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 latest on 5-star tackle Devontae Dobbs and Ohio State
On Friday, 5-star tackle Devontae Dobbs of Belleville (Mich.) tweeted out his top 8 schools. Ohio State was included in the group, as was to be expected if you’ve been reading Land of 10’s extensive coverage of Dobbs.
Joining Ohio State were Michigan State (the popularly perceived leader), Southern Cal, Georgia, Clemson, Florida State, Auburn and Oklahoma. Dobbs’ coach Jermain Crowell nearly perfectly called the top group during Land of 10’s visit to Belleville in April and Dobbs previously told me that Ohio State “separates themselves in every category.”
Moving forward, I don’t truly view Florida State or Oklahoma as serious contenders and I’d say they’re the most likely to miss the cut for official visits as the process moves on.
Dobbs will be a late decider and though he reportedly has two official visits scheduled to Auburn and USC in June, I think it will be the fall official visits that truly tell the tale for the elite prospect. The heavy hitters in this recruitment — Michigan State, Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson — will wait until later in the process to attempt to bring Dobbs in for an official visit.
I have viewed USC as a serious contender for Dobbs, so I’m somewhat surprised that the program is bringing him for an official visit this early on. It’s a surprising strategy when the other major contenders will be jockeying for position late and with the knowledge that Dobbs will be unlikely to commit prior to December.
It’s those six schools that seem to have a real chance for Dobbs. I still believe that Ohio State is the biggest contender and threat to Michigan State, but USC and the southern schools are piquing Dobbs’ interest, as well. He’s been traversing the country for camps and other football events since a young age and there’s no fear about leaving home to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Distance won’t be a deterrent here.
The elephant in the room, of course, will be whether the scandals unfolding at Michigan State impact football coach Mark Dantonio. Should he be ousted or be under any serious pressure, it goes without saying that the school’s standing with Dobbs and his teammate, 4-star Michigan State commit Julian Barnett, could be considerably changed.
I have submitted a Crystal Ball prediction in Ohio State’s favor for Dobbs, though it is admittedly a projection right now. Dobbs is ranked as the No. 10 overall prospect and No. 3 tackle in the Class of 2019 by the 247Sports composite.
Garrett Wilson, 5-star Ohio State commit, has early enrollment plans
Five-star Buckeyes commit Garrett Wilson, a Texas native, announced on Twitter his plans to enroll early at Ohio State. Wilson plays at Austin Lake Travis, which also produced Buckeyes freshman quarterback Matthew Baldwin in the 2018 class. Baldwin likewise enrolled early at Ohio State in January.
Wilson has been committed to Ohio State for little more than a month, when the wide receiver chose the Buckeyes over Texas and 30-plus other FBS scholarship offers. He is ranked as the No. 31 overall prospect and No. 5 wide receiver in the 2019 recruiting class.
Penn State’s recruiting surge set to continue
Before I get started with this segment, I want to make one thing clear. Ohio State will almost never have to worry about the level at which other teams are recruiting during Urban Meyer’s tenure. Only Alabama has out-recruited Ohio State in the last four recruiting classes (2015-18) and only Georgia and USC are within spitting distance of the Buckeyes and Tide.
With that said, the Buckeyes’ conference foe to the east is beginning to pick up steam.
Penn State has landed five commitments in the last two weeks, four who held offers from the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions have surged to the No. 3 spot in the Big Ten in the 247Sports composite 2019 team rankings with this May burst and don’t look prepared to slow down. A pair of 4-star Virginia natives will soon decide and could both go with Penn State.
Cam’Ron Kelly, the No. 157 overall player in the country and an Ohio State target, will make announce commitment on June 7. Penn State is regarded as the heavy favorite for Kelly, passing the Buckeyes, Clemson, Virginia Tech and other contenders.
Defensive lineman Hakeem Beamon announced on Tuesday evening that he would be committing Friday, a strong sign for Penn State given the momentum the Nittany Lions have established with Beamon coming out of a May 12 unofficial visit. Beamon is ranked as the No. 235 overall prospect in the 2019 class.
Penn State, Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, South Carolina and Virginia Tech are among the programs which have been involved with Beamon prior to and since his March de-commitment from North Carolina. Ohio State never truly made a push for Beamon, who’s a ‘tweener that could play nearly any defensive line position outside nose tackle.
If Kelly and Beamon were to choose Penn State, and I expect both to do so, then the program’s 2019 recruiting class would leapfrog Ohio State and Michigan for the No. 1 ranking in the conference. It would also continue Penn State’s invasion of Virginia and give the Nittany Lions four commitments from the state’s top seven prospects.
Penn State has never finished ahead of Ohio State in the recruiting rankings during Meyer’s regime — it has finished within 10 spots of a Buckeyes class only twice in that time — but things are beginning to heat up in Happy Valley and James Franklin has a lot of momentum in recruiting right now.
Ohio State has lost a head-to-head battle with Penn State in this class for 5-star linebacker Brandon Smith already and the Buckeyes will need to continue remaining vigilant of developments to the east. Franklin has a strong foothold in Virginia and much of the East Coast and Penn State’s success in those areas can challenge the Buckeyes’ hegemonic reign over Big Ten recruiting.
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