The mystery of Tyreke Smith, Ohio State commit honored in Virginia, and more

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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 for a glimpse at what’s coming next.

The mysterious Tyreke Smith

Last week in the Land of 10 series “3 for 3,” I joined two of my peers to take a look at the Buckeyes defensive end recruiting for 2018. We examined the odds of Ohio State landing all three of its top remaining targets at the position: Tyreke Smith, Jayson Oweh and Micah Parsons.

Though myself, Andrew Ellis and Alex Gleitman all predicted that Smith, who is from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, would pick the Buckeyes, there certainly are varying degrees of confidence in each prospect’s … prospects.

With Smith, who we’ve talked about at length since at least February, there are so many natural reasons to assume that Ohio State would be his choice. But he’s remained relatively non-committal about his interest in any school.

That’s not to say he’s not clear about his interests. Everyone in the recruiting business has a handle on his interests, but how much he’s interested remains a mystery. There’s Ohio State, Penn State, Alabama, USC, Notre Dame and others in the mix, but from discussions with sources close to the Buckeyes, no one has really been able to get a read on the country’s third-ranked weakside defensive end.

But every one of Smith’s Crystal Ball predictions have him pegged for Ohio State, making it seem like this recruitment is all but over.

That’s a belief I don’t share, though the Buckeyes are in a good position.

K’Vaughan Pope earning big honors

Ohio State commit K’Vaughan Pope is turning heads in a big way in Virginia.

After a dominant season in 2016 that included 94 tackles and 6 interceptions (not to mention 33 catches for 630 yards receiving), Pope is preparing to lead his Dinwiddie County team in 2017 as one of the Richmond area’s highest-profile players.

The 4-star linebacker is set up for a big season. A lot of that comes from his always-on motor.

“He’s explosive. He’s a Lamborghini. Some guys like myself are Priuses,” Dinwiddie coach Billy Mills told “You’ve got to get them warmed up. He’s full speed right away.”

That’s why programs such as Ohio State opened the door for Pope. That’s why he is ranked as the No. 4 prospect in Virginia, according to, which focuses on the Commonwealth.

As new names and prospects get added to the Buckeyes’ top-ranked class, it’s nice to see that the “lower rated” players are still very, very good at what they do.

Name to watch in 2019: Marcel Brooks

The Buckeyes have built a big-time presence in Texas, and though Tom Herman’s Texas Longhorns are working overtime to try to lessen that impact, Ohio State is still on the minds of Lone Star State stars in the Class of 2019.

On Sunday night, linebacker Marcel Brooks, the country’s No. 4-ranked outside linebacker, included the Buckeyes in his top 9 schools.

Though Ohio State is in the mix, the Buckeyes just offered in early August and have work to do in order to make a splash. Another Big Ten team — Penn State — is reportedly the “dream school” for the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Brooks.

As a sophomore, Brooks played at Nolan Catholic in Fort Worth, but he will suit up this fall for Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas.

Like any player in the 2019 or 2020 classes who hasn’t been on campus, the Buckeyes haven’t been able to really develop a relationship with Brooks. That should start to change considerably come Sept. 1.

Staying in Texas and the 2019 class…

Thanks to the work of Chris Ash, Kerry Coombs and Greg Schiano, there may be no position group in the country with a better recruiting reputation than the Ohio State secondary. The Buckeyes are fighting hard to land the country’s No. 2-ranked cornerback in the Class of 2018 (Texas’ Anthony Cook) after they landed the top two cornerbacks in the Class of 2017: Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade.

On Monday, the Buckeyes offered another of the top young defensive backs in Texas — Richmond’s Erick Young.

A 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback at Bush High School, Young has six offers, including Florida State on Tuesday. TCU, Iowa State, Colorado, and Baylor also made an offer.

The No. 22-ranked cornerback in the country, Young is a speed-burner, running the 100-meter dash in 11.1 seconds. He returned each of his 2 interceptions in 2016 for scores.

The post The mystery of Tyreke Smith, Ohio State commit honored in Virginia, and more appeared first on Land of 10.

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