Before getting you all adequately prepared for this monumental recruiting weekend in Columbus, I'd like to note that the Notre Dame coaches were working the phones early and often on Thursday morning. In a very short timeframe, the world was alerted via twitter that the Irish offered three key Buckeye targets. Wide receivers Dallis Todd (our talk with Todd last month) and Derek Kief, along with tight end Tyler Luatua (Todd's high school teammate), were issued full rides from Brian Kelly and his staff in South Bend. The Buckeyes better hope Todd holds value in the fact that Ohio State was one of the first major schools to notice him, because he is racking up offers left and right. The same goes for Kief- let's hope he wants to stick around close to home for his college career. Check out Todd and Kief's highlight tapes.
Moving on to this epic recruiting weekend, I'm certain Urban Meyer has his staff fully prepared and ready to host this bevy of talented prep athletes. Yesterday, we provided a comprehensive visitor list to fully suit up for the weekend, and our very own Luke Zimmermann (among many others) stated that he believes recent Notre Dame lacrosse decommit Sam Hubbard may be the next in line to join Buckeye pledges Damon Webb, Parris Campbell, Kyle Trout, Marcelys Jones, and Dylan Thompson in the 2014 class.
Speaking of Campbell, I caught up with him and asked about his plans in his visit to Ohio State and what other recruits he is looking forward to speaking with. Here's what he had to say:
"I'm looking forward to the atmosphere of the practice, and I'm looking forward to meeting all of the families [of the other visitors]. I'm most looking forward to hanging out with, of course, my boy Dante Booker. But another guy I'm looking forward to hanging with is Damon Webb."
Sounds like the sole running back commit (as of now) in the Buckeyes' 2014 recruiting class is pumped to get to know the other members of his class. Campbell also told me a few weeks ago that the chances linebacker Dante Booker ends up a Buckeye are "really high." Here's some film for Booker, who, ya know, just may end up a Buckeye, according to Campbell:
One out-of-state prospect who everyone considers a Buckeye lean is offensive lineman Sam Mustipher, out of Maryland. Mustipher told me a few months ago that he doesn't plan on deciding on a school until sometime during the fall of his senior season (this upcoming fall) and probably sometime in December. Well, he certainly isn't short on choices, as he holds offers from juggernauts like Alabama, Michigan (I really don't want to call TSUN a "juggernaut," so ignore that adjective), Notre Dame, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Clemson, among others. Regardless, among the names being mentioned by fans and social media contributors when discussing potential Buckeye commitments this weekend is Mustipher. I chatted with him and asked about what he's looking forward to doing in Columbus this weekend. Here's what he said:
"I'm just looking forward to getting back up there and furthering relationships with the staff. Also, seeing a practice."
I'll be sure to catch up with him post-visit, and hopefully he comes away impressed. Sam's currently in Ann Arbor visiting the Wolverines, so it'll be easy for him to compare the two visits as they are back-to-back trips.
Another highly heralded out-of-state offensive line target is Alex Bookser, out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bookser holds schollies from many of the big boys as well, including Ohio State's SEC rival, Alabama. He's listed at 6-6, 295 pounds and projects as an offensive tackle, where the aforementioned Mustipher projects as a guard. I asked Bookser about his expectations for his Columbus trip, and here's what he said he's looking forward to:
"I really want to meet the coaches and just check out the environment. From what I hear, it's a special place, so I'd like to see for myself."
We discussed Coach Meyer's struggle to haul in out-of-state offensive line talent a little over a week ago, and commitments from Bookser and Mustipher would surely buck that trend.
On Tuesday, we gave you guys the details on Ohio State's latest punting target, Corbin Daly, out of Charlotte, North Carolina. As we stated in that piece, Daly is very interested in the Buckeyes and is looking forward to checking out campus. Aside from checking out the Fisher College of Business, Daly detailed the football-related activities he is excited to partake in:
"I am really looking forward to seeing the campus and the football program as a whole. I am looking to get a feel for the atmosphere at the campus and watching Urban Meyer coach his team that he had rebuilt from scratch."
Although Daly doesn't yet hold a Buckeye offer, we'll keep you detailed on the progression of his recruitment.
Last but certainly not least, Ohio State commit Damon Webb, from Detroit, Michigan, is ready to do some recruiting of his own this weekend. He told me this late Thursday:
"I'm just looking forward to hanging out with my Buckeye family and recruiting other players."
Prepare yourself, Buckeye nation. Expectations are undoubtedly high, but it has a chance to be EPIC.