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.
Dylan Moses and his Buckeye visit
Monday night, the country’s second-ranked 2017 prospect, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) linebacker Dylan Moses announced via Twitter that he’s planning on taking an official visit to Ohio State this fall.
The former LSU commitment – and Baton Rouge native – says he’ll take trips to Miami, Texas, UCLA and Alabama as well as the one he’s scheduled for Columbus on Nov. 26 when the Buckeyes host Michigan. Anytime you can get a player of Moses’ potential on campus, you do it and the Ohio State staff would certainly be glad to welcome the 6-foot-2, 220-pound missile diguised as a high school linebacker, but there’s not much reason to get too optimistic as a Buckeye fan right now.
At least not when thinking about Moses, because Ohio State recruiting with the rest of the 2017 recruiting class is going pretty well, obviously.
Related: Urban Meyer, Ohio State on verge of all-time great recruiting class in 2017
“If he still wants to come visit in November, that’d be great,” one source close to the Buckeyes recruiting class told Landof10. “There’s a long way to go until November and we’re pretty close to a few other linebackers that may be closer to deciding.”
Those “other” linebackers are certainly not slouches. Kennedale (Texas) 5-star Baron Browning visited Columbus in May and is expected to return for Friday Night Lights in July. He’s the second-ranked outside linebacker in the country, just behind Moses in the 247Sports.com composite rankings. Another Texas star, Plano’s Anthony Hines III is the country’s top-ranked inside linebacker and his recent visit to Ohio State – in mid-June – was his third trip to Columbus, so he’s very interested in the Scarlet and Gray as well.
Also, there’s the little matter of LSU being noticeably absent from Moses’ list, though I suspect that is a byproduct of him having visited there approximately 42,500 times and not an indicator that he’s lost interest in their program.
Bottom line? It’s good that Moses wants to visit Ohio State, but put me in the “wait and see” department as to whether or not it actually happens. Texas, LSU and Alabama are the three schools to really be watching closely here.
Amir Riep and the curious case of the quiet superstar
It’s getting harder and harder to get a read on the recruitment of Cincinnati Colerain 4-star defensive back Amir Riep. The country’s 14th-ranked cornerback plays his cards very close to the vest and doesn’t allow many to gain insight into his recruitment, so you’re kind of “forced” to watch what he does rather than to listen to what he says and the scuttlebutt around him. Conventional wisdom says it’s Ohio State and Michigan State at the top of his list as he approaches a July 23 decision date, but a trio of SEC teams (Florida, LSU and Alabama) have continued to have their names floated by various people who are “in the know.”
During Ohio State’s final week of one-day camps, Riep made two separate trips to Columbus, something he isn’t doing just for “fun.” He was there working with Ohio State commitment Isaiah Pryor during the June 17 camp and was definitely chummy with Pryor and a few other future Buckeyes that were in attendance. He’s going to Alabama for a visit but is expected to return to Ohio State for Friday Night Lights next month and decide on a school the next day. So that all bodes well for the Buckeyes, right?
You’d think so, but yet no one is really sure. There are a few people I know and trust that insist he’s actually leaning toward Michigan State and that perhaps the recent rash of Ohio State visits is the Buckeyes attempting to sway him back in their direction. I checked in with two different players currently committed to the Scarlet and Gray and they had decidedly different “takes” on where the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Queen City star is leaning.
“Riep doesn’t really seem like he’s that interested in us,” said one commitment.
“Oh yeah,” the other said. “We’re good there. He’s just low-key about it.”
Whatever the case, Riep isn’t talking and we’re a little less than a month away from finding out which side of the rumors are true.
Bama offers Ohio State commitment
One of the Buckeyes highest-ranked commitments, 4-star tailback J.K. Dobbins from La Grange (Texas), added a major new scholarship offer to his list last night.
— Jk dobbins (@Jkdobbins22) June 28, 2016
When it comes to recruiting right now, there are no programs bigger than Ohio State and Bama and there’s no doubt that even if a prospect is 100-percent committed to the Buckeyes, picking up an opportunity from the Crimson Tide “matters.” That doesn’t mean Dobbins is going to spend too much time considering it. He’s pretty comfortable with Ohio State after his recent visit – his second to the school – that saw him spending three days on campus with his future coaches.
“It was great man,” Dobbins told Landof10 about his most recent trip. “I can’t wait to be a part of the team. I’m 100 percent. The offer from Alabama is pretty cool, no matter what, but please tell Buckeyes fans that I said ‘O-H’!”
The Buckeyes hosted one of Bama’s two committed running backs in April when 5-star tailback Najee Harris made his way to Ohio from California, and Ohio State has played a major role in the recruitment of another 5-star, Mississippi’s Cam Akers, who was committed to Bama until March. Even before his decommitment, Akers and the Buckeyes had been closely linked going back to his first trip to Columbus last summer.
As for Dobbins, he keeps saying the right things but rumors of potential Texas involvement in his recruitment persists. He grew up less than 45 miles from the Longhorn’s Austin campus and Charlie Strong certainly isn’t going to let him get out of the state without a prolonged fight.
No matter what happens with Dobbins, it’s fun to watch the chess match between Urban Meyer and Nick Saban evolve. It continues to be one of the more interesting subplots in all of college football recruiting.
4-star defensive tackle sets August decision date
A few weeks back, Virginia Beach (Va.) 4-star defensive lineman Jordan Williams released a final list of schools that included five big-time programs as finalists.
— Jordan Williams (@_blessed_23) June 1, 2016
Now, a decision date for the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Williams has been set.
August 6th ‼️
Frank W. Cox
— Jordan Williams (@_blessed_23) June 27, 2016
In early June, Williams told Eleven Warriors he hoped to make it to Ohio State this summer, presumably for Friday Night Lights in July.
“I’ll hopefully visit in July,” he said. “I’ll ask about Friday Night Lights for sure.”
It seems that two sides have lost touch however in the last few weeks. The Buckeyes recruiting class has continues to draw interest from some of the country’s best players and Williams – the country’s 183rd-ranked overall prospect – may have gotten lost in the shuffle.
“I haven’t talked to them lately,” Williams told Landof10. “We’ve lost contact. It’s been on their half.”
Tennessee, Clemson and Virginia Tech are the three schools Williams stays in contact with the most, though he visited Virginia last weekend. The Volunteers and Tigers own 100 percent of his 247Sports.com crystal ball predictions.