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. Tuesday’s notebook talks about a key upcoming official visit for Kendall Milton, a pair of Queen City offers extended on Monday night and more.
Kendall Milton will take Ohio State official visit first
There is a slight change of plans for the country’s third-ranked running back. Kendall Milton, a 5-star tailback from Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.) High School, had been planning to take his first official visit to LSU over the weekend of June 7. He’ll visit Ohio State first now.
— Kendall Milton (@_KendallMilton) May 21, 2019
There are certainly a few ways to look at this change, and it could be viewed as either positive or negative for Ohio State. On one side, a program would usually prefer to have the last official visit because it doesn’t want to have a player get too far removed from a visit when he’s closing in on a decision. Coaches generally prefer to leave the final impression on a young man and his family rather than being forced to remind them of the experiences at a school while they’re living them at another.
On the flip side, getting the first official visit means having an opportunity to show a player and his family why they don’t even need to visit anywhere else and that everything they’re searching for is right in front of them. Getting the first official visit means having a chance to set the tone for the remaining visits and allows a player like Milton to make sure he feels he’s the guy in a recruiting class if he wants to be. If Milton is serious about the Buckeyes, for example, maybe he’ll be compelled to decide on Ohio State before June 14 — the weekend that another 5-star running back, Bijan Robinson, lands in Columbus for his official visit.
So, it could go either way. But I don’t think there’s any reason to dive too deep into the psyche of Milton and this particular decision. According to the 6-foot-2, 220-pound tailback, it’s just a simple matter of coordination.
“It just worked out with my time,” Milton said.
It could also be a hint into what’s coming: A rash of official visits to his four finalists and maybe even a summertime decision.
Ohio State extends opportunity for kicker Jake Seibert
We introduced Jake Seibert, one of the country’s premier 2020 kicker prospects, back in the middle of last season.
“I’m just hoping [Ohio State’s need for a kicker] lines up,” Seibert told Lettermen Row in November. “And that they think I’ll be able to help them out in the future.
“I love the Buckeyes. It’s been my dream school forever. My uncle lives up in Columbus, so he kind of got me started with them.”
Now Seibert, the country’s top-ranked kicker according to ChrisSailerKicking.com, has his chance to finish with Ohio State. Kind of.
Extremely excited to say I’ve received a scholarship offer to play football at THE Ohio State University!!!! Thank you @CoachMattBarnes, @ryandaytime, and the rest of the @OhioStateFB staff for giving me the opportunity!! #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/IOV3rHuih3
— Jake Seibert (@seibert_jake) May 20, 2019
A Cincinnati La Salle product, Seibert has picked up an offer from Ohio State — a grayshirt offer. Now he’ll have to sit and decide whether or not his lifelong dream, which would require him to delay going on scholarship in Columbus, is worth passing up an additional semester of paid college at places like Michigan State, UCLA or others.
“I’ve got a really tough decision to make,” Seibert told Lettermen Row. “I’m going to reach out to [Ohio State punter] Drue Chrisman and talk to him about grayshirting, because I know he did that too. That way I can get more of a feel for how that all works.”
Expect Seibert to visit Ohio State in the next few weeks to get a closer look at what life with the Buckeyes would be like before making any sort of decision.
Cincinnati running back Corey Kiner adds Ohio State offer
Ohio State also offered Roger Bacon (Cincinnati) 2021 running back Corey Kiner on Monday night.
— Corey Kiner (@CoreyKiner) May 20, 2019
A 2021 prospect, Kiner is the country’s fifth-ranked running back in his class and Ohio’s third-ranked overall prospect according to 247Sports.com. Kiner camped at Ohio State last summer’s Friday Night Lights and has been in regular contact with Tony Alford, who extended the offer to the 5-foot-10, 205-pound tailback.
“He was saying how much he wanted me to come back up,” Kiner said. “Then he offered me.”
Michigan has all three of the early Crystal Ball predictions for Kiner. The Wolverines have also done an excellent job prioritizing him early in his recruiting process. Kiner expects to return to Ohio State on June 6. Will the Buckeyes pick up their efforts to land him? Kiner is just one four running backs to have an offer in the 2021 class from Alford and Ohio State.
Buckeyes impress Dayon Hayes during first visit
A few weeks back, Lettermen Row introduced readers to Dayon Hayes, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive lineman from Pittsburgh who had caught the attention of Larry Johnson and Ohio State.
That was the same day the Buckeyes offered Hayes, the third-ranked prospect in Pennsylvania’s 2020 class. Over the weekend, the young lineman made his first trip to Columbus and checked out Ohio State with some of his coaches from Westinghouse High School.
— DayonHayes (@HayesDayon) May 19, 2019
“They had a presentation with Coach Johnson and [assistant defensive line coach] Kenny Anunike,” Hayes said. “Then we had a tour, we went out to eat and I just was chilling with the players. There were some NFL dudes there talking, too.
“I just loved it.”
A defensive end by nature, Hayes recorded 26 sacks as a junior at Westinghouse and is a player the Buckeyes believe could play all over the defensive line — like most of their defensive line targets.
Hayes is hoping to return to Ohio State this summer to work with Johnson in a camp setting.
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