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Ohio State looking to seal off borders, keep state's top prospects at home

They're facing stiff competition from Notre Dame and other top programs for Ohio's best talent.

Zeke Correll
247sports

The wait is nearly over! In case you've been living under a rock, tomorrow at 3:30pm the game of the year—essentially not only in the Big Ten Conference but in all of college football—takes place in Columbus when the Buckeyes host undefeated Penn State. With so much on the line in this game, including a clear shot to the Big Ten Championship and maybe the Playoffs as well, you know Urban Meyer is using his background in psychology to prep his team for the ultimate revenge. Seemingly all eyes will be on the game, including both ESPN'S College Gameday and Fox Sports coverage. Buckeye Nation and many of the nation's top recruits (as we already know) will be in Columbus, and a win over the Nittany Lions on the field could also show potential for wins over that same team on the recruiting trail.

Ohio's best belong in Columbus

As mentioned, it seems as if everyone Ohio State is recruiting will be in Columbus tomorrow afternoon, but the Buckeyes know there's one prospect who will be elsewhere. Enter Cincinnati Anderson's Zeke Correll and you have a 2019 stud in-state lineman that the Buckeyes know is a top priority they'd love to add to the fold alongside Doug Nester, their 2019 offensive tackle commit.

Correll, a 6'4, 270-pound offensive guard, is already one of the top prospects on Ohio State's board. Knowing the importance of protecting the borders around Ohio, Urban Meyer and his staff are taking this recruitment more than seriously. However, Correll has weekend plans tomorrow to be in South Bend, Indiana for an unofficial visit with Notre Dame. Fortunately, Ohio State still has a strong presence with the ninth-best guard in the country and Ohio's eleventh-best player.

In an article with Bucknuts recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic, Correll makes it known to Buckeye recruiting followers that while he has weekend plans in another location, Meyer and Mark Pantoni speak with Zeke on a more than frequent basis. And who could blame them? After all, when a "Zeke" comes to Columbus they usually have pretty decent success. You can guarantee that the Ohio State staff will continue their full court press on this in-stater in hopes that they build the wall a little more solid around the talent within Ohio.

He's got his. Do you?

Of what seems like thousands of recruits in attendance tomorrow for this battle, one prospect Ohio State is starting to talk about more and more will certainly not only be at the game, but also joining in on the called for "blackout" of the Horseshoe. Rasheed Walker, a Waldorf, Maryland native, was thought to be all but locked up by Penn State. However, in the last few weeks, the Buckeyes have entered this race and have become a serious threat to land the 6'6, 300-pound offensive tackle. Realizing there's still the in-state Jackson Carman trying to be reeled in by the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer knows the battle is won in the trenches and the more, the merrier.

Walker not only possesses nearly thirty scholarship offers, but is considered to be the nation's eleventh-best tackle and the sixth-best prospect at any position in a very talented Maryland. With Penn State in town, they know Walker will be in Ohio State gear, and their chances with him still remain pretty solid. If the Buckeyes want to land this monster sized talent, they'll not only want to win on the field, but roll out the red carpet treatment and hope that Rasheed falls in love with the atmosphere. Having already visited Ohio State several times including position camp visits, the interest between the two parties is more than serious. Maybe this weekend can continue to sway this one away from Happy Valley and to Columbus instead.

So you're saying there's a chance?

Ohio State's defensive secondary recruiting is already going more than okay in this current 2018 cycle. It could even get better if their top uncommitted target, Anthony Cook, picks the Buckeyes come October 30. However, with the continued success the Buckeyes are having in their secondary with proven development, they're going to entertain more than just a couple of top prospects. Fortunately, when Urban Meyer and position coach Kerry Coombs go after a recruit, they more times than not end up with said recruit. However, with only so many spots on a college football roster, someone is bound to be left out. Or else they just choose another school entirely.

IMG Academy standout cornerback Houston Griffith is a current Florida State Seminoles commit, but there's been talk that he will still take his five allowed official visits. Of course when you only get five, it's important to choose wisely. Lately however, there's been some noise in the air that Griffith may even in fact take an official visit to Ohio State which was not originally planned. The nation's fifteenth-best corner and Florida's twentieth-best prospect at any position would certainly be welcomed by any program, but will the number match up for the Buckeyes? Will Griffith's visit, if he were to have one, even lead to a serious option for Ohio State? Nobody can tell for sure, but if a visit does occur, there's more than enough time until signing day 2018 for some shake-up to take place.