Football Recruiting Notebook: April 4th, 2014

By John Brandon on April 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm
Sterling Jenkins to decide between Ohio State and Penn State

Happy Friday everyone! It's been a typical busy week on the recruiting front for Ohio State. Many prospects visited Columbus this week, including top tight end target Hale Hentges. Meanwhile, a couple of Ohio kids picked up Buckeye offers this week: Tommy Kraemer and Elijah Taylor.

Today, we'll be looking at some of the latest news on the Buckeye recruiting landscape, as well as looking ahead to another important weekend full of visiting recruits.

Sterling Jenkins cuts list to two

The nation's No. 5 offensive tackle, Sterling Jenkins, announced a final two of Ohio State and Penn State today. Jenkins will visit both schools this weekend, then make a final decision at some point this summer.


Jenkins is one of several elite offensive linemen the Buckeyes are chasing, but with Steven Gonzalez committing to Penn State last week it would sure be nice for the Buckeyes to cherry pick the top player in Pennsylvania. Right now he's looking like a Penn State lean, but Ohio State has at least one more chance to impress him this Friday before he heads to State College for the Nittany Lions' spring game on Saturday.

Despite visiting both of his top schools this weekend, Jenkins isn't in a rush to make the final decision. The longer he waits to decide, the more Ohio State's chances would seem to increase. Penn State's the favorite now, but if he delays his decision it could give Ohio State an opportunity to gain some ground. This weekend's visits will be huge, so stay tuned for more as this develops.

Buckeyes offer 2015 WR Auden Tate

Ohio State continued their recruiting effort in Florida today by offering 4-star receiver Auden Tate from Tampa. Tate is already 6-foot-4 as a junior in high school, and may not be done growing. His offer list currently includes the likes of South Carolina, Clemson, Michigan State, Penn State, Nebraska and others.

South Carolina and Clemson could be tough to beat for Tate, who is originally from South Carolina and has family there. He actually also grew up a Michigan fan, so the Wolverines would be one of his top schools if they were to offer as well.

The Ohio State offer excited Tate, though it remains to be seen if he will make a trip up to Columbus. He's got all of the tools to be a big time receiver, and the Buckeyes would love to have him.


Torrance Gibson latest

Earlier this week Torrance Gibson announced that he would be committing after his football season and after taking his five official visits. This was different to his original plan of committing relatively early, at some point this summer.

On Wednesday, Gibson announced that one of his official visits would be to Ohio State and last night he announced that one of his other visits would be made to Tennessee. With the recent news that Ohio State was slipping in his recruitment due to him not having visited Columbus yet, this is very telling for the Buckeyes. Ohio State remains very much in the front of his mind, while it looks like Tennessee could be the biggest competition.

Auburn, LSU and Miami seem to be the most likely other destinations for his remaining three official visits, and it will be a tight race to the finish line. I continue to believe that Ohio State will be the ultimate landing spot for Gibson, and the recent turns in his recruitment suggests that the Buckeyes at least have a very good shot. Ohio State remains the only one of Gibson's top schools that he hasn't visited, so a good visit to Columbus this summer or fall could put the Buckeyes in the driver's seat.

Buckeyes set to host slew of Michigan Prospects

It's another important recruiting weekend for Ohio State, especially because the Buckeyes will be looking to impress some top prospects from Michigan. Dame Webb will be visiting Ohio State, coming with teammates and current Buckeye recruits Mike Weber, Joshua Alabi and Donovon Peoples-Jones. Weber and Alabi have visited Ohio State multiple times, along with having Damon in their ears for over a year now. Still, Michigan State is the pretty clear favorite to land them both. Peoples-Jones does not have a Buckeye offer, but has drawn interest from Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Tennessee already. He's only a high school freshman and figures to be a top prospect, so it's been good for Ohio State to work on him early.

Also visiting from Michigan is another freshman - Emani Mason of East English Village Prep (Detroit, MI). Mason is already huge at 6-foot-4 and 270 lbs, it's no surprise he's gotten the attention of Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State already, though he currently holds no offers.

Joey Burrow and Austin Clark are also scheduled to visit Ohio State this weekend. Clark was recently offered by Ohio State, you can read more about him here.

Burrow does not hold an Ohio State offer, but the Buckeyes are becoming increasingly interested in him. He is the top ranked quarterback in Ohio for 2015 and was just offered by Virginia Tech. If the Buckeyes take two quarterbacks like they want to, Burrow could be offered at some point, especially because he is a much different style of quarterback than most Ohio State is recruiting.

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