Ohio State wrapped up its final practice in Ohio on Monday before heading out to Glendale, Ariz. for its match up versus Clemson in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. With a full schedule ahead of the team this week combined with a recruiting dead period, it would be reasonable if recruiting was put on the back-burner this week. However, recruiting is how Urban Meyer has built this program into a juggernaut and like usual, the Buckeyes still found themselves in the recruiting headlines Monday.
The biggest news of the day happened late Monday evening when one of Ohio State’s last remaining targets in the 2017 released his top five schools. Unsurprisingly, the Buckeyes made the cut.
Jay Tufele (South Jordan, UT / Bingham) has long been associated with the Buckeyes and the coaching staff has made it apparent that he is a priority for them while closing out the class. The four-star defensive tackle listed Ohio State among his final group of five, along with hometown school Utah, Michigan, BYU and USC.
Top 5 all glory to the man above... pic.twitter.com/pOZIPkFK2w— Jay Tufele (@tufele123) December 27, 2016
The Buckeyes have already successfully secured commitments from two of the country’s best DTs in the 2017 class in Haskell Garrett (Las Vegas, NV / Bishop Gorman) and Jerron Cage (Cincinnati, OH / Winton Woods) but it seems Urban Meyer would like to add at least one more.
Tufele would be a great addition to an already loaded 2017 class. Standing at 6-foot-3, 297 pounds, Tufele ranks as the fourth-best DT in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, and lands at No.56 overall.
Tufele made an official visit to Ohio State back in November when the Buckeyes defeated Michigan in double overtime. He also made an official visit to Michigan in October with official visits scheduled for both USC and Utah in January of next year.
Utah is currently seen as the favorite to land Tufele but he has yet to give any clear indications of a single favorite school. Expect Ohio State to continue recruiting Tufele up until he makes a decision.
Future Buckeyes set to participate in Under Armour All-American Week
The Under Armour All-American game will take place this Sunday and will bring together some of the best high school football players in the country. Practices will begin this week leading up to Sunday’s match up.
The biggest name to watch for Buckeye fans during this week’s UA All-American week is Marvin Wilson (Bellaire, TX / Episcopal). The five-star DT is arguably the best player in the 2017 class and is a dominant force on the line.
Once seen as a long shot, the Buckeyes have been gaining steam in Wilson’s recruitment ever since his official visit for the Michigan game and are now seen as a legitimate contender.
Wilson has taken official visits to Oklahoma, Florida State and the Buckeyes. LSU will reportedly receive an official visit from Wilson next month. USC and Texas A&M are also heavily recruiting him. With a full schedule ahead of Wilson this week and plenty of press surrounding the event, there is a good possibility we could learn more about his recruitment this week.
Four-star defensive back Markquese Bell (Bridgetown, NJ/ Bridgetown) is another Buckeye target attending this week’s festivities. Bell is set to announce his commitment Sunday and the Buckeyes could be the school of choice.
Ohio State has been paying more attention to Bell in the last couple months, receiving an official visit from him back in November as well as having assistant coach Chris Ash visit him at home. That being said, Maryland seems to be the leader in his recruitment with Virginia Tech gaining momentum as well.
Three current Buckeye commits will also be in attendance for the All-American game this week including four-star DB Marcus Williamson (Bradenton, FL / IMG Academy) and his teammate four-star safety Isiah Pryor. The two will be joined by five-star WR Trevon Grimes (Fort Lauderdale, FL / St. Thomas Aquinas).