Recruiting Notebook: Herman Visits Kirk, Buckeyes Offer Middle School DB

By John Brandon on May 18, 2014 at 9:00 am
Ohio State offered Tyreke Johnson, an 8th-grader.
Tyreke Johnson, middle school phenom (Student Sports photo)

It's May and it's a weekend, so Ohio State coaches were busy on the recruiting trail. Tom Herman stopped in on one of the country's top wide receivers, Urban Meyer welcomed a pair of prospects – including one of Ohio's best – to Columbus and, oh yeah, Ohio State offered a safety, which is no big deal, but this safety is in middle school.

herman checks in on kirk

Herman stopped in Arizona on Friday to visit elite wide receiver Christian Kirk, who the Buckeyes continue to make a priority for the class. Kirk visited Ohio State at the beginning of March and was very impressed with what Ohio State had to offer.

While Texas A&M remains the favorite in the eyes of most, but Kirk's recruitment may be a bit more open than most think. Kirk has four more visits planned for this month, stopping at Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn at the end of May. He has also stated that he plans to make a return trip to Columbus for an official visit in the fall.

Ohio State continues to have a good shot with Christian, but securing an elite signal caller would go a long way in his recruitment as well as the recruitment of many others. Facility upgrades probably won't hurt either.

Buckeyes offer middle-schooler

Jacksonville's Trinity Christian is quite the loaded football program. With several elite 2015 kids including Jeff Holland, Kevin Tolliver and Ben Edwards and even an incoming freshman with 11 college offers already, they're obviously doing something right.

The Buckeyes offered a member of that program Friday – 2018 safety Tyreke Johnson, joining LSU, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and others. While he's currently listed as a safety, potential for quite a bit more growth has to be taken into consideration - he's already 6-foot-1 and 175 lbs.

I'm personally not a huge fan of recruitment starting this early, but it's the way things are trending. The biggest aspect of recruiting kids this early that is interesting to me will be how firm the offers are. Will schools start re-evaluating prospects like Johnson from time to time and deem whether or not they are still deserving of the scholarship? Interesting to say the least, but it should be a nice heavyweight fight for Johnson's services over the next four years.

couple of big time visitors on campus

Top Ohio linebacker Justin Hilliard made another trip to Ohio State on Friday, accompanied by his parents. Pennsylvania defensive back Jordan Whitehead also made the journey to Columbus this weekend.

Hilliard's visit went very well and he headed back Friday evening, but plans to make a return trip in a couple of weeks. Hilliard spent some time bonding with freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who he will be staying with when he comes back. Hilliard will be releasing a top five in the near future, and Ohio State is expected to make the list. Notre Dame, Michigan, Iowa and Alabama are probably safe bets to be on the list as well. Hilliard has visited Ohio State several times and seems quite comfortable in Columbus, I continue to believe he winds up a Buckeye.

For Whitehead, the visit is his second to Ohio State since the start of the year in addition to a couple of visits last year. His recruitment is seemingly an Ohio State-Penn State battle, in which the Buckeyes will hope to bounce back against Franklin and Co. in a big way. More to come on these visits later.

The Buckeyes seem to be picking up a little bit of momentum as they continue to impress top prospects. Ohio State is right in the mix for a bunch of really elite talents, they're just waiting for that stubborn first domino to fall.

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