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.
Taron Vincent looks like a handful
Ohio State landed a game-changing defensive tackle in early April when 5-star Taron Vincent committed to the Buckeyes.
The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy prospect spent Sunday showing why he was such a coveted and highly rated player. Originally from Baltimore, Vincent took part in The Opening Washington D.C. Regional. He spent the day wrecking offensive linemen, as you can see below.
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) April 23, 2017
For his efforts, Vincent was one of four players at the camp selected to attend the prestigious The Opening Finals in Oregon this summer.
— The Opening (@TheOpening) April 23, 2017
It’s hard to believe, but Vincent is the first 5-star defensive tackle coach Urban Meyer has landed at Ohio State since Tommy Schutt in 2012, months after Meyer was hired. The Buckeyes have picked up their recruiting at that spot recently, especially by landing Haskell Garrett in the Class of 2017. Vincent has athleticism that could be a game-changer for Ohio State.
If you want to get excited about what’s to come, you can view some of his highlights below.
Rushmen helping Ohio State recruiting?
With each passing year, it seems as though Ohio State’s Rushmen package has gotten more and more aggressive about getting defensive ends on the field. In 2015, it debuted as a way to slide an end inside and get three defensive ends on the field on third downs and obvious passing situations. Last year, the Buckeyes used four defensive ends at times — putting Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis on the outside, with Jalyn Holmes and Nick Bosa lining up inside. This year, there’s already talk of sliding Hubbard back to a stand-up, similar to a linebacker, and throwing five defensive ends out there.
Defensive line coach Larry Johnson said this week he’s used that package as a way to sell recruits on early playing time. The formation helped true freshmen such as Bosa and Jonathon Cooper get on the field last year more often than they might have otherwise.
“It helps some guys; they know how they are going to get on the field,” Johnson said. “… We have a situation and a package — if you have a really special skill set, we are going to find a way to use that. That might be in the Rushmen package. You may not be able to play first and second down, but we will give you reps on third down. That can get you like 10 or 15 plays a game.”
Johnson was asked how successful that approach has been, as if the results didn’t speak for themselves.
“It has been attractive, let’s say that,” he said, throwing out a wry smile.
Decision coming for hoops target?
On Friday, we discussed the upcoming visit of 4-star shooting guard Mark Smith, who checked out Ohio State last weekend.
At the time, Ohio State’s chances didn’t seem promising. Michigan State and particularly Illinois were well positioned, and it sounded as though Smith was at least entertaining the possibility of also visiting Kentucky and Duke.
According to Adam Zagoria, Smith’s Ohio State visit went well, and it sounds as if a decision could be coming sooner than expected.
Mark Smith had a 'good visit' to Ohio State and he may potentially announce this coming week, source says.
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 23, 2017
So, what does that mean for Ohio State? As of Sunday night, nothing in Smith’s 247Sports Crystal Ball would indicate that anything has shifted away from Illinois having the momentum. It very well may be the case that Ohio State put its best foot forward but still didn’t come out as appealing as the Illini.
Emory Jones talks recruiting
Emory Jones took part in the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp in Atlanta on Sunday, one week after his visit to Columbus for the Ohio State spring game.
After the camp, he spoke to Rivals recruiting analyst Chad Simmons about the state of his recruitment. Despite being asked to name a No. 2 school in his recruitment — Jones said Florida— it sounded very much as if Ohio State has nothing to worry about with its 4-star commit.
When asked what it would take for him to not end up at Ohio State, Jones said something drastic would have to occur.
“To change my mind about Ohio State, it would probably take a coaching change or something big like that,” he said.
Given that Meyer and first-year quarterbacks coach Ryan Day seem set for the foreseeable future, don’t bet on Jones signing anywhere other than Ohio State in February 2018.