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Ohio State coaches to attend satellite camp at Rutgers
Ohio State’s coaches will once again attend another round of national satellite camps this June, using the summer evaluation period to watch and coach prospective recruits in person. On Tuesday, Rutgers’ official football account tweeted that the Buckeyes coaching staff would be traveling to New Jersey and working the Scarlet Knights’ East Coast Elite camp on June 1.
The camp is open to prospects heading into their junior or senior year of high school — 2019 and ’20 prospects, only. It’s expected to be a night camp, in the vein of Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights and other similar events around the country.
Rutgers’ head coach is Chris Ash, a former Ohio State defensive coordinator who worked under Urban Meyer for the 2014 and ’15 seasons, a stretch that included a Buckeyes national championship. He is entering his third season in New Jersey and has compiled a 6-18 record to date.
Larry Johnson, Ohio State’s defensive line coach, is a major proponent of the June prospect camp system and relishes the opportunity to work with potential future players. He sees it as an opportunity to both develop recruits and show them what Ohio State has to offer.
“Any time you get a kid on campus who’s an elite player, you want to show them what they’re going to get. You want to show them how they can be developed and what kind of drills there are that they’ve probably never done before that you’ll get to develop their skill sets and I think that’s critical,” Johnson recently opined to gathered media. “I think that’s one of the things that’s important that we get done when they come to camp.”
In the 2018 recruiting class, Ohio State signed two New Jersey defensive linemen — Ramsey Don Bosco Prep defensive tackle Tyler Friday and Oradell Bergen Catholic defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste. The Buckeyes hold one commitment from New Jersey in the 2019 recruiting class, safety Ronnie Hickman of Wayne DePaul Catholic.
Hickman is one of the most recent additions to Ohio State’s recruiting class — you can read more about his commitment and what it means for the Buckeyes here. All three of the aforementioned New Jersey recruits were on hand on Saturday for the Buckeyes’ spring game.
Florida receiver has Ohio State in top group
If you’ve followed recruiting for any length of time, you know that it’s a bit of madhouse down in Florida. Recruiting in the Sunshine State is just a bit different than it is anywhere else, for whatever reason. Any school that wants to go down and land the top recruits from the state has to dive into that madness, and Ohio State is no exception.
On Wednesday, 2020 wide receiver Leonard Manuel of Ocala (Fla.) Vanguard tweeted out his top 11 schools, including the Buckeyes alongside Florida’s big three and many other blue-blood college football programs. Manuel is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound sophomore with more than 30 offers, already regarded as one of the top 15 prospects in the 2020 class by 247Sports.
Manuel has never tweeted an offer from Ohio State, but a source shared that he does indeed have a scholarship from the Buckeyes. Of course, like most early offers to prospects who have yet to visit campus, it’s impossible to gauge the seriousness of mutual interest between the two parties until Manuel visits campus. A player of his talent is worth the early look from Ohio State and if he gets to campus, well then we can all start considering him a target with a chance to end up there.
Manuel is a former commit of both Miami and Tennessee. He was committed to the Volunteers for a little more than a month last summer. His commitment to the Hurricanes lasted longer, running from Nov. 12 until Tuesday, a little more than five months.
Cross a name off the board
Michigan linebacker Marcel Lewis is a player we’ve discussed with some regularity in Dotting the Eyes. The 2019 3-star prospect from Clinton Township (Mich.) Chippewa Valley has greatly wished for an offer from the Buckeyes and described his trip to Ohio State in the spring as “by far his best visit yet” to any school when speaking with Land of 10.
However, as is the case for many other prospects, the Ohio State offer never came for Lewis. He chose to not wait any longer for that scholarship offer. On Wednesday, the 6-1, 205-pound Lewis committed to Michigan State, shunning Michigan, Iowa and several other Big Ten offers. He is ranked as the No. 25 inside linebacker and No. 690 prospect overall by the 247Sports composite rankings.
Ohio State does not yet have a linebacker committed, but the Buckeyes are in fantastic shape with Mansfield (Ohio) Lexington 4-star prospect Cade Stover, who will make his official visit to Columbus beginning on Friday. Other top Buckeyes linebacker targets include 5-star Virginia linebacker Brandon Smith; 4-star prospects Rian Davis of Florida, Lance Dixon of Michigan, Kane Patterson of Tennessee and Osita Ekwonu of North Carolina; and 3-star recruits Keith Maguire of Pennsylvania and Marcus Tillman Jr. of Florida.
If the Buckeyes choose to offer an Ohio linebacker other than Stover to fill out the class, there are several prominent options available. It’s a bumper crop in Ohio in 2019 at linebacker and along the defensive and offensive lines. The five main names to watch among Ohio linebackers are Tommy Eichenberg, Luke Fulton, Jestin Jacobs, Jamir Thomas and Dezman Cooper.
“We’re looking for young men that fit our culture and our style of defense. There’s a lot of great ones in Ohio and we’re excited about pursuing all of them. … I think it means more to [Ohio recruits], their families, and their culture. I think with the way they were brought up, their town, I think they’re more invested in Ohio State and its brand than, say, a California kid might be,” linebackers coach Bill Davis said, although he went on to issue a disclaimer that recruits from other states could certainly fit that bill as well.
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.