Thanks to some new recruiting rules and calendar changes, recruiting has seen an increase in intensity for the nation’s top targets. Many times, “official visits” were saved for the fall and/or after the prep seasons for top recruits, but now it’s becoming more and more common for prospects to take their official visits sooner. Fortunately, Urban Meyer and his staff are pretty good at this whole recruiting thing, so when this past weekend saw literally a huge prospect visitor list, the impression the Ohio State Buckeyes made was once again second to none.
The never ending success the Buckeyes are seeing each cycle will easily continue if weekends like these continue—and that should be the case.
Of the tons of highly touted prospects on campus this weekend, there was one who certainly had the longest trek to Columbus. It also just so happens that this prospect may just be the one, when it’s all said and done, to be the highest rated prospect. Enter Hawaii native Faatui Tuitele and you have a player that literally any and everyone is wanting to add to their 2019 recruiting haul. Tuitele is currently ranked as the No. 2 defensive tackle in the country, the top overall prospect in Hawaii, and not to mention the 24th best player from any position for all of the 2019 cycle. Easily deserving of his five-star ranking, Tuitele was on campus to see the Buckeyes—and did not leave empty handed.
While on his visit, Ohio State was the latest to extend a scholarship offer. With Tuitele’s proximity to Columbus, it wasn’t a guarantee that he would be recruited heavily by the Buckeyes. Of course the talent is more than there, but again, the distance between the two can sometimes create a bit of a barrier. However, with his visit over the weekend, that proves that the mutual interest is more than there.
Like many Hawaii natives, Tuitele is also on the USC Trojans’ radar so much in fact that they may be the early leader, but with nearly 40 offers, Faatui will surely do his share of looking around and seeing what school best suits him on and off the field. While it’s still impressive that Tuitele did visit Columbus this weekend, the true test is to see whether or not Ohio State will earn one of his five official visits. If so, then it’s safe to say the Buckeyes have more than just a puncher’s chance at landing yet another elite defensive line prospect from an entirely different region than what they are used to.
Virginia’s finest heads to OSU
Once again, the Buckeyes welcomed a top player from ‘19 to campus and hoped to make more than just a great impression. Virginia native Brandon Smith, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound inside linebacker made the trek to see what Ohio State had to offer.
Smith checks in as the top inside linebacker for the 2019 class as well as the top prospect from Virginia. While we’re at it, Brandon is even in the top 20 in the country regardless of position for the 2019 cycle. With depth at the position always a necessity, Meyer and position coach Billy Davis are really hoping this weekend was a step in the right direction, as many right now currently believe Penn State is the early favorite to land his services. With Florida State and Penn State holding the only 247sports crystal ball prediction votes, the Buckeyes are ready to change that.
The Buckeyes have just as good of a chance as anyone to make up ground, too, because their success in Virginia recruiting has been very, very positive. In many cycles of Meyer’s Ohio State tenure, the staff has gone into the state and poached a top Virginia player, but 2019 would only make Meyer that much happier. If Brandon Smith is reciprocating that interest, the Buckeyes will continue to roll out the red carpet and look to bring Smith back to campus for either an unofficial or official visit. If that does indeed occur, then the Buckeyes are a legitimate contender for this five-star talent.
Two is better than one
In the 2018 recruiting cycle, the Buckeyes were able to head south on more than one occasion, but specifically in this instance to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to poach a top running back in Master Teague, who has since already enrolled and begun his career in the Scarlet and Gray. In 2019, Ohio State may try to double-dip at Blackman High School due to their current class having another highly ranked prospect Ohio State would love to bring north to join former teammate Mater Teague.
Trey Knox, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound wide receiver was able to visit Ohio State over the weekend and saw exactly why his former teammate chose to be a Buckeye. Knox had a great time on his visit and the Ohio State staff is loving where they sit for the No. 29 receiver in the 2019 class.
As it stands right now, the Buckeyes are thought to be the clear-cut favorite and it may not come as a surprise to many because Knox has made his interest in Ohio State very open. The crystal ball predictions even favor the Buckeyes, and while that is not the only measure of accuracy, the two parties are building on their relationship and the hope to land Trey for 2019’s class is becoming more and more possible as time goes on.
- In-state 2021 prospect Jack Sawyer of Pickerington North received an offer from Ohio State over the weekend. The 2021 offer proves this will be a “can’t miss” guy when his class is of focus.
- Three-star athlete Wandale Robinson unofficially visited Ohio State on Saturday. He does not currently hold an OSU offer, but this visit may have taken a step toward that direction.
- Four-star Virginia defensive tackle prospect Hakeem Beamon visited Ohio State over the weekend. Beamon does hold an OSU offer, but Virginia Tech may be the leader in his recruitment so far.
- In-state 2020 star DeaMonte Trayanum visited the Buckeyes over the weekend. the 2020 running back is thought to be an Ohio State lean early.