I remember well the reports coming out of Urban Meyer's early years at Florida with his famed "Friday Night Lights" camp, and how he was light years ahead of everyone else in the recruiting game.
Meyer continued FNL at Ohio State and it has proven to be as successful a recruiting tool as the gameday experience, or official visits late in the year. Simply put, Friday Night Lights is a happening in the recruiting world.
This has turned into a process where the seed is planted for underclassmen, and this is still the case, but this year's edition will have ramifications on the 2017 class.
Which players performing live Friday will eventually end up playing for Ohio State? Let's answer that impossible question to answer.
2017 WIDE RECEIVER: Fans will be able to see Trevon Grimes, Tyjon Lindsey and Jaylen Harris up-close and personal Friday evening. These are the three main players vying for two spots. They are all extremely talented, with Grimes being a personal favorite of mine for a long time. So who gets in the class? Harris wants to wait and decide late, so that puts him on the back burner for me. I'm going with Lindsey and Grimes, and both could leave Columbus as committed Buckeyes. What if Harris and Meyer click Friday night and Jaylen wants in? Ask Urban.
2017 DEFENSIVE LINE: Defensive end Chase Young will be on hand and he's getting lost in the shuffle among so many great players. He shouldn't be, because he is a major talent. He's also going to be a Buckeye. Will it be this weekend? It's all whenever Chase wants to announce it to the world, but I have him in the class.
2017 DEFENSIVE BACK: Oh this group has been fun to watch for over a year now, and it's going to stay that way right through Signing Day. Amir Riep will be back on campus once again, and I have to believe it's to work out with his future coaching staff. What once seemed like a Michigan State lock, has been cracked wide open by Meyer and it appears Riep will commit to the Buckeyes the day after FNL. Darnay Holmes will be on hand and he's a very talented athlete. Not sure there's room for Holmes, which is pretty tough to believe, nor do I think he's ready to decide at this point. Let's put Holmes as Plan-B behind Riep and Shaun Wade.
2018 QUARTERBACK: It appears Ohio State has found their man, it is Emory Jones out of Georgia. I believe this one is done, although I'm not expecting a commitment this weekend.
2018 RUNNINGBACK: This also might not happen this weekend, but it's hard to see Jaelen Gill playing college football anywhere but Ohio State. He has taken a lot of visits, and might want to check out a few more schools, but I have Gill in pen as a member of the 2018 class.
2018 WIDE RECEIVER: Although L'Christian Smith holds an offer and is being recruited as a wideout, I believe he's a tight end at the next level which could prove to be a sticking point. Add in the fact that the Buckeyes are in on several top tight end prospects in this class and you see the dilemma. Let's put Blue Smith on hold for now.
2018 TIGHT END: They are in on so many potentially great tight ends for the 2018 class that in-state stud Trenton Gillison does not hold an offer yet, but folks will see Friday why he will be offered at some point. Jeremy Ruckert and Zack Kuntz will be at FNL and do hold offers. If/when Gillison is offered I see him taking it, but that might not come soon. Unless Urban is blown away Friday, which could very well happen. All of these options are why Ohio State will pass on tight end for 2017.
2018 DEFENSIVE BACK: Gillison's teammate at Westerville South, cornerback Xavier Henderson WILL be offered by Ohio State soon. Bank That. But the Buckeyes are in for a fight with Michigan and Michigan State to land this potentially great corner. He will impress Friday, and show that he belongs with the talented 2017 defensive back group. Henderson can play.
2018 LINEBACKER: Ohio State offered two in-state underclassmen backers recently, and both Chris Oats and Dallas Gant will be on hand Friday night. I like Gant the better of the two, and reminds me so much of former Buckeye Josh Perry. Oats is a fine talent, but might be a defensive end at the college level. I think Ohio State's chances are better with Oats than Gant, who they will have to fight Notre Dame and Michigan State for.
2018 DEFENSIVE END: He is WAY behind fundamentally, but watch rising junior Tyreke Smith perform as an athlete. Hasn't played football since sixth grade, but is 6-foot-5, 245-pounds, of athletic freakness. Once he learns the game he becomes a heavy national recruit. And he's close to that right now. He is also a teammate of Jaylen Harris at Cleveland Heights.
2018 OFFENSIVE LINE: Another very raw but talented player is Fairfield offensive tackle Jack Carman, and he holds a Buckeye offer as well as a ton of other top schools. I also have Carman in this class in pen, but it might happen all that soon.