From April 16 to May 31, college football recruiting is in an evaluation period. So, what exactly is an evaluation period? Well, unlike with many other things, the NCAA has an answer for this question, listed on their website:
“During an evaluation period a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period.”
To put that in basic terms, it’s the time of the year where coaching spend time watching grainy Hudl highlight tapes, visiting high schools, and talking to coaches about their high school players. That means that a lot of recruits are being added to team boards, moved up rankings, and ultimately, being offered scholarships. We saw two instances of that yesterday from Columbus, to receiver Kyle Ford and running back Jo’Quavious Marks. Let’s take a look at what those offers mean.
Of the two offers, Ford is certainly the more important and interesting as it relates to the next year or so of recruiting. Kyle, an Orange Lutheran (Orange, CA) product, is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound receiver and 43rd best player in the country, according to 247Sports.
If it seems like Ohio State has been very active recruiting receivers in 2019, it’s because they have. Ford is one of 26 receivers to have picked up a Buckeye offer this cycle, and as eight of those are currently committed to other schools, and one (Garrett Wilson) is committed to Ohio State, Ford is one of 17 that Ohio State is really looking at currently.
Ford is more likely than not a replacement for Jake Smith, an Arizona product that announced a final two of USC and Texas on Monday, leaving out an Ohio State team that really wanted to add him to the class. Ford is a fairly similar receiver to Smith in size, and fits the Ryan Day receiver prototype extremely well.
He’s a blazing fast outside receiver that catches with his hands rather than his body, can win 50/50 battles, and has fantastic athleticism. Like Wilson, he has smooth, fluid movements, but he’s a fairly raw route runner, which Ohio State doesn’t have a problem with.
I don’t think Ford is a super realistic option for Ohio State at this point. They want four or five receivers in this class, but until Ford visits campus, I don’t see this as anything more than just a check up offer to see if there’s any interest. At this point, my guess is still that this class finishes with Wilson, David Bell, Elijah Higgins, Jameson Williams (who I have a story on coming at noon today) and Trey Knox. That’s quite the class.
Ohio State has had a ton of success with southeastern running backs in past years, from Carlos Hyde to Ezekiel Elliott, and even to 2018 and 2019, with Master Teague and now Sampson James. They’re looking to continue that success into 2020, with their offer to Carver (Atlanta, GA) star Jo’Quavious Marks yesterday.
Marks, ranked No. 120 nationally and No. 12 among running backs, is one of the best backs in the country for 2020, and Ohio State wanted to get in early for the 5-foot-11, 169-pounder. His rare combination of speed, balance, and elusiveness make him an extremely exciting prospect, and he’ll only get better as he adds more strength to his frame.
This one is obviously an extremely long way from being done, but Marks is one of Ohio State’s favorite backs in 2020. They’ll have to battle all of the SEC for him, but that hasn’t been a huge problem for Urban Meyer and his staff before.
Buckeye targets to play on ESPN
It was announced late Tuesday night that the reigning D1 OHSAA state champions, Pickerington Central, will be showcased on ESPN for their first game of the 2018 season. The Tigers are set to face Phillips (IL) on Sunday, Aug. 26, at 12:30 p.m. ET, from Otterbein’s Memorial Stadium.
BREAKING: @espn will air the high school football match-up between defending state champs Phillips (IL) and Pickerington Central (OH) on Sunday, August 26th.— Who's Next (@WhosNextHS) May 8, 2018
⏰ 12:30 PM EST
ESPN@WPAHSATHLETICS @PhillipsFBcoach @pick_central
Pickerington Central, a rising Columbus powerhouse, has produced a ton of D1 recruits in the past few years, though none have been more intriguing than 2020 star quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw. Crenshaw, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound dual-threat, freak athlete, is ranked No. 327 nationally, and seventh among quarterbacks in 2020.
After seeing him play on film, and watching him hang a metric ton of touchdowns on Mentor in person at the title game, I’m sold on Crenshaw, and think he’ll shoot up the rankings after this upcoming season. He already holds offers Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, and Toledo, and if he continue on this upwards trajectory, I think he will be the guy for Ohio State in 2020. I highly recommend watching this game come August, and if you want to see the full title game, I’ve linked it below.