11W Recruiting Mailbag: Harbaugh, Ohio State's Coaching Vacancy and the Odds on Flips

By Jeremy Birmingham on December 30, 2014 at 4:05 pm
Let's get mail-y.

The 11W Recruiting Mailbag is your one-stop-shop for all things Ohio State recruiting. Got a question? Ask it, and if we can answer it, we will.

Trying to get an idea of the positives of Michigan getting Harbaugh: Did any recruits ever mention to you that The Game is a great rivalry, but not what it used to be? Do you think Michigan's past 8 years pushed some potential Ohio State commits to the SEC?BrooklynBuckeye

There's little doubt that The Game has been tarnished a bit in the last decade. The Buckeyes and Wolverines have had one-sided decades before, but in those eras (read: the 1990s) things were different because while the Buckeyes were generally the better team, Michigan's tendency to break Buckeye hearts made for compelling television. Since the 2004 season specifically, the rivalry has been basically dead because Jim Tressel killed the Big Ten. The rise of the SEC, which happened almost simultaneously, certainly didn't help. As Ohio State was dominating — actually suffocating — the B1G the rest of the country, including recruits, found intrigue elsewhere. 

The intrigue is back.

1.  Who are some other players currently flying under the radar that we might pickup if we don't land Briscoe or Gallimore? 2.  Any idea on the backup plan for RB if Mr. Weber would flip? - TeddyBallGame

There are not many players left out there, but one name to keep an eye on is South Carolina cornerback commitment Damon Arnette. Arnette has been back-and-forth with the Buckeyes for months and if Juwuan Briscoe selects Georgia on Thursday (which is pretty likely, I think) expect Arnette to get an official visit to Columbus scheduled. 

If by some chance Weber flips back to Michigan, I'm sure the Buckeyes have a plan. That plan could be to make one last concerted effort at Hubbard's LJ Scott, who is rumored to be still be willing to listen to other opportunities. Damien Harris will select Kentucky or Alabama on January 9th, and I don't expect the Buckeyes to get back into that one.

It's not too surprising to hear that Michigan State is trying to flip Eric Glover-Williams, but do you think they stand any chance? - BGSUBucksFan

Eric Glover-Williams is, first of all, a heck of a football player. His talent has never been in question and much like Torrance Gibson, as he showed a personal development it became expected that other schools would try and make in-roads into his recruitment. Like Auburn, Central Florida and others are chasing Gibson, expect a number of other schools to try and convince EGW that they offer him a better opportunity to get on the field right away, play offense, etc. 

Do I think it will work? No. Glover-Williams was the first commit in the 2015 class and a lifelong Buckeye fan who saw Ohio State's coaching staff stick by him through some very difficult times. They challenged him, he succeeded. Let's hope that we've seen the last of his issues because his talent is on a different level.

Any surprise commitments at the All America Games or we have to live with guys choosing LSU, Bama, and such again this year??? - Buckeye4Life050233

There's not really any chance for the Buckeyes to land a commitment this weekend during one of the All-Star games besides Neville Gallimore. Even with Gallimore, who will decide at the Army All-American game on Saturday, the odds are not in the Buckeyes' favor right now. Lawrence Cager will make his decision on Saturday as well, but it will not be the Buckeyes.

1. With Herman leaving, will this have any impact on current verbals and/or any guys out there that we were chasing heavily? 2. I am assuming Urban will move quickly after the season to secure whatever capacity coach he's going to add on the offense.  Assuming he adds a new OC and not a promotion from within, are there any "flex" type spots for that coach to possibly pull in a stud or two of their own liking. - The 

Ultimately, Tom Herman's departure may have more of an impact on 2016 than 2015, specifically with New Jersey's Jarrett Guarantano. I think the Buckeyes were in a great position to land Guarantano but he'll now slow down his decision in order to see which coach Urban Meyer selects to replace Herman as quarterback coach. I fully expect that Ed Warinner will become Ohio State's next offensive coordinator, which makes sense from a continuity standpoint and because Warinner has earned it.

The question is who becomes the quarterback coach?

What is your gut feeling on Neville Gallimore? - Unlease_The_Dave

Gun to my head (which isn't necessary, so don't threaten) I think Gallimore is going to end up at Oklahoma. The Sooners have been there since the start and although it's a bit further from home than Columbus, the atmosphere and "feel" of Norman is something that appeals to Gallimore. He's developed great relationships with their staff and I think that's his likely destination.

I'm a little surprised that Demario McCall, Nick Bosa, Michael Ferns haven't committed yet. I know that they are in the midst of their junior years, and there is plenty of time to decide. Is it essentially just a matter of when, not if, with them, or is there a very legitimate threat to the Buckeyes in securing their commitments? - JamesRBrown322

Those are three of the bigger pieces on the table for 2016, and each of them will be recruited heavily by Ohio State and everyone else until they're officially signed, sealed and delivered. While I do believe each of those three end up in Columbus, there's going to be challengers that arise that Urban Meyer and his staff will have to fend off. With McCall, the North Ridgeville star, expect Oregon, Alabama and Florida State to express interest soon and each of them would interest him. 

Ferns is probably the one member of that trio to commit "soon" and I think the biggest challenger now is West Virginia, where his brother Michael just transferred to from Michigan. Family is very important to Brendan and his entire family is very close. One other key element here is how coaching changes affect his recruitment. It's likely that Chris Ash, who's handling much of Brendan's recruiting for the Buckeyes along with Luke Fickell, will not be at Ohio State beyond next year so that's something they'll have to consider.

Bosa will make his college choice towards the end of next summer, reportedly, and the Buckeyes are going to keep fighting off Florida State, Alabama, and a few others — USC is one name I've consistently heard — but it'd be a major upset if he ended up anywhere other than Columbus.

Birm, are you a jam or a jelly guy? - YTownBuckI

I consider myself a simple man, one that appreciates the simpler things in life. Therefore, I believe a nice grape jelly is the way to go. Now, occasionally I'm comfortable exploring a strawberry jam, but there's no reason to go crazy all the time.

If UM also gets Durkin as defensive coordinator, does Baker possibly sway? - Swaggernautical

I think it's a good question, honestly, but there's absolutely no way that this would happen. Yes, Durkin and Baker are close, and yes Durkin was a large percentage of the reason Baker initially chose Florida over the Buckeyes, but it's just not a realistic thought right now. In fact, I don't think — other than Weber — that there's any concern about Buckeye commitments ending up elsewhere at this time. 

Will there be another piece added to the defensive line, or is Briscoe the sole focus in the staff's effort to finish the 2015 class? - Beserkr29

Ohio State would definitely like to add another defensive lineman and another cornerback, which they'd prefer be Juwuan Briscoe. If Briscoe isn't in, look for Damon Arnette (mentioned above). If Gallimore selects Oklahoma this weekend, the Buckeyes will keep on pursuing Christian Wilkins and Terry Beckner, Jr. aggressively in order to land another defensive tackle. 

They still hope to get an official visit from Utah linebacker/defensive end Porter Gustin as well.



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