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 we’re updating the recruitment of Chris McClellan, a new defensive tackle on the Ohio State recruiting board.
Ohio State offers Oklahoma standout defensive tackle
For the second time in two days, Larry Johnson and Ohio State have offered a new 2022 defensive tackle. On Wednesday it was Kansas standout Domonique Orange, and on Thursday the offer went out to Oklahoma star Chris McClellan.
The country’s No. 48-ranked defensive tackle announced his offer on Twitter. Larry Johnson and Ryan Day extended the offer, and the 6-foot-3, 290-pound lineman had a feeling it could be coming after the legendary line coach followed him on the social media platform last week.
“Ohio State is one of the best programs in the nation,” McClellan told Lettermen Row. “Academically and athletically. They’ve consistently been producing some of the best defensive linemen in football.”
That production stars with talented players and ends with Johnson’s tutelage. The conversation had by the lineman and the Buckeyes on Thursday night left McClellan feeling pretty good about himself.
“Coach Johnson really gave me a great review, pertaining my film,” he said. “Actually a lot better than I expected coming from a coach like him.”
After two years at Edison High School in Tulsa, McClellan is now at Owasso High, the alma mater of current Buckeyes safety Josh Proctor. The chance to play for Ohio State is something he’s thought about for the last few years, and the move to a program like Owasso was something he felt he needed to do in order to facilitate it.
“[I transferred] to better prepare myself for the next level,” McClellan said. “I plan on being an early graduate and my head coach is a former Division I college head coach. Our program is run like a college team, from academics to the weight room. In my eighth grade year I told myself that I was going to work hard enough to have a chance to play at Ohio State for Coach Johnson one day.”
The chance to make that dream a reality is now officially real. There’s a plan for an upcoming virtual tour and then an official visit.
“Me and Coach Johnson are going to be figuring out the virtual visit soon,” McClellan said. “And I will definitely be taking an official visit to Ohio State.”
Sherrod Covil not ruling out Buckeyes, has ties in Columbus
A player that Ohio State has not offered but may be close to doing so is Sherrod Covil, a 4-star safety prospect from Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) High School.
“My coach told me about [defensive coordinator Kerry] Coombs reaching out to him,” Covil, the nation’s No. 16-ranked safety, told Lettermen Row. “They haven’t been able to connect due to bad timing I guess.”
Clemson is the most recent offer for the 6-foot, 185-pound defensive back, a program he’s called a “dream school.” He’s been narrowing down his top schools list from among his 38 offers, but certain schools will always be in the mix if an offer comes.
“I had a top 10 already, Clemson just made it a top 11,” he said. “If the top five schools in the country offer you, you better take a long hard look. They don’t offer everybody.”
That list of course includes Ohio State. The Buckeyes have could have a little extra help if they decide to offer.
“It definitely wouldn’t be too late if they offered,” he said. “Plus my godparents live in Columbus. As a family we’re supposed to be going there in the next few weeks. They’ve lived their whole lives except for when they were in the Air Force, I believe.”
Ohio State has second conversation with rising star A.J. Harris
A little more than a week after receiving his Ohio State offer, Phenix City (Ala.) star A.J. Harris had his first conversation with Ryan Day. That conversation came as part of a Zoom call with the country’s No. 2-ranked 2023 cornerback and Kerry Coombs.
“He was really cool,” Harris said. “I really liked his style. It was honest, you could tell. A lot of coaches tell me: ‘Oh, this is the place for you.’ But he was different. He was telling me: ‘This place isn’t for everyone, so you have to really want to be here.’ That was different for sure.”
Harris has emerged as one of the country’s hottest recruits in the last few weeks. After the Ohio State offer, LSU, Alabama, Penn State, Florida, and Tennessee have all offered. He is hoping to make some visits to local schools in the next few weeks, and he and his father will make a trip to Ohio as soon as possible following the end of the recruiting dead period.
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