Despite coming up short on Saturday against Virginia Tech, 34-21, with many top recruits watching, the Buckeyes have received good news from one of their top targets who was in attendance for the game.
According to 247Sports' Ryan Bartow and Steve Wiltfong, '15 OT Matthew Burrell has named Ohio State his leader. The 6'5, 302-pounder was on an official visit last weekend which marked his third visit to the Columbus campus. Burrell is a four-star prospect and the 94th overall player in the country, 5th in his state. The Virginia native has three other official visits planned, which will be to Florida State (9/19), Penn State (10/24) and Florida (11/14). The Crystal Ball currently favors Ohio State for Burrell's services.
On deck for Elite '15?
Could the Buckeyes be ready to add commitment number sixteen? '15 WR/TE AJ Alexander of Lake Braddock (VA) will be announcing his college decision on Friday. The three-star prospect will be choosing from Ohio State and Wisconsin after receiving offers from Nebraska, North Carolina, Miami (FL), Penn State and many others throughout the process. Wiltfong of 247 says "Don't sleep" on the Buckeyes in the battle for Alexander.
Baker still in play?
Even though '15 LB Jerome Baker has given his verbal to Will Muschamp and the Gators, the Buckeyes may be getting another shot. Rivals.com tweeted that the second best player in Ohio is still considering an official visit to Ohio State. At one point, Baker was considered a lock to be a Buckeye before he spurned the Scarlet and Gray on July 11th. The Benedictine linebacker is the 45th overall player in the class and a four-star prospect that Ohio State would love to keep in-state to pair with '15 LB Justin Hilliard.
According to Allen Trieu of Scout.com, '16 WR Austin Mack will be visiting Ohio State this weekend for the game against Kent State. The Bishop Luers pass catcher is Indiana's best player and one of the top receivers in the country. Mack, a four-star prospect, has been on campus a handful of times already even prior to being offered by the Buckeyes.
Joining Mack on campus this weekend will be '16 QB Noah Wezensky, who is his teammate. The QB from Fort Wayne has only piled up two offers so far from Akron and Toledo but is receiving interest from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn State and Purdue. Wezensky is a three-star and seventh best player in the state of Indiana.
'16 DE Josh King of Hinsdale South (IL) will be at the Ohio State game vs Michigan in November, according to Bill Kurelic of 247Sports. The number one player in Illinois has already made one trip to Ohio State back in August. He is the third best player at the strong-side defensive end position and the 45th in the class of 2016.
Who watches the watch lists?
The Opening watch list for offensive lineman was released on Wednesday and over 100 names from the 2016 class were included. Ben Bredeson, Gavin Cupp, Liam Eichenberg, Michael Jordan, Tommy Kraemer, Michael Menet and Michael Onwenu were the Ohio State targets that were included as possible invites to The Opening in January.
Esa goes east
Finally, '15 PF Esa Ahmad of Shaker Heights (OH) spurned the Buckeyes and Terrapins last night and chose West Virginia. The 6'7, 218-pounder is the number three player in Ohio and the 52nd best player in the 2015 class. Look for the Buckeyes to save the scholarship for the 2016 class unless Mickey Mitchell decides to re-commit, which seems very unlikely. Ahmad was supposed to visit Ohio State officially this weekend, but that visit was cancelled by OSU, as well as the in-home visit that was scheduled yesterday.