The number one wide receiver on Ohio State's board, Demarre Kitt, has finally set a decision date. The Peach State product has set his long-awaited announcement date for Monday, June 10th. However, despite the immediate gushing optimism that most Buckeye fans may experience, they may want to temper their expectations. 247Sports' Keith Niebuhr, after listing Ohio State as Kitt's favorite in the past weeks, changed his Crystal Ball prediction to Clemson yesterday.
For Buckeye fans, this is not a good sign, as Niebuhr has been the go-to man when looking into Kitt's recruitment. On the bright side, there are two positives to look at in regards to Kitt's recruitment. The first being the fact that he is "deciding" where is he attending college so early. With Urban Meyer's recent success in flipping commitments who had previously verbaled to other schools, he may be able to do the same with Kitt, especially if Ohio State fulfills their lofty expectations set for the 2013 season. Furthermore, the 2014 class' website and recruitment push is solely responsible for the second positive to examine in Kitt's recruitment. 2014bucks.com has now created a profile page solely for Demarre Kitt. The page includes details on his announcement date, his most recent statements on Ohio State, and details on what he would bring to the table in the 2014 Ohio State recruiting class. Impressive, to say the least. Let's hope the 2014 class' savvy recruiting tactics make an impact on Kitt.
I apologize for providing you with yet another piece of negative recruiting news for the Buckeyes. Deshaun Watson, a long-time Clemson quarterback commit and only 2014 Ohio State quarterback target holding an offer, had very strong statements early yesterday regarding his recruitment. Watson stated that "his recruitment is over," that he is "not going to visit anybody else," and that he is "not interested in going to visit anywhere." Well, that certainly seems to squash Watson's previous plans to visit Ohio State, to say the least. Again, looking on the bright side, this is, like Kitt, a very, very early decision. I truly do not believe that Ohio State has pulled out all the big guns and made their final push for Watson. Despite these strong quotes from the consensus top quarterback in the 2014 class, I do not think it's time to give up all hope.
Moving on to some more positive news, Ohio State visited a long-forgotten prospect who was issued a Buckeye scholarship offer a year ago, nearly to the date. Yesterday, recruiting guru and co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers made the trek to Latta, South Carolina to see massive offensive line target Donell Stanley. Stanley, standing at 6-4, 327 pounds, grades out as a 98 overall, the 44th best player in the nation, the 2nd best offensive guard prospect in the nation, and the best player in the state of South Carolina, according to 247Sports' Composite Rankings. Land-Grant Holy Land's Charles Doss caught up with him yesterday, and Stanley had this to say:
"Coach [Everett] Withers stopped by during my workout class and talked to my uncle first then he came over and talked to me. He was basically just checking in on me, looking at my grades and letting me know that they were interested. He also wanted to know when me, my uncle, and my best friend, who is our running back were headed up there. The visit went well and we are trying to get up there July 25 and 26."
In some more northern recruiting news, Buckeyes' cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs was all over Indiana yesterday, stopping by several high schools that some key Buckeye targets attend. One name many fans may not know is wide receiver/athlete Terry McLaurin. Coombs stopped by Cathedral High School in Indianapolis to pay a visit to the 5-11, 175-pound speedster. McLaurin holds offers from several schools, some of the most notable being from Missouri, Purdue, and Indiana. As the search for wide receivers in the 2014 class progresses, we'll keep you updated with the status of McLaurin and Ohio State.
Two more notable names visited by Coach Coombs yesterday are Austin Roberts and Dominique Booth. Roberts and Booth are 4-star recruits and the 27th and 19th best wide receivers in the nation, respectively, according to 247Sports' Composite Rankings. Roberts holds a Buckeye offer and is predicted in 247Sports' "The Crystal Ball" feature to choose Ohio State, according to Steve Wiltfong. Booth, shockingly, does not hold an Ohio State offer. Who knows, if Demarre Kitt commits elsewhere come June 10, Booth may be finally issued that Buckeye scholarship offer.
To round up Ohio State football recruiting news, I'll leave you with an awesomely awkward photo of Ohio State's Tom Herman against a white brick backdrop at Suwannee, Georgia's Peach Tree Ridge High School. Peach Tree served as a home to ex-Buckeye Cameron Heyward and is current home to '14 Buckeye target Orlando "Zeus" Brown.
As far as Buckeyes roundball recruiting goes, the Ohio State staff paid visits to a prospect in the 2014 class, the 2015 class, and the 2016 class on Wednesday night. Highly regarded '14 shooting guard D'Angelo Russell, out of Louisville, tweeted out that he had great visits with both Ohio State and Georgetown's coaches. Killing two birds with one stone, Ohio State attended an open gym to see '15 center Moustapha Diagne and '16 guard Bryce Aiken. It feels so strange to look at highlight videos for a high school freshman, and when the most recent highlight videos available are from over a year prior to that, it gets even weirder. Snag a first look at the young phenom here: