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.
A bit more insight into the Sevyn Banks commitment
In the event that you missed it on Wednesday evening, Ohio State landed its ninth commitment in its 2018 recruiting class. The player, Sevyn Banks, is a 4-star cornerback from Orlando (Fla.) Jones High School, though he spent his first two seasons of high school football at The First Academy, also in Orlando.
This commitment came a bit out of left field, though perhaps there was some clue in the excitement Banks had about his first-ever visit to Columbus, which he made on April 15 for the Buckeyes spring game. He’s the country’s 22nd-ranked cornerback and a player who holds scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State, LSU and a host of other big names. It was regular communication with Ohio State since being offered three months ago – from a trio of Buckeyes coaches, Urban Meyer, Tony Alford and Kerry Coombs – that helped move Ohio State into the front of his mind.
Then he visited and was blown away. On Wednesday, Coombs visited Jones High School and voila! Banks became commit No. 9 for 2018. As far as what Ohio State is getting from the 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back, that’s kind of up in the air, honestly. He’s fully recovered from a torn left ACL he suffered in April 2016, which is good, but there’s very little tape or record of him against top-tier competition, which is bad.
But again, he’s 6-foot-1 and 180-plus pounds and still clocked in with an electronically timed 4.5 second time in the 40-yard dash. That’s good.
There’s high upside, but there are questions. As with most Florida prospects, the reality is that an early commitment (and yes, this still qualifies as early) comes with an asterisk; most players down south who commit aren’t shutting down their recruitment completely, so we’ll see if Banks does.
The bottom line here? Sevyn Banks is a really good player who committed to Ohio State after one visit to Columbus, which isn’t unusual by any stretch. In 2017, both Haskell Garrett and J.K. Dobbins issued verbal commitments before ever stepping foot on campus, so stranger things have happened.
Teradja Mitchell situation unchanged; FSU visit coming
A few weeks ago, there was a serious commitment watch in Columbus. The Buckeyes awaited word as to whether or not 5-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell would pull the trigger before he left campus after a two-day visit at Ohio State.
He didn’t, and that’s OK. All the momentum in Mitchell’s recruitment has been trending in Ohio State’s direction since before that visit, and it continues to be at the very top of his list of schools. On Wednesday, Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith was in Virginia, checking in on the country’s second-ranked inside linebacker.
Things continue to look positive for the Buckeyes, though there’s a big visit on the horizon for Mitchell that could pose the final significant threat to an eventual Ohio State verbal commitment: Florida State.
“I’m definitely getting back to Tallahassee,” Mitchell told Land of 10 Wednesday. “I’m going May 12-13.”
The Seminoles were the supposed favorite in this race for some time, or at least until Ohio State popped up. They’ll get a final shot to sway him before an expected late May decision is made. It remains unknown if he’ll make a trip to Clemson as he has said he would. He was expected to visit the Tigers last weekend but didn’t make the visit.
Julian Barnett, Devontae Dobbs and Ohio State
It’s probably too early to get worked up about, but there appears to be a bit of an opportunity for the Buckeyes inside of the state of Michigan if they choose to explore it.
Belleville stars Devontae Dobbs and Julian Barnett, both Top 100 players in the Class of 2019, each opted to visit Ohio State on April 15 for the Buckeyes spring game rather than head to Ann Arbor for Michigan’s game. Why? I asked a source in Michigan that morning (sorry, I was on vacation the day after and this week hasn’t afforded the chance to tell this story yet) why they were in Columbus rather than visiting the Wolverines.
“Michigan,” the source shared, “isn’t giving them any love.”
Now, I know Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan staff are aware of Dobbs and Barnett. They’re the No. 9 and No. 98-ranked players respectively in the 2019 class, so these aren’t under-the-radar kids. They’re at a high school 40 minutes away from Ann Arbor and coached by Jermain Crowell, a former assistant at Detroit Cass Tech who helped to develop Damon Webb, Mike Weber, Josh Alabi and a number of other Technicians and Detroit-area prospects for life in the Big Ten.
Do not expect this sort of disinterest to last that long. There’s no doubt Michigan, like Ohio State does inside of Ohio, believes it can operate a bit more deliberately with in-state prospects. As Michigan State’s program continues to find itself in some troubling times, the Wolverines are able – perhaps more than ever – to take their time in going after Michigan’s best players. A year ago, Michigan had two commitments in its 2018 class, both from Ohio, and both ranked as Top 10 players in the Buckeye State; neither Leonard Taylor nor Antwuan Johnson were committed to the Wolverines four months later. Recruiting hard in your home state too early can sometimes put you in a difficult position, so there’s got to be some discretion.
Kerry Coombs is a master at relationship building, and he’s already got a foot in the door at Belleville because of the relationship with Crowell. Ohio State has been very good to Webb, Weber and Alabi, through ups and downs for each player. That goes a long, long way in recruiting.
There’s a lot of time left for both Michigan and Ohio State to make a move with this pair, but today it’s the Buckeyes in the driver’s seat. Can they keep that spot for almost two years? They’ve done it before.