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.
The Ohio State 2018 recruiting class is good, actually
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the country’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class is full of talented players, but if you’re a skeptic who needs a few more opinions before buying in, the All-USA Preseason Football Team put together by USA Today should help.
The first-team All-America defense was announced Thursday, and 21 percent of that unit is committed to the Buckeyes. That could number could climb to an even crazier percentage in the coming months.
Which future Buckeyes made the list?
- Brenton Cox, DE, Stockbridge (Ga.)
- Taron Vincent, DT, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
- Dallas Gant, LB, St. John’s Jesuit (Toledo, Ohio)
- Teradja Mitchell, LB, Bishop Sullivan Catholic (Virginia Beach, Va.)
- Jaiden Woodbey, DB, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
To earn this honor means more pressure for players who have already earned a target on their backs just by being committed to Ohio State.
“Any honor I receive is really appreciated,” Dallas Gant told Land of 10. “It adds a little bit of pressure, but it’s just playing football, and that’s what I do.”
Gant’s counterpart at linebacker, Teradja Mitchell, also is grateful for the recognition.
“It’s a honor to be recognized as one of the best in the country,” Mitchell said Thursday. “I’m blessed to be named on the list.”
As noted, though, given all the names that the Buckeyes are still pursuing, things could get downright silly on this front by the time the season rolls around. In addition to the five commits, there are a handful of Ohio State targets on the 24-player first-team defense:
- Zach Harrison, DE, Orange (Lewis Center, Ohio), 2019
- Micah Parsons, DE, Harrisburg (Pa.)
- Nolan Smith II, DE, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
- Palaie Gaoteote, LB, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
- Solomon Tuliaupupu, LB, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
- Tyson Campbell, DB, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
- Anthony Cook, DB, Lamar (Houston)
Of that group, the Buckeyes have a realistic chance to land four or five prospects, meaning that potentially 40 percent of the first-team All-Americans could be future teammates in Columbus.
At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, that’s flat-out ridiculous.
Emory Jones back to work
After a busy offseason on the camp circuit, Ohio State 2018 quarterback commit Emory Jones is back to real football action. Following a shoulder injury that cost him the end of his junior season, Jones went back to work this past weekend and lit it up.
“It was great,” Jones said of his return. “I love how all the hard work I’ve put in and [the] mental part of the game come together on the field. It makes it feel so easy.”
“I was 17 of 17,” Jones said of his first scrimmage. “Zero incompletions.”
Early look at the Class of 2020 reveals familiar names
Speaking of the Buckeyes’ bright future, 247Sports.com released its Top 100 players for 2020. (I know, it’s way too early, but it’s out there and we’re going to talk about it, OK?)
These guys will be sophomores this fall, but a handful of them are already developing relationships with the Buckeyes. Among them, the (way-too-early) No. 1 player for 2020, a defensive end from Maryland.
- No. 1 • Bryan Bresee, DE, Damascus (Md.)
- No. 11 • Myles Hinton, DL, Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, Ga.)
- No. 25 • Justin Rogers, OL, Oak Park (Mich.)
- No. 47 • Jack Miller, QB, Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
- No. 49 • Harrison Bailey, QB, Marietta (Ga.)
- No. 89 • Darvon Hubbard, RB, Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
- No. 93 • Michael Drennan II, ATH, Coffman (Dublin, Ohio)
- No. 98 • Jake Wray, OL, Franklin (Tenn.)
There are dozens of players on the full list who already have offers from the Buckeyes. The prospects listed above have been to campus, which is the first major step in each player’s recruitment.
Fairfield High School has another player to watch
Ohio State has become familiar with Fairfield High School over the last year-plus thanks to its pursuit of 5-star offensive lineman Jackson Carman. However, 2019 tight end Erick All could give the Buckeyes a reason to keep frequenting the suburban Cincinnati campus.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound All has offers from Kentucky and Cincinnati, and after two camp appearances with the Buckeyes this summer has emerged on Ohio State’s radar.
“They’ve came to my school and my practice,” All said of the Buckeyes. “I talked to them then and they gave me their number to keep in touch after I was at their camps.”
All was in Columbus for a 1-day camp in June and was invited back to campus for Friday Night Lights on July 21. He’s originally from Alabama, but the interest from the Buckeyes is something he relishes.
“They said they are going to watch me this season,” he added. “It’s really exciting for one of the best schools in college football to be interested in me.”
Now that his name is starting to find its way to the recruiting world, All is in no hurry to make a college choice.
“I’m not rushing to get any offers,” he said. “I’m only a junior, so I’m just going to keep playing my game and being a leader, helping my team become the best we can be.”
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