out this highlight clip of his senior season and then think about how he’ll look lined up opposite Nick Bosa for a few years.
"There he go"?? pic.twitter.com/ed7lzBQJiu
— Chase Young (@youngchase907) December 28, 2016
Good luck, Big Ten quarterbacks.