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.
Jake Kradel names his top 7, sets decision date
The wait for another offensive lineman to join Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class is focused on players such as Jackson Carman, most certainly, but we’ve talked at length about Butler (Pa.) 3-star Jake Kradel since he received his Buckeyes offer on April 5. That discussion is going to accelerate over the next month as he’s now set a firm date — June 10 — for a college commitment and narrowed his college choices from 23 to a final seven schools.
‼️Top 7‼️ pic.twitter.com/u3v4MdATQx
— Jake Kradel (@JakeKradel) May 4, 2017
As expected, Ohio State is on the list. The Buckeyes have been the presumed leader since his March 25 trip to Columbus, and that thought gained some steam when he spent another day on campus during the Ohio State spring football game.
There has been some discussion in recent weeks about whether Kradel is as high a priority for the Buckeyes as he is for the other schools on his list. Ohio State was not forced to offer him when they did, and the Buckeyes are a cut above the rest of the schools on his final list. It would seem that the Buckeyes are the team to beat.
One thing that I find interesting about his upcoming announcement? The date. Ohio State’s first one-day recruiting camp this summer is June 9: I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kradel in attendance.
Brian Snead invited to Polynesian Bowl
In case you’ve forgotten, Armwood (Seffner, Fla.) 4-star running back Brian Snead is committed to Ohio State. The country’s fourth-ranked tailback committed verbally to the Buckeyes last July and has vanished from the recruiting scene since.
Today, he reappeared, albeit briefly. It was announced that Snead will participate in the 2018 Polynesian Bowl, set for Jan. 20 in Hawaii.
— Polynesian Bowl (@polynesiabowl) May 5, 2017
Snead will join a handful of the country’s best prospects in Hawaii — and, hopefully, me because that would be a good trip to take following the College Football Playoff — in this, the newest of the All-America Games. The Polynesian Bowl has begun to attract interest from recruits because its later date allows players to participate in it as well as another game, such as the Under Armour All-America Game or the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Some Ohio State targets, including Jeremy Ruckert and Micah Parsons, also will make the trek.
There seemingly are few players in the country more private than Snead, who has not returned to Columbus since he committed following the Buckeyes’ 2016 version of Friday Night Lights. Snead told Land of 10 recently that his silence is by design.
“Things are going pretty good,” he said. “I’m just working hard.”
Ohio State RB commit Brian Snead finds the hole pic.twitter.com/30F3FF1Wkq
— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) May 2, 2017
As you’d expect, other schools still hope to sway the 5-foot-11, 200-pound tailback. So far, Snead has avoided their overtures, thanks to help at his high school.
“My coach keeps them off me,” Snead said. “So I’m good.”
Alabama in Ohio … again
There’s a weird feeling in the air anytime Alabama comes into Ohio and starts offering a bunch of Buckeye State-born players. That happened a few months back when the Crimson Tide offered Joseph Scates and Tavion Thomas from Dayton Dunbar, as well as Xavier Peters and Tyler Bentley from Lakota West. Ohio State responded to that wave by offering Thomas, but have not felt obligated to offer any of the others.
Thursday, Alabama made more rounds in Ohio, offering four prospects, including two who hold an Ohio State offer, in the 2018 and 2019 classes.
In the 2018 class, it was Springfield’s Leonard Taylor, a former Michigan commit whose uncle, Ormonde Ricketts, played for Woody Hayes.
— Lenny T ? (@Lenny_T_20) May 4, 2017
Taylor has an Ohio State offer, but it’s uncertain where he fits into the Buckeyes’ plans as he bounces back and forth between tight end and defensive tackle — or offensive line, where I think he should play but he doesn’t want to. He has not been a priority for the Buckeyes.
Alabama also offered Moses Douglass, a 4-star cornerback at Springfield who is the 17th-ranked cornerback in the Class of 2019. Douglass does not have an Ohio State offer but has spent a lot of time on campus with the Buckeyes.
Alabama stayed in the 2019 class and went back to Lakota West, offering defensive lineman Steven Faucheux. The defensive end is a big-time prospect who has a high ceiling, but he doesn’t have an Ohio State offer.
The Tide’s final offer, to likely 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison from Lewis Center, is the one that probably matters the most. Not all offers are created equal, as we all know.
Make no mistake. There’s a certain amount of gamesmanship at play between Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. If I were a player of Leonard Taylor’s caliber, and I wanted to go to Ohio State, I would try to accept that Alabama offer ASAP to see if it’s real or not. I suspect it’s an offer that comes with some provisions.
Eventually, Alabama will begin accepting commitments from Ohio-born prospects — even if they have no intention of signing them — just to try to force the Buckeyes hand.