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Elite WR Garrett Wilson names finalists, official visits coming
Garrett Wilson, an elite 4-star wide receiver out of Austin (Texas) Lake Travis, is among Ohio State’s most important 2019 targets. The 247Sports composite rankings have Wilson — a 6-foot, 185-pound prospect — as the No. 6 wide receiver in 2019, the No. 46 player overall, and the No. 7 recruit in Texas. He was the high school teammate of freshman Buckeyes quarterback Matthew Baldwin, who signed with Ohio State in 2018 and is already on campus as an early enrollee.
Wilson was on campus for his first unofficial visit as a recruit on March 23, but it was hardly the first time the Texas receiver had been to Ohio State. He grew up and spent his formative years in Dublin (Ohio), a Columbus suburb less than 20 minutes from the Buckeyes’ practice facilities, and only left Ohio when he was in sixth grade.
He made a multi-day visit, spending time with friends and family in the area, but also getting to know more about Ohio State’s facilities, coaches and programs. Wilson has not yet been available for comment to Land of 10, but an Ohio State source shared that they felt the visit went very well.
The Buckeyes provided Wilson information beyond the nuts and bolts of the program — he and his parents became familiar with the program’s Real Life Wednesdays and other post-college preparation opportunities, as well as learning what the day-to-day life of an Ohio State player is like.
Thus it was no surprise when Wilson, just about a week after his visit, decided that he didn’t need to spend much more time on his recruiting process. The elite receiver took to Twitter to announce two official visits — Ohio State on April 13-15 and Texas on April 20-22 — with a commitment coming “shortly after.”
We’ve discussed this numerous times in this space, but it was no surprise to see Ohio State and Texas emerge as the final two for Wilson. Each is an elite program headed by an elite coach — and similar coaches, no less — in his two hometowns. This recruitment was always going to be a battle between the Buckeyes and Longhorns as soon as he landed offers from both.
Texas has the advantage of proximity and local buzz around the program. The Longhorns recruit Austin, where Wilson has spent the last five years, about as effectively as Ohio State recruits its own backyard of Columbus. And he has been on the Austin campus frequently. Tom Herman and his staff want to return the Longhorns to the top tier of college football and they’ll need prospects such as Wilson to do it.
The sentimentality of returning to Ohio State is not something that can be overlooked, however. Wilson grew up as a Buckeyes fan and often visited the Horseshoe for games as a kid. Suiting up in the scarlet and gray would be a homecoming for Wilson.
Both programs have everything else that most prospects covet — the coaches, facilities, training, and talent needed to compete for championships and go to the NFL. Ohio State has certainly put more players into the league and contended for conference and national titles more frequently than Texas lately, but it would take more than a few bad seasons to kill the Longhorns mystique in the Lone Star state.
This ultimately seems like a battle that will come down to relationships and his final two official visits. I haven’t yet made a Crystal Ball prediction on Wilson’s recruitment, but I’m looking to do so in the near future. It’s a tight battle between these two programs at the moment.
Another elite visitor weekend at Ohio State
Ohio State’s spring practice schedule and the end of the 2018 recruiting cycle have combined to cause several consecutive massive recruiting opportunities for the Buckeyes. More and more top prospects seem to flock to Columbus for visits every weekend. Here are visits from this past weekend that have been confirmed by Land of 10:
- 2019 4-star RB Noah Cain (offered) — No. 2 RB
- 2019 4-star WR Jake Smith (offered) — No. 24 WR
- 2019 4-star CB Sheridan Jones (offered) — No. 17 CB
- 2019 4-star S Nick Cross (offered) — No. 10 S
- 2019 4-star WR Dylan Wright (offered) — No. 31 WR
- 2019 4-star WR TJ Sheffield (offered) — No. 38 WR
- 2019 4-star ATH Steele Chambers (offered) — No. 30 ATH
- 2019 4-star DT Hakeem Beamon (offered) — No. 20 DT
- 2019 3-star Jestin Jacobs — No. 43 OLB
- 2019 3-star DE Gabe Newburg — No. 53 WDE
- 2019 JUCO OL Jacob Gamble
- 2020 4-star T Paris Johnson Jr. (offered) — No. 1 T
- 2020 4-star DE Jacolbe Cowan (offered) — No. 3 SDE
- 2020 4-star DE Bryce Mostella — No. 12 WDE
- 2020 DT Dane Middlebrook
- 2021 ATH Derrick Davis Jr. (offered)
Land of 10 has already been in touch with many of these visitors and more news and updates will be coming on the Buckeyes’ targets who spent the weekend on campus in the near future. Stay tuned.
Additionally, Ohio State expected a visit from Powder Springs (Ga.) safety Jaylen McCollough, a 4-star prospect and the No. 4 safety in 2019, and 4-star linebacker Kane Patterson, the No. 13 player at his position in 2019, who hails from Nashville. I have not yet confirmed whether or not McCollough or Patterson made their visits.
Ohio State makes the grade for two more top prospects
On Friday, Keyton included Ohio State in his top 6 alongside Auburn, Miami, Ole Miss, Penn State and Tennessee. The Buckeyes offered Keyton on Oct. 16, one of more than two dozen offers he has under his belt.
Interestingly enough, Keyton is the teammate of 2020 tackle Jake Wray. Wray is the younger brother of freshman Ohio State tackle Max Wray and seems likely to follow in his brother’s footsteps with an offer already in hand.
Bogle released his list on Saturday evening, naming a top 14. The list is a little long, but that’s to be expected when you have more than 40 offers like Bogle does. Here are his schools in alphabetical order: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Southern Cal, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Bogle is ranked as the No. 79 prospect overall in 2019, the No. 5 weakside defensive end, and the No. 10 prospect in Florida. He checks in at 6-4 and 207 pounds.
Missing in action
And we’ll end with who didn’t make it to Ohio State.
One planned visitor — Baltimore St. Frances Academy quarterback Jalon Jones — informed Land of 10 that he missed his planned Ohio State weekend visit because of a situation with his family. Jones just recently visited Columbus on March 3 and Ohio State remains very much in the mix for his services.
In addition, at least one planned official visitor for April — Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Jaden Davis — would not be making the trip . Davis planned to take an official to Ohio State on the weekend of April 6, alongside 4-star teammates Anthony Solomon and Jordan Battle.
I have yet to confirm the status of Battle’s and Solomon’s official visits. However, I do know that the Buckeyes’ staff told at least one recruit — Florida tackle Michael Tarquin — that they were trying to keep April official visits to the April 14 spring game weekend only.
Solomon and Davis are unlikely to end up at Ohio State, but Battle is a key target in 2019 at safety and seems like a Buckeyes lean at the moment. A commitment is not out of the question if he makes a spring official visit. I’ll work to confirm details on that soon.
Finally, Ohio State missed the cut for a top 2019 target. Allen (Texas) wide receiver Theo Wease Jr., a 4-star prospect, tweeted a top 5 of Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Southern Cal and Texas A&M. Wease previously told Land of 10 that Ohio State would “for sure” make his top 5 in the spring, but obviously things can change.
Wease is close with his teammate and fellow 2019 prospect, quarterback Grant Tisdale, who has seemingly fallen down the positional board for the Buckeyes and been recruited less by the Ohio State staff lately than other quarterback options.
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