Recruiting Notebook: Ohio State's Camp, Tight Ends & More

By Jordan Wagner on June 4, 2014 at 3:00p

After hosting a big recruiting weekend with the Elite 11 camp and Nike Football Training Camp in town, Ohio State will host its own camp this Sunday. Let's not waste any time getting into Wednesday's recruiting notebook. 

Ohio State Camps Begin Sunday

NFTC Columbus took place on Ohio State's campus, but NCAA rules prohibited the coaching staff from watching it. Starting this Sunday, the Buckeyes coaching staff will host prospects for their own camp. 

There are a few intriguing names on the tentative visitor list. A trio of offered 2015 prospects – A.J. Alexander, Josh Moore and Grant Schmidt – headline the list, although Eleven Warriors is working to confirm their intention to attend.

Sunday's camp will give the staff the opportunity to further evaluate these prospects to see if they deserve committable offers. The camp also serves to attract prospects to Columbus for a de facto recruiting visit. 

One prospect that will visit the day before camp is four-star safety Tyler Green. In a recent interview, Green said Ohio State would be the favorite for his commitment if he earned an offer at camp. 

Toledo Central Catholic three-star linebacker Chris Green and Olentangy Liberty three-star offensive lineman Hunter Littlejohn are two Ohio prospects that hope for more Ohio State interest after Sunday's camp. Neither prospect has heard much from OSU lately. 

Recently offered sophomore running back Demario McCall is expected to camp, and  I'm excited to get a chance to watch him. Another sophomore, four-star defensive end Jonathon Cooper, could earn an offer at camp on Sunday. It's a matter of when, not if, Cooper lands an offer from the Buckeyes; he's already a priority recruit.

Eleven Warriors will be at Ohio State's prospect camp on Sunday, so be sure to stay tuned for updates and interviews. 

Tight End Recruiting Update

There has been plenty of talk about the Buckeyes taking two tight ends in this recruiting class, since Ohio State will be down to Nick Vannett and Marcus Baugh as their only scholarship tight ends in 2015. 

After Hale Hentges committed to Alabama, the focus has shifted to four-star tight end Chris Clark. The Connecticut prospect will visit Ohio State on June 17, Michigan State on June 18 and Michigan on June 19. The Buckeyes and Wolverines appear to be his top two, although Clark hasn't made a public announcement. A decision from Clark is expected at "The Opening," which runs from July 5-10. 

The coaching staff has kept a close eye on a few other prospects with the potential to be the second tight end in the class, or the first if the Buckeyes miss out on Clark. Three-stars Kyle Oliver and Jake Pickard along with junior college prospect Julian Allen are a few tight end prospects to keep an eye on over the next few months. 

Oliver visited Ohio State before participating in the NFTC event in Columbus this weekend. In a message to Eleven Warriors, he described his visit as "great" and noted he "loved every part of it."

The three-star prospect from Tennessee holds offers from Bowling Green, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi State, Purdue, Ole Miss and a few others. Florida State and Tennessee are showing strong interest. 

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end stood out at NFTC Columbus this weekend. The Buckeyes could soon become more involved in his recruitment. 

"I talked with coach Hinton and coach Meyer," Oliver said. "[Hinton] said he's evaluating my film now."

As of now, the Tennessee native claims no favorites or top schools. However, he did mention if Ohio State offers, they would be "up there" with his perceived favorite, Florida State. 

New Jersey tight end prospect Jake Pickard plans to camp at Ohio State on June 21. The Buckeyes coaching staff will have the opportunity to see the 6-foot-6, 231-pound Pickard in person. 

While Ohio State hasn't offered, Pickard's offer sheet includes Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisville, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple and Virginia. 

Ohio State offensive line coach Ed Warinner has made multiple trips to New Jersey to visit Pickard, who is more of a blocking tight end than a pass catching threat. 

The Buckeyes might find a junior college tight end more appealing. Julian Allen, who we featured in May, says he speaks with Ed Warinner every other day. 

"[Warinner] said I have a offer waiting for me in the fall," Allen told 11W

Currently, the JUCO prospect does not have a visit to Columbus planned, but he hopes to make a visit later this summer or in the fall. 

Junior College Lineman Draws Ohio State Interest

Martinas Rankin, a three-star lineman from Mississippi Gulf Coast, could be a name to watch if the Buckeyes miss out on any of their top targets on the offensive line. 

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound junior college prospect has offers from Florida Atlantic, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Florida, Southern Miss and UAB. Auburn and Ohio State have also been showing interest in the three-star. 

Rankin and the coaching staff have discussed a visit, but nothing is set in stone. He would like to receive an offer from the Buckeyes before making a trip on his own dime to Columbus.

While Ed Warinner hasn't discussed or promised an offer for Rankin, the lineman thinks he could eventually land one: "the way [Warinner] talked made me confident in maybe getting [an offer] eventually."

If an offer is made, Rankin says Ohio State would definitely be in the mix.

More Recruiting Notes


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jpbuckeye's picture

Thanks for the update Jordan.


I feel we are reaching a tipping point and when that happens it will be absolutely wonderful.



+2 HS
mtrotb's picture

Isn't Speaight a junior, class of 2016?


Jordan Wagner's picture

2014 prospects are just now graduating. 2015 prospects are finishing their last few days of junior year. 2016 prospects are finishing up sophomore year. 

Ahh Saturday's picture

So Jordan, what's up with Travis Waller?  I thought he was going to camp at OSU, but now I see he's been removed from Gene's visitors list, and he's named Northwestern and Alabama his leaders?!  Did the Joe Burrow commitment close the door on Waller, and are we now in TG or nothing mode?

Barnsey69's picture

I'll let Jordan weigh in here officially, but I bet it has gone down exactly as you have proposed in your's TG or bust. Does Kenny G. have a little brother?

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

Squirrel Master's picture

I didn't think Waller was that strong of a possibility anyways. With the whole Oregon thing I don't think he is worth trying for really. I think Northwestern doesn't have a shot. Unless he jumps on the Alabama train, I don't see him leaving the west. Especially if Oregon comes through with an offer.

but then again he doesn't have an offer yet from OSU and things could still play out like it did with Dontre. Maybe Dontre could talk up OSU with him and share his experience between the two. I would love to have the kid, just not quite sure it will happen.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

Jordan Wagner's picture

A few of us were talking about this at NFTC Columbus last week. Ohio State would really like to add Torrance Gibson, but adding Waller (or another QB) would probably end any chance of that happening. It's a hard position to be in. OSU not offering Waller signals to me that they think they are legit players for Gibson. 

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Do you feel that if the staff misses on Gibson, that Burrows could develop into a QB that wins B1G and national titles? 


I prefer Waller over Gibson anyway. 

Crimson's picture

Seriously, people need to stop typing Burrows.

The staff doesn't take players who they don't think will work, although national titles is a lot to hope for from any recruit.

+1 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

TG is pretty clearly moving away from OSU. Once he decided not to come for a summer visit, I figured he was gone. He's been to Auburn more than once, and same with Tennessee. It's hard to move from 5th to 1st on one official visit, even for Urban Meyer. 

Buckabroad's picture

I agree. To me it seems that TG is getting less likely. Would hate to lose out on a big-time talent like Waller for a long-shot at TG.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

Jbucks's picture

this is just a camp right? when does FNL take place?

Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it-John 1:5 SEC meet Ohio State, Ohio State meet SEC

Squirrel Master's picture

July 25th.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

BUCKSOMIES's picture

Thanks Jordan, great stuff as always.

CarolinaBuck's picture

I got to tell you, all of these camps are giving me a headache. I know it's a new era, but when I went to high school, the players all played their senior season, then went on their trips in December and January before they made their (un) announced choice. Everybody seemed to pick a school without any problem. 

jpbuckeye's picture

While I agree it is vastly different and challenging to keep up with; having the big time recruits for NFTC and FNL is so exhilirating compared to the dead period we just went through with Franklin the Nittney Lion Face ( a la Lon Chaney Jr for those than can remember) hitting repeatedly. I will take this excitement any time relative to those dark days. :-)

Zimmy07's picture

Speaking of recruiting did you see that Hakeem Bailey tweeted something about Braxton Miller running a 4.3 40 & Miller responded by challenging him to race?

+1 HS
Jordan Wagner's picture

I'm trying to get ahold of Hakeem Bailey. Haven't heard too much about him, but I saw the tweets. Bet he wasn't expecting Braxton to read it. 


Life after Braxton, 4.32 or not, is going to be slower and difficult to foresee

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

Shangheyed's picture

Might be we have a 6'4" 250 lb QB that's a different look but indeed interesting possibilities.... BUT if you are a LB you might find that reading that option a little less interesting... than hitting a 210 lb QB.... indeed won't be as fast, but might work out OK.

+1 HS
sb97's picture

I thought Braxton handled that situation well but then again he has always handled the spotlight well.  At first I was all fired up after reading Bailey's tweet but then I remembered that I considered some of the 40 times suspect myself.  Its always kind of funny when you catch yourself seeing the world through scarlet and gray glasses.

+1 HS
tussey's picture

If we whiff big time on the TE position and don't sign a TE this year, do you think Sam Hubbard will start off his career at TE?

Jordan Wagner's picture

He is set to start off at LB here in the fall. If it comes down to it, he could be moved to TE. I don't see that happening. 

tussey's picture

Thanks Jordan!

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Josh Moore will not be visiting. 

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great recruiting info Jordan!  Thanks man.

Go Bucks!