One of Ohio State’s strongest groups right now is its defensive line. This year’s current team has relied heavily on this unit and it appears Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer wants to continue on this path.
In what was once a position that plagued Meyer in past recruiting cycles, the Buckeyes have already earned commitments from two of the top defensive tackles in the 2018 recruiting cycle in five-star Taron Vincent and four-star JUCO Antwuan Jackson Jr. They could look to add at least one more.
Four-star DT Tyler Friday (Ramsey, NJ/Don Bosco Prep) included Ohio State among his top five schools late Monday night on Twitter. Along with the Buckeyes, Michigan, UCLA, Penn State, and Miami were also included in the blue-chip prospects list.
Friday is one of the top talents in all of the 2018 recruiting cycle. The 247Sports Composite Rankings have him listed as the No. 3 DT in the class and the No. 64 overall prospect regardless of position. He is also listed as the No. 2 overall talent to hail from the talent-rich state of New Jersey.
The four-star DT unofficially visited the Buckeyes in March of last year, but has yet to find his way back. Friday has yet to take any his five allocated official visits but will likely look to visit all five of the above listed teams now that his senior season is coming to a close.
The Buckeyes are also targeting four-star DT Tommy Togiai and are seen as legitimate contenders to land him. Togiai appears to be further along in his recruitment as he has already used multiple official visits, including to Ohio State. Neither has set a commitment date. You can expect the Buckeyes to continue recruiting until one is ready to commit.
Ohio State’s QB recruiting situation gets crazier
Ohio State currently has the country’s top recruiting class in the 2018 cycle and its centerpiece is undoubtedly four-star quarterback Emory Jones (Franklin, GA/Heard County.) The No. 2 dual-threat QB in the class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, committed to the Buckeyes in late July of last year and has since had Buckeye Nation salivating over his potential.
Jones has proven time and time again that he could be special. Two years ago at Ohio State’s annual Friday Night Lights camp in, Jones competed in drills with current Buckeye QBs J.T. Barrett, Dwayne Haskins, and Tate Martell as well as former Buckeye QB Cardale Jones and arguably outperformed them all. Even more impressive is that at the time Jones was just entering his junior season of high school football. His talent was as undeniable then as is it now.
However, what isn’t as certain is his commitment to Ohio State.
Before we get any further, it must be stated that Jones has repeatedly said all the right things and even called Columbus “home” ahead of his official visit to the school earlier this month when the Buckeyes hosted Penn State. However, the speculation on whether Alabama will flip him or not has never gone away. In fact, it seems to only grow as the weeks go by.
Coming home tomorrow!!!!! The shoe will be LIVEEEEEE ️ pic.twitter.com/iv7Y11FRUx— Emory Jones (@eXjones6) October 28, 2017
Nick Saban and Alabama have yet to earn a commitment from a QB in this year’s class and Jones remains their top target, despite his pledge to play in scarlet and gray. And much to the Ohio State coaching staff’s dismay, Jones has continued to see what Alabama has to offer, even taking an official visit to the program last month.
Because of this uncertainty, late last week, Urban Meyer appeared to reveal his back-up plan in case Jones does de-commit from the class by offering another Georgia four-star QB in Jarren Williams (Lawrenceville, GA/Central Gwinnett.) Land-Grant Holy Land’s very own Caleb Houser discussed this in detail last week.
Williams is currently committed to Kentucky and the 247Sports Composite Rankings have him listed as the No. 8 dual-threat QB. While Kentucky has built a very strong relationship with Williams, the state of Kentucky’s football program simply doesn’t match that of Ohio State’s.
Fast-forward to Monday and we have learned of another update on Ohio State’s QB recruiting situation. Marc Gilver of BuckeyeGrove.com spoke with Williams’ high school coach Todd Wofford who confirmed to Gilver that Williams plans to use an an official visit to Ohio State, firmly cementing Williams as the Buckeyes’ back-up plan.
As of today, Jones is still committed to Ohio State and hasn’t said anything to hint otherwise. But the only certainty in college football recruiting is that nothing is certain and that is why Urban Meyer and Ohio State are making sure they have a back-up plan in place.
This time last week I said I thought if he was going to de-commit from the Buckeyes it would’ve been shortly after his official visit for the Penn State game. So far, that hasn’t happened, but there are rumors that he is planning another unofficial visit to Alabama in the coming weeks and if this does in fact occur, it would only spell bad news for Ohio State.
Make sure to keep up with Land-Grant Holy Land as we will be sure to keep you updated on Jones’ commitment.