Recruiting is all about momentum. Sometimes you're gaining it, sometimes you're losing it. What prospects are trending up with Ohio State? Let's take a look.
When we last checked in on the Buckeyes' 2017 recruiting class, they were sitting atop the team recruiting rankings with a dozen commitments, including nine that were ranked in the Top 250 nationally. Here, on the last day of March, it's a similar story for Urban Meyer and Ohio State.
The Buckeyes added Texas speedster J.K. Dobbins to the fold earlier this month, giving them commit No. 13 and the tenth that appears in the Top 250. How does the addition of Dobbins impact our list of the eleven most important prospects remaining for the 2017 class? Let's take a look at the updated board.
(This board will be updated over the next several months as we try and monitor the ups and downs of the 2017 class.)
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No changes at the top of the board as St. Thomas Aquinas' wideout Trevon Grimes has been the top target for some time now. There really haven't been any changes in the recruitment of the five-star either. Buckeye fans continue to wait and see when he will venture back to Columbus (it's been nearly two years), but it would appear that there's no reason to fret; he continues to tell everyone – including Gator and Seminole analysts – that the Buckeyes are out in front.
Clairton, Pennsylvania cornerback Lamont Wade continues to be a focal point for the Buckeyes efforts in the defensive backfield. The nation's 5th-ranked corner last visited Columbus in late January, but the concern may be the other trips that he's made since then. Over the last two months, he's checked out Pitt and has been to Penn State twice.
Wade's plans for this spring and summer will be something to keep an eye on. It has yet to be confirmed if he will be in Columbus for the spring game, but it's a safe bet that he'll make the trek at some point in the coming months. He took to Twitter earlier this week to request a ride to Columbus—which he was unable to secure. Wade also spoke with Rivals.com recruiting analyst Ryan Donnelly a few weeks back, emphasizing his relationship with the Ohio State staff.
“I’m always talking with Ohio State – coach [Luke] Fickell, coach [Kerry] Coombs, they’re always hitting me up, [Mark] Pantoni hits me up a lot – so I’m always in recent contact and frequent contact with them." ($)
The nation's top slot receiver, Corona, California's Tyjon Lindsey, made the trip to Columbus last weekend, and the visit appeared to have been a homerun for the Buckeyes. Word on the street is that the five-star has been sporting some Buckeye garb all week even since returning to California. Now does that necessarily mean anything? Of course not, but Ohio State is clearly on his mind right now.
The proximity to Southern Cal is certainly a concern and the Trojans are allegedly claiming that he could be the lone wideout in their 2017 class, but Dwayne Haskins and Co. are doing all they can to help Zach Smith pull this one out for the good guys.
Josh Kaindoh is clearly the guy the staff is focusing on at defensive end and could potentially be the only edge rusher in the class. The 6-foot-6, 256-pounder has built quite a relationship with Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes are the current crystal ball leaders. Kaindoh visited Penn State earlier this week, and they're another school that is expected to be in it until the end.
The addition of J.K. Dobbins could mean a lot for running back recruiting, but much of that is going to depend on how the staff elects to pursue Cam Akers. The one-time Bama commit was in Columbus earlier this month and is already discussing a return trip. With Todd Sibley already in the fold, it could be a bit of a tricky situation for the coaching staff. Dobbins is more of an all-purpose back than the other two, but it seems very unlikely that the class could end with three running backs. There's no doubt the Buckeyes love Akers, but with two already in the class, we moved him down the board a few spots.
The Buckeyes continue to be in a good spot at defensive tackle recruiting, though both Haskell Garrett and Jerron Cage have visited other schools since committing. A few weeks back, an offer was extended to the nation's top defensive tackle, Marvin Wilson, who now makes his first appearance on our recruiting board.
In speaking with 11W, Wilson had some nice things to say about the Buckeyes, indicating that he would have committed if offered back when he was a freshman. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder also mentioned that the Buckeyes are "automatically in his top three."
Darnay Holmes, the nations top-rated corner, took to Twitter last week to express his desire to check out the Buckeyes once again. Holmes is set to announce his decision on June 23rd as Stanford and Nebraska appear to remain out in front. For Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes, getting him back on campus will at least give them the chance to make up some ground.
Tate Martell's visit to Columbus also appeared to be a success, though the nation's top dual-threat quarterback is still saying all the right things if you're a Texas A&M fan. Martell's grandfather is an Ohio State alum and he too was around for the tour.
For now, there doesn't appear to be a lot to see here, but if some coaching changes were to go down in College Station, then this would certainly be a situation to keep a close eye on.
Looking ahead to next month, there's going to be a lot to talk about as the April 16th spring game approaches. It's still a bit too early to get a list of visitors compiled, but as of now, the Buckeyes are definitely expecting the nation's top overall player in Alabama commit Najee Harris to be in town. Lamont Wade, Amir Riep, and possibly Trevon Grimes are other names who could be on the list.
Stay dialed in to Eleven Warriors as the game draws near and more information becomes available.