Ohio State recruiting: Chris Olave ready for official visit, Buckeyes impress John Olmstead and more

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Chris Olave eager for Ohio State official visit

Ohio State will host a handful of official visitors this coming weekend, with Class of 2018 California wide receiver Chris Olave among them.

The Mission Hills (San Marcos) star receiver, ranked as a 3-star prospect despite offers from Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Utah and Arizona, among others, is taking his first official visit with the Buckeyes. It’s a good opportunity for the now very public nature of his recruitment to kick off with a bang.

“I get in on Friday around 3:15 p.m. I believe,” Olave told Land of 10 about his visit. “I can’t wait.”

Oregon is one of the schools Olave grew up watching and hopes to land an offer from. This weekend, though, is just about getting a glimpse into what big time, Big Ten, football is all about.

“I’m most excited to just get a good look at the atmosphere [at Ohio State],” he said. “I’ve been talking to [quarterbacks coach Ryan] Day and [wide receivers coach] Zach Smith.

“I heard it’s crazy there and I can’t wait to see it in person.”

Buckeyes impress John Olmstead

One of Ohio State’s priorities along the offensive line in the Class of 2019 appears to be John Olmstead from Metuchen, N.J.

The St. Joseph High School product was in Columbus for the first time two weekends ago and watched the Buckeyes take on another school he’s interested in, Penn State.

“It was a great game,” Olmstead told Land of 10 about the offer. “The visit was awesome.

“It was a great atmosphere. The type of game it was probably ended up being the most amazing thing. It was great just seeing  how loyal their fans are, even when they were down, and then the comeback win was amazing.”

Buckeyes offensive line coach Greg Studrawa has been the primary recruiter for the 6-foot-6, 290-pound Olmstead. The two of them, along with Urban Meyer, spent some time together on Sunday morning following the Ohio State win.

“[On Sunday], we got to sit down with coaches,” Olmstead said. “We took tours of the campus and facilities, too. ”

Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Rutgers and more than 20 other schools have already offered Olmstead, the country’s No. 16-ranked offensive tackle in the Class of 2019.

Michigan LB Lance Dixon compares Ohio State, Michigan

Another prospect who visited Columbus for the Penn State game, West Bloomfield (Mich.) 3-star linebacker Lance Dixon, spent the weekend following that – last weekend – in Ann Arbor visiting the Michigan Wolverines.

To spend back-to-back weekends on those two campuses can be quite eye-opening for recruits as they compare and contrast two of college football’s most prestigious programs — and bitter rivals.

When asked what he felt the primary differences were between the schools, Dixon — a 6-foot-2, 195-pound athlete who plays safety and linebacker – said it’s all about culture.

“There weren’t many differences but the biggest one was probably the culture of the two,” he said. “Their values are different. It seems like Ohio State’s biggest value is their brotherhood, while Michigan’s is their tradition.

Of course, both of those things are good and can make a school feel like home depending on the people you’re closest with.

“They’re both great places to be,” Dixon told Land of 10. “It definitely is hard to compare them,  but it’s all about how well you like the coaches and which ones are going to give you the best opportunity.

“I definitely enjoyed meeting the coaches the most. They all seem like cool people that are easy to get to know from both programs.”

What makes 5-star LB Palaie Gaoteote so special

The best NFL prospect ever to come from Las Vegas?

That’s what some people are saying about USC commit Palaie Gaoteote, and that’s why Ohio State has been trying to flip the 5-star linebacker from the Trojans for the last 11 months. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound is more than just measurables, though his measurables are pretty impressive, too.

From Sam Gordon of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

The measurables are obvious: 6-foot-2-inches, 240 pounds with 4.7 seconds speed in the 40-yard dash. But coach Kenny Sanchez is more enthralled with “how smart and how cerebral of a football player” Gaoteote is, quarterbacking the defense and diagnosing plays before the ball is snapped.

For the country’s top-ranked inside linebacker, his talent is as much a story about his heritage as it is his potential. Looking where he’s come from has helped shape his vision of where he’ll be one day.

“It means everything,” he said of his heritage. “[My tattoo] basically is a rite of passage to my manhood. Tells the story of me and my upbringings and where I’ve been.”

Gaoteote’s story began in American Samoa, where his father, a former Airborne Ranger in the U.S. Army, coached high school football and introduced him to speed and footwork drills at age 3.

Inspired by his dad and uncle Ma’a Tanuvasa, a hall-of-famer at Hawaii who won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, Gaoteote started flag football in kindergarten as his family moved to Oahu. He began playing tackle football as a seventh-grader.

Check out the story on Gaoteote and get a better sense of why he’s a program-changing player, no matter where he ends up playing college football.

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