One program will be getting some good news on Tuesday.
The last several weeks have been filled with activity on the recruiting trail. From June's official visits to a flurry of new commitments, Ryan Day and his crew are hotter than any other coaching staff in the country.
The offensive class is one of the finest in America and may very well be second to none once Tony Alford adds a few key pieces to the backfield. On the defensive side of the ball, Jeff Hafley, Larry Johnson, and Al Washington have really gotten things going following a bit of a slow start.
While everyone knows about Johnson and his ability on the trail, it's really been Brian Hartline and Jeff Hafley leading the way among the Buckeye assistants; especially of late. The Ohio State secondary already has two big 2020 pieces in place with Lejond Cavazos and Clark Phillips III. There's also the very real possibility of Saginaw, Michigan athlete Cameron Martinez ending up in the secondary.
Now, all eyes are looking to the Southwest as Hafley and Day look to add yet another of the team's top targets regardless of position.
Three weeks ago at this time, the crystal ball forecasts for four-star safety Lathan Ransom had a much different look. Following the June 21 official to Columbus – the final one for the country's No. 4 safety – prognosticators are now heavily forecasting Ransom to end up in Columbus.
In January of this year, Ohio State became the 21st school to extend an offer to the Tucson star. Leading up to and in the months after that, he's received offers from just about every national power; including Georgia, Alabama, and high-academic programs like Stanford and Vanderbilt.
Ransom took unofficial visits to Ohio State and Notre Dame back in February and the Buckeyes and Irish immediately were two of the programs being viewed as favorites. Five months later and not a whole lot has changed with Texas also staying in the mix.
So what's the appeal for each program? Ohio State's defensive back production has been the best in the country of late and Jeff Hafley has done a tremendous job in this recruitment. Notre Dame certainly has some similarities to Salpointe Catholic High School and their defensive staff has also made a strong impression. Texas is closer to home and the Longhorns are also in the mix for Ransom's teammate—five-star tailback Bijan Robinson.
Dating back to mid-April, he's made all five official visits. Lincoln Riley and the Sooners got their shot in April, but they haven't really been viewed as a major contender. A trip to Baton Rouge took place at the end of April and LSU was strongly being considered for a while. Then the Irish, Longhorns, and Buckeyes took their turns in June. Hafley and Co. appear to have done a superb job before Ransom went into decision mode.
Since the start of the dead period, It's been a busy couple weeks as the nation's No. 76 overall prospect was on hand at The Opening finals in Texas and was hit with the usual barrage of recruiting questions. He was spotted mingling with Ohio State commitments throughout the week and was up to his usual antics on the field of play.
Lathan Ransom is a true ball hawk. This is his second interception in 7-on-7 play. Its a good one. pic.twitter.com/YgMPqIdvTz— Taylor Lehman (@TaylorRLehman) July 3, 2019
Ryan Day has 20 commitments in the fold for a class that's expected to exceed 25 signees. Lathan Ransom has been at the top of the safety board for several months now. At 6-foot-1 and 193 pounds, he's a rangy, solid tackler who also seems to play plenty of man-to-man coverage. He'd be the first pure safety to join Ohio State's 2020 class and another major win for Hafley on the trail.
So what do we know right now? We know Ransom is set to release his commitment video on Tuesday, which also happens to be his 17th birthday. We know that things have been trending in the right direction ever since his official visit and most have him pegged to Ohio State. Finally, we know a decision has already been made and said commitment video was completed within the last few weeks.
Earlier this year, we talked about the Buckeyes possibly building a bit of an Arizona pipeline for the Class of 2020. We focused mainly on Jack Miller, Bijan Robinson, and five-star cornerback Kelee Ringo. But make no mistake, Ransom has surged up the board and is without question one of the staff's most important targets.
We'll learn of Lathan Ransom's intentions in two days as Jeff Hafley looks to stay hot on the trail. Then we'll wait to see if his teammate makes the same decision on Aug. 2.