For the first time in the last few months, it was a relatively quiet weekend on the Ohio State recruiting front, but that is about to change. This week, three class of 2015 standouts will announce their college intentions, and all have the Buckeyes in the mix.
Later today, Lakeland Christian (FL) running back TJ Simmons will let the world know which program he will suit up for at the next level. OSU, Florida, LSU, and UCLA are all in the running for Simmons, a 5'11, 195-pound three-star prospect.
Honestly, it's sort of surprising OSU made his final four, as it is very unlikely that Simmons is headed to Columbus. He is more likely than not going to give his verbal commitment to the Bruins and head coach Jim Mora.
Urban Meyer and crew probably won't be adding a commitment Monday, but later this week their chances of gaining a new member to the Elite '15 recruiting class is looking rather solid. Both Justin Hilliard (Cincinnati/St. Xavier), and Jashon Cornell (St. Paul, MN/Cretain Durham Hall) will announce their college plans at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday at their respective high schools.
Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, and Iowa (where his older brother CJ now plays) are the finalists for Hilliard, the second best outside linebacker, and 21st best overall prospect in the 2015 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Just like Hilliard, Cornell is considered one of the top recruits in the country. On Sunday, the 6'4, 260-pound four-star talent announced he will announce his choice of OSU, Notre Dame, Iowa, Penn State, or Michigan State.
I will be committing on Wednesday at 9am at Cretin Derham-Hall. Everyone is welcome. pic.twitter.com/UzhvfJnO3h— Jashon Cornell (@Jay_Rock16) June 29, 2014
Even though they both have short lists, it seems to be a Buckeye/Fighting Irish battle for both Justin and Jashon. I for one fully believe Ohio State will continue their recent recruiting success and gain two key pieces of the Elite '15 on Wednesday.
Baker sets date:
Hilliard, and Cornell might not be the only defensive standout to give a pledge to the Buckeyes soon. Cleveland Benedictine RB/LB Jerome Baker tweeted that he will commit on July 11:
Commit day set; July 11th. One of the biggest decisions of my life.— Baker Inc. (@Lastname_Baker) June 29, 2014
Thought of as a long-time OSU lean, Baker also holds scholarship offers from the likes of Florida, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Penn State and many others.
Last season as a junior, the 6'1, 220-pounder rushed for over 1,400 yards while also racking up 120 total tackles on defense for a 9-4 Benedictine squad.
See what the Buckeyes would land in Baker, with these highlights of him in action from last season, courtesy of Hudl:
Grandstaff, and targets attend Durant Camp:
Over the weekend, OSU commit Austin Grandstaff, and targets Esa Ahmad, and VJ King all participated in the 2014 Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Washington, D.C.
The Durant Academy doesn't just play host to the top 30 high school wings in the nation regardless of class, but also the 15th best on the collegiate level.
Spending some of his time off the court recruiting prospects to Ohio State, one recruit Austin Grandstaff was especially in contact with during the camp was Esa Ahmad, the Shaker Heights product, who has plans to commit later this summer:
ohio state fans my room mate at kd skills is @IDoIt_Nike23 some serious recruiting going on here -H-❗️-⭕️— Austin Grandstaff (@AustinGstaff1) June 28, 2014
While at camp, rumors swirled around the Internet about a possible VJ King transfer being in the works. According to reports, the 6'6 soon to be junior will leave Akron St. Vincent St. Mary and head to either Paul VI in Virginia or Nevada powerhouse Findlay Prep.
Nothing has been confirmed or denied at this point by King, or anyone close to him. We will have much more on King and his pending transfer in the coming days. In the meantime, check out these highlights: