The Hurry-Up: Top Linebacker Target Raesjon Davis Aims to Visit Ohio State in the Fall, Strong Relationship With Al Washington Helping to Keep Buckeyes in the Mix

By Zack Carpenter on June 8, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Raesjon Davis

The Hurry-Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

Davis plans to visit Ohio State

Last week, we dove into a host of scenarios that could play out in Ohio State’s 2021 class – in terms of the open scholarship spots left – depending on the domino-inducing decisions of the Buckeyes’ top remaining targets.

The one scenario that we left out – the one that, at this point, appears to be the most unrealistic – is for the Buckeyes to bring a second linebacker into the class alongside Reid Carrico. That scenario is the least likely because there’s only one linebacker left who Ohio State would take, and he’s committed to one of the handful of powerhouse programs in college football.

But there’s still life left in Ohio State’s chances to potentially sway Mater Dei (Calif.) four-star linebacker Raesjon Davis, a top-40 overall player and the third-ranked outside linebacker in the country who has been committed to LSU since New Year’s Day.

Eleven Warriors recently caught up with Davis, who told us that things out on the West Coast have been “getting better for us out here. A few more things have opened up.”

The opening of gyms, restaurants and other businesses has varied state-to-state, but the encouraging opening of such places – and the return of college football in some capacity, such as Monday’s return of players to voluntary workouts at Ohio State – is breathing some new life into the possibility of the recruiting dead period being lifted. In the case of most of the recruitments of Ohio State’s main targets, the reopening of visits is the most imperative factor in getting them into scarlet and gray jerseys.

That’s very much the case when we look at the recruitment of Davis. He’s been to Ohio State twice, most recently on March 1, and he told us, “It was super nice. The facilities and everything was great. We had a good time but were on a short schedule because we had to get to other places.”

However, that visit – part of a tour featuring a group of fellow California high school players that saw multiple colleges that weekend – was very brief and did not serve as any sort of true momentous point in Davis’ potential recruitment to Ohio State. In order for Davis to be anything other than a longshot for the Buckeyes, getting him on campus again is absolutely critical. 

He describes his recruitment as “not really” open because he’s happily committed to LSU, but he is still intrigued by what the Buckeyes might offer him. Yet until he gets back to the facilities and sees the coaches again face-to-face, with the most important people in his life by his side, then we shouldn’t expect any movement.

“My family hasn’t been out there yet so we haven’t had the real spark like LSU,” Davis said.

The good news for Ohio State? 

Davis says he does “plan on taking visits once all this stuff is over,” and that includes a game day visit to Columbus in the fall.

“(Ohio State was) one of my biggest offers when I was coming up, for sure,” Davis said. “I would like to see how it is over there in big games and if it’s the right fit, and my family will be with me. … We haven’t set it up. I’m trying to go out to a game if possible. Either the Iowa game or the Team From Up North.”

Those who have been following Ohio State recruiting pretty closely over the last several months and have read up on the impact of Al Washington on the recruiting trail will not be surprised to hear one of the biggest reasons the Buckeyes are still a player in Davis’ recruitment.

“I have a lot of interest because of my relationship with Coach Washington,” Davis said. “But my parents are still feeling out everything.

“(Washington’s) a super cool dude. I enjoy talking to him, and even Coach (Corey) Dennis. He always says something funny. … He’s a funny dude. I talk to him, Coach Washington and Coach (Ryan) Day the most.”

Day is staying pretty involved in Davis’ recruitment. The blue-chip prospect – ranked No. 5 in California’s senior class – says they text and FaceTime often, have gotten on a few Zoom Calls together and, after having met him in-person previously, believes Day is “a really good man.”

Ohio State is not the only visit Davis is planning to make if-and-when the dead period is lifted, as he said he is also planning on getting out to Oregon. 

The Ducks, as fate would have it, also own the top billing for one of the Buckeyes’ cornerback targets in the 2021 class – Mater Dei teammate Jaylin Davies, who announced he will be making a commitment on June 19. The Buckeyes had been the top choice for Davies before they accepted the commitment of cornerback Denzel Burke, and that commitment changed things in Davies’ recruitment.  

After Burke’s commitment, the Buckeyes were set on continuing to recruit Davies, but it appears the four-star senior is trending toward Oregon (after Arizona State had previously been running No. 2 behind Ohio State). 

“They’re the Pac-12 Rose Bowl champions. There's opportunity to play early as a freshman, and (Mario) Cristobal has always shown me love,” Davies previously told Eleven Warriors of the Ducks.

Perhaps Oregon could make itself an even stronger player for the linebacker Davis if it lands the cornerback Davies. 

No matter what, though, none of that will be of circumstance until Davis is able to get out to visit Ohio State or Oregon – or any other school he may want to visit – to determine if there is enough of a reason to decommit from LSU. As of today, he has no reason to make that move.

Raesjon Davis photo courtesy of Gerard Martinez/247Sports

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