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Dotting the ‘Eyes: Ohio State commits wait on investigation, clarity with Urban Meyer

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The outcome of the Urban Meyer investigation weighs heavy on the mind of Ohio State commits. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Dotting the ‘Eyes: Ohio State commits wait on investigation, clarity with Urban Meyer

It’s unlikely Ohio State escapes unscathed

The truth is, though, that eventually something is going to happen as a result of all these rumors and allegations and the endless speculation and character crushing around Meyer. It’s not up to me to decide if that should happen, but I think it’s important that expectations be set that are realistic.

No matter how well the Buckeyes coaching staff  handles the situation, and regardless of when or if Meyer returns, these last few weeks will have left enough of a door open for someone to slip out of the current group of commitments. I’d bet a dollar on it, if I was a betting man.

Who will it be? It’s easy enough to guess and speculate, but that’s what’s gotten Ohio State into this mess in the first place, isn’t it?

How much as Ohio State been affected already?

There’s no doubt that even without any decommitments to this point, Ohio State has been hurt by the events taking place in Columbus. The Buckeyes were absolutely going to land defensive back Peyton Powell, and he now seems destined to end up as at Oklahoma. Whether or not the reasons are family ties to the Sooners or location is circumstantial, really. Because the fact is that Ohio State was much easier to pick off in this recruitment because of the uncertainty around Meyer, even though the Buckeyes had all the momentum and the best relationship.

Other players that have been close to the Buckeyes in recent months, guys like D’Von Ellies, Brenton Strange, Kaiir Elam and more, are all in re-evaluation mode. No doubt, programs around the country will point to the turmoil around Ohio State as too volatile to become a part of for recruits. Losing Zach Smith and potentially Urban Meyer would make landing top targets like Zach Harrison, Jameson Williams, Wandale Robinson and others extremely difficult, if not impossible, with an interim head coach and a program in flux.

There’s also no doubt that even if Meyer returns soon, the vultures will still be circling, waiting for him to announce an earlier-than-expected retirement despite a recent contract extension through 2022. They’ll cite the drama around Ohio State as a reason he’ll decide to ride off into the sunset, putting doubt into the mind of players around the country while there will be zero way for Meyer or Ohio State to effectively refute it all the way to signing day.

Ohio State has already been affected by this scandal on the recruiting trail, without question. No matter the outcome, there will be more fallout to deal with at some point.

Need more Ohio State recruiting? Check out the Lettermen Row forums and let us know what’s on your mind. Don’t forget to sign up for the tri-weekly recruiting newsletter, just in case there’s anything you’ve missed during the week.

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.