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Florida tackle trending away from Ohio State?
We’ve discussed Ohio State’s major need for offensive linemen (particularly tackles) frequently in this space. The Buckeyes could take an astounding six offensive linemen in the 2019 class, as they’ll badly need to build depth and add talent.
For that reason — and after obtaining more information — I’ve placed a 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction for Belleview (Fla.) offensive lineman Michael Tarquin to Miami.
Ohio State was at one point considered the favorite for Tarquin, the No. 26 tackle in 2019 on the 247Sports composite rankings. As of now, the Buckeyes still have more Crystal Balls for him than any other program. However, as reported by Miami DieHards recruiting analyst David Wilson, Tarquin is now planning to make a commitment by the end of April. Things can change, but I expect that the Buckeyes and Tarquin will not be on the same page if he follows through with that time frame.
Despite previously discussing his desire to take an official visit to Columbus in April, I do not expect Tarquin to make it to campus. Wilson reported that an April 14 trip to Oklahoma (the date of Ohio State’s spring game) and an April 21 trip to Miami — both official visits — are the only scheduled trips for Tarquin.
Miami has surged for Tarquin after a junior day visit to the Coral Gables (Fla.) campus. And given that the ‘Canes will receive his final official visit, I see them seizing on their momentum and landing the tackle. Oklahoma may be in a similar position to Ohio State on Tarquin right now and I’ve heard that Florida and South Carolina, two other contenders, could be in the same boat.
I ultimately think his choice comes down to Miami or Oklahoma and I’m leaning heavy toward the Hurricanes on my prediction. Either way, I no longer expect Ohio State to be the pick for Tarquin.
Could the Buckeyes offer in-state safety Moses Douglass?
Springfield (Ohio) safety Moses Douglass, the No. 9 prospect in Ohio and the No. 311 prospect overall in the 2019 class, is among the top in-state players to not land an offer from the Buckeyes. The 4-star defensive back has more than 30 offers under his belt. Douglass, a 6-foot-2, 186-pound prospect, visited an Ohio State spring practice on Monday with his father (Springfield head coach Maurice Douglass) and teammates.
“The safety drills were nice — I’m probably going to end up using some of them and the corner drills as well, they’re going to be useful. I talked to Coach [Urban] Meyer while I was there,” Douglass detailed. “He told me that he and some of the other coaches on the staff believe that I could play at Ohio State and that I have the ability to do that.
“They just want to see me compete, so they probably just want me to come to their camp for real. Getting that offer would mean a lot. Being an Ohio kid, I used to like them a lot and I was a true Ohio State fan and all of that. It would mean a lot.”
For a high-profile prospect such as Douglass — a legitimate national recruit with an offer list that includes major programs such as Alabama, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Kentucky — it could be understandable if he didn’t want to wait too long for that Ohio State offer to come.
In the past, some of the state’s other top prospects have declined camp invitations if they felt they didn’t have to try out for an offer from the Buckeyes. That’s not the approach from Douglass, however.
“I understand where they’re coming from, but I’m not really frustrated, either, though,” Douglass said. “I’ve just been going through the process, going to as many places as I can, enjoying my time, and not really worrying.”
Douglass is fresh off of unofficial visits to Iowa State and Minnesota last weekend. He also has trips scheduled to West Virginia on Tuesday, Louisville on Thursday and Kentucky on Friday. He’ll visit either Indiana or Michigan State on Wednesday. His aggressive schedule is an attempt to narrow down his list.
“I’m starting to narrow down my schools to a smaller list. I’m going to have my own personal list, but I’m not going to make it public or put it out there. [To make it], schools have to show me that they really want me, genuinely, not just as another number on the roster,” Douglass said. “They genuinely want me as a player, as a character, as a student, all of that together.”
More top prospects scheduled to visit Ohio State
Ohio State’s list of visitors that have come to campus in recent days continues to grow even more impressive. In addition to the prospects who visited Monday for spring practice — discussed in-depth here and here — you can add some more prominent names to the Buckeyes’ visitor list.
As first reported by Eleven Warriors’ Andrew Lind and since confirmed by Land of 10, the Clayton (Ohio) Northmont duo of Gabe Newburg and Jestin Jacobs will visit on Friday. On Sunday and Monday, Maryland safety Nick Cross will spend time with Ohio State’s coaches and players.
Cross, a high school teammate of Ohio State defensive end Chase Young at powerhouse DeMatha Catholic, holds an offer from the Buckeyes and is ranked as the No. 10 safety nationally in 2019. Ohio State offered Cross on Jan. 24, but this will be his first visit to campus. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson and co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch have been taking the lead on his recruitment.
Jacobs and Newburg have not been offered by Ohio State. Both are in-state 3-star prospects with impressive offer lists — 14 Power 5 offers for Jacobs and three for Newburg. They’re among the top prospects in the state and have stayed in contact with the Buckeyes frequently.
Newburg is a 6-5, 230-pound defensive end and Jacobs is a 6-3, 210-pound linebacker. It’s a loaded year for both linebackers and defensive linemen in Ohio, so it will be an incredibly competitive process to earn an offer from the Buckeyes, even more so than usual.
As previously reported by Land of 10, Ohio State will also host several other visitors this week.
North Carolina defensive lineman Jacolbe Cowan is currently on Ohio State’s campus for his first unofficial visit. Cowan, a 2020 prospect, was offered by the Buckeyes on Jan. 30 and is making his first trip to campus.
Joey Porter Jr., the son of the former All-Pro Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, is expected to visit on Wednesday. He hails from North Allegheny High School in the Pittsburgh area and is seeking an Ohio State offer.
Noah Cain and Jalon Jones arrive on Columbus on Thursday. Cain, a Texas native who now plays at IMG Academy in Florida, is the No .2 running back in the country and one of the Buckeyes’ top overall targets. Jones is the No. 10 dual-threat quarterback in 2019 and a longtime Meyer fan.
Finally, Michigan linebacker Marcel Lewis plans to visit at some point during his spring break, but has not yet decided which day. His break begins after schools lets out on Thursday and lasts a week.
Ohio State makes top group for St. Louis receiver
Holding more than 40 scholarships, 2019 St. Louis-area wide receiver Jameson Williams has compiled one of the most impressive offer lists in the country. The Cardinal Ritter College Prep product has been a longtime Ohio State target and recently included the Buckeyes in his top 8, which he tweeted Monday.
Ohio State was included (in alphabetical order) alongside Alabama, Florida State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Southern Cal and UCLA.
The Buckeyes offered Williams in August 2017 and hosted him for an unofficial visit on the weekend of Nov. 11, when they drubbed Michigan State in Ohio Stadium.
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