Things have been relatively quiet in the world of Ohio State recruiting ever since the Penn State game a couple of weeks ago, where Urban Meyer and his staff hosted some of the top high school players in the country. Things changed in a big way yesterday.
The biggest news of Thursday came when Thad Matta and his staff received a shocking verbal commitment from Mesa (AZ) Mountainview power forward Payton Dastrup.
Dastrup, who stands at 6-feet-9-inches and weighs in at 218 pounds, was expected by almost every basketball recruiting expert to commit to the BYU Cougars as he practices the Mormon religion. In fact, all 20 predictions on the 247 Sports Crystal Ball had him pegged to the Cougars.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, while Dastrup is listed as a class of 2014 prospects, he's really a 2016 prospect, because he's going to take his two year mission trip following his high school graduation. He won't be arriving in Columbus until the fall of 2016.
Here's what Land-Grant Holy Land basketball analyst Zach Fleer had to say about the newest Buckeye commitment.
"More of a stretch four than a traditional big. Can stretch the floor with perimeter shooting ability. High energy guy. Uses the hook shot well."
HUGE upset. Buckeyes get a big man in Payton Dastrup over BYU— Matt Brown (@MattLGHL) November 8, 2013
A couple of weeks ago the majority of recruiting insiders (including myself), thought Brooklyn (NY) Abraham Lincoln defensive tackle Thomas Holley was going to play his college ball in Columbus.
Things have drastically changed in his recruitment over the past couple of days as momentum has swung heavily in Penn State's favor. Word is the Buckeyes decided to go another way. Holley with be a very good player wherever he ends up, just not in Columbus.
Late last night I made a Crystal Ball prediction for Gary (IN) West Side athlete and current Buckeye commit Lonnie Johnson to end up at Cincinnati.
I have heard that there was a possibility of Johnson defecting from the class from the day after he committed last March. I've mentioned this a couple of times both here and at Eleven Warriors and am finally going to predict he ends up elsewhere. Cincinnati would make a lot of sense because he would likely be able to play with his cousin, Jon Vea' Johnson, who is a strong Bearcat lean.
It's never good to lose a commit, but losing Johnson shouldn't hurt the Bucks' 2014 too badly. The only other player I could see Ohio State losing is Cleveland (OH) Glenville offensive linemen Marcelys Jones, but I highly doubt we'll see that happen.
Ohio State handed out two more offers to 2015 prospects yesterday in the likes of Missouri City (TX) Fort Bend Marshall five-star defensive back Kendall Sheffield and Tampa (FL) Freedom defensive end Scott Patchan.
I think Sheffield is a Texas A&M lean, while Patchan is leaning towards Miami (FL), but it's still very early in the recruiting process for both.
Ohio State offered ESPNJr300 CB Kendall Sheffield (TX) - #Buckeyes— Craig Haubert (@CraigHaubert) November 7, 2013
Brooklyn (NY) Erasmus Hall Curtis Samuel became the first ever Ohio State recruit to sign an early financial agreement. The agreement, which was signed Monday, does not mean Samuel cannot talk to other schools. He can still talk to other schools and does not have to necessarily attend Ohio State. He still has to sign the National Letter of Intent before the scholarship agreement becomes official, but the early pact basically means OSU has to guarantee him a scholarship. Coaches can now acknowledge him publicly and are not limited by recruititing contact restrictions anymore. Samuel plans to officially enroll at Ohio State in January.
Shoutout to Curtis Samuel for signing his mid-year agreement on Monday! #GoBucks— Mark Pantoni (@markpantoni) November 7, 2013
Starting today, I will close out "State Secrets" with my predictions for the rest of the 2014 class in order of most confident to least confident:
1. ATH Marshon Lattimore
2. S Erick Smith
3. ILB Raekwon McMillan
4. OT Chad Mavety
5. DE Soloman Thomas
6. Surprise commitment
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.