Recruiting Mailbag: Thoughts on Kamar Wilcoxson's Latest Decommitment, No Offer Yet for Terrence Lewis, Early Decisions Leading to Possible Decommitments

By Zack Carpenter on April 8, 2020 at 10:10 am
Kamar Wilcoxson
Kamar Wilcoxson (Andrew Ivins, 247Sports)

In our last recruiting mailbag, we talked about the TreVeyon Henderson vs. Donovan Edwards situation, high-caliber players the Buckeyes would land and defensive backs on their board.

This week, we're giving our thoughts on Kamar Wilcoxson, Terrence Lewis and how the Buckeyes are planning on keeping committed players in the fold.

Wilcoxson decommitment

Question 1

*A question from our updated class of 2021 prediction piece*

This is something I've addressed before, but IMG (Fla.) Academy defensive back Kamar Wilcoxson's decommitment from Florida – this question was asked prior to his second decommitment – may ultimately lead to a commitment to Ohio State, but until he signs with a program, his recruitment needs to be considered 100 percent open.

Wilcoxson has publicly committed to Florida twice, publicly decommitted twice and pulled down two other decommitment notes from his Twitter account during that time span.

Anybody has the right to change their mind, and anybody has a right to change their mind multiple times. That has to be doubly true for people in middle school, high school and college, especially people making one of the most important decisions of their life. 

Still, it's going to make it impossible to believe a player is fully dedicated to a school until that letter is signed when he has a track record of indecision. It's a boy who cried wolf situation.

Wilcoxson is extremely talented and physically gifted, his length being compared to Jeff Okudah's, his aggressiveness easy to notice and his cornerback skills something Kerry Coombs took notice of almost immediately upon his return to Columbus. But in order for the Buckeyes to accept his commitment, they would need the assurance from Wilcoxson that he would not visit any other schools.

If we see a commitment from Wilcoxson to Ohio State, you can assume he made that promise to Coombs and Ryan Day.

As for Tunmise Adeleye, I believe Florida and Alabama to be the Buckeyes' two biggest competitors, though Oklahoma is certainly up there as well.

Adeleye transferred from Tompkins (Texas) High School to IMG Academy because he wanted to get into a four-man front in which he will be utilized more as an edge pass rusher and less as an interior lineman like he was often asked to do in Texas. If he comes to Ohio State, the Buckeyes – like they want out of most of their defensive players – will want him to be more versatile and kick inside. 

I believe Adeleye is looking for a college program that will use him more on the edge – perhaps not exclusively on the edge, but he will want to be an edge rusher. I'm just not sure if he's willing to be used on the inside as often as Larry Johnson may want him there.

Lewis offer?

Question 2

Last week, Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington spoke over the phone with the nation's No. 1-ranked outside linebacker, five-star Floridian Terrence Lewis, and we thought an Ohio State offer announcement could be coming soon for Lewis.

Last week came and went, and not only did no offer come, Lewis whittled down his list to a list of six schools on Saturday.

Ohio State found itself off the list after having not offered, as Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Nebraska, Penn State and Texas A&M are the programs in the driver's seat. 

There are a number of reasons why the Buckeyes may have chosen not to offer Lewis yet, and I don't want to speculate on what those may be. Lewis is obviously a player Ohio State may circle around to again. But as of right now it looks like the Buckeyes have moved on and so has Lewis.

Without an offer and with any potential visit to campus impossible until at least June, it looks like Lewis is not an option at this point in time.

Decommitment worries

We saved the most important item – at least in Mark Pantoni's eyes – for last in terms of Ohio State's remaining priorities for the 2021 class: getting all 15 committed players to sign.

Someone asked this question, and I saved the photo but now can't find it anywhere, which is perfectly on brand for things that happen in me and my dad's life. But I digress ... it's an understandable question of are there any worries that a player will decommit?

I'm always of the opinion that no player is truly in the class until he signs his national letter of intent. Like I said in the Wilcoxson section, these are teenagers making one of the most important decisions they will ever make in their lives so there always lies the possibility of a decommitment before the early signing period in December or National Signing Day in February.

Especially for a player like TreVeyon Henderson, who has never visited Ohio State's campus and who powerhouse programs are going to continue gunning after, worries of a decommitment are understandably present – especially after what happened last cycle for the Buckeyes' running back recruits. 

I still don't at all believe those reasons would be enough for Henderson to decommit, and I would be shocked if it happened. He's an extremely intelligent, thorough person, and his decision was not made lightly. 

But still, keeping these guys in the fold will always remain a key focus for Pantoni and his staff. They'll keep recruiting them like they're uncommitted. 

“We’ve got to hold onto all these kids until December so we treat all our commitments like they’re not committed and make sure they continue to feel loved and remind them why they chose here – help give them leadership and accountability in building this class,” Pantoni said. 

As we discussed last week, one of the biggest helps in building the Buckeyes' class to where it already is has been the committed players' own efforts on the recruiting trail. That will also be true moving forward as they look to keep the class intact.

“This class may have done that better than any class I’ve ever seen of coming together and going after the top guys,” Pantoni said. “Social media these days, it’s easy to connect with guys they’ve never met or met once at a camp or met here on campus. Those guys building these relationships and getting the best players that wanna come here.”

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