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.
Solomon Tuliaupupu update
Beginning this week, Ohio State is going to have a much better understanding of what its 2018 linebacker class could end up looking like. Regardless of what happens Tuesday (when Dallas Gant announces his college choice) or later this month (more on that later), there’s another linebacker in this recruiting class who will remain a top Buckeyes target all the way to signing day.
That is Solomon Tuliaupupu, 247Sports’ third-ranked inside linebacker for 2018. The 247Sports.com Crystal Ball currently reads 100 percent to USC for the star from Santa Ana (Calif.) powerhouse Mater Dei. But Tuliaupupu’s father, Turnbull, says rumors and speculation are just part of this lengthy process.
“It comes with the territory,” the elder Tuliaupupu told Land of 10. “Everyone has an opinion and is entitled to one.”
What it not opinion is how the Buckeyes are faring in this recruitment. So far, so good for new linebackers coach Billy Davis & Co.
“Bill (Davis), he’s been spearheading the recruitment of Solo(mon) as well as coach Urban Meyer,” the elder Tuliaupupu shared. “(He’s) Genuine. I like Bill. We don’t have to get the ‘salesman’ pitch. Of course, it makes it a little easier that it’s Ohio State he’s doing it for. The process started sometime back with coach (Luke) Fickell and Meyer.
“We really like Ohio State. We plan to visit a couple more times and that will help the decision process.”
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Tuliaupupu made his only visit to Columbus in mid-April, a three-day stay with the Buckeyes that culminated in watching the Ohio State spring game. Leaving California and the West Coast isn’t something that is new, or worrisome, for this family. However, the trip to Ohio — and a few other stops in April — may have helped cement that idea in the 4-star prospect’s mind, according to his father.
“We have,” Tuliaupupu said when asked if the family has thought about his son leaving home. “Florida State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma have been on him early. I told have always told him to not let distance be a factor in limiting your decision. (Solomon) couldn’t grasp the reasoning until he got out to Ohio, Alabama, Washington and Oregon.”
Another trip to Ohio State may be on the docket already.
“We’ll probably do Ohio State’s [Friday Night Lights] in July,” Turnbull added. “We’ll try and make a stop to Georgia, and maybe Oklahoma or Tennessee.”
Florida State feeling confident on Teradja Mitchell, but so are Buckeyes
The visit that matters for Teradja Mitchell, the nation’s No. 2-ranked inside linebacker, is done.
Mitchell, one of Ohio State’s top targets at the position, was in Tallahassee during the weekend making his final visit with Florida State before a college decision, which is expected at the end of May. Heading into the weekend, there’s been a quiet confidence out of Columbus as the Buckeyes — who hosted Mitchell for a similar, weekend-long visit in early April — though some reports last week seemed to dispute that. Reaching out to sources close to Mitchell’s recruitment, I felt concession from Ohio State.
“(Ohio State) feels very comfortable,” a source shared with Land of 10 prior to the weekend. “But of course there’s always some concern about a final visit being made somewhere else.”
To try and minimize that worry, Davis was in Virginia Beach last week, continuing to grow his relationship with Mitchell as Ohio State moves from regional/area recruiter (Zach Smith) to position coach recruiter. That’s a signal that the Buckeyes feel pretty comfortable with their place.
Apparently, though, so does Florida State. Tim Brewster, an FSU assistant who never bites his tongue on social media, fired off a pretty confident-sounding tweet this weekend, with Mitchell on campus.
That man from #757 straight #NoleBlooded!! You already know!! 😎
— Tim Brewster (@TimBrewster) May 13, 2017
So, two confident teams for one big-time player. Buckle up, folks, this one is about to get good.
It means nothing … but maybe it means something
Repeat after me: Twitter almost never means anything when it comes to recruiting.
But … if you really, truly want to believe in something, it never fails in delivering you the proof you need to believe it.
Take, for example, this set of pictures posted by the country’s top-ranked running back for 2018, Zamir White.
— Zeus34 (@zeus1_34) May 12, 2017
Fairly innocuous, teenager-doing-a-fashion-show-for-some-reason fare? Yes, probably.
Why is he wearing an Ohio State hat in every one of those photos? I mentioned earlier this week that multiple sources still tell me the Buckeyes are the program that White prefers in his recruitment, though Georgia may be his mother’s preference. There’s no doubt White may have just grabbed the closest hat he could find, or perhaps he wanted something that was the right color (though Georgia’s colors are exactly the same as Ohio State’s).
Either way, it’s definitely not a sign that White is leaning toward the Buckeyes, right?
Probably. But …