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, including a big promise from Ohio State commitment Garrett Wilson.
Garrett Wilson vows Ohio State has big things coming
There really isn’t a way to sugarcoat it, even if you wanted to.
Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class has been in a bit of a rut since July.
Why? That’s open for interpretation, I think. There are a number of different reasons that can be pointed to as the impetus for this phenomenon, but either way, it’s a real thing. The Buckeyes currently have 14 commitments for 2019, but they haven’t added one since Cormontae Hamilton committed in late July. They lost a commitment in August from Kane Patterson, though. That’s left them neutral in the last two months, which has them right now ranked as the Big Ten’s third-best class, trailing Michigan and Penn State.
5-star commit Garrett Wilson isn’t panicking, though.
— Garrett Wilson (@GarrettWilson_V) September 25, 2018
It’s easy to go on Twitter and make bold proclamations. I asked Wilson if he’d be willing to expound on his statement a little bit. He was.
“These next few weeks will have a lot more action than the last few weeks have,” Wilson told Lettermen Row. “It’s just a blessing to be a part as we build this class.”
Wilson, of course, wouldn’t specify any names that Ohio State should look for movement with, but it’s a safe bet that one of them is St. Louis 4-star wide receiver Jameson Williams. There is some belief that a decision could be made by Williams in the next few days, which would be big for the Buckeyes because it would likely mean a cancellation of his planned official visit to Alabama on Oct. 13.
Wilson would admit that Williams has been a major target of his, personally. He also says he’s been trying to land another big-time running back, though he’s not quite as confident on that front.
“Jameson and Elijah Higgins were big ones for me that I’ve been talking to,” Wilson said. “I talk to Trey Sanders, too, and I think he’s really interested. It’s for sure a long shot, but it felt good to know we’ve got a shot.”
I don’t personally know if Ohio State is interested in taking that shot with Sanders, considering they seem set at tailback with Sampson James and Steele Chambers. But Sanders is the country’s top-ranked tailback, so it’s hard to dismiss the interest altogether. The Buckeyes make sure their commits know which players are important to recruit, though, as you’d expect.
“I wouldn’t say it happens in a group setting or anything, but usually every time I talk with any of the coaches recruiting is something we talk about,” Wilson said. “I’m sure it’s the same with the other recruits.”
Another visit for Ohio State commit Jordan Battle with more to come?
In order for the 2019 class to really end up in the special category, Ohio State has to make sure its current crop of commitments stays put. There are few concerns at this point, but there’s no doubt that the recruitment of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas defensive back Jordan Battle remains one of them.
Battle took in the Alabama and Louisville game in early September as a guest of the Tide, though that game was at a neutral site. There’s a new visit on the horizon for Battle, and it will be to Oklahoma, according to the Sooners site on TheFootballBrainiacs.com.
Before everyone freaks out, it should be noted that Battle’s visit could just be for fun, since he’s heading to Norman with St. Thomas teammate Jaden Davis, an Oklahoma commit, and fellow Fort Lauderdale native, running back Kenny McIntosh. The visit, if he makes it, appears to be an official visit, which really doesn’t change much about the reason but does change who is paying for it. It certainly behooves the Sooners to take a shot with Battle, even if they have to pay for it, since he’s one of the country’s most elite defensive backs. They’ll hope his relationship with Davis is enough to open a window in his recruitment.
Battle is expected to make his next visit to Ohio State on Oct. 13, and that will be an official, according to his father. He told Lettermen Row following the trip to see Alabama that he and his son still had a few more questions they wanted the Buckeyes to answer before they’d entirely shut down the recruitment.
“[Urban Meyer] apologized and said he was sorry that we had to go through the investigation,” Fred Battle, Jordan’s father, told with Lettermen Row. “We are a little more confident now, but still some questions have to be asked. We will wait to ask in person when we visit for a game.”
Before the Ohio State visit, and maybe even after though, there will be more visits according to his dad. Still, at this point, Buckeyes fans can feel somewhat secure in his commitment.
“He has three official visits left and wants to use them,” the elder Battle said on Tuesday. “But he Loves Ohio State and loves the defensive coaching staff, especially Coach [Taver] Johnson. It will take something serious to happen to change his mind.”
This has all the intrigue of a traditional Florida-based recruitment, so hang on tight. Look for LSU, Alabama and maybe Florida to still get him on campus for official visits.
Renardo Green decommits from Florida State, plans visit
Speaking of Florida-based recruitments and intrigue, Ohio State target Renardo Green has decommitted from Florida State.
I put my trust & Faith into God 🙏🏽and let him take the wheel💯. Respect my decision‼️ pic.twitter.com/oZvii3HpyT
— Renardo Malcom Green (@nado2times) September 25, 2018
We mentioned Green here in this space about two weeks ago when it was announced he’d take an official visit to Ohio State on Nov. 24. He’s a teammate of major defensive tackle target Tyler Davis and former linebacker target/current Georgia commit Rian Davis. That trio visited Columbus together in June.
Green is the country’s No. 46-ranked cornerback and a 3-star prospect according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings. This recruitment will be worth monitoring over the next two months. He had been committed to the Seminoles since April 16.
Ohio State awaits word on power forward E.J. Liddell
There may be an end in sight for Ohio State and its pursuit of 4-star 2019 power forward E.J. Liddell, the country’s No. 48-ranked basketball prospect.
Liddell visited the Buckeyes officially over the Sept. 1 weekend and since has taken two other official visits, to Missouri and Illinois, the programs that sit inside of Liddell’s final three schools with Ohio State. Throughout the last month, the Buckeyes have maintained a healthy lead in the 247Sports.com crystal ball predictions despite rumors of a desire to stay closer to home that appear to be unfounded, according to sources close to the Ohio State program.
The feeling right now is that a decision from Liddell could come soon, but to this point, there’s no specific timetable set for an announcement. Ohio State has Liddell as the priority target to fill out its 2019 class. They’d love to place him alongside 5-star point guard D.J. Carton and 4-star small forward Alonzo Gaffney.
A 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward, Liddell averaged 20.9 points per game as a junior while pulling down 8.2 rebounds a contest for Belleville (Ill.) West High School.
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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.