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 in the lead for St. Louis WR Jameson Williams
With 5-star wide receiver commit Garrett Wilson in the fold, the Buckeyes can afford to be picky in recruiting at the position. Though you can expect Ohio State to take about four receivers in the 2019 class, more than a dozen players are realistic candidates to fill those spots.
Among the top options for Ohio State is 4-star wide receiver Jameson Williams, a 6-foot-2, 160-pound prospect from St. Louis Cardinal Ritter Prep. Williams is the No. 181 prospect and No. 27 wide receiver in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Williams’ offer list, which includes more than 40 schools, reflects his intriguing talent. Alabama, USC, UCLA, Oregon and Nebraska are a few of the other top contenders for Williams. Florida State and Oklahoma State also made his top 8, which he released in March.
Ohio State has been in contact with Williams most frequently for nearly a year. Since the Buckeyes offered the 4-star prospect in August 2017, Williams has been in constant contact with the coaching staff. He made two unofficial visits to Ohio State in November and April. Williams is expected to return for an official visit.
Williams recently told Rivals.com Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt that Ohio State is “the school to beat” and “at the top” in the hunt for his services, reflecting what sources close to the recruitment have told Land of 10.
Ohio State can and will land Williams if it pushes for his commitment as his recruitment goes on. There is a lot to like about the Under Armour All-American, not least of which is his elite speed and ability to take the top off a defense.
However, Ohio State remains involved with many elite wide receiver targets, and I don’t think the coaching staff is looking to fill up the class too soon. Fellow St. Louis native Marcus Washington, a 4-star wide receiver and top-60 prospect nationally, is a prime candidate for the Buckeyes. So is Indianapolis wide receiver David Bell, who will make an upcoming unofficial visit to Ohio State that could prove to be pivotal.
In addition to Williams, Washington and Bell, Ohio State remains involved with Trey Knox of Tennessee, Elijah Higgins of Texas, John Dunmore of Florida, Zion Puckett of Georgia and Craig Young of Indiana. Jalen Curry, Milton Wright, Lance Wilhoite, Dylan Wright, Joe Ngata and TJ Sheffield bear watching, as well.
Is Ohio State out of running for Pennsylvania’s top prospect?
Ohio State has stayed in touch with Joey Porter Jr., ranked by 247Sports as the top prospect in Pennsylvania’s 2019 class, for more than a year. The Buckeyes first hosted Porter on campus for a prospect camp in June 2017, the first time the 6-2, 185-pound prospect played as a cornerback.
He since has made the switch to defensive back permanent, which has allowed his offer list to flourish. Penn State, LSU, Miami, Nebraska and Pitt are a few of the major offers for Porter. Despite evaluating him in person and hosting Porter for multiple unofficial visits — most recently in late March — Ohio State has not yet offered Porter a scholarship.
Because Porter intends to cut his list this summer and begin the process of taking his five official visits, time could be running out for the Buckeyes to offer the Pittsburgh standout. Porter previously told Land of 10 he would camp at Ohio State this summer, but that no longer appears to be the case.
“Ohio State is still coming after me. They send me mail and text me often. I don’t know, though, [I would] probably not [visit again],” Porter told Land of 10 at The Opening Ohio regional in Massillon, Ohio. “An offer would change things, but I’m probably done visiting Ohio State for now.”
Porter may be somewhat peeved with the lack of an offer from the Buckeyes, but that doesn’t mean he would overlook it if the coaching staff changed its mind.
“That offer would mean everything to me. It’s Ohio State,” Porter said in February. “It’s a great school, and I would love to play there. I’d like to play anywhere, but I really like the competition at that school.”
Penn State, LSU, Miami and UCLA are the four schools in line to land official visits from Porter during the summer. Three of those four programs — all but UCLA — have offered the son of former All-Pro Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter.
LSU and Penn State are the two favorites for Porter. The Buckeyes could see Porter across from them in the Big Ten East one day if he chooses the Nittany Lions, where James Franklin and defensive backs coach Terry Smith have been key recruiters in pursuing him. Porter is looking for the right fit.
“I’ve got to love the coaches, and I’ve got to see if they’re trying to put people in the league,” Porter said. “That’s what I’m trying to do at the end of the day, go to the league.”
Ohio State offers 3 new prospects
The O.C. hasn’t received this much attention from Ohioans since Mischa Barton was getting TV contract money from FOX. Ohio State dipped into Orange County, Calif., again on Monday night, offering 2019 Orange Lutheran tight end Ethan Rae, a 4-star prospect and the No. 7 tight end in the class. The Buckeyes already had offered two of Rae’s teammates in the 2019 class, wide receiver Kyle Ford and South Carolina quarterback commit Ryan Hilinski.
Some of Rae’s other prominent offers include UCLA, USC, Michigan, Notre Dame and more than a dozen other Power 5 programs.
Ohio State also dipped into Texas, offering 2019 wide receiver Peyton Powell of the Permian Panthers. You likely remember Permian from its Friday Night Lights claim to fame — the book and movie starring Billy Bob Thornton, not the infinitely better Kyle Chandler TV series. Some of Powell’s other prominent offers include Arkansas, Baylor and Texas Tech.
The Buckeyes completed the trio of the top 3 football states in the country by offering 2020 Florida athlete Jaquavion Fraziars, an early contender for the best recruit name in his class. Fraziars plays at Dunnellon High School near Ocala, where the 6-4, 185-pound athlete has major scholarship offers. Ohio State, Florida, Georgia and Auburn are a few early offers for Fraziars.
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