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 for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
NCAA officially passes an early signing period
The NCAA finally instituted an early signing period for college football. Don’t expect Ohio State coach Urban Meyer to throw a party over it.
The new rule allows recruits beginning with the class of 2018 this winter to sign with a school for a 72-hour period beginning Dec. 20. Meyer has railed against having an early signing period numerous times over the last few years. His most recent defense of the current system came last September, when he pointed out that de-commitments are still better than having a player end up at the wrong school and transfer.
“We’re absolutely opposed to that,” he said. “I hear the reasoning is because there’s so many de-commitments. What the hell does that (mean)? So because 17-year-olds are de-committing, let’s give them a legal document so they can’t de-commit? That’s not very smart. Young people have a right to choose where they want to go to school. Period. Let them de-commit 100 times. They’re 17 years old.
“So I don’t understand, whether it’s lazy, whether it’s… I don’t understand why there’s this big push. Now they want to have official visits in their junior year. There are some kids that don’t even have ACT scores. Their bodies are gaining 12 pounds. Why not move it back to their sophomore year? It’s bizarre. You’re going to see more transfers and more mistakes made in recruiting than ever if they keep pushing this thing up.”
The support of the proposals came from smaller schools tired of having elite programs flip their players at the last minute.
Spoke to a non-Power5 coach thrilled about new early signing period: "We hustle to get em evaluated & then big schools swoop in & poach em."
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) May 8, 2017
It’s a terrible rule for players who want to end up at a better program, though. In 2017, Ohio State flipped 3-star wide receiver Ellijah Gardiner from Missouri. Gardiner likely would have signed with Missouri had an early signing period in place. It’s at least possible that some players will continue to chase dream offers and delay signing, but the prevailing logic is that schools will leverage that against them by threatening to pull scholarships if they don’t sign early.
That’s to say nothing of what will happen when a coach signs a player Dec. 20 and then gets a new job a week later.
It shouldn’t impact Ohio State too much, however, since the Buckeyes have made fewer and fewer last-minute flips from smaller programs as their recruiting has improved even more. Still, Ohioans in situations similar to Brady Taylor, DaVon Hamilton and Robert Landers, who flipped to Ohio State late in the process, might not get the chance those players did to play for their home-state school going forward.
Ohio State basketball hosts a key visitor
As it looks to land another impact player, Ohio State basketball hosted M.J. Walker, a 4-star shooting guard in the 247Sports composite rankings, over the weekend.
The news was first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
2017 SG M.J. Walker officially visited Ohio State over the weekend, per multiple sources. Five-Star prospect.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 8, 2017
College basketball’s second signing period runs through May 17, and Walker is one of only a handful of top recruits who have not signed or committed to a school yet. He took an official visit to Florida State in the fall and officially visited Virginia Tech on April 22 before traveling to Columbus to see the Buckeyes. A Georgia native, he has also unofficially visited Georgia Tech recently.
Jones is the No. 4 shooting guard in the Class of 2017 and No. 25 overall prospect. Landing him would be a huge coup for Thad Matta as Ohio State looks to return to the NCAA Tournament after two straight misses.
Whatever happened to Marcelys Jones?
It feels like it’s been forever since Marcelys Jones played at Ohio State, but in reality it’s been less than two years since the offensive lineman and the Buckeyes “amicably” parted.
Jones transferred to Kentucky, but he didn’t even make it to the start of the season before he was dismissed for a violation of team rules. He never found another landing spot, and in college football a two-year absence can feel interminable.
However, Jones’ name has finally resurfaced, and it looks like he’s hunting for a second chance. Tom Archdeacon of the Dayton Daily News caught up with Jones, who is looking for another shot at college football.
In late April, Jones took a visit to Central State, a Division II program in Wilberforce, Ohio. According to Jones and his uncle, Anthony Ross, he’s either visited or gotten interest from FBS program Fresno State, FCS team Youngstown State and Division II teams Central State, Tuskegee, Clark-Atlanta and North Alabama.
Jones played at Cleveland Glenville with Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith. Lattimore was recently chosen No. 11 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, while Jones is still looking for a landing spot to resuscitate his college career.
“This whole situation humbled him,” Ross told the Dayton Daily News. “It’s made him really hungry and he realizes he needs to be on the field. He’s watching the guys who came in with him at Ohio State — like Marshon Lattimore — and he knows he could make it, too.”