Ohio State is back to 15 verbal commitments in its No. 2-ranked 2017 recruiting class. Ann Arbor (Mich.) Pioneer LB Antjuan Simmons has decommitted from the Buckeyes, announcing his decision on Twitter moments ago Wednesday night.
After talking to my mom and people I'm close to I have decided to re-open my recruiting process. No interviews please. Thank you.
— Antjuan Simmons (@_antjuan_) December 1, 2016
Simmons, the country’s 19th-ranked outside linebacker, committed to the Buckeyes in March. A participant at Nike’s The Opening this summer, Simmons had been a solid commitment for months.
In November, he took a visit to Michigan State — and did so without telling the Ohio State coaching staff — and rumors began to swirl about a potential disruption in his recruitment. That seemed to be put to rest in recent weeks, though, and especially after he took his official visit with the Buckeyes for their home game against Michigan last weekend.
On Sunday of this week, though, more rumors picked up that may have impacted the solidity of his stance. First, Ohio State linebackers coach Luke Fickell’s name had begun to be tossed around as a potential head coaching candidate. Then, Notre Dame commit Pete Werner decommitted from the Irish after a visit to Ohio State. And now, 5-star linebacker Baron Browning appears to be, once more, leaning toward a Buckeyes commitment.
Whether it was one of those rumors — or perhaps some combination of all the questions that have arisen — that led to the decommitment remains to be seen. Regardless of exactly why, Simmons will no longer be a member of the Ohio State 2017 recruiting class. Expect Michigan State, Arizona, Notre Dame and others to all be in play.
Land of 10 will have more on Simmons’ decommitment as it becomes available.