The Ohio State football team is off to a 3-0 and return to The Shoe this weekend after a longbut businesslike road trip to California. With that being said, the coaching staff is still hard at work searching across the country for future Buckeyes. The first offer of the week went out to Richard LeCounte out of Hinesville, Georgia, one of the first such offers to a 2017 target. LeCounte is teammates with high profile Ohio State target five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan. It is still extremely early in the recruiting process for LeCounte, but if the Buckeyes land McMillan, it could prove a huge advantage for OSU. You can read more about LeCounte offer and what he told LGHL's Charles Doss here.
The Buckeyes' next offer on the week went out to 247Composite four-star T.J. Simmons out of Lakeland, Florida. Simmons, who is a prospect hailing from the class of 2015, already had four offers in hand including Florida and Miami (FL). Ohio State's represents his first from a program outside of The Sunshine State. Simmons had a sensational freshman year in which he rushed for over 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns but missed his entire sophomore season with a torn ACL. For more on Simmons, check out yesterday's State Secrets.
Finally, yesterday, the Buckeyes made an offer to another 2015 prospect, this one Van Jefferson out of Brentwood, Tennessee (as first reported by 247Sports' Barton Simmons). Jefferson is in his first year at Brentwood High School after transferring from Orchard Lake St. Mary's,after his father was hired by the Tennessee Titans from the Detroit Lions. It didn't take long for Jefferson to make his mark; in his first game with the Raptors, Van hauled in four touchdowns to go along with 152 yard receiving. In addition to the Buckeyes, Jefferson has offers from Middle Tennessee State, Penn State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
The next objective for the Buckeyes will be to get Jefferson to Columbus, as he has already camped at the other four schools who have offered as well as visited Vandy another time back in August. The apple didn't fall too far from the tree as Van's father, who I mentioned above, had an NFL career that wasn't too shabby in its own right. Shawn Jefferson played with four different NFL teams, reached two Super Bowls, caught 29 touchdowns, and accounted for over 7,000 receiving yards. Below are some of the younger Jefferson's highlights when he played at OLSM in Michigan:
The Buckeyes also offered Texas class of 2015 defensive end James Lockhart on Wednesday. Ohio State joins the likes of Texas, Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma and Iowa as some of the programs to offer the 6-3 245 four-star prospect.
I caught up with James and had him break down how it felt to finally have the chance to suit up for the Bucks:
" It's a blessing. I have been a fan of Ohio State for awhile and it feels great to have an offer from Ohio State. I was so overjoyed. I called my dad right away and he was ecstatic for me."
When James heard the word offer he said he dropped the pizza he was eating & just screamed. Will be looking to visit this summer #OhioState— Adam Waters (@AWaters_LGHL) September 19, 2013
Switching to the current members of The Dream 14, I was able to catch up with a few of them and talk about upcoming visits to Columbus. First, beginning with kicker Sean Nuernbeger, the Buckner, Kentucky product (who is 4-6 on field goals with a long of 48 yards on the season) told me he will be in attendance when the Buckeyes host Wisconsin at the end of the month. Nuernberger added that he will more than likely take his official visit during the Buckeyes' basketball season.
I also had the chance to chat with Sam Hubbard out of Cincinnati and Moeller High School. Hubbard, whose Crusaders are off to a 3-0 start and take on St. Xavier (Louisville, KY) this Friday, told me that he will be at the Wisconsin game as well and like Nuernberger will be taking his official visit later on down the road. The third and final future Buckeye we caught up with was Parris Campbell, who is off to his own fast start in 2013. Campbell has helped his St. Vincent-St. Mary Irish to a 3-0 start with an offense that is averaging 49 points per game. Like his fellow classmates, Campbell will also be in attendance when the Buckeyes play Wisconsin. At this point, he's not sure when he will be taking his official visit.
Shifting gears to hoops, Rivals came out with new rankings for the 2016 class and several Buckeye targets made the list. Josh Jackson is the man on top of the mountain, ranked the number one player in the class. Following Jackson is Harry Giles coming in at the number two, Thon Maker at three, and Ohio's own V.J. King at number 8. LGHL's Zach Fleer was all over the rankings and wrote up an article breaking down the Ohio State targets and where they stand; it's a must read.
Finally, Payton Dastrup told LGHL's Charles Doss that Ohio State will visit him tomorrow. Dastrup, who is a four star recruit out of Mesa, Arizona, holds offers from the likes of Arizona, BYU, Kansas, and Florida to go along with the Buckeyes'. Below are some of his highlights from the NBPA Top 100 Camp from this past summer:
- Five-star big man Stephen Zimmerman tweeted out that he had a great meeting with Ohio State assistant coach Jeff Boals.
- 2016 Indiana point guard Kyle Guy will visit Ohio State Saturday.
- 2014 California tight end Tyler Luatua announced via Twitter that his September 28th official visit to Ohio State is all set.
- 247Sports' Wes Mitchell broke that Ohio State offeree WR/ATH Braxton Berrios will likely announce his decision on Oct. 12th or the 19th.