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Ohio State will welcome 4-star QB Sam Howell to campus
Ohio State is off to a hot start for quarterback recruiting in the 2019 class. Although the Buckeyes have not yet landed a commitment at the position, Ohio State has hosted three quarterbacks with offers so far in March: 4-star pro-style quarterback Grant Gunnell (St. Pius X/Houston), 4-star dual-threat quarterback Max Duggan (Lewis Central/Council Bluffs, Iowa) and 3-star dual-threat Maryland quarterback Jalon Jones (St. Frances Academy/Baltimore) all have made it to Ohio State during the first two weekends of March.
The Buckeyes will add another visitor to that list of standout quarterbacks this weekend, when 4-star pro-style passer Sam Howell (Sun Valley/Monroe, N.C.) will make his first visit to campus since receiving an offer from Ohio State on Jan. 12. Howell had planned to visit later in the month but had to rescheduled.
“Sam is still planning to visit Ohio State. We had actually planned to come up March 25 and 26, but it looks like he’s going to go down to Atlanta for the Nike camp that weekend now,” Duke Howell, Sam’s father and coach, told Land of 10 earlier this month. “We just found that out today, so we’re going to find another date to come up.”
The Howell family has found that replacement date and will be making a two-day trip to Ohio State beginning Sunday.
“Our plan is to come up Sunday night and go to watch practice on Monday,” Howell’s father said. “We went to West Virginia last Sunday on March 4 and visited Clemson again [March 12]. We have a trip to Florida later this month to visit the University of Florida on March 30 and to Florida State on March 31. We don’t have any visits planned after that.”
Howell is a 6-foot-1, 217-pound pro-style passer, the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the 247Sports composite rankings. He has an impressive list of more than 30 schools that includes Clemson, Alabama, North Carolina, Michigan, Miami (Fla.), Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and several other major programs.
It might be too early to seriously handicap Ohio State’s quarterback recruiting efforts. The target board is still expanding for the Buckeyes at the position, but Howell certainly is in the top tier of targets for the Buckeyes. Gunnell seems to be Ohio State’s other key target at the moment. Jones and Duggan are intriguing options, but their planned April commitments do not seem to line up with Ohio State’s preferred evaluation timetables at the position.
Is Jase Bowen one to watch?
Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic wide receiver Jase Bowen quietly has emerged as one of the top football prospects in Ohio’s 2019 class. Bowen has been committed to Notre Dame as a baseball player (shortstop, to be exact) since May 2017, but his profile as a football recruit steadily has risen and possibly has eclipsed his level of attention as a baseball recruit.
Today, Bowen backed off of his Notre Dame pledge, as first reported by 247Sports analyst Allen Trieu and confirmed by Land of 10. His decision seems to be a direct result of the heavy increase in recruiting attention that has flowed his way over the last month. Bowen was one of the breakout stars of the Under Armour All-America camp in Geneva, Ohio, on Feb. 18, starring as a sure-handed and explosive wide receiver and making defensive backs look silly.
— Allen Trieu (@AllenTrieu) March 13, 2018
Bowen held a few football offers — Minnesota, Toledo, Western Michigan, Bowling Green and Akron — before his breakout camp performance, but the attention has taken off since then. Michigan State, Kentucky, Iowa State, Virginia, Cincinnati, Kent State, Army, Yale, and others have offered in the wake of Bowen’s camp performance. Ohio State and Notre Dame are keeping close tabs and evaluating Bowen.
Bowen isn’t a huge prospect and doesn’t fit the typical mold of what Ohio State has looked for in its wide receivers under Buckeyes wide receivers coach Zach Smith, but it seems possible that he could play himself into an offer. Ohio State likely will want to see Bowen work out for them during the June camp season before making a decision, but he’s already placed himself on the short list of Ohio prospects with a real chance to earn a Buckeyes offer in the 2019 cycle, alongside players such as Rodas Johnson.
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