Many of Ohio State's top recruiting targets were at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center today to participate in the 2014 Columbus NFTC, where they all tried to earn invitations to Nike's The Opening, 2014.
Jashon Cornell latest
The standout defensive end finally made it to Columbus after canceling multiple visits to the Capital City. He had a very good time on the visit and told SB Nation's Bud Elliott that he no longer has leaders (Michigan State had led) because the trip to Ohio State opened his eyes. Cornell also spoke highly of the visit on Twitter and his interest in playing with Justin Hilliard at the next level. Ohio State has definitely emerged as a major player in this race.
I'm strongly considering flipping my 247Sports Crystal Ball pick from Notre Dame to Ohio State, but I'm not quite ready to do that.
On the field it was clear that Cornell was one of the most talented players as he earned an invite to The Opening.
Hilliard earns invite to The Opening
Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier linebacker Justin Hilliard earned an invitation to Nike's "The Opening" despite having to leave the camp an hour or so early because he had to get back to Cincinnati. I thought he was the best defensive player at the camp, with Cornell a close second.
There's not too many new developments when it comes to his recruitment, other than the fact he said he might make a decision in July instead of waiting to make all of his official visits, which he was originally planning on doing. If he does in fact make his decision in late June or July, I'm pretty confident Ohio State will be the pick. I think the top competition for the Buckeyes is Notre Dame, with Iowa still in the picture as is brother will be a freshmen football player there next fall.
Obviously there's still time left, but I think the earlier decision date bodes really well for the Buckeyes.
Nyheim Hines blown away by OSU
The electrifying athlete made his first ever visit to Ohio State yesterday and things went very well. I spoke with him after he competed and he mentioned that Ohio State's campus was unlike any place he had ever seen and that he wants to make it back to campus sometime soon. Hines added that the Buckeyes will definitely make the cut when he narrows down his list in the future.
I think there are a lot of teams still in play here including the likes of Ohio State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Duke, Clemson, and South Carolina, with a real possibility that other teams emerge as his recruitment progresses. Urban Meyer has told Hines that he would use him in the mold of a Percy Harvin if he decided to play his college football for the Scarlet and Gray.
This will be an interesting recruitment to follow, but the Buckeyes definitely made a big impression this weekend on Hines.
Damien Harris set to cut his list to 8
Unfortunately Harris wasn't able to participate in the camp due to recent surgery he underwent on his elbow, but there's still a chance he could get an invitation to The Opening sometime in the next couple of weeks.
When it comes to his recruiting process, Harris is planning on cutting his list to 8 schools (likely this Friday) and the Buckeyes will definitely be one of those. I continue to think Ohio State is in a very good position to win this recruiting battle, but there's still quite a bit of time left. When we spoke after the event he said he might not wait until signing day to announce his college decision, but he's definitely going to take all five of his official visits.
We'll keep you updated as more information emerges on his recruitment.
Darius Fullwood will return to OSU later this month
The Good Counsel defensive end told me that he had a very good visit to Ohio State yesterday and that he would be back in Columbus for the June 19 one day camp. As long as things go well, I think he'll have a committable offer (if he doesn't already) and will be a Buckeye on June 28 (his college decision date).
We should know a lot more on this recruitment in a couple of weeks. I think Virginia Tech is the number two school behind the Buckeyes as things currently stand.