The elephant in the circle drill has to be yesterday's commitment then non-commitment then quasi-drama surrounding 2014 4-star defensive end Jalyn Holmes. If you missed the theatrics, Holmes, the Norfolk, Virginia native and would be latest big get for a rapidly rising 2014 recruiting class for Urban Meyer, was reported to have given his commitment to the staff in front of a number of folks at Ohio State camp. Mere minutes after multiple rock solid credibility wise authorities reported it, Holmes tweeted out that he hadn't in fact committed.
Then sparked the typical Internet brouhaha that was part legitimate concern about robbing a kid of "his moment", part superficial moralist posturing by rival experts to move goal posts and repaint the narrative to brand themselves "victorious", and part, well frankly *confusion* about what the reality of the situation was. Multiple reports, multiple non-reports, and all kinds of weird showmanship by people and outlets that honestly had little, if anything to do with the outcome of what was transpiring, did, in a way, regardless of intent, principle, or otherwise, overshadow the reality of the events that were unfolding.
If you want to declares winners or losers, let's make things really simple. The winners? Jalyn Holmes and whatever school he ultimately winds up spending 3-5 years at getting an education in exchange for thousands of hard spent hours. If that's Ohio State? Tremendous. If it winds up being Clemson, Florida State, Florida, or ultimately some mystery school, the young man is still the beneficiary, remember: it's his dream. We're just living it.
The losers? Unfortunately, the rest of us. While college sports recruiting can be a really fun distraction from the perils of daily life, the matter of fact that so much of so many folks' days were spent criticizing fellow fans, criticizing fellow recruiting analysts, and criticizing fellow writers/bloggers is as an indictment of the entire industrial recruiting ecosystem as a whole. It's almost surprising in this day and age coupled with the relative nearsightedness of teenagers in general that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often. But if it did, given the kind of propensity for belt notching, hollow scoreboard trumpeting, and glass house stone rocket launching we saw on even but a small scale yesterday afternoon, it's hard to imagine how toxic the landscape would really be.
It's never been a better time to be an Ohio State fan, especially Ohio State recruiting enthusiasts, and it's not solely because Urban Meyer's second moment is to our collective benefit happening at a place so near and dear to all our hearts. It's because daily people like Bill Kurelic, Marc Givler, Bill Greene, Alex Gleitman, Jeremy Birmingham, Charles Doss, and countless others, national, local, professional, and amateur, are absolutely killing it day in-day out. Regardless of the outlets on these folks' credentials, everyone's on the same team at the end of the day. And that team is making sure that the best and highest quality information gets to the people who want it the most in the most honest and credible way possible. Oh, and for our troubles, we get to watch kids like Jalyn see a lifelong fantasy come to fruition in the process. Not a bad deal at all.
So let's get back to the basics, and back to what we're all here for in the first. Here's what we know about where Jalyn Holmes' recruitment stands as of now:
- Holmes' mother Tasha was not exactly thrilled with their lack of control over the way the news got out:
@Bucknuts1 and you got this information from where? Please don't assume or speculate. Thanks in advance— Tasha Tash (@pink_zebra2012) June 19, 2013
- This coupled with Rivals.com expert Mike Farrell echoing that the family was unhappy with the way the news came to light:
#Buckeyes rumors but I think the leak ticked off family, we'll see@jimenez0523: @rivalsmike what are you hearing about Jalyn Holmes and OSU?— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) June 19, 2013
- Fours hours later, Farrell may have tipped his hand that he was hearing some positive developments from the Ohio State camp:
#Buckeyes could get very good news tomorrow.— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) June 19, 2013
- Holmes followed Ohio State target OG Demetrius Knox on Twitter (and announced as much). Could some recruiting be in his future?
June 19, 2013
- 10 additional experts added or changed their picks on the 247 Crystal Ball in favor of Ohio State *after* Holmes' Twitter commitment denial.
- Perhaps most tellingly, just after 7:00 E.T. 247 Florida State insider Chris Nee switched his pick to the Buckeyes.
My read of the situation is as follows: Holmes is likely *extremely* close to announcing a commitment to Ohio State. From an Ohio State getting better perspective, I suspect that's happening and that's happening soon. Hopefully whatever the underlying reasons for the denials and subsequent melodrama that went down, the family gets to do things fully on their terms. Then we can all get back to overanalyzing Zach Smith and Ed Warinner as recruiters and arguing about June recruiting national championships.
- Ohio State offered 2016 St. Ignatius OL Liam Eichenberg, the first in-state offer for the '16 class.
- The basketball Bucks offered 2015 G P.J. Dozier.
- Ohio State target '14 QB Brandon Harris was invited to the 2013 Army All-American Game.