Ohio State recruiting mailbag: Official visits are upon us, commitment watches and more

Have Ohio State football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Thursday for the Land of 10 Ohio State recruiting mailbag to discuss Buckeyes recruiting.  This week, official visitors return to Columbus, and with them come your questions. 

Welcome back to the mailbag, friends. There’s a pretty big game happening in Columbus this weekend and we’re all busy, so let’s just get right into your questions.

Do you get a sense for who the staff would like to see emerge as a leader for the 2019 recruiting class? I remember the staff identifying Gill for 2018 and seeming to push for an early commitment from him? – JDunc686

Ohio State will have their lone 2019 commit, Doug Nester, on campus this weekend as it takes on Oklahoma. The 5-star offensive tackle lives just about two hours away from Columbus and that gives him an opportunity to be on campus as a recruiter often. The Buckeyes will take advantage of that.

In truth, there is a pretty vocal leader of the 2019 class already, he just hasn’t committed yet.

If there was one player currently committed to another team that you would say is more likely to switch to the Buckeyes than anyone else, who would that be? – TerrryLash

Ohio State isn’t really chasing too many players committed elsewhere, so for that reason I will go with USC verbal Palaie Gaoteote.

The country’s top-ranked linebacker prospect is expected to make an official visit to Columbus this season – possibly the Penn State game in late October – and he’s been a big fan of the Buckeyes for a while. That said, he’s solidly pledged to USC at present.

Every commitment is 100 percent until it’s not, right?

What’s the deal with Jayson Oweh and Micah Parsons taking official visits this week? Will they be back for an unofficial for the PSU game? – AndyKPearson

That remains to be seen. With Parsons, there has been no discussion of why he changed the date of his trip, but I imagine it’s just so he can get to another school in late October. He intends to enroll early, so he’s going to need to lock in all of his official visits relatively soon in order to land on a school before Christmas. Also, Parsons and his people just love keeping people guessing, period.

For Oweh, it’s a simple issue. He plays all of his games on Saturday afternoon. Making official visits in the season, until late November, is almost impossible. There’s no doubt that Ohio State would prefer to get his final official visit rather than his first, but for the player and his family, seeing the Buckeyes and Sooners on a beautiful Columbus weekend is hard to pass up.

What is the probability of a commit coming during this weekend’s visits? – YTown

I think there are a few options here, certainly.

While 2019 Tennessee prospect Trey Knox has publicly backed off his plans to make a decision, he’s a major Ohio State “lean” and knows its the school he wants to play for. Because of that, I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if he decided to commit anyway. Lexington (Ohio) 4-star 2019 prospect Cade Stover could commit to the Buckeyes at any time, as well.

In the Class of 2018, we’re told Oweh will wait until Jan. 4 to make an announcement. Parsons isn’t committing this weekend. Anthony Cook, the 5-star cornerback from Texas, will announce his decision on Oct. 30. Christian Tutt is in no hurry to decide.

But…

Tommy Togiai, the 4-star defensive tackle from Idado, has no set date for a choice and there’s some cautious optimism that a second great visit to Ohio — his first was in late July — could be enough to add him to the recruiting class. Would I expect it? No, I don’t think so, but there’s some buzz it could happen.

Apart from Ohio State paying for travel and lodging, what’s the difference between an official visit and an unofficial visit?  Are there restrictions on where a kid who’s on an unofficial visit can go or who they can talk to? – TheOtherBorenBro

The single biggest thing is, as you said, that the school picks up the tab on travel for the player and two accompanying guardians. There are other perks, like meals being paid for/provided, but ultimately the money spent on travel and lodging is what separates the visits, at least among the tangible differences.

Ohio State isn’t going to invite and pay for visits for a player they’re not seriously interested in, either. That’s why when guys like Tutt, who we’ve not talked about much, show up on an official trip, it’s a little eye-opening. There are different levels of interest, even among official visitors, but it helps clarify who is “real” and who is not from a recruiting perspective.

Apart from Jackson Carman and Tyreke Smith, is the state of Ohio recruiting done for 2018? Who else should we keep an eye on in the state as December and January approach.  – BucksLAN

Remarkably, unless a player like Xavier Henderson (who is plenty good enough to play at Ohio State) gets back into the mix, I think you’re spot on. After Carman and Smith, two of Ohio’s three best prospects, there may not be any other players in the state earmarked for Columbus.

Minnesota commitment Austin Beier has gotten a few looks, Henderson and his current/future teammate Trenton Gillison are worth checking out, and Cincinnati linebacker Christopher Oats is visiting this weekend for the Oklahoma game.

Unless the Buckeyes miss on a few top targets, it’s hard to see how and where these other guys get much more than a cursory glance.

How many recruits have you maintained a relationship with after the recruiting cycle ended? – Jumar

I try to maintain a relationship with all of them!

Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? Tweet us @Landof10OSU and we’ll try to answer it in a future mailbag. If you wish to have your Ohio State recruiting questions answered in a future version of this column, sign up for our Ohio State forum. We try to keep the conversation going over there.

The post Ohio State recruiting mailbag: Official visits are upon us, commitment watches and more appeared first on Land of 10.

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