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.
Ohio State a ‘contender’ for 5-star safety
We spoke a little about 5-star Oklahoma safety Daxton Hill in Dotting the Eyes on Sunday after Hill dropped his final six schools, but I didn’t want my coverage of the defensive back to get caught up in the wash of Ohio State’s explosive weekend full of commitments.
Hill posted some astounding testing numbers at a camp over the weekend — the 6-foot-1, 187-pound safety reeled off an eye-popping 4.30-second 40-yard dash and a 43.6-inch vertical jump. Both numbers ranked in the 99th percentile of all tested athletes. His testing performance was so noticeable that I decided to follow up with one of Hill’s coaches.
Ohio State has been heavily recruiting Hill since offering him a scholarship in May 2017, but the 5-star prospect has not yet visited campus. The Buckeyes have been building a relationship with Hill and those close to him in Booker T. Washington’s football program, including defensive backs coach Mike Blitch.
“Ohio State is a contender and they’re in the mix. Urban Meyer, Greg Schiano and Alex Grinch have been putting in work. I spoke to Grinch just a few days ago again. They’re coming down sometime soon again as well,” Blitch said. “They’ve made it known how highly they regard him and it shows through their actions.”
Hill has made unofficial visits to multiple finalists in his recruitment in recent months — Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. His older brother Justice Hill is a junior running back at Oklahoma State and many expect this recruitment to come down to the two in-state programs. The Buckeyes are, of course, working to change that and build momentum.
Ohio State commits, targets earn invitations to The Opening Finals
Nike’s The Opening Finals are slated to be held in Frisco, Texas (a suburb north of Dallas) on June 30 and the ramp-up of invitations to top prospects around the country has continued. On Sunday, the second-to-last regional camp before the Finals was held in Dallas. A record-breaking 17 participants earned invitations on the spot following the camp and more will follow in the coming days and weeks.
Five-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson, Ohio State’s newest commit, was among the prospects to book a spot at the Finals. Hill, whom we talked about above, also earned an invitation. Four-star defensive backs Jeffery Carter and Erick Young, who both have Ohio State in their top six schools, joined the list as well.
The list of Ohio State commits and targets who are expected to attend The Opening Finals is impressive and continually growing. The final regional camp is scheduled to be held in Massillon, Ohio, on Saturday — the only The Opening regional event in the Midwest this year — and will feature more Buckeyes commits and targets who will book their invitations.
With that in mind, here is the current list of Ohio State targets and commits who have earned invitations:
- 5-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson (committed)
- 5-star defensive end Nolan Smith II (Georgia commit who Ohio State continues to pursue)
- 5-star linebacker Brandon Smith
- 5-star safety Daxton Hill
- 5-star athlete Bru McCoy
- 4-star tackle Doug Nester (committed)
- 4-star running back Noah Cain
- 4-star wide receiver DeMarcco Hellams
- 4-star wide receiver John Dunmore
- 4-star linebacker Rian Davis
- 4-star safety Nick Cross
- 4-star cornerback Tyrique Stevenson
- 4-star cornerback Jeffery Carter
- 4-star cornerback Erick Young
Additionally, 4-star quarterback Grant Gunnell has been invited to the Elite 11 finals, a companion event to The Opening that will take place earlier in June. Gunnell is Ohio State’s top quarterback target and took his official visit to Ohio State over the weekend. You can read about Ohio State’s momentum coming out of that visit here.
4-star WR includes Ohio State in top schools list
Thompson’s Station, Tenn., wide receiver TJ Sheffield, a 4-star prospect, included Ohio State on his list of top schools released via Twitter on Monday morning. Sheffield is ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 233 overall prospect and No. 37 wide receiver in the 2019 recruiting class.
Ohio State made the cut with Penn State, Notre Dame, Louisville, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Arkansas and Purdue. The Buckeyes offered Sheffield in early February and he made his first unofficial visit to the program on March 31. He was committed to Tennessee’s previous staff for nearly a year, from November 2016 to October 2017, but has not seen the same level of contact from Jeremy Pruitt’s staff.
Sheffield is a 5-10, 170-pound wide receiver who posted 56 receptions for 840 yards and 6 touchdowns in his junior season, adding 119 yards rushing and 354 yards as a returner. Some schools seem to consider Sheffield to be a defensive back, but wide receiver is a likelier fit.
Ohio State offers elite 2020 tackle
Lawrence, Kan., might be the mecca of college basketball if you ask Jayhawks fans, but it’s home to a pretty fantastic football prospect in the 2020 class. Six-foot-6, 285-pound sophomore (yes, just a sophomore) tackle Turner Corcoran landed an offer from the Buckeyes on Monday.
Ohio State joins an impressive offer list that is just getting started. Corcoran landed his first scholarship offer from Kansas State on March 14 and Ohio State, Notre Dame, Iowa State and Kansas have followed. Expect most of the country’s elite programs to pursue Corcoran.
It’s been at least 25 years since Ohio State has had a scholarship player from Kansas. Meyer and recruiting coordinator Mark Pantoni have surprised many by pulling in Buckeyes from far-flung locales or unusual recruiting regions since arriving at Ohio State. They’ve signed recruits from Idaho, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, Arkansas, Minnesota and Nevada and will add West Virginia to the list in 2019.
Miss a day of the Ohio State recruiting notebook? Don’t fret! You can get all of the previous versions of Dotting the Eyes here.