3 for 3: With Jaiden Woodbey, Josh Proctor all in, how does Ohio State finish DB class?

Following July visits to Ohio State, two of the country’s top safeties — Jaiden Woodbey and Josh Proctor — took to Twitter and let the world know they are done with their recruiting.


Those two had been engaged in up-and-down, back-and-forth conversation with the Buckeyes. That’s recruiting in 2018. Whether it’s the safeties or Emory Jones or the newly de-committed Andrew Chatfield, college coaches are forced to recruit wire-to-wire these days. When a prospect comes out and publicly declares he’s finished with recruiting, that can take a good-sized weight off a coaching staff.

As long as the recruit means it.

With that safety duo firmly committed — and no inclination from either Sevyn Banks or Marcus Hooker, the other committed defensive backs, to look around — Ohio State is in a favorable position. With about six months to signing day, the Buckeyes can narrow their focus. Now it’s time to find the final piece in the defensive backfield class. More importantly, that can happen without a bunch of drama.

The question now: Who is the best fit? I’ve asked two recruiting analysts from other Ohio State websites for their take on that topic. To no one’s surprise, we all agree that the focus will be on cornerback. The primary targets?

Anthony Cook and Tyson Campbell.

But is there another guy or two on the short list?

Here’s what we think.

Marc Givler, BuckeyeGrove.com:

Assuming Woodbey and Proctor stay solid, the focus has to shift to cornerback.

The Buckeyes could still potentially lose two more corners to the draft next spring. The numbers could once again need to be replenished. I am kind of stating the obvious, but Anthony Cook and Tyson Campbell are elite guys that are attainable for Ohio State. They fit the profile of what the Buckeyes have recruited at the position in recent years as tall corners with long arms who can run.

After getting another look at Pickerington Central’s Xavier Henderson on Tuesday, Henderson is a guy who I think could push his way into offer territory. Henderson doesn’t do the spring and summer camp circuit so he hasn’t been seen since last winter. But he’s bigger, faster, and stronger than he was a year ago, and like the above guys, he fits the profile of the big, physical corner Ohio State likes to recruit.

Andrew Ellis, Elevenwarriors.com:

Given the recent haul in the defensive backfield, there’s really no need to go overboard in 2018 — even if Kendall Sheffield does end up as a one and done. Proctor, Woodbey, and Marcus Hooker should just about it do at safety, but adding at least one more pure corner to complement Sevyn Banks remains a priority.

It’s no surprise here, but the remaining pieces that are the best fit happen to be two of the best players in the country. Anthony Cook and Tyson Campbell have been at the top of the staff’s cornerback board for a while now, and the duo checks in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, at the position. They each have the length that Ohio State covets — especially Campbell, who checks in at almost 6-foot-3 — following the mold of guys such as Gareon Conley and Eli Apple.

The Buckeyes are in a great spot for Cook, but a lot is going to depend on how Tom Herman fares in his first season in Austin. Campbell seems to be wide open, but Ohio State, Alabama, and Miami are three of the prime contenders. He didn’t make it to Columbus this summer, and that could have gone a long way in helping the Buckeye push.

I still feel that Pickerington’s Xavier Henderson is a name to watch over the next several months. The Michigan State commit is perhaps more of an athlete than a pure corner, but he’s someone I think the Ohio State staff will keep an eye on this fall. Having grown up a Michigan fan, Henderson certainly is a different breed than some of the other local prospects we’ve grown accustomed to.

I believe five sounds about right for the 2018 secondary haul, but Urban Meyer and the Ohio State staff could push it to six if need be.

Jeremy Birmingham, Landof10.com

It’s not a huge surprise that we’re all mentioning the same names, because as noted, Ohio State has taken the mantle of DBU and run with it. It’s the place that kids from all over the country see as a three-year route to the NFL, especially at defensive back.

I think — after landing the No. 1 and No. 2 cornerbacks in the 2017 class (Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade) — people shouldn’t be shocked that the Buckeyes are making a serious push for 5-star cornerbacks such as Cook and Campbell. There’s a good chance, in my opinion, that Denzel Ward, Damon Arnette and Kendall Sheffield all depart for the NFL following the 2017 season. That is just more proof for top-flight prospects that Columbus is where they need to be.

Cook has been recruited by Ohio State the longest and he has excellent relationships with Buckeyes freshmen Okudah and Baron Browning. He’s a quiet, confident kid who fits the bill. Campbell has everything you see in the NFL’s best cornerbacks, and the Buckeyes believe he has first-round potential. The question is how willing is he to leave home (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) for Ohio, a question that seems answered with Cook.

Yes, there are other players out there who bear watching — I have long been on the Xavier Henderson bandwagon. Isaac Taylor-Stuart says he’ll take an official to Ohio State, but I can’t see any move made until the Buckeyes know their fate with Cook and Campbell.

The post 3 for 3: With Jaiden Woodbey, Josh Proctor all in, how does Ohio State finish DB class? appeared first on Land of 10.

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