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.
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
Okay, so Carmen Sandiego isn’t technically a coach on Ohio State’s staff, but I’m going to keep using this bad reference to a 1990s computer game for as long as you keep reading this segment.
If you didn’t guess, this is about tracking the Buckeyes coaches around the country during the early evaluation period.
Quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Ryan Day made his way Tuesday to Austin (Texas) Lake Travis, home of 5-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson and incoming freshman Buckeyes quarterback Matthew Baldwin. You are almost certainly familiar with Wilson by this point — he is undoubtedly Ohio State’s top wide receiver target and the Buckeyes are in a two-team battle with Texas. Wilson is ranked as the No. 5 wide receiver and No. 29 prospect overall by the 247Sports composite rankings.
An announcement is expected any time between Wednesday and the first week of May. Wilson has already made official visits to both Ohio State and Texas the last two weekends and is now in decision mode. Day’s trip was surely an effort to counteract Texas’ time spent with Wilson on his official visit, although the two are not allowed to have direct in-person contact at the high school due to NCAA rules. I have a Crystal Ball submitted for Wilson to end up at Ohio State and do not plan to change that coming out of the official visit.
Following Day’s visit, Ohio State extended a huge new offer at Lake Travis. More on that below.
Defensive coordinator and secondary coach Alex Grinch was in Maryland on Tuesday, where he visited The Bullis School, per head coach Pat Cilento. The Bullis School previously produced redshirt sophomore Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins and is now home to Wisconsin commit Bryson Shaw, a 3-star safety. Ohio State offered Shaw in February, a little more than a week after he committed to the Badgers.
On Wednesday, Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. made his way to St. John’s College Prep in the nation’s capital. St. John’s currently has only one prospect with an Ohio State offer — 5-star 2020 linebacker Mekhail Sherman, who hopes to visit soon — but the roster is loaded with young talent and more could be on the way.
Several underclassmen at St. John’s already have multiple Power 5 scholarship offers, including 4-star wide receiver Rakim Jarrett, 4-star cornerback Luke Hill, defensive end Greg Hudgins, quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava (a recent transfer from Hawaii) and athlete Antwain Littleton. Littleton is a 2021 prospect; the rest are 2020 recruits.
Linebackers coach Billy Davis was in the Pittsburgh area on Tuesday, spending time at Aliquippa, home of 2019 cornerback MJ Devonshire. Devonshire has held an Ohio State offer since the fall and has been a frequent visitor, most recently for the spring game. Ohio State and West Virginia seem to be the top two schools for Devonshire.
Running backs coach Tony Alford spent time in Memphis, Tenn., on Tuesday. While in the city, Alford dropped by Freedom Prep Academy to see new 2020 tackle offer Chris Morris. Ohio State offered Morris on Monday. Alford also swung through Memphis Central and offered 2020 wide receiver Darin Turner, per Rivals.com recruiting analyst Woody Wommack. Turner is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound standout who has been committed to LSU since late March.
Urban Meyer is not allowed to visit high schools during the spring evaluation period and you can read about defensive coordinator Greg Schiano’s visit to New Jersey on Monday here. Land of 10 hopes to confirm visits from Ohio State assistants Zach Smith, Taver Johnson, Greg Studrawa and Kevin Wilson in the near future. Johnson is expected at multiple Detroit-area high schools this week, but it’s not clear which days he’ll be hitting which schools.
Lake Travis-to-Ohio State pipeline? Buckeyes offer 2020 QB
Ohio State has been very selective in offering quarterbacks early on in the process, but an intriguing new prospect made the grade for the Buckeyes on Tuesday. During Day’s aforementioned visit to Lake Travis, dual-threat quarterback Hudson Card became just the third 2020 QB to land an offer from the program.
Card is a 6-2, 170-pound prospect who will take over for Baldwin as the full-time starting quarterback for Lake Travis this fall. The last eight starting quarterbacks at Lake Travis have gone on to play FBS football and Card certainly will continue that streak. The rising junior accounted for 4 touchdowns in the state championship game after Baldwin went down with a knee injury.
The Buckeyes have already seen Card work out in person before Day’s evaluation visit, as Land of 10’s Austin Ward reported that Meyer watched him running routes for Baldwin during passing drills in the fall.
Baldwin told Ward that Card has a chance to be the “best quarterback to come through Lake Travis,” an even higher compliment that you expect when you consider that Heisman-winning Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was taking the field for the Cavaliers not too long ago.
Card has a dozen offers from FBS programs already, as Ohio State joins Texas (his most recent offer before the Buckeyes), TCU, Auburn and several other Power 5 programs. 247Sports considers Card to be the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback and No. 167 prospect overall nationally in the 2020 class.
He joins Harrison Bailey of Georgia and Jack Miller of Arizona as the trio of 2020 quarterback prospects to hold Buckeyes offers. Bailey is a teammate of 2020 Ohio State commit Jake Wray at Marietta and Wray told Land of 10 that he’s already working on recruiting Bailey shortly after committing to the Buckeyes.
After starting Texas native J.T. Barrett at quarterback for the better part of four years and landing Baldwin in the 2018 class, Ohio State would surely love to continue this burgeoning pipeline of Texas quarterbacks coming to Columbus.
2019 quarterback Grant Gunnell, the No. 2 pro-style passer in his class, is unquestionably Ohio State’s top QB target and plans to make an official visit on Saturday. Securing Gunnell, Wilson and, eventually, Card would be massive for the Buckeyes’ recruiting presence in Texas.
Ohio State makes top 8 for Virginia safety
Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith prospect Cam’Ron Kelly tweeted out his top 8 on Tuesday evening. Kelly, a 2019 prospect, is considered an athlete on recruiting rankings but is viewed as a safety by Ohio State. The Buckeyes made his top schools list alongside Penn State, Clemson, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Auburn, Virginia and Washington State.
Penn State is considered the favorite for Kelly, who has not visited Columbus since February. The Nittany Lions unanimously lead the Crystal Ball predictions for Kelly, who just visited Penn State on Friday and stayed through the weekend. He is ranked as the No. 159 prospect overall and No. 15 athlete in the 2019 class.
Ohio State commit Doug Nester earns The Opening Finals invitation
Longtime 2019 Ohio State commit Doug Nester earned an invitation to Nike’s The Opening Finals, he announced on Twitter on Tuesday night. The annual event featuring many of the country’s elite recruits is scheduled to take place in Frisco, Texas, beginning June 30.
Nester, a 6-5, 295-pound offensive lineman, is projected to play either tackle or guard for Ohio State. The Huntington (W.Va.) Spring Valley star is ranked the No. 55 overall recruit and No. 9 tackle in the 2019 class. The 4-star prospect was the Buckeyes’ first commit in his class and has been pledged since August.
Georgia safety Kyle Hamilton is off the board
Atlanta Marist School safety Kyle Hamilton, a 3-star 2019 prospect, committed to Notre Dame on Tuesday evening over offers from the Buckeyes, Georgia, Clemson and seemingly every other program that’s good at football — he collected three dozen offers in total.
The 6-3, 188-pound Hamilton visited Ohio State in March and is one of the most under-ranked recruits in the country in my opinion. But he was not one of the program’s top targets. Ultimately, this won’t have a huge impact on the Buckeyes’ outlook at safety.
Another day, another offer
There is one more Buckeyes offer worth noting. The Buckeyes extended a scholarship to Woodbridge (Va.) inside linebacker Antoine Sampah, the top-ranked inside linebacker in the 2020 class by 247Sports and the No. 21 prospect overall in the class.
Sampah already has nearly 20 offers and Ohio State joins a growing list that includes Alabama, Penn State, LSU, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. He has a chance to be a 5-star prospect as the rankings go on for his class.
Keith Maguire schedules announcement
Malvern Prep (Pa.) linebacker Keith Maguire, a 3-star prospect in the 2019 class, has scheduled a commitment announcement for Friday. The Philadelphia area standout has Ohio State in his final five alongside Notre Dame, Clemson, Alabama and North Carolina.
My Crystal Ball pick for Maguire is in for Notre Dame despite a “great” unofficial visit to Ohio State on March 23 that placed the Buckeyes in his top group. That was Maguire’s first and only visit to Columbus as a recruit after being offered in early February. Clemson and North Carolina seem to be in play as well, but I would be surprised if Ohio State or Alabama landed Maguire.
He is ranked as the No. 525 prospect in the 2019 class, No. 34 outside linebacker and No. 10 prospect in Pennsylvania.
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.