Saturday, September 6th Looms as Recruiting Weekend of the Year for Ohio State

By Jeremy Birmingham on August 10, 2014 at 11:15a
Some of the top talent in the class of 2015 will be in Columbus for the Ohio State–Virginia Tech game.

Last week, we broke down a number of the remaining targets for the "Elite '15," both offensively and defensively, found out that the Buckeyes are still in the top group for Arizona's Christian Kirk and back in the game for Jacksonville, Florida's Ben Edwards, who decommitted from Auburn months after decommitting from Ohio State.

We also welcomed Mike Rockstedt as a new staff writer. Mike has spent the last few months cutting his teeth at and has quickly become a go-to-guy for recruits, parents and coaches because of his straight-to-the-point approach and personal touch. We're happy to have Mike on board and are confident he'll bring his tireless work-ethic to 11W and that you'll be glad he did.

It's not often that one weekend can be viewed as a "game-changer" in recruiting. The process is one that develops over the course of a year or two in most cases, so it's hardly defined by one two-day stretch, but it may be applicable for September 6th at Ohio State. That night, when the Buckeyes take on Virginia Tech under-the-newly-installed permanent lights at Ohio Stadium, a who's who of top 2015 prospects should be in attendance taking their official visits to Columbus.

Who should you expect to be there? Here's a few players who've said they'll be there.

  • Torrance Gibson, a five-star athlete from Florida who has the Buckeyes as his current leader.
  • Josh Sweat, the country's top overall recruit from Chesapeake, Virginia.
  • Lawrence Cager, a four-star wide receiver with offers from Alabama, Florida State and more.

You may also see several other top prospects from the 2015 class that weekend, if the Buckeyes have their way:

  • Christian Kirk, the country's best (in my opinion) wide receiver from Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Tarvarus McFadden, a five-star cornerback and teammate of Gibson.
  • Matt Burrell, a lynchpin piece of Ohio State's class who they view as a potential "pied piper" and leader.

While Kirk, McFadden and Burrell haven't confirmed, sources close to the Buckeyes have made it clear they're hoping to have them together that weekend. With only a handful of spots remaining for 2015, those are six players that are all in the "take" category; you know, if there was an actual board of "takes" or "can't take yet."

From that group, Gibson and Cager have each identified publicly Ohio State as their leader, Burrell and Kirk have been closely linked to the Buckeyes for months and Sweat and McFadden are guys too talented to ever give up on. Urban Meyer, Zach Smith, Larry Johnson and all involved parties will make that weekend a priority from a team standpoint but also from a recruiting angle. 

Cager, a 6-foot-5, 200-pounder from Towson, Maryland, narrowed his list to an official "final group" last night on Twitter. The Buckeyes made the cut as expected and continue to be a major player for his commitment. 

"I've heard Ohio State is crazy for night games," Cager told 11W of his official visit. "I'm looking forward to being around a great group of recruits."

One interesting recruiting story in this cycle, is the saga of Hjalte Froholdt. A Denmark native who spent his "sophomore" year in Ohio at Warren Harding High School, Froholdt went back to his homeland for his junior season and has returned to the US for a senior year at the IMG Academy in Florida. 

An Arkansas commitment, Froholdt holds offers from a number of major programs including Ohio State but insists that as of now he's sticking with the Razorbacks. In fact, schools haven't even really attempted to recruit him since his return to the United States.

"Not really," Froholdt told 11W when asked if his recruiting has picked up since July, or if he wanted it to. "I'm still 100-percent committed to Arkansas."

Is the story over for the 6-foot-4, 282-pounder? Check back in a few months. 

On Friday, Ahmir Mitchell, a four-star athlete from Egg City, New Jersey, visited his homestate Rutgers, one of eight schools that have offered him a scholarship. A 6-foot-2, 190-pounder in the class of 2016, Mitchell had hoped to visit Ohio State this summer but the trip never materialized. He says the Buckeyes are still a school he hopes to visit and earn an offer from.

"Everyone knows about the Buckeyes," Mitchell told Eleven Warriors. "They're a great program, have had undefeated seasons, always have a great quarterback and it's just a great tradition. This year, I'll be making a lot of visits because the junior year is the most important (when it comes to recruiting)."

Michigan and Florida State have each offered the standout athlete, and he's visited neither school, but plans to. 

"Michigan and Florida State had each seen my tape and then came to visit my school," he said of his two biggest offers to date. "South Carolina, Miami, North Carolina are all schools that want me to come make visits and they say they'll offer then. I want to visit Ohio State, it's a great place and a great city and their fans seem to be crazy. They've got a great coaching staff and I really hope I can get there soon."

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