Without trying to sound like a broken record, it’s been another whirlwind of a week in the headlines that don’t give off much of a great vibe in regards to football and other collegiate athletics this coming fall. Of course the health and safety of everyone serves as priority over sports, but Ohio State sports serves as a getaway for many.
Wednesday’s news of Ohio State “pausing” their voluntary workouts and then again on Thursday with the news of the Big Ten cancelling non-conference contests for the 2020 season hasn’t provided much optimism, but if there’s a silver lining, it’s that a season in some form is still on the table.
Until the Buckeyes are back on the field prepping for a hopeful fall season, fan’s eyes can turn to the recruiting world where, thanks to the nation’s current top class belonging to Ohio State, there’s plenty of positive narratives. Even in a timeless dead period, the Buckeye staff and even their current pledges are doing all they can to make sure they end with the recruiting crown.
A rare sighting of a commit naming a top five
Recruiting in today’s social media driven society rarely catches anyone by surprise anymore. Yesterday, Ohio State found themselves making the cut on a top schools list as they do quite often. However, in this instance the player is already currently committed.
2021 defensive-end prospect Tyreak Sapp has been committed to the Florida Gators since Dec. 2018, but that didn’t stop him from releasing an additional four schools that he is presumably still considering. Announcing via Twitter yesterday that Ohio State, Miami, Georgia Tech, and Alabama all had made the list, it was unusual to say the least to see a committed player still entertaining other top programs when they’re part of another school’s class already.
The St. Thomas Aquinas product ranks as the seventh-best player at his position, the 16th-best player in Florida, and the No. 96 player in the country in 2021. Obviously an elite talent, Sapp has not been a name closely linked with the Buckeyes and that’s of course due to his Florida verbal. Now though, it’s hard to tell if any of the other four schools on his list have a realistic chance of “flipping” him from Florida or if the Gators still have this one locked up comfortably. One thing’s for certain, Dan Mullen and Florida’s staff can’t be pleased with the latest news regarding their high four-star pledge who is currently their highest-rated commit in the current cycle.
The Buckeyes offered Sapp back in January of this year, and he has said he plans on visiting other schools while being committed. With his tweet yesterday, we now may know the destinations of the programs he will visit if and when this recruiting dead period ever ends. With Ohio State specifically, you’d have to think that if Sapp is a real flip candidate, the Buckeyes would be more than set up well with their St. Thomas Aquinas connections and of course their track record at the position.
Considering the Buckeyes already have two top national recruits committed at the position in both Jack Sawyer and Tunmise Adeleye, while still in great position to land J.T. Tuimoloau, there’s probably not much room for another. It’s an interesting recruitment to say the least, but odds are Sapp ends up staying with his Florida pledge or moving on to another school in his top five that’s not Ohio State.
Buckeyes gaining momentum?
Thanks to back-to-back recruiting hauls in 2019 and 2020 of offensive linemen, Ohio State isn’t desperate to add to the trenches in their current 2021 class. The original plan as you well know by now was to add IMG Academy’s JC Latham to their stellar crew, but his Alabama commitment this summer has put a damper that happening.
With the Buckeyes “missing out” on their original offensive tackle priority in Latham, the need for finding a replacement again isn’t 100 percent necessary, but obviously an aspect position coach Greg Studrawa and company would love to see unfold to give the offense yet another elite caliber outside protector in Columbus for the next three to four years.
The key target since the Latham ordeal has been Virginia native Tristan Leigh. A five-star talent and the nation’s third-best tackle prospect, Leigh would be exactly who the Buckeyes would love to add to their class, and they are seemingly gaining more and more traction as this recruitment progresses.
Though Clemson and LSU have the majority of the crystal ball forecasts, an important note in Leigh’s case is the fact that there really isn’t a dominating leader for his services or a school that stands out the most. This gives Ohio State tons of opportunity to come in and make their case, and they obviously have been doing just that. The staff has been in constant communication whether it be over the phone or virtually to where Leigh has even watched film with Studrawa.
With Ohio State’s staff sure to be rolling out the red carpet from here on, current commits such as fellow Virginian TreVeyon Henderson are also doing their best to sway the elite tackle to make the same trek to Columbus. As time progresses, the hope will be to get Leigh back on campus and continue making him a priority every step of the way. It’s been said by several analysts in on Leigh’s recruitment that Ohio State is the school showing the most effort as of late, and that is building further momentum on the trail.
- Four-star 2022 athlete Dasan McCullough (Olathe, Kansas/Blue Valley North) took to his Twitter account to tweet the ever so popular “eyes” emoji towards current 2022 Buckeye commit, C.J. Hicks. McCullough, who projects as a linebacker/defensive back at the next level, is the top player in Kansas for his class and a top-75 player nationally that is trending towards Ohio State rather rapidly. Bucknuts’ own Bill Kurelic even said on Thursday morning that his next closest Crystal Ball prediction would be McCullough to OSU.