Happy Fourth! To celebrate our nation's independence in style, we're thrilled to welcome Austin Kemp to the fold. The rich get richer as we add a real 5-star in Austin. You can expect to read much more of him as we approach the season. You can follow Austin on Twitter at @AKemp_LGHL.
It's been a busy, but very successful week thus far for current Ohio State commits at the prestigious, The Opening camp in Beaverton, Oregon. The Buckeyes have nine current commits at the camp, which ranks tops amongst other schools in the country. With a nice combination of offensive and defensive prospects being represented, there's Buckeyes all over the field in Oregon, and each commit is proving why this class could very well end up ranked number one in the nation.
Let's start with cornerback commit, Damon Webb. Webb, of Cass Tech High School in Michigan, could be the best cover corner in the 2014 class with an excellent blend of quick hips and feet. During Tuesday's session, Webb was able to glued to his receiver most of the afternoon and even recorded an interception off of current Kentucky commit Drew Barker. Fast forward ahead to Wednesday, and Damon Webb was back at it again, this time intercepting a pass from Kyle Allen, Scout.com's number one rated quarterback. However, the thing about Webb that most Buckeye fans will appreciate the most was his response to Allen Trieu's question about why he chose Ohio State over Michigan:
"At first, I thought I was going to be a Wolverine, but as the recruiting played out, I knew that Ohio State was the place to be because I knew I wanted to win."
Moving on, Indianpolis native Terry McLaurin turned heads during the combine session on Monday and has carried that momentum into 7-on-7 the last two days. Reeling in a diving catch and a few touchdowns, McLaurin has shown himself to be a better prospect than his 3-star ranking from most recruiting sites. While recruiting "stars" don't mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, it's safe to say that Terry is earning himself more and more respect as each day passes at The Opening. With the ability he has shown catching the ball and then adding that with his speed, McLaurin is as dynamic as any player in the country-the Buckeyes grabbed a good one.
Though these two players were already on the radar, Kyle Berger and Dante Booker were both able to impress and improve their stock throughout the last couple of days. Each had a pair of pick six's, with Booker's being the length of the field.
I thought LB Kyle Berger did a great job today. He had a pick six, looked athletic. I came away impressed.— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) July 3, 2013
Ohio State LB commit Dante Booker with a 100yd pick six. #Buckeyes— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) July 3, 2013
Both of these kids are similar types of linebackers as each have the speed to drop into coverage and be a thorn in an opponent's passing game, but can also defend at the line of scrimmage and are able to come off the edge real well.
Jalyn Holmes is the next Buckeye commit showing his skills at The Opening. Allen Trieu, who has provided in depth coverage all week, named Holmes one of the standouts on the defensive line for Wednesday's session. With Homles' size and speed, his is virtually impossible at times when rushing the passer.
Day three DL standouts at The Opening include Chad Thomas, Ainuu Taua, Jalyn Holmes and Bijhon Jackson: http://t.co/LmnRdcrZ7a— Allen Trieu (@AllenTrieu) July 3, 2013
Jalyn Holmes did have one particular play that all of Buckeye Nation should enjoy:
Ohio State commit Jalyn Holmes pulled a spin move on Quenton Nelson then screamed "O-State!" And threw up an O with his arms— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) July 3, 2013
These five commits have been the most consistent so far at the camp and have caught scouts' eyes on more than one occasion. That's not to take away anything from the others. Stephen Collier, Parris Campbell Jr., and Kyle Trout have all shown flashes and will continue to hit their stride as The Opening rolls on.
The Opening isn't just about current Ohio State commits, though. The Buckeyes have recruiting targets all over the field, one of those being New York native Curtis Samuel (who was in the news for entirely different reasons yesterday). Samuel has seemingly torn it up each and every day at camp and according to Bud Elliott, "He looked great. Speed, body control, aggressive, feel for playing the position." At 6'0" 185 pounds, Samuel can score from any position of the field. He's an instant mismatch for any defender that tries to cover him. When dealing with the offensive side of the ball, Samuel has to be considered one of the top remaining targets for the Buckeyes and he'll be visiting sometime at the end of this month.
Top Erasmus Hall WR Curtis Samuel. plans to trip to Ohio State at end of month and Ohio State and Rutgers have shown most interest.— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) July 3, 2013
Outside of The Opening, 2015 defensive tackle Tim Settle, who recently named the Buckeyes his leader, now has the Virginia Cavaliers number one on his list.
2015 Manassas (Va.) Stonewall Jackson five-star defensive tackle Tim Settle names UVa his leader … http://t.co/VwhgvAozE7— Jamie Oakes (@JamieOakes247) July 3, 2013