Torrance Gibson's Status, Travis Waller's Offer, Andre James' Visit and More

By Jeremy Birmingham on June 15, 2014 at 6:30a
54 Comments

It appears, finally, that Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class is gaining some momentum. In the last week, three different players pledged to Urban Meyer and his coaching staff. Maryland safety Tyler Green, South Dakota lineman Grant Schmidt and Ohio long snapper Liam McCullough all became a part of the "Elite '15." 

This weekend, a few key components of what could be a very "Sweet '16" will be on campus at Ohio State, including the top priority at quarterback, Maryland's Dwayne Haskins, Jr.

The class got its first commitment out of the way yesterday when Hubbard, Ohio's George Hill announced he was committing to Ohio State. Despite the big names coming to campus and the promise of big-time commitments on the horizon, there's an elephant in the room that requires attending to.

The Gibson SITUATION 

As documented recently, there are some red flags surrounding Torrance Gibson, the nation's top-ranked athlete in the 2015 class. Rumors of altercations at school and an overall shift in his attitude had started to contribute to some wondering whether or not he was worth pursuing.

Despite those flags, Gibson's talent keeps people clinging to the idea of "if we can just get him on campus, maybe things will shift." Unfortunately for Ohio State, Gibson's been unable to make it to campus, despite a number of trips to other colleges, some as far away as Norman, Oklahoma. 

He recently spent a number of days in Knoxville, Tennessee and has already scheduled a return trip for later this month. That trip came after a repeat visit to Auburn, and the Buckeyes, despite repeated efforts to get him to commit to a visit; have been unable to secure one.

Why is that? How is that? That's anyone's guess. Clearly there are people around Gibson who've had no issues getting him where he wants or is asked to be, yet Ohio State's been left out of the picture.

Move ahead to Cleveland.com's Ari Wasserman's update on Gibson Thursday night. In it, Gibson acknowledges that the Buckeyes have moved further down his list, from fourth, to fifth, and now to seventh. His reasoning: a lack of contact from Ohio State:

They are just dropping right now because a lot of coaches have been in contact with me, and I haven't been in contact with any of their coaches since I don't know when.

Gibson's long-standing infatuation with Ohio State seems to have faded, thanks in part to his ability to get to other schools repeatedly, and the Buckeyes aren't going to compromise recruiting resources and valuable time on a player that's a thousand miles away from Columbus if they don't feel said player is giving them a legitimate shot to land him. If Gibson wants to have the Buckeyes in touch with him, it's on the 6-foot-4, 200-pound standout to initiate that and to make sure he gets to Columbus. If not, the ship is effectively sailed.

So...What About Waller?

Since the commitment of Joe Burrow we've contended that if Ohio State is going to take another quarterback in this recruiting class, it would have to be Torrance Gibson. Now that it appears we can move on from Gibson realistically being a member of this class, the number of questions I've fielded on Twitter and elsewhere about Travis Waller getting an offer from the Buckeyes has grown to an almost comical degree.

The latest shaking of the Waller tree also came from Wasserman and Cleveland.com, who had an update from the Anaheim, California native following a visit to Alabama. Waller indicated, as he's done consistently, that Ohio State is on the edge of offering him:

They told me an offer should be coming soon and that they're happy they are in my top four.

Yes, the Buckeyes were included in Waller's top four schools — along with Alabama, Notre Dame and Northwestern — but Ohio State's unlikely to offer according to sources we've spoken with. The Buckeyes are happy with Joe Burrow and will not be offering another quarterback unless something changes significantly with Burrow's status. If they do, slap some steak sauce on a pair of Sperry's, because I'll eat my shoe.

Let's move on from the quarterback position and talk about a few other big visitors to Columbus.


Andre James, the nation's 18th-ranked offensive tackle from Herriman, Utah was in Columbus this weekend and checked out Ohio State. Offered by the Buckeyes in mid-March, James has family in the Buckeye state and is familiar with Urban Meyer from his days at the helm for Utah. Although Ohio State is still aggressively pursuing other tackle prospects, James' visit has gone exceedingly well and the Buckeyes are now in great shape for his services. What that would do for Ohio State's pitch to Matthew Burrell or Drew Richmond is anyone's guess. 

Speaking of Burrell, there's still a chance he could end up back in Columbus as early as Tuesday. Connecticut tight end Chris Clark was hoping to get Burrell to accompany him for his Buckeye visit this week. Clark's recruitment is winding down, and the Buckeyes are hoping to show him once-and-for-all why Ohio State is the right place for him. In order to do that, the Buckeyes will have a number of important people on campus trying to connect with Clark, but none bigger than Joe Burrow himself. Clark will announce his college decision at The Opening in early July.

On Friday, Eleven Warriors talked with Damien Harris who also disclosed that he'd be in Columbus this Tuesday, giving him a shot to get to know Burrow and Clark and a few others better. Harris' recruitment is still up in the air, but he's been to Columbus so many times that it's impossible to believe the Buckeyes aren't right at the top of his list. A late week visit to Notre Dame is scheduled and that's something to pay attention to, especially if the Irish are able to convince Justin Hilliard to return to South Bend for the second time in two weeks.

Georgia safety Rashad Roundtree will be another huge name on campus this coming week, and he'll have an extended stay in Columbus. Roundtree, the country's fifth-ranked safety and a consensus four-star prospect, arrives Monday and will spend two-plus days with the Buckeyes. It's likely that this Georgia safety will spend a lot of time with another Georgia safety, Ohio State's Vonn Bell, and the task of plucking him from the southern schools will be just as great. As is the case with any big-time southern prospect, half the battle is getting him on campus at least once unofficially and the Buckeyes are going to get a great shot at Roundtree this week.

54 Comments

Comments

hit_the_couch's picture

 

They are just dropping right now because a lot of coaches have been in contact with me, and I haven't been in contact with any of their coaches since I don't know when.

I hope he's (Gibson) not an attention whore.

 

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

-1 HS
The Rill Dill's picture

He is.  He has proven it over and over and over......

+1 HS
Golden Buckeye's picture

I really want Waller as well as Joe Burrow.  I fondly remember bringing in 2 good quarterback recruits about a decade ago, one named Justin Zwick, who was supposed to be the next great Buckeye QB, and Troy Smith.

+3 HS
nfischer's picture

Wasn't Troy recruited as an athlete versus a QB though?

+2 HS
Bukirob's picture

Not really true.  Smith was ranked the  #12 QB in the country (rivals) #15 by Scout.  He was electric at the elite 11 camp and the guy running it said that Smith was going to be the better college QB.    Justin wilted under pressure and consistently made bad decisions with the ball when he had people in his face or around him (pressured)

There is a lot of urban legend that Smith wasnt that highly rated that he really wasnt taken as a QB and its all bunk

You WIN with people.

 

 

WW Hayes

+3 HS
Killer nuts's picture

When you put eating your shoe on the line I suppose it's in our interest to believe you. That said, saying you'd put steak sauce on it feels like a hedge 

+14 HS
buckeyeradar's picture

Not so...... Birm just doesn't know where the shoe has been.  Birm would like to eat the shoe if it means Gibson becomes a Buckeye.

Buckeye in Texas

zacisone's picture

Good read Birm! Go Bucks!

Zacisone

bigDbuck's picture

Good for the staff. Been saying for awhile the TG is a total me me guy. And I know that comes with the territory. But he is exactly the make up of a guy who is 5* now and working at Walmart in 5 years. Good riddance.

-11 HS
Nutty's picture

So it is OK to trash teenagers who you don't think will commit to OSU but not the teenagers who choose OSU? Don't be a hypocrite. That is worse than an asshole.

+7 HS
bigDbuck's picture

Hopefully not being a hypocrite nutty, but didn't want this guy as a buckeye for awhile now. And not bashing on him because he's a teenager, bashing on him because typically guys that are as big attention whores don't  have wherewithal to make a "team" better. Especially from QB position. Best of luck to him, I'm personally glad staff moved on from his BS. 

-3 HS
Nutty's picture

And not bashing on him because he's a teenager

Never said anyone bashed on a kid for being a teenager. That was never the point.

-8 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

BigD doesn't have a history of bashing kids heading to Ohio State.

No one has said it's OK to bash kids who choose to head elsewhere.

The votes strongly suggest that the community strongly disagrees with BigD's comment.

So what exactly was the point? Well, other than building a strawman to help you grind your ax.

-3 HS
Nutty's picture

No one has said it's OK to bash kids who choose to head elsewhere.BigD doesn't have a history of bashing kids heading to Ohio State.

What is your definition of a hypocrite? He said Gibson would be working at Walmart within 5 years. When was the last time anyone said that about an OSU commit?

-1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

What is your definition of a hypocrite?

I tend to use the actual definition of the word. Evidently you do not.

Quote BigD has criticizing others for bashing Ohio State commits...show where that the 11W community condoned his bashing of a player not-committed to Ohio State. One or the other would need to be true to show hypocrisy.

So again, provide evidence that either of the above is true.

He said Gibson would be working at Walmart within 5 years.

And his post got down voted into oblivion because of it.

When was the last time anyone said that about an OSU commit?

Which is completely irrelevant. The community expressed clear disagreement with his post. You are trying to create a situation that doesn't exist so that you can continue to beat an unrelated dead horse. BigD made an inappropriate comment & lost helmet stickers because of it. End of story.

-1 HS
Nutty's picture

Not to keep beating a dead horse but a hypocrite is also one who criticizes someone but doesn't do so to others in  a similar situation.

-2 HS
tdible2132's picture

Birm, still think OSU has an edge for Hilliard? I know there are rumblings ND could be in the lead now

+1 HS
305Buck's picture

ND is in no way in the lead for Hilliard. From everything that I have read and heard, Hilliard and mom prefers Ohio State while dad is really pushing for him to go to ND.

+1 HS
flying-banana's picture

Assuming that's true the dad should just let it go in my totally unbiased opinion. Happy wife, happy life.

+9 HS
bergy22's picture

There comes a time in every mans life when you have to decide whether you want to be right or happy. Luckily Hilliard has a chance to have both here in Coulmbus.

+2 HS
The Rill Dill's picture

yeah, whatever you do, don't make yourself happy.  Damn.

-1 HS
bergy22's picture

It's an old saying about arguing with women. You decide to either be right or happy. 

bleedscarlet's picture

Recent visits always seem to start someone talking or changing a crystal ball prediction...

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

+1 HS
otrain2416's picture

Great stuff Birm. Love seeing the pieces slowly come together in this class. 

osubuck57's picture

Roundtree visit will be a big one!! Very excited for that one and hope Bell, Collier, and Kwon will be in his ear.

SCOTTC.

+1 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

I'll go on record right not and say Waller gets his offer. Can't guarantee we land him but I'll eat Birms other shoe with no A-1 if this kid doesn't get his offer.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

+6 HS
Killer nuts's picture

Saving this. Now we're guaranteed to see someone eat a shoe... Maybe a charity event can be made out of it

+12 HS
Crimson's picture

We've gotta get this on video.  It will make a great Vine.

How generous of you to eat Birm's shoe.

+2 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

Hey hopefully he has a girly size 7.5 or something or they make edible flip flops. Waller is too good for me not to at least try to use my power of persuasive confidence on. If the kid says the staff are in touch regularly and a offer is coming soon I have to believe him at face value.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

-1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Will you buy Birm a new shoe to replace the one you've eaten?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I assure you that he's NOT going to get offered.

Killer nuts's picture

I guess we know who is eating a shoe then

SilverBullet-98's picture

I'm really hoping Hilliard doesn't take a trip back to South Bend.

The fact that he didn't commit after Kelly put the full-court press on him this last visit is telling.

I'm sure Hilliard and Hausman(Moeller '16 TE), will have E. Taylor recruiting them very hard until signing day.

Hopefully Raekwon and Hilliard bonded and will enjoy terrorizing offense's QBs together in the years to come.

"The Past Builds the Future"

+4 HS
PoKeY21's picture

I hope he doesn't make the trip either! I think him making 2 trips to ND in 2 weeks would say a lot about the way he is leaning. Need to keep the best athlete in ohio in state! Sucks when they go elsewhere 

When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass - Robert Knight

+1 HS
FitzBuck's picture

This is a needs based class.  They are taking kids that 1. Have the talent 2. Have the drive and right attitude 3. Want to be Buckeyes so bad the are chasing down their offers.  This class probably won't be as highly rated as other classes but we will be very happy with their body of work 3-4 years down the road.  Trust the staff and trust the process.  

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

+9 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Excellent information Birm!  Love getting the latest.

Go Bucks!!

+2 HS
TraSmith4's picture

I love you Birm I really do but here is to hoping we see a pic posted here within the next few weeks of You, a Sperry and some A1 sauce :) but if Haskins commits then I would take it back and eat that hope with some sriracha... just sayin 

weimerad's picture

So Birm what is the current status/situation with the OL position? Are Burrell and Richmond still at the top of OL the staff wants? Richmond has been my #1 OL who I really want to be a part of the class. And a few months ago Richmond seemed to have OSU at or near the top. Now it appears and feels like he's fading. Is that on the staff or him? I'm really hoping they can land Richmond, Burrell and either Allen or Daniels to go along with Schmidt

Ahh Saturday's picture

Birm, it seems to me that three things could account for the staff backing off of taking a 2nd QB.  First, they really like Burrow and see him as a likely starter rather than depth.  Second, Collier's development has been going well.  Finally, the staff thinks they might take two QBs in '16.  Am I on the right track here?  Is it some mix of these factors or is there something else that has caused the staff to stay with a single QB for the '15 class?

+1 HS
bucknasty13's picture

Isn't Bell from Tennessee?

JDunc686's picture

He played two years in Chattanooga, then transferred to Ridgeland in Rossville, GA.  I think Rossville is right on the border of TN and GA.

 

http://www.elevenwarriors.com/2013/07/24147/better-know-a-buckeye-vonn-bell

+1 HS
bergy22's picture

Any EGW news? Haven't heard a whole lot, still on track to be in this class? Doing any recruiting? Kid has a ton of talent just needs to put himself in a better situations.

+1 HS
teddyballgame's picture

No news is good news I think.

+4 HS
BroJim's picture

TG does not know what he is missing. In my opinion it's time to move on, but who knows what will happen. Right now im more excited about about Hilliard and Harris.

I season my simple food with hunger

+4 HS
mobboss1984's picture

Travis Waller has an incredible arm. Tg is definitely a top prospect, but Waller arm is incredible. I hope we land one of them.

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee
 

Findog5's picture

Waller.  Yes.  TG fatigue for me. 

NCFinn

+6 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

Does not getting TG mean anything in terms of Harris or Kirk?

sivaDavis's picture

IMO it seems like Harris is starting to build a better relationship with Hilliard. Kirk I can't speak for but I wouldn't be surprised if the staff tried to get them all on campus for maybe a big night game. Say Virginia Tech. I think it would be awesome to get them on campus for the VTech game along with some other big name prospects from that area. For example, imagine a weekend of Harris, Hilliard, Kirk, Baker and bring up the boys for a visit like Burrell, Settle, DeBerry and Josh Sweat. Show them how special the class could be. And it would be a good game for the Virginia boys to watch seeing how it's VTech. And if we smash them, the tide could possibly turn for Sweat towards the good guys. 

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

+4 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

From what I have read, I would have said the same thing.  I know when Harris first decommited from TSUN, there were some tweets between him and TG about playing together, and Kirk too I think.  

 

IMO, we really need Hilliard to commit soon, so he can be the leader of this class.  Burrow is doing his part, but just doesn't have the name recognition as Hilliard does with a lot of the big names on our board.

Groveport Heisman's picture

Hey man this is a good  topic,I hope Birm is wrong about Waller,but Birm does a hell of a job and I got mucho respect for him. Recruiting is  the hardest area to specialize in because kids lie to your face,fabricate stuff,change their minds daily.and the coaching staff are not permitted to speak out about any of it. A couple bad days and it can make you seem absolutely clueless. Bottom line is we have one of the more solid sources here in the business in Birmingham. He might not be first to the punch but when he does connect it usually is money.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

Crimson's picture

He might not be first to the punch

Good luck defending your opinion.  :-D

http://www.elevenwarriors.com/2013/07/24063/ohio-state-football-recruiti...

jamesrbrown322's picture

IMO, the Bucks are willing to wait it out with Gibson, given his overall abilities as an athlete. However, they feel that Waller is not to that overall talent level, and perhaps is not on the level with where Haskins and Clark will be, who could be their QBs in the 2016 and 2017 classes, respectively. Without Burrow in the fold, they're probably all over Waller. However, I think they are comfortable with Jones, Barrett, and Collier in the fold for at least 3 years, with Burrow coming to Columbus in 2015, and possibly Haskins in 2016, and Clark in 2017. Sounds like they'll be just fine with or without Gibson.

I just hate to see him go to the SEC, especially since he was so high to begin with on OSU and Meyer. But, hey, the same thing happened with Kilby-Lane. The weather, the women, and the media certainly make it difficult to pull prospects out of SEC country, but it's not impossible (See: Bell, Vonn; Johnson, Trey; and McMillan, Raekwon)

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

SilverBullet-98's picture

There is a good possibility that Ohio St. just takes Joey Burrow and thats it. They seem content with him in this class and seem to be working on 2016 now,imo. 

"The Past Builds the Future"

+2 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

I know I may be in the minority on this one, but Waller's arm, along with Burrow, these are the two I would rather have than Gibson.  We don't really need a running QB, with all the speed we have at RB and the hybrid spot.  Yes, it would be nice to have (QB), but really not needed.  I would prefer to have a QB with a great and accurate arm.   A higher completion percentage is world's more important, I feel.

Just saying....

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!