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Crystal balls change for Ohio State targets, Jahvaree Ritzie cuts list

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Ohio State has been near the top of the list for Emeka Egbuka for more than a year. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Crystal balls change for Ohio State targets, Jahvaree Ritzie cuts list

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. Monday’s notebook examines the recent run of crystal ball predictions for top Ohio State targets and breaks down what to expect from here.

Changing crystal balls for Ohio State receivers

Who said a recruiting dead period has to be boring?

The Buckeyes have put together a pretty spectacular run on the recruiting trail in the last six weeks, and because of that, everything that happens from here is going to continue drawing major attention. That includes things that are truly interesting and things that are relatively benign, and there aren’t many facets of the recruiting industry that bring those together more frequently than 247Sports.comΒ crystal predictions from various well-connected analysts from around the country.

In the last few days, the crystal-ball predictions have come in fast and furious for Ohio State wide receiver targets Emeka Egbuka and Troy Stellato, though they’re going in different directions. Egbuka, the country’s’ top-ranked receiver, has seen a number of prominent analysts — including a pair of the most in-tune dudes on the West Coast — predict he’ll end up with the Buckeyes. For Stellato, the recent run has been favoring Clemson. If I was someone who utilized the crystal-ball predictions, I would not disagree with either choice.

There has been some hope in Columbus that the Buckeyes would able to land both Egbuka and Stellato (or Florida’s Christian Leary, who will commit on June 6). But the odds of that happening were never particularly high. One or the other has been a much more likely outcome from the start, and the Covid-19 pandemic happening when it did has really accentuated the visits these kids made in the last few months. Those lasting impressions haven’t had a chance to be washed away or undone by other schools.

The big questions here are whether or not anything is happening imminently for either player. There doesn’t appear to be, and I think that’s because each wide receiver is still waiting to find out if Ohio State is going to have its big June recruiting weekend, which appears unlikely. If the Buckeyes don’t get a chance to see these two in June as they hope, then some big decisions may need to be made by both Egbuka and Stellato without making final visits to campus as intended.

For now, though, I think this one is heading this way: Emeka Egbuka to Ohio State, Troy Stellato to Clemson.

Jahvaree Ritzie has Ohio State in top five

The Buckeyes are one of five remaining programs in contention for Glenn (Kernersville, N.C.) High School 4-star defensive end Jahvaree Ritzie, who announced his most recent list on Sunday afternoon.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Ritzie was expecting to visit Ohio State in April but had his visit to the school canceled amid coronavirus concerns. The inability to make a trip to Columbus is certainly hampering the Ohio State efforts in landing the country’s No. 14-ranked strongside defensive end, but it remains in the mix with four programs he’s seen in person regardless of that fact.

For Larry Johnson and Ohio State, the hope here is simple: The longer Ritzie waits to make a choice, the better opportunity for the Buckeyes to move up the list.

Kamar Wilcoxson commits to Tennessee

One of the 2021 defensive backs Ohio State had been recruiting and still considering an option is now, once again, off the board. Kamar Wilcoxson, a 4-star defensive back from the IMG Academy, has committed to Tennessee.

Wilcoxson had two different visit dates with the Buckeyes planned, but rather than waiting to see if a June trip could happen, the two-time Florida commit picked the Volunteers.

The Buckeyes are in the mix for a number of defensive backs in the Class of 2021, and with five players already committed at the position, they have chosen to not rush into taking any other players in the secondary right now.

Ohio State target David Davidkov picks Iowa

Another Buckeyes target in 2021, Illinois offensive lineman David Davidkov, committed to Iowa. Prior to Monday’s decision, the 6-foot-6, 295-pound 4-star had been 100-percent predicted to Michigan, but picked the Hawkeyes instead.

Ohio State had Davidkov on campus for a January visit, and he said then he would “definitely” be back on campus this spring. But that never happened and the relationship between the two sides never really ramped up to the next level.

Need more Ohio State recruiting #Stuff? Join the conversation below in the comments and sign up for Scarlet Sunrise, Lettermen Row’s morning newsletter that will get your day started with all the important Ohio State news you need to know. Prefer video? Follow Buckeyes football on YouTube with Lettermen Row. You can also get your recruiting fix by subscribing to Talking Stuff: The Ohio State Recruiting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher.

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.