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.
In-state tight end Erick All continues sharp ascent
Ohio State’s last foray into recruiting Fairfield, Ohio, did not pan out exactly as the Buckeyes had hoped. When 5-star tackle Jackson Carman spurned his home-state power for Clemson, Ohio State fans — and coaches — were equally surprised and dismayed.
A second chance at the school may come sooner than expected.
Fairfield tight end Erick All is emerging as a national prospect. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound All is regarded as a 3-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings, checking in as the No. 26 tight end and No. 652 prospect overall in the 2019 class.
While his rankings may not seem impressive, his offer list does. And it continues to expand. Within the last two weeks, All has added offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Florida State. They are among the 20-plus programs to offer All since the start of 2018. He holds 26 offers in all.
All noted to Land of 10 in February that he was not in frequent contact with Ohio State. The Buckeyes were not coming after him hard. As the spring evaluation period has gone on, however, and the Buckeyes’ 2019 tight end board continues to lack clarity, the contact has increased.
I believe that All is on the shortest of short lists of Ohio prospects who have a legitimate chance to pick up an Ohio State offer in the coming months.
Now, there are some concerns or potentially mitigating factors here. All is not quite as physically developed as some other tight ends that the Buckeyes have pursued. Despite his listed size, his build is slight for the position and doesn’t have a ton of muscle mass.
Moreover, All is a soft-spoken and quiet young man. He’s a competitor on the field and gets after it, but doesn’t always come across that way in conversation. Under Urban Meyer, Ohio State has typically gravitated towards louder, more aggressive players who vocally display their willingness to compete.
Still, All is a well-developed pass catcher. He’s a confident route runner, knows how to create separation and catches the ball well away from his body. Also benefiting the in-state prospect is that he currently has no plans to decide any time soon. Ohio State’s coaching staff will be able to watch All during camp season and into his senior year, if they need to, before making a decision on whether to offer.
If Jahleel Billingsley continues to trend toward Illinois and none of the California prospects with Ohio State offers or interest begin to emerge as serious options for the Buckeyes, the odds of All landing an offer will increase. Indiana wide receiver Craig Young is now appearing as if he will be a tight end prospect for Ohio State, but he’s not someone the coaches would accept a commitment from at this moment.
All, in my opinion, has as good a chance to be the tight end in Ohio State’s 2019 class as any prospect does.
Ohio State cracks top group for 5-star DT
Five-star defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele, the latest in a long line of blue-chip prospects from Hawaii, released his top 5 schools on Monday. Ohio State’s inclusion in that group was no surprise as the Buckeyes have been a contender for Tuitele since hosting him for an unofficial visit on April 6.
What was surprising, however, was the exclusion of the University of Southern California. The Trojans offered Tuitele nearly two years ago and hosted him for an unofficial visit on May 12. They had been all over the 6-4, 300-pound prospect since his sophomore season and their track record in Hawaii is impressive.
Making the cut alongside Ohio State were Alabama, Clemson, Texas and Washington. The Crimson Tide appear to be Ohio State’s toughest competition going forward, having hosted Tuitele for a two-day unofficial visit beginning on April 3, during which time Nick Saban offered the 5-star prospect.
Ohio State has not prioritized defensive tackle recruiting in the 2019 class and will take one player at the position at most. But Tuitele is among the very few players at the position that the Buckeyes would accept a commitment from without pause.
Tuitele is ranked as the No. 24 overall prospect and No. 2 defensive tackle in the 2019 recruiting class. He has received invitations to both the adidas U.S. Army All-American Game and Polynesian Bowl and is expected to play in both following the conclusion of his senior season.
Ohio State extends new offers around the country
While I spent the last several days in Colorado for a hiking trip, there was no rest taken by the Ohio State coaching staff on the recruiting trail. The Buckeyes’ machine kept whirring and moving, with several new offers extended around the country.
David Ojabo is a 2019 3-star defensive end from New Jersey, a player who carries significant upside in his 6-5, 235-pound frame. Ojabo plays at Blair Academy, a high school you may remember from Ohio State’s pursuit of 4-star defensive end Jayson Oweh. Oweh ultimately signed with Penn State in the 2018 class, but the Buckeyes were the runner-up and will look to change their fate with Ojabo after offering him on Monday.
Oweh and Ojabo, both children of Nigerian parents who adapted the game of football midway through their high school careers, share a close relationship and many similarities. Ojabo is not as highly rated as Oweh — just the No. 860 overall prospect in the class — but his offer list has started to significantly expand. Other prominent new offers this spring include Penn State, Michigan, Clemson, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Michigan State.
Jalen Wydermyer, a 3-star tight end from Texas, joined the list of Ohio State’s tight end options when he announced an offer from the Buckeyes on Monday. Wydermyer is ranked as the No. 17 tight end in the 2019 class. Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU, Nebraska, Georgia and Miami are some of the other major programs to offer the 6-5, 235-pound prospect.
Moving on to the 2020 class, Ohio State issued an offer to Minnesota quarterback Jalen Suggs, just the seventh quarterback in his class to land an offer from the Buckeyes. Suggs is only regarded as a 3-star football prospect by 247Sports, but he excels on the hardwood. The Minneapolis Minnehaha Academy quarterback is also a 5-star basketball recruit and combo guard, ranked as the No. 2 overall player in the country.
Reggie Grimes also added an offer from Ohio State. Grimes is a 6-4, 215-pound athlete from Mount Juliet, Tenn.; his other prominent offers include Tennessee, LSU, Virginia Tech and Ole Miss. Grimes appears to project best to defensive end in college, but his position has not yet been determined.
Aiden Keanaaina, a 2020 defensive tackle at Denver J.K. Mullen, became the latest defensive lineman to land an offer from Ohio State. In a 24-hour stretch, Keanaaina picked up Power 5 offers from the Buckeyes, Penn State and Virginia. Other prominent offers for the 6-3, 292-pound prospect include Oregon, Nebraska, Colorado and Wisconsin.
Interestingly enough, Keanaaina trains at Six Zero Strength in Colorado, the same gym where former Ohio State commit Jake Moretti and many collegiate and NFL players train in the offseason. Moretti was committed to Ohio State for nearly a year and a half but ended up staying at home and playing for Colorado after the Buckeyes informed him that he would not be able to enroll early in Columbus.
Jayion McCluster is a 6-1, 190-pound running back from Florida who’s been on recruiting radars for quite some time. The Largo product and 2020 prospect began accumulating scholarships his freshman year and has a list that now includes Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Miami, Florida State and LSU. With more than 20 offers under his belt before the conclusion of his junior year, McCluster will have a chance to be one of the most highly recruited running backs in the class.
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