Ohio State is expecting some of its top targets in June, which could make some major ground in recruiting for the Class of 2020.
During his first press conference of the summer this week, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said June “is a big month for us,” and, looking at the list of expected visitors before July’s dead period, it is hard to overstate how important the next few weeks are for the Buckeyes in not only the 2020 class but future classes as well.
Ohio State is just one day into its summer camps, and it’s already had a slew of significant recruits make their ways to Columbus in June.
These are the recruits that were in Columbus on Thursday and are expected to be at Ohio State for the remainder of the month too.
Paris Johnson Jr. and Darrion Henry
Both Princeton stars are expected on official visits during the weekend of June 21, but they also made a planned trip to Ohio State’s first one-day camp, where Darrion Henry took part in the drills with defensive line coach Larry Johnson and Paris Johnson Jr. moved around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, talking with coaches and players like a typical commit would do.
Henry has battled a lower-leg injury, so he wasn’t 100-percent, but he still looked good compared to some of the other top defensive linemen at the camp.
Four-star 2021 wide receiver Jayden Ballard was at Ohio State’s one-day camp Thursday as well, and while Gavin Blackwell really caught Brian Hartline’s attention and became the newest name within Ohio State’s 2021 wide receiver targets list, Ballard proved to be the best wide receiver at the event by a wide margin. He and Hartline have developed a very close relationship, which was evident in the comfort they displayed during Hartline’s coaching during drills.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ballard commit this summer, if not by the end of the month.
Ohio No. 9 2021 prospect Reid Carrico attended Thursday's camp but did not participate due to a double ear infection. He stuck closely with defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and linebackers coach Al Washington, though. The Ironton star is in Columbus for a visit. The camp was a secondary event for his unofficial visit.
Ohio No. 6 2021 prospect A.J. Kirk was at the camp Thursday as well and left with an offer. The brother of former Buckeye star Mike Doss, Kirk jumped in against the top receivers during competition reps, including one rep against Jayden Ballard. It was evident that Kirk has close relationships with prospects close to Ohio State, such as Jack Sawyer, and the No. 5 safety in the country is leaning Ohio State’s way at this point.
These are some of the other recruits that appeared at the camp.
- Jack Sawyer
- Gavin Blackwell
- Gage Keys
- Trey Leroux
- Jakob James
- Trey Zuhn
- Ty Hamilton
- Jamarius Dinkins
- Isaiah Hackett
- Chase Harrison
- Chris Scott
- Najee Story
- Luke Lachey
- Joe Royer
This weekend kicks off Ohio State’s major official visits, and June 15 is the biggest of Ohio State’s one-day camps.
The Arizona five-star running back will be in Columbus for his official visit during this weekend, which is huge for the Buckeyes. While they’re sitting pretty well with Kendall Milton at this point after his official visit May 31, Ohio State is also high on Robinson, and there isn’t much overlap in the schools of interest for both targets. The Buckeyes won’t land both backs, but with a good official visit with Robinson, Ohio State will have made its pitch to both five-stars for a couple big July decisions.
There was a time in 2018 when it seemed like Colorado center Reece Atteberry would commit to the Buckeyes, but those days are far in the past. Now, Notre Dame is the favorite for the three-star center’s commitment. It’s not out of the question for a good official visit to regain the interest that was once there with Atteberry.
Maryland three-star linebacker Mitchell Melton has become a rising target for Ohio State and appears to be a high priority for Ohio State at linebacker. Melton has official visits planned for Notre Dame on June 7 and Michigan on June 21. The weekend of the 14th is his official to Ohio State.
These are the other recruits expected in that time.
As of now, DeaMonte Trayanum is the only recruit making a midweek official visit, and on his first day in town, Ohio State is hosting a 7v7 camp. It’s still unknown how that camp will be structured, as far as who will competing or if Trayanum will be involved, but if he does participate, that’s a bad sign for any opponents he’d face. Trayanaum can play nearly anywhere on the field and would be a good addition to the backfield of the Buckeyes. He’s leaning Ohio State right now, and a good visit could secure a legitimate in-state running back for the Buckeyes.
This is the biggest recruiting weekend of the year for Ohio State. While it’s unknown exactly what will be taking place this weekend – Friday Night Lights or just a recruiting event with the Ohio State staff – there are some major targets making their ways to Columbus for this weekend. Ohio State is still actively inviting recruits to Columbus for this weekend.
Paris Johnson and Darrion Henry
It seems that these two have disassociated with the Cincinnati trio for the most part, and there are likely going to be some serious conversations had between the Ohio State staff and the two Princeton linemen. While Johnson is in regular contact with Ohio State, there is value in having a staff with a recruit in person during these talks.
There are a lot of blurred lines between the top-five safeties in the Class of 2020. Each one has a different skillset, and No. 4 safety Lathan Ransom seems to be the most balanced between explosion and finesse. He can make tackles in the open field, be a strong force needed at strong safety and cover in the passing game. Being the teammate of Bijan Robinson can cause some shadowing, but Ransom is a huge target for Ohio State this summer.
California four-star athlete Kourt Williams was reclassified by 247Sports as a linebacker, moved from safety, and that's where Ohio State is recruiting him as well. When it comes to landing playmakers at the linebacker position, it has to start with Williams. Rated as the No. 13 outside linebacker in the country, he might be the most underrated recruit at the position for 2020. Williams would be a good addition for Al Washington to work with and lay a foundation for his linebacker position at Ohio State.
Three-star athlete Cam Martinez is much more than a three-star recruit. Ohio State has given him an opportunity to decide on playing safety or wide receiver if he chooses the Buckeyes. He told Eleven Warriors that he’s leaning toward safety, making him one of many defensive recruits to be visiting during the busy weekend. Martinez took an official to Northwestern on May 17 and was recently at Penn State as well, but an impressive visit with Ohio State could cement him with the Buckeyes.
These are some of the other recruits making the trip to Ohio State during that weekend as well.