As the Ohio State football program prepares to take on TTUN this weekend, Urban Meyer and the Buckeye coaching staff is also preparing for what is shaping up to be a monstrous list of recruiting visits.
Heading into the week, it was expected that there would be more recruits present for this game than any other this year. Pretty much every recruit that Ohio State has recruited and/or is still recruiting will be in attendance Saturday, and the list of visitors continues to grow.
Yesterday alone, eight more recruits confirmed that they would be in “The Shoe” to watch two of the country’s top three schools compete in arguably college football’s greatest rivalry, including three five-star recruits and five from the state of Ohio.
The 5-star recruits
The biggest name to confirm a visit was five-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson (Bellaire, TX / Episcopal) both in ratings wise and by physique. Wilson is the No. 1 DT in the 2017 class and is a top three overall player, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Headed to Columbus this weekend for my 3rd official visit pic.twitter.com/ivabPCoUYY— HOLLYWOOD MARV (@RDMW6) November 22, 2016
Wilson will be using his fourth official visit this weekend after already visiting Oklahoma, Florida State and LSU. The visit to Ohio State has been long anticipated but it is good to know the 6-foot-4, 329-pound tackle is still interested in the program.
With two blue-collar defensive line prospects already committed to the Buckeyes, gaining a commitment from Wilson would almost ensure the class sits atop the rankings come National Signing Day.
Another notable name that joined the list of visitors for the weekend was five-star DB Darnay Holmes (Calabasas, CA / Calabasas). The U.S. Army All-American was initially scheduled to visit Nov. 5 for the Nebraska game but plans fell through.
Holmes is seen as one of the top 15 prospects in the 2017 class and is the No. 2 DB. Because of this, he has racked up 25 scholarship offers from programs like UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Nebraska, Arizona, Alabama, Notre Dame and of course, Michigan.
While it is safer to bet on the field at this point in Holmes’ recruitment, there is certainly interest coming from both parties. Ohio State has already locked up three recruits at the position, and is the favorite to land at least one more blue-chip prospect in the secondary, but if Holmes were to choose the Buckeyes when it was all said and done, Meyer would be foolish not to find room for him in this year’s class.
The final five-star recruit to add his name to the visitor’s list for Saturday’s game was the top-rated ILB of 2018.
Teradja Mitchell (Virginia Beach, VA / Bishop Sullivan Catholic) took to Twitter Monday to announce his visit to Columbus this weekend. Mitchell still has another year of high school football to play, but he has shown the potential to be a star on defense.
Can't wait to visit Ohio State this weekend #GoBucks ️‼️— Teradja Mitchell ™ (@WhosThatNumber7) November 21, 2016
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker has already earned more than 30 scholarship offers from some of the top football programs in the country, including Ohio State, and the list is expected to grow in the next year.
Florida State is seen as the favorite to land the elite prospect, but Mitchell will likely wait until National Signing Day in 2018 before he makes a decision so it is far from certain.
The visit will be Mitchell’s first to Ohio State and he seems to be excited for it. Mitchell said he “can’t wait” for his visit, so it is safe to say Saturday will not be the last time he visits Columbus.
Expect Ohio State to recruit Mitchell heavily in the next year.
The in-state prospects
There were five in-state prospects to confirm Monday that they would be in attendance for The Game this weekend. The biggest name of the group was arguably Joseph Scates.
Currently, Scates is viewed as a top 30 WR in the 2018 class and is one of the top ten recruits from Ohio. The four-star WR has seen his recruitment take off this year and has recently received a lot of attention from Michigan State. So much so, that it is being reported that he is the Spartans top receiver target in 2018.
The Buckeyes have already been able to lock up a QB and RB in the 2018 class, but have yet to get a commitment from the WR position. While it seems like former Buckeye assistant Mark Dantonio has the leg up on Scates, the Buckeyes can rarely be counted out when it comes to an in-state target.
While Scates is likely a bigger name, another in-state recruit to confirm a visit to this week’s game might be more important for the Buckeyes.
Leonard Taylor (Springfield, OH / Springfield) has visited the Ohio State football program before and he will be a recruit Buckeye Nation will start to recognize. The four-star TE will be making his second visit to the program in as many months and has received plenty of attention from the school, seeing that he still has one more year of high school ball to play.
Ohio State will likely go without a commitment from a player at the TE position in this years top-rated recruiting class, making the position that much more important in next year’s class. While Taylor isn’t the only player at the position that Ohio State is targeting in 2018, he has expressed equal interest in the program. The Buckeyes will likely look to add two TEs next year – and Taylor looks to be one of them.
Taylor will be making the visit with his current teammate and Buckeye target, Moses Douglass. While Douglass is just a sophomore in high school, he has already received 10 offers, including five Big Ten schools.
Douglass has yet to receive any rankings on recruiting databases, but this is common for players of his age. He will likely be one of the better DBs from Ohio in the 2019 class and will be one to keep an eye on.
Dallas Gant (Toledo, OH / St. John’s Jesuit) was just another in-state prospect to confirm Monday that he would be in Columbus for this week’s game.
The four-star OLB has seen plenty of attention from Big Ten schools and will be making his second visit to Columbus this month. The visit will also give Gant an opportunity to see the Buckeyes in action two weeks in a row, as he was at Michigan State last weekend.
The Buckeyes are the current favorite to land Gant and they will likely be competing with Michigan State and Penn State for the services of the No. 4 recruit from the state of Ohio in 2018. A good showing Saturday will likely put them even further in the lead.
The final in-state addition to be confirmed Monday was four-star DE Malik Vann. The highly touted Ohio prospect has been busy recently as he has taken roughly ten unofficial visits since September.
Vann is currently projected to continue playing football at Notre Dame. However, the visit to Columbus this weekend could keep the Buckeyes in play for the entirety of Vann’s recruitment.
I'll be at Ohio State this weekend ‼️ #GoBuckeyes ⭕️H ❕— Malik Vann™❗️ (@_Next_Era1) November 22, 2016
- Five-star Ohio State OG commit Wyatt Davis (Bellflower, CA / St. John Bosco) received his jersey for the U.S. All-American game yesterday.
- Davis wasn’t the only five-star recruit to receive his jersey for the U.S. Army All-American Monday. Shaun Wade (Jacksonville, FL / Trinity Christian Academy) was also officially recognized on Monday.