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Sampson James comments on his commitment
If you missed all of the hubbub around 4-star Indiana running back Sampson James’ commitment to Ohio State on Monday, make sure to check out all of the links below for Land of 10’s wall-to-wall coverage and analysis of his decision.
- Buckeyes add top-flight RB to 2019 class
- James’ gives Ohio State blue-chip, bell-cow back
- Twitter reacts to James’ commitment
- Video analysis and Q&A on James’ commitment and impact on the Buckeyes
James also talked to 247Sports analyst Steve Wiltfong on Monday, and acknowledged the role his unofficial visit to Columbus last weekend played in the decision.
“I got a lot of my questions answered,” the 247Sports composite’s No. 8 running back in the Class of 2019 told Wiltfong. “[Buckeyes running back Antonio Williams and I] went out to dinner and talked, talked to some of the other players, talked to a lot of players and they told me straight up everything I see is real.”
James has been in near-constant communication with Ohio State since his November offer and the Buckeyes have immersed him in the culture of the program and what they have to offer to recruits. Indeed, James hit many of the same high notes that the coaches utilize heavily on the recruiting trail.
“Great people. A lot of people that care for each other. Just outstanding coaches they have and the tradition they have there, they really develop their guys, they prepare you for life. I feel like their brand is world wide. Huge brand,” James told Wiltfong. “It will be amazing to play in front of that many people and just get to represent them. I just feel like it’s a great opportunity. They’re going to develop me and have a career for me after football.”
One of the “great people” who was critical in landing James was Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford. Alford helped shepherd Ezekiel Elliott to the NFL in his first season in the position and has only continued to grow. When James signs, he’ll be the fourth running back Alford has recruited to Ohio State, joining J.K. Dobbins, Master Teague, and Brian Snead.
And all three of those players were ranked in the top 11 at their position in their respective class (Dobbins was ranked No. 2, Snead No. 3 and Teague No. 11).
“Coach Alford is an amazing coach,” James told BuckeyeGrove.com recruiting analyst Marc Givler. “He’s a great guy. Definitely one of the main reasons, I’m going there. Just the relationship I have with him, he really cares about his players. I talked to the other running backs and they all say he’s a good dude.”
Any Given Saturday?
Forgive the Any Given Sunday pun, but you may see a few more of them the next several months. Willie Beamen may not be available to suit up for the Buckeyes, but Ohio State remains heavily involved with Chesterfield (Va.) Lloyd C. Bird defensive lineman Hakeem Beamon. Depending on which recruiting network you ask, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Beamon is either a defensive tackle or a strongside defensive end.
Beamon committed to North Carolina in June 2017 but de-committed from the Tar Heels on Monday afternoon. Beamon frequently visited other campuses while committed and major offers from Alabama, Penn State, Ohio State, and other programs made this feel somewhat inevitable.
Ohio State has yet to host Beamon for a visit, but did send coaches to see him at his high school during the contact period. He’ll also soon change the fact that he hasn’t seen campus. As first reported by Rivals.com recruiting analyst Adam Friedman and later confirmed to Land of 10 by Beamon, he’ll make an unofficial visit to Ohio State on April 1. Even before the visit, though, the Buckeyes are beginning to stand out for Beamon.
“I’d say that Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, and South Carolina are my top four right now,” Beamon told Friedman. “Ohio State has a great track record with their outside linebackers and defensive ends, especially with coach Larry Johnson. I just want to meet him, some of the players, and ask them some questions.”
The Buckeyes will likely want to determine whether Beamon can play defensive end or if he’ll have to be a defensive tackle before they decide if he’s a “take.” The numbers are much more open at defensive end than defensive tackle for Ohio State in 2019. After landing the Nos. 1 and 3 high school defensive tackles and the No. 1 JUCO defensive tackle in the 2018 class, the Buckeyes may not take a single defensive tackle in 2019.
On the 247Sports composite rankings, Beamon is ranked as the No. 20 defensive tackle, the No. 7 prospect in Virginia, and the No. 318 prospect overall in the 2019 class.
Ohio State offers a 5-star receiver
The Buckeyes are among the latest programs to offer 5-star wide receiver Frank Ladson, a 6-4, 170-pound standout from Miami South Dade. Ladson is ranked as the No. 15 prospect overall in the 2019 class, the No. 3 prospect in Florida and the No. 3 wide receiver nationally in a loaded year at the position.
— Frank Ladson Jr.™ (@_FrankLadson) March 19, 2018
Ohio State was the 30th offer for Ladson (he landed No. 31 from Oregon shortly afterward) and he holds one of the most illustrious offer lists in the country. Ohio State, Clemson, Miami, Georgia, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, and LSU are just some of his two dozen Power 5 scholarship offers.
Depending on which position some of the athletes Ohio State has offered project to in college, the Buckeyes have some 30-plus scholarships to wide receivers already in the 2019 class.
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