Today is the Cincinnati Under Armour All-America Camp Series showcase, and like The Opening Regional showcase in Massillon on March 31, there are several Midwestern and in-state recruits to watch for Ohio State fans.
The position that will be best represented by Ohio State targets will be the quarterback position – this is assuming the participants show up to the showcase.
Quarterbacks to Watch
Of the quarterbacks at the regional, La Grange Park, Illinois, quarterback J.J. McCarthy has the most mutual interest with Ohio State. He paid a visit to Columbus in March and walked away extremely impressed, promising that he would be back and entering his name as one of the several 2021 quarterbacks heavily interested in the Buckeyes. He’s also fairly interested in Northwestern.
Drake Maye, the brother of North Carolina forward Luke Maye, was also in town in March, when his brother was competing in the NCAA Tournament in Columbus. He was recently rated as the No. 50 overall prospect in the 2021 class and the No. 5 quarterback in a quarterback-heavy class. He received an Alabama offer in March as well and has made several unofficial visits to North Carolina, though those visits can be overrated for prospects with siblings at offering universities.
Centerville 2022 quarterback Chase Harrison was the most recent quarterback to visit Ohio State. He was in Columbus on April 5, and also left impressed, though without an offer. His only offer has come from Louisville, but he has been named a MaxPreps All-American and a Rivals Young gun QB, while also earning an invite to the Elite 11 and the National Combine.
South Bend, Indiana, 2020 quarterback Ira Armstead is a quarterback that hasn’t been talked about much within the Ohio State recruiting sphere, but he has caught some interest from the Buckeyes, who already have their top 2020 quarterback commitment in four-star Arizona quarterback Jack Miller. Armstead had a good showing at The Opening Regional in Massillon and is rated as the No. 28 dual-threat quarterback in the class by 247Sports.
Top Ohio State Targets to Watch
It seems like four-star Cincinnati defensive end Darrion Henry is listed in nearly anything involving Ohio State recruiting these days, as he’s sure to commit to the Buckeyes on any day at this point. But Henry is listed to compete at the Under Armour camp Sunday. He was also listed to compete at The Opening Regional on March 31, along with Paris Johnson Jr. and Jaheim Thomas, but he, and the other two, didn’t show.
Piggybacking off of Darrion Henry, four-star Princeton linebacker Jaheim Thomas didn’t compete in The Opening Regional on March 31, but that was before Thomas got his Ohio State offer. Now, the Cincinnati trio collectively have Buckeye offers. Whether that changes the way they approach camps is yet to be seen, but at this point, Thomas has all of the offers he could hope for – Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Georgia Tech and Ohio State just in the last few weeks.
Michigan two-way lineman Damon Payne was just rated as the No. 58 player overall in the Class of 2021, and his performance in The Opening Regional had a lot to do with that. Payne said he didn’t have his best day March 31 – “My best day is I don’t get touched. I got touched, so I didn’t have my best day.” – but he still walked away with the defensive line MVP award. He also visited Ohio State on April 1 and was impressed with what he saw. Payne has received offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Florida State and is rated as the No. 5 defensive tackle in his class by 247Sports.
Michigan running back Donovan Edwards is an interesting case headed into Sunday because the 2021 No. 4 running back broke his ankle in Week 7 of his sophomore season, and it still clearly bothered him at The Opening Regional in Massillon. Many prospects compete in these camps to get their names in front of schools’ eyes, but Edwards has offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Miami, and he received an offer from Florida earlier this week.
Other Players to Watch
Massillon Washington High School 2021 standout wide receiver Jayden Ballard made defensive backs look silly at The Opening Regional and was clearly one of the more matured wideouts in terms of route-running and body control, though he was one of a few sophomore-aged participants. Ballard has a strong relationship with Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline and was at Ohio State on Saturday. Once he lands more offers on top of Ohio State and Penn State, his rating will skyrocket from the No. 19 wide receiver rank in his class.
Indiana linebacker Yanni Karlaftis is the brother of 2019 defensive end George Karlaftis. George finished the recruiting cycle as the No. 1 Indiana recruit in his class, and Yanni is following suit, as he was named the No. 1 recruit in Indiana and No. 3 outside linebacker in the 2021 class by 247Sports earlier this week. Karlaftis was at Ohio State on Saturday and has offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue, where his brother signed.
Cincinnati running back Corey Kiner is a name that’s crept into Ohio State’s 2021 recruiting efforts. He was in Columbus on Saturday and is rated as the No. 5 running back in the Class of 2021.
Other recruits to keep in mind Sunday:
Braiden McGregor, defensive end (2020 No. 27 overall)
Blake Fisher, offensive tackle (2021 No. 87 overall)
Kalen King, cornerback (2021 No. 263 overall)
Jutahn McClain, all-purpose back (2020 No. 297 overall)
Davion Weatherspoon, offensive center (2021 No. 348)
Chris Scott, wide receiver (2020 No. 483 overall)
Justin Wodtly, defensive end (2020 No. 598 overall)
Miyan Williams, running back (2020 No. 624 overall)
Carrington Valentine, cornerback (2020 No. 782)
Isaiah Hackett, athlete (2020 No. 1,712 overall)
Dane Middlebrook, defensive tackle (2020 No. 1,908 overall)
Two Participants Who Committed Away From OSU
Devell Washington, three-star Michigan wideout, told Eleven Warriors that his interest in Ohio State has remained consistent since he received his offer in June, when he was willing to commit but backed off. It was Ohio State’s interest in Washington that waned, though, and less than a week after narrowing his list to five teams, Washington chose West Virginia on Saturday.
Groveport Madison two-way lineman Terah Edwards had been waiting on Ohio State to offer. The Buckeyes wanted to see him in person, but he told Eleven Warriors that he didn’t want to wait around for schools to offer if he felt like home at another school. He was leaning toward Michigan State for awhile but announced Saturday that he is committed to Northwestern.
Both prospects are expected to be participating in the Under Armour All-America Camp on Sunday.