Ohio State recruiting: Trying to hold off Bama, how losses really impact recruiting

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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 a glimpse at what’s coming next.


Brenton Cox, Emory Jones don’t make Bama visits

I mentioned it first on Sunday evening, but the official visit Alabama hoped 5-star Ohio State commit Brenton Cox would make to Tuscaloosa did not happen. On top of that, the rumblings that 4-star quarterback commit Emory Jones would again return to Bama did not turn out to be, either.

Those are two pretty good things if you’re hoping – and I think most of you are – that the Buckeyes are able to sign both Georgia standouts.

The question now is a simple one: Is Ohio State out of the woods?

I don’t think the answer is as simple as the question, unfortunately.

When it comes to Cox, the country’s No. 19-ranked prospect in the 2018 class, there are lots of reasons to remain positive if you’re Ohio State. He’s been dialed in with Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes coaching staff since his commitment in the spring, and despite a visit to Bama in October, he’s not been active in the “want to see other places” talk that is common with recruits. He’s expected to visit Ohio State officially in December and enroll early.

With Jones, there’s not been much of a change in my gut feeling since last week, despite him not returning for the Tide’s home game against LSU. I could be completely wrong, but Jones has been almost radio silent since the end of his official visit in Columbus, and multiple Southern sources continue to tell me that Alabama feels “very confident” it will flip him, while Ohio State sources continue to feel confused and uncertain of his intentions.

The loss and its lasting effect

I’ve said it a few times in the last year, but one loss, even one as historically bad as the 55-24 loss to Iowa, rarely impacts recruiting.

But the Buckeyes now are entering dangerous territory where “one” loss has turned into three in their last nine games, and it’s almost impossible to ignore the questions that are popping up around the Ohio State football program. On Monday, Urban Meyer dismissed a question about the program’s direction, but whether there are legitimate concerns about that, it’s a theme that the Buckeyes are absolutely going to be facing on the recruiting trail. Because of that, Meyer will need to find some answers beyond “I don’t know” relatively quickly.

The loss to Iowa is an aberration for Meyer, at least in his Big Ten tenure, and you can’t overreact in the micro sense. But in the big picture, having some concerns about a program that could very well be 6-6 in its last 12 games isn’t out of line.

For recruiting purposes, though, and I’ve said it before, the biggest way that losses impact a program is almost directly tied to fan response.

If Ohio State would have lost to Penn State 38-33, the atmosphere in Columbus and the crowd support that day would have likely served as a recruiting salve for the Buckeyes, helping soothe the pain of the loss.

This coming weekend, when Ohio State returns home to face Michigan State – a team the Buckeyes have struggled against in Meyer’s tenure – the way the crowd reacts will play a major role in how recruits in attendance view the program.

Fans have every right to question coaches who are being paid millions of dollars. But believe it or not, that’s a good way to scare off the recruits you want in your favorite program.

Ohio State offers Indiana athlete

The Buckeyes offered a scholarship on Sunday to Avon, Ind., running back Sampson James, a 3-star prospect in the Class of 2019.

James is slated to visit Ohio State this weekend. The Buckeyes are the fifth program to extend him an offer, joining Cincinnati, Iowa, Indiana and Minnesota.

James, 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, is the eighth 2019 tailback to claim an Ohio State offer.

Pay it no mind

Ohio State is not really involved anymore in the recruitment of 5-star defensive end Micah Parsons, but that’s not stopping the top-10 prospect in the Class of 2018 from including the Buckeyes in his final five schools as he heads toward a commitment on Dec. 20.

Parsons’ final five include Nebraska, Penn State, Ohio State, Georgia and Oklahoma, but the only reason to include the Buckeyes in that list is to publicly pick another school “over” Ohio State.

Miss a day of the Ohio State recruiting notebook? Don’t fret! You can get all of the previous versions of Dotting the ‘Eyes here.

The post Ohio State recruiting: Trying to hold off Bama, how losses really impact recruiting appeared first on Land of 10.

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