When Ohio State turned over most of their defensive staff and their head coach, they lost connection to quite a few prospects, especially on the defensive side of the ball. That’s to be expected, and it’s something that Ryan Day and his new staff were prepared for. Whenever a staff change happens the new coaches have to re-establish their school, and have to develop relationships that they didn’t have before. Sometimes it can work, and a school can find themselves right back in the race.
Other times? Well, look at Bryan Bresee.
This process is a lot of work, and requires a whole lot of effort and recruiting ability from all coaches involved. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes the relationship that was there just never returns, for whatever reason. For the past four months, Ryan Day, Larry Johnson, Greg Mattison, Jeff Hafley and Al Washington have been working hard to make sure that isn’t the case with Washington, D.C., five-star linebacker Mekhail Sherman.
Sherman was one of Ohio State’s top 2020 targets for years under Meyer, and Sherman reciprocated that interest. The Buckeyes were the obvious leaders for months, and seemed likely to eventually land the elite prospect. However, when Ohio State passed the coaching job to Day, he had to work to get Ohio State back in fold. That takes time, as I said, and for a while there, Ohio State seemed to be a pretty distant second to Georgia.
That seems to have changed after Sherman took his first visit to Ohio State since November this past weekend. That visit was all about reestablishing the relationship, and it looks to have worked, because on Tuesday Sherman included Ohio State in his final two.
It’s between Ohio State & Georgia fr. No interviews, & I appreciate the coaches for presenting me opportunities & the fan bases which came with them. Appreciate you all— Mekhail Sherman (@JuicedUpK9) April 30, 2019
Now, is this good news for Ohio State? Well yes, obviously. Being one of the final two schools in a recruitment is much better than the alternative of not being in the final two, and I really do think the recent visit made Ohio State a real possible for Sherman again.
However, Georgia made quite the impact in the past few months. He’s visited twice since March, and has the full attention of almost all of Georgia’s staff. If it wasn’t for his visit to Ohio State, I think the announcement is probably a commitment to Georgia. For now, the Buckeyes have held that off, which means they’ll likely have at least one more shot at Sherman. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him visit Columbus again, perhaps this summer, and then make a decision after that. He’s mentioned a much later decision date, but I’ll believe that when I see it.
For now, I think the Buckeyes have pulled neck and neck. We’ll see if they can steal this one from Georgia over the next few months.