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The Buckeyes will welcome a pair of big-time uncommitted prospects this weekend as they look to grow their No. 1-ranked Class of 2018.
Who are they? Who else is Ohio State expecting this weekend? Let’s take a look at the official visitors.
A former Tennessee Volunteers commit – and a Vols legacy – Mays will visit Ohio State this weekend. It’s probably the only chance the Buckeyes will have to seriously get involved in his recruitment. Georgia, Clemson, Notre Dame and Tennessee are all going to be in the mix, and now Ohio State will have an opportunity to showcase its need for offensive line help as well as its school and program.
The Buckeyes have two commits from Tennessee, including offensive lineman Max Wray, and will roll out the red carpet to try and land the country’s second-ranked offensive tackle.
Commitment Watch? No chance.
Ohio State got a head start in the burgeoning recruitment of Chris Olave, a speedy wide receiver from Mission Hills High School. In the last few weeks, Michigan, USC and others have followed the Buckeyes’ offer and Olave has quickly become of the nation’s hottest recruits.
This weekend he’ll head to Ohio and see a wide receiver room that could look totally different a year from now, and a program that is throwing the ball more than Urban Meyer ever has. He’s a West Coast kid, but Olave is serious about the Buckeyes and the Buckeyes are serious about him.
Commitment Watch? Not likely, as his recruitment is just taking off. But this weekend is a big moment for the Buckeyes as they look to become the team to beat.
An Ohio State commit, Pope will make his official visit to Columbus, arriving on Saturday morning following a playoff game in Virginia on Friday night.
He’s solidly committed to the Buckeyes and plans to sign his letter of intent in December, shutting down his recruitment for good.
There is at least one more rumored official visitor this weekend, and an interesting one, but out of respect for the prospect I will not discuss it until he decides publicly. That’s all I’ll say, so don’t ask for clarification. Thank you.
After a slight delay, it appears that 5-star defensive back Anthony Cook is again closing in on a college decision. From our sister site, SEC Country, and LSU recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman:
“I know I’m supposed to be signing on Dec. 1 for early graduation,” Cook said. “Within the next week, I’ll be making a decision. It has to be soon.”
Ohio State, LSU and Texas are the finalists, but most people in the know have felt the once-favored Buckeyes slipping into the No. 3 spot as the chance to stay closer to home, along with growing relationships in Baton Rouge, have boosted the Longhorns and Tigers.
Cook maintained that all three schools remain even, but he’ll begin to sort through his options over the next few days.
“I just know I’ve got to make a decision. It’s tough,” he said. “I feel like at this point, they all have pros and cons, so it’s going to come down to where I can see myself playing the next three or four years. It’s been tough every time I think about it. Honestly, I don’t think about it that much, but now it’s coming to the point where I have to think about it. It’s been tough the last couple of weeks.”
For the Buckeyes, the pitch is what it’s always been: NFL development with Kerry Coombs, and lately it’s about how freshmen at Ohio State are getting more and more playing time.
Coach Coombs showed me how [Jeffrey] Okudah plays a lot. He showed me his snaps compared to Denzel Ward to show how the young guys do play at Ohio State.”
Though there’s no exact date for a choice, the Buckeyes would have loved to get Cook in town one more time. That didn’t happen and it’s likely he’ll pick LSU or Texas.
Another big-time Class of 2018 recruit that has – multiple times – had the Buckeyes at the top of his list is New Jersey 4-star defensive end Jayson Oweh. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Oweh took his official visit to Ohio State in early September and since then has added a few new schools, such as Florida and Michigan, to his short list of real interest. Still, it’s the Buckeyes and Penn State out in front.
“I would say that PSU and OSU are still up front,” he said.
“However, an October offer from Michigan created a new wrinkle in this recruitment. Oweh will visit Ann Arbor on Nov. 25 when the Wolverines host Ohio State.
“Michigan is definitely a game changer and I look forward to seeing what it’s all about.”
Oweh will visit Michigan the day the Buckeyes come to town, and from there, it’s likely to be a three-team, all-Big Ten race for his services ahead of a planned announcement on Jan. 4. His senior season, shortened by a high-ankle sprain, was spectacular. Oweh recorded 47 tackles and 13 sacks in just five games at the Blair Academy.
Oweh’s dominant play provided increased confidence in his abilities to become an impact player at the next level of competition.
“I’ve learned that I’m just scratching the surface of my potential,” he said Thursday. “With more concentrated development and coaching I can be the best D-end in the country.”
Blair Academy coach Jim Saylor believes this is only the beginning of a long, productive football career.
“His upside is just tremendous,” Saylor said in September. “He’s in a program where we get 10 hours of practice per week, and he has to practice offense and defense. When he gets to a college program and has 3 hours each day just to focus on defensive end, it’s going to be special. He’s like a flower that hasn’t even bloomed yet.”
Oweh is absolutely one of Ohio State’s top targets in 2018. Can the Buckeyes hold off their conference rivals for his signature come February?
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