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.
The week ahead
Hi. As most of you know, I was on vacation last week, and because of that there were no nightly recruiting notebooks. While I’m kind of sorry about that (OK, actually I’m not, my vacation was much-needed and well spent, thank you), we are back in the saddle and ready to get back to work.
We are in Phoenix now for the Fiesta Bowl and there will certainly be a lot of content coming from the football side of things as the Buckeyes prepare for a national championship run. So, rather than having a notebook every night this week (because there’s very little focus on recruiting this week, with the dead period ongoing and Fiesta Bowl work), we’ll do one Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Our partners at SECcountry.com are heading to Orlando today for the Under Armour All-American game, and any pertinent Buckeyes-related information from that game will be found here as well. That contest, which takes place Sunday, features two players who are Ohio State targets making their commitments, so we’ll be all over that. Anyway, that’s the update for the week’s plans. On Sunday, I’ll be leaving Phoenix and heading to San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, so worry not, we’ll be all over that as well.
Jackson Carman has interesting top-10 list
So let’s talk recruiting, shall we? On Christmas Day, 5-star Ohio offensive lineman Jackson Carman released his top-10 schools list, which unsurprisingly included Ohio State.
Merry Christmas ?‼️ Here is my top 10 ?? pic.twitter.com/la5XFlhCmB
— Jackson Carman (@Jackthejiant) December 25, 2016
Carman’s top 10 also includes two other Big Ten schools, Wisconsin and Michigan State, as well as a handful of the country’s top programs, including Alabama, Clemson, USC, LSU and Florida. Ohio State has been the favorite to land Carman, Ohio’s top 2018 prospect, for a while now and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon as long as there are no major changes to the Buckeyes coaching staff.
Wyatt Davis honored again
It’s not really a shock at this point to see Ohio State commitments being publicly acknowledged for being tremendous prospects, but it’s still cool for the player. This past weekend, 5-star offensive lineman Wyatt Davis, fresh off a California state championship, was named the Southern California player of the year by the Los Angeles Times.
For the 6-foot-5, 315-pound guard, the honor comes on the heels of a dominant performance versus Concord De La Salle. It was a once-in-a-lifetime performance, according to his head coach, Jason Negron.
Davis, St. John Bosco’s 6-foot-5, 315-pound senior tackle, had been moved to offensive guard for the game, and whenever he lined up on the left side or right side, good things happened.
“I don’t know in all my years of coaching I could say an offensive lineman absolutely dominated a football game,” Negron told the LA Times. “I’ve never seen that. He was pretty phenomenal.”
Davis will be one of two highly decorated Ohio State offensive line commitments in the 2017 class. His linemate, Josh Myers, also had a pretty interesting weekend.
2017 at a glance with a month to go
It’s been a busy few weeks for the Buckeyes on the recruiting trail but not a whole lot has changed with the 2017 class.
Here is where things currently stand.
- National Rank: The Buckeyes still hold tight to the country’s second-ranked 2017 recruiting class, trailing Alabama. The Crimson Tide have eight more commitments than Ohio State does.
- Big Ten Rank: Despite a major push from Michigan in the last two weeks (the Wolverines are now No. 4 nationally), the Buckeyes still hold a very comfortable lead over the Fighting Jim Harbaughs as the Big Ten’s best class. Barring an epic collapse and a half-dozen or so decommitments, this won’t change through signing day.
- Total Commitments: 17
- Last Commitment: Ohio State added 5-star linebacker Baron Browning, the country’s second-ranked outside linebacker, on Dec. 1.
- Decommitments: Ohio State has had four players decommit this cycle. The first, Florida athlete Bruce Judson, was one of three players to commit to the Buckeyes on the day of their national title victory against Oregon in January 2015, and the other two are Akron (Ohio) Archbishop Hoban teammates Todd Sibley and Danny Clark. Sibley, Ohio’s 14th-ranked prospect and the nation’s No. 22 running back, is now committed to Pittsburgh; Clark, the nation’s 18th-rated pro-style quarterback, committed to Kentucky last Saturday. Colorado offensive lineman Jake Moretti decommitted in November.
Ohio State leads the country with six 5-star commitments, ahead of Alabama’s four. Overall, the Buckeyes have 11 commitments ranked in the nation’s top 60 players, according to 247Sports ratings.
|Player||Position||National Rank||Position Rank||Stars|
Who are the Buckeyes’ top remaining targets? Not much has changed since the end of November, though a few names have moved back up the list.
These names are ones you’ll hear a lot about during the next few weeks as we approach the end of football season and enter recruiting season.
7. Thayer Munford • Offensive Line • Massillon, Ohio • Washington
The only player on this short list without an Ohio State offer is 4-star lineman Thayer Munford. The question is simple: Will he get one? If he does, he’s in. The timing is right for Munford and Ohio State to wait it out and see what happens, because he’s in no hurry to decide. I tend to think eventually, somehow, he gets in the class. Let’s call him commitment No. 21.
6. Xavier McKinney • Defensive Back • Roswell, Ga. • Roswell
There aren’t many players on this list who have been talked about less than 4-star defensive back Xavier McKinney over the last few weeks. McKinney visited Ohio State for its big Nov. 26 game against Michigan and has gone silent since but sources in the South actually suggested a week ago that the Buckeyes may be the favorite. He will make a decision on Jan. 1 at the Under Armour game, and though I still think Clemson is the likely choice, McKinney’s decision – if he picked the Buckeyes – could shed some light on what’s happening with Darnay Holmes.
5. Marvin Wilson • Defensive Tackle • Bellaire, Texas • Episcopal
When it comes to the biggest remaining position of need for the Buckeyes in 2017, it’s hard to find one more important than defensive tackle. Marvin Wilson, the country’s top-ranked player at the position, made an official visit to Ohio State in late November and has been in regular communication with Larry Johnson since. The challengers in this race? LSU, Florida State, Texas, Alabama and others, so though only a month remains until signing day (when Wilson will announce his decision), it feels like there’s a long way to go in this recruitment.
4. Jay Tufele • Defensive Line • South Jordan, Utah • Bingham
As with Wilson, Jay Tufele is a top target at defensive tackle, and he’ll likely be making his college choice on signing day. Tufele will make two more official visits – to USC and Utah – and the feeling right now is that it could come down to the Utes and the Buckeyes for the country’s third-ranked defensive tackle.
3. Darnay Holmes • Defensive Back • Calabasas, Calif. • Calabasas
Ohio State has, according to multiple sources, moved into the driver’s seat for Darnay Holmes, the country’s second-ranked cornerback. However, UCLA and USC – along with Michigan – remain involved. The question here is a simple one: Does the cachet of the Buckeyes football program outweigh the value of staying close to home and being a “star” in Los Angeles? There’s no easy answer and the Bruins and Trojans will do anything they can to make sure he doesn’t need to consider that cross-country move. Everyone will know his choice in just about two weeks at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 7.
2. Jaylen Harris • Wide Receiver • Cleveland Heights, Ohio • Cleveland Heights
Ohio State wants – and probably needs – another wide receiver in 2017, and there’s no better option available than Cleveland Heights’ Jaylen Harris. The country’s 28th-ranked wideout, Harris a big-bodied 6-foot-5 and has shown the skills to stretch defenses vertically and be a red-zone threat as well. The Buckeyes offered almost 18 months ago but it’s crunch time for Harris now. Will he pick Michigan State, Penn State, Tennessee or Alabama while the home state school gets left at the altar? He’ll visit Ohio State officially on Jan. 20 and that will be a key weekend for Ohio’s best receiver.
1. Jeffrey Okudah • Defensive Back • Grand Prairie, Texas • South Grand Prairie
Not much has changed here. The country’s top-ranked cornerback remains very high on Ohio State and the Buckeyes are still very high on him. Okudah will make his college announcement on Jan. 7 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the Buckeyes should be the pick.