The day we've been waiting... and waiting... and waiting... and waiting some more for is finally here... Maybe? All joking aside, the indecisive Jermaine Eluemunor, the nation's fifth best JUCO talent, per the 247Composite ratings, and the 3rd best JUCO offensive tackle is set to end his process later this afternoon.
Eluemunor, who hails originally from England (by way of Scranton, Pennsylvania), had, at a number of stages between his recruitment, been thought to be a toss-up between UCLA and Arkansas. Back on June 10, Eluemunor was thought to have ended his process when he gave a pledge to play his college football at UCLA. But his UCLA commitment wouldn't be what it appeared to be.
Less than two weeks later, the 6'6, 300+ pounder would take an unofficial to Ohio State, where he was glowing about the trip throughout and in the immediate aftermath on social media. Word has it that Eluemunor enjoyed the trip so much that he actually gave his pledge to Ohio State, with the staff believing at the time the top JUCO lineman was in the fold for them. Though casual fans perhaps thought Mark Pantoni was referring to Jamarco Jones (who committed three days later), this tweet was thought by program insiders to potentially be a subtweet referring to a different offensive lineman:
Hoping there's a few more Ihops that open in Columbus soon to serve pancakes #GoBucks— Mark Pantoni (@markpantoni) June 25, 2013
He'd produce a similar analogy after Jones' commitment, but many recruiting experts considered Eluemunor all but a lock for the Buckeyes at that point.
A month later, Eluemunor was all set to announce but perhaps not surprisingly given the apparent false start with UCLA, was not entirely sure of himself. When I spoke to Jermaine then, he told me he planned to announce his school (with Ohio State comfortably secured as the favorites then), but he also seemed rather noncommittal. Unsurprisingly when the day for his last predicted announcement came and went, Eluemunor announced he'd be taking some additional time, and July 19 he'd take an official visit to Arkansas.
According to those with knowledge of the situation in Razorback Country, while on that trip, Eluemunor gave a similar pledge to Bret Bielema and those coaches upon that visit (sense a pattern?), really putting where he ultimately ends up in an even more nebulous place.
Look, there's certainly no faulting the indecision of youth; we've all been there. But Eluemunor as a JUCO prospect, one would think, would be a year more seasoned and less prone to the fickle winds of indecision. Yet here we are.
This afternoon, between 2 and 4 p.m. ET, Eluemunor will announce his choice between Arkansas and Ohio State on Twitter. If you were forced to wager on it, Arkansas would be the safe bet – it's the last school he visited, and in a recruitment defined by fickleness, recentness would seem to be a coveted asset for our old friend who used to coach at Wisconsin.
But will he even abide by that pick when everything's said and done? The good news for whoever winds up on the losing side of the ledger is that it's a long way to National Signing Day '14 – though on the flip side that's also the bad news for the winners.
Of course the other big news of the day is this evening's second annual Friday Night Lights. Friday Night Lights is a recruiting showcase designed to help the staff get some hands-on experience both coaching and evaluating some of the top 2014, 2015, and 2016 talent in the country. Typically, FNL is best leveraged as a means for the staff to get more one-on-one time with the best of next year's class, though 12 of the 14 current 2014 Ohio State pledges are expected to be in attendance, at least in a spectator capacity.
Last year, we saw Jamarco Jones become a player of interest for the coaching staff and now Kentucky commit Drew Barker and The Opening star Braxton Berrios (who'll actually be back in attendance this year still vying for that coveted Ohio State offer) caught the eyes of some fans and recruitniks in attendance. Of course the recently dismissed Timothy Gardner also played his way into a committable offer during the event as well.
Though our sample size is brutally small, there's no guarantee this year's group of attendees will lead us to any kind of change in the absence of big, day-of, on-site commitments, but we'll have all the news should something of that ilk transpire. It is worth noting that these sort of surprise gets weren't exactly irregular at Meyer's previous incarnation of the event in Gainesville.
- Ohio State commit D'Angelo Russell's E1T1 team beat Houston Hoops, 70-64, last night with Russell finishing the game with 14 points and 5 assists.
- 2015 4-star IL WR/TE Miles Boykin will be visiting campus and then taking in FNL tonight.
- Ohio State target Tyus Jones' 25 first-half points helped Howard Pulley cruise over Ohio Phenoms.
- Ohio State checked out '15 wing Jaylen Brown yesterday afternoon, per 247's Jerry Meyer.