Ohio State's 2017 recruiting class is already one for the books. The 20 commitments already in the fold have the Buckeyes ranked No. 2 in the country by 247Sports composite.
But two members of Urban Meyer's latest crop of talent, linebacker Baron Browning and cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, desperately want to add another massive piece to the group from their home state of Texas. That is 5-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, who Browning said on Wednesday is down to Ohio State and Florida State in his selection process.
“That’s the guy we want and we’ve been after him for a minute now. Before we even committed, me, Jeff and him talked about playing together,” Browning said. “We hope he joins later on [Wednesday] to make that happen.”
“My prediction is Ohio State. I want him to be a Buckeye. I think if we can get someone from Fort Worth, someone from Dallas, the Austin area and then Houston, Ohio State took over Texas.”– Jeffrey Okudah
The three became close friends throughout the recruiting process, mostly because they all are from the Lone Star State. The Buckeyes have failed to land a big fish at defensive tackle for the majority of Meyer's five-year tenure in Columbus. Wilson is the closest they have come.
“I talked Marvin last night. He doesn't know what he wants to do yet. We're just hoping for the best,” Okudah said on Wednesday. “My prediction is Ohio State. I want him to be a Buckeye. I think if we can get someone from Fort Worth, someone from Dallas, the Austin area and then Houston, Ohio State took over Texas.”
Running back J.K. Dobbins hails from La Grange, Texas, between San Antonio, Houston and Austin. Browning is from Kennedale, near Fort Worth and Okudah is from South Grand Prairie, outside of Dallas. But getting Wilson from Bellaire, outside of Houston, to add yet another star player from Texas would be the cherry on top.
“We’ve been in his ear constantly all week. We’re trying not to bug him too much, but we’ve been in his ear,” Okudah said. “The plan with me and Baron is at 4:35 — that’s when he announces, right? — that we can secure that sixth guy and have this class shoot through the roof.”
Added Browning: “I talked to him [Wednesday] morning. I didn't try to pressure him because I remember at one point in time I was in his shoes before I committed and I didn't want no one pressuring me. I just text him to let him know this isn't recruiting talk, it's just your brother and I love you. Regardless where you go, we're still all going to be brothers.”
But Browning and Okudah can't lie: They want him at Ohio State. Browning said on a 1-10 scale, he puts the chances Wilson lands in Columbus at 7. Pretty high, all things considered, because Wilson has often been viewed as a kid that will stay in the south.
“People might say I'm crazy but I feel pretty positive that we might get him,” Browning said. “Then there's another small half of me that is like, eh. I guess we'll see.”