This weekend was the first in awhile for the Buckeye football team to not take the field. While fans and the players are anxiously awaiting the primetime match-up against Southern Cal on December 29 in Dallas for the Cotton Bowl, the Ohio State staff knows they have to hit the recruiting trail hard with the early signing period nearing ever so quickly. Fortunately, the Buckeyes played host to more than a couple of top prospects and commits over the weekend, giving the proof that there’s no letting up on the plan of signing the top recruiting class in 2018.
Keeping the best in-state?
Over the weekend the Buckeyes were able to host in-state offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. The Cincinnati native hails from the prestigious and football tradition-rich St. Xavier High School, one that puts its kids into college programs each and every year. One prospect from St. X that will surely keep that trend moving is Johnson. At 6'7, 265 pounds, Paris is only a sophomore with two more prep seasons yet to be played. With that body frame, obviously top programs all over the country will be taking notice. Not to mention, besides his size, his feet and hands have made him already a top lineman in the talented state of Ohio.
While on his unofficial visit to Columbus, Johnson was extended his latest offer when the Buckeyes made up their minds that they too will be in on this recruitment—and rightfully so. While Urban Meyer has recruited so well nationally, he has made it clear that his first priority is keeping Ohio’s best at home and suiting up for the Scarlet and Gray. This weekend certainly may have been a step in that direction and the groundwork for beginning what will need to be a strong relationship between the two parties.
With seven offers already, this will surely be a recruitment that everyone is involved with as Johnson looks to be a top prospect nationally at any position. While it’s early, schools such as Clemson, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio State are the first to join this party, but it’s only a matter of time before the others join. Ohio State does hold a few early predictions on the 247Sports crystal ball, but after an official offer coming this weekend, the Buckeyes may just extend an early lead.
Bucks make the cut, as usual
Before the start of the 2017 football season, the summer saw recruits all over the country naming their top schools lists. The Buckeyes fortunately were nearly on every list imaginable, proving just how successful this football staff recruits. With the season coming down to an end and bowl season being the only agenda item left, those top schools lists will surely begin coming in at a rapid pace. Over the weekend, the Buckeyes saw themselves land on not one, but two top lists, cementing their status as a perennial power in recruiting.
On Saturday, a top 2019 receiver, Arjei Henderson (Richmond, TX), cut his list of schools to six before he makes a final decision. The country’s fourth ranked receiver and the third best player in a loaded state of Texas for the 2019 class has nearly fifty—yes, fifty—scholarship offers, so a final list of six is pretty serious to say the least. The 6'1, 180-pound five-star can do it all. Whether it’s making a play with his feet or his hands, Henderson has proved why he is not only one of the best at his position, but also why he is ranked in the top twenty at any position for 2019.
Making the cut included Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, and Ohio State. While the good news is that Ohio State is in the fold, the bad news is that Oklahoma has thought to have been the clear leader for some time now with Texas trailing. However, given the success Urban Meyer has had in Texas, don’t put an end to this one just yet, because if the Buckeyes make the full-court press on Arjei, anything is possible.
In keeping with the trend, yesterday, the Buckeyes once again found themselves in the running for another top Texas receiver with a top schools list. This time, Jordan Wittington, a Cuero native, trimmed his list down from nearly thirty to a final six. Making the cut for the 6'1, 200-pound 5-star included Texas, Texas A&M, Florida, Oklahoma, UCLA, and Ohio State. The 2019 product is the seventh best ranked receiver in his class and the fifth best product overall in the Lone Star state.
For Jordan, the home team Texas Longhorns are the leader in this recruitment, but again, Urban Meyer’s track record in Texas head to head with in-state schools has proven to be nothing but successful. If Ohio State wants to be a serious threat, Wittington will need to get to campus, but being a 2019 prospect gives Ohio State enough time to make that happen.
Official visits galore
As previously mentioned, Columbus and specifically the Woody Hayes Athletic Facility was hopping this weekend with top recruits. Whether it was committed guys such as L’Christian “Blue” Smith and Jeremy Ruckert or un-committed prospects, Ohio State was a busy host to say the least. Take a look below to see just who was on campus over the weekend and the faces that prove they were having a great time seeing their future home, or what the Buckeyes have to offer.
Jeremy Ruckert: Ohio State 2018 Tight End commit.
Cameron Brown: 4-star St. Louis, Missouri native. Current 2018 Nebraska commit.
Luke Fulton: Youngstown, Ohio native. 2019 outside linebacker.
Casey Rogers: Avon, Connecticut native. 2018 defensive end.