Ohio State Recruiting: Defense

Ohio State has a big upcoming schedule, with camp on Friday and several unofficial visitors on campus. Where do things stand on the defensive side of the football?

Defensive Line: Dylan Thompson has already pulled the trigger for the Buckeyes and should make the move inside in college. A couple other spots remain to be claimed in the class along the defensive line. One of those spots could be claimed soon as we brought to you yesterday. Ohio State capped off a terrific visit with four-star Jalyn Holmes and it should be a matter of when, not if, Holmes makes the call.

Other possibilities along the line include Thomas Holley, Matt Elam, Elisha Shaw, Solomon Thomas, and Dewayne Hendrix.

Solomon Thomas has already visited Ohio State and the Buckeyes trail but could become a possible landing spot if the ship sinks in Texas. Matt Elam is a defensive tackle from Kentucky that will visit the Buckeyes' campus today and Ohio State will try to make up some ground on the massive lineman.

Elisha Shaw arrives at Ohio State for camp tomorrow and is a very highly rated defensive tackle. There's a good chance Shaw stays in the south but Ohio State gets to take a swing Friday. New York native Thomas Holley is set to arrive in Columbus to visit the Buckeyes on Saturday. Dewayne Hendrix is a defensive end from Illinois that is viewed as a lean to Tennessee. It would not surprise me to see Ohio State receive a visit, as he does have family in Columbus.

With the visitors expected from now until Sunday, Ohio State should have a great feel for where they stand on many of their defensive line targets.

Linebacker: At the start of the cycle, all the talk was about the "Big 3" that consisted of Raekwon McMillan, Dante Booker, and Clifton Garrett. All were thought to be locks and would hold down the linebacker group for the 2014 class. That, in essence, explains the unpredictability of recruiting.

Dante Booker has issued his pledge to Ohio State and the Buckeyes are in good shape to sign Raekwon McMillan when all is said and done as well. However, Clifton Garrett has since shifted his recruiting focus to schools in the SEC and the Buckeyes do not appear to be a realistic option any longer.

In addition to Booker, the Buckeyes also received verbal pledges from linebackers in in-state prospects Sam Hubbard and Kyle Berger. Hubbard may play linebacker at Ohio State but also worked out as a tight end at their most recent camp.

If another linebacker pops up on the scene as a potential target, Petera Wilson of Memphis, Tennessee could fit the bill.

The Secondary: The lone commit so far from this position group is Detroit (MI) Cass Tech cornerback Damon Webb. The four-star prospect has tore up the camp circuit and is expected to be back at Ohio State for the Friday Night Lights camp.

Aside from Webb, there are three other likely candidates to join the Ohio State class. Glenville rising seniors Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith make up two of that group. Lattimore has the ability to excel at both receiver and corner and Erick Smith will be a safety at the next level. A late decision is expected from both athletes.

The other prospect that could announce his intentions to play at Ohio State is Fort Lauderdale (FL) University School safety Quincy Wilson. He has visited the Buckeyes twice already and has a very strong connection with the staff. He wants to decide late but he may not have that luxury.

An interesting visit that is scheduled to take place comes from Cortez McDowell on June 28. The Locust Grove, Georgia product always mentions Ohio State among his top group of schools but Auburn has made a push lately.

Ohio State will continue to chase the five-star talents in Jamal Adams, Tony Brown, and Juju Smith but I don't foresee a lot of traction being made on that front.

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