If you follow Ohio State recruiting even a little bit, I am sure you are aware that several high profile recruits were making official visits to Columbus this past weekend.
Virginia linebacker Curtis Grant, Pennsylvania linebacker Ejuan Price, California JUCO defensive back Byron Moore, Ohio defensive back Doran Grant, Maryland athlete Darius Jennings, and Georgia long snapper Bryce Haynes were all in town for their official tour of Ohio State.
The Buckeyes will be looking to fill the final spots in the 2011 class primarily from this pool of talent, so it was an important weekend for the good guys.
One thing to note before proceeding is that all but one of the visiting players are from out of state. Also worth noting is that all of the prospects are waiting until relatively late in the process before making their decision.
Ohio State’s history with late-deciding out-of-state recruits should be taken into account before getting too excited about any of the players. Duane Long has a nice summary explaining why Tressel’s recruiting style is the main culprit for his yearly last minute misses.
Good or bad, that’s just the way it is.
That being said, there was plenty of positive news following the big recruiting weekend.
Read on for the details.
Grant is the only Ohio player that made an official visit($) to Ohio State this weekend after visiting Michigan State a week ago. In a surprise to no one, he has named($) Ohio State and Michigan State as his two leaders (in no particular order) and will announce his final decision at the Under Armor game on January 5th.
Despite his close family ties to Michigan State, many Ohio State insiders have felt Grant will be a Buckeye for some time. Depth charts are an important factor here, and given Ohio State’s and the chance for early playing time($), it would be a mild surprise if he didn’t choose the Buckeyes on the 5th.
Following an official visit last weekend (none of the other Glenville prospects made the trip, effectively eliminating their chances of being in the class) things are looking up for Walker’s future at Ohio State.
Like Grant, Walker says deciding between Ohio State and Michigan State will be difficult. He will take the rest of his official visits before deciding.
Despite some turbulence a few weeks ago caused by a rumored future offer($) to Chris Bryant (which to date has not materialized) right now most Ohio State insiders are extremely confident that Walker will be a Buckeye.
Following his official visit, Grant had nothing but good things to say about Ohio State and seemed particularly impressed with Coach Tressel.
It seems like things went about as well as the Buckeyes could have hoped for. At the moment the Buckeyes appear at least neck and neck with Florida.
It was Grant’s first official visit, however, so who knows what will happen in the coming weeks, particularly following his planned official visit to Florida on January 14th…
Tressel will not be as aggressive as Florida down the homestretch, so it may be up to some of the other 2011 recruits to stay in Grant’s ear about the Buckeyes.
Florida is coming on strong in the recruitment of Gorman, and this appears to be another head to head battle between Ohio State and the Gators.
Closeness to home has always been a factor here, and after his recent official visit to Gainesville($), the “close to home” factor may prove too much for the Buckeyes to overcome.
Gorman will announce at the Under Armor game on January 5th.
Ohio State is certainly not out of it, but don’t get your hopes up here.
Despite being in Columbus over the weekend($), the positive buzz surrounding Jennings hasn’t been quite as “buzz-y” as some of his fellow visitors.
There are positive signs, such as the possibility of him canceling future official visits (UCLA, Wake Forrest, Virginia Tech), which could indicate that his most recent visit (to Ohio State) has brought him much closer to a decision.
Despite that possibility, other than maybe making the cut into his top three or four, Jennings hasn’t indicated much in the way of favorites, so we will just have to wait and see.
Things have been quiet in Price’s recruitment for some time despite him cutting his list to Ohio State and Iowa many weeks ago.
Price isn’t as exciting as Curtis Grant, but he would be a nice consolation prize at linebacker in 2011.
A JUCO prospect who originally committed to Southern Cal out of high school, Moore enjoyed his official visit($) to Columbus over the weekend. A relatively new arrival on Ohio State’s radar, Moore is a wild card in the class at best.
Another official visitor this weekend, the buzz is that Haynes is Notre Dame’s to lose at this point.
If Doran Grant and Aundrey Walker aren’t Buckeyes, it would be surprising.
Ejuan Price would be an unexciting but solid addition to the class.
Getting one out of Curtis Grant, Jabari Gorman, and Darius Jennings would be fantastic.
Two would be a smashing success.
Three would be too much to hope for.
Landing anyone outside of those six would be a big surprise at this point.