Coach Urban Meyer's 2014 recruiting class is expected to target an unusually large number of non-Ohio prospects, especially when compared to the strategy forming his stellar 2013 class. Examining the recruiting activity along East coast, the state of Virginia is the home of an elite dual-threat prospect whom the Buckeyes are seriously interested in and have offered a scholarship.
The 6-5, 225-pound 4-star TE/DE Jalyn Holmes grades out a 97 overall, is ranked the 57th best overall player in the country, the absolute best weak-side defensive end prospect in the country, and the 5th best overall player in his home state of Virginia, according to 247Sports' Composite Rankings. Additionally, Jalyn was just recently ranked #30 in the 2014 Rivals top 100 prospects rankings. Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, VA serves as the current home for this special prospect, and Jalyn and I spoke at length to discuss Ohio State, his recruiting process, and much, much more:
How'd your junior season at Lake Taylor go?
It went well. We won the state championship, and I made the all-state team.
What's your favorite part about playing defensive end?
Hitting the quarterback.
What's your favorite part about playing tight end?
Launching on people. Catching touchdowns on the defenders.
What is your biggest strength? What part of your game do you need to work on the most?
I'd say my football IQ is my biggest strength. I'd like to work on my speed.
Let's get into your recruitment now. What are the main schools recruiting you currently? Which coaching staffs do you have the best relationships with?
The schools that are going after me hardest are Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Virginia, and Southern California. I'd say the three coaching staffs I have the best relationships with are Florida, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech. It's a three-way tie.
What do you like about Ohio State?
I love the family vibe. That's big for me.
Who is the main coach from Ohio State recruiting you? How often do you speak, and who else do you speak with from Ohio State?
Urban Meyer. We speak once a week. Also, I talk to Coach [Mike] Vrabel and Coach [Zach] Smith.
Is Ohio State recruiting you for both DE and TE ?
Yeah, for both.
What do you and the coaching staff talk about?
We joke around a lot. We talk about sports, Ohio State, and what they do up there.
What have been your best college visits so far?
Penn State two years ago was my favorite visit because of the food.
When do you plan on visiting Ohio State?
This spring, but I'm not sure what exact date yet. Our team won the state championship and our coach is taking us to Disney World, so I'll have to wait to see when that is.
I know it's early, but do you have any idea of when you want to announce your decision?
I don't really have a plan. I have no clue exactly when. When the time is right, I guess. Maybe at the U.S. Army All-American game.
How do you deal with the pressure of the recruiting process and being such a highly touted recruit?
I just try to keep calm and stay humble. I'm a teenager, so I live my life like a teenager would.
Do you speak with any other top recruits in the 2014 class? Do you try to recruit anyone to go play with you in college?
Yeah, I talk to Jamil Kamara about that.
Did you get a chance to watch the Buckeyes this past season? Which players did you like watching the best?
Yeah. [Braxton] Miller was awesome.
Do you plan on attending any Ohio State games in this upcoming season?
Yeah I'll take my official visit for one of their games next fall.
Role Models: My Granddad.
Best Subject in School: Social Studies.
Hobbies: Joking around and playing Call of Duty.
Movies: All of the Friday movies. The one with Chris Tucker is my favorite.
TV Shows: ESPNU. ESPNU all the time.
Favorite Sports Teams: For football, the Tennessee Titans. For basketball, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Watch what Jalyn would bring to the Buckeyes here and below:
Thanks again to Jalyn for a great interview and taking the time to give Buckeye Nation a chance to get to know you. Good luck in the recruiting process and your senior season.
For more Ohio State recruiting updates, be sure to follow Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33), Zach (@ZClark_LGHL), and Charles Doss (@CDoss_LGHL) on Twitter.