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Cam Martinez waits out options, Michael Hall in holding pattern

Cameron Martinez-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Cameron Martinez is focused on basketball as Ohio State waits for Jeff Hafley's replacement. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Cam Martinez waits out options, Michael Hall in holding pattern

Stay in touch or be left out because Ohio State recruiting is a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week obsession. What’s the latest news as the Buckeyes build for the future? Get that and more Sunday through Thursday on Lettermen Row. The midweek notebook updates some big decisions coming for Cameron Martinez and catches up with apriority 2021 target with Ohio State interest.

Cameron Martinez waiting for word before key visit decisions

The lone unsigned commitment in the Ohio State recruiting Class of 2020, Cameron Martinez has already shown both a willingness and desire to make sure everything is in order before making a final decision on his collegiate future.

The nation’s No. 14-ranked athlete and a 4-star prospect, Martinez is taking the same patient approach to the final few weeks of his recruiting process, choosing to avoid any decisions about other schools or other visits at this time.

“I haven’t made any decisions,” Martinez told Lettermen Row. “I haven’t made any decisions on taking a visit.”

The visit Martinez is speaking of, specifically, is a rumored trip to Notre Dame that it is apparently angling for over the weekend of Feb. 1. The Irish have been in contact with the Buckeyes commitment in the last few weeks, hoping to take advantage of Ohio State’s as-of-yet unfilled coaching vacancy created by the mid-December departure of defensive co-coordinator Jeff Hafley.

Though top candidate Kerry Coombs appears likely to return to the Buckeyes as Hafley’s replacement, the inability to officially name him to the position has put them and Martinez in a bit of a pickle. If Coombs and his current employer, the Tennessee Titans, continue the unexpected run through the NFL Playoffs by beating the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend, then it’s wholly possible that any sort of public announcement could be delayed all the way through the Super Bowl, which will be played Feb. 2 in Miami.

The short contact window that will serve as the culmination of the 2020 recruiting cycle? That ends on Feb. 2. Even if Coombs were named as Hafley’s replacement on the morning of Feb. 3 right after the Super Bowl, there’d be no opportunity for him to meet with Martinez and his family in person before a final decision came down from the Michigan standout. As one would expect, getting the chance to meet Coombs or any other coach filling in Hafley’s spot is important to Martinez. Ryan Day will make a separate in-home visit with Martinez, and he and his family speak regularly with the Buckeyes coach.

A meeting with the next defensive backs coach is expected to happen — at some point.

“Whoever Ohio State hires, that person is going to come up and see me,” Martinez said. “It matters a lot to meet him face-to-face.”

Minnesota remains a possibility as well for Martinez, who is now in the middle of his senior season of basketball for the Big Red, which further complicates his potential visit schedule. He has already used his official visit with the Golden Gophers.

Buckeyes continue to prioritize Michael Hall

Another player being recruited by the Buckeyes who remains in a waiting pattern of a different kind is Streetsboro 2021 defensive tackle prospect Michael Hall.

A 6-foot-3, 280-pound athlete, Hall has an Ohio State offer and remains very much a priority for the Buckeyes in the Class of 2021. Ohio’s No. 9-ranked junior, Hall has remained in contact with Ryan Day and Larry Johnson and has heard from that duo in the last week after a slight slowdown in conversation throughout December and Ohio State’s playoff push.

“Right now it’s just about every day, if not, every other day,” Hall told Lettermen Row. “The relationship right now is really based on life outside of football. Family, hobbies, school.

“There’s a big difference, I don’t really talk to other coaches as much. It really means something talking to a head coach a lot.”

The expectation is that Hall will eventually find himself in the Ohio State commitment column on the 2021 recruiting scorecard, but he’s in no hurry because he wants to make sure every option is explored. He’s hoping to make some more visits and has two schools in mind that he’s interested in getting more familiar with.

“That’s the reason I haven’t committed yet,” he said. “I haven’t experienced or visited any other schools yet.”

Penn State and Georgia are two of the schools Hall named when asked what spots are still catching his interest. He had multiple conversations with the Bulldogs on Tuesday, but they haven’t yet extended a scholarship offer.

Need more Ohio State recruiting #Stuff? Join the conversation below in the comments and sign up for Scarlet Sunrise, Lettermen Row’s morning newsletter that will get your day started with all the important Ohio State news you need to know. Prefer video? Follow Buckeyes football on YouTube with Lettermen Row. You can also get your recruiting fix by subscribing to Talking Stuff: The Ohio State Recruiting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher.

Birm

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.