Ohio’s Top Player Gets Another Buckeye Prediction
After his first season at Ohio State, there were some fans (including some who write for this very website) who questioned Tim Walton’s ability to adapt to coaching college corners. While I will let other people argue what they saw on the field from his players in Year 1, it is becoming apparent that the former Buckeye turned NFL position coach is starting to check some of the most important boxes on the recruiting trail.
On Tuesday, yet another recruiting analyst logged a prediction for a high four-star corner to head to Ohio State. Yesterday, On3’s Michigan insider EJ Holland put in a pick for the No. 43 player in the country Bryce West to become a Buckeye with 60% confidence. He is the fourth On3 analyst to make the same prediction, but the other three range in confidence from 65% to 85%.
This falls into line with what the recruiting gurus at 247 Sports have been saying for a while. He has seven crystal balls on that site dating back to OSU insider Bill Kurelic’s prediction in December 2021. There has been a flurry of predictions recently, with Holland’s being the ninth since March. Most of them came in mid-April, including 247’s director of football recruiting Steve Wiltfong.
This is very good news for the Buckeyes, as the team is in need of significant upgrades in the secondary as the cupboards were left a bit bare by the previous defensive regime. But here’s the thing; while this would be a massive get for Ohio State, Walton absolutely could not miss out on West.
The corner is one of two players at the position who are ranked in the top 56 nationally in the 2024 cycle and come from Ohio. West is about to finish his junior season at Cleveland Glenville and therefore, by rule, should never go anywhere other than Ohio State. As the No. 4 CB nationally and the top player in the state of Ohio, he is just a few notches ahead of Aaron Scott who is currently No. 56 according to 247 Sports’ Composite Ratings.
The Springfield junior is the No. 6 corner in the country and the second-ranked player in Ohio. There are currently three crystal ball sin for Scott, Kurelic and Wiltfong logged theirs for Ohio State last fall, and Kemntucky insider Josh Edwards did so last month.
I believe that all players should be able to go wherever they think is best for themselves and their families, but given the dramatic need at the position, Walton absolutely cannot miss on either of these guys. So, I think the second-year position coach deserves a lot of credit for apparently being on the doorstep of two massive commitments, but I don’t know if we should be completely celebrating his success just yet. I don’t hold the fact that two of the best six corners in the country are from Ohio, but it does tamp down the impressiveness of presumably getting the commitments a bit, as important as they obviously would be.
Nearly 7-Foot Forward Sets Ohio State Visit
For years, Buckeye fans have criticized Chris Holtmann for not landing a five-star center — despite the fact that there are only a couple of those in the country every year, and invariably one of them skips college. Well, he’s not technically a five-star right now, nor is he listed as a center, but on Tuesday, it was reported by On3’s Joe Tipton that 6-foot-10 power forward Aiden Sherrell would be visiting Ohio State on June 8.
The Napa, Cali. native is currently the No. 33 player in the country according to 247Sports Composite Rankings. He is the No. 5 PF in the country and the Golden State’s thir-ranked player. On3 has Sherrell listed as the No 18 player nationally.
The big man has already visited Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma, and UNLV, but as Tipton noted, since the rules have recently changed, players can take as many official visits as they would like, so Sherrell could potentially take more, including to Michigan.
“(Ohio State) lets their young guys play; they give them the opportunity to get their minutes,” Sherrell said according to Tipton. “They run a great program, and I can definitely see myself fitting into their system pretty well.”
- On Tuesday, 247 national recruiting expert Greg Biggins broke down the three finalists for four-star linebacker Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa. The No. 109 player in the country, Viliamu-Asa is a rising senior at St. John Bosco Prep in California and has recently narrowed down his finalists to USC, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. The Buckeyes will get the final visit on June 23 with a decision expected in July or August.
- Rivals’ Jeremy Birmingham wrote a good perspective piece yesterday on the recruitment of the No. 2 player in the country and current Ohio State pledge Jeremiah Smith. Though the wide receiver committed to the Buckeyes in December, his recruitment has remained a dramatic one with Smith feeding into it a bit on social media and continuing to take visits, including to Georgia last weekend. However, Birm notes that offensive coordinator and position coach Brian Hartline will visit Smith this week and that the top WR is expected to be in Columbus twice in June and then again for a game this fall. All the Buckeyes can do is continue to nurture the relationship until Smith completely shuts down his recruitment one way or the other.