With the college football season now at a close, coaches across the country will now switch their focus to strengthening their program with recruiting. Ohio State has once again done a tremendous job of securing some of the most talented prospects in the country, as the class sits at No. 2 nationally behind only Georgia.
In years past, the weeks immediately following post-season play were some of the busiest of the year as coaches worked hard to finalize the current year's recruiting class. However, this year is a first as the early signing period will allow coaches to focus on next year’s recruiting class.
Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes’ coaching staff are some of the best at what they do though, and because of this, they have been working on the 2019 recruiting class for some time already. The team currently holds just one commitment, but the coaches have been establishing important relationships with some of the top talents in next year’s class.
One of those big name prospects is inside linebacker Shane Lee (Baltimore, MD/St. Frances Academy). The four-star linebacker just finished up his junior season of play but he already holds an impressive offer list.
Programs such as Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, and Ohio State have all offered the four-star talent, and while he hasn’t officially released a list of his top schools, it does appear he has a group of four schools he views above the rest.
Brian Dohn of 247Sports.com spoke with Lee recently and he talked about the four schools he is in contact with the most, including Ohio State.
2019 No. 2 ILB @leeboy1212 is talking to #OhioState #PennState #Michigan #FloridaState a lot @247Sports @joshnewberg247 @CNee247 @Bill_Kurelic @alexgleitman @seanfitz247 @FightOnState @SamWebb77 @SWiltfong247 @AllenTrieu https://t.co/14QmKIroHS— BrianDohn247 (@BrianDohn247) January 8, 2018
The four programs that appear to be leading the way in Lee’s recruitment include Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and Florida State.
When speaking about his relationship with Ohio State at this point in his recruitment, he only had positive things to say.
“Ohio State, I probably talk to the most,” Lee said to Dohn. “It’s nothing much about the school. It’s trying to get to know me as a person and build a relationship. It’s less about football and more about the community feel from Columbus.”
Ohio State assistant coach Larry Johnson is the one leading the charge for the Buckeyes in Lee’s recruitment and like usual, he is doing and saying all of the right things.
Lee is gearing up for one of the busiest years in his young life. He will soon be attending junior camps and taking more unofficial visits to schools he is interested in. The 247Sports Composite Rankings have him listed as the No. 2 ILB in the country and the No. 49 overall recruit in the class. He is also the No. 1 prospect from the talent-rich state of Maryland.
Because of these high regards, Lee will likely be one of the hottest names in the 2019 recruiting class. The Buckeyes are one of the few programs that have already received one official visit from the blue-chip prospect. Expect them to try and get him on campus more than once in the coming year.
Future Buckeyes continue to earn praise from Army Bowl
Ohio State commit and early-enrollee Tommy Togiai (Pocatello, ID/Highland) continues to earn praise for his performance in last weekend's US Army All-American Game.
Togiai, the country’s No. 9 DT, finished the game with three tackles and a forced fumble. However, it was his ability to get off the line that caught the attention of those watching the event.
Adam Friedman and Josh Helmholdt of Rivals.com listed the prospects that stood out to them the most, and one of those on the list was Togiai.
When talking about the four-star DT, the two said he isn’t going to be the first noticed based on his physical stature; however, when he is on the field, it is tough to keep your eyes off of him.
“The biggest weapon in Togiai’s arsenal is an explosive first step, and from there he knows how to use his hands and exploit leverage on offensive linemen.”
Another future Buckeye to make noise at the weekend’s event was four-star safety commit Tyreke Johnson (Jacksonville, FL/Trinity Christian Academy.)
Rival’s Adam Gorney gave out his awards for the top performers in the game and Johnson was a recipient of one of the better ones. His “Hard Hat” award, given to the hardest hitting player in the game, went to Johnson.
The four-star safety, who will likely transition to cornerback at the next level, showed all week that he was one of the best attendees in both coverage and in strength.
“This might be the easiest award to give out because five-star Ohio State signee Tyreke Johnson was a maniac especially during practice,” Gorney said when explaining his selection of Johnson as the recipient of the award. “No one was safe coming across the middle because Johnson was head hunting.”
Like previously mentioned, Johnson will likely transition to CB at Ohio State, mainly due to the lack of depth at the position. Throughout his high school football career, he continuously proved he had what it took to succeed at the next level and on the biggest stage of his football career, he proved it once again.