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 a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Brenton Cox announces de-commitment
A huge fear for Ohio State has become a reality. With Alabama and Georgia ramping up the pressure in his recruitment, 5-star defensive end Brenton Cox walked away from his Ohio State commitment Wednesday night.
I Want to thank the whole OSU organization and fan base for welcoming me into the buckeye family , but i would like to decommit , Thanks for everything #1000
— 🎱 (@Brenton_cox) December 6, 2017
There’s no way around the fact that this is a huge loss for the Buckeyes. Their overall Class of 2018 will be fine, but losing a player of that caliber always stings. Especially jarring is the fact that there could be just three returning scholarship defensive ends on next year’s team — Nick Bosa, Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper — which means the Buckeyes need to add depth at that position.
Right now Ohio State is in a head-to-head battle with Penn State for 4-star defensive ends Tyreke Smith and Jayson Oweh. At best, both of those races are still a coin flip. The picture at defensive end has gone from looking great to at least somewhat troubling in a hurry.
4-star QB commits to Miami (Fla.)
Miami (Fla.) received a commitment Wednesday from 4-star quarterback Jarren Williams, who’d been offered by Ohio State as insurance against an Emory Jones departure. Williams visited Columbus for the Illinois game, but the Buckeyes were never able to overcome Miami.
Jones is still committed to Ohio State, which is important to remember. The bad news, though, is that the Buckeyes just lost out on their top option to replace him in the event Jones ends up at Alabama or Auburn. There are still a couple other quarterbacks who could end up in the Buckeyes’ class if Jones does flip, including 4-star Adrian Martinez and 3-star Matthew Baldwin.
There was some good news Wednesday in the fight to hold on to Jones, who hosted Ohio State for an in-home visit on Tuesday night. Marc Givler of Rivals.com reported that Alabama was trying to get Jarren Williams to delay his decision.
SOURCE: Alabama making late pitch to 4* QB Jarren Williams. Trying to set up an in-home visit for later this week. Interesting coming on the heels of OSU's visit with Emory Jones.
— Marc Givler (@MarcGivlerBG) December 6, 2017
That could mean the Tide don’t feel as good about flipping Jones as some might expect. Either way, it’s starting to feel like this can’t drag out too much longer and that the Buckeyes will want an answer before the early signing period begins Dec. 20 in order to solidify a replacement if needed.
Tyreke Johnson commitment impact
The Buckeyes landed a commitment from 4-star defensive back Tyreke Johnson on Tuesday night, giving them another top-50 player in the 247Sports composite.
Though he is listed as a safety by recruiting services, the Buckeyes view him as a cornerback. That would give them two cornerbacks in the class, the other being Orlando (Fla.) Jones 4-star prospect Sevyn Banks.
What does that mean for Ohio State’s chances with 5-star cornerback Anthony Cook? Not much either way. Obviously the pursuit of Johnson ramped up once Cook started drifting toward Texas and LSU, so his recruitment and commitment are in part byproducts of those lowered expectations with Cook.
But Ohio State will always find room for elite players. Johnson’s commitment isn’t a sign the Buckeyes are officially out of the running with Cook. If they can somehow rescue that recruitment, they’ll also take him and throw a party.
As for Johnson, he’s a pretty good player himself. Check out the reaction from some of his fellow Ohio State commits on Tuesday night.
— 7ERADJA (@WhosThatNumber7) December 6, 2017
Them silver bullets looking nice 👀 Welcome my brother @Im_showtime_ 🅾️🌟
— Emory Jones (@eXjones6) December 6, 2017
Welcome to the family bro bro 💯 https://t.co/Vbn2oSnd30
— J-A-E- (@jaelengill21) December 6, 2017
Signing day is now 2 weeks away (Dec. 20th @ 11:40am). God is good!!! pic.twitter.com/dqHYtRDOUq
— Master W. Teague III (@MasterTeagueIII) December 6, 2017
Last time in Blue and Gold, next time in Scarlet and Gray🤘🏾⭕️ – https://t.co/jAqso2YfZf
— Dallas Gant (@dallas_gant) December 5, 2017
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