11W Recruiting Roundup: Things Are Happening

By Jeremy Birmingham on June 19, 2013 at 2:03p
Danny Clark is the "real deal."Get used to hearing about Danny Clark.

It doesn't take long for the gloom and doom crowd to turn around when it comes to recruiting. In fact, all it really takes is one large bit of unexpected good news.

Whether it's a commitment or just a player naming Ohio State as his leader, Buckeye fans are similarly wired as every other group of fans in the country; they want good news and they want it now and often.

After Sunday's disappointment about losing Derek Kief to Alabama, Buckeye fans took solace in knowing that this week was a big one chock full of intriguing on-campus visitors. Most of them we knew about (Jalyn Holmes, Trevion Thompson, Sterling Jenkins, etc.) but some of the intrigue, like the arrival of California's Brandon Dawkins was a surprise.

As this incredible busy week hits the middle point, Ohio State is hoping to make an impact for 2014 and beyond and have done so — to this point — with a couple key visitors left.

Here's what we've gathered so far, including the skinny on a player who may be the top player in the class of 2017. Yes, 2017.


Today's big news was the rumor that Norfolk (Va.) star Jalyn Holmes had committed to the Buckeyes on his visit to Columbus. Unfortunately for the site reporting it, that report was immediately refuted by Holmes. While it appears the Buckeyes are in an excellent position to land the country's 4th-ranked defensive end, the slip from the media outlet was not something Ohio State nor Holmes' camp was happy about. When the rumors of Holmes' commitment came out Eleven Warriors worked to get verification and we were told that the reports were premature, if not inaccurate, so we didn't report it. I expect Holmes to be a Buckeye when all is said and done, but the question becomes when does that happen.

Movng on.

Yesterday Ohio State hosted a number of key visitors including a player who Buckeye fans will want to keep a very close eye on for the next four years, incoming Massillon freshman quarterback Danny Clark. By all accounts, Clark will be the starting quarterback for the Tigers in the fall and he was very impressive at Ohio State, standing out against players three-to-four years ahead of him. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Clark has the physical tools of a high school senior and impressive mechanics that are impossible not to rave about for a player who has barely hit 14 years old.

"Clark was very impressive," said a source who was in attendance. "He's got all the tools and is a player who will be watched very closely over the next few years."

Despite the fact that he's not even in high school, Clark is a prime candidate for Ohio State down the line and Buckeye fans ought to get used to hearing his name.

Another player that Buckeye fans should familiarize themselves with is the 6-foot-8, 325 pound Pennsylvania lineman Sterling Jenkins. Jenkins arrived on campus today and is a key target (along with Memphis OL Drew Richmond, who visited last weekend) along the line for the 2015 class. Jenkins got his first taste of Ohio State in the first weekend of June when he participated in the NFTC on campus, but he was unable to spend time with coaches or players because of NCAA rules prohibiting recruiting during third-party camps on college campuses. 

"I want to meet staff," Jenkins told me prior to his trip. "I'm looking forward to seeing the guys I see on all the "all-access" YouTube videos." 

A number of people have already predicted that Jenkins is a battle that could come down to Ohio State and Michigan, but the big junior-to-be says that's not true.

"I'm wide open to any school right now," he said. "I guess (people) think that because I like Coach (Michigan OL coach Darrell) Funk I already have my mind set on them and that's just not the case. I'm really just starting to explore and my recruitment is just starting. I hope I don't get too excited on any visits and get fans riled up just by saying I really enjoyed a visit or something."

Jenkins wants to be an English professor following football, and he's a kid who won't say much without thinking about it first, so his recruitment will be a fun one to follow.

Matt Elam is a late addition to this week's visitors, and he's a large (literally) target for the Buckeyes. The 6-foot-6, 350 pound Elam has seen his recruiting "star" skyrocket in the last few weeks as offers from Notre Dame and Ohio State turned this battle, thought to be a Kentucky/Alabama war, into a much more difficult to call race. Both the Buckeyes and Irish will get visits in the next week from the Elizabethtown native, and he's looking forward to seeing some of the country's most established football programs up close.

Jalyn Holmes is a top player from VirginiaDid the Buckeyes land Jalyn Holmes? Not yet, but it may be soon.

"I know a lot of people think I am all Kentucky," Elam said. "But I am definitely still thinking about Alabama, Louisville, Notre Dame and Ohio State."

Elam's size is not his only asset, he tells me that he is runs the 40 in almost 4.9 seconds every time out. Ohio State will roll out the red carpet for this one.

Trevion Thompson, a primary wide receiver target from Durham (N.C.) visited Ohio State yesterday and with the loss of Derek Kief earlier in the week, Thompson becomes a major focus for the Buckeye staff. While he says Ohio State is in his top two schools (along with Clemson) it appears they are playing from behind here. Eleven Warriors will hope to get an update on Thompson's visit soon.

As for Kief, the loss for Ohio State might have been one more of perception than talent, as they do feel they can sign a player as good come February, but losing Ohio's talented players hurts. According to a source close to the Buckeyes, they wanted Kief and recruited him hard and absolutely would have taken him, but did not feel that his loss is something they are unable to overcome.


Comments Show All Comments

osubuck57's picture

Stinks about Kief, but definately excited about Thompsons' visit!! Hope we make it a lot harder on him to stay in the south. Can't believe Clarks size already,WOW!!


jestertcf's picture

~Because we couldn't go for three~

avail31678's picture

re: Danny Clark - I don't think Urban would mesh well with a southpaw QB....

Hovenaut's picture

On the other hand, he did spend some time with this one kid down south a few years back.

You may have heard of him.

(evened out the dv you received btw)

avail31678's picture

Yeah, I thought this was too obvious to warrant sarcasm font, but I guess I should have used it.  I certainly am aware of one Tim Tebow.  :)
Thanks for the upvote.  Returned.

BengalErnst's picture

Seems that we're #2 or #3 on a lot of recruits lists.  Too bad there isn't a consolation prize here.  Jalyn Holmes situation scares the crap out of me though.  Recruiting sites better not of cost us a recruit.

Nicholas l Ernst

BriGuy's picture

That would be Bucknuts. Dropped the ball again.

ODEEZ330's picture

I've been hearing about clark for the last 3 yrs in stark county. I've been lucky enough to ref some of his games (ohsaa bball and football official on side) and he dominated every aspect in both sports
Massillon fans r thinking state title before he is done there. I'll be seeing him a lot over the next 4 yrs.
I know a lot of massilon guys and boosters being a mckinley guy and I'll be sure to post anything i hear through the stark county grape vine.
And jeremy thank you for being a responsible journalist and not posting un confirmed info. Saw it on 247 saw no gray box here so knew something was up.

stark county football

FloridaBuck's picture

Thanks!  That's why this site is so cool.

MN Buckeye's picture

Thanks for the updates, Jeremy!  Hard to believe a 14-year old is already 6"3" and 200; glad we are making the connection this early!

MN Buckeye's picture

Was the serious interest on the part of Jalyn Holmes something anyone expected?  It seemed everyone had him FSU, so I am very surprised you and others think he might be S&G down the road.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Hopefully Danny Clark comes to OSU and does better than the last hyped up QB to come out of Massillon.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

All I could think of when reading about Clark was the individual referenced here.  Seems eerily similar.  I just hope the kid enjoys his time in high school and doesn't worry about it until the time comes.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors

Go get your shine box, Gumar!

osu_que's picture

Maybe it's me, but it seems like kind if a Dbag move to throw gasoline on the fire when a former colleague is having a rough time. Are we not all Buckeyes? What happened today sucked and I know that the entire website was referenced but it just seemed like kicking them in the midst of an awful situation especially when someone who had always been first class is caught in the dust up. Just my humble two cents. 

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

No gasoline, just wanted our readers to know why it was not reported here.

osu_que's picture

My only point was that I felt that probably could be done without any reference to any the other site. 11W is awesome at what it does. And you are much better at this than what I ever could be. It's not my intention to question the job you do as I wouldn't want someone telling me how to do my job. 
I can certainly appreciate anyone who takes the players' perspective as I always try Ti consider that. It is just my understanding that this was not a function if disrespecting the player or family. 

osu_que's picture

Lol. Puberty is gonna suck for you!

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

If this was not a function of disrespecting the player or his family then the recruit's mother would likely not be tweeting at the other site with definitely negative feelings.

osu_que's picture

Disrespecting the player would be intentionally knowing that this was supposed to be kept silent and still putting it out there in an effort to be first. By all indications that is not what happened here. 
The mom is tweeting at the other site because she is pissed and because as you stated, instead of letting the story die there are people fanning the flames trying to find out what actually happened. 
I am not very familiar with Bill K. I certainly don't want to throw him under the bus, I just don't know his work that well. I do know Alex's and he has always been the epitome of class, both on that site and this one. If he shares his side of the story I believe it. My defense and concern regarding any trashing, speaking down of or reference to that site is in defense of him and what he has always done. 

lljjgg's picture

I felt Jeremy handled it pretty nicely. He didn't say what site it was (something everyone knows at this point), he didn't lampoon their reasoning for doing it (a topic many are arguing over there), he didn't mention any specific names (most have pinned it to one person, fair or unfair). Jeremy knew he was going to get questions about it in the comments if he didn't broach the subject, so he wrote a few sentences on it and left it at that.

So your point is fair, but I see him as doing the opposite of throwing gas on the fire. If anything I think he tried to deflate it and move passed it as quickly as possible in the article.

SonOfBuckeye's picture

The "Dbag move" is reporting the kid's (apparent) decision without his confirmation, and pre-empting his ability to announce and celebrate his commitment when he chooses.  If we're "all Buckeyes," that presumably includes the player, too.  He deserves at least that much respect.

phxbuck's picture

Rivals posted a story "with quotes" regarding the Jalyn Holmes situation this  morning.  I am not a paid member but definitely curious to see what they said. 

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

There was no way to mention what happened today without the site in question looking bad because what they did was bad form, pure and simple.

This was a kid who had a plan and wanted to enjoy his moment and some people decided their pursuit of being "first" was more important than respecting the wishes of the player, his family and Ohio State.


Hovenaut's picture

If anyone needs a reason as to why/how 11W has their s... together, look no further.

Well stated Jeremy.

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Very well said.  Most press, with the exception of 11W of course, have no regard for human life.  A lot of them fail to realize that these are 16-18 year old kids and they're making the biggest decision of their lives.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors

Go get your shine box, Gumar!

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

In this case, everyone respected the wishes of the staff and the player except for one site.

buck-I.8's picture

Bill Kurelic is so good at what he does because he has an enormous network of sources that he has acquired from coaching in Ohio, and covering recruiting. What happens when someone commits is that various people more connected to the WHAC than Kurelic tell him about the commitment, and he reports it, because the reporters don't know the circumstances. 
Thus, Kurelic is basically being chastised for having the best info, and it was those who prematurely reported to his office who are to blame for not following Holmes's wishes. 
That said, at this point it is fairly certain that he did commit today, and hopefully it will go legitimately public soon.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Kurelic has not been chastised for having the "best info," because everyone had the same information, at the same time, I assure you.

What he's been chastised for is not caring to use discretion when everyone else did out of respect for the player and the staff because he wanted to be first with news that everyone had. Ultimately, if that's how they want to do things that's on them, but it's not how I think we should do things here.

buck-I.8's picture

Well that's almost impossible to confirm but sure, I trust ya

allbucksallthetime's picture

As always, thanks for the great work you do for the many great Buckeye and non-Buckeye fans (if there is such a thing) on this site.  It, as well as your professional approach to reporting information, is highly valued and appreciated.  Go Bucks!

Buckeye1996's picture

Well that desire to be first sure backfired. He will be last to hear anything from here out if that is what happened.

BriGuy's picture

No he will not be last to hear anything.

TheGhostofWoody's picture

It is fairly certain that he did commit?  Really?  Because the kid himself said he didn't.

buck-I.8's picture

That's what I wrote, correct

TheGhostofWoody's picture

I believe it when I hear it from Holmes.

buck-I.8's picture

And that is absolutely the course of action that you-- and everyone involved today that didn't-- should take.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

More maddening is that people are still trying to do their part to "confirm what happened" and in doing so are STILL ruining the kids moment which has already been ruined once. 

ATXbucknut's picture

At least you and the 11W website maintained your integrity today.  There is something to be said for that (seriously).

MN Buckeye's picture

Class as always, Jeremy and 11W.

tdible2132's picture

Totally agree, I will never leave 11Warriors, and today only strengthened that bond.  No recruiting site is better, and no recruiting site has the same kind of integrity.  Even recruits take notice, ala Meechy77 talking about how much he liked this site and the writers.

pjtobin's picture

Thanks Jeremy for all you do. I'm glad that you handled this bizarre situation with empathy, and respect. As always your work is greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

phxbuck's picture

Can someone please remind me again why I should pay for that site?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Just to clarify, if the guys in charge at Bucknuts didn't KNOW they were to keep Holmes' announcement quiet, then I apologize if my criticism comes across hard. Everyone in this industry works their butts off, and I don't want to assume anyone is being intentionally malicious.

buck-I.8's picture

That's all I was suggesting with my post: In the follow-up work done at bucknuts regarding the situation, it came across as "Bill K. got two phone calls from trusted sources that say 'Holmes committed', and he reported just like any other time. This time happened to be amidst a rather extraneous situation." 
That could very well be those guys covering their tracks but there is really no way to say.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

All I can say is I know what I was told, I know what other sites were told, so it seemed bizarre that they would not receive the same information; that said, I choose to believe the best in people and will operate under the assumption that they just were not told what I was.

steensn's picture

IMO if people want your inside information for free they should probably stop giving you grief for it. It's getting old...
keep up the good work Jeremy.

BeijingBucks's picture

what's Bucknuts?  Never heard of it... [sarc. font]

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton