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.
Tavion Thomas continues hot streak and adds Ohio State offer
There may not be a hotter prospect in the country right now than Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar High School RB/LB Tavion Thomas.
After gaining offers earlier in the week from Alabama and Georgia, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Thomas visited Ohio State on Saturday and added an offer from the home-state Buckeyes — on top of offers from Iowa, Arizona State and Nebraska this weekend, as well.
— lackofworries?? (@tavionthomas937) February 18, 2017
The offer from Ohio State clearly was the biggest news of his Saturday and puts the Buckeyes in the front of the conversation for the prospect 247Sports currently gives 3 stars. He’s expected to visit Alabama this coming weekend and although he says he could extend his recruitment into the fall and take some official visits, I’d not be surprised if he ended up in the Buckeyes 2018 recruiting class well before then.
Iverson Clement leaves Columbus without a commitment
While one running back target left with the big offer he coveted (Thomas), the discussion around New Jersey’s Iverson Clement — namely that he’d like to commit to Ohio State this weekend — seems to have fizzled out.
Clement is a top-tier athlete and one of the nation’s best running backs but with 4-star Brian Snead already committed and local product Jaelen Gill a top priority, I think the Buckeyes may be searching for a little more time to let everything shake out before going all-in on most other running backs. Especially now that they’ve offered the aforementioned Thomas.
In 2013, Ohio State signed Ezekiel Elliott, Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson — all of whom were the primary ball-carriers on their high school teams — but each had a defined role in the Buckeyes offensive plans. Snead and Thomas are similar players and there’s room in the 2018 class for both of them. Gill, out of Westerville South High School — just about 20 minutes from the Ohio State campus — is more of an H-back/slot/running back-hybrid type … as is Clement. Is there room for all four running backs in this class?
I think that’s worth figuring out.
Top linebacker target chooses USC
Despite making serious inroads in the western half of the country during the 2017 recruiting cycle, it was never going to be easy for Ohio State to consistently pluck the players they want from left of the Rockies. In 2017, they signed two players from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School and had a third (Tyjon Lindsey) committed for almost six months. That made quite a few folks feel the Buckeyes could be the team to beat for 5-star LB Palaie Gaoteote — also from Bishop Gorman — in this cycle.
If that was true at all, it is certainly not true now. On Sunday, the country’s top-ranked outside linebacker committed to USC.
FIGHT ON✌️ pic.twitter.com/KNKeQBH66T
— PALAIE GAOTEOTE IV (@ie_2018) February 19, 2017
Gaoteote is very close with Ohio State signee Haskell Garrett and visited Columbus last fall with his defensive tackle teammate. For some time it seemed as though the two were destined to play alongside one in another in college.
Ohio State has a number of targets at linebacker in 2018 but few have the potential to be the instant-impact performer that Gaoteote has.