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Craig Young could commit to Ohio State soon
The big news coming out of Ohio State’s prospect camp Tuesday was the developments that occurred with the Buckeyes and Fort Wayne (Ind.) native Craig Young. Young is a 3-star receiver, ranked as the No. 684 overall prospect and No. 92 wide receiver in the 2019 class. He has a final five of Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan State.
Young spent the entire morning session of the Tuesday camp working out at a number of different positions. Those workouts have altered the way Young is viewed by Ohio State and likely the outcome of his recruitment as a whole.
Though he’s billed as a receiver on every recruiting network and has been recruited by most programs at wide receiver or tight end — including Ohio State. However, Young spent Tuesday working out on the defensive side of the ball. Ohio State assistants Taver Johnson (cornerbacks), Alex Grinch (safeties, co-DC), Greg Schiano (defensive coordinator), Billy Davis (linebackers) and Larry Johnson (defensive line) each put Young through the paces and worked him out in position drills for their respective group.
Moving forward, you can expect Young to be viewed as a defensive prospect by the Buckeyes. The question as to exactly which defensive position he’ll fit into is unclear, but Young is excited about switching to defense.
“I’m listed at 6-4 and 212 and I’m not going to get much smaller, only bigger. I see myself playing on the defensive side of the ball,” Young said following Ohio State’s camp. “I can really be a dog on the defensive side of the ball and everything came naturally to me, I felt good about it. … I’m good off the edge [as a defensive end] or outside linebacker. Others say safety or defensive back, but I really don’t know right now.”
After Young worked out for the coaches and impressed all those who were on hand, rumors began to swirl that he would be committing to Ohio State on Tuesday. Young would not admit to giving his pledge to the Buckeyes coaching staff, but did have a big smile plastered to his face when discussing the program and his plans moving forward.
Whether or not he’s actually committed to Ohio State behind closed doors already or not is immaterial, as Young will be announcing his decision in the near future.
“They’re just rumors, they ain’t come from me. If it didn’t come from me, it’s probably not true. But I will be making my decision in the next two days, so just stay tuned. Two to a few days,” Young said. “It might just be a video or a graphic picture, but I’m gonna shock the world.”
I have submitted a Crystal Ball prediction in Ohio State’s favor for Young. I’ve felt for months the Buckeyes were the leader for the Indiana native, but this camp performance solidified Young’s standing in the eyes of the coaches and he will now be able to commit to the school.
Ohio State’s coaching staff will have work to do in figuring out whether he is a defensive end or a linebacker.
The Buckeyes have 4-star recruits and Ohio natives Noah Potter and Cade Stover (both of whom also worked out at the camp) committed at defensive end and linebacker, respectively. Ronnie Hickman and Steele Chambers are committed as a safety and running back, respectively, but both have the potential to move to linebacker down the road.
I don’t know that the staff will pigeonhole Young to either position quite yet and there are several variables in play here. They need to answer similar questions on Stover (a linebacker or defensive end?), Hickman (a safety or linebacker?) and Chambers (a running back or linebacker?) as well and see who else they can haul in at either position.
Ohio State offers a 2019 tight end; where does the position stand?
Following the prospect camp, Ohio State extended a scholarship offer to Brenton Strange. Strange is a 3-star tight end in the 2019 class out of Parkersburg (W.Va.) and made his camp appearance after taking an unofficial visit the week prior.
Strange seems high on Ohio State and was thrilled to land the offer. The Buckeyes join programs such as North Carolina, Wake Forest, Rutgers, Maryland and Purdue in offering the 6-foot-5, 210-pound prospect.
Tight end has been full of uncertainty for the Buckeyes. Though it has followed a similar pattern as quarterback in this class, the position has not received nearly as much attention for the odd nature of its recruiting patterns on Ohio State’s end.
Strange could be a natural fit for the Buckeyes and a player whom they could land without pushing too hard. Offered prospects such as Isaiah Foskey, Jalen Wydermyer and Jude Wolfe are also out there for the Buckeyes, but none have really jumped off the page as likely fits for Ohio State. Jahleel Billingsley is seemingly off the board and I doubt he ends up in Columbus. At a minimum, the Buckeyes seem to trail Florida, Penn State, Illinois and Alabama for his services and may not receive an official visit.
Ohio State has also held off on offering in-state Power 5 prospects such as Erick All and Justin Stephens. Stephens camped with Ohio State on both Friday and Tuesday and seems to have caught Kevin Wilson’s attention, but I don’t think the program is going to offer when it’s all said and done.
Tight end isn’t a critical need, but it would be good for Ohio State to take a player at the position. Strange should be deciding sometime around August, which will give the Buckeyes more time to either make a renewed push for some of those offered prospects or get in the mix for players they have not yet offered. If they don’t choose to do that, Strange is a very good option in his own right.
Miscellaneous thoughts from Ohio State’s camp
Besides the aforementioned campers, some of the other standouts at Ohio State on Tuesday included:
- 2019 cornerback Nyles Beverly — Nordonia (Ohio)
- 2020 quarterback Tyler Van Dyke — Glastonbury (Conn.) Suffield Academy
- 2020 running back Michael Drennen II — Dublin (Ohio) Coffman
- 2020 tackle Michael Carmody — Mars (Pa.)
- 2020 tackle Jakob James — Cincinnati Elder
- 2020 defensive end Chris Mayfield — Hilliard (Ohio) Bradley
- 2020 safety Lejond Cavazos — Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
Of all of the prospects on that list, only Cavazos holds an Ohio State offer. The 2020 safety was impressive during the camp and went through the paces, primarily guided by Taver Johnson, the cornerbacks coach. Cavazos is a 4-star recruit and I have the Buckeyes as the heavy favorite to land his commitment, though they’re in no rush to pressure him.
Carmody and James both looked intriguing as offensive linemen. I’m not so sure that James stays at tackle and may be a guard at the next level, but Carmody has grown into a surefire tackle. He’s been packing on muscle this offseason and looks to be a trim 273 pounds at 6-5. Both covet an Ohio State offer and have a chance to earn one down the road.
Drennen looked smooth as a pass catcher and spent most of his day working out with wide receivers, a function of the lack of running backs on hand for the day. Still, Tony Alford made sure to pull Drennen aside and have in-depth conversations with both him and his father during their time on campus. He’s Ohio’s best 2020 running back.
Van Dyke is a quarterback to watch as an offer candidate down the road. The Connecticut native and 2020 prospect has offers under his belt from Michigan, Boston College, Kentucky, Syracuse, Rutgers and UMass, but more will come. He’s an accurate quarterback and throws a pretty ball.
I like the long-term potential of Mayfield, likely as a defensive end. He’s a local kid with some Power 5 offers that the Buckeyes can afford to continue evaluating with no sense of urgency.
Beverly looked good enough and will certainly be a Power 5 cornerback, but I don’t expect Ohio State to offer.
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