Ohio State currently sits atop of the 2018 recruiting cycle rankings according to many national recruiting databases. However, now that the college football regular season has come to an end, along with many high school seniors' final seasons, the recruiting world is bound to see some shake-ups.
The Buckeyes currently sit at 18 hard commitments and are looking to add to that number; however, Urban Meyer and the coaching staff are having to put more focus into retaining commits this year than in recent memory.
One of the names that has continued to be brought up in the wild world of recruiting is elite Buckeye defensive end commit Brenton Cox (Stockbridge, GA/Stockbridge). Viewed as the No. 2 strong-side DE in the country and the No. 19 overall prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Cox garnered an elite list of suitors leading up to his commitment.
The five-star DE committed to Ohio State back in April, following the program’s spring game. He chose the Buckeyes over other elite college football programs including Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Miami, and his home state Georgia Bulldogs.
Unfortunately, verbal commitments don’t always hold true and because of this, both Georgia and Alabama have continued recruiting Cox despite his commitment to Ohio State. Cox had reportedly planned on visiting Alabama a couple weeks ago, but elected to visit Georgia instead, leaving the door open for talks of a de-commitment from Ohio State.
Jeff Sentell of DawgNation.com spoke with Cox recently and he informed Sentell that he plans on taking official visits to Ohio State, Alabama, and Georgia in the coming weeks.
While Alabama is still highly involved in Cox’s recruitment, it appears Georgia is the Buckeyes’ biggest competition. Cox mentioned to Sentell that he is still committed to Ohio State, mainly due to defensive line coach Larry Johnson and his ability to develop players, but that at the end of the day, he will likely have to decide between the Buckeyes or playing in his home-state school.
“It is going to be my decision at the end of the day whether I go to Georgia or Ohio State,” Cox said, “But right now, it is still Ohio State.”
So what does this all mean?
Cox is still committed to Ohio State and his relationship with coach Johnson is a huge positive for the Buckeyes. However, it is obvious that he feels more comfortable at Georgia.
“What has changed?” Cox said. “Well, really it is just the players there. The players there that I actually know.”
The ensuing official visits will shed plenty of light on his situation and the Buckeyes will need to pull out the red carpet if they want to ensure he remains committed to the program. Cox will need to spend an ample amount of time with both current and future Buckeyes in order to make sure Ohio State is the school for him.
Cox wants to enroll early to whatever school he winds up selecting, and the Buckeyes should still be viewed as the leader in his recruitment. However, like Cox has said, he is still considering playing at home.
Be sure to stick with Land-Grant Holy Land as we will keep you updated on Cox’s situation and all other things Ohio State.
Former UNC 4-star OLB commit to visit Ohio State
Four-star outside linebacker Payton Wilson (Hillsborough, NC/Orange) de-committed from North Carolina last week in a move he said was not football related. Following the move, the blue-chip prospect will be looking to visit schools in the coming weeks in efforts to figure out where he wants to continue his football career.
Wilson appears to have narrowed his list down to four schools, including NC State, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, and he spoke with Adam Friedman of Rivals.com recently regarding each of the aforementioned schools.
While NC State should be viewed as the favorite to land Wilson when it is all said and done, Wilson had plenty of positives to say about Ohio State.
“There aren’t many teams that can compete for a National Championship every year,” he said. “When you go to Ohio State you are practicing against the best every day so you are going to become the best you can be.”
Wilson also said that Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer has working hard on winning him over recently as well as Buckeye assistant coach Bill Davis.
Wilson is ranked as the No. 3 OLB and No. 68 overall recruit in the 2018 cycle, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, and if he were to commit to the Buckeyes he would likely be the fourth and final LB in the class.
The four-star prospect mentioned that he plans on taking an official visit to Ohio State, however it will likely come late in the recruiting cycle. This is because he knows the team is busy leading up to its conference championship game versus Wisconsin and a possible College Football Playoff bid, and he wants to ensure he has plenty of time with players and staff.
It appears that Wilson’s recruitment will likely run close to National Signing Day but we will likely learn more as he begins taking official visits.