Ohio State recruiting notes: Moretti looking ahead, another big visitor for Friday Night Lights 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.
Jake Moretti looking ahead after injury
During his most recent visit to Ohio State – June 17 for the Buckeyes final one-day camp of the summer – Jake Moretti suffered a knee injury that is likely to cost him his senior season. The injury was non-contact, just a step that went awry and sent the 4-star prospect from Arvada (Co.) to the turf in pain. The end result is a surgery scheduled for next week.
“I’m doing a little physical therapy to get the swelling out, and that’s going great,” Moretti told Landof10. “My surgery is in a week – July 7 – and then I’ll start rehabbing.”
Moretti was selected for The Opening, which takes place next week in Oregon, but the injury will sideline him for that event. He also won’t travel to the event.
“That is frustrating,” he said. “But there’s not much I can do about it. I’ve got to just stay positive.”
Helping him keep that mindset are the guys he’ll line up with the next time he puts on the pads, his future teammates at Ohio State.
“They’ve all been great,” Moretti said. “They’ve all been reaching out and are awesome guys.”
For now, it’s just focusing on the future for Moretti as he prepares for the mental test that comes with rehab. As you’d expect, he’s staying optimistic.
“I will make a full recovery,” he added. “I’ll be setting constant goals.”
Tee Higgins to visit for Friday Night Lights?
There is no doubt that Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights is going to be a star-studded event and it appears the list of big names expected to be on campus is going to grow by one.
Tennessee (Oak Ridge) 5-star wide receiver Tee Higgins is reportedly set to visit Columbus for the event (July 22), for what will be his first visit to see the Buckeyes. Ohio State made Higgins’ most recent “Top 5” list – the only program from outside of the SEC footprint to make the list – but they’ve never been considered a real threat to land him, in part because he hasn’t been to Columbus for a visit. Will he definitely make that visit? I’m not sold and neither is one source I spoke to about it, who plainly replied “I don’t know” when asked if the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Higgins would be be in town.
The Buckeyes are hoping to host another pair of 5-star wide receivers that same weekend in Trevon Grimes and Tyjon Lindsey, and getting Higgins to visit at the same time would be an interesting side story. If nothing else, it’d give some more work for wide receivers coach Zach Smith, who has been aggressively recruiting Higgins the last few months and stopped at Oak Ridge multiple times during the spring evaluation period.
Ohio State’s recruiting efforts at wide receiver for 2017 have not yet yielded any fruit, but the names they’re in on are worth the wait and there’s no way a player of Higgins’ talent would be kept “out” if he wanted in. I don’t think that’s something to worry too much about right now anyway. Even though two wide receivers might be the ideal number right now, they’d never say no to the right three.
Buckeyes still Chasing Young
It’s been a relatively quiet recruiting cycle for Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes. Defensive tackle Jerron Cage committed over a year ago and 4-star Haskell Garrett committed all the way from Las Vegas without ever visiting the school and is as solid as any commitment in the country. Ohio State is keeping an eye on just a few other defensive tackle names.
But what about defensive end? That list is a touch easier to figure out, even more than the tackle position which is basically finished. Right now, it’s DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) 5-star defensive end Chase Young and that’s pretty much it.
“It’s not a huge need right now,” one source shared about the lack of defensive end prospects. “If we can get one that we want we’ll take one but not just to take one. Gotta be a special kid.”
That quote should help you realize that Chase Young is special.
The country’s third-ranked defensive end won’t come right out and say it, but right now it seems to be a three-team race for his services. Ohio State, where he’ll visit on July 22, Alabama and Maryland. The Terrapins are hoping to do with Young what they weren’t able to do with 2016 stars Dwayne Haskins, KeAndre Jones and Terrell Hall: Keep him home.
Young’s relationship with Larry Johnson, Sr. is what keeps the Buckeyes at the top of his list. He spoke glowingly of Johnson to Scout.com recruiting writer Brian Dohn.
“Coach Johnson is the best defensive line coach in the country,” Young told Dohn.
The fact that Young is the only defensive end Ohio State is actively and aggressively recruiting may suggest that they think he’s the best in the country, too.
Scout releases Top 100 for 2018, who are the names to watch for Ohio State?
Scout.com today released their first Top 100 list for the 2018 class and there are a number of names for Ohio State fans to pay close attention to. The Buckeyes do not have a commitment for 2018, but there’s no doubt that as long as Urban Meyer is in charge the football program is in good hands and will have another strong class next year.
Who should you be watching?
- No. 3 • Patrick Surtain • Defensive Back • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
- No. 5 • Xavier Thomas • Defensive End • Florence, S.C.
- No. 7 • Zamir White • Running Back • Laurinburg, N.C.
- No. 10 • Brey Walker • Offensive Line • Moore, Ok.
- No. 11 • Palaie Gaoteote • Linebacker • Las Vegas, Nev.
- No. 14 • Jaiden Woodbey • Defensive Back • Bellflower, Calif
- No. 17 • Max Wright • Defensive End • Katy, Texas
- No. 19 • Taron Vincent • Defensive Tackle • Baltimore, Md. (IMG Academy)
- No. 26 • B.J. Foster • Athlete • Angleton, Texas
- No. 31 • Darrell Simpson • Offensive Line • Justin, Texas
- No. 37 • Jahan Dotson • Wide Receiver • Hightstown, N.J.
- No. 38 • Jack Carman • Offensive Line • Fairfield, Ohio
- No. 41 • Mustapha Muhammed • Tight End • Missouri City, Texas
- No. 49 • Alston Orji • Linebacker • Rockwall, Texas
- No. 60 • Tyler Friday • Defensive End • Ramsey, N.J.
- No. 62 • Brendan Radley-Hiles • Defensive Back • Calabasas, Calif.
- No. 63 • Joshua Proctor • Defensive Back • Owasso, Ok.
- No. 66 • Emory Jones • Quarterback • Franklin, Ga.
- No. 67 • Zack Kuntz • Tight End • Camp Hill, Penn.
- No. 69 • Jaelen Gill • Running Back • Westerville, Ohio
- No. 83 • Houston Griffith • Defensive Back • Chicago, Ill.
- No. 89 • Trevor Trout • Defensive Line • St. Louis, Mo.
- No. 92 • Christopher Oats • Linebacker • Cincinnati, Ohio
- No. 93 • P.J. Mustipher • Defensive Tackle • Owings Mill, Md.
- No. 94 • Casey Thompson • Quarterback • Moore, Ok.
- No. 95 • Nicholas Bonitto • Defensive End • Fort Lauderale, Fla.
The Buckeyes are considered the “favorite” for Taron Vincent, Jack Carman, Jaelen Gill, Emory Jones, Christoper Oats and Jaiden Woodbey. They are right in the thick of things for Patrick Surtain, Xavier Thomas, Zamir White, Palaie Gaoteote, Max Wright, Mustapha Muhammed, Jahan Dotson, Brendan Radley-Hiles, Houston Griffith, Casey Thompson and others they’ve already offered. If they were offer Trevor Trout, Alston Orji, they may make a jump to top of those lists as well.
If you’re expecting things to slow down for the Buckeyes after their top-ranked 2017 recruiting class, think again.