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Micah Parsons talks de-commitment, Ohio State
Ohio State is the presumed leader for 247Sports 5-star DE Micah Parsons following his de-commitment from Penn State last week, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be smooth sailing for the Buckeyes. The race for Parsons has expanded to include teams from all over the country and the nation’s top-ranked weakside defensive end is happy to be able to explore his options freely.
The No. 3 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class spoke more in-depth with Land of 10’s Tyler Donahue on Sunday, while taking part in Nike’s The Opening regional in New Jersey:
A Nittany Lions pledge since midway through his sophomore year, Parsons is embracing change.
“The fresh start has been good,” he said. “It gives me free will because I’m not signed to anybody or committed anywhere.”
And Parsons plans to stay that way for a while.
A signing day decision is now likely for Parsons, which means Ohio State — which is viewed by many as the favorite to land him — will be waiting for a long time to see if his relationship with Larry Johnson is strong enough to withstand the barrage of other schools Parsons is going to check out.
Parsons expressed plenty of positivity about his experience in Columbus, saying he can envision himself in defensive coordinator Greg Schiano’s scheme.
“Their defense has won them a lot of games, and I think I could help make that kind of impact,” Parsons said. “I also want to be in a great defensive corps, where I can trust all the people around me and stay on my assignments.”
The Buckeyes primarily project him as a hand-in-the-dirt defender. Ohio State staff members also discussed the potential for Parsons to play in a “Jack” (hybrid linebacker/defensive end) role.
Ohio State’s defensive end situation following the 2017 should help, too: the Buckeyes will likely lose three All-Big Ten-level players at the position to the NFL draft following next season.
Does Ohio State have an edge for 2020 OL Jake Wray?
When the Buckeyes made the sudden leap ahead with 2018 Franklin (Tenn.) OL Max Wray a month ago, there were likely some unintended, but positive, side effects. You see, Max has a younger brother (I avoided calling him “little” on purpose) named Jake, one of the country’s top 2020 prospects. He’s a 6-foot-5, 290-pound almost-sophomore who lines up on the other side of the Franklin High O-line, opposite Max.
Jake is one of just three freshmen with an Ohio State offer. However, he told SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan this weekend at the V7 Elite Playmakers Showcase that the Buckeyes don’t necessarily have a built-in advantage with Max in the fold.
“I’m my own guy,” Wray told McGranahan. “I’ll make my own decision at some point. My brother going to Ohio State doesn’t mean that I’m going to Ohio State. It’s all open.”
With 15 offers already, the younger Wray says it’s way too early in his recruitment to even consider a leader or anything of that nature.
“It’s still way too early in the process” he added. “Of course I’m thinking about it, because you’ve always got to think to make the best decision possible.”
Expect Jake to make his way back to Columbus this summer when Max makes his return to Ohio State. He may not know which schools sit near the top, but he knows what he’s hoping to find in his school.
“Education, if they have the right major. Fans, I really like the fan aspect of things. If you go into a stadium and there’s no intense fans or anything, you’re just out there to play. I want to play for fans that are really into the team,” he said when asked what were some of the main factors in his decision. “Coaching staff is always a big one. If the players like playing for the coaches. You don’t want to go somewhere people don’t like playing for the coach.”
Buckeyes lose out on North Carolina linebacker
Though they made it much closer than anyone thought they would, the Buckeyes fell short in the recruitment of OLB Payton Wilson. As expected, the 2018 4-star prospect from Hillsborough (N.C.) Orange High made his college announcement on Monday, and he chose his home-state Tar Heels.
— Payton Wilson (@payton_wilson21) May 1, 2017
The 6-4, 225-pound Wilson visited Ohio State just once, at the beginning of April, but the trip was good enough that he had considered pushing back his scheduled decision date. But that ultimately did not happen.
Though the Buckeyes missed out on the country’s second-ranked outside linebacker, they certainly do have other options at the position and don’t have to wait too long to find out if they’ll land a different 4-star prospect there, instead. Toledo (Ohio) St. John’s Jesuit star Dallas Gant, the fifth-ranked outside linebacker in 2018, is scheduled to make his decision on May 16.