11W Mailbag: Friday Night Lights Is Over But the Fun is Just Beginning

By Jeremy Birmingham on July 28, 2015 at 2:15 pm
Behold! The mailbag returns!

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.

Is there a chance that Antwuan Jackson could commit in a few days or will this come down to signing day? – GoBucks2204

A chance? Sure, there's a chance. Antwuan Jackson and his father left Ohio State about 8 a.m. on Sunday morning after a two-day trip to Columbus. Jackson told me that he "loves" the coaches at Ohio State, the depth chart is favorable for defensive tackles and a number of big-time prospects are going to try and commit before the start of their football seasons. Is Jackson one of them?

He's not planning on it, but plans can change. I wouldn't expect anything from Jackson until the season and the Buckeyes will get one of his official visits I'd imagine. So yes, a potential commitment could happen at any time, but it's more likely that his recruitment stretches into the fall.

With the limited space left in 2016 would the staff take Corley and Victor if both wanted in and where do we stand with them?  Are their any other WR's the staff would take in this class aside from these two?Bucks15

I think that right now the Buckeyes would take any combination of Donnie Corley, Binjimen Victor and Nate Craig-Myers, but they'd be happy as a pig in crap to land just one of them. Of course, there's a number of guys out there that could still make an impact if they decided to seriously consider the Buckeyes.

Guys like Sam Bruce and Devin Duvernay immediately come to mind, but it wouldn't be too surprising if – now that Isaiah Pryor is in the mix for 2017 – they took another look at Kyle Davis, a teammate of his at Archer.

How many spots do we have for next year, assuming 2-3 juniors leave early for the NFL? – Zeeman60657

I assume you mean how many spots in the 2016 class, so I'll reply in that vein. First of all, I love your optimism. As I review the Buckeyes roster, I see a big number of potential early NFL entries. How many? Here's my potential list:

  • Cardale Jones
  • Ezekiel Elliott
  • Jalin Marshall
  • Mike Thomas
  • Pat Elflein
  • Joey Bosa
  • Darron Lee
  • Vonn Bell
  • Cam Johnston


Expect the Buckeyes, if they can find 25 guys for 2016 to take 25. In fact, at the risk of sounding too pragmatic, expect that to be the case every year as long as Urban Meyer is the head coach in Columbus.

What's you feeling on Terrell Hall? Any chance him and Cooper get turned off by all the questions about Bosa, or are they genuinely excited to play with him?   – Johnny Kozmo

I know the politically correct answer is: "The Buckeyes are going to have to recruit every player they've got committed until signing day and Hall is no different."

However...I do have a little bit of concern around Hall, but I think it's Alabama that is worth being concerned with and not Maryland like people want to believe. The Crimson Tide made a big impression on him during his recent visit there and he's been talking 'bout Bama quite a bit lately according to fellow commits. I think ultimately it will be his relationships at Ohio State (specifically with Jonathon Cooper and Nick Bosa among the commits and Larry Johnson, Sr. on the coaching staff) that will keep him committed to the Buckeyes.

With all of the alleged smoke around Kareem Walker, what are the chances that he flips between now and NSD 2016, especially once he finally visits Columbus?JamesRBrown322

I really don't do well with odds, percentages, etc. I think Kareem Walker will stick to the Buckeyes come signing day because he's who believes that Ohio State will prepare him for the NFL better than anyone other program. The Buckeyes are 100-percent sold on Walker and he committed when he did because he believed in what the program can do for him. Nothing has changed and nothing that's happened (him taking other visits) is a surprise.

That said: if Walker were to flip, the Buckeyes will find another guy to take his place. They're fishing with dynamite right now.

Any word on how Michael Warren RB out of Toledo Central Catholic did at FNL?  – Sin City Buckeye

I'm a big fan of Michael Warren, more than a lot of folks I know, and that's because what I saw during last year's Division 3 state championship game has stuck with me. Warren is a beast when the lights come on and although he's not a burner, he can really play.

If Warren wants to get an offer from the Buckeyes though, he's going to have to prove to them that he can run. Ohio State needs to see him exhibit that second gear from the backfield before they can really consider making a move on him, especially with one Ohio tailback already in the 2017 class.

I've read in a few places that OH WR/MSU commit Justin Layne visited for FNL. I'm not sure if it's been verified, but if so, do you think there's a possibility that OSU goes after him later in the cycle if they don't land one of the Corley/Craig-Meyers/Victor trio? I realize it's early, but do you see any 2016 recruits out there who may not be pursued by OSU heavily at the moment, but who could end up in OSU's class near NSD (ala Damon Arnette/DaVon Hamilton last class, or Darius Slade in 2014)?  – LLJJGG

1. No. Layne's ship has sailed unless a lot of other guys turn down the Buckeyes and more spots than expected open up.

2. This year's class is so close to full (anyone else who commits means someone else has to go) that there's really not any room for projects or "reaches" and barring significant changes in the recruiting class, they're not going to add many new names to the recruiting board. 2017's class is off to such a great start that Ohio State certainly won't scramble in 2016 when there's so many guys nationally that want to be part of what they're doing.

LeCounte: should we consider him a silent verbal at this point?Toad1204

Richard LeCounte loves Ohio State. Ohio State loves Richard LeCounte. Richard LeCounte was very close to making a decision that would have – at least temporarily –ended his recruitment this past weekend. He didn't. The Buckeyes, along with Georgia, will be there all the way until the end and no matter who else is in the 2017 class, LeCounte will be welcomed and wanted by the Buckeyes.

What's up with the Pennsylvania defensive backs?  I didn't hear much about Hamlin, Ford, or Pryts from FNL. – TeddyBallGame

Damar Hamlin didn't work out. Andrew Pryts didn't make the trip. Paris Ford was good, proving once again to be more physical than his frame would indicate. Hamlin, Ford and Lamont Wade continue to be very high on the Buckeyes and it wouldn't be a surprise to see them all play at the same school. One problem? The 2017 defensive back group might not have room for too long, so if these guys want in, they ought to consider a move sometime soon.

A lot of offensive weapons in the next two classes. Which commit has the brightest star, as an offensive weapon in your opinion? – GoBucks96

Yes, there's a lot of talent coming into Ohio State over the next two years and a good number of prospects still close to deciding in favor of the Buckeyes. With all the playmakers in the mix, none stand out to me more than Demario McCall. McCall has the blend of speed and agility – along with surprising strength for his frame - to be an absolute deadly asset for Urban Meyer's offense.

There will be a lot of hype around McCall but in an ideal setting you should get Jalin Marshall's productivity with Dontre Wilson's hype. McCall will be as threatening to opposing defenses out of the backfield as he will lined up in the slot. He's. A. Beast.

Favorite sandwich meat? – ChicagoBuckeye

I am a simple man, born and raised in Toledo as the ninth of 11 children. Growing up, the sliced meat options were limited, but I was – and am – partial to a nice oven-roasted turkey breast. I've always said there ain't no party like an oven-roasted turkey breast party.

Mentioned in another thread, but is the Brendan Ferns to OSU hope truly dead? – EvanstonBuckeye


Is there any room for another OL commit in this class, and if so who would it be? – RunEddieRun1983

There's always room for the right player; always. Certain guys like Greg Little, if he wanted in, would never be turned down. Spoiler Alert: it's not likely. 

Do you know generally what they go over in camps?  I had assumed the camps were a draw for recruits to showcase themselves against top talent, I didn't know there was coaching techniques involved. Should I assume it was fundamental footwork and hand positioning that are basic for college linemen? – Zimmy07

The Ohio State coaches are very involved in the recruiting camps they run and they run their camps like they run their football program: regimented, intense and competitive. As far as individual drills go, they try to stick to the basics but really stress the competitive aspect of everything they do.

One note: the Buckeyes always tell their campers to take what they learn back to their high school programs but if their high school coach has a different idea/opinion? Listen to their coach, not what the Ohio State staff says.

Are there any more locks left in this class, or is it up in the air the rest of the way out now that Bosa and Farrell have committed?  – Be3585

Wait, wait...who ever said there were locks? 

In truth, yes, Luke Farrell and Nick Bosa have been done deals for a while, but as the next five to six guys in the 2016 class get sorted out, there's going to be a lot of "first come, first serve" happening. There are no more locks, but there are guys who will have a spot no matter what. Antwuan Jackson, Rashan Gary, and Damar Hamlin are in that group.

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