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.
The buckeyes keeping it real. #THEohiostate— MG (@mikegesicki) September 23, 2013
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!
Prince: Buckeye...but just by a tiny, tiny bit.
Mavety: Florida State.