Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a daily recap of Ohio State Buckeyes recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind-the-scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Donovan Peoples-Jones gets unique tour of Ohio State
The Buckeyes aren’t giving up on their pursuit of Detroit Cass Tech 5-star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones.
The country’s sixth-ranked 2017 prospect and top-ranked wide receiver made his second visit to Ohio State since April last Friday. The visit took place against the backdrop of a Buckeyes one-day camp and gave the Scarlet and Gray a chance to show Peoples-Jones a different side of their program: the academic side.
The 6-foot-2, 193 pound wideout didn’t spend his day touring the football facilities with the Buckeyes, but actually spent a major portion of the evening getting a first-hand look at Ohio State’s medical school. The goal? To show the aspiring orthopedic surgeon why the medical program in Columbus may be a better fit than similar programs at other schools. Like Michigan, for example.
After getting a chance to see the medical school, Peoples-Jones did spend some time with Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes coaches at the WHAC, hanging out talking with the Ohio State head coach in his office and having dinner. There’s no doubt that the Buckeyes staff are looking for a unique avenue to separate themselves in the recruitment of Peoples-Jones, even if they acknowledge that they’re playing from behind right now.
“It was a different kind of approach than we’ve taken before,” one source said of the visit. “It’s relevant and I think it helps a little bit.”
If that sounds like a fairly tepid endorsement, it’s because it is: Ohio State knows they’re fighting off a handful of big-time programs for Peoples-Jones, but he’s so good that you’ve got to shoot your shot. Outside of their rivals in Ann Arbor, Florida, Florida State and USC are also among the schools most commonly linked to the Cass Tech superstar.
Jerron Cage has high expectations for senior season
Since he committed to Ohio State last summer, Winton Woods (Cincinnati) Jerron Cage has stayed pretty low-key in his recruitment. That’s by design, according to the country’s 12th-ranked defensive tackle.
“It has just really great being committed to Ohio State,” Cage told Landof10. “The coaches are great, and no one is better right now. I’m enjoying it. Ohio State is just a great place to be and it’s perfect for me, my game, the overall vibe, and the players. It’s just a good fit.”
Last Friday, Cage visited Ohio State and hung out with his future coach, Larry Johnson, Sr., while the Buckeyes hosted hundreds of players at their one-day camp.
“It was great spending time with (Johnson),” he said. “He is like a father-figure to me. I’m looking forward to my development on and off the field with him. He’s just an all-around great coach.”
This summer, Cage is focused on preparing himself for his senior season at Winton Woods. The Buckeyes have a plan for him weight-wise and he’s got a plan for offensive linemen who try to slow him down this fall.
“Right now, I weigh 267 pounds, and Ohio State wants me to report under 280,” Cage said. “The coaches just want to see me play like a monster. I want to break our sack record, which is 22. I had 18 as a junior. I’ve seen double-teams all my life, so hell yeah, I’m ready to go.”
Cage may not be too worried about recruiting, but he knows things won’t stay quiet for long. His brother, Daniel, will be a starting defensive tackle at Notre Dame this fall and he says it’s likely he’ll make at least one trip to South Bend during the upcoming season. Ohio’s ninth-ranked player says the Buckeyes have no issue with that plan.
“I’ll take a visit to Notre Dame and see what they’re talking about,” Cage said. “Ohio State has been very cool about it, they know my brother is there, but they know I’m not going anywhere.”
Could Wyatt Davis lead to another California commit?
In case you missed it, roughly an hour ago, the Buckeyes landed a huge commitment from 5-star offensive lineman Wyatt Davis. The commitment from one Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco product isn’t a guarantee that Ohio State will develop the Golden State powerhouse into another West Coast pipeline, but they’re well-positioned to do just that.
Last week, the Buckeyes offered Davis’ teammate, 2018 defensive back Jaiden Woodbey, and the Top 100 prospect – a USC legacy – immediately updated his favorite schools list and put Ohio State at the top.
“My parents both like Ohio State,” Woodbey told Landof10. “The program is amazing and I love everything about it. I mean, it’s the Ohio State (laughs). They have produced players in every spot.”
As a 2018 prospect, Woodbey doesn’t need to be in any hurry to make a college decision. However, he told Roderick Burgos of Conquest Chronicles in April that he hopes to be done with recruiting by the end of his junior season.
“My decision will either be in January before my birthday or in December before my brother’s birthday.”
Despite his father’s playing career at USC, Woodbey says there is no pressure from his family to follow in those footsteps.
“He isn’t pressuring at all,” Woodbey said. “He is letting me choose the college of my choice and trying not to influence me.”
Ohio State will see the 6-foot-1, 195 pound Woodbey on campus sometime soon and he’s already got specifics for a visit.
“I’m have my visit set up already,” he added. “I’m taking a visit on July 21-22. I have wanted to take a visit to Ohio State for the longest to be honest.”
Garrett glad to help in recruiting efforts
Speaking of the Buckeyes latest commitment, you can give a little assist to Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) defensive tackle – and Ohio State verbal – Haskell Garrett. The country’s fourth-ranked defensive tackle has gotten to know the aforementioned Wyatt Davis over the last few months through the recruiting combine circuit. Garrett told Landof10 he’s had a few conversations about the Buckeyes with Davis.
“(Davis) approached me about my thoughts about Ohio State,” Garrett shared. “I told him the facts, and honestly (Urban) Meyer’s reputation makes it so easy to get guys to consider us.”
Garrett committed to Ohio State without ever visiting the school, though he made his first trip – a four-day visit – to Columbus in March. He’s 100-percent committed to the Buckeyes and is eager to help his class and their recruiting efforts in whatever way he can because he’s unlikely to get back to campus until the fall.
“I’m most likely not going to get back there this summer,” Garrett said. “Maybe not until my official visit.”