Somehow, we’re four days away from Nike’s annual recruiting super event, “The Opening”. The massive gathering of talent, happening in Texas rather than Oregon this year, kicks off on June 30, and will last through July 3. As per usual, quite a few Buckeye targets and commits will be in attendance, and it’ll be an important event, both for the recruits to showcase talent and for them to develop relationships with their future teammates.
When setting teams for 7-on-7, Nike likes to put targets and commits for a certain team (or teams) in one group, to drum up hype and fanfare for the televised finals. There’s usually teams centered around Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, and some of the rest of the nation’s best.
This year is a little different, because Ohio State has just three commits at the opening (Garrett Wilson, Harry Miller and Doug Nester), but a ton of targets at the camp. That means that instead of the usual one team with the most Buckeye interest, there are three that you should keep an eye on this year.
This is #TheOpening.— The Opening (@TheOpening) June 26, 2018
This is Team Dynamite. pic.twitter.com/y30urQ6wi6
Team Dynamite kicks it off with three huge Buckeye targets. Jameson Williams and Marcus Washington, the pair of St. Louis receivers that have been on commitment watch to Ohio State for months now, occupy the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, Zach Harrison is the man to watch, as one of the nation’s top overall prospects, and a key defensive end for Ohio State to land from their own backyard, as he attends Olentangy Orange.
All three members of Team Dynamite with Buckeye interest are pretty heavy Ohio State leans right now, and they stand as three of the top targets for Urban Meyer and company. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if all three of them join the class sooner rather than later.
This is #TheOpening.— The Opening (@TheOpening) June 27, 2018
This is Team Hype. pic.twitter.com/rNECqd0eXe
This is the Buckeyes commitment team. With Garrett Wilson, Doug Nester and Harry Miller all on one team, it’ll be easy to keep up with the recruits that have already announced their pledge to Ohio State. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of player son this team outside of them with Buckeye interest, so there’s not a ton of recruiting that can be done by the commitment contingent.
However, I imagine the trio of Buckeyes will still find plenty of time to recruit Ohio State’s key targets, even if they’re on different teams.
The third and final team, like the two before it, hold three key Buckeye recruits. Wide receiver Elijah Higgins, offensive tackle Darnell Wright and safety Dax Hill. If one of these teams should garner less interest from Buckeye fans than the others, it’s probably this one. Higgins is trending towards Ohio State right now (if I had a crystal ball, my pick would be in for him choosing Ohio State), but Wright and Hill seem like long shots right now.
The Buckeyes are trying to make inroads with Wright, but I’m not confident in their chances with that right now. Hill will likely stay in Oklahoma, and head to Oklahoma State.
Arizona duo to Columbus?
It’s rare to see Ohio State make inroads in Arizona. It’s not a very talent heavy recruiting area, and generally, the good players from the state either stay on the West Coast or head east to Texas. That won’t be the case in 2020, as Ohio State may pull an entire backfield out of the Copper State.
Buckeye fans are already very familiar with quarterback Jack Miller. The four-star Chaparral (Scottsdale, AZ) product is Ohio State’s top quarterback target in the 2020 class, and he’s been on commitment watch for months now. A decision from him is expected soon, and I would be shocked if Ohio State isn’t his pick.
However, Miller isn’t the only Chaparral star the Buckeyes like. Miller’s running back, Darvon Hubbard, is also a top 2020 recruit. Ranked No. 233 nationally, the 6-foot, 200-pound halfback has caught the attention of Ohio State. He was on campus this weekend (as was Miller) for Friday Night Lights, and yesterday, he got what he wanted: an offer from Ohio State.
Very Blessed to Receive an Offer from THE Ohio State University ⭕️ #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/G8VA8HEb9l— 4 (@Iam_dxii) June 26, 2018
I wouldn’t be surprised if this one moves very quickly. Hubbard really likes Ohio State, and that interest is mutual. He may be the second (or third, depending on Miller) member of the 2020 class very soon.