The weekend of June 21 is the biggest recruiting weekend of the summer for Ohio State, and there could be more than a handful of commitments afterwards.
Friday marks the beginning of Ohio State’s most anticipated recruiting weekend of the summer, and there will be some commitment son the other side.
Now that it is clear that the Buckeye Bash & Barbecue is focused more on the 2021 class than the 2020 class, there might be a couple more commitments from the younger class than initially suspected.
But with more than 10 official visitors from the 2020 class, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some pledges made on these trips, beginning with No. 4 cornerback Clark Phillips, who is announcing his commitment live from California at 3 p.m. Friday before he heads to Columbus. All signs point toward Phillips being a Buckeye.
These are the recruits that might decide to join Phillips either this weekend or shortly after into next week.
Cincinnati four-star defensive end Darrion Henry has been an anticipated Ohio State commit since early this calendar year. Considering his relationship with current Ohio State commit Paris Johnson Jr. and the visits they’ve made together, it’s not surprising that Henry took his time to consider other options. But as Johnson’s commitment becomes stronger with the passing weeks, Henry’s likelihood of committing becomes stronger too. Princeton head coach Mike Daniels also told Eleven Warriors that Henry hopes to commit before his senior season begins.
California four-star linebacker Kourt Williams has favored Ohio State for some time now, and he likes the idea of playing the bullet. His relationships with secondary coach Jeff Hafley and linebackers coach Al Washington are strong. With a good visit this weekend on his second trip to Columbus, it wouldn’t be surprising if he pulled the trigger.
New Jersey linebacker Cody Simon has only had his Ohio State offer since May, but he’s had a relationship with the Buckeyes for a while. Originally, Ohio State backed off because the staff figured Simon was fairly set on Notre Dame, since his brother, Shayne, is a linebacker there. That isn’t the case at all, as his top-three is Ohio State, Nebraska and Penn State. Jeff Hafley is highly regarded by New Jersey prospects, and Simon would have a solidified position within the linebackers room as well. He arrived in Columbus early Thursday, before most of the other visitors, so, if he were to announce his commitment, Friday wouldn’t be a bad time.
Cincinnati tight end Joe Royer – outside of Phillips – seems like the most likely to pledge to the Buckeyes this weekend. Many thought he might make the announcement immediately after he received his offer from Ohio State on June 7, and Ohio State’s staff seems to like him a lot after deciding to offer him instead of Luke Lachey. Royer made a visit to Michigan a couple weeks ago and might take his time with the process, though, since five of his six top schools haven’t landed a tight end commitment yet.
Michigan athlete Cam Martinez has a couple reasons to commit to Ohio State – Jeff Hafley and Brian Hartline. He will fall into either a safety position or a wide receiver position, and no matter where he’d fall in Columbus, he’d have one of the top assistant coaches helping him develop. Martinez is one of the best raw athletes that has a visit scheduled this weekend but hasn't had the opportunity to settle into a position at Muskegon and develop the technical strengths. At Ohio State, he wouldn’t need to be forced into either spot.
Of the prospects that could potentially commit this weekend out of the 2021 class, the odds are strongest with Massillon four-star receiver Jayden Ballard. He’s developed a deep connection with Brian Hartline, who is from GlenOak in Canton, just a half-hour away from Massillon. Massillon’s coaching staff also has a strong connection with Hartline, and even though Ballard has received offers from Notre Dame and Michigan State, Ohio State is light-years ahead of anyone else – a lead that seems insurmountable.
Michigan running back Donovan Edwards will be in town with his West Bloomfield teammate Makari Paige this weekend. It’s clear that Ohio State is recruiting the No. 3 running back very hard, and Edwards likes the staff quite a bit. What might deter Edwards from committing already is that he will eventually be one of the most sought-after running backs in the country, so if he wants to explore his options, he will extend his recruitment into next year.
When Dublin Coffman safety A.J. Kirk received his offer from Ohio State on June 6 after Ohio State’s first one-day camp, it was an emotional experience for him. He called his brother, former Buckeye Mike Doss, and Doss nearly cried on the other end too. While Kirk almost feels destined to land in Columbus for college, if he didn’t commit upon receiving that offer a week and a half ago, it’s hard to believe he would commit this weekend unless he was all in on what Ryan Day is trying to do with the next recruiting class.
Richfield offensive tackle Ben Christman is the longest shot of this group to potentially commit, but he is an Ohio guy and the Buckeyes really want the No. 11 offensive tackle. It’s not out of the question.