Things are starting to heat up at the quarterback position for the Buckeyes recruiting wise and this weekend will start a month of intriguing happenings. Yesterday, Eleven Warriors had the skinny on Kyle Allen's plans well before anyone else and today we're going to take a look at the rest of the QB options for Ohio State.
This weekend Ohio State will host a couple of gunslingers from around the country, including one of their top targets making an earlier than expected campus visit.
Brandon Harris, from Bossier City (La.) will arrive in Columbus Friday and spend the day touring the campus before competing in the Elite 11 regional camp on Saturday. Harris picked up his Ohio State about a month ago and has been high on Ohio State throughout the process. The Buckeyes are getting a visit from Harris about a month sooner than expected, and this weekend is vital in their pursuit of the nation's best dual-threat QB. He's visiting Alabama Thursday before heading up to Ohio.
Another Brandon - Brandon Dawkins - is a name that's just popped up in connection to Ohio State this week. The Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, California) product made a bit of a splash last weekend when he announced on Twitter his intentions to commit to Notre Dame quickly after the news that the Irish were losing their starting QB - and returning sophomore - Everett Golston. Hawkins has made no bones about the Irish being his leader, but told me last night that he may have been a bit premature in his declaration.
"Well before I talked to Notre Dame, my dad told me that I was rushing a decision that I should wait until I see the colleges I am visiting next month," Dawkins said. "Notre Dame was ok with that. I'll be making visits to Ohio State this Friday, and then Texas A&M, LSU, NC State, and Oregon for sure."
Dawkins has only four offers right now, but that could change. He's got the size/speed combo that is prototype for a QB right now - he's 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and runs in the 4.65 range - and is a winner in the classroom as well; he told me he recently scored a 1650 on his SAT. He's competed in a number of national events and is working hard to increase his exposure. What about arm strength? He's got that too.
"I went to the Atlanta Elite 11, but I could not go to San Francisco's event because my coach would not let me miss spring practice," Dawkins said. "I threw well in Atlanta. Some of the reporters told me after that they thought I had won it. I am just going to go out there and let it rip. I also went to a Steve Clarkson camp last weekend and won the longest ball 65 yards."
I had heard some rumblings that Dawkins was put on the dreaded "backburner" by the Notre Dame as they hope to land another Buckeye target, Kyle Allen, but Dawkins says that's not the case and that the Irish have been upfront about now possibly taking two quarterbacks in this class.
"No, they didn't want to 'put me off' in any way," Dawkins added. "I think now they may even take two. I don't care though, I love the competition.
Dawkins would need to be very impressive this weekend to get a Buckeye offer, but you don't fly across the country unless you're a competitor, which he certainly seems to be.
This one is interesting. Peavey, an Arkansas commit from Bolivar (Mo.) has been "off the market" for about a year, committing to the Hogs in June of 2012. 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds, Peavey is a bit of a bull with the football, and has not always been the most polished passer. Ohio State visited the nation's 8th-ranked dual-threat about a week ago and came away impressed by his development. At the time I was told Peavey would be coming north to camp with Ohio State, but asked to keep a lid on that until the information was released through Peavey himself. Now that it's "out there," Peavey will have a chance to earn an offer at Ohio State later this month. He will have to put on a great showing, but he's already done that in front of Ohio State once this month.
Darlington is still attempting to get to Ohio State this month, and the likely scenario involves him at Ohio State for the June 21st camp. He's got other midwest visits planned, but nothing has been cemented to me date wise. Zack was beyond excited when he got stating that the Buckeyes were interested, and he's a player who could - and likely would - jump on a chance to be "the guy" at quarterback if he's given the go-ahead.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately for Buckeye fans, the key element to the entire quarterback recruiting "puzzle" is the piece that won't be known until the latter part of the month, that being Kyle Allen's newly scheduled visit. If Allen, for whatever reason, doesn't make that visit, then things become much more interesting. I don't think it's realistic to expect a commitment from Brandon Harris this weekend, despite rumblings that if he sees "enough" he could make a "soft commitment" to a school. With all the quarterbacks that will be on campus this month, the Buckeyes will need something concrete to move forward on.