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.
Strong week of visits on tap for Ohio State
As of this weekend, spring break has ended at Ohio State. That means Buckeyes football players and coaches will resume spring practice on Tuesday, with sessions also scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The Buckeyes also are holding their pro day on Thursday, inviting NFL scouts, executives and coaches to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The return into the flow of spring practice gives the Buckeyes opportunities to host several visitors during the upcoming week.
Sampson James — 4-star running back, Avon (Ind.)
The Buckeyes hosted James on Sunday for his first unofficial visit to campus since being offered on Nov. 5. He’s also made recent unofficial visits to Indiana (Feb. 23), Tennessee (March 3), and Michigan (March 10). James previously planned to visit Ohio State on Monday, but the rescheduling of a practice switched up his plans.
Sam Howell — 4-star quarterback, Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley
Howell, the No. 4 pro-style passer in the 2019 class according to the 247Sports composite rankings, is also set to make his first unofficial visit since being offered. Howell previously visited Ohio State in June for a spring camp, but was not offered until Jan. 12. He holds over 30 offers and is one of the most coveted prospects in the country. Howell’s father told Land of 10 that the visit is scheduled to begin Sunday night and run through Monday.
Marcus Tillman Jr. — 3-star linebacker, Orlando (Fla.) Jones
On Thursday, the Buckeyes will host Tillman Jr. for an unofficial visit, his second visit to Ohio State of the recruiting process. Tillman previously visited Columbus on Oct. 28, witnessing the Buckeyes defeat Penn State in Ohio Stadium. He is the former teammate of Sevyn Banks, an early enrollee freshman at Ohio State who has been with the team since January.
Tillman also has visits on tap to Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, USC, and Florida (where he was formerly committed) and recently visited Clemson earlier this month. Ohio State, Clemson, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisville and Virginia Tech are among Tillman’s top schools.
Friday will see the Buckeyes welcome a trio of highly-rated prospects to campus for their first time as visitors.
Garrett Wilson – 4-star wide receiver, Austin (Texas) Lake Travis
For the first time since being offered, Wilson will make his way to campus as a recruit. Wilson has been to Ohio State countless times, as he spent all of his childhood through his middle school years growing up in Dublin (Ohio), a Columbus suburb, but this will be his first visit as a recruit.
Wilson is a top-100 prospect nationally, ranked as the No. 14 wide receiver in 2019, and his recruitment feels like a two-team battle between his two hometown schools, Ohio State and Texas. This visit will be critical for the Buckeyes to swing momentum away from the Longhorns.
Keith Maguire — 3-star linebacker, Malvern (Pa.) Prep
Maguire will travel to Columbus from the Philadelphia area for his first trip to Ohio State. This will be just the fourth visit of the recruiting process for Maguire, who’s also taken trips to Northwestern (Jan. 26), Notre Dame (Jan. 27), and Clemson (March 3). Maguire holds over 20 scholarship offers, and the vast majority of them — including Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, and other powerhouse programs — have come in the last two months.
Brayden Liebrock — 3-star tight end, Chandler (Ariz.)
Finally, Liebrock will make his first visit to campus as well. Liebrock has quickly shot up Ohio State’s 2019 tight end board, and the 3-star prospect, ranked as the No. 14 tight end in the class, seems like a major name to watch for Buckeyes fans. Liebrock’s trip was first reported by 247Sports analyst Steve Wiltfong and later confirmed by Land of 10.
It’s safe to say that it’s a colossal visit week for the Buckeyes as their efforts to expand the 2019 recruiting class continue. Ohio State will be in the mix for the recruiting national championship once again in 2019 after finishing with the second-ranked class in each of the last two cycles.
Ohio State makes top 10 for California receiver
Mycah Pittman remains one of the more intriguing prospects in Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting efforts. Ohio State offered Pittman — ranked as the No. 9 wide receiver and No. 52 prospect overall nationally in 2019 — on Feb. 1 and it looks like they’ll be a player for him for the foreseeable future. The Buckeyes recently made Pittman’s top 10 alongside Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, UCLA, and Washington State.
TOP 10 ‼️ pic.twitter.com/FaosnP7CKM
— mycah pittman '19 (@MycahPittman) March 18, 2018
Pittman is fresh off unofficial visits to Florida (March 17) and Alabama (Feb. 24), the two most recent trips of the recruiting process. Pittman previously told Land of 10 that he planned to visit Ohio State on March 3, but the visit was canceled because of stormy weather and he has yet to reschedule.
Although the Buckeyes have yet to host Pittman on campus, there are some interesting factors working in their favor. Pittman previously described Ohio State as one of his dream offers in a conversation with me and has been quoted as saying he would prefer to leave California and play his college football out-of-state. Pittman’s father is Super Bowl-winning running back Michael Pittman, who captured a ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003. Much of the younger Pittman’s childhood was spent around the state of Florida, and he seems more tied to that area than California.
There’s not too much stock to put into Ohio State’s odds with Pittman until he actually gets to campus. However, Zach Smith is pursuing the California product hard. After the Ohio State wide receivers coach’s success in stealing Southern California native Chris Olave out from under UCLA and Chip Kelly in the 2018 class, it would be wise to not count out the Buckeyes.
Buckeyes target David Bell balls out
Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central wide receiver David Bell is a 4-star prospect and the No. 13 wide receiver in the 2019 class, as well as being one of the Buckeyes’ most prominent 2019 targets. The future college football prospect made headlines on the hardwood this weekend as the mania of Indiana’s high school basketball state tournament is overtaking Hoosier land.
Bell led his high school teammates on an improbable comeback in the state semifinals against New Albany (Ind.) and their superstar Romeo Langford, a 5-star prospect and the No. 1 shooting guard in the nation. Warren Central trailed New Albany by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter. Despite their deficit and Langford’s elite billing as a prospect, it was Bell who came out on top.
Bell scored the game-tying and game-winning shots for his team, tying the game at 62-all on a layup with 38 seconds left and burying a banked-in runner to end New Albany’s season as time expired. Each of Bell’s final two shots were going directly at Langford in a battle between the state’s top football and basketball prospects, respectively. He finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists on the night.
Check out footage of both of Bell’s two huge shots from the weekend, beginning with two angles of the game-winner and showing the game-tying layup at the end.
I've watched a lot of great Indiana high school basketball in person, and this moment definitely ranks as one of the most exciting I've seen. Congrats @WarriorNation_1 and @TheRealDBell_ ! See more and hear from the hero coming up on @WISH_TV at 10! pic.twitter.com/kB5OlPVcXO
— Brian Eckstein (@BrianEckstein) March 18, 2018
— Champions Network (@IHSAAtv) March 17, 2018
— Greg Braggs Jr. (@GBraggsJr) March 18, 2018
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