With the dead period between coaches and recruits no longer in play, late last week, Ed Warinner, Tom Herman, newly hired defensive line coach Larry Johnson, head coach Urban Meyer and other members of the Ohio State football coaching staff went out on the road to visit with a number of the top prospects across the United States.
Over the weekend, the staff had the prospects come to them, as Meyer and company played host to a number of recruits on both official and unofficial visits. Some of the recruits in Columbus over the last few days included class of 2017 commit, quarterback Danny Clark of Massillion and key class of 2014 targets, defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi and offensive linemen Rod Johnson and Brady Taylor.
Nnadi, a 6'1 305-pound four-star prospect out of Virginia Beach, Ocean Lakes High, made the trip to Columbus after officially visiting both Florida State and Penn State in December. With the recent hiring of former PSU assistant Larry Johnson, who was Derrick's main recruiter during his time with the Nittany Lions, OSU is starting to climb up the Army All-American's short list. His presumed leader, Virginia Tech, will have Nnadi on campus this weekend, giving the Hokies one last chance to show him why he should stay closer to home before he announces his college plans on signing day.
Last week some fans were sort of shocked when the news came out that 6'6 315-pound offensive tackle Rod Johnson would visit over the weekend. The Missouri native has been considered a Florida State lean for quite awhile now but with early playing time being a possibility, Ohio State could give him some more to think about before making a decision.
Virginia Tech commit and Columbus native Brady Taylor, made the short trip to campus. "My favorite part of the visit was feeling the greatness while you're there. You can tell they expect nothing but the best and I love that." Taylor told Land-Grant Holy Land soon after his Ohio State official visit. Taylor got to spend some quality time with Urban Meyer and will meet with him again this morning, as the Buckeye coach will get to meet Brady's mother as well.
Taylor, recently received an offer from the OSU coaches after being in contact with them for months. The 6'5 280-pound Bishop Ready senior, has been committed to the Hokies since July but like many kids in Central Ohio grew up a Buckeye fan. With this being the case and the fact he would get to play only minutes away from where he grew up, is the reason why I have believed he will be the next member of the Dream '14 recruiting class for quite awhile.
You can read more on how Taylor's visit to Ohio State went here.
Even with their handful with recruits on campus, the Buckeyes coaching staff still found time to offer a pair of 2015 prospects over the weekend. Defensive end Darius Fullwood, who visited OSU for the Penn State game last season, received his offer from the staff.
Fullwood, missed all but three games last season For Good Counsel High after breaking his foot but still has a rather nice scholarship offer list with the likes of Penn State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and a host of others all after the three-star prospect. He has a very solid relationship with Larry Johnson from his time at Penn State, which has many now believing the Buckeyes could be the team to beat for the talented defensive end.
Blessed to say that I received an offer from THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY #trulyblessed 🔴⚫️🔴⚫️🔴⚫️ #Buckeyes #BuckeyeNation— Dee Fullwood© (@realdwood17) January 18, 2014
Florida defensive back Tavarus McFadden was also offered by OSU. McFadden is the teammate of 2015 quarterback and OSU target Torrance Gibson at American Heritage High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A four-star recruit and 56th overall player in his class, according to the 247Composite Rankings, the 6'2 180-pound junior has offers from not just the Bucks but teams such as LSU, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame and many others.
Offer from Ohio State! #BuckeyeNation 🅾— Tarvarus McFadden (@Tee_Time24) January 18, 2014
Most of the future Ohio State basketball player were back in action over the weekend. D'Angelo Russell and his Montverde Academy teammates headed from Florida to Springfield, Missouri to take part in the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions.
The 6'4 left handed guard showed he is near perfect health after missing most of the season recovering from knee surgery. Russell started the tournament off going off for 24 points, shooting a perfect 9/9 from the field in a 96-46 thrashing of Village Christian (CA) on Thursday night.
On Friday, Russell was back to his same old tricks. Russell once again helped the Eagles sore to victory, scoring 28 points in a Montverde win over Christ The King (NY). On Saturday, in the title game versus White Station High (TN), D'Angelo chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds to pace Montverde to the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions Title.
During his three days in Missouri, the five-star prospect averaged 22 points per contest and was named MVP of the entire tournament for his play on the court. You can watch him action tonight on ESPNU, as Montverde will take on fellow 2014 recruit Cliff Alexander and Chicago Curie, live at 3:30.
Here are some highlights of Russell from over the weekend, brought to you by the fellas over at Iowa Elites:
Keita Bates-Diop and University High (IL) made easy work of Rantoul on Friday. The 6'7 future Buckeye forward led all Pioneer scorers with 25 points and five blocks, in a 84-52 victory. On Sunday Keita and his teammates traveled to the Dayton, Ohio area to participate in the annual Flyin' to the Hoop Tournament.
U-High took on Parris Campbell, Dante Booker, VJ King and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. In what sounded like a battle from the tip off, the Irish came out with the win, defeating Bates-Diop and teammates, 89-78. Keita finished with 31 and six, while class of 2016 guard and OSU target, VJ King led the way for the Irish with 29 points and nine rebounds.
On Friday Jae'Sean Tate and Pickerington Central took on Lancaster and marched to an 79-43 win over the Golden Gaels. The 6'5, Tate finished the game with a double-double, chipping in 16 points and 11 rebounds in the victory.
On Saturday the Tigers traveled up north to Cleveland to take on Benedictine. In a tough game, Tate's 32 points, 16 rebounds and six assists were a key reason why now 10-3 Pickerington Central held on to a 97-89 win. Tate and the Tigers are back in action on the 25th, as they take on the Northland Vikings in the Play-By-Play Classic.
Dave Bell and 2016 stud Willie Jackson led Garfield Heights over Strongsville on Friday. Bell scored 11 points, while Jackson knocked down 20, in a 65-50 win. On Sunday the Bulldogs took on National powerhouse, Prime Prep (TX). Over matched from the start, the Dogs couldn't handle what Prime through at them all evening, losing the game by a final score of 72-53. The OSU signee, Bell once again finished with 11 points, also grabbing down nine boards in the loss at Flyin to the Hoop.
Class of 2015 commit AJ Harris and Dunbar had no problems beating Belmont, 87-42 on Friday but it was a different story on Saturday at Flyin to the Hoop. Harris and Dunbar played hard all evening but couldn't get past a feisty Marian Catholic (IL) squad led by 2014 Kentucky commit Tyler Ulis.
Our Zach Fleer was Flyin to the Hoop and had the following to say on AJ's performance in the 67-60 loss:
"In arguably the biggest one-on-one matchup of his career thus far, Harris was no slouch in a close loss to Ulis and Marian Catholic. Going for a team-high 25 points, Harris an Ohio State commit, added three rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in the 67-60 loss. Knocking down two buzzer-beating threes (after the first, and fourth quarters), Harris showed that he is more than capable of getting off his shot vs. taller defenders, and had no problems getting into the lane for score. One of the quickest guards in the country, Harris was a difficult matchup for Marian Catholic's guard, scoring 14 of his 25 in the second half.
Just like the football team did last week, the basketball squad had coaches out and about keeping a close eye on a few recruits over the weekend. Jeff Boals watched class of 2015 wing Luke Kennard go for 38 points on Saturday, in a 67-64 Franklin loss to HYCA (TX) and North Carolina commit Justin Jackson.
Fellow OSU assistant Greg Paulus watched a pair of 2016 Ohio bigmen over the weekend. On Friday Paulus, scouted North Royalton's Omari Spellman. He took in the St.Edwards, St. Ignatius game on Saturday to get a closer look at Derek Funderburk, Saturday. Both Spellman and Funderburk, two of the top players in the state, already hold numerous Division I scholarship offers.
– 2015 tight end Chris Clark announced that Ohio State is currently leading for his services and that he will visit campus on March 21st for his first un-official visit to Columbus.The 6'4 tight end has offers from the likes Georgia, Indiana and a long list of others.
– Class of 2015 defensive tackle Adam McLean released a top five with Michigan State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Pittsburgh all making the cut. OSU is yet to offer McClean but, he has a very good relationship with Larry Johnson, that played a huge roll in the Buckeyes making his list.
– Four-star 2015 wide out Devante Peete told 247Sports he currently has a top five of OSU, Alabama, LSU, Miami and Florida State. Peete attends the same high school as Joey Bosa and his younger brother Nick, St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida.