Every year in recruiting it feels like there’s at least one or two Buckeye commitments that we talk about as a possible decommitment at some point,either because they’ve been taking visits elsewhere, they live far from Columbus, or just don’t seem to fit super well at Ohio State. Last four, those guys were Jaiden Woodbey, Brenton Cox, Emory Jones and Andrew Chatfield, and wouldn’t you know it, all four eventually did decommit.
Those guys, for reference, were from Georgia, California and Florida. It may sound silly in an age where anyone can talk to anyone instantly, and where everywhere in the world is just a plane ride away, but location is still a huge deal for recruiting. Recruits don’t want to leave their families, or go too far from what they grew up knowing. That’s more than reasonable, and especially common with southern recruits.
It appears that this year’s anxiety recruit, as we’ll call them, is Jordan Battle. Battle committed to Ohio State in late June, a week after his official visit to Columbus, and for a few months, his recruitment was pretty quiet. There was talk about him flipping to a school closer to home —likely Miami— during the Urban Meyer/Zach Smith scandal, but no decommitment ever came, and things calmed down again.
The concerns in the Buckeye recruiting world picked back up recently though, as Battle took an unofficial visit to Miami on Sept. 27, and an official visit to Oklahoma two days later for their game against Baylor. That second visit prompted some movement in the 247Sports Crystal Ball, as a pair of Texas writers projected a flip to Oklahoma, which then in turn caused some panic with Ohio State fans.
Now, I’d like to get on here and say that there’s nothing to worry about, but I don’t believe that. I do think that Battle is a flip possibility, and if it’s going to happen, it would probably be pretty soon, and it’d probably be to Oklahoma. However, he’s still committed to Ohio State. He still talks to the Buckeyes, and has significant interest in Ohio State. They’re not out of this by any means, and will continue fighting for the Florida safety.
Not a Strange decision
In all of this weekend’s drama, you may have missed the news on Monday night: Brenton Strange ended his recruitment, announcing his commitment to Penn State on Twitter.
Now, this really isn’t a surprise. Penn State was the leader for the last few weeks, and his visit to their game against Ohio State on Saturday was enough to convince him that Penn State was the place to be. This all relates to Ohio State, of course, because they were one of the final contenders for Strange, and had been the presumed favorite for a while back in July.
However, everything changed when Ohio State landed Cormontae Hamilton. They were really only looking for one tight end in this class, and when Hamilton was the pick, that was pretty much the end of their recruitment of Strange. Ohio State remained in contact, hoping to potentially add Strange as a second tight end, but they were never pursuing that super seriously, hence his commitment to Penn State.