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. On Monday, Lettermen Row examines the timing of Ohio State’s offer to Hawaii quarterback Jayden de Laura and how it changes the efforts to land a second 2020 quarterback.
Ohio State offers Hawaii quarterback Jayden de Laura
In Sunday’s edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes, it was disclosed that Ohio State had sent quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich to Hawaii to evaluate and visit with Honolulu 3-star quarterback prospect Jayden de Laura. It wasn’t the first time we’d mentioned the 6-foot-1, 190-pound quarterback. He’s been a target for the Buckeyes for much of the last two months.
Late Sunday evening, de Laura moved up on the list for Ohio State when it offered him a scholarship.
— Jayden de Laura (@jayden_delaura) November 4, 2019
It’s an offer that de Laura thought may come his way, but one that is still a bit overwhelming for the Washington State standout to digest.
“Just getting an offer from them and always growing up watching and hearing about The Ohio State is really jaw-dropping for me,” de Laura told Lettermen Row on Sunday night. “My heart dropped to my stomach because I know the great people that came through that program and that are in there right now.”
The Buckeyes offer to de Laura came following a trip to Honolulu for Mike Yurcich. The two sides spoke on Sunday, and Yurcich and coach Ryan Day delivered the news.
“I talked to both of them on the phone,” he said. “[Yurcich] said that he had to come down and see for himself how I was as a player on the field and off the field, to see how I lead the team. He said he loved that I was tough and an accurate passer. He thinks that I’m a winner.”
USC also offered de Laura recently, and the combination of the Buckeyes and Trojans throwing their hats into the proverbial ring has caused some shockwaves in his recruitment. The heart of the matter now is not whether he will stick with the Cougars, but if he’s going to take a few visits elsewhere before making that final decision.
As of now, that has not been decided. But according to de Laura, it’s something he’ll sort out with his family in the next few weeks.
“We have a two-week bye and then we have our playoff semifinals with the championship on Thanksgiving week,” de Laura said. “My family and I will figure out the details and everything after the season. Until then I am focused on finishing out this season.”
What does de Laura offer mean for C.J. Stroud?
It’s been well-documented that Ohio State has been seeking a second quarterback commitment in the Class of 2020, and of course the primary target until now has been Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) 4-star C.J. Stroud.
The offer to de Laura doesn’t change that in any way.
What it does is offer a little leverage and another very talented option for Ohio State on the recruiting trail as it looks to complement Jack Miller in this recruiting cycle.
With de Laura and Stroud, the Buckeyes know that it’s unlikely any decision is being made before December. By offering de Laura now, the Buckeyes have put themselves into the game well ahead of what would be a few weeks of crunch-time recruiting before the early signing period starts on Dec. 18.
If something goes awry with Stroud, it would be much easier to make hay in the de Laura recruitment by offering now as opposed to days before his college choice was to be finalized.
The question that will undoubtedly be asked: If de Laura wanted to commit to Ohio State today, would he be allowed? Would the Buckeyes forgo C.J. Stroud if de Laura opted for a quick flip from Washington State?
The good thing about hypotheticals is that they’re not reality. There’s not going to be quick decision from de Laura or Stroud, and that means Ohio State has time to continue building its relationship with both and can do that with each player knowing the other is out there with an offer in-hand.
And the Buckeyes can feel confident that by offering each player now, there will be no question of how much they were wanted six weeks from now.
Will Ohio State chase Florida State decommitment Jaylan Knighton?
On Sunday, Florida State made a coaching change and fired Willie Taggart after a year-and-a-half of general awfulness.
If a school’s athletic department knows that a coaching change is going to happen eventually, it should happen immediately. That’s what drove the Seminoles decision. Recruiting is the lifeblood of college football, and having a lame-duck coach is worse than having no coach because at least recruits and their families now know that something is being done to try to fix the program’s issues.
That being the case, Taggart’s termination is likely to bring about an onslaught of decommitments for Florida State, and that began in earnest on Monday morning when cornerback Isaiah Dunson reopened his recruitment — and 4-star running back Jaylan Knighton followed suit about two hours later.
Gods plan…🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/HCmbk6mKR2
— The real Rooster‼️Ⓜ️ (@jaylan_knighton) November 4, 2019
Though Ohio State was at one time considered the favorite to land the Deerfield Beach (Fla.) prospect, sources close to the program have indicated to Lettermen Row that right now there’s no plan for a renewed push to land the country’s No. 10-ranked tailback. Instead, Ohio State will continue to focus its recruiting efforts on Dalton (Ga.) 4-star Jahymr Gibbs and Cincinnati prospect Miyan Williams while it waits to see if there’s an opportunity to truly re-engage with 5-star Texas commitment Bijan Robinson.
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