Michael's Sunday Recruiting Rundown
By Michael Chung
The Buckeyes were on the road this week at their fellow bowl banned foes, the Nittany Lions. It was Penn State’s biggest recruiting weekend with 2014 OL OSU target Quenton Nelson attending as a PSU guest. Nelson, along with the other PSU targets, saw Ohio State win an ugly game. Still, Nelson and Co. had to be impressed.
In the ever-changing world of Ohio State recruiting, new episodes are being aired. It appears that Urban Meyer is trying a new strategy against Michigan, which is to try to flip their current or previous recruits.
With Jordan Hall officially redshirting this week, one less scholarship will be available for the 2014 class. This will not stop Urban Meyer from trying to assemble the best recruiting class he can for either 2013 or 2014. Here is this week’s rundown.
James Quick (6-0, 180, WR, 2013, Louisville, Ky, Trinity HS)
Has stated he will make his official announcement on January 5, 2013. It seems odd that he would pick such a date, which seems to indicate that Louisville is the leader. Quick is waiting to see if Charlie Strong stays at Louisville, which is looking bleaker every day for Cardinal fans. If the Arkansas job were Strong’s destination, it would likely happen before bowl season and shortly after the regular season ended, so a Jan.5 date would seem to account for this. Rumors swirl that Charlie Strong is the next head coach at Arkansas and would likely take the job if offered sending Quick to OSU. Another possibility is for Quick to quickly visit the school Strong goes to and if he likes it, could follow Strong there. We will know January 5, 2013.
Cornelius Elder (5-11, 170, WR, 2013, Nashville, TN, Ensworth HS))
It is a three horse race for this southern speedster with Ohio State apparently taking the lead. Vanderbilt and UCLA are also trying to lure this Tennessean away from Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes. His visit for the Purdue game catapulted OSU to #1 and with James Quick and Shelton Gibson not pledging their verbal commitments, it is imperative that Ohio State tries to secure at least two playmakers for the 2013 class. ESPN’s Brad Bournival reports that Elder’s visit was the best game he had ever been to and that Elder will make another visit in December after he visits UCLA. Elder has stated that he also wants to pursue basketball and that the Buckeyes were open to the idea of Elder playing for both Urban Meyer and Thad Matta. You can see his ESPN interview here.
Sebastian LaRue (5-10, 175, WR, 2013, Santa Monica, CA and HS)
This WR prospect out of Santa Monica, CA is coming for an official visit during the Michigan game. He told the-Ozone that he remains highly committed to USC and that he is currently 90/10 USC. The odds look bleak to land this California star, but he is coming and you never know once he walks on campus. Sebastian has followed Urban Meyer since his days at Utah and Urban is a great recruiter. Look for the 90/10-meter to move closer to Ohio State after Larue meets Meyer. In the end, I see this California star staying out west and playing for Lane Kiffin. You can read his the-Ozone interview here.
Levonte Whitfield (WR, 2013)
This Florida star and current Seminole verbal commit has stated he is coming to Ohio State for a visit. He seems highly committed to Jimbo Fischer’s squad and there has been no real significant discussion of him as a potential flip but he is coming which means he is remotely open to changing his mind. Fans have noted that his performance at ‘The Opening’ in Oregon clearly was one that made him stand out from the rest. He possesses elite speed like Ted Ginn Jr. and would be an immediate fit into Urban Meyer and Tom Herman’s system. Urban will definitely try his best to convince this track star to come north to Ohio but in the end, I think he stays close to home and sticks with the Seminoles.
Brandon and I recently debated the issue of Michigan vs. Ohio State recruiting. Some fans are concerned that Brady Hoke is locking up all the Ohio talent that once was fenced in by the “Great Wall of Jim Tressel.” Urban Meyer knows Michigan is arch enemy number one and does not allow people to mention the name of TSUN or even wear blue around the practice field. But it appears Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are making a play to try to flip current Michigan commits.
David Dawson (6-4, 282, OL, 2013, Detroit, MI Cass Tech)
David Dawson has de-committed and has already visited Florida. He says that Ohio State is one of the four schools he is considering. Could Dawson be the Kyle Kalis of the Wolverines?
Gareon Conley (6-2, 165, WR/CB, 2013, Massillon, OH, Washington HS)
Another rumored offer is to Massillon Washington wide receiver/corner back playmaker Gareon Conley. It has not been confirmed whether or not an official offer has been made but one thing that seems to be confirmed is that Mike Vrabel has been talking to this Massillon Washington prospect. It appears that Conley is uncertain whether or not Michigan is the best place for him and is open to consider the Buckeyes as well as Oregon. The Oregon possibility is what probably planted seeds of doubt in Conley but a call from former NFL star and Super Bowl winner also does not hurt but it appears that Conley is not a done deal to the Maize and Blue. Bill Greene of Scout.com reports that Conley will indeed visit Oregon and Ohio State meaning that his Michigan days are over if true.
Thaddeus Snodgrass (6-1, 184, WR, 2014, Springfield, OH and HS)
Has stated he will make his announcement on Friday of this week at his high school then has pushed it back to November 5. He has visited OSU for the Cal and Purdue games and is a local kid. The fact that he scheduled a Notre Dame visit before he announces seems to indicate that Snodgrass has all but made up his mind and this bodes well for Ohio State. Though many say it is between Ohio State and Notre Dame, a source indicated to me that it would be between Ohio State and Michigan State. As of now, I see Thaddeus staying in state to play for Urban Meyer and will be the first domino to fall for an almost guaranteed top 5 recruiting class for 2014. In addition to Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Michigan State, Snodgrass is also considering Penn State and Wisconsin.
Raekwon McMillan (6-3, 235, LB, 2014, Hinesville, GA, Liberty County HS)
Raekwon first indicated OSU was number one to the-Ozone. Then, after visiting Georgia, he stated that OSU and Georgia were equal. After a subsequent visit to Clemson, OSU has moved out in front again. This bodes well for the Buckeyes to land this 5-star LB out of Georgia who told Ozone earlier that Ohio State was his leader. He is friends with Thaddeus Snodgrass and has stated that he wants to play with Dante Booker Jr., who also has an offer and has OSU high. It is a long way until National Signing Day for 2014 but Ohio State is in good shape for this 5-star stud. You can read his Ozone interview here.
That is all for this week, tune in next week when Ohio State again hosts recruits for the Illinois game like Jeb Blazevich, 2013 LB prospect Skai Moore and Georgia athlete Myles Autry. We will also have an interview with 2014 OL prospect Alex Bars and an inside look into Ohio State football and recruiting through the eyes of Courtney Smith who is married to OSU receivers coach and grandson of Earle Bruce Zach Smith.