The football, and recruiting, seasons are now officially both underway for Ohio State and programs across America.
The Buckeyes coaching staff, when they’re not knee-deep in weekly game prep, are cutting film, watching film and traveling here and there to watch 2018, 2019 and even 2020 prospects all over the country. It’s the time of year that demands a meticulous approach to all facets of recruiting, and because of that, is unique. Most of the year, the focus is almost entirely on recruiting and player development, but now that takes a back seat for this three-month stretch.
But recruiting isn’t dead, not even close. Ohio State now begins hosting official visitors, can truly begin building relationships with players in the 2019 class and has to balance the rigors of life on the road and the demands at home.
September is when great coaching staffs separate themselves from the average. Ohio State’s coaching staff is chock full of some of the country’s best assistants, but there is work to be done on the recruiting trail.
Ohio State needs to know what’s up with Anthony Cook
The Buckeyes will get a chance to firm up their 2018 defensive backfield starting this coming weekend when 5-star cornerback Anthony Cook hits Columbus for his official visit.
The Lamar (Houston) High School standout has a final three schools of Ohio State, Texas and LSU. He was in Austin on opening weekend as the Longhorns struggled defensively and fell to Maryland, but one loss rarely impacts a recruit’s decision, so don’t expect any sudden removal of Texas from his list. In fact, you should expect the Longhorns, who have four of Texas’ top 5 prospects in 2018 already committed, to make an even stronger push over the next two months.
There is very little chance that the 6-foot-0, 180-pound prospect commits to Ohio State this coming weekend. However, for the Buckeyes, this is about finding out exactly where they stand heading into his Oct. 30 decision.
The Buckeyes have to make a move with Zach Harrison and Jowon Briggs
Ohio State is working hard to secure Ohio’s best players in the Class of 2019, and this coming weekend, and the entire of month of September, will give them a serious opportunity to build some relationships.
The Buckeyes are in great shape with Lexington (Ohio) 4-star Cade Stover, and they’ll hope to get to that point with 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison and 4-star defensive tackle Jowon Briggs. Harrison will be in Columbus for the Oklahoma game at least, and maybe more often, but there’s no doubt the work to be done with Briggs and Harrison is ample, especially Briggs.
The Walnut Hills (Cincinnati) star is probably leaning toward Notre Dame at this point. Ohio State needs to find a way to move the dial back in its direction. September will play a big part in that, at least if the Buckeyes can get him on campus.
Ohio State has to locate new offensive line targets
A third, more subjective goal for the month is one that Ohio State hopes won’t be necessary. That said, the Buckeyes need to locate some offensive linemen in the 2018 class that could fill spots if Nicholas Petit-Frere, Rasheed Walker and William Barnes don’t decide in Ohio State’s favor.
Last week, Buckeyes offensive line coach Greg Studrawa watched Minnesota commitment Austin Beier in Toledo, but there’s no imminent move being made by Ohio State to offer him anytime soon. There are 50 states and thousands of players, but with each passing month, it is harder to find diamonds in the rough outside of Ohio’s footprint.
Finding potential secondary options at this key position is vital for a successful September.
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