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’s update talks about a big in-state offer to Jaheim Thomas and updates following the visits from top targets Cameron Martinez and Clark Phillips.
Jaheim Thomas offered by Ohio State, what happens from here
It’s been kind of a weird week when it comes to the recruitment of Cincinnati Princeton’s Jaheim Thomas. On Wednesday, we wrote at Lettermen Row about what could be holding up the offer from occurring, noting that positional uncertainty may be working against the 6-foot-5, 220-pound junior. On Thursday, we wrote about the weekend’s visit for Thomas and his close friends, Paris Johnson and Darrion Henry. In that edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes, it was suggested that an offer could very well happen regardless of the question marks.
— Jaheim (@JaheimThomas454) March 30, 2019
Now what happens from here is going to be interesting. Thomas, Henry and Johnson have become very well-traveled in recent weeks, checking out schools all over SEC Country. And while I don’t believe there will be an immediate commitment from Thomas, I do believe there is some sort of understanding in place as to how things work out from here.
The offer to Jaheim Thomas may or may not have been a concession to Paris Johnson and Darrion Henry, and whether it was or wasn’t doesn’t ultimately matter. What does matter is that the Buckeyes have now put themselves into the mix for the state’s fourth-ranked player, and in doing so have helped their positioning with Johnson and Henry. I truly don’t believe that would be the case if they didn’t think he could become a valuable asset down the road.
There are no pity offers at Ohio State. But make no mistake, this is recruiting in 2019 and things move and change quickly.
Cameron Martinez makes first visit to Ohio State in two years
Over the course of the last two months, the Buckeyes have made few players more of a priority than Muskegon (Mich.) two-way athlete Cameron Martinez. After making his first visit to the school in two years, Martinez seems very comfortable with where he and Ohio State stand.
“We had a blast,” Martinez told Lettermen Row. “The coaches, the facilities, everything really. I have a good feeling about Ohio State.
“It was just mindblowing.”
Martinez is being recruited by the Buckeyes as an athlete. And because of that, he spent time with a number of different coaches during his visit.
“I had one-on-one time with [defensive coordinator] Jeff Hafley, [receivers coach Brian] Hartline and Ryan Day,” he said. “They said that really it’s up to me on what position I want to play, but they love me on both sides, wide receiver or safety. Coach Hafley wants to move me around on defense, and Coach Hartline wants me at the H-spot like K.J. Hill.”
— Cameron Martinez (@CM240) March 30, 2019
The Buckeyes impressed Martinez, his mother and his stepfather with their commitment to detail. The family arrived in Columbus around 9 a.m. and spent roughly seven hours on campus, getting a whirlwind tour of everything Ohio State has to offer.
“They really liked Ryan Day, and I did too,” Martinez said. “We had good conversations. The Real Life Wednesday stuff was great, so was the ‘Brand U’ stuff that they have, they did a presentation like what they had for Chase Young.”
Next week, Martinez is making a number of college visits as he looks to narrow down his choices. Ohio State, Michigan and Northwestern are among the favorites, but no program is out of the recruitment yet.
“I’m just going to see these other schools next week and then I can go from there,” Martinez said. “I’m checking out Northwestern, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa state, Purdue and Indiana.”
Ohio State makes first impression on Clark Phillips
Ohio State is going to probably take three cornerbacks in the Class of 2020, and one of the primary targets is La Habra (Calif.) 4-star prospect Clark Phillips III. The country’s fourth-ranked corner was in Columbus on Thursday and part of Friday before heading to Notre Dame for a similarly-styled trip.
“It was great,” Phillips said. “I learned a lot more about both programs. Ohio State definitely matched my expectations.
“The competition and the aggressive nature and the love the players played with at practice really stood out.”
Phillips was particularly impressed by the way Ohio State coaches focus on life after football.
“I loved that experience,” he said. “No other school has done that. My family has a great relationship with the coaching staff, both Coach Hafley and Coach Day. They are very down to earth dudes and coaches.
“They are very sincere at Ohio State.”
Ohio State is in line for an official visit from Phillips, and he’s excited about returning to Columbus, whenever that happens.
“My parents loved it, and I’m very comfortable there with the staff and the players,” he said. “I’ll be back there for an official visit for sure, maybe in the summer. I can’t wait to get back.”
The Opening hits Massillon on Sunday
On Sunday, the country’s premier recruiting camp hits Northeast Ohio when The Opening descends on Massillon Washington High School. The event kicked off around 10 a.m. and will run through the afternoon.
A host of Ohio State’s top targets will be in attendance working to earn their spot in the The Opening Finals, which takes place in Frisco, Texas, at the end of June.
Lettermen Row will be in attendance and will be bringing news and notes that matter from the event, keeping a close eye on the already known prospects and hoping to discover some unknown players as well.
Here are the biggest names who have already registered and who will be getting most of the Lettermen Row attention.
Class of 2020
- 5-star offensive lineman Paris Johnson — Ohio — Ohio State commit
- 5-star offensive lineman Justin Rogers — Michigan
- 4-star defensive lineman Darrion Henry — Ohio
- 4-star defensive lineman Braiden McGregor — Michigan
- 4-star linebacker Jaheim Thomas — Ohio
- 4-star running back Deamonte Trayanum — Ohio
- 4-star running back Darvon Hubbard — Arizona
- 3-star running back Jutahn McClain — Ohio
- 3-star running back Miyan Williams — Ohio
- Unranked running back Talyn Parker — Ohio
- 4-star tight end Caden Clark — Ohio
- 3-star receiver Maliq Carr — Michigan
- 3-star athlete Cameron Martinez — Michigan
- 3-star receiver Devell Washington — Michigan
- 3-star athlete Ian Stewart — Michigan
- 3-star athlete Qian Magwood — Ohio
- 3-star offensive lineman Trey Leroux — Ohio — Ohio State commit
- 3-star offensive lineman Deondre Buford — Michigan
- 3-star offensive lineman Grant Toutant — Michigan — Penn State commit
- 3-star two-way lineman Terah Edwards — Ohio
- 3-star defensive lineman Justin Wodtly — Ohio
- 3-star defensive lineman Dane Middlebrook — Indiana
- 3-star linebacker Bangally Kamara — Ohio
- 4-star cornerback Enzo Jennings — Michigan
- 4-star Makari Paige — Michigan
- 3-star safety Rickey Hyatt — Ohio
Class of 2021
- Running back Donovan Edwards — Michigan
- Running back Corey Kiner — Ohio
- Running back Jaylan Anderson — Ohio
- Receiver Lorenzo Styles — Ohio
- Offensive lineman Wyatt Milum — West Virginia
- Defensive lineman Damon Payne — Michigan
- Defensive back Kalen King — Michigan
- Defensive back Derrick Davis — Pennsylvania
Class of 2022
- Wide receiver Kaden Saunders — Ohio