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Can Ohio State really flip cornerback Elias Ricks?

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Elias Ricks committed to LSU in December but maintains an interest in taking an official visit to Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Can Ohio State really flip cornerback Elias Ricks?

Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? This is the place for you, five days a week. Submit your questions on Twitter or on the Lettermen Row forums. Check in daily to see what’s on the mind of Buckeyes fans all over the country. Today we try and dive into the Buckeyes efforts to try and flip LSU commitment Elias Ricks, the country’s second-ranked cornerback in the Class of 2020.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

Let me say this about the chances of Ohio State flipping Elias Ricks away from LSU: It could definitely maybe, certainly possibly, happen.

The Buckeyes offered Ricks last July during his first visit to the school. That visit came about four weeks after the country’s second-ranked 2020 cornerback, who recently announced he’d be leaving Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) for a high school that will allow him to graduate early, told Lettermen Row that Ohio State was one of the schools he’d long watched and admired.

“That’s one of my dream schools. I just want to get out there, hear some good news possibly and come back home,” Ricks said at The Opening. “They’ve produced a lot of first-round talent. Denzel Ward was just out here yesterday, he’s one of my favorite college players and he got selected fourth overall. That’s a really big pick.

“Ohio State puts out a lot of top defensive backs. The way he played, he has good technique, he always has a hand on the ball. I have always liked Ohio State.”

But it’s easy to praise schools without it meaning much. Ricks did visit, and even that was a surprise to some close to the Buckeyes. But he hasn’t returned to the school since and committed to the Tigers on Christmas Day.

Since then, there’s been little to suggest that he’s anything but locked in with LSU. In fact, rumors have swirled that Ricks even tried to reclassify as a member of the 2019 recruiting class so he could head to Baton Rouge and play for the Tigers this year — while other reports have his family buying a home in Louisiana to be closer to him during his college years.

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Lejond Cavazos once tweeted he and Elias Ricks would play college football together. The Buckeyes are still trying to make that happen. (Via Lejond Cavazos/Courtesy)

So, it’s hard to look at those facts or even the rumors and feel any real confidence that he’s interesting in flipping to Ohio State, USC or anywhere else.

But Ricks continues to be recruited very hard by the Buckeyes, namely Ryan Day and Jeff Hafley. He continues to indicate that the only official visit he has locked in anywhere other than LSU is Ohio State, where he’ll be on Nov. 22 when the Buckeyes host Penn State.

Day and Hafley are a formidable duo on their own, but they also have Lejond Cavazos on their side. The two are very close, and Cavazos calls them “like brothers.” That doesn’t hurt the Buckeyes, either.

Am I willing to suggest that a flip is likely at this point? I am certainly not, but I am willing to concede that in the world of college football recruiting in 2019, things rarely go as we expect. Twists and turns are just a part of the game now.

A November official visit may not be enough to pull off this monumental recruiting coup for the Buckeyes. But the work being done by Day, Hafley and the rest of the Ohio State coaching staff before then makes it, at the very least, possible.

The best way to stay on top of all that recruiting #stuff? Subscribe to Lettermen Row’s Recruiting with Birm newsletter. 


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.