Just days before National Signing Day, the Buckeyes played host to a pair of class of 2016 prospects over the weekend. Current Cincinnati commit K'Von Wallace, one of the hottest prospects on the scene, and elite JUCO offensive tackle Malcolm Pridgeon both made their way to Columbus to check out the Ohio State program in person.
Committed to the Bearcats since the summer, Wallace has a lot to think about before he signs on the dotted line on Wednesday. Over the last couple of weeks, the three-star prospect from Virginia has picked up scholarship offers from not just Ohio State, but Michigan State, Arizona, Maryland, and Clemson.
Wanting to finish off its 2016 class with at least one or two more defensive backs, the Buckeyes' staff, who held an in-home visit with Wallace last week, are hoping his trip to OSU helps make them major contenders to once again flip a talented committed recruit to Ohio State.
When news broke that the 6'8, 305-pound Pridgeon would officially visit OSU, some were shocked. With commitments from linemen Michael Jordan (early enrollee), Tyler Gerald (early enrollee), Gavin Cupp, and Jack Wohlabaugh already on the table, most thought OSU would shift their main focus elsewhere.
With the aforementioned recruits and many other inexperienced linemen returning next season, OSU is trying to rebuild upfront in a hurry. Pridgeon, one of the most sought-after prospects on the junior college level, might not have been penciled in as a member of the Buckeyes' class early on, but seems to be in the mix for one of the last spots.
Baylor, Florida, and Rutgers are just a few of the many schools to offer Pridgeon, who was coached by former Akron lineman and current NCC offensive line coach Vinnie Rizzo.
Buckeyes host top underclassmen
Wallace and Pridgeon weren't the recruits to make it to campus over the last few days. On Sunday many of the Buckeyes' top 2017 and 2018 recruits invaded Columbus for Ohio State's Junior Day.
Ohio State might not have picked up a pledge, but they did offer one of the top class of 2017 defensive backs in the country. After being on the Buckeyes' radar for quite awhile, Cincinnati Colerain junior Amir Riep finally added OSU to his growing list of scholarship offers, which includes the likes of Michigan State, Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Illinois.
According to the 247Sports Composite, Riep is currently pegged as the 17th safety, and 241st overall prospect in the country. Although he is listed as a safety, the GMC defensive player of the year tells Land-Grant Holy Land that he is being recruited by the Buckeyes as a cornerback.
Great Visit! @WeAreColerain pic.twitter.com/lkcPjY3UvL— Amir Riep (@Riep_Amir) January 31, 2016
While Riep might have stolen the headlines, many underclassmen walked away with the experience of what it would be like to be a Buckeye. Below are just some of the many underclassmen who visited over the weekend.
|Danny Clark||Akron/Archbishop Hoban||QB||****||Ohio State commit|
|Todd Sibley||Akron/Archbishop Hoban||RB||****||Ohio State commit|
|Josh Myers||Miamisburg/Miamisburg||OL||*****||Ohio State commit|
|Jaylen Kelly-Powell||Detroit,MI/Cass Tech||DB||****||OSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Etc|
|Lamont Wade||Clairton,PA/Clairton||DB||****||OSU, Penn State, Pitt, West Virginia, Etc|
|Jordan McNair||Owings Mills, MD/McDonough||OL||****||OSU, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, Etc|
|Fred Hansard||Princeton,NJ/Hun School||DT||****||OSU. Miami, Michigan, Penn State, Etc|
|Matt Dotson||Cincinnati/Moeller||TE||****||OSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Etc|
|Weston Bridges||Akron/Copley||RB||***||Boston College, Indiana, Toledo, Etc|
|Danny Davis||Springfield/Springfield||WR||****||Kentucky, Michigan State, Iowa, Etc|
|Joel Honigford||Sugercreek/Sugarcreek||OL||***||Boston College, Duke, Nebraska, Etc|
|Jaelen Gill||Westerville/South||RB||****||OSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Etc|
|Jackson Carman||Fairfield/Fairfield||OL||****||OSU, Duke, Iowa, Etc|
- Two top Ohio State targets will announce their college choice this evening. Four-star class of 2016 defensive backs Jordan Fuller and Damar Hamlin will let the world know where they will play on the college level. While most believe Fuller, who hails from New Jersey, will end up in the Scarlet and Gray, Hamlin is another story, with his hometown Pittsburgh Panthers currently looking like the landing spot for the standout, who was thought as a near lock for the Buckeyes early on during the process.
- On Saturday, four-star defensive back Carlos Becker announced via his Instagram that he is down to Florida State and Ohio State. Making his decision on signing day, most around the scene believe Becker, who visited OSU earlier this month, will stay closer to his parents in the Sunshine State, and play for the Seminoles.
- Thad Matta and the Ohio State basketball coaching staff offered class of 2017 guard Markell Johnson on Sunday. Johnson, a junior at East Tech in Cleveland, adds the Buckeyes to a list of scholarship offers that consists of programs such as Louisville, Florida, and Virginia Tech Here's Johnson pictured after taking in OSU's game against Maryland:
Blessed To Receive An Offer From The Ohio State University ⚪️ #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/mI8lYyStpX— Markell Johnson (@kells_2017) January 31, 2016