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Tyreke Smith, Jayson Oweh set to announce
Ohio State should be on the receiving end of some good news Thursday night as a pair of 4-star defensive ends are set to make their commitments. Tyreke Smith and Jayson Oweh will both announce at the Under Armour All-America Game, with Smith announcing shortly after the coin toss and Oweh after the third quarter. The game begins at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Landing either prospect would be a huge addition for the Buckeyes, especially in the wake of the Brenton Cox’s departure. The longtime 5-star Ohio State commit flipped to Georgia in December, signing with the Bulldogs in the early signing period. That left Ohio State with three standout defensive tackles but no defensive ends in the Class of 2018. Considering that the Buckeyes are losing Sam Hubbard, Jalyn Holmes and Tyquan Lewis (and figure to lose Nick Bosa after next season), they can’t afford to not bring in at least one quality defensive end in this class.
There’s some additional intrigue to these decisions because Smith and Oweh are both ostensibly deciding between Ohio State and Penn State. There may be additional hats on the table, but those two teams were the most relevant suitors for both players.
There’s plenty at stake for both programs, so let’s take a look at each recruitment and make some predictions.
Tyreke Smith commitment prediction
Smith, a 4-star prospect from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is the No. 4 weakside defensive end and No. 60 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite.
It’s been a tougher battle for the Buckeyes than with most in-state players. Though he’s played high school football in Ohio, Smith is originally from California and didn’t grow up enamored with the Buckeyes. For much of 2017 — especially in the fall — it’s looked as though the Nittany Lions led for Smith, giving Ohio State fans plenty of reason to worry. But in a wild turn of events, things appear to have shifted to the Buckeyes’ favor after his official visit to Penn State in early December.
Smith was once thought to be heading to Penn State, but it looks like Ohio State will be on the receiving end of some much-needed good news here. Despite a rough finish to the early signing period, it seems that Urban Meyer hasn’t lost his touch when it comes to winning some late battles.
Prediction: Ohio State
Jayson Oweh commitment prediction
Oweh, a 4-star prospect from Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy, is the No. 5 strongside defensive end and No. 106 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite.
He has seemed open-minded from the outset of his recruitment, perhaps because Oweh didn’t play football until his junior year of high school. However, there’s no denying that Penn State has been at the forefront if not the outright leader for Oweh. He got a Penn State offer a few weeks before Ohio State offered, and his proximity to State College has allowed for more frequent visits to Penn State than to Columbus.
Though it’s less certain than Smith’s decision, which feels clear cut, most signs point to Oweh ending up at Penn State.
Prediction: Penn State
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