Five For Friday

The Thursday commitment of Dante Booker invariably leads to the question of "Who's next?" Derek Young takes a look at the Ohio State recruiting situation.

Every Friday I will compose a story called "Five for Friday" that tackles a topic on Ohio State football recruiting. Each week will cover a subject on the Buckeyes' recruiting efforts and be answered with five possible answers.

With Akron linebacker Dante Booker issuing his pledge to the Ohio State staff yesterday, the first edition addresses the next possible commit for Urban Meyer's Buckeyes.

THE CANDIDATES

Jamarco Jones: The Chicago (IL) De La Salle offensive tackle has a decision date set for June 27. Jones holds several offers that include Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Northwester, Oklahoma, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, and Wisconsin. Four schools I didn't mention are Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, which are the four schools he will choose from at the end of June.

Jones has visited Ohio State several times over the last year and the Buckeyes are in a great spot to land the nation's sixth rated offensive tackle. The school that outduel Ohio State for his commit is Michigan State. The Spartans already hold commits from two of his close friends in Brian Allen and Enoch Smith Jr. He plans to visit all four of his finalists before making his college choice.

Brandon Harris: The Louisiana signal caller is one of a few possibilities to be the Buckeyes' quarterback for the 2014 class. Harris has received plenty offers the past few months and has a top seven list of schools composed of Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and Ohio State. He expects to visit all seven schools before making a college decision on July 18 so Jamarco Jones could beat him to the punch.

The Parkway product will visit LSU this weekend before competing in the Elite 11 quarterback camp in Columbus and visiting the Ohio State staff and campus the following weekend. Whether or not the Buckeyes' staff would welcome him into the fold before gathering all the information they need on their chances with Deshaun Watson or Kyle Allen remains to be seen.

Chase Winovich: The Pennsylvania outside linebacker could very well make the jump into the Buckeyes' class before everyone on this list. Ohio State and Michigan have each received a couple visits from Winovich and have the best odds to receive a commitment from the three-star prospect from Clairton.

The Buckeyes were in the best spot over a month ago but the Wolverines have made a charge. Winovich's recruitment has resembled Kyle Berger's significantly, who eventually made the call to pledge to Ohio State. It could fall that way again for the Buckeyes but the large linebacker class Ohio State expects to bring in could steer him to Ann Arbor.

Derek Kief: The talented four-star wide receiver has visited Columbus to check out the Buckeyes a couple times already and lists them in his top five alongside Alabama, Kentucky, Northwestern, and Notre Dame. The Buckeyes already added a receiver to the class in Gary, Indiana athlete Lonnie Johnson. With two spots, at most, left for a player of his style, Kief could be pressed to make a quicker decision than he'd like.

If Kief has a desire to join the Ohio State class a quick decision would benefit his chances. The longer he waits the more unlikely it could become. In that situation, Kentucky could be the biggest benefactor as they already have and continue to pursue the La Salle standout as if he's their top target at the position.

Austin Roberts: The Carmel, Indiana native is a bigger target at receiver and could fit what Ohio State is looking for at the position. Roberts has other offers from schools such as Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, and Stanford. He once was hoping to choose a college around this time but has since pushed back his timeline after receiving offers and interest from many other top programs.

If Kief were to join the fold, Ohio State would not have room at the inn for Roberts but he could land a spot if Kief and the Buckeyes don't come together. Ohio State probably wants to grab two bigger receivers and chase another can't-miss prospect up until Signing Day. The Buckeyes were near the top of Roberts' list after he visited them for the Spring Game but the Hurricanes could pose a threat as well. His dad played for Miami so he is very familiar with their program.


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