It's that time of year again.
Ohio State's spring practice schedule reaches its culmination this Saturday when the team takes the field for the annual scrimmage. How much do we actually learn from the yearly event? That's tough to say, but it's April and everyone is anxious to see what Ryan Day and the staff have put together thus far.
Per usual, the Buckeyes will be welcoming a number of top prospects to campus and looking to do some damage on the recruiting trail. Events like the spring game and Friday Night Lights have been known to produce some surprises from time to time, so it's never easy to forecast precisely what may go down.
The weekend's visitor list is still very much in the works, and we'll have a more up-to-date version later in the week. We're really only expecting one commitment this weekend, but there are a handful of prospects who may be worth watching over the next week or so.
Lejond Cavazos • Cornerback • Bradenton, Florida (IMG Academy) • ★★★★
This one is fairly simple as four-star defensive back Lejond Cavazos will make his decision known this Friday at 6 p.m. It's looking like the IMG academy star will be the first defensive commit for Ohio State's 2020 recruiting class. Cavazos isn't on the visitor list for the weekend – at least not as of today – but he's been actively recruiting for the Buckeyes and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him make an appearance.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder has already earned an invite to The Opening finals thanks to a stellar performance at the February regional event in Miami. Cavazos blazed a 4.4 forty and showed he's got plenty of speed to play either corner or safety. A native Texan, he's got offers from all over the country and has visited Oregon, Georgia, Florida, and others.
Darrion Henry • Defensive Line • Cincinnati (Princeton) • ★★★★
The staff's top in-state target will be back in town this weekend, and while Darrion Henry isn't scheduled to make any sort of announcement, it's certainly worth watching as the Buckeyes are the clear team to beat.
There were some rumblings that a commitment was going to go down a few months back, but instead the 6-foot-6, 260-pounder has made numerous visits throughout the country; especially in SEC territory. He's traveled with five-star Buckeye commit Paris Johnson Jr. and his teammate, four-star linebacker Jaheim Thomas. Ohio State just offered Thomas a little over a week ago, and perhaps the duo could put an end to things in the near future.
Michael Drennen II • Running Back/H-Back • Dublin, Ohio (Coffman) • ★★★★
A few months back we looked into the noteworthy options at H-back as the Buckeyes will absolutely be taking one for 2020. Dublin's Michael Drennen II was listed as the most likely option, and right now there's nothing that has changed that sentiment. The four-star playmaker holds offers from the likes of Georgia, Michigan, and Florida and recently visited Tuscaloosa and was offered by the Crimson Tide.
He's expected to make the short trip to Columbus this weekend, but his plan has been to cut his list down a bit before making a decision. As we all know, plans can change when it comes to weekends like these; especially for the local talent.
Marvin Harrison Jr. • Wide Receiver • Philadelphia (St. Joseph's) • ★★★★
Recruiting can often be a bit of a guessing game, and that's especially true when you're looking further ahead than the current class. Indianapolis Colts' great Marvin Harrison was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame back in 2016. His son has already made a name for himself on the recruiting trail, and much like his father, he possesses superb route-running skills.
At 6-foot-3.5 and 174 pounds, Harrison Jr. is already listed as the country's No. 6 wideout and No. 51 overall prospect for the Class of 2021. It's still early, but that surely puts him in the discussion for five-star status. To say that Brian Hartline has made an impact on the family would be a vast understatement.
I had an amazing unofficial visit today at The Ohio State University. I fell in love as soon as I walked in. I want to thank all the coaches that made this happen. I will be back! #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/TcuCjkv8Ql
— Marvin Harrison Jr. (@MarvHarrisonJr) February 2, 2019
Hartline has been outstanding on the trail, and he's still chasing high-end 2020 targets like Julian Fleming and Marcus Rosemy. Harrison Jr. isn't someone who's talked about committing in the near future. But he's made multiple trips to Columbus dating back to February and the Buckeyes are clearly in a great spot for the Philly star.
Najee Story • Defensive End • Solon, Ohio (Solon) • ★★★★
Ohio State extended an offer to Solon's Najee Story back in February, and by now all of the Midwest powers have come a-calling. He took a trip to Happy Valley a few weeks back and right now it's the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions out in front.
We haven't talked too much about Story thus far, and he hasn't made any indication that a decision could be on the horizon. Further, the Buckeyes are still looking for defensive ends in its current recruiting class. He's one of five 2021 Ohioans to hold offers and could potentially join forces with Jack Sawyer to form a formidable duo at defensive end.
We're now in year two of the NCAA's revised recruiting calendar. With high school juniors now permitted to take official visits in the spring, it becomes little trickier getting some of these kids on campus. The Buckeyes certainly would have loved getting Julian Fleming back in town this weekend, but instead the five-star will head to Tuscaloosa for his first official visit.
Last year the Buckeyes landed a commitment from New Jersey athlete Ronnie Hickman over the spring game weekend. Mentor defensive end Noah Potter and Georgia athlete Steele Chambers also announced their own commitments in the days following the scrimmage.
The weekend visitor list may not be quite as lengthy as we've seen in previous years, but Ryan Day and the Buckeyes' staff will still be hosting some major talent for both the 2020 and 2021 classes. Stay tuned later this week for a more finalized visitor list ahead of the weekend's festivities.