Ohio State is momentarily without a true linebacker in its top-rated Class of 2017, as Ann Arbor, Michigan, Pioneer four-star Antjuan Simmons announced his decommitment this evening.
The decision follows a surprise visit to Michigan State over three weeks ago, which Simmons reportedly did not clear the with Buckeyes' staff.
After talking to my mom and people I'm close to I have decided to re-open my recruiting process. No interviews please. Thank you.— Antjuan Simmons (@_antjuan_) December 1, 2016
The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder played his high school ball in the shadows of Michigan Stadium, but committed to Ohio State in March over offers from the two in-state powers, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee and Texas A&M, among others.
Simmons, the sixth-best player in the state and the No. 19 senior outside linebacker in the country, was the 12th pledge in the class. There was a lot of speculation surrounding Simmons in recent months, as Ohio State chased fellow linebackers Baron Browning and Anthony Hines.
Linebacker recruiting got even more interesting this past weekend when four-star Pete Werner – a Notre Dame commit at the time – made a bit of a surprise trip to Columbus. He subsequently decommitted from the Irish and the Buckeyes now appear to be the team to beat.
The concern seemed to revolve around exactly how much room the Buckeyes have remaining for the class. While many have suggested that Simmons was asked to take a grayshirt, he has repeatedly shot down that notion.
Simmons' decision leaves Ohio State with 15 pledges in the Class of 2017, but Browning and Hines are set to make their intentions know in the very near future. Browning was in town for the Michigan game and the Ohio State staff stopped by his home Wednesday night. A decision is expected any day now from the five-star linebacker.