Thursday was a pretty busy day in the world of Ohio State recruiting and we have the latest Ohio State recruiting updates heading into the weekend.
Buckeyes offer '15 TE Jackson Harris
After striking out on Mike Gesicki and other tight end targets in the 2014 recruiting class (and Marcus Baugh getting into trouble off the field multiple times since arriving in Columbus), the tight end position is one of the biggest needs to fill for Ohio State in 2015.
The coaching staff had only handed out two offers to tight ends coming into today in the form of Chris Clark and Garrett Williams, but the number grew to three just a short while ago when Ohio State tight ends coach Tim Hinton offered Columbia (TN) Central tight end Jackson Harris a scholarship.
The 6'5, 245-pound tight end was very excited to receive an offer from one of the top football programs in the nation.
"I was on the phone with Coach Hinton; I was kind of expecting it. He was kind of telling me they were going to do it, but I guess they had a staff meeting yesterday. He told me call him and he made it official."
No schools are sticking out for the standout tight end as things currently stand, but Harris is very excited to receive an offer from the Scarlet and Gray.
"It's a huge offer, definitely one I'll strongly consider," Harris told Land-Grant Holy Land. "I went up there for a game this fall and it was a great experience."
Harris took an unofficial visit to Columbus last fall to watch the Buckeyes take on the Wisconsin Badgers under the lights.
"I walked around campus a little; nothing too much, but I got to see a little bit of it," Harris said of his Ohio State visit. "The Wisconsin game was a big night game. It was a great atmosphere, real wild; we had a blast. It was a great game. Like I said, the atmosphere was incredible."
"He just told me they plan on taking two tight ends. He said they have offered three right now including me. They just kind of let me know I stand, which is high (on their board) He just said they plan on taking two guys. One more of a traditional blocking/receiver tight end and then kind of a more hybrid type guy. His plan to to get one of each," Harris said. "I'm more of the blocking/receiving type. Like I said, they've offered three guys and he's hoping to take two."
"Some other big ones are Florida, Georgia, Clemson, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, he continued. "I have 26 right now and definitely have some big ones."
"Right now I'm kind of thinking early to middle fall. I hope to take a few official visits and decide," he said. "At the same time, I need an earlier decision because I plan on graduating early and I want to get all that squared away. So right now I'm thinking early fall probably."
"One big thing [that'll influence my decision] is academics; I plan on majoring in engineering. I'm a big academic guy, so that will be a big factor," Harris stated. "That and the style of offense to fit my abilities and the coaching staff; I want to have a good relationship with them, have a lot of respect for them and just feel like it's someone I would enjoy getting coached by."
'15 LB Jeffrey Holland high on the Buckeyes
Jacksonville (FL) Trinity Christian Academy linebacker Jeffrey Holland is rated as a five-star recruit in the 2015 247Sports Composite rankings. His teammate, safety Ben Edwards, committed to Ohio State earlier in the week. The two teammates have a very close relationship.
"He's like my brother. That's my boy," Holland said of his relationship with the newest Ohio State commit.
His main contact at Ohio State is tight ends coach Tim Hinton, who he has been able to develop a good relationship with early in the process.
"I talk to Coach Hinton a lot. I haven't talked to him in the last week, but me and Coach Hinton have a pretty great relationship."
Holland made an unofficial visit to Columbus last summer with a couple of his teammates and wants to get back on the campus again before making a decision.
"I'm definitely going back up there," he said of a future Ohio State visit. "I had a great time. I like their coaching staff and I like everything about it."
Ohio State, Florida, UCLA, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and Auburn are the main schools sticking out to the standout linebacker, but he's still open to all schools. Holland is unsure of when he would like to announce his college decision.
"I honestly don't know. I could wait it out to signing day, but I really don't know right now," Holland said of when he would like to make his college decision."
We'll keep you up to date on the recruitment of one of Ohio State's top linebacker targets in the 2015 recruiting class.
Class of 2015 LB visiting in March
Merrillville (IN) Andrean linebacker Josh Barjas currently boasts offers from the likes of Illinois, Michigan, and Purdue, with fellow Midwest powers Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Indiana showing interest. The standout defender has been in pretty close contact with the Buckeyes.
"I've been talking to [Ohio State co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs Chris] coach Ash," the rising linebacker said of his contact with the Buckeyes.
Barajas is very interested in the Scarlet and Gray and is planning on making the trip to Columbus to see what Ohio State has to offer in March.
"I like Ohio State a lot. They're a great program with some great tradition at the linebacker position," Barajas told Land-Grant Holy Land. "I am visiting on March 20th."
I hope to have more on Barajas after Monday's Best of the Midwest combine, which I plan on attending. He'll be visiting around the same time as 2015 tight end target Chris Clark.
2015 running back picks up OSU offer
In addition to offering Harris, the Buckeyes also extended an offer to 2015 running back Dexter Williams. Our own Charles Doss caught up with the standout running back to gauge his interest in Ohio State.
"It's amazing to be offered by a school like Ohio State. I really can't describe the feeling because it was unexpected. I'm very happy and blessed. It made my day. As soon as I get a chance, I would like to visit."
It will be interesting to see if Ohio State is able to get Williams on campus. It's tough to tell how much of a chance the Bucks have until they do.
Other recruiting updates
– I had a quick conversation with 2015 Pompano Beach (FL) Monarch athlete Shawn Burgess-Becker yesterday, who is really high on the Buckeyes right now.
The super athlete said he likes "everything" about Ohio State and plans to get on campus sometime this summer. I think Miami leads for him right now, but the Buckeyes definitely have a chance.
– We can't let a Friday go by without a mention of Malik McDowell. The Michigan State commit remains unsigned and my pick right now is for him to make the "flip" to Ohio State.
Hopefully this messy situation will come to an end as soon as humanly possible.
– Finally Ohio State linebacker signee Kyle Berger received news that he would likely be cleared to resume football activities next month.
Berger tore his ACL in a scrimmage prior to the 2013 opener and missed the entire season. The Cleveland St. Ignatius standout will have a legitimate chance to earn playing time next year.
Make sure to stay locked to my Twitter feed Monday, where I'll have live updates from the Best of the Midwest Combine in Indianapolis. I should have a preview of the event Sunday, and there will be many Ohio State targets participating.