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.
Why it’s Ohio State for Antwuan Jackson
In case you missed it earlier Tuesday, Ohio State landed commitment No. 18 in its top-ranked 2018 recruiting class.
The commitment of former top 50-prospect Antwuan Jackson, now playing junior college football at Blinn (Texas) College, wasn’t a surprise. When Auburn blocked him from a potential transfer to Ohio State in the spring, it was a pretty clear-cut signal that the Buckeyes were one of the programs he was seriously considering.
After all, it was the school that finished second to Auburn when Jackson signed his Letter of Intent in 2015 when he was at Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove.
Why Jackson left Auburn is a matter of interpretation, but according to the Tigers coaches, he had not entirely committed himself to the program.
“Antwuan could be a really good player,” Auburn defensive line coach Rodney Garner said in March. “He still has to get a better grasp on the type of effort and execution that it’s going to take to perform at this level. That’s been his biggest thing, just learning that, hey, you have to be willing to strain. You have to be willing to get uncomfortable to be able to become a great player.”
In order to become the player he was expected to be, it’s on Jackson. That’s part of why he picked Ohio State.
“It’s really about getting back to having fun,” Jackson told Land of 10 on Tuesday about why he needed a change from Auburn. “It’s about being around people that want to see me succeed. I just want to get back to playing football again.”
Having fun, and doing that with a coach with whom he always felt a connection is what made the Buckeyes the right choice.
“He is the one that really came after me hard in my junior year of high school,” Jackson said of defensive line coach Larry Johnson. “I always felt awesome with him and talking with him. We had a great connection.”
Buckeyes continue to impress running back Noah Cain
Outside of in-state defensive lineman Zach Harrison, there may not be a player on the Buckeyes’ 2019 recruiting board who is more of a priority than IMG Academy 5-star tailback Noah Cain.
Cain visited Ohio State over the weekend — his third trip to campus since March — and again left feeling like a top priority for the Buckeyes.
“The [Ohio State coaches] told me that they love my maturity for my age,” Cain told Land of 10. “They tell me I’m the top back on their board.
“Every school I visit tells me that, but I believe it because I know my abilities on the field and I can just tell it from their tone of voice, how they’re recruiting me compared to others.”
The fan base in Columbus was part of the memorable experience from his most recent trip to Ohio State.
“I knew it’d be big,” he said of the gameday atmosphere. “I just didn’t know 109,000 big. The atmosphere was live. The fan base, the way the coaches act with recruits before [the] game. That was cool.”
After a busy travel schedule these last few months, don’t expect to see Cain back in Columbus for a while, but know that the Buckeyes are right at the top of his list and aren’t going away.
Georgia tight end with Ohio roots talks weekend visit
One of the country’s top tight ends in the Class of 2019 made his first visit to Ohio State over the weekend, and he’s got plenty of reason to come back.
“I’ve got family that lives like 20 minutes away from campus,” Kennesaw Mountain (Acworth, Ga.) 4-star TE Ryland Goede told Land of 10.
Because of that, it’s reasonable to assume the 6-foot-7, 235-pound Goede, ranked as the No. 7 tight end in the 2019 class, won’t limit his college choices based on geography.
“I’ve been to Nebraska, and I’m going to visit Georgia, Auburn, Florida and Michigan,” Goede said. “Distance isn’t really going to factor into my decision. The biggest thing for me is just an offense that uses the tight end a ton.”
While the Buckeyes didn’t do that against Oklahoma, that didn’t spoil Goede’s visit.
“It was awesome, man,” he said of his trip. “I got to talk with [Kevin] Wilson, [Kerry] Coombs and [Urban] Meyer on Sunday and hang out with them. I took some tours, and I really enjoyed it.
“I’ve been talking to them on and off for probably a year.”
Expect a decision from Goede near the end of his junior season.
“I don’t have any favorites,” he said. “But I’ll decide later this year.”