Football Recruiting: This Season's Biggest Weekends

By Mike Rockstedt on August 25, 2014 at 3:20p
Big recruiting weekends? Better call in LeBron James.

With the dog days of summer on the way out, football recruiting is shifting to a busier time of the year: the regular season.

During the football season, schools can accommodate official and unofficial visits to campus. Recruits can visit campus when the football team is travelling or on a bye week, but home games give the coaches a chance to wow recruits with a game experience.

Ohio State has seven home games this fall, and several are shaping up to be major recruiting events. You can expect the best of the best to show up to Ohio State on three weekends in particular.

Sept. 6-7: vs. Virginia Tech

The question for this game isn't who's coming to Columbus, it's "who isn't?" Urban Meyer is going to be hosting two of the best players in the nation in Torrance Gibson and Josh Sweat. Gibson has the Buckeyes as his favorite, while Sweat has OSU in his top five. This could be a good chance for the coaching staff to seal the deal with Gibson and impress Sweat even more.

Lawrence Cager, Jacques Patrick, and Branden Bowen are the other major 2015 prospects coming to the Virginia Tech game. Cager has us as his favorite and it wouldn't surprise me if he committed that weekend, although he plans on committing at the All-American game.

The 2016 and 2017 classes will be also be represented in Week 2. St. Thomas Aquinas HS in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. is sending 2016 DE Nick Bosa and 2017 WR Trevon Grimes to the game, and North Ridgeville running back Demario McCall is scheduled to come as well. 2016 LB Brendan Ferns ought to show up; Ferns' father he told me they are "almost certain" to come to the Virginia Tech game. Given the quality of the opponent and the talent Ohio State is bringing in, I like OSU's chances of landing a commitment on this weekend.

Sept. 27-28: vs. Cincinnati

Cincinnati is one of two Ohio schools on the regular season schedule, and it's the closest thing Ohio State has to an intrastate rivalry game. Not many 2015 prospects that have scheduled an official visit for this game so far, but it's a night game at Ohio Stadium. As schedules become clearer, look for more prospects to schedule their official visit for this game.

The biggest announced name for the weekend of the Cincinnati game is 2016 TE Jake Hausmann. Given their concerning lack of depth at the position, the Buckeyes need to show Hausmann how they will use their tight ends in the future. The Buckeyes have a decent chance with Hausmann as is, but they need to impress.

Another major prospect scheduled for Cincinnati is coming again is 2016 WR Austin Mack. A top-100 player in his class according to 247Sports' composite rankings, Mack impressed the coaches at Friday Night Lights with a strong performance against Eric Glover-Williams; he may attend several games this year. 2016 offensive tackle Michal Menet, from Reading, Pa., is also scheduled to take a visit that day.

Nov. 29-30: vs. Michigan

The Game always brings out the best prospects for both schools, as prospects want to get a chance to experience this rivalry. Without question, the top prospect coming to this game is running back Damien Harris. The one-time Michigan commit hopes to decide on a school after this game, which would essentially give Ohio State the last official visit. The red carpet will not be rolled out for Harris alone; joining him is Will Sunderland, a safety from Oklahoma City. I do not like the Buckeyes' chances with Sunderland, as the Sooners seem to be his heavy favorite.

For the 2016 class, Tommy Kraemer and Liam Eichenberg will be the headliners. Kraemer, a five-star offensive tackle from Elder High School in Cincinnati, is believed to favor either Ohio State or Notre Dame. Eichenberg, a fellow offensive tackle from St. Ignatius in Cleveland, is another player the Buckeyes want to impress. Eichenberg has said that he and Kraemer have talked about playing together, meaning that if they do not end up in South Bend, Ohio State could be in the mix.

Delaware, Ohio's Ethan Tucky, one of the fastest linebackers in the nation, is visiting. He could have an offer by the time of the Michigan game, and if he already has an offer he could commit. Austin Mack is supposed to make another appearance at the Michigan game, and Bruce Judson, the 2017 star athlete, could be a future commit attending this game. Judson wants to decide on a school soon and the Buckeyes are his leader.


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apack614's picture

A lot of quality recruits at some quality games. Should be a great advantage for the good guys

I can't wait to poop in the PL bathroom.

+1 HS
CC's picture

I may be alone here but I've been to The Game 4 or 5 times over the years and I've also been to most of the big night games and from my perspective the atmosphere at USC, Texas, UCLA were better than that vs. Michigan.  Feel free to shoot me down here but I think it's smart to have the big guys in for VT (not that VT is #2 Texas) because it's a better atmosphere.  Admittedly I was not at the 2006 game, but the best UM atmosphere that I remember was 2004 when we weren't ranked, they were and it was about 65 degrees out.

+6 HS
nikolajz1's picture

Night games bring out louder student sections. Noon Michigan games and the kids are still sleeping practically. 

+3 HS
mphillips87's picture

Seeing as the picture accompanying this article is of Lebron James, I'd have to believe Urban will try and get him on the sidelines for one of these 3 games. My hope is the VT game for obvious reasons.

+4 HS
Buck Commander's picture

Torrance Gibson an Ohio State silent verbal?     
posted by Luke Zimmermann on Aug 25, 2014

Additional intel I've picked up has also indicated that Gibson has already informed Ohio State of his intentions. Gibson's lone official visit will be to Ohio State on September 6. He plans to publicly announce for the Buckeyes on October 20.

247Sports' Ryan Bartow on Torrance Gibson

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

+12 HS
KBonay's picture

Sharks have a week dedicated to Nick Bosa. 

+9 HS
jedkat's picture

When is/was Kirk tentatively scheduled to visit? Did I just miss it in the article?

"Can we please stop the message board fighting? I really can't stand the message board fighting..."

"No. You're an idiot, and your posts are terrible."

0therion0's picture

247sports does not show that he has scheduled his official visit yet. They only show TAMU as scheduled. They are 9/12. Even though the crystal ball doesn't look too positive for the good guys, I am holding onto some hope there. Especially if Barrett balls out and Kirk gets to see that he'd have a year of Miller, then Barrett as a worst case scenario, if no one supplants him.

I stopped being cool before it was cool to not be cool. #TrendSetter

Mike Rockstedt's picture

He has not scheduled a visit, but most seem to think IF he visits, it'll be for the VTech game.

0therion0's picture

Gibson, Sweat, AND Kirk visiting the same night game? Be ready for system overload, 11W. It would be nice to get Kirk in before the TAMU visit that could seal it for him and it sure would be a sweet deal to have all three of them hang out together and watch UFM throw down under the lights.

I stopped being cool before it was cool to not be cool. #TrendSetter

+4 HS
Montana silver bullet's picture

Nick Bosa is swimming up the Mississipi, Ohio and Scioto Rivers to watch the VT game-

Montana Silver Bullet

+6 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

They aren't allowing this, as they fear he would permanently change the direction of these rivers, which would lead to the flooding of the Great Lakes, and the draining of the Gulf of Mexico.

Pain don't hurt-Dalton

+3 HS
PortlandBuckeye45's picture

I know im alittle out of the loop on this one, but is Nick Bosa a clone of his brother? Or has other athletic abilities,Joey dosen't have? Or, are they just freaks of natures in their own right?

KBonay's picture

Joey has a 'Nick' tattoo

+5 HS
whiskeyjuice's picture

Nick's highlights are freaking amazing!! Nick is doing things that Joey was doing but at earlier stages of his high school career. It probably helps Nick more to have an older brother in the same position. Nick can learn the positives and negatives from his brother.

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+3 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

You also have to think that Big Bro is filling little bro's ears with great things about OSU.

NICE!!  Talk about a great recruiting tool!!  One would have to think OSU is a near lock with Nick.

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

BayArea_Buckeye's picture

My question is, if Gibson is a silent verbal to OSU, and his OV to OSU is his only one, why wait a month and a half after the visit to commit? If he's already made up his mind that is....

Why not commit at the VTech game and help Hilliard and Cornell recruit?

+6 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I agree 100%.  These young QBs have to realize they're the centerpiece to a recruiting class.  I'm not saying commit 2-3 years in advance, but at least commit the summer before your senior year and help recruit for your program.  Dwayne Haskins needs to come on down too.  I'd like to see him commit by the end of his junior year.  

+1 HS
Buck Commander's picture

Maybe with about all of the top recruits there some talking ,persuading and mind changing for the good guys will be going on.

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

dubjayfootball90's picture

Very pumped for that VT game. The atmosphere is going to be electric and a who's who of talent will be roaming the sidelines. Pressure mounts man, but everything should be working at a pretty good pace by the time that game rolls around. Going to be a good one, for sure!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+2 HS
JakeStevensIsSwag's picture

I am attending the VT game and i am 17. Not a recruit though, can i still get a tour? :)

Buckeye fan from PA

+2 HS
johnblairgobucks's picture

You will see awesomeness everywhere you look.  Just don't pay any attention to the over-served individuals taking a nap in random places, after the game, as you go back to your vehicle, and also don't open any abandoned coolers after midnight hoping to find free beers.....

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

Very, very excited that these are the three games I am attending this year :)

Nutty's picture

 In regard to the LeBron pic. I read through the thread but never saw any indication LaBron would be attending any game. I also have never seen, heard or read any proof (or anything close to proof) that Labron ever landed OSU a recruit in football or hoops. Not to be a dick but why does he keep getting mentioned as a recruiting tool? I'd love to meet Lebron as well but he hasn't swayed any recruit, in any sport to attend OSU.

-8 HS
redcans's picture

Well, his presence certainly does not hurt. And in fact, I recall multiple recruits commenting on how cool it was that he was on the sidelines during their visits.

While he alone might not be the reason that a recruit chooses OSU (and if he was, that's a really dumb reason) his presence on the sidelines adds to the overall experience. I would presume that is why UFM himself has publicly expressed a desire to see LeBron at as many games as possible.

+1 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

I don't understand you here.... LeBron is a great recruiting tool, even though he never played here.  Name any other world-class athletes that hang out at a college football game, then, try to name one with as large a star-power as The King...  These young guys eat this up.  A chance to meet LeBron, and maybe even exchange numbers with him?  Wow... how cool!

LeBron did not attend college but I have heard it said many times that if he did go to college, he would have chose Ohio State.

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

buckeyephaninphilly's picture

hey rock buddy this is a great article as always my man!


Philly_Buckeye's picture

Can't wait for this season to start. First year I get to cheer for my Bucks as a student. Block O South represent!

Ohio State class of 2018

buckeye phi's picture

Class of 2015 recruits in attendance at the Virginia Tech game:  The #1 defensive end (and overall) - #1 dual threat quarterback  - #1 running back - #2 cornerback - just to name a few.  Wow!

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers