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. Wednesday, we break down a pair of running back targets for the Buckeyes and the latest on a scholarship offer that was extended to one of the Ohio State midweek visitors.
No, Ohio State isn’t going to recruit Zach Evans
Sometimes in recruiting, it feels like there’s this unseen force trying to bring things together.
Never has that felt more real than the belief that Ohio State and 5-star 2020 running back Zach Evans ought to be a match made in recruiting heaven. The Houston standout, one of the country’s most talented young football players, has been linked to the program at multiple times throughout his recruitment despite never visiting Ohio State. A former Georgia signee, Evans is currently a free agent and is still evaluating his options for next season — though many believe he’s ultimately going to wind up at Florida.
The Buckeyes have already had questions at running back that did not receive an adequate answer during the 2020 cycle. Then on Tuesday, news broke that Master Teague will miss significant time following a leg injury he suffered on Day One of spring practice.
And the head-scratching and bewilderment began anew.
“Will the Buckeyes reach back out to Zach Evans? Why not bring in Zach Evans?”
Those questions are fair considering the needs on the Ohio State roster. But let me be clear for readers and fans who are waiting for something to happen here between the troubled running back and the Buckeyes: It’s not going to happen.
Move on. Ohio State is not going to recruit Zach Evans. He will not be the answer to the Buckeyes running back woes. Is the transfer portal a possibility? Sure, maybe. If it comes down to needing it, the Ohio State staff would be looking for a one-year, plug-and-play-type and not a player who couldn’t stay eligible to play for his high school for numerous reasons over multiple seasons.
Evans would enhance the talent level on the roster and could even start at tailback for Ohio State right away if Ryan Day’s program were willing to take the risk on his off-field maturity issues.
But to be clear: They are not and will not.
Evan Pryor has dates for next Buckeyes visit
The Buckeyes aren’t going to recruit Zach Evans, but they are continuing to recruit Evan Pryor. The 4-star Charlotte (N.C.) running back told Lettermen Row that he has locked in his next visit date with Ohio State.
“I’ll be going there on March 17 and 18,” Pryor said. “It’s a two-day visit.”
Pryor visited North Carolina last weekend as the dead period ended. He admitted that there was a “real push” from the Tar Heels to convince him to stay home, but right now, there’s no decision being made without return visits to Ohio State and possibly Georgia, another of the top schools in his list.
The Buckeyes are definitely very much in the mix for Pryor’s commitment, a decision he has previously indicated should come this month. The two-day trip to Columbus could play a major factor in helping him reach a conclusion.
Jantzen Dunn offered during Wednesday visit
Ohio State had two visitors on Wednesday, and one of them left campus with a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes.
— Jantzen Dunn (@JantzenDunn) March 4, 2020
That is South Warren (Bowling Green, Ky.) High School 4-star athlete Jantzen Dunn, who had previously visited with the Buckeyes back in November and told Lettermen Row at the time that he was “shocked” to receive as much attention as Ohio State had shown him.
Dunn is a long, athletic defensive back in the mold of Ryan Watts, and the Buckeyes offer instantly vaults them into a leading position along with Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisville and Kentucky. He’s 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds and checks in as the No. 2-ranked player in Kentucky behind top Ohio State offensive line target Jager Burton.
The other visitor at Ohio State on Wednedsay? Hilliard Bradley tight end Jack Pugh. The 4-star local prospect had his first real visit with Buckeyes tight ends coach Kevin Wilson as the two continue to grow a relationship toward a potential offer for Pugh.
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