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Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day
In the event you missed it — because it happened late last Friday night — the Buckeyes suffered their first, and to this point only, decommitment in the wake of the Urban Meyer investigation when Nashville (Tenn.) CPA 4-star linebacker Kane Patterson re-opened his recruitment about six weeks after committing to Ohio State.
This first #RecruitingQuestionoftheDay for game week is pretty simple to figure out then, isn’t it?
Where do the Buckeyes turn now at LB with the Kane Patterson decommitment
— URBAN IS THE GOAT (@Keithhboi) August 27, 2018
Let’s reset the board with the loss of Patterson who was penciled in as an inside linebacker for the Buckeyes.
Right now, there are two players committed to Ohio State that I feel confident will be playing linebacker initially in Columbus in this current recruiting class: Lexington, Ohio 4-star prospect Cade Stover and Fort Wayne (Ind.) 3-star athlete Craig Young.
The Buckeyes depth chart linebacker is pretty good, with a host of young, talented players — including two sophomores — set to start the season opener against Oregon State in Malik Harrison, Baron Browning and Pete Werner. There is just one senior on the roster at linebacker (Dante Booker), so next year’s situation, even without replacing Patterson, is hardly dire. Justin Hilliard, Keandre Jones, and Tuf Borland can all return in 2019 and the foursome of freshmen Dallas Gant, Teradja Mitchell, K’Vaughan Pope and Javonte Jean-Baptiste have shown early flashes in fall camp. Increased confidence in that group may help ease the Ohio State recruiting staff’s mind as they look at the best possible way to proceed from here at linebacker.
So, let me say that my first thought on what the Buckeyes do now at linebacker in 2019 is stand pat with where they’re at. There’s no need to panic to try and replace Patterson if they’re not 100-percent sold on a player and person to do so.
If they do try and recruit another linebacker though, there are options, of course.
If you check out all the names Ohio State has offered at linebacker to this point though, there are no names that will pop out as a likely option, currently. In fact, 15 of the 17 players that the Buckeyes have offered at linebacker are committed already, the only exceptions being St. Louis (Mo.) Trinity’s Shammond Cooper and…Kane Patterson. Cooper hasn’t been a priority yet for Ohio State, but no one has because the Buckeyes were set at linebacker.
Two weeks ago we mentioned a handful of names in the state of Ohio that could be considered for a late-in-the-process offer, including a few talented linebackers.
The Buckeyes have at least three linebackers committed at the moment, and unless one changes their mind in the near future, they’re probably done at the position. If that does happen though, there are a couple of players in state that can play ball at a high level. There’s St. Ignatius Tommy Eichenberg (committed to Boston College), and I’m a major fan of Jestin Jacobs from Northmont High School in Clayton. He’s committed to Iowa and I see him as the type of prospect that people will be asking “How’d he get out of Ohio” about in a few years. Massillon’s Jamir Thomas is the state’s 10th-ranked prospect according to 247Sports.com but he’s another player the Buckeyes have to this point not offered.
Michigan State commit Luke Fulton from Youngstown Cardinal Mooney is the prototypical Northeast Ohio-born linebacker too, he’s going to be a leader for the Spartans down the road. Dezman Cooper, a 3-star prospect from Reysnoldburg, is a Buckeyes legacy that has intriguing talent as well.
Nationally, it’s harder to get a good read on where things are, or will go. There’s still a lot of questions that Urban Meyer will have to answer for kids and families around the country that have them. Only when Meyer is back will Ohio State know where its most likely to find success on those guys.
For now, my belief is that the Buckeyes stick with what they have at linebacker in 2019.
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Birm is Lettermen Row's Director of Recruiting and the site's primary Ohio State sports photographer. A Toledo, Ohio native, Jeremy has been in similar roles for elevenwarriors.com and Landof10.com and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.