It had been a long time coming, but the official announcement that the nation’s top player in the 2020 class —Maryland defensive lineman Bryan Bresee— would be attending Clemson still had to sting for Ohio State a little bit. To say that this wasn’t a surprise is not meant to say Ohio State had come to terms with it, or passed on Bresee at all. They didn’t. They wanted Bresee, and he ended up elsewhere after months of increasing separation.
To say this is on Ohio State would also be a mistake. Ohio State did everything they could do in this recruitment, led very early on in the process, and ultimately had to battle against location, which they pretty obviously can’t change. Because of that, Bresee stuck closer to home, took more visits to ACC schools, specifically Clemson, and moved on from his early Buckeye interest. Larry Johnson kept Ohio State in it, but it had been months since Bresee visited Columbus, and the writing was pretty obviously on the wall.
So, with Bresee out, Ohio State would like at least one defensive tackle in this class, and the Buckeyes still have a few options. The first name, and the most likely player to join the class is absolutely Darrion Henry, who I consider to be a bit of a tweener between tackle and end at 6-foot-6, 270 pounds. I think he’s athletic enough to play end but large enough to play tackle, so we could see him flip between the two if he does end up at Ohio State.
Past Henry, things become much harder to measure, because Ohio State isn’t really looking for much up front in this class. That means they’ve been more limited with their offers and interest. However, if the Buckeyes decide they want two or three defensive lineman later in the cycle, or if they miss on Henry, we could see in state three-stars Brandon Taylor or Justin Wodtly receiver some interest.
Again, that doesn’t happen unless some things change. Right now, I have those two headed to Cincinnati and Michigan State, respectively, but if Ohio State goes looking late, I think they get the first two calls.
Buckeyes back in for Che Evans?
Back on March 15, Ohio State seemed firmly out of the Che Evans recruitment, when he told The Grind that Ohio State was no longer in his top six “due to choice of conference and style of play.” That seems pretty final, right? Can’t really change conference or play style, so it seemed like the four-star wing would be headed elsewhere.
That seems to have switched, at least according to his AAU coach.
New final 6 for 2020 Che Evans, per his AAU coach:— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 23, 2019
He’s Visiting Oregon State and Texas Tech in May
Notable in this new top six is that Ohio State appears to have replaced Vanderbilt, which could be connected to the addition of Jake Diebler to the Buckeye staff. Diebler is an excellent recruiter, and may be causing a renewed interest here.
Now, does that mean Ohio State actually has a shot? Probably not. I don’t think Ohio State is at the top of Che’s list right now, and unless they get him back on campus for the first time since last October, I doubt that changes. To add on, I don’t think Che is at the top of Ohio State’s board. The Buckeyes have two 2020 openings, and right now, it seems like they want Brandon Boston and Ethan Morton to fill those spots. Perhaps Ohio State goes all in for Evans if they miss for those two, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
- Ohio State offered 2021 linebacker Barrett Carter.