Football Recruiting: The Big Weekend Takes a Hit

By Jeremy Birmingham on September 2, 2014 at 2:15p

It's a dreary near-fall day in Ohio and it just feels like football outside, doesn't it? It's September 2nd and with that, we're one day into the allowable contact period for juniors and the Buckeyes have been very active on that front, reaching out to a number of their top prospects just minutes after midnight on September the 1st.

"I think it was 12:02," Cincinnati Elder 2016 offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer told Eleven Warriors of when Ohio State contacted him.

"I talked to six different Ohio State coaches yesterday," Dwayne Haskins, Jr. shared. "I talked to the entire offensive staff. I think in all I had 17 schools contact me."

Yes, welcome to the next year and a half of your life, boys. Here's some good advice to follow.


There was some hullaballoo in our forums yesterday about a quote from 2016 Cleveland St. Ignatius lineman Liam Eichenberg. Essentially, Eichenberg stated that he's not developed — as of yet — as strong of a relationship with Ohio State's Ed Warinner as he has with coaches at other schools, namely Notre Dame and Michigan, who are each currently "ahead" of the Buckeyes on the four-stars list. This echoes what I mentioned a couple of months ago, as I said the Buckeyes had work to do with both Eichenberg and Kraemer, citing the relationship with Warinner as something that needed developing.

Now that contact is permitted on a more regular basis, expect Warinner — and Urban Meyer, and Mark Pantoni, and everyone wearing a whistle at Ohio State — to become much more involved with the bookend tackles from the Great State of. The fact that Kraemer was contacted so quickly after midnight shows the Buckeyes aren't messing around here and Kraemer gave a bit of good news for Buckeye fans yesterday.

"I'm supposed to talk to Ohio State tonight," Kraemer said. "I'm not committing anywhere until the spring or next summer. I want them to make sure they know I'm not making a decision anytime soon."

Kraemer and Eichenberg are both planning on being in attendance for Ohio State's rivalry game against Michigan. Kraemer will be at Notre Dame this weekend as they host the Wolverines.


Early this morning the news that Torrance Gibson would reschedule his Ohio State visit broke. Last week I hinted that Lawrence Cager, one of the Buckeyes top remaining 2015 wide receiver targets, could be in the process of rescheduling his visit to Ohio State, originally scheduled for this weekend's game against Virginia Tech. Unfortunately for Cager, that worry has become a reality.

"Sadly no, I won't be at the game this weekend," Cager told 11W. "The travel wasn't able to be worked out for me and my dad. I'm extremely disappointed."

Cager is one prospect that's been high on the Buckeyes for quite some time, and he's got a plan in place for a return.

"I'll probably go to the Michigan game instead," he added. "I hope there's a lot of big-time recruits there that game."

I still think, whenever he visits, Cager will join the "Elite '15."

As for Gibson, I don't think there's much to be gleaned from his scheduling snafu. He wanted to be at the game this weekend, so that's when he planned on being there, and whether or not he forgot he had a game against Miramar on the schedule, or it got moved or whatever – it means little. There's five months left in the recruitment of Torrance Gibson and if he visited Ohio State this weekend or at the end of November, the race is on until February.

That said, the one drawback of the visit being rescheduled is that Gibson misses an opportunity to get to know some potential future teammates, including Damien Harris, Josh Sweat and Matthew Burrell, that much better.


With a bevy of top linebacker talents in the 2016 class residing inside of Ohio's borders all looking hard at Ohio State, the Buckeyes don't need to look real far or real wide for players at that spot. That said, if they offer anyone at the position from out of state, it's because they're very impressed, and that's the case with Minnesota standout Carter Coughlin.

A 6-foot-3, 200 pound linebacker from Eden Prairie, Coughlin was offered by the Buckeyes on Monday. Ohio State joins Pittsburgh and Minnesota on his offer sheet. The nation's 27th-ranked outside linebacker, Coughlin camped at Ohio State on June 21st and has been in regular contact with the Buckeyes' Luke Fickell since then.

"Coach (Luke) Fickell offered me," Coughlin told 11W. "I've called and talked to him four or five times this summer. I knew they were very interested after I camped there."

What Coughlin doesn't know is much about Ohio State, despite growing up in Big Ten country. He'll get his first taste of Buckeye football this Saturday when he visits the campus for the Virginia Tech game.

"Honestly, I don't know much about Ohio State," he added. "I grew up Gopher-bred, so I'm really excited to see a gameday there."

If Eden Prairie rings a bell, it's because the Buckeyes have had success recruiting there before. It's the home of former Ohio State signee Willie Mobley.

Speaking of linebackers...

Buckeyes 2016 linebacker target Brendan Ferns had a big game in his season-opener against Claymont. He lined up at tight end, running back and linebacker and finished with near 150 total yards on offense and 8 solo tackles from the middle linebacker spot for St. Clairsville. Ferns, who will be visiting Ohio State this weekend, added three touchdowns on the ground.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Ferns showcased his athleticism and football instincts and proved why he's one of the country's most sought-after linebackers for 2016. Ohio State, led by the recruiting efforts of Chris Ash, are in a great position to land the state's sixth-ranked player.

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