Will Missouri roll out the red carpet for Ohio State pledge Ezekiel Elliott?
While Ohio State has a pair of high profile recruits on their campus this weekend, some current (and prospective) Buckeye pledges are exploring what their other options look like in person.
We took a look yesterday at the visitors Ohio State would be entertaining on their Columbus campus during the next two weeks on the stretch run to National Signing Day 2013. Today, we explore where existing Ohio State commits and some of their other targets for the class of 2013 will be visiting this coming weekend. It's easy to get lost in the grind of recruiting season and forget that choosing a school is a multivariable equation for basically all college bound students, not just athletes. But even those with the best chances of becoming Buckeyes have to make sure they're performing their due diligence.
Of course the biggest news on the subject, current commit 4-star RB Ezekiel Elliott visiting Missouri this weekend, is a topic we've already broached. Since then, his father spoke to Bucknuts' Dave Biddle yesterday and from the sounds of it, the visit remains fairly trivial with Elliott's loyalties still lying with the Buckeyes. While Elliott clearly has to do what's best for he and his family (of which both parents are Missouri alums, for whatever that's worth), it's hard to imagine the recruit on the receiving end of this impassioned plea from OSU DB coach Kerry Coombs, going anywhere else.
So which other prospective Buckeyes will be making the rounds one last time this weekend (and perhaps more importantly, where are they headed)?
Vonn Bell (5-11/180) S/CB | Ridgeland H.S., GA (Tennessee)
Ezekiel Elliott (6-0/212) RB | John Burroughs School, MO (Missouri)
Cameron Hunt (6-5/275) OT | Centennial H.S., CA (Cal)
Corn Elder (5-10/165) ATH | Ensworth H.S., TN (Georgia Tech)
James Hearns (6-3/235) LB | Lincoln H.S., FL (Kentucky)
Dan Skipper (6-10/292) OT | Ralston Valley Senior H.S., CO (Ole Miss)
Devin Lauderdale (5-10/167) WR | Bellaire H.S., TX (Texas Tech)
The priority for Ohio State with respect to these prospects is a bit different than their pure star ratings. Probably in terms of greatest want/need, Skipper and Hunt would top the list. Bell would check in second (on sheer talent alone), though he seems a venerable lock for Alabama at this juncture. Elliott is the lone Buckeyes commit from the bunch, but you have to think that Ohio State coaches will be checking in with him early and often during the weekend to try and prevent any possible defections. Elder is far more of a "nice to have", but something apparently never quite lined up between he and the OSU staff (perhaps his basketball ambitions). Lauderdale seems like a pipe dream, at best. Finally, Hearns is unable to qualify at Ohio State, and is thus a virtual non-starter for the Bucks.
So where will Ohio State stand after this weekend? It's possible you see a commit elsewhere if one of these recruits has an absolute home run visit, but given where we're at on the recruiting timeline from a macro sense, those yet to commit will likely wait right up to National Signing Day '13 before announcing their decision. The question remains whether any of them will don Ohio State flat brims when doing so.