Football Recruiting Mailbag: McMillan, Gesicki Top Remaining Targets

By Jeremy Birmingham on September 24, 2013 at 7:03p
91 Comments

The Buckeyes are 4-0, the 2014 Ohio State recruiting class is on its way to a national top five finish and Michigan has struggled mightily with Akron and Connecticut in back-to-back weeks. To say "all is well" in the land of the poisonous nut might be a bit of an understatement on this Tuesday night, but we'll leave it out there anyway: all is well.

As Ohio State heads into this weekend's mega-matchup with Wisconsin, a contest that will see a number of their key targets are current commitments in attendance, we're opening up the recruiting floor to you guys with some mailbag questions. This column is always one of my favorites to do, because it helps the 11WRecruiting team get a better idea of the players and recruits you're interested in. 

If there's anything we can do to make your experience on our site, our recruiting coverage, etc. better? Please let us know. You can email me at Jeremy@elevenwarriors.com with suggestions, tips on players, and general comments. In sum, we're here for you, so don't be shy.

Now that that is out of the way, let's get to mailbagging.

Easy question to start off with....Do you think there will be a commitment this weekend? - Zimmy09

Easy answer? No. The only target that is a possibility in my mind is Mike Gesicki, but he's told me earlier this week he absolutely will not make a commitment until after he visits Penn State in three weeks. The question then becomes whether or not he was saying something without saying something, like maybe he informs the Buckeyes of his intentions but will make it public only after he visits Happy Valley?

Who is the primary QB target in 2015? Will Ohio State take more than one with KG and Braxton both gone by then and Cardale not looking special in the FAMU game? - Oakland Buckeye

As of now, the primary quarterback target(s) for 2015 have to be Kennesaw (Ga.) Harrison's Lorenzo Nunez and New Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep quarterback Brandon Wimbush. Both Nunez and Wimbush visited Ohio State this summer and earned scholarships after being seen live by Urban Meyer and Tom Herman. Ironically, both signal-callers intend on making unofficial visits to check out the Buckeyes on October 26th when the Buckeyes host Penn State. 

Nunez, according to my understanding, remains at the top of the Buckeye wish list, but there's truly a neglible difference between 1A and 1B. The Buckeyes would be happy to have either or both in 2015, but I imagine they will not attend the same school.

For the record,I think it's a bit unfair to write anything definitive on how Jones played Saturday considering the status of the game and Ohio State's blatant attempt to do nothing offensively. He was in charge of the offense and ran the plays as called. He ran the ball hard and was a physical presence. I was actually encouraged by what I saw out of No. 12.

Wither Johnnie Dixon?

With Noah Brown in the fold do we have room? Wouldn't the staff have backed off him if they weren't still interested in him?  The experts think he is Miami's, so is his trip up to Columbus for pleasure and not business? - ATXBucknut

Dixon is a curious case, is he not? I agree whole-heartedly that if Ohio State was in fact finished with wide receiving recruiting, they'd not waste his (or their) time with an official visit this weekend. I'm still the only recruiting "dude" on the internet that has predicted Dixon to Ohio State, and something in my guy says to stick with it, so I will. Whether or not the Buckeyes land Dixon, this trip is not just for pomp and circumstance. They are big Johnnie Dixon fans and there's no doubt they are recruiting him still because they want him in Columbus. 

With recruiting, you just never know who ends up in a class or how many spots could open up. Recruit who you like until the end.

I know you weighed on the Luatua thread, with that what are your thoughts on Gesicki at the moment? - Hovenaut

Here's the rundown on Gesicki, but I'll elaborate a touch more. A few months back, Ohio State told Gesicki they'd not take another tight end until he made his choice, or something to that effect. That promise appeared to be the genesis of this tweet by Gesicki moments after the Luatua news broke, or whatever it did. Gesicki, like a number of other players, gets told things by coaching staffs all the time. Staff A says "we'll do this for you," and Staff B says "Staff A is full of it," but in this case he sees the Buckeyes were genuine and that has to help their cause. Do I think he offered up the ol' "silent verbal?" No. Ohio State is still concerned about his visit to Penn State and the Nittany Lions, as well as Wisconsin and Rutgers are all legitimate threats to the Buckeyes here. 

Is Goolsby our clear cut number two at tight end if Gesicki goes elsewhere?? - OSUBucks57

There were three tight ends scheduled to visit this weekend: Gesicki, DeAndre Goolsby and Luatua. Two of them (Gesicki and Goolsby) are potential early-enrollees and are closer to choosing Ohio State than the third, therefore the third was asked to reschedule his trip for another time. Whether or not that makes the first two a greater priority is up to your own discernment, cuz I ain't no gud at math.

It appears that you've been losing some confidence in McMillan committing to Ohio State.  Any thing you can share on this front?  Do you think that we're still in the driver's seat for his services? - Hodge

I've had the pleasure of writing about and getting to know Raekwon for a while, and while he's a bit more difficult to reach now than he used to be (being one of the biggest stars in the country will make a guy want to stay a bit low-key) he's still one of my favorite players to talk with. He's honest, he's direct and he doesn't try and play games. He has always been a "Buckeye lean" and while I still think Ohio State is the team to beat, it's harder and harder to ignore the pull of the SEC and the perception that Alabama/Clemson is that much "closer to home." McMillan has a great relationship with Ohio State and says the right things behind closed doors, but he's on record saying Clemson has been recruiting the hardest the longest and he's incredibly fond of Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. As the hours wind down, the realization of leaving home gets harder and harder, and players start to see things different. All things being equal, I think Raekwon's heart says "be a Buckeye," but everything else around him says "Well you don't have to go there because of this or this..."

Tough choice for a 17-year-old to make.

What, if anything, is the coaching staff doing to continue to penetrate Cass Tech? - KBonay

If getting the school's best player — maybe ever - isn't a good start, then I don't know what is. The impact of Damon Webb's commitment to Ohio State is still somewhat difficult to quantify, even if it's been somewhat neutralized by Michigan State's hiring of Michigan prep-guru Curtis Blackwell, who immediately reeled in 2015 quarterback Jayru Campbell for the Spartans. Michigan State was on the edge of irrelevance in the recruiting game before that hire, and as crazy as it sounds it brings them a long way back, especially at Cass Tech.

Ohio State will host Technicians' star 2015 tailback Mike Weber this weekend, and I've been told by two separate sources that 2015 defensive tackle Josh Alabi could make the trip as well. Weber and Alabi each have Buckeye offers and have both had several planned trips to Columbus fall through, so it's a matter of actually making the trip as opposed to just talking about it. Stan Drayton, Ohio State's running back coach, is a big, big fan of Mike Weber. 

I've heard rumblings that their might be two off the radar commits like a Jalyn Holmes.  Wondering if this is true and if so, who? - IrishFury

There's no doubt that Ohio State has recruited — and will continue to recruit — players that we just don't hear much about. Whether it's an intentional secret or just improper tea-leaf reading (which I think is a 10-yard penaly and loss of downs), we're just not able to know everything about everyone. Even Jalyn Holmes, a player no one expected to fall in love with Ohio State the way he did, was not a surprise, his unofficial visit was known about but just kind of brushed off as cursory when it obviously should have been taking heart attack serious.

While I don't know exactly who to "look out" for, one player I've consistently heard is a more viable option than he's been given credit for is California safety JuJu Smith, who will make his official visit this weekend. I'd still put Solomon Thomas or Myles Garrett on this list as well, because Tejas Tom Herman should never be underestimated.

Predictions for the following: Raekwon McMillan, Damian Prince, Chad Mavety, Marshon Lattimore, Erick Smith, Thomas Holley and Matthew Elam? - OSU_Alum_05

Arrrggh...the ol' spotlight being shined on me gray matter!

McMillan: Buckeye.

Prince: Buckeye...but just by a tiny, tiny bit.

Mavety: Florida State.

Lattimore: Buckeye.

Smith: Buckeye.

Holley: Buckeye.

Elam: Alabama.

91 Comments

Comments

KBonay's picture

Great stuff Brim.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

'Preciate it. It's BIrm though, haha.

osu07asu10's picture

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

KBonay's picture

Oh..sorry about that, auto-correct.  Problem solved.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

LOL, it's cool. Happens all the time.

weimerad's picture

First, Birm why are you predicting Mavety to Fla St, especially with Urban taking over his recruitment? And the crystal ball is still showing OSU at 95%. 
Second, I will be the first to say I told you so when McMillan doesn't choose OSU. I've been saying for the longest time that he will choose either Clemson or Bama

gobucks96's picture

Weimerad, my bad on DV.. Someone please help me out.

weimerad's picture

DV? I was gonna get a down vote for speaking the truth? I'm just saying that everyone has been on the McMillan bandwagon since day 1 and I've been predicting OSZu would lose out on him

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Being the dissenting voice is easy. 

gobucks96's picture

I was saying I messed up on the down vote...
 

BeijingBucks's picture

You got downvoted I'm sure (not by me I'm indiff) cause nobody likes a perceived know-it-all.

 

 

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

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I am predicting Mavety to FSU because I think they were the visit that he enjoyed the most from my conversations with him. He's been to Ohio State, he's been to the schools he's considering and while I know he's torn, I believe his preference is FSU. 

Noah Brown is doing his best to try and sway his opinion, though.

Re: McMillan, I am not sure there's much reason for a "told you so," especially considering I am saying what I feel about his recruitment. When you consider there's three schools he's really looking at, the chances he chooses Ohio State are pretty good, but there's a lot for a young guy - even one as well-reasoned and thoughtful as Raekwon - to consider.

weimerad's picture

I wasn't referring to you specifically about the I told you so comment just so you know. Everyone else has been saying McMillan to OSU lock and its going to come back to haunt them

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

When Ohio State starts actively and aggressively recruiting another middle linebacker, a position of need - then Buckeye fans should worry they will lose out on McMillan. Right now, it's a crapshoot. 

Calgarybuck's picture

We need to get Trey Johnson in his ear! 
Last 2 Georiga players who played 4 years at OSU are Roby and Heyword, Come join Trey and start the pipeline!

FloridaBuck's picture

Hey Weim... Ummmm, wtf ??  You just stated that you will be the first to say "I told you so" when McMillan doesn't pick OSU, however, I would just like to point out that you said this:

Finally the class will end up at 24 there's just too much talent to say no to. It will end up being Lattimore, Smith, McMillan, Mavety, Prince, Holley and Gesicki. I'm pretty confident about that.

On this thread just last month. 
You also said you didn't think Noah Brown would be a part of this class.  You seem like a world class ass clown, if you asked me. 

gobucks96's picture

Awesome stuff. Any concerns regarding m. Jones and twitter conversations about still being open?

buckeyeguy0615's picture

That is all.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Marcelys Jones is a very interesting kid, and while I would not be surprised if he did end up elsewhere, he is the first commit of the 2014 class and I know Ohio State is where he wants to be. He's frustrated with Buckeye fans, and he doesn't hide that. He believes as a whole, the fanbase doesn't is quick to call him out and it's pushing him away a bit. He is a 17-year-old kid, and he wants to enjoy the recruiting process a bit.

Of course, he also needs to realize that he's in a spot that most people would die to be in, and he needs to show a bit more respect for the OSU staff and fellow commitments by toning down his antics on Twitter and elsewhere.

Bottom line, he's still a Buckeye commit and I expect that won't change.

RedStorm45's picture

I think we take the Glenville kids for granted sometimes.  I mean, Teddy Ginn AND Donte Whitner damn near won the Super Bowl last year - it would have been the first time two high school teammates won a S.B. I believe.
I don't really follow the chatter on Twitter with recruits, so I don't know what is being said.  I'm pretty sure everyone wants him to be a Buckeye, but that's his decision only and it's his right to play out the recruiting process as he wishes.  We can only hope this isn't an "MGOBlog" type of situation.

RunEddieRun1983's picture

Nice job Birm, appreciate those insights.  McMillon is the gem of this class, hope he realizes where his home really is.

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

raiderred's picture

Myles Garrett or JuJu Smith would be superb gets. Great job as always Birm and thanks

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thanks for reading, as always.

osu07asu10's picture

Birm, I tend to agree with you about McMillan and for the reasons you mentioned. 

My question is, if not McMillan, does the staff have a clear cut back up? Or is it still McMillan or bust?

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Redshirting Mike Mitchell is the back up.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

There may be some truth to that, but I know they are also very high on Nyles Morgan, although they probably can't wait much longer to make a real move there.

osu07asu10's picture

Thanks BIrm!

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Will the staff ask McMillan for an idea of where he is leaning so they can decide how to recruit?  It would be tough for McMillan to choose another school at an AA game and then the Buckeyes to find another MLB at the last moment.

osu07asu10's picture

I dunno, we found Guiton in February and he seems to have worked out alright...

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

McMillan will not leave the Buckeyes high-and-dry, I am sure of that. If he knows he's not attending OSU, he'll let them know.

Beat Meatchicken's picture

Great Read as always! Birm You are the man!

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

I am really surprised at your Matt Elam pick. I thought that trail went dead a long time ago. The kid is friggin' huge.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Fairly certain Elam is going to Alabama or Kentucky, and while he's a big fan of Stoops and Kentucky, it's Ala-freaking-bama.

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

I must have read too quickly and thought you had him coming to the good guys. I'm a reading teacher as well, which is disconcerting.

weimerad's picture

I find it hilarious that early on in the 2014 class everyone thought that OSU was going to get like 8 kids from Georgia, led by McMillan. Now there aren't any of these Georgia kids being talked about going to OSU and McMillan will slip threw their fingers in the end as well

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

You're a ray of sunshine, aren't you?

weimerad's picture

Just speaking the truth my friend. Isn't that what Toledoans do? Hey I want McMillan as much as anyone I just get the feeling he ends up staying in the south.
i enjoy the recruiting process and take it seriously and follow it regularly just like you Birm and I'm not a staff member

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

With Raekwon it's very simple: he says the right things behind closed doors and in public, he's come to Columbus what, five times on his own dime? The guy loves Ohio State and is very serious about them, whether or not he chooses the Buckeyes is not an indictment on him or Ohio State, just meant he decided to choose a different option for him. Buckeyes have done everything they could to land his commitment.

1MechEng's picture

Public service announcement ...
Most Toledoan's are indeed truthful, but Weimerad's views are not necessarily those of all Toledoan's, myself included.   ;)
 

Goalscorer9's picture

haha was thinking the same thing

jaxbuckeye's picture

Why exactly is that hilarious?  There were a group of Georgia players that were very interested in tOSU and very well could have ended up committing to the Buckeyes.  I actually find it hilarious that an adult doesn't know the difference between "through" and "threw".

CC's picture

Just imagine if they really did go "through" their fingers...

FloridaBuck's picture

I find your hypocrisy hilarious.  Please see my previous response above...

EDUGOON's picture

BIRMY, Hellava Piece!!! 

"We Don't Believe You, You Need More People"- Hova #GOBUCKS #FreeElGuapo #Famthik

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thanks, always fun writing these out.

Remington2323's picture

Thanks for the great insight Birm. Like to see how your predictions end up, I got ,y fingers crossed.

Seth4Bucks's picture

How does PSU getting five additional scholarships affect the recruiting landscape? Does PSU make a run at any OSU targets and/or commits? Do you see any targets at other schools flipping to PSU?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Penn State just can be a little more comfortable in their pursuit of Gesicki, Holley and a few others. Won't impact their recruitment against Ohio State.

MN Buckeye's picture

Great stuff, as always, Birm! If your predictions on McMillan, Prince, Lattimore, Smith, and Holley all come true, I will be one exceedingly happy Buckeye!

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

For sure, that would be a great ending to a great class.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great work Jeremy!  Love reading these articles and getting the latest info!!
Go Bucks!

Jordan Wagner's picture

Just a few notes based on the comments here: 

* I've always been slightly worried about distance for Raekwon McMillan. However, it's not like Clemson or Alabama are right down the street. Clemson is the closest at five hours. 

* I've never quite understood how/why someone can say "I knew (recruit) was going elsewhere all along!" when that recruit has repeatedly named Ohio State his leader and has visited numerous times. If McMillan goes elsewhere, it doesn't mean that he doesn't really like the Buckeyes. 

* Chad Mavety's and Damian Prince's crystal balls are similar. Prince's crystal ball favors FSU, but I think it's a Maryland-Ohio State battle. I think Mavety is much more wide open than his crystal ball portrays (and yes I'm aware of my crystal ball prediction). 

* Matt Elam is one of my favorite prospects in the entire 2014 class. Maybe a top five player. I think Kentucky might be tough to beat. 

* It's a huge recruiting weekend and I'm excited. We'll look to bring you a lot of recruiting information over the weekend. Be sure to check out our visitor list

*Like Birm, anyone can feel free to email me at Jordan@ElevenWarriors.com. I'm pretty good with responding to all my emails. 

FROMTHE18's picture

If we finished the class as youve predicted Id do back flips all day on NSD.

osupolo's picture

If you can do back flips all day, how many years of eligibility do you have left? 

Deadly Nuts's picture

Say a kid grows up a fan of Ohio State and he gets an offer from them. How often does he commit right away?

LEBRON

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

That really depends, where's he from? A kid from Ohio is much more likely to that being accurate and likely.

Jordan Wagner's picture

It depends on the prospect. Danny Clark would probably be an instant commitment. I've spoken to many '15 prospects that call Ohio State their dream school, but most of them say they'll wait before deciding (if they get an offer). 

Turtlebuster's picture

Does Clark get an offer fairly soon or is he someone that will have to wait til after the 2016 class is just about wrapped up?

Jordan Wagner's picture

It's hard to say when he will finally get his offer. I don't think it will take that long for him to be offer. 

toad1204's picture

Love these pieces Birm.  Keep 'em comin. 
Do you suspect we will see another 2015 commit before the end of the season?

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I wouldn't be surprised if Friendship Academy defensive back Ashton White were to commit before the season ends, or Drew Richmond, the big OL from Memphis.

bucknut8's picture

Birm- Thanks for all you  do! But where do you end up seeing Richmond signing? & what bout White? Thanks!

#Buckeyes

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Right now Ohio State is in really good shape with each of them. Richmond is being told by a number of different schools that "Ohio State has signed soooo many tackles already..." so it's a matter of whether or not he buys that story.

Tdizzle's picture

What's going on with Autry when's he visiting?? I thought we were done with him

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Is he saying he's visiting again? How many times is that, 40?

Joe4's picture

This was a great read, thanks Birm.

tennbuckeye19's picture

As usual Birm, great work. Always enjoy reading your stuff. Thanks. 

Aesculus.'s picture

Birm, who are your 2015 sleepers?   Might not have the stars, and are underrated.
 

11/8/2014 @Michigan State aka Payback

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Great question. We'll start really looking at Ohio State's potential 2015 class soon. Stay tuned.

laishley15's picture

Does anyone have any film of Ashton White? I have been looking and can't seem to find his film anywhere.

otrain2416's picture

Birm- really appreciate all your hard work and really enjoy it. Quick question: Whats going on with Dunn? Someone said u posted that you think he'll never get another carry again indicated he's possibly transferring. I guess I was a little confused cuz Urban had recently said he has a great future at OSU hence why they're redshirting him this year and not wasting a year on scrap carries. Is this Urban covering up something he know is going to happen? Would appreciate it to hear your thoughts. Thanks as always!

irishfury's picture

Thanks for answering my question :)
I also think one of them may be JuJu as well.  JuJu and Vonn Bell at safety make me drool.

1MechEng's picture

Birm -
I love how you stay on top of the recruiting and still find time to talk us off the proverbial ledge when things don't always go our way.
Keep up the amazing work!
Jordan -
I like that someone else is really helping Birm with the recruiting analysis and news, and I appreciate your insight as well!

Jordan Wagner's picture

Thanks for the kind words!

thekornidentity's picture

Regarding the '15 QB situation, where do you think the Bucks stand with Torrance Gibson? He is the top dual-threat quarterback on the 247Composite and his crystal ball is currently split 50-50 with Ohio State and Miami. Since he wasn't even mentioned in this post does this mean he's a reach or does the staff just prefer Nunez/Wimbush over him?

“Nothing that comes easy in this world is worth a damn.” -Woody Hayes

Seattle Linga's picture

Birm - I got to hand it to you - you have been answering every ones comments - more than any other time I can remember. Do you see any last surprises coming our way by NSD just like last year?

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

With the news about Penn State, does that change your view on Holley, and Gesicki?

Cardale not looking special in the FAMU game?

How was he suppose to look when his job was to just run the ball?

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

TraptnMI's picture

Oakland must be from Europe or just new to the game of Futbol. Not grasping the obvious is just sooo sad! Live and learn.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

edr4225's picture

i hope we can get prince, hes a stud

lets go bucks!!

Buckabroad's picture

Thanks for an excellent, insightful and thought-provoking article. Your work is far more in depth and informative than anything I have seen on other sights.
FWIW, I read an article on Holley recently indicating that he is seriously considering many schools. May be a tough player to recruit, but I hope we succeed. A great DT would be very helpful for us moving forward.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

SonOfBuckeye's picture

Wither Johnnie Dixon

Is that a curse?

RU Is B1G's picture

Gesicki had a good report on his visit to Rutgers for the Arkansas game. I thought he was gone and still believe he's a strong OSU lean but if anything could move the dial it was Saturday's visit. 
 
Here's the reports: 
 
http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2013/09/rutgers_recruiting_m...

Boxley's picture

Geez, did you see the wingspan on Geiicki in that photo. A QB's dream for a receiver/TE  just get the ball near him.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

hail2victors9's picture

Jordan:  I've never quite understood how/why someone can say "I knew (recruit) was going elsewhere all along!"

It's simple, you against the grain of a likely event.  For example, the browns were 3.4:1 to lose against Minnesota.  So what did I do?  I bet my buddy $5 getting those odds and I now have $17 more than I did on Saturday. 
If you go with the heavy underdog, eventually you'll get one right and look like a genious...until everyone realizes you have missed 23 consecutive predictions before that.
 
 

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!
~Bo Schembechler