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The latest on five-star Ohio State target, Buckeyes set to host 2021 LB

Lots of happenings in the Ohio State recruiting world this week.

Five-star 2022 CB Will Johnson
Brice Marich, 247Sports

It’s been a busy week for the Buckeyes. Though we are technically now in the offseason for the football program, the Ohio State headlines never cease. With the Buckeyes welcoming back several key members of this past season’s roster, it’s almost as if the team was landing elite commitments. In addition, the Buckeyes are still after top targets in their current 2021 class and are looking to hopefully reel in some more of the nation’s best talent in their 2022 class as well.

It’s true, the recruiting efforts in Columbus are non stop.

The latest on five-star CB Will Johnson

Will Johnson has been a topic of discussion pretty frequently as of late. Since this late fall, his recruitment process has really ramped up, and in the past few weeks it’s seemed as though a decision date is nearing. The country’s fourth-ranked cornerback and No. 8 prospect nationally is coming off his latest visit to USC, and signs are pointing towards Johnson being closer to committing to the school of his choice after he does a few last minute check-ins with the other schools still in consideration for the five-star Michigan native.

The background of Johnson is pretty familiar. His father played for Michigan, he currently lives in Michigan, and is really only just over an hour drive from Michigan’s campus. However, with the uncertainty surrounding the Wolverines and their defensive hires, Johnson hasn’t ruled out the home-town school, but has played things pretty close to the vest considering the Wolverines have yet to name a position coach for where he would be playing. The 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions are all in favor of him staying home and picking the school where his father played, but there’s been too many developments in the last two months to make that call so quickly.

The real dynamic to this recruitment that may put a spin on things is Johnson’s relationship with fellow five-star corner in the 2022 class Domani Jackson. The two have made it very public they want to be a package deal. While those tend to rarely actually come to fruition, it still is pretty clear the two have become very close and would love nothing more than to play at the next level together. In fact, while Johnson was in Southern California to visit USC last weekend, it was Jackson who showed him around and even let him stay at his place.

Interestingly enough, for a short while the Buckeyes looked to be the team to beat for Jackson after several social media buzzes favored Ohio State, but it’s clear USC is the school of choice right now for the California native. Could that sway Johnson away from Big Ten country so the two could pair up in LA? Anything is possible, and the Trojans obviously have a great shot right now.

Since Johsnon’s return he has spoke publicly about his fondness for the aforementioned Jackson, and that while the two very well could be suiting up together in college, he still has to pump the breaks a bit and make sure he’s doing what’s the very best for him personally.

In the coming weeks a decision should be expected. Johnson has said he wanted to see USC before making a final call and now that has happened. Still, Johnson seems to be wanting to speak with Ohio State and Kerry Coombs and see who Michigan could bring in as their cornerbacks coach. That alone will play a major factor in not only where he could end up, but when a decision could be made.

Johnson is continuing to narrow his mind down to the right school for him, but some things out of his control such as new hires are causing him to not be as quick with the trigger as he’d like even though he has clearly started to rev things down a tad. The unrest at Michigan definitely doesn’t help the Wolverines’ chances chances. In addition, you always have to consider the distance from home a little bit. Some think it’s USC that are the new leaders, but 247Sports analyst Allen Trieu has said that Ohio State could very well be the leader right now for Johnson. If that were to be the case, you can thank Kerry Coombs track record of development and the solid foundation the Buckeyes have in their program, unlike their bitter rivals.

Strap in. The race to land Johnson is still on.

Buckeyes will have huge visitor this weekend

It’s been a bit since the latest update of five-star outside linebacker Raesjon Davis. The fourth-best outside backer in the country and the 45th-best player overall, Davis was previously committed to LSU. Before the Early Signing Period he rescinded on that pledge and opened up his recruitment to a few remaining schools. Fast forward to now, and the Southern California native is down the last couple of weeks before he commits and signs to the school of his choice on Feb. 3.

Having been on campus before, Davis wanted to get back to Ohio State to see campus and more importantly have his parents with him when he did so. Yesterday, huge news surfaced when it became public that Davis and his family will be back in Ohio this coming weekend to see what Columbus and the campus has to offer. A big time boost for the Buckeyes chances, this visit could be paramount in his ultimate decision. No, he will not be able to see the facilities or speak with the staff, but odds are very strong that he will be able to see some of the players and most notably the incoming freshmen that are in his current class.

This development couldn’t happen at a better time, as Ohio State has likely two spots still in their 2021 class and one would be open for him if he were to take it. While the home town Trojans have been thought to be running favorite, it has been Davis himself that has said he is still wide open among his few finalists.

This obviously will be a chance for the Buckeyes to swing any momentum in their favor and land another elite prospect to their No. 2-ranked class. It’s important also to note this visit to Ohio is on his family’s own expense, so clearly that shows Ohio State is of serious interest. As he nears his commitment date, the Buckeyes look to have one last major chance at swinging for the fences.

Quick Hits

  • A busy day for Ohio State recruiting news, yesterday the Buckeyes also sent out their latest offer to Allen, Texas native, Neto Umeozulu. Ranked as the 13th best offensive guard in the 2022 class, Neto also checks in as the 457th best player nationally, but his 3-star ranking clearly isn’t everything as Ohio State clearly believes he’s good enough to suit up for them. With nearly 30 offers to his names from some of the best programs in the country, the Buckeyes are now the latest to join the mix.
  • Yesterday, Ohio State landed one of their very own when Toby Wilson, a three-star center in the 2021 class, announced he would be staying close to home and committing to the Buckeyes. Toby is the son of current Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. While this commitment comes from preferred walk-on status, having him choose the Buckeyes over his other offers will be welcomed depth along the offensive line. Despite his three-star status, Wilson is the top center in Ohio in his class.