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Ohio State focuses on New Jersey to close out 2018 recruiting class

Elite defensive line prospect Tyler Friday has finished up his visits and will likely commit soon, and fellow New Jersey prospect Javonte Jean-Baptiste might not be far behind. Could the two commit together?


With Ohio State already having 22 future Buckeyes committed to the program following the early signing period, there is now little room to add to the Buckeyes’ impressive 2018 class. The Buckeyes will likely look to add at most three more recruits this year, and one of those could be happening in the coming days.

Elite defensive tackle prospect Tyler Friday (Ramsey, NJ / Don Bosco) has been seeing his name associated with the Ohio State program plenty in the last week. After being a Michigan lean for the majority of his recruiting process, Ohio State has now gained the momentum in his recruitment, with 91-percent of the 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions now favoring the Buckeyes.

On top of this, Friday received an in-home visit from Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson this past weekend. Johnson has played a critical role in Ohio State’s ability to overtake Michigan as the favorite to land Friday, so one can assume the visit only helped Ohio State’s chances.

Late last week, Adam Friedman of reported that Friday was nearing a decision and that an announcement could’ve happened over the weekend. While the weekend came and went, Friday never announced a decision.

So what does this mean?

For one, it doesn’t mean Ohio State’s momentum is running dry and that they are losing ground in his commitment. If anything, it means that Friday is taking his time ensuring he makes the best decision for himself.

Expect Friday to still make a decision sooner rather than later. However, with National Signing Day being only a few weeks away, it is still possible that Friday waits until then to make an announcement.

Fellow New Jersey OLB set to visit Buckeyes this weekend

The aforementioned Friday isn’t the only New Jersey prospect Ohio State is targeting late in the recruiting process. Outside linebacker Javonte Jean-Baptiste (Oradell, NJ / Bergen Catholic) is also being courted by Ohio State and is slated to schedule the program this coming weekend.

While Friday was meeting with Ohio State last weekend, the four-star OLB visited Nebraska and seemed to like what he saw.

While Nebraska certainly helped their chances in securing a commitment from Jean-Baptiste, Ohio State is still viewed as the clear favorite in his recruitment, holding 73-percent of the 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions.

As mentioned above, Jean-Baptiste is scheduled to visit Ohio State this weekend and if he enjoys his time in Columbus, the Buckeyes could all but secure a commitment from the elite OLB.

Package deal?

The most compelling news to come of the weekend happened after both of these New Jersey natives finished up talking to their respective schools.

Jean-Baptiste reached out to Friday late in the weekend and while all eyes were focused on their brief Twitter conversation, the two took it behind closed doors before anything of actual importance came to light.

Does this mean the duo are a package deal?

Far from it. The two were more than likely discussing what they like about the schools since Friday was recruited by Nebraska as well. Until we hear otherwise, this can only be viewed as two friends talking to each other to help make sure both select the program best for them.

Expect more news to follow Jean-Baptiste’s visit to Ohio State this weekend and a commitment could happen before that for Friday.