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.
Tyler Friday locks in commitment date
It looks like Ohio State fans may not have to wait much longer for good news on one of the top remaining targets in the 2018 recruiting class. Four-star defensive lineman and Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco product Tyler Friday took to Twitter to detail his plans for an upcoming commitment ceremony.
Commitment this Friday at Don Bosco Prep 2:00pm in the auditorium ‼️ Make sure you pull up 🙌🏽 #Decisions
— Big Smooth (@almighty_ty5) January 16, 2018
Friday will announce a decision between Ohio State, Michigan and Alabama in his high school’s auditorium. The New Jersey native already has taken official visits to each of the three programs — Nov. 17, Nov. 25, and Dec. 15, respectively — and recently received an in-home visit from Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson this past Friday.
Everything has been trending Ohio State’s way since the start of the new year, and my confidence remains high that Friday will be with the Buckeyes. Johnson and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano have built strong relationships with Friday, and the allure of Ohio State seemingly has put the Buckeyes in front. I expect that Friday — both the player and day — will be the start of a very positive weekend for Ohio State.
Friday is a 6-foot-3, 263-pound defensive lineman in the Class of 2018, rated by the 247Sports composite as the country’s No. 3 defensive tackle, No. 2 prospect in New Jersey, and No. 85 among all prospects in the country. He has the potential to play as a defensive tackle, strongside defensive end, or interior offensive lineman.
Greg Schiano visits top target
On Monday, we discussed Javontae Jean-Baptiste’s decision time frame, and his lack of any detailed plans beyond an upcoming official to Ohio State on Friday. Jean-Baptiste, a defensive end from Oradell (N.J.) private school powerhouse Bergen Catholic, already has taken official visits to Nebraska, Boston College and Virginia Tech, but has yet to commit to taking another official visit after his planned trip to Columbus this weekend. There are schools that want to change that — Wisconsin, Texas A&M and Pittsburgh are all lobbying for one last visit from Jean-Baptiste — but it’s been no dice for all of them to date.
A sit-down with his Bergen Catholic coach, Nunzio Campanile, did little to change Jean-Baptiste’s plans in terms of an announcement or further visits.
“Coach Schiano is coming [Tuesday night] for an in-home visit. That’s the only thing he has planned so far. He’s not certain yet on an announcement date or if he’ll take any more official visits after Ohio State,” Campanile said.
What does that mean for the Buckeyes? Good news, likely. I think Jean-Baptiste’s official visit to Ohio State will tell the tale for this recruitment. While Nebraska, Boston College, Virginia Tech and other programs have done well in pursuit of him, Ohio State was a very significant offer for the Jersey native.
If Ohio State coaches come out of the visit confident that they want Jean-Baptiste (I expect that they will be) and Jean-Baptiste comes out of his visit confident that he wants to choose Ohio State (I expect that he will be), then it will only be a matter of when and not if for the Buckeyes. Things can change quickly in recruiting, but Ohio State is sitting in strong position for both of these New Jersey defensive linemen heading into an important weekend.
Details on Buckeyes’ latest 2018 offer
On Monday, Ohio State offered a scholarship to Washington (D.C.) St. John’s College Prep defensive back and Virginia commit DJ Brown. Brown has been on fire in December and January, adding seven new offers in the last several weeks. Ohio State, Clemson, Nebraska, California, South Carolina, Duke and Louisville have all offered Brown, who’s been committed to Virginia since July 2017.
— DJ Brown (@DeeJayyy___) January 16, 2018
Brown, an Under Armour All-American, took an official visit to Virginia in November. He’s bandied about the possibility of official visits to Ohio State, Clemson, South Carolina, Cal, Duke and Northwestern for his final four trips. He’s on a time crunch to arrange those trips ahead of signing day on Feb. 7.
BuckeyeGrove.com’s Marc Givler reported that Brown is planning to take an official visit to Ohio State, but it will be a game of wait-and-see as to whether that trip occurs. I wouldn’t go as far as to pencil Brown into the class yet until it’s clear what Ohio State’s scholarship numbers will look like and how interested the Buckeyes are. To boot, Clemson is not a school to take lightly for an East Coast prospect.
The offer to Brown is an interesting development and a situation that bears watching as the close to this recruiting class nears, but I wouldn’t expect it to be a recruitment that takes the forefront of Ohio State’s priority list just yet.
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