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Justin Rogers news might be good for Ohio State
Last week, Ohio State 2020 offensive line target Justin Rogers took to Twitter and told the world he had some news coming soon.
Commit coming soon📝 do not ask me why
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) August 18, 2018
Everyone believed that finally this was the commitment that Rogers has been hinting at for more than a year. In fact, sources in Georgia indicated that a decision was coming for Rogers, and that it was going to include a commitment to the Bulldogs.
Apparently that’s not happening, per Allen Trieu of 247Sports.com and confirmed by Rogers to Lettermen Row.
Ohio State has been a favorite for Rogers for months, but all recent speculation has tied him to Georgia. Any delay in his decision is good for the Buckeyes, who can be much more aggressive in their pursuit of him after Sept. 1.
Of course, a lot of other schools will have that chance, too. As I wrote last week, when it comes to Rogers, there’s a long road to signing day and it appears that he’s back to a late-decision plan.
Ohio State commitments and the solidity of their verbal
As we attempt to move on from the Ohio State mess over the last month and prepare for the current recruiting dead period to end next week, I figured it’s as good a time as any to put it all together.
Where does each current Ohio State commitment stand with the Buckeyes? Are there any concerns or worries about decommitments or flips?
We’ll start in 2019 and go spot-by-spot.
- Quarterback Dwan Mathis: Mathis has been clear over the course of the last month that he’s locked in with Ohio State and has no concerns with the Buckeyes.
- Running backs Sampson James and Steele Chambers: Like Mathis, there’s been no voicing of concerns by James, who remains close with Tony Alford. Chambers told LR earlier this week that he’s had a lot of schools reaching out to him, but he has no desire to look anywhere else.
- Wide receiver Garrett Wilson and tight end Cormontae Hamilton: Wilson was vocal during Meyer’s administrative leave indicating he was likely to consider other options if Meyer didn’t return and if Ryan Day wasn’t named full-time head coach in his place. Meyer will return to Ohio State, and Wilson is not entertaining other offers. Hamilton is solid with Ohio State and there are no concerns of him leaving the class.
- Offensive linemen Doug Nester, Ryan Jacoby and Harry Miller: Nester told Lettermen Row that Meyer’s reinstatement is a “weight off his shoulders,” while Jacoby has not, to anyone’s knowledge, had any inclination toward wavering. Miller, like Garrett Wilson, was initially a concern for some members of the Ohio State staff, I’m told. He was certainly paying close attention to the outcome of the investigation into Meyer, but at present, there’s no further worry.
- Defensive lineman Noah Potter: Potter has said he had “no doubt” that Meyer would return. With that, any reason for him to look elsewhere vanished. He’s set.
- Linebackers Cade Stover, Craig Young and Kane Patterson: In-state product Cade Stover and Indiana native Craig Young are solid to Ohio State, and I believe that both of them would have remained committed to the Buckeyes even if Urban Meyer was removed from his post. Kane Patterson, the recent linebacker commitment from Nashville, appears uncertain and is probably the single biggest concern in Ohio State’s class. He was very clear when he committed to the Buckeyes that his relationship with Meyer was a major part in his decision. The hit to Meyer’s reputation may be something Patterson and his family are worried about.
- Defensive backs Bryson Shaw, Ronnie Hickman, and Jordan Battle: All three of Ohio State’s defensive back commitments are in good shape and each recruitment has been solidified with the announcement of Meyer’s return — especially Battle’s. Had the Buckeyes replaced their head coach, there was a very strong likelihood that Battle would’ve opted to stay closer to home. That will still be worth paying attention to over the next three months.
Moving on to the Class of 2020.
- Quarterback Jack Miller: Miller remains firmly committed to Ohio State. He and his father were both vocal in their unwavering support for Meyer, and his reinstatement is something they felt should and would happen.
- Running back Darvon Hubbard: Ohio-born Darvon Hubbard is still locked in with the Buckeyes despite a few schools trying to move in on him using Meyer’s troubles as leverage. It will take a lot for the Buckeyes to lose their grip on this recruitment.
- Offensive linemen Jake Wray, Paris Johnson and Luke Wypler: All three 2020 offensive line commits are solid with the Buckeyes and have shown no signs of changing their minds or reopening their recruitment.
- Defensive back Lejond Cavazos: The long-standing relationship between CJ Cavazos, Lejond’s father, and Urban Meyer (as well as Tony Alford) has much more bearing on this recruitment than speculation about Meyer made from a top of soapboxes. There’s nothing to worry about here for the Buckeyes.
So there you have it. All in all, things went pretty well for the Buckeyes on the recruiting front in the last month. They certainly could’ve gone significantly worse. There’s a lot of credit due to Ryan Day, Kevin Wilson, Brian Hartline, Greg Studrawa, Greg Schiano, Larry Johnson, Alex Grinch and Taver Johnson for the effort they put in to provide stability for the 2019 class amid a tumultuous time. They’re not out of the woods yet, but Urban Meyer will be the one answering those last remaining questions when he returns officially.
In the Class of 2020, it is not the coaches keeping things together so much as it is relationships between the commits themselves.
There’s a long way to go before all the ramifications of this mess are known. But for now, Ohio State is working toward a return to normalcy and they’re doing it with the same recruiting classes coming out of the fog as they went in with. That’s pretty impressive.
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.