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.
Buckeyes feeling Blue again?
Recruiting, my friends, can be a fickle mistress.
After months when it seemed that things were going the wrong direction when it came to the recruitment of L’Christian “Blue” Smith, it appears that has changed, and quickly.
On Wednesday, Smith made the short drive from Huber Heights, Ohio, to Columbus with his father for a sit-down with Urban Meyer, a meeting that was expected to happen around the time of the Buckeyes spring game but did not for reasons unknown.
The visit went well, according to Smith’s Twitter feed.
— 9lue⁶𓅓 (@bluesmith_) May 11, 2017
So what happened? Where did this sudden shift in momentum come from? First and foremost, according to a source close to the recruitment, Ohio State reiterated to Smith that he can play wide receiver for the Buckeyes, though many believe he could develop into a player similar to Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed, despite the fact that Smith is almost 4 inches taller.
Reed played at Florida and was recruited by Urban Meyer, and if things go in the direction I think they will from here, it will be Meyer at the fore of Blue Smith’s recruitment.
Whether it’s at wide receiver, or an H-back role similar to how Meyer used Aaron Hernandez at Florida, I think the odds of Blue playing for the Buckeyes have gone way, way up.
He’s one of Ohio’s premier athletes, and there’s never been a doubt about if he can play at the Ohio State level, it was just a matter of where. That seems to have been ironed out. Expect a decision from Smith before the end of the summer. He intends to enroll early at whichever school he chooses.
Carman and Dobbs? Dare to dream?
Here’s a fun thing for Ohio State fans to consider: an offensive line in the year 2020 anchored by a junior named Jackson Carman and a sophomore named Devontae Dobbs.
Again this Sunday that pair will work side by side at a national recruiting camp/combine to improve themselves. You’d think that in that setting, the two 5-star talents would start to talk about how their futures could potentially intersect, but that isn’t the case, according to Dobbs. They talk, yes, but it hasn’t been about college.
“It’s a friendly rivalry,” Dobbs said with a smile Wednesday morning when asked about competition with Carman. “It’s more like respect. I see these guys at every camp. He’s trying to get work just like, trying to compete, just like me. We all just want to get better.
“We don’t talk that much, just talk about having a good camp, where we’ll go after it and what other camps we’ll be going to.”
Talking to Dobbs at Belleville High School earlier this week, it seemed evident to me that two things are worth watching in his recruitment: The first is that teams outside of Michigan, including Auburn and Ohio State, have a real shot to land him. Second? This kid has barely begun to tap the limits of his potential. He’s every bit of 6-foot-5 and a lean 275 pounds, but he runs like a guy 50 pounds lighter.
Someone is going to get a star in Devontae Dobbs, and there’s no doubt that if the Buckeyes can pair him up with a player like Carman the future of the Ohio State offensive line would be very bright.
(But first they need to get Carman on board, eh?)
Julian Barnett staying coy
As mentioned, I was at Belleville High School in Michigan on Wednesday, and aside from seeing Devontae Dobbs, I was there to see 2019 wide receiver/defensive back Julian Barnett. He’s a 4-star prospect and a top-100 player, and he’s hoping the Buckeyes could be the next school to offer him a scholarship.
“Ohio State,” Barnett told Land of 10 when asked what school he believes is close to offering. “It’d be big, it’d be big.”
A 6-foot-2, 175-pound athlete, Barnett is explosive. He’s one of the Midwest’s best wide receiver prospects but is being recruited by Ohio State as a cornerback. That’s where Kerry Coombs comes in: He’s recruiting Barnett like he does with most Detroit-area prospects.
“Coach Coombs calls (Belleville head coach Jermain) Crowell,” he said. “Kerry wants me to be a defensive back, but Urban Meyer wants me to be a wide receiver. They argue over me on the phone. I just want to play.”
Buckeyes offer 2019 in-state offensive lineman
If Ohio State is looking for some sort of barometer to determine exactly how strong its brand is in Ohio, it may have found one.
Thursday, the Buckeyes offered 2019 offensive lineman Nolan Rumler, a two-time state champion and two-year starter along the offensive for Akron Archbishop Hoban High School.
I am very excited to say that I have received an offer from The Ohio State University !!! ⭕️🙌🏻❗️⭕️ pic.twitter.com/mJPUl84Pj8
— Nolan Rumler (@steamboat_70) May 11, 2017
Rumler plays in Ohio but he was born in Jackson, Mich., and is a dyed-in-the-wool Wolverines fan. He has an offer from Michigan and the country’s 121st-ranked prospect in the Class of 2019 has a 247Sports.com crystal ball that is 100 percent maize-and-blue tinted.
So, landing him won’t be easy. The offer is a good place to start, though, and the culmination of a recent increase in attention from the Buckeyes, led by quarterbacks coach Ryan Day.
Michigan, Alabama, Michigan State and Georgia are among the teams to have offered Rumler to this point. Can the Buckeyes swing the momentum back in their favor? Only time will tell.