Ohio State, Clemson will battle again in 2019 recruiting
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Clemson vs tOSU what kind of battles can we expect on the recruiting trail? Any Jackson Carmen level intrigue?
— Jerm (@jerminator06) April 17, 2018
Ohio State has been a heavyweight on the national recruiting trail since Urban Meyer’s arrival prior to the 2012 season and few schools can compare with the Buckeyes’ results the last several years. Clemson is one of the rare programs that can go toe-to-toe with the Buckeyes and come out on top. The Tigers beat Ohio State for 5-star Ohio tackle Jackson Carman in the 2018 class and the Buckeyes returned the favor with 5-star defensive back Tyreke Johnson.
Those battles will continue into the 2019 class and beyond and several prospects have emerged this spring as high priorities for both programs.
Clemson has courted two of the top players in Ohio — 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison and 4-star guard Zeke Correll. Both have visited Clemson in recent weeks as part of Dabo Swinney’s efforts to break into the Ohio recruiting scene in a more serious way. Harrison seems highly unlikely to choose Clemson, but Correll seems to have the Tigers in his top three with the Buckeyes and Notre Dame.
Similarly, Ohio State has gone into Clemson’s primary recruiting territories of Georgia and South Carolina to battle with the Tigers on their home turf. The Buckeyes have courted 4-star Georgia natives Harry Miller (a center) and Ramel Keyton (a wide receiver) and 3-star South Carolina tight end Luke Deal. Ohio State seemingly leads for Miller coming out of his weekend official visit that concluded on Sunday and Keyton also has the Buckeyes in his top group.
Of course, the battles between Swinney and Meyer will be fought on several fronts. Both programs recruit nationally and aren’t afraid to enter any recruiting territory in the country to land a blue-chip prospect, meaning the two powerhouses will tango around the country.
Jones, the high school teammate of 2018 Buckeyes linebacker signee Teradja Mitchell, has a top three of Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama. He’s set to make some sort of major announcement on Friday and it wouldn’t surprise me if that were a commitment in Clemson’s favor. Kelly does not have a formal top group, but Clemson and Ohio State would be in any sort of top five he dropped. Smith likewise has Ohio State and Clemson near the top, along with Penn State, Michigan and other programs.
Florida linebackers Rian Davis and Marcus Tillman Jr. both made unofficial visits to Clemson and Ohio State during the spring months. I’m not sure that either ends up at one of the two programs, but the Buckeyes and Tigers will certainly be factors for both players.
Another linebacker, Pennsylvania native Keith Maguire, recently included both programs in his top five schools list alongside Alabama, Notre Dame and North Carolina. Notre Dame is the perceived leader for Maguire, but Ohio State and Clemson are both in the mix here.
A fellow Pennsylvanian, tackle Andrew Kristofic, has the Buckeyes and Tigers in his final four with a decision quickly approaching. The two schools have, interestingly enough, a mutual interest in trying to unseat Notre Dame as Kristofic’s leader heading into that decision. Clemson and Ohio State have received the two most recent visits from Kristofic.
Shortly after Maguire released his top-5 list, Connecticut defensive back Tyler Rudolph, a 4-star safety, joined him with a top group that also included Ohio State and Clemson. Rudolph, who told Land of 10 he will visit Ohio State soon, included those two programs with Michigan, Florida and Penn State. The latter is the heavy favorite for Rudolph.
A number of other targets are considering both schools, although they seem unlikely to involve true showdowns between Clemson and Ohio State in a top group. That list includes 5-star offensive linemen Darnell Wright and Devontae Dobbs, 4-star defensive tackle Tyler Davis (high school teammate of aforementioned linebacker Rian Davis, no relation), 4-star wide receiver Trey Knox, and 3-star safety Kyle Hamilton.
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