Located in a football-rich state, the city of Cincinnati is one of Ohio's hot spots for prep talent. Eleven Warriors recently spent a couple of days in the Queen City and will bring you a series of Ohio State-related stories over the coming weeks. Come along for the ride, won't you?
WEST CHESTER, Ohio — As things stand right now, Ohio State has extended just four scholarship offers to in-state prospects in the 2019 class.
There are a number of reasons for this, of course, with the first being it’s still relatively early in the recruiting process for the entire 2019 class. These prospects have only finished their sophomore football seasons; there isn’t a ton of film to go off of and summer camp season for evaluation is only just beginning.
But perhaps more importantly when it comes to in-state prospects, the Buckeyes can be patient. There’s no need for Ohio State to extend an offer unless it is absolutely sure it wants to take an in-state recruit. It’s highly likely an Ohio kid who receives an offer from the Buckeyes commits — at some point — so the staff must be 100 percent certain on its evaluation before offering.
One such prospect in the 2019 class who has yet to receive an offer from Ohio State but is racking them up from other big-time programs is four-star defensive end Steven Faucheux. A 6-foot-5, 272-pounder, Faucheux already has a reported 14 scholarship offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida, Penn State, Tennessee, Cincinnati and more.
More are surely coming, too, as 247Sports has Faucheux pegged early as the nation’s No. 91-ranked prospect in the country and the eighth-rated strongside defensive end.
Larry Cox, Faucheux’s head coach at Lakota West High School, said there’s no limit on Faucheux’s potential on the football field.
“He'll be able to go wherever he wants," Cox told Eleven Warriors. "He’s so mature and he’s way ahead of the curve on things. He’s really smart now, and a really different kid, an honors student. He’s got a great profile to him and he’s a great leader.
"It’s up to him. How he turns out, it’ll be, ‘OK, where do I want to go to school?’”
When it comes to a potential Ohio State offer, the Buckeyes are in a tough position as of right now. Ohio State expects a large defensive line haul in its 2018 class — Brenton Cox and Taron Vincent are already committed and the Buckeyes are high on players like Micah Parsons, Tyreke Smith and Aeneas Hawkins — and there are already a handful of offers out to 2019 prospects, as well.
Just in the state of Ohio alone, Ohio State already offered five-star defensive end Zach Harrison and four-star defensive tackle Jowon Briggs. Cade Stover, who is listed as a four-star linebacker right now, has the potential to move to the line in college and also has an offer from the Buckeyes. Additionally, Ohio State is high on five-star defensive end Stephen Herron out of Louisville.
There is a ton of time between now and National Signing Day in 2019, so it's impossible to predict how Faucheux's recruitment plays out from here. However, as it always is with in-state prospects, the Buckeyes are a team to watch. If Ohio State wants Faucheux, it will ramp up its pursuit of the talented sophomore.
“He’s technique-sound, but he plays with such tenacity," Cox said of Faucheux. "He refuses to lose. He’s smart and can make adjustments on the run."
"He’s just really, really good.”
Faucheux is a high school teammate of Xavier Peters, a four-star linebacker in the 2018 class who is also receiving national attention. Like Faucheux, Peters is yet to receive an offer from the in-state Buckeyes, but his recruitment is blowing up a bit on a national level and Ohio State may extend one soon.
Who knows, perhaps the two will be teammates in college, as well.