Ohio State recruiting: State Secrets, 1/3 - Erick Smith delays decision, Marshon Lattimore set to announce, All-American game updates

Buckeye commits look to dominate Saturday's Army All-American Bowl

Land-Grant Holy Land has the latest on Erick Smith and Marshon Lattimore, recap of the Under Armour All-America Game, news from the Army bowl, and more.

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We have seen a pretty busy busy week of recruiting and Thursday was no different as big news emerged from the Glenville trio, the Under Armour All-America Game, and the US Army All-American Bowl, where there are a lot of Ohio State commits/targets are.

The biggest news of the day came from the Cleveland Glenville trio of Marcelys Jones, Marshon Lattimore, and Erick Smith. At one point in the recruiting process, all three were considered to be Buckeye locks. Have things changed? We're going to take a look.

Safety Erick Smith probably make the biggest headline yesterday when he told Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports that he would no longer be announcing his college decision at Saturday's Army All-American Bowl. He will be taking official visits to Michigan and Michigan State before making his choice known. Kentucky is also rumored to be in the mix for the four-star safety prospect.

While don't think Kentucky and Michigan have much of a shot here, the Spartans are definitely a team to keep an eye on. I still think Smith will be a Buckeye when it's all said and done, but the Spartans could have an outside chance of landing the Glenville product. This also eliminates any chance that he would be enrolling in school early for the spring semester.

Yesterday's good news came from athlete Marshon Lattimore when he let people know that he would still be announcing his decision at the Army Bowl Saturday afternoon as expected, despite his teammate getting cold feet a few days before his expected decision.

Even though Lattimore tweeted that he was going to surprise people with his decision, I'm not buying that for a second. He wants to make his decision a little more dramatic because he's been considered an Ohio State lock for such a long period of time, not that I blame him. I wouldn't want my college decision to be obvious to everybody either. Expect the 6-foot-1-inch, 175 pound athlete to be a Buckeye Saturday, unless something big changes. There was some thought that Lattimore would enroll early, but that appears unlikely to happen.

To round out the Glenville news, we should hopefully see the Marcelys Jones drama come to an end Monday, assuming he enrolls in classes in Columbus as the spring semester is about to start. A few days back I was told that Jones signed a mid-year financial agreement with Kentucky, in addition to the one he signed with the Buckeyes. This means the 6-foot-6-inch, 330 pound offensive lineman has been able to talk with the Kentucky coaches on the regular and he could also enroll in Lexington when their spring semester starts January 13th.

I'm still hearing that he will end up in scarlet and gray, but I'm not as confident as I was at this time last week. I'm still sticking with my pick of Ohio State, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he ended up with the Wildcats. Hopefully we'll know where Jones will be playing his college ball by Monday. He's also rumored to be considering Alabama, but it's highly doubtful he'll end up in Tuscaloosa.

One thing I do know about the Glenville trio is there is absolutely no truth to the rumor tweeted by a Kentucky recruiting Twitter handle which said all three Tarblooders called Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and told them they would be committing to Kentucky.

Two future Buckeyes participated in the Under Armour All-America Game yesterday in the form of linebacker Raekwon McMillan and offensive lineman Jamarco Jones. Ohio State targets John "JuJu" Smith and Jermaine Roberts also participated in the game.

McMillan was probably the most impressive of the Buckeyes commits and targets in the game. In fact, he was named as the top linebacker of the game by 247Sports for his dominance of the opposing offense. He played a big role in Team Highlight's 31-21 triumph against Team Nitro. McMillan's next and final stop in his recruitment is Columbus, Ohio, where he will be starting classes Monday.

Offensive tackle commit Jamarco Jones also looked pretty good in Team Nitro's losing effort. The 6-foot-5-inch, 290 pound tackle was consistently making good blocks and was not getting beat by the very strong defensive line he was going up against. Both future Buckeyes were quick to defend their future head coach and Buckeye Nation against the critics.

New Ohio State target and Texas commit Jermaine Roberts also had a solid game yesterday. He posted five tackles and recorded two pass breakups. Despite being committed to the Texas Longhorns, he's slated to take an official visit to Columbus later this month.

Our last bit of news from the Under Armour game is that five-star cornerback and Buckeye target Tony Brown committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide. LSU was considered the heavy favorite for the speedy defensive back going into the day, while Ohio State was considered a long shot to earn his commitment. He should be a very good player for the Crimson Tide.

Under Armour week is over, but there are still a couple of days left in Army Bowl week, which will wrap up with the US Army All-American Bowl on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. There are seven Buckeye commits and a handful of targets set to participate in Saturday's game in San Antonio, Texas.

Wide receiver commit and early enrollee Johnnie Dixon continued his strong performance and compared himself to Andre Johnson after yesterday's practice, according to Bill Greene of Scout.com. If he's anywhere close to where Johnson was at the college level, he's going to be a very good player for the Scarlet and Gray.

A little bit of bad news came out of San Antonio yesterday as offensive line commit Demetrius Knox was forced to miss practice due to a sore hamstring. He's still expected to play in the game Saturday. We'll let you know if his status changes.

The Land-Grant Holy Land recruiting team will have complete coverage of Saturday's game.

Finally, many have been wondering if Michigan could lose their best commit for the 2015 class, running back Damien Harris, after losing five-star George Campbell a couple of weeks ago. I've learned that Harris is solid to the Wolverines, despite Kentucky trying to flip him. Ohio State was originally in the running for the standout running back. He should be a very good player for the Maize and Blue.

As per usual, here are my latest picks to complete Ohio State's 2014 class (plus for good measure some key dates to keep an eye on):

1. ATH Marshon Lattimore (announces January 4th)

2. S Erick Smith (Will take officials to Michigan and Michigan State before deciding)

3. CB Jermaine Roberts (Texas commit/official visit January 24th)

4. OT Brady Taylor (Virginia Tech commit)

5. DE Solomon Thomas (official visit January 31st)

IMPORTANT DATES:

  • January 4th, 2014: US Army All-American Bowl (2 p.m. ET on NBC) - Ohio State commits/targets: Dante Booker Jr.Johnnie DixonMarcelys JonesDemetrius Knox, Jalyn Holmes, Marshon Lattimore, Malik McDowell, Derrick Nnadi, Curtis SamuelErick SmithSoloman Thomas, and Damon Webb.
  • February 5th, 2014: National Signing Day (Land-Grant Holy Land will have coverage all day)
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