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 looking at the newly-extended recruiting dead period and its impact on the Buckeyes recruiting efforts in 2021 and 2022.
NCAA extends dead period, no in-person visits until June
The Buckeyes will have to wait an additional six weeks to get back to recruiting in person. On Wednesday night, the NCAA announced that the March dead period instituted as a result of coronavirus concerns will now last through the end of May.
Division I, Division II extends their recruiting dead periods: pic.twitter.com/aIC7WUTg3p
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) April 1, 2020
As high schools around the country remain closed and college campuses sit empty, the in-person evaluations that usually happen in spring are off the table. Any further delays will also put the June camp season in jeopardy, which could have serious ramifications for a number of recruiting classes and high school students.
Ohio State sources indicated to Lettermen Row last weekend that it would be at least June until in-person recruiting would resume, so while Wednesday’s announcement is hardly a surprise, it still presents a unique challenge for Ryan Day and his recruiting staff.
Pat Coogan excited by Ohio State virtual visit
As the Buckeyes battle the unique challenge presented by the recruiting dead period, they’re adjusting to new methods of recruiting. One of those approaches is the virtual visit, which Marist (Chicago) High School prospect Pat Coogan experienced on Monday. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman, ranked as the No. 14 player in Illinois, enjoyed a unique opportunity.
“I learned a whole bunch about things outside of football [at Ohio State] that are very important,” Coogan told Lettermen Row. “It was a Zoom call. It was awesome. A really cool experience put together by Coach Day and the staff.”
Of course, Ohio State coaches are social distancing. So while Coogan didn’t get to visit the school as he originally intended, he did get to look into the homes of each Buckeyes staff member he spoke with on Zoom.
“It started first with an introduction from Coach Day, then went to academics and tutoring stuff like that, then to player development with [Ryan] Stamper and Real Life Wednesdays,” Coogan said. “Then it was on to [strength] Coach Mick Marotti and strength and conditioning and finished with Coach Day again. Everyone was at their own homes, so each person had their own presentation.”
Coogan was offered by Ohio State on Monday, a few days after picking up a big offer from Notre Dame. As a Chicagoan, the Irish are expected to be the favorite for Coogan from here, but he feels no pressure to commit right away. The offer from Ohio State was surely always on the way, because there’s been very regular conversation between the two sides.
“We’ve been talking almost every day,” Coogan said. “They’ve really talked about how I would fit their program and be able to thrive both academically and athletically.”
The recruiting hiatus has forced Coogan to reassess his decision plans, and he doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make a choice.
“I feel like it has slowed things down instead of speeding them up,” Coogan added. “I will take more visits after it opens up and then plan my officials from there.”
LSU and Oklahoma offered Coogan late Wednesday night.
Jager Burton confirms official visit plans at Ohio State
If visits are permissible once again in June, the Buckeyes will be paying close attention to the weekend of June 12. That is looking like a monster visit weekend for Ohio State. One of the top remaining offensive line targets for the Buckeyes, Kentucky’s Jager Burton, confirmed his plans to visit Columbus that weekend.
— Jager Burton (@jager_burton) April 1, 2020
Ohio State commitments Donovan Jackson and Ben Christman are expected that weekend with Burton, and it’s likely that the Buckeyes will try and bring J.C. Latham and other top offensive line targets into town at the same time.
Ohio State in the mix for Shambre Jackson
There are a number of options out there still for the Buckeyes when it comes to the defensive line, and that includes Florida 4-star prospect Shambre Jackson.
The 6-foot-4, 243-pound end out of Boone (Orlando) High School put out his top-13 schools on Wednesday, and the Buckeyes are one of the programs to make the cut.
Top 13. Recruitment still open. pic.twitter.com/3sc9NVhRU8
— shambre jackson (@JacksonShambre) April 1, 2020
Ohio State offered Jackson in January He has not visited the school to this point, but he told Lettermen Row that he’s remained in regular contact with Tony Alford, who recruits the Orlando area for the Buckeyes.
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