As Ohio State returns to action this week, the Buckeyes are (rightfully) focused on the task at hand. For now, that means taking care of business on the field against Minnesota this weekend. With J.T. Barrett serving his one-game suspension, Cardale Jones gets another opportunity to man the starting quarterback position. Meanwhile, on the recruiting battlefield, Ohio State kept a low profile on Monday.
Still, the Buckeyes have their eyes on a certain recruit from the class of 2017. We may only be a handful of months away from National Signing Day for the class of 2016, but the coaching staff is more than capable of juggling their recruiting responsibilities, having proven their skill at producing some of the top classes in the country year in and year out. The player they're keeping a look out for is '17 defensive end and outside linebacker Vandarius Cowan.
Cowan stands 6'3, 221-pounds and is rated as a four-star recruit under the 247Sports Composite rankings. He's also ranked as the nation's seventh-best outside linebacker and is the 17th best prospect from the state of Florida at any position. Cowan just recently decommitted from Florida State after originally committing on June 11. Cowan then decommitted from the Seminoles on Oct. 25 and reopened his recruitment.
Florida State is still the favorite by a long shot for the home-state recruit, but a decommitment has certainly raised the interest level from Ohio State and other schools. Cowan holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and West Virginia, among others. While the Buckeyes haven't yet offered, the interest is there and it could result in an offer if they were to possibly receive some interest back.
Tennessee also appears to be looking to make a run at the uncommitted defensive standout. While it's likely at this point that Cowan will stay in-state with one of the Florida schools, anything is possible when Urban Meyer is involved in the recruitment.
The experts for the 247Sports Crystal Ball feel much the same, as all of the predictions are still in for Florida State: