Ohio State made last Saturday's game with Penn State a focal part of their recruiting strategy, and several big-name recruits were on hand to watch the Buckeye victory.
Four key 2016 visitors headlined the recruiting weekend, and Ohio State is hoping to land commitments from each. How did the Buckeyes fare with each key recruit?
Antonio Williams: Obviously the Buckeyes landed a commitment from the four-star runningback, and that was certainly the plan heading into the weekend. The writing was on the wall once Williams decommitted from Wisconsin last week, and this is a big get for Ohio State given runningback depth. The commitment also provides Ohio State with protection against a possible decommitment from Kareem Walker, and shows Walker they are going to be fine, with or without his services. Ohio State would still take Walker, and pair him with Williams, or move on. If Walker is going to formally decommit from Ohio State, look for that to happen after this coming Friday when his team plays in Cincinnati. Regardless, Ohio State has added a quality runningback in Antonio Williams. Walker would be a bonus, and a big one.
Sam Bruce: The four-star wideout taking an official to Ohio State was huge news in itself, and Bruce made several positive comments about his visit. One of the keys to the visit was the presence of his mother, and she has given her blessing to Sam signing with Ohio State. Bruce remains committed to Miami, and is very close to wide receivers coach Kevin Beard. There will be more officials coming, and Bruce's final choice will be known on National Signing Day when some team gets his fax. Ohio State is in the Sam Bruce sweepstakes for sure, and now it's up to Zach Smith and Urban Meyer to seal the deal. I do not expect another visit from Bruce prior to Signing Day, but should one occur, Ohio State would become the favorite in my opinion.
Rashard Lawrence: Although there were some positive comments from committed Ohio State recruits regarding Lawrence, I'm not as optimistic as others about the Buckeyes pulling this kid out of Louisiana. I am convinced that he was impressed by what he saw, and have no doubt his interest in Ohio State is real. I do not see Ohio State signing Rashard Lawrence next February, although I will admit there is growing optimism among current Buckeye commits. This is another one that will go down to the wire, but I need to hear more before I put Lawrence into this class. His odds would be lower than those for Sam Bruce, in my opinion.
Binjimen Victor: If anyone's stock is up with Ohio State, it is definitely Victor and I'm ready to now list the Buckeyes as the favorite to sign him. I also don't see Florida as the main rival, as many others do. To me, Miami is the threat here and terminating Al Golden would put them back in the game for Victor. Miami is his childhood favorite and dream school, but current situations have them on the outside. Firing Golden, and hiring a MIami-friendly head coach is the only way the Canes get back into the Victor sweepstakes. If Signing Day were today, and with Florida kids Signing Day is the ONLY day that counts, I would have Binjimen Victor signing with Ohio State.