Football Recruiting: Big Week Could Yield Big Results

By Jeremy Birmingham on March 23, 2014 at 12:00p

The first major recruiting efforts for Ohio State's 2015 class ended yesterday and it the Buckeyes put themselves into prime position for a number of key targets.

In what was essentially a week-long visitor-fest, Urban Meyer and his coaching staff hosted many of the region's best players — and two key of the state's top players — in what they hope turns out to be a fruitful first week of spring.

In todays' update, we'll do our best to update you on all the key targets who made their way to Columbus this week. More updates will be coming throughout the day, so please stay with us.


Jerome Baker, the star two-way athlete from Cleveland Benedictine, had initially planned on visiting the Buckeyes on Friday, as 11W first reported earlier this week. On Wednesday night Baker, along with sophomore teammate (and probable future Buckeye offer) Justin Layne, decided that Thursday would be the day for a visit and trekked to Columbus earlier than planned. The visit went incredibly well for both, so well in fact that they decided to stay in Columbus overnight and extend the visit an extra day. 

Upon completion of the visit, Baker reaffirmed that Ohio State is the favorite is his recruitment, a key step for the Buckeyes who have been fighting off Penn State for the 6-foot-1, 215 pound running back/linebacker. Baker still insists a decision isn't coming until after his senior season, but more and more I believe this ends sooner rather than later.


One of the targets making the longest drive to get to Columbus this weekend was Reiserstrown (Md.) offensive lineman Patrick Allen. A 6-foot-5, 270 lineman, Allen could end up playing guard or tackle in college, and at this point he says he has no preference. What he does have a preference for, at this time, is Ohio State, who he says now leads in his recruitment.

I talked with Allen as he and his teammate, 2016 wide receiver Steven Smothers (who has a Buckeye offer,) were on their way home to Maryland and Allen was not shy in his praise for the Buckeyes. He called the practice "intense," and said that his favorite part of the experience was watching how the Buckeye coaches handled the team, keeping up the pace non-stop.

Allen is another player who says he plans on waiting until close to signing day before a decision is made, admitted he was close to committing on his visit but that he felt a visit to Florida State was necessary before he could make an informed decision. He did say that the Buckeyes would absolutely be a school he makes an official visit to come fall.


Cleveland St. Ignatius defensive end Dre'Mont Jones was a surprise addition to the visitors list this weekend and it's an important visit as far as the Buckeyes are concerned. Unlike a number of Ohioans with many offers that are still waiting for an Ohio State offer, the Buckeyes were Jones' second offer (Iowa was the first) and the Buckeyes have made it clear he's a priority in 2015.

Jones is likely to return to Ohio State for the spring game on April 12th, and a commitment that weekend would not be a surprise, despite the fact that Jones wants to make visit to Michigan State (who offered last week) prior to that visit.

If Jones doesn't end up a Buckeye, I'll eat my shoe.


Hubbard's LJ Scott, without question the top running back in Ohio, has been pegged by most (myself included) as a "lean" for Michigan State, despite receiving an Ohio State offer two weeks back. His visit this weekend was perhaps the most important of all the visitors for that very reason: a less than stellar visit could cement the idea that the Spartans were the choice. The good news for the Buckeyes and Ohio State fans is this: the visit was stellar and it appears Ohio State has become the leader for Scott, according to sources close to the situation.

There is still plenty of time before signing day, and Michigan State's efforts certainly won't stop, but at this point the Buckeyes have shown Scott what they needed to show him.

Brentwood (Tenn.) wide receiver Van Jefferson and his entire family found their way to campus this weekend, they actually left today, but according to sources things have gone very well for the Buckeyes. Jefferson's father, Shawn, is the wide receiver's coach for the Tennessee Titans, and was hoping to get a chance to see the future of the Buckeyes' offense up-close-and-personal. Jefferson's likely to make a decision soon, and the Buckeyes may very well have made themselves the favorite to land the 6-foot-2, 175 pound wideout. 

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