Recruiting Notebook: Ohio State's Camp, Tight Ends & More

By Jordan Wagner on June 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm

After hosting a big recruiting weekend with the Elite 11 camp and Nike Football Training Camp in town, Ohio State will host its own camp this Sunday. Let's not waste any time getting into Wednesday's recruiting notebook. 

Ohio State Camps Begin Sunday

NFTC Columbus took place on Ohio State's campus, but NCAA rules prohibited the coaching staff from watching it. Starting this Sunday, the Buckeyes coaching staff will host prospects for their own camp. 

There are a few intriguing names on the tentative visitor list. A trio of offered 2015 prospects – A.J. Alexander, Josh Moore and Grant Schmidt – headline the list, although Eleven Warriors is working to confirm their intention to attend.

Sunday's camp will give the staff the opportunity to further evaluate these prospects to see if they deserve committable offers. The camp also serves to attract prospects to Columbus for a de facto recruiting visit. 

One prospect that will visit the day before camp is four-star safety Tyler Green. In a recent interview, Green said Ohio State would be the favorite for his commitment if he earned an offer at camp. 

Toledo Central Catholic three-star linebacker Chris Green and Olentangy Liberty three-star offensive lineman Hunter Littlejohn are two Ohio prospects that hope for more Ohio State interest after Sunday's camp. Neither prospect has heard much from OSU lately. 

Recently offered sophomore running back Demario McCall is expected to camp, and  I'm excited to get a chance to watch him. Another sophomore, four-star defensive end Jonathon Cooper, could earn an offer at camp on Sunday. It's a matter of when, not if, Cooper lands an offer from the Buckeyes; he's already a priority recruit.

Eleven Warriors will be at Ohio State's prospect camp on Sunday, so be sure to stay tuned for updates and interviews. 

Tight End Recruiting Update

There has been plenty of talk about the Buckeyes taking two tight ends in this recruiting class, since Ohio State will be down to Nick Vannett and Marcus Baugh as their only scholarship tight ends in 2015. 

After Hale Hentges committed to Alabama, the focus has shifted to four-star tight end Chris Clark. The Connecticut prospect will visit Ohio State on June 17, Michigan State on June 18 and Michigan on June 19. The Buckeyes and Wolverines appear to be his top two, although Clark hasn't made a public announcement. A decision from Clark is expected at "The Opening," which runs from July 5-10. 

The coaching staff has kept a close eye on a few other prospects with the potential to be the second tight end in the class, or the first if the Buckeyes miss out on Clark. Three-stars Kyle Oliver and Jake Pickard along with junior college prospect Julian Allen are a few tight end prospects to keep an eye on over the next few months. 

Oliver visited Ohio State before participating in the NFTC event in Columbus this weekend. In a message to Eleven Warriors, he described his visit as "great" and noted he "loved every part of it."

The three-star prospect from Tennessee holds offers from Bowling Green, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi State, Purdue, Ole Miss and a few others. Florida State and Tennessee are showing strong interest. 

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end stood out at NFTC Columbus this weekend. The Buckeyes could soon become more involved in his recruitment. 

"I talked with coach Hinton and coach Meyer," Oliver said. "[Hinton] said he's evaluating my film now."

As of now, the Tennessee native claims no favorites or top schools. However, he did mention if Ohio State offers, they would be "up there" with his perceived favorite, Florida State. 

New Jersey tight end prospect Jake Pickard plans to camp at Ohio State on June 21. The Buckeyes coaching staff will have the opportunity to see the 6-foot-6, 231-pound Pickard in person. 

While Ohio State hasn't offered, Pickard's offer sheet includes Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisville, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple and Virginia. 

Ohio State offensive line coach Ed Warinner has made multiple trips to New Jersey to visit Pickard, who is more of a blocking tight end than a pass catching threat. 

The Buckeyes might find a junior college tight end more appealing. Julian Allen, who we featured in May, says he speaks with Ed Warinner every other day. 

"[Warinner] said I have a offer waiting for me in the fall," Allen told 11W

Currently, the JUCO prospect does not have a visit to Columbus planned, but he hopes to make a visit later this summer or in the fall. 

Junior College Lineman Draws Ohio State Interest

Martinas Rankin, a three-star lineman from Mississippi Gulf Coast, could be a name to watch if the Buckeyes miss out on any of their top targets on the offensive line. 

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound junior college prospect has offers from Florida Atlantic, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Florida, Southern Miss and UAB. Auburn and Ohio State have also been showing interest in the three-star. 

Rankin and the coaching staff have discussed a visit, but nothing is set in stone. He would like to receive an offer from the Buckeyes before making a trip on his own dime to Columbus.

While Ed Warinner hasn't discussed or promised an offer for Rankin, the lineman thinks he could eventually land one: "the way [Warinner] talked made me confident in maybe getting [an offer] eventually."

If an offer is made, Rankin says Ohio State would definitely be in the mix.

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