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.
4-star cornerback Derrik Allen commits to Notre Dame over Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia
A few months ago, there were a lot of people who believed that Ohio State was in the driver’s seat to land 4-star cornerback Derrik Allen from Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga. As the fall turned to winter – and the Buckeyes picked up five cornerbacks in the 2017 signing class – things started to change a bit, and Allen began looking closely at a number of schools, including Clemson, Georgia and Notre Dame. According to his father, Derrik Allen Sr., it would’ve made no sense to not consider how the signing class of five affected his son’s own recruitment. While you certainly need and want multiple defensive backs in every class, five highly ranked players coming into a program just one year before you would make anyone do a double take.
“It would be dishonest to say depth chart doesn’t factor in,” Allen Sr. told Land of 10. “It won’t be the deciding factor by any means because competition will exist at all the schools he is evaluating.”
Hours later, Allen committed to Notre Dame. His interest in the Irish was always present but, apparently, underestimated. His father said the decision to commit wasn’t something that the family took lightly.
“He had his mind made up for a while,” Allen, Sr. said. “(My) wife and I wanted him to see some other places. Last night it came up again and he felt strongly and we were thrilled so we said, ‘Let’s do it.’ He really felt comfortable there. (It’s a) smaller school, great academics, (and he) really connected with Coach (Mike) Elko and (Todd) Lyght. He liked the independent schedule getting to play teams across the country.”
Allen visited Ohio State in November and has a strong relationship with the Buckeyes as well. That is what makes committing elsewhere so challenging.
“(We) spoke with (Urban Meyer and Kerry Coombs), they said they understood and were disappointed and he is always welcome if he were to reconsider,” he said. “They had told him before he had an offer there as long as he wanted. We really struggled with Ohio State because he really bonded with them as well. They do so much right.”
So what are the odds of a reconsideration? At this point, not very high, though there will be two unofficial visits made soon to fulfill promises made.
“He is 100 percent barring some really drastic unforeseen changes (at Notre Dame),” Allen Sr. said. “We had already given our word that he would visit Penn State and Michigan, so he’ll take those visits. We informed Notre Dame of that and they were OK. I think we as a family are very, very comfortable with this commitment.”
Ohio State getting to know, preparing to host, Illinois linebacker
We’ve all heard it before: the dreaded “dream school” comment.
Recruits say it all the time, but it rarely means much. This week, Ohio State will host a 3-star linebacker from Lake Zurich, Ill., who says he grew up rooting for the Buckeyes.
“I am going to visit there, I believe Friday,” Jack Sanborn told Land of 10. “Ohio State was my favorite team while I was young. They have been a program that I have liked for years and I have a chance to make it over there and am looking forward to it.”
A 6-foot-2, 210-pound inside linebacker, Sanborn has 11 scholarship offers, including Iowa, Wisconsin and Duke. His father played at the University of Oregon, and he says the reason he’s garnering so much attention is because of his downhill style.
“My father played at the University of Oregon,” Sanborn said when asked where his talents come from. “I don’t really know how to explain it but my whole family just loves football. The constant thing I hear is that I am like an old-school type of linebacker who is physical and moves downhill and could play in the box.”
Ohio State has been in contact with the country’s 11th-ranked inside linebacker for a few months now.
“I’ve been talking to Coach Studrawa for a few months now,” Sanborn said. “He first reached out during the season.”
The Buckeyes have not offered, but if they did this weekend it could be a game-changing scholarship offer for Sanborn.
Luke Ford is one of the country’s fastest-rising tight end prospects
Let’s stay in Illinois for a final update and get to know Luke Ford, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound tight end from Carterville. He’s a 3-star prospect ranked as the country’s 14th best at this position and has added nearly 10 offers in the last two weeks. He’s been hearing from Ohio State’s Kevin Wilson.
“We talk over the phone a lot,” Ford said of Wilson. “He’s looking for an athletic tight end, that can move, like me. There are a lot of big guys out there, but not everyone can move and are as athletic as me.”
As you’d expect, Ford is fairly familiar with the Buckeyes.
“I know they’re one of top programs in nation,” he said. “I know a lot about the program.”
Ford would like to visit Ohio State but says he won’t schedule a trip to Columbus without a scholarship offer. That likely won’t happen until the April evaluation period begins, when Wilson and Ohio State can visit him and check him out in person. That gives him time to see if the program is really interested in him, which is what he’s looking forward to finding out.
“He wants to come see me in person first,” Ford said. “I’m looking (for a school) that really puts forth the time and effort to talk with me and build a relationship with me. (I’m interested) also if they have a good business or medical school. Last but not least, if they use their tight ends.”