Ohio State recruiting notes: Darnay Holmes talks Buckeyes, Shaun Wade may miss The Opening and more
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.
Darnay Holmes talks Buckeyes
The country’s top cornerback, Calabasas (Ca.) 5-star Darnay Holmes, doesn’t really know why people don’t talk about his interest in Ohio State.
“They never mention Ohio State,” Holmes told Landof10. “I always mention them. I’m going up to Friday Night Lights to compete and spend time with the coaches.”
One of those coaches is the Buckeyes’ newest defensive assistant, former NFL coach Greg Schiano. That relationship, according to Holmes, is one of the best he’s got with any program recruiting him.
“I talk to (Greg) Schiano pretty often,” he said. “I was just talking to him today about how I was doing and stuff. I have one of the closest bonds I have with a coach with him.”
Because of Schiano’s head coaching background, there may be some thought that his tenure at Ohio State may not last that long. Holmes thinks that may not be the case.
“I’m pretty sure he will be there for a long time,” Holmes said of Schiano. “He thought about the decision thoroughly when he made it.”
The Buckeyes have the country’s top-ranked recruiting class and the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Holmes is close friends with a number of their current commitments, especially quarterback Tate Martell. Despite that relationship, the country’ s 10th-ranked 2017 prospect says he’s going to make a choice based on what’s best for him. The bigger focus is to make sure whatever school he chooses, he makes an impact on their program.
“Tate is a close friend of mine,” he shared. “I’m just grinding and perfecting my craft until I have to make a decision. I am not going to let down the school I decide to commit to.”
Initially, Holmes had planned to make a college choice this summer, but he says that is no longer the case.
“There’s no timeline,” he said. “Ohio State is definitely a school in the mix.”
Shaun Wade may miss The Opening
There are expected to be 10 different Ohio State commitments at Nike’s premier summer event, The Opening, in two weeks. However, Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville, Fla.) 5-star Shaun Wade may not be able to make it.
Wade, the country’s second-ranked cornerback, is also an integral part of his E1T1 Elite basketball team and that group will be playing in the Peach Jam finals in Atlanta July 6-8. The Opening? That’s in Beaverton, Ore., and takes place July 6-10.
See the problem?
Scheduling conflicts are nothing new to Wade, a longtime Ohio State commit. As one of the country’s busiest two-sport prospects, he’s on the road most weekends and has to make the difficult decision to skip The Opening and a chance to play/recruit alongside future teammates or miss The Peach Jam and leave the guys he’s been working with for months in the lurch. No decision has been made yet, but if I had to guess, you will not see Wade in Oregon.
One place you did see Wade this weekend was Bradenton, Fla., where he – with his Pro-Impact Sports 7-on-7 team – participated in the IMG 7-on-7 National Championships. These events are two parts football and one part recruiting and Wade talked to SECCountry.com writer Chris Kirschner about the continued efforts by Alabama to flip him from Ohio State.
“To be honest, they’re both the same schools to me,” Wade said. “Both of the schools have great coaches; they win championships and put their players in a spot where they can get to the NFL. I really don’t see a difference between the schools. The only difference I see is the campus and that’s not a big deal to me.”
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer got his first chance to meet Wade’s parents in early June and the country’s 13th-ranked prospect recalled a few of the key moments.
“Urban Meyer sat me down and told me if football doesn’t work out, he’s going to get me a great job,” Wade said. “That’s all I needed to hear. That’s big in my process. They have a mom program there. They call parents all the time to check in with them. Urban is just a good guy. My parents loved it.”
The Buckeyes continue to fight off Alabama – and Florida, where he’ll visit again this summer – for Wade and it’s a battle that will rage until November. Recruiting isn’t for the faint of heart, remember?
Ohio standout talks top schools, busy summer
It wasn’t, according to Gill. It was just an edit and a few of the schools he’s considering.
That wasn't a top list of my schools guys lol.. It was just an edit from my boy @Hayesfawcett3
— Squizzy Squirt (@jaelengill21) June 26, 2016
The 6-foot, 175-pound Gill – expected by most to end up a Buckeye – isn’t trying to get too far ahead of himself in recruiting. There’s a lot of time before signing day 2018 and a lot of places he still wants to see.
“I’ve only been to Tennessee this summer,” Gill said, though he was spotted at Ohio State during their final one-day camp of the summer. “It was one of the best visits I’ve had yet. I got to visit for baseball as well and meet the head coach. They liked me a lot, just as much as I liked them. As far as more visits this summer, nothing is set up and won’t be set up until after The Opening. I would like to get to Penn State, Notre Dame, and Michigan State within the next couple of months.”
The Opening, as Gill stated, is the next major stop this summer. He’s one of just six underclassmen selected to participate. He knows the trip is going to be one that will make memories, but he also realizes that it can make schools that haven’t offered yet take note of his talents.
“I’m more excited about The Opening than I’ve ever been about anything in my entire life,” he said. “It’s a dream come true. When I got the call I couldn’t help but smile and get excited even when I was on the phone. It’s such a great opportunity and experience, that is how I’m looking at it. If I do well going as an underclassmen then that will open up more eyes and more schools that I’m really interested in that haven’t shown interest in me yet. I’m looking forward to this and I’m going to embrace the talent and compete to the best of my ability.”
As for the schools he’s not hearing from that he’d like to?
“Clemson, Florida State, Alabama and Oregon,” Gill told Landof10. “Those are the main ones.”
The 247Sports.com crystal ball for Gill reads 100-percent to Ohio State, there’s no doubt that the Columbus star is taking his recruitment seriously.
5-star running back plans to release final four at the end of the summer
While we’re talking 5-stars, let’s check in with Clinton (Miss.) stud running back Cam Akers.
‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️Releasing a top 4 at the end of summer? ? ‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️‼️
— Cam akers (@thereal_cam3) June 20, 2016
To eliminate any questions: Ohio State is going to be on that list.
Akers, the country’s second-ranked running back, has visited Ohio State twice in the last year, and is expected to return to Columbus again this summer, likely for Friday Night Light on July 22. He’s recently visited Auburn, Ole Miss, Georgia, Tennessee and others but it’s the Buckeyes, Volunteers and Bulldogs that have been most closely linked to his recruitment since he decided to decommit from Alabama in March.
The Buckeyes have one running back committed for 2017, J.K. Dobbins, a 4-star prospect from Texas, but they’re looking to add a second and Akers is the guy at the top of the list. Can Ohio State running back coach Tony Alford land his top two for 2017?
Wyatt Davis talks about his decision
It’s been a wild few days for the newest Ohio State commitment, Bellflower (Calif.) 5-star offensive lineman Wyatt Davis. The country’s top-ranked guard sat down with Scout.com analyst Greg Biggins following his decision and talked about why he chose the Buckeyes ahead of schools like Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan and others.