At Ohio State, the atmosphere of a football game is a huge selling point for both the football and basketball coaches. Some of the best recruits in the country make their way to Columbus on a Saturday in the fall, regardless of whether they play on the gridiron or hardwood.
Director of player personnel Mark Pantoni has been busy since September 1st, the first day that high school juniors can receive e-mails, letters, and other recruiting materials from prospective college coaches, as well as set up official visits. Players who have recently received letters from Ohio State includes:
Today's mail 🙏 #Blessed pic.twitter.com/Shw97bwJpN— Torrance Gibson (@future_tg6) September 5, 2013
Torrance Gibson, a four-star dual-threat quarterback from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Picked up my 8th offer today from Ohio state #gobuckeyes 🏈❗— Mark Fields II (@JussMe_MF) September 5, 2013
Mark Fields II, a physical four-star cornerback from Cornelius, North Carolina.
Oscar Smith 2015 DE Josh Sweat has picked up an offer from the #Buckeyes of Ohio State. More on Sweat later on #VaPreps— Matthew Hatfield (@hatfieldsports) September 5, 2013
Josh Sweat, a speedy four-star defensive end from Chesapeake, Virginia.
Add the buckeyes too my list! #BuckeyeNation #glorytogod— Kai Locksley (@LOCKSnLOADED_3) September 6, 2013
Kai Locksley, another dual-threat quarterback from Baltimore, Maryland, would be the prize recruit of the bunch. The four-star recruit spoke with Land-Grant Holy Land's Charles Doss after receiving his scholarship offer.
"I'm very excited and honored! It feels awesome being offered by a powerhouse like them and it's very attractive to play under an offensive guru like coach Meyer! We talked about me coming up for the Wisconsin game."
The son of Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, Kai says that Ohio State is appealing because of all the great quarterbacks to wear the Scarlet and Gray, noting signal-callers Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor, and Braxton Miller.
Not only are the Buckeyes recruiting the top seniors and juniors, they've also started on the 2016 class. Lineback Keion Joyner from Havelock (NC) received an offer from Ohio State yesterday, along with offers from eight other top programs in the country.
Besides the Buckeyes, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, North Carolina, NC State, Oregon, and South Carolina all offered Joyner a scholarship.
2016 linebacker recruit Keion Joyner tells me he was very surprised to get the offer from #OhioState this early.— Adam Waters (@AWaters_LGHL) September 6, 2013
On the hardwood, assistant basketball coach Jeff Boals is always on the recruiting trail. He tweeted:
Early bird gets the worm, but the 2nd mouse gets the cheese. Timing is everything!— Jeff Boals (@JeffBoals) September 5, 2013
Is Boals foreshadowing a commitment? It is quite possible that the Buckeyes receive a commitment this weekend from one of the top post players in the class of 2015, Noah Dickerson. Ohio State has not offered a scholarship to the power forward out of Atlanta (GA) yet, but all signs point to him receiving a offer when he makes his visit on Saturday.
Dickerson has been a long time Georgetown lean, but Boals' enthusiasm gives the impression that the Buckeyes, although late to the party, have a chance to land the four-star recruit.
The view recruits will see when they come to a football game this fall: pic.twitter.com/7NYDv3wmdt— Jeff Boals (@JeffBoals) August 6, 2013
Many high school stars do not get the chance to play out their dreams at the collegiate level, but the Ohio State women's basketball team is offering that chance to male students. The team is holding tryouts for male practice players on Monday, September 16th.
We will be holding tryouts for male practice players Mon 9/16 at 6pm! See our flyer for RSVP info! #APlayersProgram pic.twitter.com/tWX4laUSfn— OSU W Basketball (@OhioState_WBB) September 5, 2013
Although they likely won't get the recognition they deserve, these select few individuals will receive instruction from some of the best coaches in college basketball, as well as team gear like shoes and jerseys.
I spoke with a former practice player Tony Egbert, a fifth-year senior at Ohio State and former two-sport athlete from Gibsonburg, Ohio, about how practicing against men benefits the women's team.
"I don't think that the women get enough credit for how good of athletes they are and how skilled they are. I think playing against guys helps them get acclimated to some of the speed and physicality that goes along with playing basketball and helps them gain confidence going into game situations."
The women's basketball program has received quite an upgrade in personnel during the last few months. After hiring Kevin McGuff, who went 214-73 as head coach at Xavier, the team received commitments from three of the top players in the state, Kelsey Mitchell, Chelsea Mitchell, and Alexa Hart. Kelsey, the number four overall prospect in the class of 2014 was the crown jewel. However, she may soon have some competition for that title.
Ohio State will be hosting five-star recruit Jatarie White this weekend for her first official visit to campus. A 6-4 center from Charlotte (NC), White is considered by many to be the top post player in the 2014 class. She averaged 19 points and 3.2 blocks per game last season, on her way to being named AP and Gatorade Player of the Year.
Along with White, top prospect Jaime Nared will be in Columbus this weekend.
I'm told 4-star wing Jaime Nared of Beaverton, Ore., will visit OSU weekend of San Diego State football game— Marcus Hartman (@marcushartman) August 23, 2013
Once known as the 12-year-old phenom who wowed viewers on "Good Morning America", Nared has blossomed into a five-star recruit in the class of 2015. The 6'1 wing from Beaverton (OR) led her school to the state finals as a sophomore, averaging almost 24 points and 10 rebounds per game.
- Super frosh '17 QB Danny Clark will be visiting Ohio State for tomorrow's SDSU game ($) as well.
- Tune into ESPNU on Friday Night at 8 pm to see 2014 commit Jalyn Holmes. The top defensive end in his class, Holmes committed to Ohio State back in June. Holmes and Lake Taylor (Norfolk) take on Oscar Smith (Chesapeake) in this matchup between two of the top football programs in the state of Virginia.