The good news: With the conclusion of the dead period between colleges and recruits, college football coaches are now able to get back out on the road and visit many of their top prospects in hopes of securing their 2016 recruiting classes before signing day in less than a month. With 18 current commits and seven of them being early enrollees for Ohio State, Urban Meyer and staff were back on the road yesterday doing their best to persuade their remaining top targets on why Ohio State is the best destination for their college years.
The bad news: Buckeye basketball recruiting just took a hit.
Kobi Simmons a no-go
Late last night, Ohio State basketball saw some unfortunate news as one of the nation's top prospects for the 2016 class, Kobi Simmons, was no longer being recruited by Ohio State. Earlier this week it seemed as if Kobi's final three of Ohio State, Arizona, and Kentucky all were players for his services, but as things stand now, it looks as if Arizona is the clear frontrunner to land Simmons. He will be announcing this Saturday where he'll play his college ball. Thad Matta and the basketball Bucks would certainly have loved to have Simmons in Columbus, but the youth of the current basketball roster shows promise for the immediate future.
Ohio State is no longer recruiting Kobi Simmons, sources told @CBSSports. Makes college decision on Saturday. All signs point to Arizona.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 15, 2016
Victor visited by OSU
Last weekend, Ohio State missed out on receiver target Donnie Corley of Detroit, Michigan as he chose to stay home and commit to Michigan State, but this could actually help out the Buckeyes with another top target. Binjimen Victor of Fort Lauderdale, Florida is no new name to Ohio State fans, but there seems to be a continuous upward trend toward Ohio State with Victor as of late. With Austin Mack as the lone receiver prospect in the 2016 class there is plenty of room and opportunity for Victor to come into Ohio State and immediately compete for playing time, if he were choose the Buckeyes. With the losses of Jalin Marshall, Braxton Miller, and Michael Thomas to graduation and the NFL draft, coach Zach Smith's receiver room has plenty of empty chairs waiting to be filled and Victor is the top prospect on the list to fill the need.
Yesterday, it was made public that Smith made it to Coconut Creek High School to visit with Victor. Binjimen currently has official visits coming up this weekend with Tennessee and later this month with Florida after already officially visiting Ohio State this past fall. With not much time left on the clock before 2016 prospects have to make their final decisions, Ohio State is certainly in good position to land the nation's eighth best receiver prospect, now all we have to do is wait.
Latest rumblings on Haskins
It's absolutely no secret at all that there's a love affair between Ohio State and current Maryland commit Dwayne Haskins. It's also no secret that lately things are looking very good in the Ohio State camp -- that Haskins may actually end up as the quarterback for the Buckeyes' 2016 recruiting class. The most recent update in the Haskins recruiting saga was made known yesterday.
As mentioned, the recruiting dead period's conclusion allowed Ohio State's staff to visit with prospects and that's exactly what happened. Yesterday, Ohio State visited the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, but that wasn't the only positive news for the Buckeyes regarding Haskins. Dwayne was scheduled to visit LSU this coming weekend, as they are still a player for his services, but now that visit will not happen. Again, Haskins is currently committed to Maryland, but as of right now, all signs are pointing toward Columbus as the eventual landing spot for the nation's top 10 quarterback.
Lawrence hears from Johnson
It was announced yesterday that January 22 would see a final decision for the top prospect in Louisiana, as Rashard Lawrence will decide between his top two of LSU and Ohio State. The nation's fifth-best defensive tackle prospect was visited yesterday by Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson. While every 247sports crystal ball prediction has Lawrence staying home and choosing LSU, Ohio State has done all that it can to secure a commitment from Lawrence and they certainly have more than a puncher's chance.
Meyer and Johnson are just hoping this is not another defensive tackle battle where Ohio State falls short as they did when Antwuan Jackson choose Auburn over Ohio State. Lawrence would certainly cement Ohio State as a top national class with his commitment and round out an incredible defensive line haul for the 2016 class. Also, make of it what you will, but with the need for defensive tackles at Ohio State, Lawrence would definitely be an immediate playing time competitor for the 2016 season. However, down at LSU, the Tigers received news yesterday that Lewis Neal would return for his senior season in Baton Rouge. While this could mean nothing for Rashard, a crowded defensive line at LSU could help Ohio State's chances.
Great news for #LSU: DL Lewis Neal (a team-high 8 sacks) is not entering the NFL draft and instead will be back for his SR season.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 14, 2016
- Current Louisville defensive back commit Rodjay Burns was visited yesterday by Ohio State's Kerry Coombs and has scheduled a visit to Columbus for January 22.
- The nation's eighth best athlete, Jordan Fuller, will arrive in Columbus today for his official visit with Ohio State. As things currently stand, signs point toward Ohio State as Fuller's final destination.
- Also arriving in Columbus today is twelfth-best defensive back prospect Damar Hamlin. With upcoming visits to Pitt and Penn State, Ohio State will have the first crack at rolling out the red carpet for the 4-star. It will most likely come down to Pitt and Ohio State for Hamlin.
- Finally, the nation's best athlete prospect, Mecole Harman Jr., will be in town today to start his Ohio State official visit rounding out a crucial recruiting weekend for the Buckeyes.