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Ohio State recruiting: State Secrets - Ahmir Mitchell sets commitment date, Austin Mack shines in win

Football season is finally here.

Ahmir Mitchell
Ahmir Mitchell
Student Sports

The Buckeyes might add a member to the class of 2016 later this week. Even with Michigan thought as the long time leader for his commitment, New Jersey native Ahmir Mitchell will announce his college decision between the Wolverines and the the Buckeyes on Thursday.

While it's a long shot, the wide receiver would join Kareem Walker and the other class of 2016 pledges in the OSU class if he were to pick Ohio State over their arch-rivals.

Mitchell, a 6'2, 205-pound playmaker, last visited the Ohio State campus for the annual Friday Night Lights Camp held under the lights of the Horse Shoe in front of screaming Buckeye fans.

Throughout the recruiting process programs such as Notre Dame, Boston College, Kentucky, and South Carolina have also offered Mitchell a scholarship.

Mack stands out

The wait is over. Football is finally here. While the majority of the Ohio State football verbal commits will start their seasons next week, a few took the field on Friday.

After signing his financial aid agreement with Ohio State, four-star wide out Austin Mack and his Fort Wayne, Indiana Bishop Luers teammates mixed it up with longtime rival Bishop Dwenger. Seeing the field for the first time since having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Mack sure didn't disappoint.

Fighting off pressure from the Bishop Dwenger defense all evening, Mack only caught one pass, but scampered for an 11 yard rushing touchdown from the wildcat formation. Not just a threat on offense, the future Buckeye also played a huge role on defense and special teams in Bishop Leurs' 28-15 victory.

Playing in the secondary, Mack intercepted a pass in the end zone to help end a scoring drive by Bishop Dwenger in the first half. To open up the second half, Austin got fans up on their feet rather quickly with an impressive 99-yard kickoff return to paydirt.

Mack, who accounted for over 150 total yards and two scores, told The Journal Gazette soon after his squad picked up the win that, "As with any rivalry, the game seemed to be close. And obviously, you've got a team (in Dwenger) that's very good. It took us awhile to get going. But once we did, the best team showed. I was extremely excited about that interception. I was just making a play, you know?"

Barrow, Gerald fall in opener

Just like Mack, Florida powerhouse IMG Academy and future Buckeye defensive lineman Malik Barrow (2016) and guard Tyler Gerald (2016) kicked off their season on Friday. Playing American Heritage (FL), the program that produced OSU freshman Torrance Gibson, IMG's season opener didn't go as planned.

Gerald, a Portsmouth, Ohio native, saw time even though he was nursing an injury. While IMG ended up on the short end of the stick, Barrow showed why the Buckeyes and many other top notch programs recruited the four-star standout.

Pressuring the quarterback many times, the four-star standout finished with multiple tackles behind the line of scrimmage in the 19-7 loss to American Heritage.

Jeff Sentell of DawgNation.com had the following to say on Barrow:

"IMG defensive tackle Malik Barrow is seen by the 247Sports composite as the 27th-best defensive tackle in the nation and that number should shoot up north very soon. There is no way there are even 10 defensive linemen in the country better than that guy.

Barrow has lost some weight he carried earlier in the summer and was a brutalizing force at 6 feet, 3 inches and 280 pounds. The 4-star prospect stood out in the fall camp at IMG and delivered at least three highlight plays against American Heritage. The press box count had him with two sacks and at least two tackles for losses."

2017 OL, teammates visit OSU

After checking out what the University of Kentucky had to offer on Friday, four-star class of 2017 offensive tackle Tony Gray and many of his underclassman teammates at Central Gwinnett High School (GA) made the trek to the campus of Ohio State.

Gray, the 18th offensive tackle and 119th overall prospect in the junior class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, holds many offers from programs across the country. The Buckeyes, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Miami, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech are just some of the programs after the talented lineman.

Trying to build a pipeline to the Peach State, Gray is just one of the prospects the Ohio State coaching staff is trying to bring up north from Georgia.