11W Recruiting: Wide Receiver Situation Continuing to Evolve

Jeremy Birmingham's picture
September 3, 2013 at 10:05a

As we've said a number of times here at 11W, recruiting is an incredibly fluid and constantly evolving little thing. A fickle monster that cares not for the commonly conceived notions brought forth by even the most dialed in of recruiting "experts." If the constant need for caution that we here at Eleven Warriors stress regularly hasn't provided enough of a reason to not get too riled about a recruit — any recruit — let's take a closer look at the case of Buckeye wide receiver target Noah Brown.

Brown's officially visiting the BuckeyesNoah Brown will visit Ohio State this weekend.

About six weeks ago, Brown made a visit to Ohio State with his mother as a stop on a midwest swing that saw visits to Michigan State and Vanderbilt, as well as Ohio State. Upon the completion of that trip, Brown was quick and eager to name the Buckeyes as the leader for his services and eventual commitment. 

"I definitely still have Ohio State as my leader," Brown told Eleven Warriors in late July. "They have the best balance of high-level academics and elite football that I have seen so far. Plus they have a beautiful campus and great facilities. I really got a good look at all aspects of the program and was happy to get a chance to spend close to an hour with Urban Meyer before he left for the Big Ten Media Days."

After that visit, Brown seemed to be on his way towards a quick commitment to Ohio State, but something happened between his visit and his expected commitment. Something nefarious...something completely unexpected. 

Noah Brown, a 17-year old high school football player from New Jersey, who once posed a child-sized version of an NWA member in Source magazine, changed his mind. 

"Committing on my visit was not in my plans," he told us July, and despite a thought to the contrary, Brown held on to his decision, remaining steadfast and adding a few weeks later. "I think I was getting a bit ahead of myself, and I really needed to take a step back and make sure I had all the information I needed."

So what did Brown do next? He visited home-state Rutgers twice in a two-week period and just like that, the drumbeats suddenly led those "in the know" to believe Brown was all Scarlet Knights. That concept became much more realistic as Brown announced — on the heel of his Rutgers visits — that he would make his commitment prior to his senior season's first game, September 12th, and would do so without another visit to Ohio State. 

It was supposed by many that the Buckeyes had turned their focus from Brown to other options, but as they persisted in their contact with him and he with them it became clear that was not the case, despite the perception that Rutgers, at least according to many, (myself included) had moved into the driver's seat.

Sunday the Sparta (N.J.) star wide receiver announced via his Twitter that he would be in fact be visiting Ohio State again, and doing so this Saturday for the Buckeyes' home game against San Diego State. The visit, an official visit for Brown, has the chance to be a major turn in his recruitment. While I don't believe he had ultimately decided on Rutgers or Ohio State, this weekend's visit would certainly indicate that the Buckeyes have earned the last shot at Brown and puts to bed definitively any thoughts about Ohio State "cooling" on Brown or vice versa. 

Ohio State has maintained all along that Brown was "in" if he wanted to be, and this most recent development speaks to that truth. I had changed my 247Sports.com "crystal ball" on Brown from Ohio State to Rutgers two weeks ago, but this official visit has changed my mind. 

Brown to the Buckeyes makes sense for a number of reasons and with a decision happening before September 12th — very soon after this weekend's visit to Ohio State — I'd be surprised if ended up choosing Rutgers despite his familiarity with their staff and his comfort in New Brunswick.

So what then of Dwyer High School (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) standout Johnnie Dixon? Ohio State has long been interested in Dixon and wide receivers coach Zach Smith has worked tirelessly to continue cultivating the relationship with the 5-foot-10 wide out. Dixon has maintained that the Buckeyes and he stay in regular contact with one another and he's penciled in for an official visit to Columbus on September 28th when Ohio State takes on Wisconsin.

Johnnie Dixon will visit the Buckeyes this monthDixon continues to be a primary target for the Buckeyes staff.

Would Ohio State have the room to take two more wide receivers with Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Parris Campbell and Lonnie Johnson already committed and all capable of playing wide receiver? Unlikely, barring something significant happening to one of the current pledges, despite their affinity for Dixon and Brown; each of whom bring something unique to the table. 

As things continue to evolve, we're continuing to bring you the latest in Buckeye recruiting, but we hope you realize as we do, things are constantly changing. We're talking about teenagers, remember?


Comments Show All Comments

ATXbucknut's picture

Good stuff, Birm. Man, a plethora of talent still out there considering OSU.  Would love to see Brown commit, along with some more OL and LB talent.  Go Bucks!

BierStube's picture

JB ... what is the story on Braxton Berrios .. seemed as though the staff was pretty high on him for a while after FNL ..

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Unfortunately it would appear that ship has sailed. Berrios is a staff favorite, but the numbers are tight and they don't know how they could make that work.

osubuck57's picture

BIG haul of WRs if Brown commits to OSU!! Scary to think of all that talent on one team!!


TMac's picture

I hope all recruits find the right place for themselves & that UFM gets commitments from those that truly want to be BUCKEYES!

ONE Not Done!

actionstanleyjackson's picture

take both brown and dixion...figure it out later. there will most likely be more attrition after the season...so if get them both

Stay golden, Ponyboy.

BuckinBama's picture

I think that attrition is going to.come outta the RB group.

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Great write-up Birm.  Would be happy with either Brown or Dixon. 

mtrotb's picture

Got to think Epitroupolous will be gone since he is last on depth chart. Be interesting to see if Michael Thomas plays much this year.  Seems like we are stacked.


Toilrt Paper's picture

Believe it or not there are some who do not care if the never play more than special teams. A preference to graduate from OSU and be apart of a national title game

weimerad's picture

Where does that leave Gesicki as well?  I've said for a while that the last spot would go to Brown or Gesicki, whether they take 23 or 24.  I would have to believe that Gesicki is out unless they don't get another DL in the class such as Holley or Solomon Thomas.  I think the class will finish with McMillan, Lattimore, Smith, Mavety, Prince (yes both will be a part of the class, sorry Miles), Holley and either Brown or Gesicki

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Brown/Dixon does not impact Gesicki, from what I understand.

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

This makes me happy. I really want him in this class.

BUCKSOMIES's picture

Great stuff Jeremy!

MN Buckeye's picture

I trust the coaches. Since they have been persistent with both Brown and Dixon, I would love to have them both. Thanks, Birm, for the updates. What a challenging game in itself, trying to predict how boys (albeit older teenaged boys) make decisions. When I was 17, I was more concerned about the flavor of ice cream or the toppings on my hot dog.

pjtobin's picture

I don't know how these coaches do it. I couldn't imagine going through this whole process. Wanting the best, but only having a few spots. Thanks Birm as always for your hard work. 

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