As we continue to ramp up this summer, we're thrilled to add another top notch commit to our operation. Today we're pleased to introduce you to Andrew Lind. Andrew will help us on a variety of fronts moving forward including but not limited to State Secrets. Make sure you follow him on Twitter at @LindLGHL
The county’s top JUCO OT Jermaine Eluemunor is expected to announce his plans later today, believed to be choosing between Ohio State and UCLA. While a commitment today would seem like a potential end to his saga, it is still possible Eluemunor might not be "done done". Eluemunor committed to UCLA only a month ago, only to be wooed by Ohio State enough to feel the need to either reconfirm his commitment to the Bruins or flip to the Buckeyes. And if he doesn't commit at all, it's certainly more than possible he still takes visits elsewhere and/or reopens his process.
The sophomore from Lackawanna Community College is listed at 6’6, 300 lbs. Despite his size, Eluemunor is able to get out of his stance fast to reach the second level, as well as utilize his instincts to ward off defenders in both pass protection and running situations. Eluemunor is often compared to former Florida State and current Oakland Raiders OT Menelik Watson, who, like Eluemunor, is from Great Britain.
As of press time, rumors of additional visits and a delayed announcement have risen. Although they have not been confirmed, Eluemunor's 247Sports recruiting timeline lists him as set to take "official visits" to Alabama July 17th and Arkansas July 19th (though it's unclear whether these were added recently by 247 or not). If these rumors prove true, it's possible Ohio State may have moved in another direction (potentially preferring fellow JUCO prospect, Chad Mavety). To really thicken the plot, 247Sports' Tom Loy, who ordinarily specializes in Notre Dame and the Midwest, changed his 247 Crystal Ball prediction from Ohio State (which he'd made June 25th) to Florida State at 9:13 p.m. ET Thursday night. We'll have to see if there's fire where there's smoke or not.
Ohio State recruits and targets alike were able to shine on the gridiron earlier this week at Nike's The Opening. Although perhaps not as highly publicized as the other Buckeye commits, quarterback Stephen Collier battled through some ups and downs at the Elite 11 portion of The Opening to earn the respects of analysts for his ability to bounce back from adversity. Collier, from Leesburg, Georgia, was one of 18 signal callers participating in the competition to be named the nation’s top quarterback.
Although Collier was not at his best during the competition, therefore being left of the final Elite 11 list, the dual threat quarterback impressed scouts, as well as former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer.
"His good is still very, very good," said Dilfer. "He has moments where you don’t know if he knows how good he can be. He needs to be more decisive. There are times where he doesn’t trust himself to just let it rip. When he trusts himself, he’s really good."
Though their games aren't particularly similar, it's easy to forget that Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel also started out as a mechnical work-in-progress 3-star when he first arrived at Texas A&M.
Ohio State commit Jalyn Holmes had one of the more memorable moments of the third edition of The Opening. A four-star defensive end from Norfolk, VA, Holmes showed up to the camp at 6’5, 230 lbs. Holmes, in one-on-one lineman drills, used a nasty spin move to blow past Notre Dame commit Quenton Nelson. After knocking down the quarterback dummy, Holmes threw his arms above his head, made an "O", and screamed out "O-State!" at the top of his lungs.
While the end didn't make this video Land-Grant Holy Land obtained, you can see the vicious spin move in action:
With nine commits at the Nike camp, all of whom showed up wearing matching "2014 Bucks" t-shirts, Ohio State has gained plenty of recognition among the uncommitted players at the event. Holmes destroying Nelson at the premier summer camp only adds to that.
One Ohio State target of interest, 4-star DB Quincy Wilson, was also in attendance in Beaverton, Oregon. SB Nation caught up with Wilson who revealed when he may be making his college choice between the likes of Ohio State, Florida, Georgia, and a dozen or so others:
With the best of the best convening upon Nike’s Oregon campus, many of the top recruiting services use the camp as a means to hone their evaluations and rankings. However, Nike denied Rivals.com's team media credentials to access the camp. With the inability for their national guys to see the top players up close in such a capacity, Rivals may have to put extra emphasis on this coming Saturday's Rivals Underclassmen Challenge Presented by Under Armour to best fine tune their metrics.
On July 26th, Ohio State will host the second annual Friday Night Lights, a tradition Head Coach Urban Meyer started during his tenure at Florida. Friday Night Lights, or FNL, is a summer camp, showcasing the top talent from around the country underneath the lights of Ohio Stadium.
While coaching the Gators, Meyer was able to leverage the event as a great way for his staff to get extra hands on, personal interaction/coaching opportunities with some of the best players from not just the current class, but the year after that. Last season, Meyer was able to bring top recruits, such as eventual Ohio State commits Tyquan Lewis and Jamarco Jones, to Columbus for the event. This year, some of the top juniors and seniors to be will make the trip, with a few notable names already committed to play for the Buckeyes in 2014. Land-Grant Holy Land has been able to confirm a number of the players scheduled to attend. The list, as of today, includes:
- Shelby Spence (6-1/195) QB | De La Salle Institute H.S., IL - Not Rated
- Jayru Campbell (2015) (6-3/190) QB | Cass Tech H.S., MI -
- Lorenzo Nunez (2015) (6-2.5/183) QB | Harrison H.S., GA -
- Alex Malzone (2015) (6-2/185) QB | Brother Rice H.S., MI - Not Rated
- Donte Thomas-Williams (6-0/209) RB | Hillside H.S., NC -
- Michael Weber (2015) (5-10/190) RB | Cass Tech H.S., MI -
- Trevion Thompson (6-2/177) WR | Hillside H.S., NC -
- Lonnie Johnson (6-3/190) WR | West Side H.S., IN -
- Austin Roberts (6-3/217) TE/H-Back | Carmel H.S., IN -
- Garrett Williams (2015) (6-4/223) TE | The First Academy H.S., FL -
- Jamarco Jones (6-5/290) OT | De La Salle Institute H.S., IL -
- Frank Ragnow (6-6/291) OT | Chanhassen H.S., MN -
- Rob Dowdy (6-6/280) (2015) OT | Westerville South H.S., OH -
- David Moorman (2015) (6-5/275) OT | Northville H.S., MI - Not Rated
- Donell Stanley (6-4/327) OT/OG | Latta H.S., SC -
- Marcelys Jones (6-5/325) OG | Glenville H.S., OH -
- Nick Wilson (2015) (6-4/280) OG | Milton H.S., GA -
- Malik McDowell (6-7/290) SDE | Loyola H.S., MI -
- CeCe Jefferson (2015) (6-2/250) SDE | Baker County Senior H.S., FL -
- Jashon Cornell (2015) (6-4/245) OLB/WDE | Cretin Derham Hall H.S., MN -
- Darrin Kirkland, Jr. (2015) (6-2/215) OLB | Park Tudor H.S., IN -
- Raekwon McMillan (6-2/242) ILB | Liberty County H.S., GA -
- Damon Webb (5-11/180) CB | Cass Tech H.S., MI -
- Erick Smith (6-1/185) S | Glenville H.S., OH -
- Marshon Lattimore (6-0, 175) CB | Glenville H.S., OH -
- Sam Hubbard (6-6/225) ATH | Archbishop Moeller H.S., OH -
- Jerome Baker (2015) ATH | Benedictine H.S., OH -
Italics = Ohio State commitment
This year, the list includes Raekwon McMillan, who made the trip to Columbus last year as a junior. The standout linebacker from Hinesville (Ga.) Liberty County is rated by many accounts as the top linebacking talent in the 2014 class.
As his recruitment heats up, Friday Night Lights is a chance for Ohio State to pull away from the rest of his suitors. McMillan told TheWolfpacker.com's Jacey Zembal ($) that he currently only has official visits set for Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama and it would seem that those three are his leaders at the moment.