Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10
Ohio State has Jayson Oweh near the top of its list for 2018.

Ohio State recruiting mailbag: 3 wishes, what’s up with Jayson Oweh and the D-line

Have Ohio State football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Thursday for the Land of 10 Ohio State recruiting mailbag to discuss Buckeyes recruiting.

This week, we’ll discuss the latest on defensive end Jayson Oweh, which Buckeyes prospects are in “must have” territory and more.

No time for pleasantries today, folks, it’s a game day. We’re all about that action, Boss.

I haven’t heard much on Micah Parsons or Jackson Carman. My question is, and is likely similar to others, how do the Buckeyes stand in the running for these two guys? – TOSURonnie97

I don’t want to say that you’re not hearing much because there’s not much happening, but you’re not hearing much because, well, not much is happening.

The Buckeyes are going to have a fight on their hands for both Jackson Carman and Micah Parsons, as you’d expect for two players who are Top 10 talents nationally. These two are tight-lipped, private kids who probably have a much better idea about their plans than they’re letting on, but we’re sort of at their whim until they emerge from their cocoons.

It’s certainly feasible that the Buckeyes are the team to beat for each player, but neither is going to come out and say it at this point.

If Urban Meyer captured a leprechaun and was granted three wishes to use on the 2018 recruiting class, how would he use them? On the three most important recruits? To firm up existing commitments? To land three players that he otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to land? To resolve an academic or character issue? Three extra scholarships? Take three guys away from Michigan’s class?– PotatoDigger

I like this question.

First, I think the Buckeyes would lock up their top offensive line target: Jackson Carman. I think that they’d also really like to add a counterpart to Carman along the line, preferably one more tackle, someone like Nicholas Petit-Frere, maybe?

Third and final wish? I think you’re just looking for that one big, bad dude in the middle of the defense, and that brings to mind Palaie Gaoteote or Solomon Tuliaupupu. Adding one of those two players, combined with the guys already committed and the players most commonly linked to Ohio State, would send this class over the edge.

Does Antwuan Jackson now take the front seat for the second DT ahead of Tommy Togiai? Now that he’s been offered, could he be in the class soon?

With Tyreke Smith planning to commit at the Under-Armour All-American Game, does that mean that if we get him, Parsons would be our second of three or four DE commits? After all the talk of drama up until national signing day? – DJDF

There’s all kinds of defensive line talk this week and that’s telling, because it’s important to restock this area for Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes.

The reason we’ve had so much to talk about is because there have been a few clarifying bits of news coming out. We found out that Micah Parsons intends to enroll early, meaning his timeline is moved up a month or so. Tyreke Smith announced his announcement date, Jan. 4, so now he and Jayson Oweh, and heck, maybe Parsons, could all announce the first week of January. Then, we get the news that Antwuan Jackson is officially back on the docket when he was offered by Ohio State on Tuesday.

I expect Jackson to end up in Columbus, but there’s neither a decision date nor a scheduled visit — yet.

The defensive ends, which I think could be the single most talented group of players at one position going to one school in the modern recruiting era, have been the story for months. That’s not going to change, no matter when they announce. I fully expect that the Buckeyes will know exactly where they stand with each well before January.

What’s the biggest positional need for 2019 recruiting? Offensive line? It seems like every other need area is being addressed with the 2018 class. – TheOtherBorenBro

You hit the nail on the head: It’s the offensive line. Right now with just Max Wray and Matthew Jones committed, it remains the position of the biggest need and the position with the most work still to be done.

You know Carman. You know Petit-Frere. There are others, such as Florida’s William Barnes and Maryland’s Rasheed Walker out there, but beyond that small group, the names aren’t yet known.

That may tell you that the Buckeyes are confident in the guy they’re pursuing or that they’re not as concerned about the depth moving forward as fans and analysts seem to be. I’ll let you decide for yourself which of those instances make the most sense.

How important is it for teams to play well during a recruit’s senior season? Does it make a huge difference to a recruit if he’s considering 2 high-profile teams, and Team A goes 12-0 and Team B goes 8-4? – BucksLAN

The difference between 12-0 and 8-4 certainly is much less meaningful than 12-0 against, say, 4-8.

The country’s top players want to win, there’s no doubt about that. How much a program wins, or loses, makes a difference. That said, I’m not sure one down season really does much harm, depending on the program’s overall health. An 8-4 season that sees a coach fired, or a progam decimated by transfers? That’s a lot different than one that’s a result of a couple key injuries, etc.

Players, coaches, parents and the like pay very close attention to the programs they’re interested in, but wins and losses rarely determine the outcome of a recruitment.

With Florida entering the mix with Oweh, does that lessen our chances at him? – XTremeBuckeye44

I don’t think so. Florida is good program that’s on the rise, but Oweh seems pretty dialed-in right now with Ohio State, Penn State and Notre Dame at the top of his list.

Is it possible he adds a fourth official visit during the season? If I lived in New Jersey and had the chance to check out a cool school in sunny Florida in December, I’d do it.

Oweh’s games are on Saturday every week this season, so his official visits are going to require him to miss team time, which he’s trying to avoid. He won’t have a lot of chances to make in-season trips. That will make it harder for new schools to really get in the mix when going up against places he’s been and coaches he knows.

Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? Tweet us @Landof10OSU and we’ll try to answer it in a future mailbag. Have a question we may have answered before? Check out the previous mailbag entries here.