COLUMBUS, Ohio — For Ohio State fans, particularly those who follow recruiting, Tuesday night was another example of how blessed they are.
During the rare times when things aren’t going well for Ohio State on the recruiting trail, it’s worth remembering that recruiting struggles don’t last in Columbus. And they’re virtually non-existent at the end of a recruiting cycle.
With the early signing period approaching, coach Urban Meyer and his relentless recruiting staff helped deliver a double dose of good news with one big evening this week. The first came via the commitment of 4-star wide receiver Kamryn Babb, which wasn’t unexpected but was still cause for celebration given his immense talent. But the icing on the cake came when Pocatello (Idaho) Highland 4-star defensive tackle Tommy Togiai committed with Meyer and Larry Johnson present for an in-home visit.
The weeks leading up to the early signing period hadn’t been the rosiest by Ohio State standards. To be fair, though, that standard is as high or higher at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center than it is at any other program.
Emory Jones, the 4-star quarterback commit from Franklin (Ga.) Heard County, took two visits each to Alabama and Auburn during the season and just one to Ohio State. On that one trip to Columbus, he left without reaffirming his commitment or shutting down his plans to take more visits. As of Dec. 14, he still hasn’t made a declaration one way or another regarding where he’ll end up, though he technically remains committed to the Buckeyes.
On Dec. 6, more bad news came when Stockbridge, Ga., 5-star defensive end Brenton Cox de-committed from the Buckeyes. And to top it off, Ohio State is still fighting tooth and nail with Penn State for 4-star defensive ends Tyreke Smith and Jayson Oweh ― now without the comfort of knowing it has Cox in the class no matter what happens with those two. And while those are the recruiting equivalent of the saying “first-world problems,” that distinction doesn’t make disappointments like that any more pleasant.
But they didn’t last long.
Togiai’s commitment was a relative shock, given his location and the fact that Washington long appeared to be the leader in his recruitment. That Meyer and Johnson can fly to Idaho and seal the deal on a player whose recruitment they trailed in shows exactly why Ohio State fans never should worry about the big picture.
Sure, there will be times when players waffle or leave or never commit at all ― and those setbacks are worth being disappointed over. But when it comes time to get it done, Meyer and his staff have shown they’ll always find a way to make the good outweigh the bad.
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