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 talk some more about Emory Jones
I realize that we’ve been talking a lot about Ohio State commit Emory Jones lately, but I think most people reading this understand that he’s a pretty important piece of the Buckeyes’ top-ranked recruiting class, and realize that I’m kind of obligated to keep you up to date with things as they unfold.
As you know, Jones visited Bama this past weekend. His mother, Trina, went with him to Tuscaloosa. A little more than a week ago, we updated you on some of Trina’s thoughts regarding the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes. Now she’s seen Bama up close, but she’s still trying to get a feel for the place.
“[The trip] was information gathering for me,” she told Land of 10 on Wednesday. “It’s a different atmosphere. I was trying to be open [to it].”
That sounds tepid at best, but as she said previously about Ohio State, this is all her son’s decision and she’ll support him either way.
“Emory is 17 years old and enjoying the final stages of his recruitment, which he’s worked hard for and has definitely earned the right,” she said. “In just a few months, his high school days will be over. I support him in closing out his recruitment and being absolutely sure.
“He has already established that [Ohio State] is like home to him. He only needs to be sure that nothing else gives him that same feeling.”
The communication between Jones and Ohio State has not wavered, but an official visit to Bama is still likely to happen and that’s absolutely a cause for concern for the Buckeyes. If you think back to September 2015 and the recruitment of running back Kareem Walker, you can see a few similarities, but it remains to be seen if the Buckeyes will take the same hard-line stance. With Walker, the Buckeyes told him flat out “if you visit Michigan officially we will move on and find another running back” and they did that, landing Antonio Williams instead.
But this is the quarterback position and it’s not quite as easy to swap out Player B, especially when Player A has been the centerpiece of your recruiting class for more than a year and is expected to be the face of your offense in the future. Jones is not going to make or break the Buckeyes football program, but he’s been their priority since April 2016 and he’s not been Bama’s priority ever, and may not be now.
The Crimson Tide hosted 5-star quarterback Justin Fields on an official visit the same weekend they brought in Jones. They also welcomed in Kentucky commit Jarren Williams, and he’s a player they view similarly, and a guy they’d take in a second if they felt he’d flip from the Wildcats. According to sources down south, the Tide believe Williams will visit them officially, and some people I’ve spoken to went so far as to suggest that Williams received more “love” from the Crimson Tide than Jones did last weekend.
Jones is very likely to visit Alabama again. Ohio State may well decide to move on from him if that happens. At the very least, they’ll start examining options, and that may have already begun because they’ve had some interest in Jarren Williams as well.
The best-case scenario here is that Jones makes his official visit to Ohio State on Oct. 28 and decides against visiting Bama again after that. If he decides to visit Tuscaloosa earlier, say Oct. 14 for the game against Arkansas, all bets are off.
Are the Buckeyes still recruiting Andrew Chatfield?
Ohio State has just one de-commitment thus far in the Class of 2018, which is pretty good considering the distance and challenges associated with so many of their current verbals.
The one guy to get in and then out of the class is Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage defensive end Andrew Chatfield, who re-opened his recruitment in early August, a decision many people felt was in response to the University of Florida finally coming through with a scholarship offer. Chatfield had been waiting for one of the “big three” in Florida to make a move, and when the Gators did they surged into the lead position in his recruitment, despite Chatfield being committed to the Buckeyes.
Since then, things between Ohio State and the country’s No. 16-ranked weak-side defensive end have been pretty quiet, but there’s still communication happening.
On Tuesday, SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman was in Florida. He spoke with Chatfield on behalf of Land of 10.
“[Ohio State] has always been open,” Chatfield told him. “They’re still open and trying to see what I’m doing and everything. I’m just trying to be more patient and find the right fit for me.”
There’s been some discussion about a potential official visit to Columbus. He says the Buckeyes, along with LSU, Florida, Oklahoma and Oregon, are the teams he’s talking to the most.
“[The Buckeyes] just tell me they’re still open for me,” he said. “They tell me to do what I’ve got to do.”
Cade Kacherski decides to walk on at Ohio State
Speaking of doing what you’ve got to do, 2018 Dublin (Ohio) Jerome linebacker Cade Kacherski decided Tuesday night that he will forego the chance to play football in the MAC or smaller conferences and instead stay home and attend Ohio State as a preferred walk-on candidate for the Buckeyes next fall.
I don’t normally write about PWO guys, but Kacherski is an interesting player. I know he’s very well-regarded by the Buckeyes and linebackers coach Bill Davis, who saw him up-close-and-personal at an Ohio State 1-day camp this past June. He’s a 6-foot-3, 185-pound linebacker now, but as the son of a former Buckeyes linebacker (John Kacherski, 1987-91), he thinks his body will fill in just fine.
“I should be 200-205 pounds when I leave high school,” Kacherski told Land of 10. “I’m built just like my dad. He was 180 pounds in high school and then 230 once he hit Ohio State.”
John was an NFL linebacker for one season (1992), so the bloodlines are good. Beyond that, so is the athleticism. Kacherski ran a 4.50 40 at Ohio State in June, just days after ripping off a 4.47 at Arizona State.
Choosing Ohio State was simple for Kacherski.
“It just doesn’t get any better than Ohio State,” he said. “It’s as prestigious as it gets. I knew it from Day 1 that if I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to play there I would take it.
“My whole family has gone to Ohio State. I’m just blessed I got an opportunity to do the same.”
The Buckeyes love their walk-on linebackers, as guys such as Joe Burger, Craig Fada and Zach Turnure have shown over the last five years. I think Kacherski is capable of being that same kind of player and leader in Columbus.