The college football season has officially gone into hibernation. Alabama walked away with the national title; Ohio State walked away with a Cotton Bowl win and a No. 5 AP Poll ranking to end the 2017-18 season.
Just because the action on the field has taken a break doesn’t mean the recruiting world is doing the same. Visits and offers were doled out by the Buckeyes, as the Scarlet and Gray are back on the path of claiming the No. 1 recruiting class for 2018.
Can’t go wrong with linebackers
Back on Monday, linebacker Jerome Baker announced that he was forgoing a senior season at OSU, and was entering the NFL Draft. Baker was one of the premier LBs on the squad—and his absence leaves a spot for an up-and-comer.
While there are a few great selections in the fold already, it doesn’t hurt to start putting the building blocks together for what the future holds. On Tuesday, four-star LB Javontae Jean-Baptiste (Oradell, NJ/Bergen Catholic) announced on Twitter that he received an offer from Ohio State.
Blessed to receive a scholarship from The Ohio State University #GoBucks ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/97FA9sOWfJ— dontMessWithOcho (@Javontae_JB) January 9, 2018
Jean-Baptiste is considered by the 247sports composite as the 313th best prospect in the 2018 class, the 21st best outside linebacker, and seventh best recruit in the state of New Jersey. Currently, his 247sports profile page has 24 offers listed, with some name brand schools such as Nebraska and Virginia Tech in the mix.
According to 247sports, Jean-Baptiste is scheduled to make an official visit with Ohio State on Jan. 19. A week prior (Jan. 12), the Garden State prospect is scheduled for an official visit with Nebraska. On Tuesday, however, Jean-Baptiste took an official visit to Texas A&M, a program who went out and got national championship winner Jimbo Fisher to be their head coach.
While the Bucks’ offer carries weight—considering the recruit comes within the Big Ten footprint—there is stiff competition. Virginia Tech currently is predicted as a favorite to land the LB, with 55 percent of the 247sports Crystal Ball leaning toward the Hokies getting the prospect.
Can the Hokies fend off the reigning Cotton Bowl champs for Jean-Baptiste? Or can Scott Frost bring the New Jersey native to Lincoln, NE to help jumpstart the new regime on the linebacker front? It’ll all look a lot clearer in the next couple weeks.
301 to the 614?
When Jim Tressel was head coach, he recruited down in Southern Maryland. Fun fact: current assistant head coach/defensive line guru Larry Johnson had a successful stint as high school football head coach in Maryland.
Fast forward to now, and the Urban Meyer era has gone back to the Maryland well for another star of tomorrow. Four-star offensive tackle Rasheed Walker, who was selected to the U.S. Army All-American bowl, has a visit date scheduled with Ohio State for Jan. 20. He made the announcement on Twitter.
OSU official Visit on the 20th ⚪️ ⚪️— Rasheed Walker (@Cinc0Tre5) January 9, 2018
Walker comes from North Point High School in Waldorf, MD, and holds 27 offers, according to 247sports. Naturally, the typical geographic rivals are fighting for Walker, too. Penn State is currently seen as a favorite, commanding 94 percent of the crystal ball predictions at 247sports. Just like Jean-Baptiste, the Hokies have made an offer to Walker, and actually had an official visit with him back on Dec. 15.
Back in 2011, North Point HS alum Conner Crowell signed with Ohio State. Will Walker do the same? We’ll find out where he’s headed on Feb. 7.
Committing on February 7th #MMC#FDD— Rasheed Walker (@Cinc0Tre5) January 9, 2018