Gerard Martinez

Bank Blog: Mid-October Recruiting Update

Ohio State has dropped to number-two in the 2017 recruiting rankings, but the Buckeyes still hold the top average star rating at an eye-popping 4.24. What is upcoming for the Buckeyes?

I wouldn't fret much about the recruiting rankings and Ohio State dropping to the second spot behind Oklahoma, because limited numbers might eventually keep the Buckeyes out of the top spot in the end.

This class is amazing and only going to get better as they add a few more pieces. How many more pieces you might ask? I'm sticking with 21 or 22, but it's a tough number to pin down until we know who's leaving for the NFL. Until that becomes public, I'm sticking with my number. 

Let's take a look at who's on the hook and how things are trending. There has been a little movement in the past two weeks since we last checked in on this class. 

Bubba Bolden: This is the hot name for this class, and for good reason. The Las Vegas safety (and boys with Martell, Lindsey and Garrett) is moving up the charts with a bullet, and I have him pretty darn close to "IN" the class. He visits with his Vegas buddies in early November for the Nebraska game. I think they are going to take him, and I think he's going to want in. Right now, I have him IN the class with a pencil, not a pen.  

Jeffrey Okudah: Only being listed because people will freak out if he isn't, LOL. He's IN. Another five-star commit and a player that hits the field next year in some capacity. Buckeye for sure.

Jaylen Harris: I think it's becoming clear Ohio State needs to upgrade their wideouts, and they have definitely done that with Grimes and Lindsey. Harris is taking his time and going slow with his recruitment, which probably suits Ohio State fine. I think they would prefer he wait as long as possible to decide, and it's after the NFL decisions are made. I would have this one on hold right now, and I don't think a firm decision has been made either way by Urban Meyer yet. He makes all final calls and is the ultimate tie-breaker on staff disagreements. 

J.K. Dobbins: All quiet right now, and I expect them to stay that way as long as the runningback situations stays quiet. If the Cam Akers stuff heats up, and I think the Buckeyes are falling behind with him, then we will look at the Dobbins commitment. Right now, no worries with Dobbins. 

Cam AkersTrey SmithAnthony Hines. None of them are coming to Ohio State as of October 18. Could things change with any of them? It's possible I guess. 

Jay Tufele: Not willing to put him in the above group, but the person I trust in this one says he's staying closer to home. I'm not willing to say "no chance", but I've got this one as "probably not". 

Marvin Wilson: It looks like Charlie Strong got the last minute call from the governor, and while I still have him likely to be fired, he's still on the job. I think Texas is where Wilson wants to go, but ONLY to play for Strong. As long as Charlie is employed as the Longhorns head coach, Wilson will be considered a Texas lean by me. If/When Strong is let go, that puts Ohio State squarely in the mix for this monster defensive tackle. Having Okudah and Baron Browning on board would push the Buckeyes to the top, I believe.

Baron Browning: I have Ohio State as the favorite over Texas here, but Strong being retained could keep the four-star linebacker home. The kicker is that he reports early, but Strong's fate will be decided by then. He is scheduled to commit in late November, which will be cool but not mean anything is etched in stone. The enrollment is the key, and he can decide that on New Year's Day. If I had to pick today I would have Baron Browning signing with Ohio State. I do not have UCLA or Michigan as true players here. 

Markquese Bell: An interesting name for sure and the four-star linebacker from New Jersey has an official scheduled to Ohio State the same day as Browning. Can they take both players? Don't know that answer right now, but he's worth watching going forward. 

Shaun Wade: Very tough to figure out, because on one hand this looks like the typical Florida recruit two-step. I've seen this movie before and know the ending. But he is keeping in regular contact with the Ohio State coaches, as well as regularly visiting Alabama. Usually, when the breakup is coming, the recruit shuts off all contact with the committed school, but that isn't happening. To see Wade signing with Ohio State we need to see his plane land in Columbus one more time. If he's willing to face this staff in person, it means he has not ruled out Ohio State. The visit or not, tells me everything with him. 

The Charlie Strong/Tom Herman effect: Obviously, there is an attraction for some of the recruits on this list to Texas and Strong. Should Strong be let go and Herman be hired, would the same attraction exist? Would the in-state players view Texas even higher with Herman? Or not at all? Too tough to answer at this time, but if Tom Herman is named the Texas head coach in early December there could be some interesting recruiting wars with Urban Meyer on the docket. 


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