Being told 4* WR Tony Stevens will not make it to #OhioState this weekend and will reschedule for a later time. Flight scheduling issues.— Marc Givler (@MarcGivlerBG) November 21, 2012
- Defensive Tackle Donovan Munger of Cleveland, Ohio has close to 50-offers at this point and more seem to be coming in all the time. He plans to Visit OU early next month.
- RB Dravon Henry is visiting with a teammate this weekend.
- 2014 DE Lawrence Marshall (Southfield, MI/Southfield) says he'll be in Columbus this weekend for The Game.
- Kentucky & Missouri have offered 2013 Montverde Academy (FL) center Dakari Johnson.
- Father of ESPN150 WR Marquez North "We going to South Carolina at Clemson Saturday night Death Valley."
- A little nugget on 2014 4-star OL Donell Stanley, story coming tomorrow, but he says he's aiming for a summer commitment. Still claims no leaders. Visits Bama this weekend.
With Dorian Johnson’s commitment to Pitt over the weekend, the offensive line is even more of a priority for the Buckeyes. Ohio State will try to recruit another o-lineman for 2013, but it’s starting to look like 2014 will need to have at least 4-5 guys on the offensive front.
One big target is Demetrius Knox . A huge fan of the Buckeyes growing up, Knox is one of the many offensive line prospects OSU will try to lure for next year’s recruiting class.
I first had a chance to meet Demetrius Knox in Dallas, where Alabama opened the season against Michigan. He graciously scaled the halls of the Jerry Dome texting me his whereabouts until we finally met up at a specific location. The Jerry Dome (Cowboys Stadium) was so loud that we had to go into the hallways to conduct the interview. A top recruit at offensive linemen, Knox is being hotly pursued by Texas, TCU, Alabama and the Buckeyes. You can watch his first Ozone interview here,.
La Salle junior WR Derek Kief will visit Ohio State on Saturday for the Buckeyes’ game against visiting Michigan, according to La Salle.
Kief, who is 6 feet 5 and 190 pounds, has offers from UC, Illinois, Toledo, Indiana and Northwestern.
He had 65 receptions for 910 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He was first-team all-GCL South and received the Receiver of the Year Award.
Ohio State has assembled a guest list for the ages for this weekend's battle with Michigan. While there will be many outstanding 2013 prospects on hand, Ohio State is also laying the groundwork for an outstanding 2014 class. Who will be in Columbus?
James Quick The superstar wide receiver is the weekend headliner, and will visit officially from Saturday to Monday. FIVE-STAR
Tony Stevens Wide receiver. Orlando Evans. Official visit. FOUR-STAR (RESCHEDULING)
Martrell Spaight Linebacker. Coffeyville CC. Official visit.
Auston Johnson Linebacker. El Camino JC. Official visit.
Donovan Munger Defensive tackle. Shaker Heights. FOUR-STAR
Corey Smith Wide receiver. East Mississippi CC.
SHELTON GIBSON Wide receiver. Cleveland Heights. FOUR-STAR
Christopher Worley Linebacker. Cleveland Glenville. THREE-STAR
Ryan Timmons Wide receiver. Frankfort (KY). THREE-STAR
Also attending will be the following members of the 2013 Ohio State recruiting class:
Cameron Burrows. Jalin Marshall. Billy Price. Eli Woodard (official). Evan Lisle. Jayme Thompson. Tracy Sprinkle. J.T. Barrett (official). Johnny Townsend (official). Darron Lee. Michael Hill (official). Tyquan Lewis (official).
*****2014 PROSPECTS: OUT OF STATE*****
Clifton Garrett Linebacker. Illinois.
Raekwon McMillan Linebacker. Georgia.
Myles Autry Tailback. Georgia.
Demarre Kitt Wide receiver. Georgia.
Jamarco Jones Offensive tackle. Illinois.
Da'Shawn Hand Defensive end. Virginia.
Drew Barker Quarterback. Kentucky.
Damian Prince Offensive tackle. Maryland.
Jalen Hurd Tailback. Tennessee.
Mikale Wilbon Tailback. Illinois.
Dominique Booth Wide receiver. Indiana.
Nile Sykes Defensive end. Illinois.
*****2014 PROSPECTS: IN-STATE*****
Derek Kief Wide receiver.
Marcelys Jones Offensive tackle.
Marshon Lattimore Wide receiver.
Erick Smith Safety.
DeShone Kizer Quarterback.
Dorian Hendrix Linebacker.
Nick Richardson Offensive tackle.
Mikel Horton Tailback.
Thaddeus Snodgrass Wide receiver.
Kyle Trout Offensive tackle.
Darius West Safety.
Joseph Henderson Defensive end.
Alonzo Saxton Cornerback.
Airius Moore Linebacker.
Jimmy Byrne Offensive tackle.
Kyle Berger Linebacker.
Tinashe Bere Linebacker.
Davonte James Linebacker.
*****2015 PROSPECTS: IN-STATE *****
Jason Simon Tailback.
Eric Glover-Williams Slot receiver.
Darrin Hall Tailback.
Ryan Timmons continues to show strong interest in Ohio State but said a commitment to the Buckeyes isn't planned for the immediate future. The ESPN 300 athlete will take his third trip to Columbus this weekend for the Michigan game.
"No, not until my mother sees it," the four-star prospect from Frankfort (Ky.) Franklin County said about possibly committing during the trip. "She won't be coming with me this weekend."
Still, the Buckeyes should feel good about their standing with Timmons. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior has spoken glowingly about potential opportunities in Ohio State's offense. He also repeatedly has complimented the game-day experience at Ohio State.
Ohio Stadium will be ripe with top prospects on Saturday when the Buckeyes host arch-rival Michigan.
Jalen Tabor, however, will not be one of the them. The ESPN Watch List safety from Washington (D.C.) Friendship originally was scheduled to make the trip but will not, because his school has a game this weekend.
Tabor visited Maryland on Saturday, which was a rare trip for the junior prospect. Tabor hasn't taken many visits this fall.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- One of Urban Meyer’s keys to victory isn’t that difficult to figure out. While he is having almost unprecedented success as a first-year coach at Ohio State -- there have only been two other coaches to start with 11 consecutive wins at the school -- it all begins in the recruiting world.
Meyer has long been known as a tireless recruiter and will work until the last possible second to either flip a prospective commit or land the big name. His recruiting class in February ranked sixth -- the highest it has been since 2008 -- as his resume no doubt brought some of the bigger name recruits from other programs.
Taylor Decker, Kyle Dodson, Se’Von Pittman, Joey O’Connor, Tommy Schutt, Armani Reeves and Camren Williams were all destined for other universities before becoming Buckeyes nine months ago. Meyer had similar success at Florida as the Gators were almost always in the upper echelon of the class rankings.
The laundry list of players scheduled to visit The Horseshoe this weekend is a virtual who’s who among the top recruits in the nation.
In fact, it would have been even stronger if some individuals weren’t still in their respective high school playoffs.
Still, with names such as ESPN 150 linebackers Daniel McMillian and Trey Johnson, wide receiver James Quick as well as ESPN 300 wide receiver Tony Stevens scheduled to make official visits, it’s an impressive collection.
Martrell Spaight (Coffeyville, Kan./Coffeyville Community College) finished his sophomore season with 130 tackles, seven sacks, three pass breakups and a blocked kick -- and he did all that in only nine games.
It was Spaight’s all-in play that made him the Jayhawk Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Spaight’s 130 tackles ranks him fourth on the school’s all-time list for single-season performances.
Now, it’s time for the former North Little Rock (Ark.) standout to look at FBS programs. Spaight will visit Ohio State this weekend and has a visit set for West Virginia the weekend of Dec. 8.
Ever since Dakari Johnson announced earlier this month that he planned to move into the Class of 2013 from 2014, not much as been heard from the 6-foot-10 Montverde (Fla.) Academy big man or his family about his recruiting plans.
But his mother, Makini Campbell, spoke extensively to SNY.tv Tuesday about her son’s plans and the schools he’s considering.
Campbell reiterated that her son plans to sign in the spring period — along with fellow elite players Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon — and that he is considering Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State and Syracuse — for now.
“Because of the early signing period, we realize some things will kind of change,” Campbell told SNY.tv.
“Some schools will probably not be in the mix because of some players that signed, and also whether or not schools have availability [of scholarships]. We looked at some schools that they tend to have had verbal commitments from players that are very similar to Dakari, so now he’s kind of getting the thought, ‘Well, maybe that’s not really the school that I may want to consider.’ You know what I mean?”
**Kentucky is a major player for Johnson, in part, because he spent three years at Sayre’s Middle School in Lexington, Ky., and the family lived there “for about three, four years,” Campbell said. She confirmed that Kentucky had offered her son “weeks ago.”
“Kentucky is on his list,” Campbell said. “And we’re watching them. Most of the guys who signed there are not players like Dakari.”
Kentucky’s loaded class features guards, wings and forwards like Andrew and Aaron Harrison, James Young, Marcus Lee and Derek Willis, but no center.
“But we also noted you still have Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein, which is similar to Dakari and so it’s a whole process, looking to see where you’re needed, what’s the best fit,” Campbell said.
She didn’t rule out Johnson joining forces with another big, such as a Noel or a Cauley-Stein, should one or both not go one-and-done.
“That could be good for him in a sense, you know what I mean?” she said. “Just like when he was at St. Pat’s and he had [recent Illinois commit] Austin Colbert. They complemented each other, especially in practice. It’s not that. You just kind of wonder if it’s the same kind of guy like yourself.”
Campbell said it’s also appealing that they have “friends and extended family” in Lexington.
“Actually, last Thanksgiving we spent time with his friends there, with his extended family,” she said. “So for him that is kind of like going back to something that ‘s very familiar and something that is likable.
“As a parent, with you not being there in the same place as your child, you always want, kids always say, ‘I have an aunt there’ or ‘I have an uncle there,’ there’s someone to kind of look after him,” she added. “So that’s comforting for me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it might be the best fit for him, but I think that will definitely have an appeal for him.”
Kentucky’s record of one-and-dones to the NBA is also appealing.
“I’m sure it’s appealing,” she said. “One thing it says is that they are preparing for the guys for that next stage. I wouldn’t see why that wouldn’t be appealing…What he’s looking for in a school, too, is his development. Academically, he’ll be fine. He understands what he needs to do. He has a family of college graduates. He knows what he wants to study, he has his head on straight there but he does want to know that there’s going to be some development that takes place and that he’s going to play on a stage where he’s going to be recognized.”
Attracting a crowd on the court began last year. University High School opponents started to send multiple defenders at 6-foot-7 Keita Bates-Diop, seeking to keep the ball out of his hands.
Coaches call it “limiting his touches.” Makes it sound more official.
All right then.
This year is going to be different. So will next year. That was obvious Monday night at Shirk Center.
Sure, Bates-Diop will continue to draw attention on the court. But now, he is attracting a crowd to the court.
Opening night of the 41st Intercity Basketball Tournament featured an impressive turnout. Some were there to support Bloomington. Others cheered on Central Catholic, Normal Community and U High.
Yet, it seemed a good number were there as casual observers, eager to see the kid headed to Ohio State.
That’s who Bates-Diop has become. As soon as he committed to Ohio State on Sunday, the junior star went from current Pioneer to future Buckeye … maybe not in his eyes, but certainly in those of the public.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just reality when you’re ranked among the best players in the nation and bound for a perennial Top 10 college program.
Bates-Diop was an emerging prospect last year. This spring and summer, he grew into a hot prospect. As of Sunday morning, he became a legit, blue-chip, high-profile recruit, even though he cannot sign with Ohio State until November 2013.
Is there pressure with that? Absolutely, though someone with Bates-Diop’s potential had some already.
Is he a bigger target now for opponents, fans, etc.? Sure, but the “X” on his back was sizeable before he made Ohio State coach Thad Matta’s day on Sunday.
The real change is that the quiet, unassuming Bates-Diop is now a stand-alone act … not in regard to team play (he’s as unselfish as they come), but in terms of ticket sales. If Monday was an indicator, folks in Bloomington-Normal and beyond may be more apt to pry themselves off the couch on a Bates-Diop game night.
We haven’t had many like him in the Twin Cities. There have been some high-level recruits — U High’s Jim Crews (Indiana) and Bloomington’s Bob Bender (Indiana, Duke) in the 1970s; BHS grad Ron Curry (Arizona, Marquette) in the 1980s to name three. Bates-Diop is the most talented to come along in more than two decades.
It was purely coincidental, Jae’Sean Tate said, that two of his best friends are at or headed to Michigan and that he chose this particular week to let them and everyone else know he won’t be joining them.
The Pickerington Central junior was at his kitchen table with his father on Monday night, discussing whether it was time for him to commit to a college basketball program, when he received a text message from Ohio State coach Thad Matta asking if there was a good time to talk.
Matta and assistant Jeff Boals were in Illinois watching their latest commitment, 2014 forward Keita Bates-Diop, who had pledged to the Buckeyes on Sunday. When Matta called Tate about 11 p.m., Tate told him he could pencil in another prospect for the class.
“My dad had approached me on it (Monday) and asked me if I knew for sure what my decision was going to be,” Jae’Sean said yesterday. “With Keita committing and there being only a couple more scholarships left (for 2014), I just didn’t want my dream to slip by.”
Ohio State coaches are targeting two wings, a point guard and a center for the 2014 class, Tate said, “and when Keita committed, that took away one of the wing spots. I didn’t want the other one to slip away.”
Tate, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound wing, helped Pickerington Central win its first Division I championship last season. Two of his teammates were Caris LeVert, a freshman guard at Michigan this season, and Taco Charlton, headed there to play football next season. Tate’s choice was between Ohio State and Michigan.
“Of course, there’s always going to be that Michigan-Ohio State battle,” Tate said, “but they support me and they’re happy for me, and I’m happy for them.”
Tate’s father, Jermaine, was a two-year starter for Ohio State before he was among three players dismissed from the program in 1997 for what newly hired coach Jim O’Brien said was a “failure to live up to their obligations as student-athletes.”
Jermaine Tate finished his career at Cincinnati and played professionally overseas for 10 years. He has no hard feelings over how it ended for him at Ohio State.