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. Thursday’s notebook talks about the decision for Jack Miller and introduces a trio of young stars with Ohio State interest.
Jack Miller will return to field, Ohio State
The rumors around the status of commitment Jack Miller are swirling a day after the offer from Ohio State to C.J. Stroud became public.
The internet is a wild place. Miller’s social media profiles are being scrutinized with people concerned that he no longer makes mention of the Buckeyes on his Instagram profile. Others have noticed the removal of the “Ohio State commit” verbiage that adorned his Twitter profile, while ignoring the fact that his pinned tweet has him 100-percent committed and “Go Bucks” on it.
This situation between Miller and Ohio State is going to be complicated, and that’s why first-year quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich was in Arizona on Wednesday visiting with the 6-foot-4, 210-pound senior quarterback. The goal of the visit was to reiterate what the message has been for months, that the Buckeyes are working hard to put together the best roster they can and the hope is that it includes both Miller and Stroud.
It was also a chance for Yurcich to see Miller on the field for the first time in a while, checking out practice as the nation’s No. 11-ranked pro-style quarterback prepares for a return to action Friday after missing the last month of games with an injury.
For Miller and Yurcich, it was a chance to talk about the offer to Stroud and to reconnect about the plans for all sides moving forward.
That plan includes, according to Jack Miller Sr., a trip to Ohio State in two weeks for the family.
“We will head up there for the Wisconsin game to meet with Coach [Ryan] Day,” the elder Miller told Lettermen Row.
Ohio State hosts local standout Gabe Powers
Last weekend, the Buckeyes welcomed in Marysville 2022 standout Gabe Powers for a game-day visit for the first time. He previously tripped to Columbus in August, where he spent some time with Day and linebackers coach Al Washington. He didn’t get much time with the coaching staff on Saturday night, however.
“I didn’t get to meet with Ryan Day last weekend,” Powers told Lettermen Row. “I left the game early because I had film study early the next morning. I have had a good one-on-one meeting this summer when they invited me down for a visit, though.
“[Al] Washington has told me I have a bright future and said I am one of the best sophomores in the state. He said I remind him of Khalil Mack and that he is looking forward to seeing me more in the future.’
A 6-foot-4, 220-pound linebacker prospect, Powers has early offers from Michigan and Colorado — and said the Buckeyes interest in him likely stems from the attention from the Wolverines. It could eventually lead, though, to an offer from the Buckeyes.
“Ohio State had seen Michigan and Colorado offered me and looked at my highlights,” he said. “I didn’t camp there this summer. Ohio State has been telling me that they’re watching me and that I have been doing a great job. They said they are looking forward to seeing me in the future.”
Powers grew up in Ohio and did so rooting for the hometown Buckeyes. But he believes he can and will separate that fandom from his recruitment.
“I am born and raised a Buckeyes fan,” he said. “That will not be a deciding factor in my recruitment. Michigan has shown me a lot of love.”
Michigan legacy hoping to visit Ohio State
While we’re on the topic of sophomores who grew up rooting for their local Big Ten team, let’s introduce Alex VanSumeren to Ohio State readers.
For diehard Big Ten recruiting followers, the name should be somewhat familiar, because his brother Ben VanSumeren is a sophomore at Michigan. The younger Van Sumeren told Lettermen Row that he’s hopeful to visit the Buckeyes sometime this season.
“My coach is working on it, but I don’t have anything set yet,” the 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive tackle prospect said. “I’d really like to get to Ohio State this season. I know my coach has talked to [Buckeyes defensive coordinator] Greg Mattison.”
The contact with Ohio State has been minimal. But VanSumeren, who has early offers from Michigan, Kentucky and Central Michigan, said Notre Dame, Florida, Penn State and Wisconsin have all been in contact with his coaching staff about him. Like a lot of young players from a state with a major program or two and a family tie to one of them, he believes that some schools are shying away from recruiting him because of the perception that he’s guaranteed to follow in his brother’s footsteps.
He senses that, but knows he can’t focus on it.
“They are definitely some other schools that I would love to have an opportunity at [outside of Michigan],” VanSumeren said. “What I try to do is not be focused on recruiting. My focus has to be on getting better and putting in work that will make be better. It’s not good for anyone if that’s not the goal.”
Focusing on improvement and not the hype around recruiting? That’s the right way for a player to endear himself to college coaches.
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