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Ohio State recruiting: State Secrets - Jonathon Cooper to enroll early, Tuf Borland makes Butkus watch list

247Sports' newly minted five-star defensive end Jonathon Cooper will be making his way to Columbus early.

Jonathon Cooper
Jonathon Cooper
Student Sports

Cooper coming early

It's been '16 DE Jonathon Cooper's summer thus far. After impressing at plenty of the high-profile camps in the last few months, Cooper has been getting praise from recruiting analysts across the country. The Gahanna Lincoln (OH) pass rusher just recently received his fifth star from due to the outstanding performances he has continued to show. Luckily for the Buckeyes, the skill-set that Cooper provides will be in Scarlet and Gray sooner rather than later.

According to 247Sports' Steve Wiltfong, Cooper will be enrolling early to Ohio State. This will give the 6'3, 238-pounder a head start on grasping and feeling out the switch to collegiate football. It will also give him a better opportunity to crack the defensive line rotation from the jump and make an impact during his freshman season in Columbus.

Borland makes Butkus watch list

On Wednesday, the 2015 Butkus Award watch list was released, which includes over 50 of the top linebackers at the high school level. One name included in the list was '16 LB Tuf Borland -- an Ohio State commit. According to his 247Sports profile page, Borland racked up 110 tackles and 4 sacks last season for Bolingbrook High School in Illinois. The four-star prospect will likely have to exceed or have a similar type of season if he wants to grab this honor.

If you recall, '15 Ohio State LB signee and St. Xavier (OH) alum Justin Hillard was nominated for the award last season but didn't come out on top. However, '13 LB signee Raekwon McMillan -- who will play a big role in the Bucks defense this upcoming season -- was able to claim the award after a great senior season at Liberty County (GA).

OSU legacy in for FNL

In a little over one week, Ohio State will play host to many of the nation's top high school prospects for the annual Friday Night Lights camp. One player that will be in attendance -- '17 ATH Connor Heyward -- is the little brother of former Buckeye and current Pittsburgh Steeler Cam Heyward.

Heyward currently holds offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt. A good performance at FNL could only boost the younger Heyward's chances of following in his big brother's footsteps and becoming a Buckeye.

Watson has Buckeyes' attention

According to LGHL and Prep Hoops Ohio's Zach Fleer, Ohio State is one of a handful of teams to inquire about '16 SG Ibi Watson of Pickerington Central (OH). As you can see, despite not having any more room in the 2016 recruiting class, the Buckeyes are still keeping other plans available just in case.

At the beginning of July, there were rumblings of a possible reclassification to the 2017 class for Buckeye commit Micah Potter. That is one scenario that could open up a spot in the 2016 recruiting class and if it does happen, maybe the Buckeyes could jump on Watson and try to get him to join '16 PF/C Derek Funderburk of St. Edwards (OH). For now, the biggest offer to date for the 6'4, 180-pounder would be Indiana, which came on Sunday. According to Fleer, the Hoosiers are one team that has been on Watson from the start.