There is only one true certainty when it comes to recruiting, and that is that there are no certainties until National Signing Day. Until recruits physically sign their letters of intent, it's anybody’s game.
Understanding this philosophy is one of the reasons Urban Meyer has become such a dominant force in the college football recruiting world. Even if a recruit has verbally made it known that they want to play for a certain school and coach, nothing is a done deal and the best recruiters in the country don’t stop recruiting a kid they want until the very end.
Meyer has become notorious for flipping recruits in his tenure at Ohio State, but he has also found himself on the other side of that situation. One of the names that has constantly floated around as a Buckeye commit that could eventually leave the program is Josh Proctor (Owasso, OK/Owasso).
The four-star safety committed to the Buckeyes in somewhat shocking fashion. It wasn’t that Ohio State came out of nowhere (like four-star DT Haskell Garrett in the 2017 recruiting class) but rather the timing of the commitment surprised people. It was expected that the Oklahoma native would visit both the Sooners and the Buckeyes before coming to a decision, but that was not the case, as Proctor committed to the Buckeyes on April 15.
Respect it... Here I come Columbus ⭕️ #Shhhh18 pic.twitter.com/uukskfb8Vi— Josh™ (@Jproctor_2018) April 15, 2017
Despite his commitment though, Oklahoma never backed off and has continued pursuing him, as can only be expected. Fortunately for Ohio State, Proctor has said and done all the right things and has never appeared to sway on his decision.
That is, until this past weekend, when he visited Oklahoma. While the visit had been in the works for some time now, the fact that he did it quietly reignited the talks of him flipping from the Buckeyes.
So now what?
Nothing much has changed. Proctor isn’t the only recruit committed to a school while seeing what other schools have to offer; he isn’t even the only Ohio State commit visiting other programs. 5-star QB commit Emory Jones has taken multiple official visits since committing, but a flip is not expected. The same goes for Proctor.
Proctor was just doing his due-diligence and making sure Ohio State is the right school for him. Luckily, it appears that the Buckeyes have nothing to worry about.
If Proctor was going to de-commit from the Buckeyes he likely would have done it during the weekend, and as of yet, he is still an Ohio State commit. Making matters even more hopeful for Ohio State, Proctor donned an Ohio State shirt the day before his visit while warming up for his own game.
#Buckeyes commit Josh Proctor getting ready to go. Peep the shirt.... pic.twitter.com/3WjL6bDirX— Marc Givler (@MarcGivlerBG) October 6, 2017
Factoring in all of this, Ohio State is still the school most likely to see Proctor’s signature come signing day.
Ohio State offers blue-chip 2019 DT
Urban Meyer and the Ohio State coaches have some of the best eyes for talent in the entire country. This ability to spot talent early on gives the program a head start in establishing relationships with top recruits, giving them a huge advantage.
The Buckeyes may have done just that Monday when they offered 2019 defensive tackle Mazi Smith (Grand Rapids, MI/East Kentwood).
Recently offered by ohio state‼️‼️‼️‼️love there coaching staff and the way their players play‼️ pic.twitter.com/WV26oW67Vx— Mazi (@mazismith) October 10, 2017
The four-star DT has shown enough halfway through his junior season to be viewed as one of the top recruits in his class. The 247Sports Composite Rankings have him listed as the No. 7 DT and the No. 147 overall talent in the country.
Ohio State isn’t the only school showing interest in Smith, as he holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Louisville and Alabama.
Smith camped at Ohio State in the summer and appeared to be thrilled with the scholarship offer, even saying that he loves the coaching staff. Because of that, Ohio State instantly becomes a legitimate contender for him.
Ohio State misses on elite CB
Not long ago, four-star CB Houston Griffith (Bradenton, FL/IMG Academy) was viewed as an Ohio State lean. Earlier in the year Griffith made two trips to Columbus in twice as many months. He held the program in high regards, yet despite all of this, communication began to fade out.
Because of this, the Buckeyes never received an official visit from him and in turn, Griffith ended up committing to Florida State over weekend.
C O M M I T T E D— Houston Griffith (@___HG3) October 8, 2017
Florida State Is Home
Go Noles pic.twitter.com/chF0YAj8w2
This appears to be a case where Ohio State only has so many scholarships it can offer in a given year and there just wasn’t enough space for Griffith. The Buckeyes already have two CBs in this years class in Sevyn Banks and Marcus Hooker, and are actively recruiting five-star CB Anthony Cook.
Cook is one of the top priorities for Ohio State, and the Buckeyes are just one of two teams remaining with a legitimate chance in landing him, the other being Texas.
Griffith is a top ten CB in the 2018 recruiting class and is one of the top talents in the entire country. The 247Sports Composite Rankings have him listed as the No. 61 recruit in the entire class. If Ohio State would have continued to recruit him as strong as they were even just six months ago, he likely would have selected the Buckeyes as his collegiate school of choice. However, the Ohio State coaching staff apparently likes their chances to land Cook enough to pass on Griffith.