While some coaches were spending most of their Thursday gearing up for the first round of the NFL Draft, Ohio State was still trying to lock down future Buckeyes to help them stay among the elite for years to come.
With two years still left on the high school level, a pair of 2019 Trinity Catholic (MO) teammates picked up scholarship offers from Urban Meyer and crew. Adding Ohio State to their already impressive lists of potential landing spots, wide receiver Marcus Washington and outside linebacker Shammond Cooper earned the opportunity to rock the Scarlet and Gray.
Washington, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound sophomore shined under the lights this past season for the Titans. Scoring nine touchdowns, he hauled in 33 receptions for 676 yards.
“I've talked to a couple Ohio State coaches before and a few days before the offer I talked to him again,” said Washington to Land-Grant Holy Land. “They said they really liked me but I didn't expect an offer this soon. Today coach Smith called our high school coach and broke the news. It was a very exciting offer. It felt unreal.”
His play on the field hasn’t just caught the eye of Ohio State. Holding over a dozen scholarships, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina and Nebraska are just a few of the schools the Buckeyes find themselves up against for the four-star prospect.
Blessed to receive an offer from Ohio State #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/G0IABYV1IJ— Marcus Washington (@_MarcusW11) April 27, 2017
Also considered a four-star recruit, Cooper, who reportedly accounted for 141 total tackles and four quarterback sacks to help lead the Trinity Catholic Titans to an overall record of 12-1, now has nearly 20 offers on the table.
“Coach [Zach] Smith visited the school earlier this week, and today he called back to let me know that [Ohio State] wanted to offer me,” said Cooper. “They also told me they want to get me down on a visit during the summer. It feels great because it's my dream school.”
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Cooper has offers from the likes of Illinois, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.
Blessed to receive an offer from my dream school Ohio State #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/jxm1UVlqgb— Shammond Cooper (@Shammond07) April 27, 2017
Cooper definitely holds the Ohio State offer in high regards. Even though he always wanted an offer from the Buckeyes, he plans to sit back and take his time with the recruiting process before he shuts things down and commits.
“I'm still going to look at every option carefully. I'm not worried about [committing] right now, I'm focused on making myself better,” he said.
- Cooper and Washington weren’t the only recruits Ohio State offered on Thursday. Per Woody Wommack of Rivals, the Buckeyes also dealt out a scholarship to four-star class of 2019 Tennessee defensive end Ani Izuchukwu. Alabama, Kentucky, LSU and Mississippi State are among the Southeastern Conference schools trying to keep Izuchukwu out of the 614.
- Stockbridge (GA) teammate of current OSU pledge Brenton Cox, Marquez Ezzard, a four-star athlete, released his top eight programs on Thursday. Cutting his list down from over 20 offers, Ohio State, USC, Florida State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Auburn, Florida and South Carolina are alive to land a commitment from the 6-foot-1 playmaker.
- Four-star class of 2018 wide receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith (Huber Heights, OH / Wayne) took to his Twitter page to announce his top 10 last night. Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Tennessee are still in the mix for the 6-foot-6 All-Ohio selection.
- 2018 Dayton Dunbar running back Tavion Thomas followed in the footsteps of Ezzard and Smith by naming his leaders via Twitter. Down to 10, the four-star rated Thomas has OSU, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, LSU, USC, and Oregon standing out at the moment.
- Ohio State were among the programs to take in practice at IMG Academy (FL) yesterday. One of the top teams in the country, IMG is the home of current OSU defensive tackle commit Taron Vincent, and targets such as defensive back Houston Griffith, offensive lineman Verdis Brown, and running back Noah Cain.