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 a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Casey Rogers sets official visit to Ohio State
When last we mentioned Old Farms (Avon, Conn.) 2018 defensive end Casey Rogers, he was arriving in Columbus for Ohio State’s famous “Friday Night Lights” camp in July.
A 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive lineman, Rogers was born in Columbus, but as his father’s job (he’s a lacrosse coach) required him to move around, he now finds himself in Connecticut. Initially, Rogers was committed to play lacrosse at Syracuse. But he opted to focus on football and reclassified from a 2017 prospect to a 2018 prospect in order to get more time to develop.
Now fully qualified and able to enroll in college in January (or next June), Rogers is setting up some big-time official visits in the hopes of being a college football star. On Wednesday he announced two visits: Ohio State and Alabama.
— Casey Rogers (@caseyrogers99) November 15, 2017
It’s not a coincidence that Rogers used a photo of Sam Hubbard, a former lacrosse commit for Notre Dame, in his image on Twitter. He told Land of 10 that he’s been hearing from the Buckeyes for a while.
“[Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry] Johnson and I have been in contact frequently throughout the season,” Rogers told Land of 10 on Wednesday morning. “And I spoke to [Buckeyes coach] Urban Meyer on the phone a few weeks ago as well.”
Rogers does not have an offer from Ohio State or Alabama at this time, but his frame and athleticism make him a unique prospect to watch moving forward as a potential defensive end.
Buckeyes offer a big one for Andrew Kristofic
On Tuesday night we mentioned two new offers in Pennsylvania. Andrew Kristofic earned one of them and the Pine-Richland (Gibsonia) 3-star offensive lineman is pretty excited about it.
“It means a lot,” Kristofic said. “I’m very excited. I have been talking with [Ohio State offensive line] Coach [Greg] Studrawa and he was just saying that he really likes everything I’ve been doing.
“Coach Meyer said he’s proud to tell me I’ve earned a scholarship from the best program in the country.”
The 6-6, 265-pound Kristofic, a 2019 recruit, visited the Buckeyes two weeks ago for their game against Penn State. He knows the Ohio State offer is a big one, but it’s too early for him to put any kind of “list” of favorites together.
“It’s too early for [lists],” he said. “I just have to wait and see. Ohio State is one of the best programs in the country so it might be leading to [more offers].”
Pennsylvania DB MJ Devonshire discusses visit, Ohio State offer
The other Western Pa. prospect offered by the Buckeyes Monday night, Aliquippa’s MJ Devonshire, was at Ohio State last weekend for the game against Michigan State.
“It was great. The atmosphere was awesome,” Devonshire told Land of 10.
The 4-star cornerback prospect didn’t get an opportunity to talk to Urban Meyer over the weekend, but he did speak to the Buckeyes coach on Monday, when he was offered by Ohio State. It’s not something he’s likely to forget anytime soon.
“It was amazing,” Devonshire said of his first conversation with the future Hall of Fame coach. “I was star struck, for real. He seems like he’s really serious and stuff, but he’s not. He was really cool, actually.”
That was his first contact with Meyer, but not with the Buckeyes staff.
“I’ve been talking most to [cornerbacks coach] Kerry Coombs and [linebackers] coach [Billy] Davis,” he said. “They have been in contact since the beginning of the season.
“They said they really liked my game tape. It means a lot. It’s been a dream of mine to get that offer.”
Devonshire’s best relationships at this point may be with Penn State, a program he’s visited multiple times over the last few months. To this point, the Nittany Lions have not offered, but he believes that will change.
“I really don’t know [why they have not offered],” Devonshire said of Penn State. “We have a great relationship, maybe they will offer soon. They say it will happen eventually, and they’ve been recruiting me since my sophomore year.”
As Ohio State offers, so too do many of the region’s biggest programs, including Penn State. Devonshire says one of the biggest challenges in recruiting from here on out will be to determine who is offering because they really want him and those who offered simply because the Buckeyes did.
“Most of the big schools will probably offer soon, just because [Ohio State] did,” he said. “I have got to know what’s real and what’s fake. How I will do that, I don’t really know yet.”
It’s a smart approach and one that will quickly teach him everything he needs to know.
Introducing Keanu Williams, a monster 2021 DL from California
Every so often I’m kind of taken aback by a highlight tape. While I know they’re not the be-all end-all of recruiting, they’re worth watching as a first evaluation tool — even for me, someone who is not really paid to do evaluations.
But you can see who has it and who doesn’t, you know? I want to introduce one of the kids who really caught my eye recently.
His name is Keanu Williams, and he’s a 6-5, 250-pound defensive lineman at Clovis High School, just outside of Fresno, Calif. He’s a prospect to know in the Class of 2021.
Here’s his tape.
As a freshman at Clovis, playing varsity, Williams has recorded 54 tackles and 5 sacks in nine games, with a run through the playoffs still underway. The success has surprised the young Williams.
“Honestly, I have been surprised,” he told Land of 10. “I am just being physical and trying to prove to myself that I can hang with the older people.”
Not surprisingly, Williams watches a lot of tape on the NFL’s best linemen to try to improve his game. One of them is a former Buckeyes star.
“I watch Joey Bosa and Von Miller,” he said. “Those are the two I watch and try to add into my game. I need to work on my speed and my hand movements.”
There’s not a defensive line coach in the country who focuses more on hand movement and placement than Larry Johnson, and that’s one of the reasons Williams says he’d like to attend the Buckeyes’ next camp season.
“I want to camp at and visit USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Miami,” he said, then adding a comment about the Buckeyes linemen. “I like the way they’re aggressive, use their hands and just the scheme of their defensive line.”
USC is one of just two programs that have taken note of Williams.
“Recruiting hasn’t really kicked in yet,” he said. “I do have some interest from USC, and Vanderbilt did talk to me. USC is just saying ‘send film and just wait a little longer until you’re older’ about an offer.”
It’s never too early to find the next big thing on the defensive line, is it?