It was already set up to be possibly the largest recruiting weekend of the year for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes planned on having more than two dozen top prospects in Columbus this weekend, from Kourt Williams and Clark Phillips to Joe Royer, Cam Large, Sam Adams, and plenty more. The group was certainly not lacking in star power.
Now, however, the biggest name yet has entered the fold, per a report from Cleveland dot com. That name? Zachary Evans. The No. 6 player in the country, the No. 1 running back, and a recruit that jumped into the mind of Ohio State fans about a month back, when he shocked quite a few people and included Ohio State in his final five.
Most of the analysis of that move, including my own, came with a pretty large clause: don’t get excited, or even consider the possibility of Evans to Ohio State before he visits Columbus at least once. While the Buckeyes still have a ways to go, getting Evans on campus this weekend means that Ohio State is about to leap over the largest hurdle when it comes to five-star recruits from out of state.
This news is made even better by the fact that this is reportedly an unofficial visit, which means two things. Firstly, it means that Evans is serious enough about Ohio State to visit, from Texas, on his own dime. Secondly, it means that Evans will likely be back to Columbus this fall for his official visit, which means he’ll get to experience a game atmosphere.
Obviously, Ohio State still has to put on a show for the top halfback to have a real chance at landing him, but given the rave reviews Ohio State has received from Kendall Milton and Bijan Robinson, it’s easy to imagine Ryan Day and Tony Alford hitting another home run with Evans. With Milton now trending towards Georgia, getting Evans to experience legitimate, serious interest would be a pretty huge deal. The Buckeyes would feel pretty good if they have a real shot at Robinson (they do) and Evans (they could).
While the visit hypothetical are fun to talk about and while the ethos of a massive visit weekend can capture the imagination, an announcement from Clark Phillips yesterday afternoon may be more important than any part of this weekend for Ohio State.
Tune in to https://t.co/mW6AwHQwRl friday commitment announcement 3pm (ET)— Clark Phillips III (@ClarkPhillips28) June 18, 2019
Phillips is easily Ohio State’s top priority at cornerback in the 2020 class, and while nothing is a guarantee in the recruiting world, it seems to be pretty good news that Phillips is announcing his pledge just a few hours before he’s expected in Columbus for his official visit. Barring a massive shock, it seems like the Buckeyes are going to be the pick in this one, and that’s certainly one hell of a way to start off what may be the largest weekend of Ryan Day’s career to this point.