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.
Changing plans for 2 potential Ohio State visitors
It’s shaping up to be a quiet weekend in Columbus, Ohio for the Buckeyes. After multiple questions about the legitimacy of Ohio State’s pursuit of Under Armour All-America Game MVP Maurice Washington, a product of Cedar Hill (Texas) Trinity Christian School, the 4-star prospect’s planned official visit to Ohio State is now canceled. Washington was planning to take his final three official visits to Arizona State, Ohio State and Nebraska, but it now appears that Baylor will replace the Buckeyes for Washington’s final official visit slot.
Washington is being recruited by most programs on his list — including his top-2 contenders, Arizona State and Nebraska — as an offensive weapon, be it at running back, hybrid or slot receiver. Most teams just want to find a way to get the ball in his hands. Ohio State approached Washington about the possibility of playing cornerback earlier in the week. Between the Buckeyes’ desires to switch him to a side of the ball he’s unfamiliar and uninterested in and Ohio State’s concerns over Washington’s academic qualifications, I wouldn’t expect this recruitment to stay alive for Ohio State. Expect Washington to land at Nebraska or Arizona State.
However, as they say, when one door closes, another one opens. When Big Ten East divisional opponent Maryland lost a commitment from 4-star defensive back Noah Boykin, a standout at Washington (D.C.) H.D. Woodson, it appeared the Florida Gators would be the beneficiary. Boykin took an official visit to Florida on Jan. 19 and de-committed from Maryland shortly thereafter on Jan. 24. Florida was his final official visit, with previous trips taking him to Notre Dame, USC, Virginia and Maryland.
Boykin may not be done quite yet though. As first reported by 247Sports’ Bill Kurelic, and later confirmed by Land of 10, Boykin is considering taking two unofficial visits, to Penn State and Ohio State, this weekend, driving from Washington D.C. to the two Big Ten powerhouses. If this visit does materialize, and that’s still an if, it immediately becomes an incredibly intriguing situation for the Buckeyes. Ohio State is pursuing another player at defensive back. Boykin is a long, athletic corner at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds who could provide the length and speed in coverage that Ohio State’s scheme demands under Greg Schiano.
Keep an eye on this one.
Buckeyes land a preferred walk-on commit
We’ve recently discussed Ohio State’s increased focus on the preferred walk-on program, a newfound opportunity the Buckeyes are hoping to build an advantage through. By working to add talented in-state athletes with the ability to contribute to the program, players who may otherwise go to FCS programs and play under scholarship, Ohio State is hoping to build a more complete arsenal of talent. The Buckeyes added to their stockpile on Friday with the commitment of Massillon (Ohio) Washington safety and wide receiver Austin Kutscher.
— Austin Kutscher (@AustinKutscher) January 26, 2018
Kutscher is a 6-1, 190-pound prospect and the 10th Ohioan to commit to the Buckeyes as a preferred walk-on. He joins a long list of talented players:
- Mason (Ohio) defensive tackle Zaid Hamdan, who held scholarship offers from Buffalo, Navy, Army and Air Force, is already enrolled and on campus.
- Berlin Center (Ohio) Western Reserve linebacker Jack Cappabianca
- Dublin (Ohio) Jerome running back Robert Cope
- Sunbury (Ohio) Big Walnut athlete Abe Myers
- Bedford (Ohio) wide receiver Davion Johnson
- Piqua (Ohio) linebacker Ben Schmiesing
- Dublin (Ohio) Jerome linebacker Cade Kacherski
- London (Ohio) wide receiver Michael Johnson
- Worthington (Ohio) Kilbourne long snapper Roen McCullough, the younger brother of current Buckeyes long snapper Liam McCullough
Check out Kutscher’s highlight film below:
Urban Meyer checks in on 2 in-state targets
On Thursday, we discussed Urban Meyer’s whirlwind tour of a half-dozen high schools throughout the Midwest, including a long list of stops throughout the Indianapolis area. On Friday, he took it a little easier with two stops much closer to home than Kansas City or Iowa.
Dayton (Ohio) Archbishop Alter is one of Western Ohio’s more prominent football programs and they’ve got a loaded group in the 2019 class. Meyer checked in on standout junior running back John Bivens, who holds offers from USC, Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana, Iowa State, West Virginia, Purdue, Illinois, Cincinnati and Toledo. Bivens is widely regarded as Ohio’s top running back in 2019 and will likely be a frequent visitor to campus over the next several months. Alter also features 2019 quarterback Connor Bazelak in one of the state’s top backfields. Bazelak holds offers from many of the same programs — West Virginia, Kentucky, Pitt, Vanderbilt, Central Michigan, Toledo, Ohio and Western Michigan.
Urban Meyer from The Ohio State University made a visit today to check in on Alter running back John Bivens III 👀🏈 @gclcoedsports @jjhuddlenews @JamesRRider @rickcassano @AlterHSFootball @GCL_GGCLSPORTS
— Coach Morrison (@knightsmorrison) January 26, 2018
Eleven Warriors recruiting analyst Andrew Lind also reported that Meyer checked in on Clayton (Ohio) Northmont defensive end Gabe Newburg. Newburg, a 3-star prospect, holds offers from Cincinnati, Toledo, Ohio, Eastern Michigan and Ball State and checks in at 6-5 and 230 pounds.
— Andrew Lind (@AndrewMLind) January 26, 2018
Buckeyes extend 4 new offers among underclassmen
Ohio State has offered four new underclassmen over the last 24 hours. Safety Jalani Williams of St. Louis and fellow 2019 prospect end Lloyd Summerall III, a defensive end from Auburndale, Fla., 2020 running back Kendall Milton of Clovis, Calif., and 2021 offensive tackle Micah Morris of Kingsland, Ga.
— Kendall Milton🕊 (@therealkmilt) January 26, 2018
— Micah Morris (@MicahMorris56cc) January 26, 2018
— Jalani Williams™ (@jalaniw9) January 26, 2018
— Lloyd Summerall lll (@HimsoHam) January 25, 2018
Miss a day of the Ohio State recruiting notebook? Don’t fret! You can get all of the previous versions of Dotting the Eyes here.