It’s a big week in the recruiting world. First, the Under Armour All-American Game is happening on Jan. 4 in Orlando. Then on Jan. 6, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is happening in San Antonio. In both games, which include the best high school prospects in the country, the Ohio State Buckeyes will have a noticeable presence.
For the Army All-American contest in Texas, the players have already made their way down for the practices—and they are already balling out.
Welcome to the Alamo
Four-star tight end Jeremy Ruckert is one of the Buckeyes’ future prospects in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He is the top TE in the 2018 recruiting cycle, as well as the top recruit out of New York, according to the 247sports composite.
A couple days ago, we wrote about Ruckert’s Twitter update about him landing in San Antonio. Now in the Lone Star State, the No. 1 TE took to the practice field—showing that he deserved to be called the best at his position.
#Buckeyes LB commit Dallas Gant likely gets a sack here but lets up at end of practice rep. Future teammate Jeremy Ruckert catches the TD. pic.twitter.com/iUeOMKC0wz— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) January 2, 2018
Even though this would’ve ended up as a probable sack, Ruckert hauled in the touchdown. Outside linebacker Dallas Gant, another future Buckeye, was the one who would’ve had the sack opportunity had this been a real game.
Like Ruckert, Gant is one of the best in his home state, too. The Toledo, Ohio native is the No. 5 prospect in the Buckeye State, and is the No. 8 outside linebacker, according to 247sports. If these two are making plays like this in a practice, just image what they could do given time with an elite coaching staff like OSU’s. The TE position has molded the likes of Jeff Heuerman, Nick Vannett and Marcus Baugh. On the LB side, there’s too many great defenders to count.
The future looks bright for these two.
(For those wondering: the quarterback was Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 prospect and quarterback in the 2018 class. He signed with Clemson during the early signing period.)
Another Buckeye in the fold is Jaelen Gill, the standout running back from Westerville, Ohio.
#Clemson OT signee Jackson Carman (No 74) springs #Buckeyes RB signee Jaelen Gill: https://t.co/9gfsBorwTC pic.twitter.com/4P4IV3leOT— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) January 1, 2018
In this tweet from recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong on New Year’s Day, Gill finds an open path right up the middle, courtesy of another Ohio native in Jackson Carman.
If Gill gets the space (or is used as an east-west kind of runner) then it’s entirely possible that he will break off huge runs. With J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber currently leading the running back depth chart, the addition of Gill adds another dimension of explosive RBs at Ohio State. It may be entirely possible that the best backfield in America will be in Columbus next season.
What’s happening today in Orlando?
Pivoting to another city and game, the prospects in the Under Armour All-American game are still practicing for Thursday night’s showcase at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
The schedule for Wednesday includes the fourth and final practice. Four prospects in this game will be representing Ohio State: Cornerback Sevyn Banks, offensive lineman Matthew Jones, linebacker Teradja Mitchell, and running back Brian Snead.
Also, media day will happen for the Future 50, the top underclassmen and 2019 prospects for next year’s game.