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.
Recruited turn recruiter: Who’s on Teradja Mitchell’s radar?
A week ago, 4-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell was putting the finishing touches on his college decision and laying low online. With just days before an announcement, he didn’t want to be bothered or feel any more pressure than necessary.
Mitchell, as you no doubt are aware, picked Ohio State over Florida State on Friday night, and quickly saw himself transformed from recruited to recruiter.
Uh ohh I just went from recruit to recruiter #Shhhhh 🤐🅾️
— ™⁷ (@WhosThatNumber7) June 3, 2017
Make no mistake, Mitchell is aware of who he’s trying to bring aboard the Buckeyes recruiting train. He hopes to get to Columbus again soon, but if that doesn’t happen this month, Nike’s The Opening will provide him with a chance to ramp up recruiting efforts.
“I am making my next visit to Ohio State very soon,” Mitchell told Land of 10. “We are starting to build a bond of brotherhood with our future teammates, guys I’m going to win national championships with. We’ll go out to Oregon and put on for our families, our schools and our cities and, of course, for our future school, Ohio State.
As an inside linebacker, you may think Mitchell would be reluctant to recruit players such as Gaoteote and Tuliaupupu, who are both “inside” guys as well. However, each of those West Coast stars has the ability to play any of the three linebacker positions, as does fellow commit Dallas Gant, so there’s no concern on his part. The newest Buckeyes commit is content with being able to relax, finally.
“I’m going to be focusing on building our class, and the season coming up with my team,” he said when asked what he’s looking forward to now that his recruitment is over. “We’re looking to be a national powerhouse. I’m getting prepared and getting right.
“I want to be able to go compete for that starting spot in college next year. I’m 110-percent committed. Those are my plans.”
So what about Solomon Tuliaupupu?
As mentioned, California 4-star linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu remains a player of serious interest for Ohio State. The country’s third-ranked middle linebacker visited the Buckeyes in April and there is a growing sense of optimism that Ohio State is more than just a cursory player in his recruitment.
Over the weekend, Ohio State linebackers coach Billy Davis was in California, representing the Buckeyes in The Kumite Showcase at Azusa Pacific University. The event, hosted by Prime Time Polynesian, a training group led by Turnbull Tuliaupupu (Solomon’s father), featured dozens of colleges from around the country.
— Stephen Barber Jr (@StephenBarberJr) June 4, 2017
As you’d expect, the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder spent a good portion of the afternoon working with Davis. It was an opportunity for both sides to further evaluate each other. According to Turnbull Tuliaupupu, Davis continues to acquit himself very well on the recruiting trail.
“[We] talked with [Davis] a lot,” Turnbull told Land of 10. “He did a good job just focusing on the camp. He’s a class act. He’s personable and he mingled with all the coaches and coached up the linebackers. A few campers raved about his coaching.”
What was not discussed, at least not at length, was the topic of “spots” available at Ohio State. There’s no reason to focus on that for Tuliaupupu because, as mentioned, his ability to play three linebacker positions means he’s flexible in the eyes of the Buckeyes coaches.
“Nothing has changed on our end,” the linebacker’s father said. “We didn’t spend much time talking on the topic. [Davis] mentioned with Solo’s ability, he could play any of the linebacker positons.”
Tuliaupupu told Land of 10 previously that he believes his son will return for a second Ohio State visit in July, most likely when the Buckeyes host their summer spectacle, Friday Night Lights.
Michael Harris still feeling Ohio State, but is the writing on the wall?
As my good friend Yoda once said, “there is another.”
In this case it’s another linebacker, and if you want an indicator of how good Ohio State’s recruiting is right now, consider this: Tucker (Ga.) 4-star linebacker Michael Harris has been publicly stating his desire to commit to the Buckeyes for months, and on June 17 he’ll come to Columbus to camp for the Buckeyes in an effort to prove his talent.
The country’s No. 12-ranked inside linebacker lived in Ohio when he was younger, and getting back to The Buckeye State and playing for Urban Meyer’s program is a lifelong dream. But Harris knows his window of opportunity to play for the Buckeyes may be closing. He’s recently begun to look much harder at Auburn, Alabama and others.
Still, Ohio State is in front, but he has backed off the “Buckeyes no matter what” mantra he was repeating months ago.
“That was really just me talking,” Harris told SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner over the weekend. “I love Ohio State. Now, getting around and seeing other colleges, it’s made me up my choices a bit.”
Next week’s visit to Columbus will help Harris find out once and for all if he’s got the chance to join the Buckeyes.
“I’m going to see if Ohio State gives me the same type of love and treatment now,” he said when asked if the commitment of Mitchell affects his order. “I texted [the Buckeyes] coaches congratulations on getting the commitment, but I didn’t hear anything from them.
“Usually I would have some sort of response back. I’m just seeing if they got what they wanted in that linebacker and if they show me the kind of love they once did.”
Harris plans to make a college decision at the end of June or in early July, so there’s no doubt his visit Ohio State next weekend is pivotal.