The Buckeyes won their showdown against Michigan on the hardwood, but Michigan State on the road was another story. And the recruiting news continues to roll in with just a little more than two weeks until signing day. This is Across The Field, a regular feature on BuckeyeNation where we point you to noteworthy Buckeyes coverage here and elsewhere. Think something should be included? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BuckeyeNation Week in Review
As offseason football conditioning gets ramped up, Urban Meyer is happy with the state of the program.
Ohio State assistant football coach Luke Fickell was on hand to watch linebacker prospect Kyle Berger. The 6-3 junior did not disappoint. He scored 15 points, 12 in the fourth quarter, and made several athletic plays.
East Lansing — Saturday was a big recruiting day for Michigan State's football team and one player had more attention than most during Michigan State's 59-56 victory over Ohio State at Breslin Center.
Drake Harris, a junior at Grand Rapids Christian, sat front and center and watched most of the game sitting near Damion Terry and Jon Reschke, two of Michigan State's top commitments for the 2013 class.
Harris, rated as the top receiver in the country for 2014 by ESPN.com, is committed to Michigan State but said early in the week he was going to take more visits after he received an offer from Ohio State and decided to focus only on football and not play basketball in college.
At halftime, Harris walked with football coach Mark Dantonio to the tunnel as the Izzone cheered him every step of the way.
Harris said he plans to visit Ohio State and Florida and could add others, though he has also said he remains committed to Michigan State.
The Spartans did add one recruit on Saturday for the 2013 class, getting a verbal commitment from safety Justin Williams of Port St. Lucie, Fla.
247Sports reported the 6-foot-1, three-star prospect chose Michigan State over Cincinnati, Marshall and South Carolina.
That brings Michigan State's recruiting class to 16 commitments.
Clemson’s 2013 receiver class restocked with former NC State commit Kyrin Priester switching to the Tigers, after an official visit on campus this weekend.
Priester (6-1 181, Snellville, Ga.) is a three-star prospect via Scout and Rivals and a four-star and top-300 ESPN-rated recruit, hauling in 56 catches for 1,116 yards and 12 touchdowns his senior year.
“Priester is a versatile receiver and he could play inside or outside on the next level,” Scout analyst Chad Simmons said in his last assessment of Priester. “He is more of a quick than fast wideout and he is tough to tackle in open space.”
He is the Tigers’ 16th commitment and joins Mike Williams (four-star rated, Lake Marion HS) at the receiver spot for the ’13 class.
Also in town was four-star receiver James Clark (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.), who received an offer from Ohio State last week, and four-star quarterback Asiantii Woulard, who said on Twitter he will announce his decision on Signing Day (Feb. 6) at 12:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Woulard has visited NC State and Kentucky and is scheduled to make the trip to UCLA next week.
Ohio State has 22 players pledged to its 2013 recruiting class, including a couple of dynamic athletes — Ezekiel Elliott and Jalin Marshall — who might add immediate pep to the offense.
But 17 days before national letters of intent may be signed, the Buckeyes are still in the hunt for at least one more wide /athlete type. They also are trying to lure safety prospect Vonn Bell of northwestern Georgia and perhaps one more offensive lineman.
“You can never have too many athletes and skill players — especially on the perimeter — in an Urban Meyer offense,” said veteran recruiting analyst Jeremy Crabtree of ESPN.com. “That’s kind of what we’re seeing here. They want another guy like that, and they are going after them.”
That, Crabtree said, is the trademark relentless approach of Meyer and his staff, who are in their second year at Ohio State. For example, when Oregon coach Chip Kelly bolted for the NFL last week, Buckeyes coaches almost just as quickly made overt recruiting overtures to three players — Dontre Wilson of DeSoto, Texas, and twins Tyree and Tyrell Robinson of San Diego — who have orally committed to the Ducks.
They fit the bill of the receiver/athlete type.
“We’re seeing the Ohio State coaches notice — I don’t know if this is the right way to put it — the sort of ‘blood in the water’ with the departure of Chip Kelly,” Crabtree said.
Meyer came from a six-year stint at Florida in the Southeastern Conference, where swimming with sharks right up to national-letter-of-intent signing day — even beyond — is a way of life.
Remember, the Buckeyes pounced on linebacker Trey Johnson of Lawrenceville (Gwinnett Central), Ga., who had renounced his pledge to Auburn after coach Gene Chizik was fired, and they gained Johnson’s commitment two weeks ago.
When Claude Mathis, Wilson’s coach at DeSoto High School, heard from OSU offensive coordinator Tom Herman again in the middle of last week, though, it wasn’t as if a stranger were calling.
“I have a great relationship with coach Herman; we talk all the time,” Mathis said. “That’s because we’re good friends, so that’s like normal when we talk.”
OSU had been keeping tabs on Wilson all along, just in case he might have a change of heart. Now, he is expected to make an official visit to Ohio State next weekend, and the Robinson twins might be there, too.
Plus, the Buckeyes are still in the courting phase with “athlete” Corn Elder of Nashville, Tenn., and receivers James Clark, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., and Corey Smith, of East Mississippi Community College, who is from Akron.
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