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.
Let’s get real about Jackson Carman
This is going to hurt, probably, if you’re a Buckeyes fan, but it’s time to cut to the heart of the matter, at least as I see it.
There’s a good chance that Jackson Carman, the country’s No. 2-ranked offensive tackle and a 5-star prospect from Fairfield, Ohio, isn’t interested in attending Ohio State next year.
Though the Buckeyes, along with Clemson and USC, remain at the top of his public list, it seems there’s a growing concern that the 6-foot-6, 340-pound Carman isn’t just “playing the game” with respect to his recruitment and would prefer to go away from home for college.
Which is fine, of course. It’s his decision.
What I am reading into, and I’ll admit it’s entirely speculative based on what I’ve gleaned from Carman’s behaviors and a few conversations with people involved in this thing, it feels like he’s looking for reasons to not pick the Buckeyes. There aren’t many other good explanations for the drama that’s been stirred between himself and Ohio State’s coaching staff/program in recent days.
Today, after Kirk Herbstreit (a former Ohio State captain and quarterback) suggested recruits should bite their tongues when talking publicly about players inside of the programs they’re being recruited by, Carman snapped back by taking a shot at the entire Ohio State program.
Pretty sure I wouldn't have any problems in Dabo Swinney's or Clay Helton's locker room for my OPINION on OSU's qb issues. 🤔 https://t.co/FMVwGpAJ2J
— T H E J I A N T (@Jackthejiant) September 13, 2017
I, personally, have no qualms with a recruit or any athlete using their public platform to express what their opinions are. I do, however, think that to publicly disrespect a coaching staff that has recruited you for years in order to create some faux-drama that makes it easier to justify matriculating somewhere else if you opt to, is an incorrect step to take.
We’ve said in this space that Carman isn’t your typical kid. That’s what makes him unique and in a lot of ways, worth pursuing for a college football program. Top his unique personality with his rare athletic capabilities and you’ve got the makings of a future superstar, and that’s why you recruit him as hard as Ohio State has. I’ve met him, talked to him and always found him polite, though a bit guarded, and good-natured as one can be.
That’s why the decision to be disrespectful to any coaching staff recruiting him is hard to understand.
To be clear, there’s nothing about Carman thinking that Dwayne Haskins ought to play, or saying it, that anyone has a problem with. It’s about delivery, and in this case, the follow up. There’s not a chance in H-E-double hockey sticks that Swinney, Helton, or any other coach in America would be “happy” for a recruit to publicly challenge the decisions they make on their team (one that Carman isn’t a part of yet, especially), and there’s not a chance that Carman doesn’t know that.
That’s why it feels like something more. At least to me, but I’ve been wrong before.
(No, Ohio State isn’t going to stop recruiting Carman, so don’t ask. He’s a top priority, and will remain one.)
Et tu, Nittany?
In recruiting, you have to take whatever advantage you can.
To land 4-star defensive end Tyreke Smith, it appears both Ohio State and Penn State are hoping to play the “bring your friend with you” card as they each offered a preferred walk-on opportunity to Zaire Webb.
Recieved another opportunity to walk-on at Penn State University 🙏🏾🔵⚪️ pic.twitter.com/kp7mRBygr2
— Z Webb (@zaire_webb) September 13, 2017
Webb is a pretty good player in his own right, he is a 5-foot-11, 175-pound safety at Cleveland Heights, and has three Division I offers. More than that, though, is this: he’s close to Ohio’s top defensive lineman in the Class of 2018 and it seems the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions are hoping to parlay that relationship into a recruiting win.
For those wondering, the Buckeyes extended that PWO offer back in early August.
The in-state recruiting problem
Do you know what one of the biggest issues of a monster recruiting weekend can be?
How does a coaching staff balance game prep and recruiting? How does a coaching staff balance attention for all the kids who’ve showed up? How do you balance the priority of talking with the recruits who’ve traveled far to be on campus versus the ones who’ve been a regular at your camps and visit days?
Last weekend was a big recruiting weekend in Columbus. Two in-state standouts, both juniors, felt they maybe could’ve received a bit more personal attention.
“I enjoyed the game and the atmosphere was crazy,” one of them shared with Land of 10. “I did feel like [Ohio State coaches] were paying more attention to the out of state guys. That is very annoying, but I get it. [It’s] still annoying though.”
On one hand, that would have to be frustrating, on the other? It makes perfect sense. When players travel from hundreds or, in some cases thousands, of miles to visit you, you can’t just do the “we’ll get to him next time” thing that you can do sometimes with in-state players. But, that’s how programs like Michigan State, Kentucky and others are able to drive that “they don’t really want you” wedge into a recruit’s mind when it comes to Ohio State.
Balance is key.
What’s up with Rondale Moore?
Because of how wild this week has been, I’ve not yet addressed this past weekend’s Rondale Moore visit to Ohio State.
The country’s 40th-ranked receiver (though he’s No. 17 according to 247Sports.com’s rankings) in the country is committed to Texas, but the Louisville (Ky.) Trinity standout, one of the fastest players in the country, did make an appearance in Columbus.
“I enjoyed myself,” Moore told Land of 10 about the quick visit. “I didn’t get to talk to any coaches though, I got there like 10 minutes before kickoff.”
There’s definitely a chance Moore was just trying to watch (what was expected to be) a good football game, but he’s on the Buckeyes radar at wide receiver and a player that has the attention of Ohio State because of that 4.33 speed.
Right now, there’s not much fire between Moore and the Buckeyes, but the smoke is there.