There's no rest for the weary as college football's recruiting cycle begins to enter the home stretch of the final month and change leading up to National Signing Day 2013. Accordingly, with the Ohio State coaching being afforded a minor strategic advantage without having to prepare for a bowl game of any sort (though also losing the associated practice time, which could have an inverse effect), led by head coach Urban Meyer, the entire group have been all over the country this week.
Ohio State tight ends/fullback coach (and proud Marionnaire) Tim Hinton made an in-home visit to Nashville, Tennessee yesterday afternoon ($) to see 4-star athlete Cornelius "Corn" Elder. From the sounds of it, Elder will be taking his official visit to Columbus January 11th. The scuttlebutt is also such that Elder may be winding his decision making process down to one of two schools, either UCLA or Ohio State. You have to feel good about the Buckeyes' chances to be Elder's ultimate decision after it coming to light that Elder was a surprise attendee at The Game, where which Ohio State clinched a 12-0 season defeating arch rival Michigan, 26-21.
Looking a bit ahead to the future, Ohio State secondary coach Everett Withers wasted no time making sure a potential impact defensive tackle from the class of 2015 knew exactly where the Buckeyes stood with him. On Tuesday, Withers offered 2015 DT Shy Tuttle through his head coach in Lexington, North Carolina. Tuttle still has two years to grow into the athlete he's going to be but has a promising start at 6'3" 275 pounds. It's not surprisingly a bit early in the process for their to be anything resembling definitive evaluations out there, but presently there are no star grades for Tuttle (though one would have to think he has all the makings of a 4-star or higher). Presently,Tuttle also has offers from Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wake Forest. Check out the high school junior to be in action in the highlights below:
Everett Withers certainly doesn't mess around; while in the area Tuesday he also extended an offer to 2014 North Carolina running back Elijah Hood. Hood is a consensus 4-star who's weighing his options including the likes of Notre Dame, Clemson, North Carolina, and Duke. He runs a legit 4.5 40 and could fit into Tom Herman and Urban Meyer's offense just nicely. It's definitely easy to understand how after seeing Hood do his thing:
Staying a bit closer to where Hinton was, class of 2015 safety Rico McGraw could very well soon join Tuttle in the early offer department. The 6'0" 180 pound DB (who also has offers from Alabama, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Mississippi State, and North Carolina) could be on the receiving end of a Buckeye offer after talking to the staff yesterday:
Just got off the phone with Ohio State!— Rico McGraw (@thatmcgrawkid97) December 4, 2012
Meanwhile, for all the Buckeyes' efforts with some of the distant future talents that may comprise the Buckeyes roster in years to come, their chances at 2013 Florida wide receiver Tony Stevens may be diminishing. While it would appear Stevens remains undecided ($), it's clear from his 247Sports profile that Stan Drayton and Ohio State will have some work to do to regain ground on Stevens' favorites, Texas A&M and Florida State.
Jumping to the other side of the ball (and back to future classes), it sounds like the kid brother of one very prominent former Urban Meyer disciple will be making the trek down to check out his big brother's former coaches new digs shortly. Washington DC area defensive back/receiver Jonathan Haden (younger brother of the Browns' Joe Haden) told ESPN's Dave Hooker he plans to visit Columbus soon ($). While it's no surprise given he's spoken glowingly of the Buckeyes since they first offered him a scholarship, it certainly sounds like the Buckeyes' unbeaten 2012 season didn't do them a disservice in their efforts to secure the younger Haden's commitment.
Finally, some folks logically jumped to the conclusion that the dominoes would begin to fall with Bret Bielema leaving Wisconsin for Arkansas and it could be possible for Bielema's former offensive coordinator (and offensive line coach) Paul Chryst to potentially head back to Madison to succeed his former boss. Those same (present company included) suspected that this could reopen the doors to potentially recruit 2012 offensive tackle Dorian Johnson, a former Buckeye target who committed to Pitt last month. Alas, given Chryst's emphasis on commitment, character, and how former Panthers head coach Todd Graham bailed on the very same team after one only season, particularly following a statement he made last night, it's hard to see Chryst forcing Pitt to look for their 8th head coach in 10 seasons:
Paul Chryst: "We are working hard every day to re-establish this program and I am excited about the future of #Pitt football."— Chris Peak (@PantherLair) December 5, 2012
It will undoubtedly be interesting to see whether Chryst listens to Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez' overtures or decides he's happy honoring his commitment where he is.