There will be several top 2020 targets making official visits and 2020 and 2021 recruits for Ohio State and visiting colleges to evaluate during Saturday's one-day camp.
This weekend will be the second-most important recruiting weekend for Ohio State this summer, falling just short of the massive recruiting weekend the Buckeyes have set up for the Buckeye Bash & Barbecue on June 21, when the likes of Paris Johnson Jr., Darrion Henry, Lathan Ransom and Kourt Williams will be making official visits.
But while this weekend doesn’t necessarily carry in significance for the Class of 2020, it makes up for with some top-end recruits in the 2021 class.
These are some notable recruits to expect this weekend.
Class of 2020 visitors
Five-star Arizona running back Bijan Robinson will be the second five-star running back this month to visit Columbus. This visit will likely be the last significant official visit from a top 2020 running back, so if the Buckeyes want to reel in a big one, this visit will have to go well.
The Buckeyes had a good official visit with Kendall Milton at the beginning of the month, but his father, Chris, is telling recruiting sites many of the same things – consistent feeling after unofficial visits, feels like home, etc. – with equal optimism. While it seems likely Milton is leaning toward Ohio State, it’s hard to tell where he might go at this point. He is at Georgia this weekend.
The official is Robinson's first, and right now, he has one other scheduled for next weekend at Texas. The Longhorns appear to be the toughest competitor, and potentially the frontrunner, for Robinson right now, though Texas has its eyes on in-state No. 1 prospect Zachary Evans. Its offensive coordinator, Tim Beck, was the head coach at Saguaro High School in Arizona, which serves as a strong connection with Robinson.
The visit will represent Robinson's first visit to Columbus.
A good visit with Robinson would be vital to both his and Milton’s recruitments for obvious reasons, but both coming to Ohio State is out of the question. The overlap of interests isn’t necessarily big either, with UCLA and Texas being two of the top schools for Robinson and Milton leaning toward LSU, Alabama and Georgia outside of Ohio State.
Houston defensive tackle Vernon Broughton seems like a lock for Texas. He’s been taking his official visits since the beginning of May, when he started out his five visits with the Longhorns. The No. 6 defensive tackle in the class still has Ohio State and Texas A&M to attend and has already been to Texas, LSU and Arkansas.
This weekend will be the third visit to Columbus for North Carolina defensive tackle Jacolbe Cowan. He has a good relationship with Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson, and with a good visit, it wouldn’t be surprising for Ohio State to land the No. 152 overall player over Georgia, Tennessee, Oregon and North Carolina.
Maryland linebacker Mitchell Melton has been a top Ohio State target for quite some time during the 2020 cycle, and now his commitment has seemingly come down to three visits to Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State. The Buckeyes would really like to land a commitment from the 6-foot-3, 235- pound, No. 44 linebacker for his size, athleticism and football intelligence.
Reece Atteberry has also been recruited for a while within the 2020 class, and in 2018, he nearly committed to the Buckeyes. Now, the relationship has cooled, though Ohio State would like his commitment as it looks to add one more offensive lineman to its 2020 class. Standing in the way is Notre Dame, where, like Michael Carmody who visits next weekend, he currently appears to be leaning.
Pickerington Central defensive lineman Ty Hamilton has developed a good relationship with Larry Johnson and had a good performance at the one-day camp Monday. The mutual interest with Hamilton has steadily been growing in recent weeks, but whether he is a take for Ohio State would likely depend on who else is interested in committing to the Buckeyes. If he doesn’t come to the Buckeyes, Penn State would likely be the next spot.
Class of 2021 Visitors
Virginia Beach 2021 cornerback Tony Grimes is one of a few nationally touted prospects in his class to be visiting Ohio State this weekend. He is rated as the No. 3 cornerback in the class and No. 27 overall by 247Sports, and he has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Auburn, Ohio State and others. Grimes is from the same town as current Buckeye Teradja Mitchell, which is part of the program’s appeal to Grimes.
North Carolina 2021 No. 6 running back Evan Pryor will be in Columbus this weekend and will be participating in the one-day camp Saturday. Pryor is one of three top-10 backs the Buckeyes have offered, in addition to No. 4 running back Donovan Edwards and No. 5 running back Corey Kiner. The North Carolina schools tend to recruit their state well, though, so North Carolina and N.C. State are near the top for Pryor at the moment, as well as Ohio State, Georgia, Oregon and Alabama.
Louisiana 2021 defensive tackle Maason Smith is a load. At 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, he is rated by 247Sports as the No. 38 player nationally and the No. 5 defensive tackle. Right now, though, Smith is pretty sold on playing in the SEC, particularly for LSU or Alabama. Ohio State is one of the schools that he said could pull him out of the SEC, and this weekend is likely a chance to see if he could see himself playing there.
Dayton running back Branden McDonald has an interesting combination of size and speed and made that evident at The Opening Regionals in Massillon in March. He was one of the standout running backs among a group that contained Donovan Edwards, Mike Drennen and JuTahn McClain. This camp will give him the exposure he needs to bring in offers, though it’s unlikely one will be coming from Ohio State on Saturday.
Texas 2021 wide receiver Drew Donley will one of the more athletic, unknown recruits at the camp this weekend. The son of former Buckeye Doug Donley, Drew doesn’t have a 247Sports profile yet and is mostly known for his unusual speed. He runs a 100-meter dash in 10.19 seconds – an unheard of time from a 15-16-year-old. His speed will likely catch plenty of eyes this weekend.
Other Recruits to Watch
Brooklyn 2020 athlete William Mohan will be in town for an unofficial visit and will not be camping. He will just be visiting with his family. He is nearly a lock to go to Michigan, but his size (6-1, 195) is certainly applicable to the bullet position, if he finds that to be an attractive spot.
Westerville South 2022 athlete Kaden Saunders will be a prospect that will leave Columbus with more offers than he came in with, and one could be from the Buckeyes. He already has offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Indiana and West Virginia. At 5-foot-10, 155 pounds, Saunders plays wide receiver mostly and can work into slot and return kicks. He can score a touchdown any time he touches the ball and is nearly always the fastest player on the field.
Maryland 2020 three-star defensive tackle Chazz Wallace will be in Columbus this weekend and will likely be camping to try to earn more Power Five offers. He attended the spring game in April and has offers from Louisville and Rutgers.
Fatorma Mulbah, who is a 2020 defensive tackle and was a in-state offer after Penn State’s last camp, will also be participating in Saturday’s camp to earn more offers. Penn State is his only Power Five offer.