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5-star defensive tackle schedules Ohio State visit
Honolulu St. Louis School is not a program that has earned the billing of a prep powerhouse, but that hasn’t stopped the school from churning out talent annually. Famous alumni such as Marcus Mariota, Tyson Alualu, and current Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa have paved the way at St. Louis, but current 5-star defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele has a chance to eclipse all of them as a recruit.
Tuitele holds nearly three dozen offers, including Alabama, USC, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, Clemson, UCLA, Oregon, Washington, Notre Dame, Georgia, Stanford, Nebraska, Florida, Florida State, and many other blue-chip programs around the country. Tuitele is ranked as the No. 2 defensive tackle and No. 23 prospect overall nationally in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He’ll soon embark on a round of visits to the mainland.
The dates for the visits have been set:
LSU Tigers- Tuesday, March 13
Oklahoma Sooners- Thursday, March 15
Texas Longhorns- Saturday, March 17
Alabama and Ohio State will be visited in April.
— FAATUI TUITELE (@tuitele87) March 9, 2018
Sources close to the recruitment shared that the visit to Ohio State is expected to occur on April 6, where it seems highly likely that the Buckeyes would offer Tuitele. Ohio State is sparsely recruiting defensive tackle in this class and may not take a single player at the position, but Tuitele is one of the rare players talented enough to potentially change the minds of Buckeyes coaches.
Pennsylvania crew expected to visit
Ohio State has been heavily involved with a number of top prospects from Pennsylvania throughout this 2019 recruiting class, and I expect that those flirtations with the neighboring state will increase. Ohio State has extended only three offers to Pennsylvania prospects in 2019 — linebacker Keith Maguire of the Philadelphia area and tackle Andrew Kristofic and cornerback MJ Devonshire of the Pittsburgh area — but I would be surprised if that number did not increase over the next 3-4 months. They’ve also offered two underclassmen — 2020 Catawissa (Pa.) wide receiver Julian Fleming and 2021 athlete Derrick Davis Jr. of Monroeville (Pa.), who discussed his “dream school” here with Land of 10.
We’ve recently discussed the level of importance Ohio State is placing on recruiting Kristofic, one of their top tackle targets and a major prospect at a position of need, as well as the efforts that Buckeyes linebackers coach and Pittsburgh area recruiter Billy Davis has made in western Pennsylvania. Davis, recruiting coordinator Mark Pantoni, and Urban Meyer have been all over the Pittsburgh area, staying in touch with many of the area’s top targets.
Their efforts should yield visits from some of the region’s top prospects. Kristofic and Devonshire have both been on campus over the winter, and they’ve told me they intend to return for unofficial visits in the spring. Maguire will make his first visit to campus soon. Here are some other prospects who have mentioned they’ll be coming to Ohio State in the spring, for a summer prospect camp, or for both.
Joey Porter Jr., a 2019 cornerback from North Allegheny (Pa.), is the most likely offer candidate in the region. He’s expected to visit in the spring and for camp and holds offers from LSU, Pitt, West Virginia, Arizona State, Maryland, and other programs. High school teammate and 2019 defensive tackle Elijah Boyd will likely also camp.
2019 Penn Hills (Pa.) cornerback Daequan Hardy recently landed his first Power 5 offer from Michigan, and he told me he’ll visit Ohio State soon and likely camp in the summer as well. Pitt is expected to offer soon as well. His teammates, such as 2019 wide receiver Dante Cephas and 2019 quarterback Hollis Mathis, likely will join for the June camps.
A large party from Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway will come to Ohio State for visits as well. The Buckeyes already offered the freshman phenom Davis, but several of his teammates are or will be highly recruited prospects and should be coming to Columbus in the spring or summer. 2019 wide receiver Courtney Jackson Jr. has landed recent Power 5 offers from West Virginia, Baylor, and Kentucky. 2019 cornerback Jeremiah Josephs and 2020 athlete Tui Brown also should be Power 5 prospects and will visit.
Farrell (Pa.) teammates Kyi Wright and Jourdan Townsend, both 2019 prospects with multiple Power 5 offers, are likely to camp. Kristofic is expected to bring Pine-Richland (Pa.) teammate Michael Katic, a Power 5-caliber guard. Devonshire likewise will bring 2019 teammate Solvauhn Moreland, a prospect who’s most likely to play guard or defensive tackle.
2019 Pittsburgh Central Catholic teammates Corey Thomas, a safety, and Brian Dallas, an edge rusher/defensive end, likely will camp together in June. Norwin (Pa.) also will send a contingency of 2019 safety Jayvon Thrift, a player who holds multiple Power 5 offers, and 2020 quarterback Jack Salopek.
Texas targets commit elsewhere
As we’ve discussed previously, this is the time of year that prospects name their list of top schools, make final cuts, commitments and de-commitments. Oh, and flips are possible too as new offers come. Blue-chip recruits will commit left and right this time of year, before inevitably wavering after months of pursuit from top programs around the country.
This weekend, Ohio State missed out on two blue-chip targets it had been pursuing, as a highly recruited Texas duo both committed elsewhere.
Dallas Bishop Dunne cornerback/athlete Marquez Beason previously included Ohio State in his top 4 alongside Texas A&M, LSU and Illinois. It goes nearly without saying that one of those programs is not quite like the others in terms of prestige, recruiting acumen and recent success. Beason, the No. 6 athlete in the 2019 class, surprised many by committing to Lovie Smith’s Fighting Illini program. It’s unclear if Ohio State would have taken Beason’s commitment, but it is clear that coaches at many programs are unlikely to back off of the Texas standout because of this commitment. It will be a huge win for Illinois if it can hold on to Beason for the next nine months.
— ¹ (@Ezmoneyquez) March 10, 2018
Another Ohio State target, albeit a less likely option, committed elsewhere over the weekend. Ohio State missed out on 5-star Cuero (Texas) wide receiver Jordan Whittington, who committed to the Texas Longhorns and former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, the current Texas coach. Whittington chose the Longhorns over the Buckeyes, Texas A&M, UCLA, Oklahoma, Florida, Oregon, USC, Alabama and others. He is the No. 4 wide receiver in the class and the No. 26 prospect overall.
— Jordan Whittington (@J_Whitt3) March 10, 2018
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