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.
Teradja Mitchell doubles down: Ohio State or Florida State
As we’ve mentioned a few times in the last week or so, it is coming down to the wire for a decision from 5-star 2018 linebacker Teradja Mitchell.
The Virginia Beach (Bishop Sullivan Catholic) star spent his Sunday morning in Charlotte, N.C., taking part in Nike’s regional recruiting combine/camp being held there. Not surprisingly, Mitchell was a major target for media members hoping to catch his latest thoughts about his recruitment.
5-star LB Teradja Mitchell says he's torn 50-50 between FSU and Ohio State. Looking to commit later this month/early June. FSU visit on deck
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) May 7, 2017
So is that good or bad for Ohio State?
Here’s the good. This Florida State visit is the Seminoles’ last chance to try to sway him. Mitchell once was considered a longtime lean to Florida State — coach Jimbo Fisher has had major success recruiting in Virginia over the last few years — but the Buckeyes changed the game in the last few months. They now are the perceived leader despite Mitchell’s “50/50” assertions.
The bad news? Ohio State isn’t likely to see Mitchell again before he makes a decision sometime at the end of May or early June, and because of that, you just can’t be sure how he’s feeling following a trip elsewhere. Florida State will have the opportunities to compare the Seminoles’ system and life after football to what Ohio State can offer.
If I’m picking a winner in this race, as of today, it’s Ohio State, but you can’t ever count out Florida State and their longtime assistant coach Odell Haggins.
Former Notre Dame pledge hears from Buckeyes
Detroit Cass Tech 2018 cornerback Kalon Gervin decommitted from Notre Dame on Saturday.
Respect my decision…. pic.twitter.com/hZ4i6ekXoP
— Kalon Gervin (@KalonGervin) May 6, 2017
The decision to reopen his recruitment moves the Irish back to 11 commitments and puts the country’s 21st-ranked cornerback on the market once more. The move wasn’t something that the Notre Dame staff was expecting, but for Gervin, he said it was just a matter of committing too early. Schools such as Oregon, Oklahoma and Michigan State have maintained serious pressure on the 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back.
He told Land of 10 on Saturday that he’s going to take a step back now and get himself to a few other schools. That list potentially could include Ohio State.
“I’ve got to see more schools,” he said. “Possibly Ohio State. I talked to [Buckeyes cornerbacks coach Kerry] Coombs on Saturday. He reached out to talk after I had decommitted.”
Coombs has a healthy relationship with Gervin, though the Ohio State staff has not yet offered. Whether that happens remains up in the air, but you should expect to see the energetic Buckeyes assistant on Michigan soil sometime soon.
“We didn’t talk much on Saturday, just real quick,” Gervin added. “He will be back to the school soon.”
Verdis Brown includes Ohio State in Top 10
The Buckeyes have one offensive lineman currently committed in 2018 — Franklin, Tenn. 4-star Max Wray — but they’re looking for five or six overall in this class most likely, and that means there’s a long way to go.
On Saturday, one potential target narrowed his list to 10 schools and included the Buckeyes.
— Verdisbrown77 (@verdisbrown) May 6, 2017
That is IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 4-star Verdis Brown, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound guard who is from Chicago. As of now, the Buckeyes hold 100 percent of the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions for Brown.
“It feels like home,” Brown told Land of 10 about Ohio State. “I know the coaches well, and it’s not far from home. I know they’ll prepare me for the NFL.”
The country’s sixth-ranked offensive guard said he’s talking to Ohio State assistant Greg Studrawa regularly and intends to return to Columbus this summer.
“We talk often,” he said of Studrawa, who is preparing for his second year at Ohio State. “I don’t know yet when I will get back there for a visit, but I know I will.”
Dane Goodwin, Justin Ahrens aren’t going anywhere
We’ll finish tonight’s notebook in an unusual fashion: talking Buckeyes basketball.
This weekend in Fort Wayne, Ind., both of Ohio State’s 2018 commits — Upper Arlington’s Dane Goodwin and Versailles’ Justin Ahrens — were on hand for Spiece Run N Slam, a major AAU event held every spring.
There, Goodwin — the country’s No. 134-ranked prospect in 2018 — and Ahrens (No. 162) talked to the gathered media about the state of the Buckeyes program and their role in its future. In a time of little good news for Thad Matta and Ohio State’s hoops program — especially after recent decommit Darius Bazley roasted the program’s player development — the duo delivered a positive message.
From Tim Shoemaker of elevenwarriors.com:
“I’m still firmly committed,” Ahrens said. “Both me and Dane are.”
“Yep,” Goodwin added. “I’m 100 percent.”
Goodwin took umbrage with the comments from Bazley, the state’s top-ranked player in 2018, and suggested that even though Bazley still lists the Buckeyes as a potential landing spot, that shouldn’t be considered a likely outcome.
“After saying those things, I don’t think he would come back,” Goodwin said. “Or that he should because that’s not right.”
Ohio State is working hard to replace the void left by Bazley’s departure and might not have to look outside the state to do that. The Buckeyes recently have begun reaching out to already-offered swing prospect Justin Hunter from Pickerington North High School. Hunter is the No. 4-ranked player in Ohio, while Goodwin is No. 5 and Ahrens is No. 6. Hunter, along with Richfield Revere’s Pete Nance, are realistic options for the Buckeyes moving forward.
There are many who have expressed that one of the reasons that Matta’s program has fallen off is because the staff has not done a good enough job identifying and recruiting in-state talent. The loaded 2018 class is a good place to try to right the ship as Ohio State will have scholarships available to use in its roster shuffle.