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.
Palaie Gaoteote getting familiar with new linebackers coach Billy Davis
There’s not a lot of recruiting “stuff” happening right now with the NCAA-mandated quiet period in effect since Feb. 3 and running through April 14. Yes, coaches can contact players, but there is no face-to-face contact unless prospects visit a school. That means a lot of text messages are being traded between the country’s best prospects and college football coaches.
That’s especially important for a coach in his first month on the job as is the case with new Buckeyes defensive assistant Billy Davis. He’s been talking regularly to one of Ohio State’s top overall targets for 2018, Las Vegas (Bishop Gorman) linebacker Palaie Gaoteote, who has a 5-star rating by 247Sports. The country’s top-ranked outside linebacker was very close with former OSU linebackers coach Luke Fickell and is working on developing that kind of relationship with Davis.
The reserved Las Vegas prospect had good things to say to Land of 10 about the new coach.
“We get along real good,” Gaoteote said. “Our relationship is real strong.”
The Buckeyes will likely look to sign three or four linebackers in the 2018 class, and Gaoteote is at the top of the list.
What’s up with the Xavier Henderson ‘Crystal Ball’?
In today’s modern, internet-led era of football recruiting, one of the most popular web-based tools used for prognosticating purposes is the 247Sports.com crystal ball. If you’re a fan of recruiting — and the Buckeyes — you no doubt pay close attention to these predictions and, more importantly, the predictors who make them.
Why is that interesting? Because as of right now, in-state prospect Xavier Henderson (he goes to Pickerington Central High) doesn’t have an offer from Ohio State. He is a player that the Buckeyes have kept an eye on in the few months since he committed to Michigan State and is now probably the most likely Ohio product without an offer from the Buckeyes (on the defense) to ultimately land one.
The Buckeyes are one of a handful of schools that would love to flip Henderson — he’s Ohio’s ninth-ranked 2018 prospect — but they might be the only team that actually could, if they were to extend an offer.
Malik Vann staying patient, will visit Ohio State this weekend
DL Malik Vann, a 4-star prospect from Fairfield, Ohio, will visit the Buckeyes this weekend.
“I’m coming up (to Ohio State) on Saturday,” Vann told Land of 10. “My coach asked me if I wanted to go.”
Vann will head to campus with his Fairfield High teammate, 5-star OL Jackson Carman, as he continues to wait for an offer from the Buckeyes. Vann is the country’s 11th-ranked strong-side defensive end — despite the fact that he’s transitioning to the line from linebacker, where he played prior to last season. He’s up to 260 pounds and says the message from Kerry Coombs, Ohio State’s assistant coach who is recruiting him, is to not fret about when or if he’ll be offered by the Buckeyes.
“His message is just to be patient,” Vann said of his conversations with Coombs. “I’m focusing on the (offers) I have, and if it happens, it happens. If not, so be it. I’m hearing the most from Cincinnati, Tennessee, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Pitt and Louisville.”
Lorenzo Lingard commits to Miami
One of the Buckeyes’ top running back targets for the 2018 recruiting cycle has committed elsewhere.
I would like to think everyone around me that has made this possible and I'm to excited about making a commitment to The U???can't wait??? pic.twitter.com/dZ0BkyMuFv
— Lorenzo Lingard (@d1champ99) February 9, 2017
That is 5-star tailback Lorenzo Lingard, the country’s second-ranked running back and a player who said Ohio State was his clear-cut leader in November. He’s from Orange City, Fla.
“Yes, they’re No. 1,” Lingard told Land of 10. “I really loved it there. The crowd, the speech Urban Meyer gave before the game, the fans. I got in quality time with their coaches. I knew the program was different from comparing to others. Their program is very elite.”
Today, he’s committed to the Hurricanes. If the Buckeyes really want Lingard, and he’s a very good fit for the Ohio State offense, they’ll continue to pursue him. Miami has had two de-commitments in the 2018 recruiting class after a whopping 14 in the 2017 cycle and an insane 25 de-commitments in the 2016 class.