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Alabama is handing out offers in Ohio State’s backyard

The Crimson Tide are making moves on Buckeye prospects.

Malik Vann
247sports

It’s always refreshing to have a relaxing weekend for most people. However, even when Urban Meyer is away from town on the Buckeye Cruise Against Cancer, the rest of the Ohio State staff remains hard at work recruiting for the Buckeyes—an event which never stops. Whether being on the road or hosting top prep prospects from Ohio and around the country, the Buckeyes seem to have the formula for success, and as long as Urban Meyer is in charge, that won’t change.

Forcing OSU’s hand?

It’s no secret how talented the 2018 class is in the state of Ohio. There are plenty of options the Buckeyes can go to, but with their national presence in the recruiting scene, they may have to be selective on who they take when it comes to in-state players.

However, when Alabama offered Dayton Dunbar running back Tavion Thomas, Ohio State wasted no time in sending an offer. Could it have been because of Alabama’s offer OSU felt pressured to also offer the in-state back? Maybe.

Well, that looks to be happening again and again.

Only a week after the Thomas offer via Alabama, the Crimson Tide and Nick Saban are at it again as they not only offered one Ohio prospect without an Ohio State offer to this point, but two prospects alike. The latest, Dayton Dunbar receiver Joseph Scates, a current Michigan State commit, and Fairfield defensive end Malik Vann.

The two were in Tuscaloosa, Ala. this weekend visiting the Crimson Tide and were given their respective “good” news concerning the Crimson Tide offers. Scates, a four-star receiver is currently ranked as the sixth best prospect in Ohio and Vann, also a four-star, is ranked as the 12th best prospect in the Buckeye state.

The two may not currently hold Ohio State offers, but the situation is identical to Tavion Thomas’. Offers from the Buckeyes would not be too surprising considering rival programs are hunting hard in their very own backyard. While Scates is currently committed to Michigan State and Vann still on the market, it’s unknown whether or not a Buckeye offer would change the mind of Scates, but any time an in-state prospect receives the prestigious offer from The Ohio State, it’s something to consider—and consider very strongly.

Upshaw checks out OSU

This past weekend may have been somewhat quiet in Columbus, Ohio concerning football recruiting, but that didn’t stop at least one visitor from making the short trek to Ohio State to see what the Buckeyes have to offer.

In-state Ohio tight-end, Keaton Upshaw (Lima, OH / Lima Senior) made the drive south to Columbus and was able to take in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center as well as meet the coaching staff while Urban Meyer was out of the office.

Ranked as the 29th best prospect in Ohio for the 2018 class and the 26th best tight end in the country, the 6-foot-7, 200-pound three-star has the size to really turn some heads at the next level. Currently, Upshaw does not have an offer from Ohio State, but does hold offers from Pitt, Toledo and Bowling Green.

It’s relatively early in Upshaw’s recruitment, but if an Ohio State offer were to come his way, it would certainly be the “biggest” offer that he would have to this point. With Keaton starting to visit more and more schools, look for his recruitment to increase as more programs from around the country look to throw their hat into the ring for the Upshaw sweepstakes.

Matta hits the road

The basketball Buckeyes had an off weekend, but that didn’t mean it was an off weekend for everyone. As the team remained hard at work in Columbus, head coach Thad Matta hit the road on the recruiting trail in pursuit to find the next great talents to head to Columbus and suit up in the Scarlet and Gray.

Heading to Tennessee, Matta and Ohio State were on hand at Brentwood Academy to see Darius Garland. Garland, a 6-foot, 155-pound point guard is considered to be the top point guard in the country as well as the top player overall in Tennessee for the 2018 class, according to 247sports. Not only is Garland a top prospect at his position, but he also grades out as the seventh best player at any position in the nation.

As things stand right now, the five-star holds 12 offers, but Ohio State may have their work cut out for themselves as all signs right now have Darius heading to Duke. Of the nine predictions in the 247sports crystal ball, all but one vote has Garland going to Duke; the lone non-Duke prediction has Garland suiting up for home state Vanderbilt.

The Buckeyes currently have three commits in their 2018 class, but there’s not one doubt that they’d love to add a fourth in Garland. If so, it would easily have Ohio State right at the top of the country for 2018.