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. 


Comments Show All Comments

FROMTHE18's picture

If getting a commit just means you are in their top 3, does leading just mean you are in their top 5? 

Nice to hear that the visitors had a nice time. Jefferson would be an awesome get. 

+2 HS
YoungBUCK14's picture

Ahhh how could you not love buckeye football



+15 HS
bodast67's picture

This picture is creepy !




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

+4 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Creepy? It's frickin hilarious. I almost fell over in my chair!



+1 HS
Li Xiao Buckeye's picture

So wish I could up vote this!!

I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine. - Bruce Lee

+1 HS
ODEEZ330's picture

Fabulous news on scott baker n Jefferson.

stark county football

+1 HS
Wesleyburgess1's picture

Bad ass!! Im really excited about Van Jefferson. I wonder what his dad thought about seeing Greg Schiano there. Two Nfl coaches at a spring practice

+3 HS
swainpm's picture

Anyone heard why Schiano has been at practice? I have seen short references to this a few times now in the comments section but no mention as to why.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

He's there giving some input on the defensive gameplan.

swainpm's picture

Just friends with Urban? Where is the connection? Has he mentioned interest in returning to college coaching?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Just a guy Urban trusts and likes.

Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

Great updates ...

Any news on Jordan Whitehead?


Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Hope to have something from Jordan tonight. People on campus said it was going very well, but the Buckeyes were playing catch up here.

AZBuckeyePhan's picture

Any news on Justin Hillard's visit? scUM fans seem to be very confident in landing him...thought that isn't a surprise. they think they are the favorites to land everybody

+1 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Justin had a good visit, like he always does. He's not really the hyperbolic type, and isn't going to get emotionally caught up in recruiting. I think his recruitment lasts a while and Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Oklahoma are all in a good spot at this point. Of course, LSU, Bama, Florida, FSU, etc have all offered and when he starts making those visits things will change. Michigan is in no better shape than anyone else right now, in my opinion from talking to Justin.

kholmes's picture

I think most Michigan people have similar assessment as Birm. OSU, ND, Iowa, Mich, Oklahoma seem to be the top group but I havent heard any Michigan analysts say anything more facorable other than Michigan looks to be in top group. I think most M fans are pleased with where they stand because he has visited Ann Arbor 6 times in last nine months but nothing is based on any concrete statements. He has never made any statements about who is leading. With regards to Michigan, the strongest statement he has made is that they will be likely to get one of his visits. I definitely dont get the impression that Michigan fans think he is sure to come there...yes, there are fans at every school that think they will get every recruit but I wouldnt use that to extraploate that "scum" fans are saying they will get Hilliard.

+4 HS
AZBuckeyePhan's picture

maybe not in your circles but every scUM fan I know (which is quite a few) think Hillard is a lock...kinda like Treadwell and Hand LOL


Thanks for the info Birm!!

JTACbuckeye's picture

every time a see the word "BIG".... my mind automatically reads it as "B1G".  (damn you Big Ten!)

The strong will stand, the weak will fall by the wayside.  100% and then some!

+3 HS
rufio's picture

I always love your stuff, Birm. Thank you.

+1 HS
Brutus' Left Nut's picture

Could Steven Smothers possibly play DB?  Not that we need DBs more than WRs, just that I think him at receiver wastes that awesome name.  How can you not play smothering defense with the name Smothers?

+5 HS
m5987usus's picture

Are we commitment watch with Jones now birm?!


Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I don't think so, he'll wait until the spring game or at least until he checks out MSU.

YoungBUCK14's picture

Any possibility we pull another rabbit out of the hat w/ Brian Cole from that state up north?


Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I know Kerry Coombs is working that one pretty hard, but I don't think so.

tussey's picture

That's some exciting new about Van Jefferson.  I'm glad to hear that pops was able to watch the offense and that they came away impressed.

nburns18's picture

Good to hear. Need these guys. 

"You win with people." -Woody Hayes

CasualBystander's picture

The news on LJ Scott seems massively huge to me. Letting that kid escape up north wouldn't be great, no matter how hard Urbz is recruiting Harris and the others. Can't let talent like that come back to the shoe in green

"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." - Mark Twain

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I agree, and Scott - if he commits to Ohio State or not - has little to no bearing on the Buckeyes pursuit of Damien Harris. 

sfgoody's picture

So Birm, question, do you say this because you don't think they'd (Scott and Harris) mind playing together, or, because you think if we get one the other isn't coming? I would love EITHER or BOTH but I just don't see 2 VHT RBs coming into this class. Particularly because while others disagree, I still see Parris Campbell ending up at RB, likely a redshirt candidate which basically makes him a '15 recruit. It seems like Scott literally couldn't decide til last minute anyway as he awaits final grades. I have no idea when Harris plans to announce. Thanks as always. Your work is incredible!


Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Buckeyes want two tailbacks in 2015 and they'll get two. Harris/Scott would be an ideal duo and one that could happen moreso than a combination or Harris/Jacques Patrick. 

Campbell is most likely a WR at OSU, but I agree that he's talented enough to become a pretty good B1G running back. Would need to put on some significant weight to his very slight frame, however.

O'boy's picture

what ever happened with the mich st recruit that his mom and dad did not want him going too, has he signed anywhere?


Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Malik McDowell has still not signed officially, but he's still going to end up at MSU.

O'boy's picture

ok thanks, yea there must be a trouble maker on the team that his parents don't want him hanging out with they never did say why,


ab1993's picture

Birm, how often do recruits that say they're waiting until NSD or the end of the recruiting cycle to commit end up committing much earlier than planned? Does it happen 20%, 50%, 70% of the time?

+1 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Depends really. If a guy says "I am waiting until signing day" then usually he does. If a guy says "I'm waiting until signing day, unless I find a place I KNOW is the right place for me," then he usually commits earlier. 

buckskin's picture

The best news is about Scott.  Sounds like he is turning to the good guys.  I want him teamed up with Harris; hey if Bama can get 2/3 highly ranked RBs in a class, why can't we?  (yes, I know we don't oversign).

avail31678's picture

All I read was in every instance the visit went really well.  God, I'd love to be a fly on the wall during one of these visits.  Urban and co. are killing it as usual!  

Great update, Birm - thanks!

YoungBUCK14's picture


chirobuck's picture

Great news on Jones, he looks like a freakin animal, I hope Berger is in his ear as well


^ best post ever ^