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 catching up with Michael Carmody about his recent Buckeyes offer and more.
Michael Carmody didn’t expect Ohio State offer
On Tuesday we mentioned that the Buckeyes had offered Mars (Pa.) 2020 offensive lineman Michael Carmody, a player who visited the school a handful of times in the last year. A 6-foot-6, 285-pound tackle, Carmody told Lettermen Row that finally landing an offer from Ohio State caught him off guard.
“It was a real surprise,” he said. “It kind of just came out of the blue, honestly.”
That surprise may be the result of Ohio State’s recent coaching changes. Western Pennsylvania had primarily been recruited by former linebackers coach Billy Davis, who had taken over that region from former linebackers coach Luke Fickell. Carmody, the nation’s 24th-ranked tackle, was offered by offensive line coach Greg Studrawa. The timing of the offer, according to Carmody, is likely linked to game film showing him much heavier — and on the offensive line — after playing the last two seasons at tight end.
“I think it was because last year I was playing at around 250 pounds,” he said. “They wanted to see if I could still play with the same athleticism at a heavier weight. I was planning on [playing tight end] this year as well, but on the first day of camp they moved me.
“Playing tight end in the Wing-T is basically playing tackle anyways and that was the position everyone was recruiting me for.”
The offer is the 17th for Carmody, and the Buckeyes are no doubt playing catch up with Penn State and a few other programs that he’s built good relationships with.
“I have visited Penn State the most, but I don’t have any final lists,” he said. “But most of my focus had been going into Penn State, Virginia Tech, Michigan, Pitt and Michigan State and none of that will change. I’m definitely going to take a few more trips this spring just to explore my options a little bit more.”
Ohio State will need to be on that list of trips if Ryan Day’s program has any chance to land the athletic Carmody. He’s not yet heard from Day himself, and that’s a major priority for him moving forward as he tries to set up trips.
“I haven’t talked to Day since I visited the first time last spring I don’t think,” he said. “I got to speak with him for a few minutes then, but I have not since. As soon as [basketball season] is over me and my parents will plan a visit to get back.
“I’m planning on making it back a few times in the spring for practice and everything.”
EJ Smith maintains Ohio State interest
Ohio State needs a pair of running backs in the Class of 2020, and Dallas Jesuit tailback EJ Smith remains a viable and qualified candidate to take one of those spots. Smith visited the Buckeyes multiple times in 2018 but was no doubt affected when Urban Meyer decided to hang up his whistle in December. He’s kept in some contact with Ohio State since then but not had many conversations with Day yet.
“I haven’t been in contact with Coach Day recently but he is very interested in my life outside of football,” Smith told Lettermen Row. “I do not see a difference in the program yet because I haven’t been back to Ohio State since the Michigan game.”
The country’s second-ranked all-purpose backs says he speaks to Day and running backs coach Tony Alford “occasionally,” but it’s clear there has been a drop off in communication since his most recent visit at the end of November. A return trip to Columbus is something he’d like to do, but nothing is planned to this point.
2021 tight end Cane Berrong talks Buckeyes offer
The Buckeyes are on the prowl for a tight end or two in the 2020 class, but they’ve wasted no time in offering one of the country’s best at the position for 2021.
Blessed to announce that after talking with @OSUCoachKDub and @CoachTreyHoltz I've received my 8th D1 offer from THE Ohio State University!! #GoBucks @Mansell247 @SWiltfong247 @TomLoy247 @ChadSimmons_ @OhioStateFB @indfbscout @180SportsP pic.twitter.com/aNohtI0Ed1
— Cane Berrong (@CaneBerrong) February 19, 2019
Hart County (Hartwell, Ga.) star Cane Berrong now has nine offers, picking up an opportunity from Ohio State just hours before adding one from Virginia Tech. Since LSU offered in January, he’s been offered by Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Penn State. The Irish and the home-state Bulldogs are set to be major factors for the 6-foot-5, 220-pound sophomore, and now the Buckeyes hope to get into that conversation after just recently discovering the talented tight end.
“[Communication started] just recently over the weekend,” Berrong told Lettermen Row. “[Buckeyes assistant tight ends] Coach [Trey] Holtz reached out, and I spoke with him Monday. He told me he wanted to get me on the phone with [tight ends] Coach [Kevin] Wilson on Monday.
“I talked to Coach Wilson and he made the offer. It’s a huge offer. They compete to go the College Football Playoff nearly every year and they have always been in the national title hunt.”
The Buckeyes history isn’t lost on the young tight end and serves as a hearty starting point for his recruitment. The real important stuff will come on the field though as he watches the progression of an already explosive offense.
“They’ve won eight national titles, produced seven Heisman trophy winners,” he said. “The Dotting of the ‘I,’ hating Michigan. I know a little. They are changing the offense, so I’m interested in watching this fall how they will use their tight ends.
“Their winning tradition has my attention. I’m going to investigate further into the academics, but as large as the school is, they will have my degree or a route to obtain it. I want to be a strength coach, so I want to major in exercise science. But I could go other routes and get the certifications after school.”
The next step for the Buckeyes and Berrong is a campus visit. He hopes to accomplish that soon.
“I have a visit to Florida next month and will be at Penn State during my spring break,” he said. “I’m working with Notre Dame and Ohio State for a visit with each staff.”