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Recapping Ohio State’s big recruiting weekend
Ohio State hosted a loaded list of visitors last weekend, with more than a dozen highly regarded recruits meeting with Urban Meyer and Buckeyes assistants. Prospects from five different states made the trek, and seven rated as 4-star recruits or better. Much of the focus was on offensive linemen, with offensive line coach Greg Studrawa running the visit set-up and spending time with several of his top targets. Of course, players at other positions came to Columbus, as well. Here’s a list of prospects that Land of 10 has confirmed made the Ohio State visit.
- 2019 tackle Doug Nester — committed
- 2019 guard Zeke Correll — offered
- 2019 tackle Ryan Jacoby — offered
- 2019 defensive end Noah Potter — offered
- 2019 linebacker Shane Lee — offered
- 2019 guard Darrian Dalcourt — offered
- 2019 running back Joachim Bangda — offered
- 2019 tackle Jonathan Allen
- 2019 guard Zach Carpenter
- 2019 tackle JD Duplain
- 2019 tight end Connor Foster
- 2020 tackle Paris Johnson Jr. — offered
- 2020 guard Justin Rogers — offered
Continue reading below for quotes from many of Ohio State’s visitors on campus.
Nester, from Huntington (W.Va.) Spring Valley High, committed to the Buckeyes in August and remains the lone commitment in Ohio State’s 2019 class. This was Nester’s seventh visit to Columbus in the last year and he’s grown increasingly more comfortable with the coaches and players he’ll join at Ohio State after his senior year.
“It was really great. It’s always a blast going to Columbus. Just getting to bond with the coaches and players more is great,” Nester said. “The only thing that I saw that I haven’t seen before was the dorms. I hung out with Max Wray, Matt Burrell, Coach Stud and talked to Coach Meyer for a bit.”
Ohio State would like to see some more top offensive linemen join Nester in the class, and the 4-star prospect was working on it.
“Some of the other recruits came up and asked me questions like why I chose Ohio State and everything,” Nester explained. “I just told them why I did and why I saw it as my best fit. I tried to help recruit a little, but not too much.”
Nester is among the elite recruits in the country, ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 8 tackle in the country and the No. 52 prospect overall. In a year where Ohio State could take as many as five or six offensive linemen and will expect incoming recruits to contribute and fight for spots in the two-deep early on, Nester is working hard to prepare for life at Ohio State.
“The plan for the offseason is just working out and conditioning right now. I need to start working on my pass sets and hands,” Nester said.
Potter is one of Ohio State’s most important priorities in the 2019 class, regardless of geographical considerations. The brother of Buckeyes basketball player Micah Potter and a physically gifted defensive end at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Noah Potter has an outstanding invitation to spend time with the Ohio State football coaches any time he’d like. He took them up on that offer on Saturday, catching up with Meyer.
“It was good. The Ohio State coaches told me that whenever I’m in town for a [basketball] game, they said to stop by, so I did. [Defensive line coach Larry] Johnson was at dinner with his guys, but I talked to Coach Meyer for a while,” Potter recalled. “We were talking about Micah’s season and also how Nick Bosa works to look like he does.”
The Bosa brothers have become something like football role models for Potter. He studies both intently, looking for tips on technique and tactics to incorporate into his own game.
“I model my game after Nick and his brother,” Potter said. “I’ll go on YouTube and try to find their full games, just so I can watch them every play and study their technique, their motor and stuff like that.”
Ohio State’s offer to Jacoby is the most recent scholarship to be extended by the Buckeyes to an in-state recruit. The Mentor High star was offered by the Buckeyes on Jan. 12 and has quickly emerged as a priority. Jacoby and his family made the trip down to Columbus on Saturday and the time spent at Ohio State blew their minds, he said.
“It was an awesome visit. It was the first time my parents got to see all the facilities and meet Coach Meyer and they were stunned with how great everything and everyone was,” explained the No. 33 tackle in the class. “We got to see the dorms and apartments of players and they are sweet. It was great to spend some 1-on-1 time with the coaches. They really blew my parents’ minds with everything they had to tell them and their talks about how much they do to prepare us for life after football.”
Jacoby added that despite the young courtship, Ohio State is beginning to pull ahead of the competition in his mind.
“Ohio State is definitely starting to stand out to my family and I, but we are still going to take our time and visit other schools to compare them and see what else other programs have to say and offer,” Jacoby said, going on to list Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Northwestern, and Wisconsin as other programs he’d like to visit.
The Buckeyes are working on keeping both Jacoby and the aforementioned Potter, his high school teammate, within Ohio. It would be a great opportunity for both, but neither will pressure the other.
“I think it would be sweet to play with [Potter] again but we don’t really talk about college that much together,” Jacoby explained. “We are always here for each other, but we let each other do what’s best for them.”
Paris Johnson Jr.
There’s no doubt that most of the focus of Ohio State’s mini-junior day was on 2019 prospects, but the Buckeyes are never so short-sighted as to ignore the future. Johnson, a Cincinnati St. Xavier tackle, was the first 2020 prospect in Ohio to land an offer from the Buckeyes, and he’s become a major target for Ohio State. The 6-7, 275-pound recruit and his family traveled to Columbus to spend time with the coaches and staffers within the Buckeyes program.
“The photo shoot was impressive and so was the opportunity to talk to the strength coaches, who I believe are just as important as the head coach and position coach. That was great. Me and my family are starting to get to know the coaching staff more,” Johnson explained. “We spoke with them about different opportunities such as Real Life Wednesdays. I think it’s a great program that offers players an opportunity to have a career outside of football.”
Johnson already has an elite offer list, a group that includes Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Clemson, Penn State and Michigan State. Johnson has a robust list of visits planned for the spring and summer.
“I’m planning to visit Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Georgia, Clemson, and Northwestern,” Johnson said.
— Paris Johnson Jr. (@ParisJohnsonJr) February 10, 2018
Allen, a Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar tackle, has flown under the radar compared to some of the state’s other top offensive linemen. But the 6-6, 315-pound standout is among the best players in Ohio. Allen is relatively new to football and it’s a testament to his athleticism and abilities that he has offers from Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa, and other Power 5 programs after just one season of football. Ohio State is beginning to take notice.
“It was pretty fun seeing all the trophies that they’ve won at Ohio State and talking to some of the strength and conditioning coaches, too,” Allen said.
Look for Allen to be perhaps the most prominent 2019 in-state target for the Buckeyes during the upcoming summer camp season — or potentially before then.
— Jonathan.Allen (@Jon110900) February 12, 2018
Shane Lee, Darrian Dalcourt, Joachim Bangda
Lee, Dalcourt, and Bangda, three teammates from Baltimore St. Frances Academy who all hold Ohio State offers, made the trip to Columbus together on Saturday. Only Lee was available for comment, but all three are prospects to watch for Ohio State fans in the future.
“The visit went well. I really enjoyed myself,” Lee said.
Lee is the highest-rated player of the bunch, checking in as a 4-star recruit, the No. 58 overall player in the class, and the No. 2 inside linebacker in 2019. Dalcourt is the No. 37 tackle in the country and a 4-star prospect, but seems more likely to play guard. Bangda is a 3-star prospect, considered to be the No. 55 tailback in the country.
— 2️⃣1️⃣SAVAGE‼️ (@jbangda19) February 10, 2018
Duplain, a 3-star tackle, is just emerging on the Ohio State radar. But the 6-5, 290-pound prospect from Strongsville (Ohio) is a fast-rising prospect who bears watching. Duplain is up to five offers and will likely add several Power 5 scholarships in the coming months.
“It was amazing getting to see everything in person and talking with the coaching staff,” Duplain said of his visit. “They talked a lot about what they offer as a school academically, and all the great opportunities they give their athletes, which I thought was very impressive.”
Expect to see Duplain around the Ohio State campus frequently the next several months as he builds relationships with the Buckeyes and works to add an offer.
“I know that I’m going to come back to Ohio State for a spring practice or their spring game. I’ll have to see where it goes from there but I plan on going to their camp,” Duplain said. “I’m also going down to Kentucky on Feb. 24 and I’m working on setting up a date to go down to Boston College soon.”
Had a great time at THE Ohio State University ⭕️ pic.twitter.com/5oypith37v
— Jd Duplain (@jd_duplain) February 11, 2018
Like Duplain, Foster is a prospect whose athleticism and physical potential are beginning to draw him multiple college offers. Foster, a tight end from Milford (Ohio), is up to a half-dozen offers, including his first Big Ten scholarship from Purdue. At 6-6 and 270 pounds, it’s unclear if he’ll remain at tight end in college, or what teams could expect from him. Regardless, Ohio State wanted to bring in the Cincinnati-area prospect for a visit to continue getting to know him.
“I thought it was amazing. The facilities, stadium, coaches, program, all were super impressive. It was an O-line focused junior day, so Coach Stud ran most of the day,” Foster said. “We talked academics, philosophy, and got an idea of a day in the life of an Ohio State football player. Coach Meyer also took some time to address the group.”
Foster, much like Duplain, will be a player that Ohio State hopes to see around campus frequently the next few months. He plans to oblige.
“They invited me back up for spring practice and the spring game. I made it up last year and I would love to go back up. I would love to get an offer from Ohio State. I’m just going to keep working and see what happens. I’m also going to Cincinnati’s junior day on [this coming Sunday]. After that, I am trying to get a schedule together. I still have a week of basketball left and then tourney starts so I will have to work around that.”
— Connor Nelson Foster (@NelsonFo1) February 11, 2018
Not every recruit was available to comment on their visit. Land of 10 was able to confirm trips from Correll, Carpenter, Rogers, Dalcourt, and Bangda, but did not hear back from the prospects for comment. Carpenter and Rogers, however, both took to Twitter to update fans and friends on their visits.
Carpenter, a 3-star guard from Cincinnati Moeller:
— Zach Carpenter (@CZach23) February 10, 2018
The post Ohio State recruiting: Recapping a loaded Buckeyes football visit weekend appeared first on Land of 10.