It's been another pretty busy week in the world of Ohio State football recruiting and we're here to catch you up on all of the latest recruiting buzz and take you into a weekend where the Buckeyes are hosting a couple of the top players in the 2015 recruiting class.
2015 DB Marcus Lewis on campus
This weekend, the Buckeyes are playing host to Washington (DC) Gonzaga defensive back Marcus Lewis, who is listed at the number 12 athlete and the 112th best player in the country in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
"Yes, I will (be at Ohio State this weekend)," Lewis told Land-Grant Holy Land. "(I'm) looking (forward) to spending some time with coach Meyer and coach (Chris) Ash, seeing the facilities, and seeing the campus."
It's difficult to project a final landing spot for the speedy athlete right now, but a good visit to Columbus this weekend could make the Buckeyes a real player to score a commitment from him. He has been clocked at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash.
Lewis' is teammates with offensive lineman Richie Petitbon, who is the only player rated ahead of him in the nation's capital and also holds an offer from the Buckeyes, but the big offensive lineman won't be joining his teammate in Columbus this weekend.
I will have more on his visit once it has wrapped up Sunday.
Super sophomore high on the Buckeyes
Even though the focus of recruiting is in the 2015 right now, it's not too early to start looking ahead to some names in the 2016 class, especially some of the top guys.
2016 Scotch Plains (NJ) Fanwood defensive tackle Rashan Gary is one of the top players in the class right and is really high on the Buckeyes, especially newly minted defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
"Coach (Larry) Johnson was the defensive line coach at Penn State when Ohio State offered me this summer," Gary said. "He taught me a lot of things when I was at Penn State's camp this summer. My mom really likes him too. He's one of the best defensive line coaches in college football."
He camped at Ohio State last summer, where he earned his offer and would definitely like to make a return trip to Columbus as soon as he can make it.
"Ohio State is definitely a school I want to visit again," Gary stated. "Then there's Maryland, Rutgers, South Carolina, and a couple of other schools too."
Gary is aiming to make a late college decision because he wants his high school teammates to get some attention from college coaches who are currently recruiting him.
"I'll probably make a late decision." Gary told Land-Grant Holy Land. "I want my teammates to get attention and if I wait to decide, a lot of college coaches will see my teammates play, so yeah I'm probably going to make a late decision."
While it's way to early to make a prediction for the rising 6'4, 285 pound defensive tackle, Larry Johnson and the Buckeye staff have put the Scarlet and Gray in a good position early in the race to land his commitment.
Top RB Damien Harris visiting Alabama
Coming off strong visits to Ohio State and Michigan over the past couple of weeks, Berea (KY) Madison Southern running back Damien Harris is set to head to Tuscaloosa this weekend in order to see what Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide have the offer. The SEC power extended him a scholarship offer just last week.
Harris recently told me that he is nowhere close to a college decision and doesn't plan to announce until National Signing Day 2015.
"I'm going to wait until National Signing Day," Harris said. "I already made a decision and backed out of it once, so why rush your decision any faster than you need to? Why not take all the time to make sure you're 100%? The decision is hard enough in and of itself and having a time period to where you have to make it makes it even harder, so why not maximize all of that time, use all five official visits, talk to coaches as much as possible before you make your decision. So why not wait as long as possible?"
When it comes to a decision, I'm hearing it will boil down to Ohio State, Michigan, Auburn, and USC, with the Crimson Tide maybe playing a factor. I would be shocked if he ended up at SEC cellar-dweller Kentucky, despite the Wildcats being the in-state school.
He has made it clear that he would like to play in an offense that hands the ball to the running back on a frequent basis, meaning Carlos Hyde's massive 2013 season could've been huge for the Buckeyes in landing the standout tailback.
Right now Ohio State is my prediction for his landing spot, but there's still a lot of time left and things could definitely change.
Sunshine state LB plans to visit
Ohio State wants to dominate the state of Florida in the 2015 class, so it's no surprise they've already offered Palm Beach Gardens (FL) linebacker Tevon Coney, who is one of the best players in the Sunshine State.
He received an offer from the Buckeyes a couple of weeks ago and has been in close contact with area recruiter and Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith since getting the offer.
"The first thing was Ohio State is they have great academics," Coney told Land-Grant Holy Land. "They also have great fans, a good coaching staff, and great players."
Growing up in Florida has a Gators fan, he got to see now Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer's Gator teams up close and personal.
"He's a great coach," Coney said of Meyer. "Every program he's ever been at has been successful and I really like that."
Coney would also like get out to Columbus sometime soon, though he's not exactly sure when just yet.
"I definitely want to get up to Ohio State," Coney stated. "I also really want to get out to see Alabama."
I think Florida holds the lead for the 6'3, 220-pound linebacker as his recruitment currently stands with the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide having the best chance to steal him from his home-state.
Harrisburg (PA) Bishop McDevitt running back Andre Robinson committed to Penn State last night. The 5'9, 205-pound tailback was planning a visit to Columbus in March, but that visit will no longer occur after his pledge to James Franklin and his staff.
While he wasn't one of Ohio State's top two or three targets when it comes to 2015 running back recruiting, he was definitely up there on the Buckeye's recruiting board and has the chance to develop into a solid player when he arrives in Happy Valley.
Buckeyes offer JUCO lineman
Scranton (PA) Lackawanna C.C. offensive lineman Paris Palmer confirmed to me that Ohio State extended him a scholarship offer yesterday.
I know the coaching staff would like to land a junior college offensive lineman in this class after missing out out Chad Mavety and Jermaine Eluemunor (same junior college as Palmer) last year. The massive 6'9, 305-pound tackle would fit the billing for that slot.
I will have more on the latest player the Buckeyes have offered after I talk to him tomorrow afternoon.
Other recruiting updates
- SB Nation recruiting analyst Bud Elliott released a scouting report on 2015 defensive tackle target Tim Settle yesterday.
I think the Buckeyes are in a good spot for the dominant defensive lineman as his recruitment currently stands, but we're still a long way from signing day.
- We're almost a month removed from this past National Signing Day, with March starting tomorrow and Michigan State still hasn't received a letter of intent from five-star defensive end Malik McDowell.
I'm guessing he ends up with the Spartans, but honestly his recruitment is just unpredictable. A resolution should be reached by April 1st.
- Early this week I forecasted Ohio State's 2015 quarterback recruiting. I think Torrance Gibson, Lorenzo Nunez, and Brandon Wimbush are the top targets. Read up on some other potential names that could emerge here.
- February 28th visitor(s): ATH Christian Kirk, ATH Marcus Lewis
- March 20th visitor(s): LB Josh Barajas
- March 21st visitor(s): TE Chris Clark
- April 12th/Spring Game visitor(s): QB Brandon Wimbush, OL Larry Wells, CB Minkah Fitzpatrick
If you have any Ohio State recruiting questions, leave them in the comments and we will answer them as quickly as possible.