Yesterday, Ohio State learned its post-season fate. The Buckeyes will be playing New Year's Day in Phoenix, Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl, where they will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Although this is not the playoff birth Ohio State wished for, the season is not over, and one more test is in front of them to prepare for. With the winding down of the season and the game being just under a month away, expect nothing but Ohio State's best effort on the recruiting front as they try to round out the nation's current top ranked class for 2016.
Harrison picks up OSU offer
On Friday evening, the latest 2016 prospect to receive an Ohio State offer was none other than Columbus, Ohio's Malik Harrison of Walnut Ridge high school. A local prospect, Malik is currently a 3-star according to 247sports and the 32nd-best prospect overall in the state of Ohio. While his current ranking may seem lower than many of Ohio State's current commits, Harrison is much more athletic than his rating gives him credit for. At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Malik has the speed and size to be a difference maker on the field.
Identified as an "athlete," the most likely destination for Harrison at the next level is at linebacker -- think something similar to the Darron Lee role. With the offer going out on Friday, expect a decision to come soon in favor of the home town team, Ohio State. With the Daelin Hayes ship sailing away from Columbus, Malik will almost certainly take advantage and give his verbal commitment to Urban Meyer and Ohio State. We will keep you updated on the latest with Malik.
Blessed to receive an offer from The Ohio state university ⚫️⚪️— Leek (@Leek_8) December 4, 2015
Antwuan Jackson still in play
One of the most important recruits still on the board for Ohio State is Georgia's Antwuan Jackson. With a serious need at the defensive tackle position, Jackson would provide immediate depth and a safety net if he were to pledge to the Buckeyes. The country's ninth-best defensive tackle has had a top two of Ohio State and Auburn for quite some time now, but could things have shifted in favor of Ohio State recently?
This past weekend, Will Muschamp, Auburn's defensive coordinator, was named the new head coach at South Carolina. In recruiting, relationships are everything and with the coaching carousel that has already started in college football, relationships with coaches and recruits are sure to be shaken up a bit. With Muschamp's departure from Auburn, that may or may not have an effect on Jackson's decision, but it's definitely something worth noting. A decision is likely to be coming in the next two weeks for Jackson.
OSU quarterback situation
Ohio State currently has one quarterback commit in the 2016 class with DeSoto, Texas signal caller Tristen Wallace, but it seems as if there may be potential for one more quarterback to join the 2016 class. With that said, there has been no word of a change in Wallace's Ohio State status, but the recent pursuit of quarterbacks by Ohio State's staff shows at least the idea of adding one more.
This could be due to the fact that current Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones could be a graduate transfer option and/or leave early for the NFL. Also, Torrance Gibson could be a permanent switch to wide receiver for the Buckeyes so depth could be a reason for wanting to add another quarterback to the class.
One option that is no longer on the radar for Ohio State in this situation is current Oregon commit Terry Wilson. In an article with NewsOK.com, Terry made it clear that despite a recent surge by Tim Beck and Ohio State, he was keeping with sticking with his Oregon commitment. To top it off, this past Friday morning, Wilson made it official by signing his financial aid agreement with Oregon. With Wilson off the list, look for Ohio State to make their pitch to other quarterbacks in the 2016 class if they truly are wanting to add one more. With the Fiesta Bowl being just under a month away, it's very possible you will see new names pop up before the 2016 class is finalized.