clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Breaking down Ohio State prospects scheduled to commit before season starts

The Buckeyes aren’t going to land them all, but they could see some pretty massive BOOOOOMs.

Aaron Scott
Twitter | @AaronScottJr1

To really invest your time, energy, and heart into following recruiting can be a perilous endeavor. Even though you don’t actually know any of the young men involved, you become attached to them, not only as future college athletes but as an idea — as a projection — of what they could be if they were to end up on your team of choice.

Invariably for Ohio State fans, as the large list of offers that the Buckeyes send out gets trimmed down and you see the names of players that you had been imagining in scarlet and gray for months become connected, crystal balled, or even committed to other schools, it can be difficult; even for those of us not off our rockers enough to tweet unhinged things at high schoolers.

So it is important to remember that as more and more prospects make their commitments ahead of the start of their senior seasons, they will not all pick Ohio State; they can’t all pick Ohio State. Even with players who had once been considered slam dunks to become Buckeyes, Ryan Day and company might have moved on and are “finalists” in name only.

I am going to run through all of the players that have announced commitment dates between now and the start of the season and have Ohio State as a finalist. Most of them are going to go to schools other than Ohio State, but it’s important to celebrate the ones that do decide to come to Columbus.

Brandon Jacob | Safety | No. 164

Commitment Date: Thursday, July 20
Finalists: Maryland, Miami, Ohio State, Texas A&M, UCF
247 Crystal Balls: None
On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine: UCF (29.8%), FSU (15.8%), Maryland (13.6%), Texas A&M (11.3%)
Ohio State or the Field Prediction: The Field

Brandon Jacob goes to high school about 35 minutes from where I live in Orlando, Fla. While he would be a nice addition to the OSU safety room, the Buckeyes have their sights set on a much bigger fish — at least by recruiting ranking — who will be committing in August, so it is not really much of a surprise that OSU seems to be an afterthought in Jacob’s recruitment.

Edwin Spillman | Linebacker | No. 337

Commitment Date: Friday, July 21
Finalists: Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee
247 Crystal Balls: Tennesee (3)
On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine: Tennessee. (81.7%), Ohio State (7.3%), Georgia (3.6%), FSU (3.0%)
Ohio State or the Field Prediction: The Field (Tennessee)

This appears to be a two-team race with the Buckeyes significantly behind the Volunteers. Spillman is one of two linebackers that Ohio State is waiting to hear from this weekend, and while I am not predicting that either will select OSU, the other player (more on him momentarily) seems like a much better possibility for the Bucks.

Corian Gipson | Cornerback | No. 67

Commitment Date: Saturday, July 22
Finalists: Clemson, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas
Crystal Balls: Clemson (3)
On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine: Texas (95.5%), Clemson (1.5%), Ohio State (<1%)
Ohio State or the Field Prediction: The Field

Clemson picked up three crystal balls for Corian Gipson following his visit in early June, but two of them were from Clemson Insiders. However, On3 has the Longhorns as the runaway leader. While it is funny to see the two recruiting-focused sites be at such completely opposite ends of the spectrum, it seems pretty clear that no one expects the Lancaster, Texas native to pick the Buckeyes.

Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa | Linebacker | No. 102

Commitment Date: Sunday, July 23
Finalists: Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC
Crystal Balls: None
On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine: Notre Dame (73%), USC (10%), Ohio State (6.0%), Oregon (1.5%)
Ohio State or the Field Prediction: The Field

Here’s where things get interesting. Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa has had an interesting recruitment. He is not a player that does a lot of talking about his process, which has led even the most plugged-in experts to think that he could go with any of his three finalists. There has been a lot of smoke around the St. John Bosco Prep prospect picking Notre Dame, but he reportedly had a phenomenal visit to Columbus last month, so there is still the possibility that he will be a Buckeye, but I wouldn’t bet on it at this point.

Aaron Scott | Cornerback | No. 52

Commitment Date: Sunday, July 30
Finalists: Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon
Crystal Balls: Ohio State (3)
On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine: Ohio State (95.9%), Michigan (1.2%), Oregon (<1%)
Ohio State or the Field Prediction: Ohio State

Ok, this is a big one. The vibes around Aaron Scott’s recruitment have not been great recently. As you can see, all of the predictions would indicate that he will celebrate his Ohio State-fan father’s birthday by becoming a Buckeye, but very few people feel comfortable with that right now. What makes it worse is that — even though Oregon is technically a finalist — Michigan is the destination that has been the beneficiary of the majority of chatter.

It would be a huge loss for the Buckeyes if the No. 2 player in Ohio decided to go elsewhere, it would be an indelibly painful failure if that player opted instead to play for their rivals. My gut doesn’t like how this is playing out, but that might be the cause of my naturally pessimistic tendencies. I am going to trust the “experts” for now and hope for the best, but if Scott decides to play for the Wolverines, I would stay off Ohio State social for a couple days, because it could get ugly.

KJ Bolden | Safety | No. 7

Commitment Date: Saturday, Aug. 5
Finalists: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State
Crystal Balls: Georgia (4)
On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine: Georgia (55.3%), FSU (12.2%), Ohio State (8.8%), Alabama (5.5%)
Ohio State or the Field Prediction: The Field

KJ Bolden is the safety that Ohio State is really aiming for that I mentioned earlier. A five-star prospect, he would be a massive pickup for Perry Eliano. Currently, everybody seems to think that he will end up at UGA, but the vibe around his visit to Columbus was very good and there is still at least a sense that he could surprise everybody and become a Buckeye.

Eddrick Houston | Defensive Lineman | No. 22

Commitment Date: Tuesday, Aug. 22
Finalists: Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, USC
Crystal Balls: Ohio State (2)
On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine: Ohio State (88.1%), Georgia (3.6%), Clemson (2.4%), Alabama (2.0%)
Ohio State or the Field Prediction: Ohio State

Aug. 22 can’t get here soon enough. All indications are pointing to the supposition that five-star defensive lineman Eddrick Houston will commit to the Buckeyes in a little over a month, but man, I would much rather get that commitment on the board, because a lot can happen over 33 days.

But, if Larry Johnson can add Houston to current commit and fellow five-star Justin Scott (No. 21), that would be a pair of massive wins for the Buckeye defensive line coach. It would go from massive to monumental if LJ could then land Dylan Stewart. The No. 10 player in the country and No. 2 Edge rusher currently has three crystal ball predictions pointing towards the Buckeyes and all three come from some of 247Sports’ most trustworthy analysts. Stewart visited South Carolina following those crystal balls and the Gamecocks are considered legit contenders for Stewart, but he is expected to commit before his high school season, so if he takes another visit during the short recruiting period at the end of this month before fall camps start, that might be telling as to where he ends up.