Recruiting Rundown — A Five-Star Commit Caps the Biggest Recruiting Weekend of the Year
By Tony Gerdeman
Ohio State wrapped up its biggest weekend of official visits of the year on Sunday, and by all accounts, things went very, very well.
Roughly a dozen players who had already committed to Ohio State joined four other uncommitted prospects for a weekend of "Getting To Know Urban Meyer".
The story of the weekend, however, didn't break until Monday night with the news from Scout's Allen Trieu that five-star defensive tackle Tommy Schutt (Glen Ellyn, IL) had officially switched his commitment from Penn State to Ohio State.
There was a specious report on Twitter Sunday night that he had already given his verbal to Urban Meyer, though the source was a fairly anonymous Twitter account. What I was told that evening, however, certainly indicated that this is the way things were headed.
Schutt's commitment now gives Ohio State a class of 17 with room for around 23, give or take one here or there.
Also along for the weekend were offensive linemen Kyle Dodson (Cleveland, OH) and Jordan Diamond (Chicago, IL) and defensive end Se'Von Pittman (Canton, OH), and while all three are expected by many to end up Buckeyes, none of them publicly committed during or following their trip.
This was the first official visit for Diamond (6-6 289), who will be at Auburn next weekend. Scout's ninth-ranked offensive tackle told Scout that he had the "time of his life" on the visit. He also tweeted that "it was a weekend to remember".
The first official visit is the measuring stick for each subsequent official visit, and it looks like the Buckeyes set the bar high. He is still expected to take all five visits, however, and has his sights set on Signing Day for his final decision.
Dodson (6-6 315), currently a Wisconsin commit, left his visit still committed to Bret Bielema and the Badgers. He tweeted on Sunday that he had a great time at Ohio State and has a lot of things to think about.
I am told that Dodson still has some issues with the way he was handled by Ohio State prior to Urban Meyer coming on board, but Meyer is doing everything he can to remedy the situation. I am also told that one of the big things in the Buckeyes' corner is that he wants his family to be able to watch him play, which will be much easier to do if he is suiting up in Columbus.
Michigan State commit Se'Von Pittman (6-5 245) also left Columbus still committed to his original school, but this one also appears to be a formality before he becomes a Buckeye.
It certainly had the look of a successful weekend for Urban Meyer, and definitely one that won't make him any friends in Madison, Happy Valley or East Lansing.
Another Position Back in Play?
Shortly after filing a pair of Recruiting Rundowns last week, news came out that Rivals' number one quarterback and tenth-ranked prospect overall Jameis Winston (Hueytown, AL) wanted to officially visit Ohio State.
His two-word reason why? "Urban Meyer."
While it didn't seem like quarterback would be a focus of this recruiting class, Meyer is not unaccustomed to stocking the cupboard at times. Don't forget, following Tim Tebow's freshman season, he signed Cameron Newton and John Brantley in the same class.
Winston (6-4 200) fits the mold of the athletic quarterback that Meyer is looking for, and his possible addition became slightly more important with the confirmation from Ohio State that back-up quarterback Taylor Graham was granted his release and would look to transfer. It was not unexpected, but it leaves the Buckeyes with just two quarterbacks on the team.
Former Glenville Tarblooder Cardale Jones (6-5 217) is coming in from Fork Union Military Academy soon, so that will give the Buckeyes a third quarterback, but the depth could use a boost.
At this point Winston is still committed to Florida State, and despite the fact that he's looking around, this would have to be chalked up to a long shot. However, if Meyer can get him on campus, then bet against him at your own peril.
All Dunn With Official Visits?
Buckeye running back commit Bri'onte Dunn (Canton, OH) also took his official visit to Ohio State this past weekend, and while pressured to nix an official visit to Michigan the following weekend, he wouldn't do it.
So he will visit the Wolverines next weekend, which is anything but good news for Ohio State.
Originally planning on being an early enrollee, that is no longer the case for Dunn (6-1 220), which means that this will continue to drag out for a while longer.
Unless he commits to Michigan next weekend, of course.
From the people I have talked to, the belief in Canton is still that he will be a Wolverine, and that's been the belief for a while.
Another Penn State Commit Switching Sides?
Linebacker Camren Williams (6-2 215), a four-star Nittany Lion commit decided to make an "emergency" official visit to Ohio State late in the weekend.
Williams (West Roxbury, MA) has offers from all over the east coast, as well as the likes of Michigan and North Carolina.
Looking at this analytically, there really is no need to jump in your car and take a last-minute official visit to Ohio State unless you have maybe been told that spots are going fast and they won't last much longer.
That being said, there are certain prospects that Ohio State will wait on. Is Williams one of those prospects? If he was, would he have high-tailed it to Columbus like a bat out of hell?
More Visits Next Weekend
Ohio State hosted four uncommitted prospects this past weekend and will host three more (unless somebody makes an emergency landing at Port Columbus) next weekend.
Five-star receiver Cyrus Jones (Baltimore, MD) will be on hand, as will five-star defensive end Noah Spence (Harrisburg, PA) from Pennsylvania. Joining them will be defensive back Bam Bradley (Trotwood, OH), whom Rivals ranks as a three-star prospect.
Bradley (6-2 200), who could very well grow into a linebacker, also carries offers from Stanford and Tennessee. The Buckeyes were thought to be out of the running for him, but Urban Meyer has once again stuck his foot in yet another door.
He can be annoying like that.
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