So it’s been just a bit of an interesting week to say the least. With the news of Urban Meyer’s retirement, there really wasn’t much down time for newly named head coach, Ryan Day. Since Tuesday, Day and the rest of the Ohio State staff have literally been all over the country. Whether it’s doing their best to hold down the rest of their current pledges or trying to find the next great talents to come to Columbus, the recruiting trail has certainly been left with Ohio State’s footprints, and until further notice, that looks to be like priority No. 1.
If Meyer’s time at Ohio State taught us anything, it’s that recruiting is the lifeline to a successful program. Yesterday was another exciting day recruiting wise as multiple offers were sent out to what could be the next great Buckeyes.
Texas youngster picks up Buckeye offer
As part of this week of non-stop recruiting, the Buckeye football staff was in Texas yesterday for multiple reasons. One, being to check in on current pledges such as Garrett Wilson, and two, to start and continue building relationships with the best prospects in an always loaded Lone Star state. Many of the best classes and teams in Ohio State history have seen Texas natives filling the roster and with the ability to recruit successfully in Texas over the years, that’s a trend the new head coach plans on keeping. Fortunately, much of the groundwork has already been laid by coaches even before the Urban Meyer era.
One prospect to see the visit from Ohio State pay off was Houston, Texas native, Shadrach Banks Jr. A 6-foot, 190-pound high school sophomore, Banks announced via his Twitter account yesterday afternoon that he had received the coveted Ohio State offer. A player with limitless potential, Shadrach is seeing a pretty successful prep career considering he still has two full years before he even graduates high school. Impressive as it gets, Banks is a wide receiver that is sure to be one of the top prospects not only at his position, but in the entire 2021 class when all is said and done. Currently, he holds offers already from top programs such as Alabama, Florida, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, among others and now including Ohio State.
Extremely excited to announce that I have received an offer from The Ohio State University #GoBucks @CoreyDennis_ @brianhartline pic.twitter.com/sMBK7IkVFN— . ₁₉ (@ShadrachBanks) December 6, 2018
247sports has yet to give Banks an official ranking solely due to his age, but the early composite rankings have Shadrach coming in as the seventh best player in Texas and the 32nd best player in the country for the 2021 class. Already a household name, Ryan Day and Brian Hartline have the communication lines going between the two parties, but with the new offer, the relationship is sure to grow and become much stronger. Texas A&M has been rumored to be the very early favorite for Banks, but with the success Ohio State had this season with their receivers and the fact that they’re bringing in the best Texas receiver in 2019 with Garrett Wilson, it’s certainly not impossible for the Buckeyes to once again bring in another Texas star. Time will only tell.
Yes, you’re seeing and reading double
Staying in the state of Texas, a second offer was handed out by the Buckeye staff yesterday to yet again another 2021 wide receiver prospect. Missouri City, Texas native, Latrell Neville, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound speedster also announced via his Twitter account that Ohio State had entered his recruitment.
All glory to god! Beyond blessed & excited to announce that I’ve received an offer from The Ohio state University! #GoBucks⭕️ pic.twitter.com/GWCfRMKffG— trello (@LatrellNeville7) December 6, 2018
A freak-athlete type of prospect, Latrell has the speed to get down the field for the deep ball, but also the height to go up and make the contested grabs. A size and frame any coach and quarterback would love to throw to, Latrell already holds offers from the likes of Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Oregon and Texas A&M.
Like other Texas natives, Texas and Texas A&M are programs that will try to lock up their borders to keep their top in-state guys home, but as we’ve seen many times before, the Buckeyes success in Texas has helped them continue on to bring more and more elite talent to Columbus each cycle. If Brian Hartline can keep up the momentum on the recruiting trail, that could be all it takes for the Bucks to keep the Texas pipeline of recruits open. If that is what happens, you can at least be sure the Buckeyes will be in this recruitment as a serious player to land his services when the time comes.
Not one, but two player of the year awards
Some may be a little bit worried about how Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class ends up now due to the news of the Meyer retirement, but yesterday saw some news that is sure to bring excitement to any Ohio State football fan. As part of Gatorade’s impact on high school prep football, the “Player of the Year” awards were sent out in each state for the 2018 season. The good news: Not one, but two current 2019 Buckeye commits in Marcus Crowley and Cade Stover took home the award for their respective home states, Florida and Ohio.
Marcus Crowley, Trinity Christian Academy - Jacksonville, Florida
@marcus_2334 Congrats to Marcus Crowley, Florida's 2018 @Gatorade State Football Player of the Year. #GatoradePOY @Trinity63862780 pic.twitter.com/R7Mprwz6iD— Hudl (@Hudl) December 6, 2018
When Ohio State lost the commitment of Indiana native Samson James, the coaching staff immediately zeroed in on Florida’s Marcus Crowley. A prospect coming from a program that has already been very good to Ohio State, Crowley’s talent was a can’t miss type of ability. Ranked only as a three-star, according to 247sports, fans probably worried if this was the best the Buckeyes could do, but after seeing his season stats and numbers, it’s pretty clear Marcus is exactly what the Buckeyes needed and wanted.
Cade Stover, Lexington - Mansfield, Ohio
@cstov8 Congrats to Cade Stover, Ohio's 2018 @Gatorade State Football Player of the Year. #GatoradePOY @Lexington_HS pic.twitter.com/N9VitQa4yj— Hudl (@Hudl) December 6, 2018
From day one, a prospect the Buckeyes knew they had to keep home was Stover. A 6-foot-5, 240-pound beast of a football player, Stover can literally do it all and did it all for his high school team. At the next level it’s unclear what position Cade will play, but wherever he ends up on the gridiron, he’s going to be successful. A tireless worker and competitor, Stover is bringing the intangibles produced everyday in Columbus. He will easily fit right in upon his arrival to campus.