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.
Friday … Tyler Friday talks Buckeyes, Schiano
Ohio State will get a key visit next weekend from one of its top 2018 defensive line targets — Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) 4-star recruit Tyler Friday. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Friday is the nation’s second-ranked defensive tackle prospect and, according to most folks who have an inclination for these things, has a top group of schools including Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State. That could make him the center of the first real battle between the three recruiting kings of the Big Ten in a while.
Friday talked to Todderick Hunt of NJ.com about a number of topics related to his recruitment and tried to temper the discussion about a “group of favorites.”
Are Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State the teams on top?
“I mean, not really. A lot of guys take things the wrong way. Everyone has a fair shot as of right now. But I guess those are the schools that stand out to me because they are my most recent visits. But as of right now I don’t have any leaders or anything like that.”
When it comes to Ohio State, it’s the relationship Friday has forged with Greg Schiano that continues to drive the interest.
Which coaches does Friday have the best relationships with?
“Coach [Greg] Schiano from Ohio State, coach [Sean] Spencer, the D-line coach at Penn State. Coach [Chris] Partridge at Michigan and coach [Bill] Busch at Rutgers.”Friday discusses his relationship with former Rutgers coach Schiano:
“We [correspond] pretty much every week. They just try to keep a good relationship, which is something that I really think is a key factor when it comes to picking a school. And right now, him and their staff have been doing a great job staying in contact with me.”
Ohio State is looking to take a handful of defensive linemen in the 2018 class, and the Buckeyes will get a chance to impress Friday again when he visits on March 26.
Tyreke Smith resets Penn State visit
Speaking of Ohio State’s top defensive line targets, Cleveland Heights 2018 lineman Tyreke Smith will visit the Buckeyes at least once in the next few weeks.
“I’ll be there for the spring game, for sure,” Smith told Land of 10. “I’m not sure if I’ll go there before that or not.”
Prior to any trips to Columbus, though, Smith will make another visit that could play a key role in his decision: He’ll head back to Penn State this weekend.
Penn State visit rescheduled for Saturday ?⚪️? #WeAre
— Tyreke Smith™ (@T_23_baller) March 16, 2017
That trip originally was scheduled for last Tuesday, but a snowstorm in northeast Ohio prevented the trip.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Smith, ranked as the seventh-best defensive end prospect in America, has a number of people believing his final choice may come down to the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions. That said, Smith plans to hold off on a commitment until he sees a handful of other schools this summer — specifically an SEC tour — so it’s a bit premature to consider this a two-team battle.
“I have love for both Ohio State and Penn State,” Smith said. “But there’s love for many other schools and lots of visits that I need to take.”
Chase Williams prepares for first stop at Ohio State
About two weeks ago, we wrote about Corona, Calif., wide receiver Chase Williams, who was hoping to turn an end-of-March trip to Notre Dame into an end-of-March trip to Notre Dame and Ohio State.
“I’ve been talking to Jaiden Woodbey a lot about Ohio State,” Williams told Land of 10. “It’s a school I’ve got a lot of interest in.”
The Buckeyes have contacted the 6-1, 185-pound Williams, and he’ll make a visit to Columbus.
“They’ve reached out, a little bit,” Williams said. “I’ve been talking to [director of player personnel] Mark Pantoni. I’ll visit there on March 30. It’s basically just been ‘getting to know you’ stuff.”
The visit to see the Buckeyes will follow Williams’ visit to Notre Dame on March 29.
“I’ve heard the two are way different,” he said.
USC, UCLA and Washington also are interested in the nation’s 23rd-ranked wide receiver. Can an Ohio State visit – and a potential offer – move the Buckeyes into contention for this California star?
Kenyatta Watson making Buckeyes trip next week
Earlier this week, we spoke with 2019 linebacker Owen Pappoe, the nation’s second-ranked prospect from Grayson (Ga.). He told Land of 10 that he’ll visit Ohio State next weekend. Coming with Pappoe will be a teammate, 2019 defensive back prospect Kenyatta Watson.
Watson is a 6-2, 180-pound athlete who will be one of the highest-ranked safeties in that class. He holds 15 scholarship offers, including Florida State, LSU and Florida. The Buckeyes have not offered. Like Pappoe, he was part of a group that visited Ohio State two years ago.
“I’m hoping to learn or see if it’s really the college I want to go to and perform at,” Watson said. “Not only that, but how they can get me the best education and how they can develop me as a player and most importantly a person.”
Watson says he’s spoken to Urban Meyer a few times and has seen the Buckeyes coach at his school. Next week, Watson will roam the halls of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. He knows that Ohio State, despite not offering, is a school he seriously could consider because he’s looking for a degree in medicine or marine biology. He’s impressed with the Ohio State medical school … and its recent NFL push.
“I’m seeing how many draft picks that they’ve had in the past years and the coaches they have had come through,” he said when asked what impresses him about the Ohio State program. “I’m separating schools by education since the things I want to major in aren’t really common in every school.
“Ohio State has what I’m looking for from a medical standpoint.”