Sometimes in recruiting, there’s a whole lot of truth to the phrase “when there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Now, that isn’t always the case, obviously. But in general, when there are rumors circulating about a recruit, there’s a reason for those rumors, and those rumors will usually end up being correct.
That’s, in my opinion, the best way to view the 247Sports crystal ball feature, which recruiting analysts use to make their predictions known. I think, in general, it should be viewed as a guideline, or, as smoke, from a possible fire. Not necessarily as gospel, but as a pretty good sign for how things are going with a specific recruit.
Then, other times, there’s a full on forest fire. Tuesday, we got a forest fire. From 2:48 to 6:01 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Ohio State picked up a whopping nine crystal ball choices for five-star running back Bijan Robinson, who coincidentally made his commitment date (Aug. 2) known at roughly 2:50. A commitment date means a decision is made, and, well, all that smoke can give you a pretty good idea of what that decision might be.
Robinson isn’t the only Arizona star that Ohio State looks to be in good shape for, however. His teammate, safety Lathan Ransom, also announced a commitment date yesterday: July 16. While there wasn’t quite the influx of recruiting analyst insight on this date (because i think the decision has been known for a while now), Buckeye fans should be very confident in Ransom picking Ohio State on that date, just like they should be confident in Robinson joining the class on Aug. 2.
While this is obviously spectacular news, and yet another win for Ryan Day on the recruiting trail, I would like to spend a little time to put in to perspective just how impressive this is, if Ohio State can in fact secure the Arizona duo.
Let’s start with Robinson. Just a few months ago, Bijan Robinson was a pipe dream for Ohio State at best. He seemed destined to pick either Texas or USC, and seemingly had no real interest in heading away from the West Coast for college. Since then, Ohio State has managed to get in his ear enough to sell him on an official visit, and that visit went so well that the Buckeyes were able to overcome their built in location disadvantage, while also erasing the years of contact Texas and USC had with Bijan that put them in the lead.
If the Buckeyes pull this out, it will be without a doubt the most impressive recruiting victory I’ve seen at Ohio State since maybe Vonn Bell in 2013.
Ransom is a similar, though less extreme story. Like Robinson, it wasn’t until the official visit that Ransom was sold on Ohio State, and like Robinson, that visit absolutely flipped his recruitment on its head. This was a Notre Dame/Texas battle in early June, and Ohio State seems to be speeding away with it in early July. Jeff Hafley has been praised for his West Coast connections, and he absolutely flexed them here if the Buckeyes do secure a pledge from Ransom in six days.