Tennessee Important to Buckeye Recruiting Success

By John Brandon on March 14, 2014 at 4:00p

Continuing with our series of looking at priority states for the 2015 recruiting cycle, today we're taking a look at Tennessee. Meyer hasn't had much success in Tennessee yet as an Ohio State coach, but it is rich with talent  and the Buckeyes are well-positioned to make a push in the volunteer state this year.

Drew Richmond / Memphis / OL

Richmond is certainly the physically biggest target for Ohio State in Tennessee, and he's also the most important. A nationally elite player at a position Ohio State needs to continue to recruit well, Richmond is the No. 6 offensive tackle in the 247Composite and the top ranked player in Tennessee.

He recently announced a Top 11 that included Ohio State, along with Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Memphis, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee and UCLA. He currently plans for a final announcement on September 9th (to honor a close friend who passed away).

 Richmond grew up a Buckeye fan and had a great visit to Columbus this past fall, previously calling his time in Columbus "a dream feeling." Right now it looks like Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee and Ole Miss are the main competitors for his services. Don't sleep on Auburn either - Richmond plans to visit them in the next few weeks and is impressed by  Auburn's success on the field and putting linemen in the NFL recently.

Ohio State is in good shape here, but keep an eye on where Richmond visits in the upcoming weeks and months. The Buckeyes would like to get Drew on campus at least one more time before he makes a final decision.


Van JeffersoN / Brentwood / WR

The son of former NFL receiver and Tennessee Titans' wide receiver coach Shawn Jefferson, Van not only has a good size/speed combination, he's also very skilled and polished.

He currently is favoring Tennessee, Ohio State and Penn State, with hopes to visit those schools along with Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia and Ole Miss in the upcoming months. Jefferson had talked about announcing as soon as late March or early April, but recent offers from Georgia, South Carolina and Clemson have changed things. Still, he plans to enroll early, so expect a relatively early decision.

The Buckeyes are sitting in a good spot with Jefferson, having made him a priority for this class. Hinton has visited him twice, Meyer personally visited him once, and Jefferson had a great visit to Ohio State in the fall. Getting Van ready for the NFL will be a priority for the Jeffersons, so selling dad on the Buckeyes' ability to do that will be a primary objective for Meyer and company. Jefferson liked his Tennessee Junior Day visit, but I think this is an Ohio State - Penn State battle, as Jefferson has a strong relationship with James Franklin. For now though, I think he's a Buckeye.


Jackson Harris / Columbia / TE

Ohio State definitely wants to take two tight ends, and they hope that one of them is Chris Clark. As for the second tight end, several names have been thrown around: Hale Hentges, C.J. Conrad, Garrett Williams and Jackson Harris.

Harris is one of four tight ends with Buckeye offers, and there is a bit of mutual interest between the two parties. Harris visited Ohio State in September for the Wisconsin game before he had an offer, he has also been visited by coach Hinton. He's been blowing up over the past few weeks, picking up offers from Ohio State, Oregon, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Penn State in the past month or so.

Vanderbilt was the early favorite, but he's picked up bigger offers and will be visiting several schools in the upcoming months, recently having visited Alabama and Florida. Ohio State is focusing most of its efforts towards Clark, but if the Buckeyes were to miss out on Clark they could turn their attention more towards Harris. Harris has enough good offers that he might not come to Ohio State with another tight end, but if Ohio State doesn't get their top guy he would be a great option.


Kyle Phillips / Nashville / DE

Phillips is an elite strong-side defensive end prospect and he's interested in Ohio State. Phillips recently said that Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Ohio State, Ole Miss and Tennessee are his favorite schools right now. Penn State is also in the mix as he was close with James Franklin at Vanderbilt.

Phillips is planning to visit Columbus at some point this summer and won't be making a decision until taking his official visits in the fall, so Ohio State has plenty of time to figure out their defensive line recruiting. The Buckeyes are in on several top defensive line prospects, but Phillips is a player to keep an eye on, especially if he visits Ohio State this summer.


C.J. Sanders / Brentwood / WR

Sanders is a Buckeye legacy - son of former Ohio State and Tennessee Titans receiver Chris Sanders - but hasn't yet picked up a Buckeye offer. It's easy to say that an offer from Ohio State would be tough to beat, Sanders called Ohio State his "dream school," but right now without a Buckeye offer his recruitment is wide open. Tennessee and Stanford are standing out among the schools that have offered, but the 247Sports 4-star is hoping to pick up a few more offers before deciding.

Sanders is certainly a player to keep tabs on, he already camped at Ohio State once and impressed the staff. If he wants to be a Buckeye he'll camp at Ohio State again this summer and try to earn an offer.


Other Names to KNOW

Jauan Jennings / Murfreesboro / ATH / HIGHLIGHTS
Joshua McMillon / Memphis / LB / HIGHLIGHTS
Deddrick Thomas / Memphis / ATH / HIGHLIGHTS
Cameron Ordway / Pulaski / CB / HIGHLIGHTS
Ugo Amadi / Nashville / CB / HIGHLIGHTS
Vincent Perry / Nashville / RB / HIGHLIGHTS


Comments Show All Comments

PittBuckeye's picture

I wonder if Urban would let me try on his rings.

+2 HS
bodast67's picture

I hope that C.J. can bring his "A" game to OSU and really impress them at one of the camps.. You hate to lose a Legacy player.




     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

John Brandon's picture

I imagine he'll get a great chance to prove himself and earn an offer. Meyer has done a good job of at least offering a number of legacies. I don't think CJ will be a Buckeye, but it's not out of the question - he can really play.

tennbuckeye19's picture

If OSU comes into Tennessee and gets some of these top guys I would love it. I'm surrounded by UT fans every day who give me crap about the B1G and being an OSU fan. As if UT is even good right now. 

+2 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

I hope we steal their top kids year after year and certainly only to watch this VOL fan again.



+1 HS
BuckeyeJ's picture

Richmond, Jefferson, sanders. 

+2 HS
John Brandon's picture

Phillips is really intriguing to me. Granted the Bucks have plenty of top DL to choose from but Phillips is elite and the Buckeyes are in the picture for him.

Jugdish's picture

My son and I met Chris Sanders after he graduated. He was signing autographs for Buckeye fans. Chris's nickname was "tippy toes" because he walked on his toes. A great Buckeye.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL


I hope CJ is as half as good as his pops, aka 'Tippy' (Tippy Toe Sanders).  I remember watching his father beast on the basketball floor during fraternity basketball tournaments... He flat out would make Slam Thompson look like low-flyer in comparison. It was scary and unreal to watch so much physique dominate a drive from the top of the key finishing with a two handed dunk with authority where his waist was almost at rim level... I am not making this up... He had ups... 

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
John Brandon's picture

Incredible, bet that was awesome to witness.

Ericgobucks's picture

I would have loved to see that. But Thompson a low-flyer?....Thompson has world class vertical. Let's be realistic. 

+1 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

I saw the title and immediately thought Aaron Craft. 

+1 HS
Buck Commander's picture

Bring 'em all and let Urban sort 'em out

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

FitzBuck's picture

I want the top kids from Tennesee and Kentucky for the bs their fans and hack writers put out last year.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+1 HS
nburns18's picture

if we can even grab 5 of those guys id be pumped

"You win with people." -Woody Hayes