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Deontae Craig names top schools, Ohio State out for Justin Rogers

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Ohio State remains in the mix for Indiana defensive end Deontae Craig. (Deontae Craig/Twitter)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Deontae Craig names top schools, Ohio State out for Justin Rogers

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. Today’s update has news on defensive end Deontae Craig, two-way lineman Justin Rogers and more.

Deontae Craig releases top-eight list, Ohio State included

It’s list-trimming season, and Ohio State is one of the eight that remain for The Culver Academies (Ind.) defensive end Deontae Craig. The country’s 26th-ranked strongside defensive end, Craig released his top schools via social media on Wednesday night.

The Buckeyes appearing on Craig’s list isn’t a surprise. He’s been recruited by Larry Johnson and Greg Mattison for months and has visited Ohio State multiple times recently.

“They are a high-level program and one of my dream schools,” Craig said. “So, I hope to get up there again and visit over the summer. I’m starting to put together a plan for official visits now.”

Craig has maintained his relationship with the Buckeyes and has done so by remaining consistent in his efforts to connect with them.

“We’re not talking daily,” he said. “But we talk every week or so. It’s been about the same from the beginning.”

Most notable about Craig’s list is not the Buckeyes being included, but that another one of his dream schools is no longer on it. Notre Dame is out after landing multiple defensive linemen to this point, and despite offering Craig, it appears to have ended the pursuit of him as it looks to finish up defensive line recruiting with Michigan 4-star Braiden McGregor.

Buckeyes out of the mix with Justin Rogers?

While Ohio State makes the cut for Deontae Craig, it is now officially out of the mix for Oak Park (Mich.) 4-star lineman Justin Rogers. The top-ranked player in Michigan’s 2020 class narrowed his top schools to five and announced a decision date of May 20.

There was a time when Rogers and Ohio State seemed to be on the same path, but the relationship and recruitment changed significantly over the past year as Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and others ramped up their involvement. The Buckeyes may have also been hurt in that recruitment as a result of the Dwan Mathis decommitment, which could have soured Rogers and his teammates at Oak Park about Ohio State.

Whatever the reasons, the Buckeye aren’t in the mix for Rogers at this point. But based on his recruitment so far, there will certainly be more twists and turns from here. If the 6-foot-3, 310-pound lineman continues to kick the tires on playing defensive tackle at the next level instead of the offensive line, the heat could get turned up again from Ohio State and Larry Johnson.

Will that matter? We’ll see. Right now it appears Kentucky is the team to beat with a decision less than two weeks away.

Blake Smith sees Ohio State twice in two weeks

We’ve talked over and over about the Buckeyes needing two tight ends in the Class of 2020, and they’ve been sniffing around a dozen or so tight end prospects trying to reach that goal.

One player they’ve been paying attention to but haven’t offered yet is Blake Smith from Southlake Carroll High School in Texas. The country’s 24th-ranked tight end visited Ohio State in March and has been the target of a pair of recent visits from tight ends coach Kevin Wilson.

“Ohio State came by last Monday and again this Tuesday,” Smith told Lettermen Row. “They’re just telling me to be patient.”

Smith has 25 offers and is hearing from the Buckeyes very regularly.

“I”m probably going back up there in the summer,” he said. “Our relationship is amazing. We talk a lot on the phone and through the phone.”

Ohio State offers fast-rising Texas running back

There are not many recruits in any class getting more attention right now than 2022 tailback Emeka Megwa. The Nolan Catholic (Fort Worth, Texas) standout has absolutely blown up in the last two weeks, landing offers from LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Ohio State and more.

A 6-foot, 200-pound tailback who will be a sophomore next season, Megwa has been taken a little by surprise by the recent rash of attention.

“It’s really been my coaches helping me out and letting colleges know who I am,” Megwa told Lettermen Row. “They just like the way I move and look and they think the film is great.”

Though he’s already landed offers from the best college programs in Texas, Megwa is comfortable with the idea of leaving the state for college if the circumstance is right. He hopes to get a visit to Ohio State set up in the near future.

“[Location] doesn’t matter to me at all,” he said. “I like the coaches at Ohio State. I want to take a visit up there. I could see myself doing big things in their offense.”

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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 and and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.