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Ohio State recruiting: Buckeyes excite Gabriel Rubio, offer Deontae Craig

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Larry Johnson has had a busy couple of weeks looking for new Rushmen for Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Ohio State recruiting: Buckeyes excite Gabriel Rubio, offer Deontae Craig

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. Tuesday’s version talks with recent Buckeyes offers Deontae Craig and Gabriel Rubio.

Ohio State offers Indiana standout Deontae Craig

After a pair of visits to Ohio State last season, 3-star defensive lineman Deontae Craig from Indiana had been waiting to find out if he was going to receive a scholarship offer.

That came Tuesday morning.

“It happened early this morning,” Craig told Lettermen Row. “It’s one of my dream schools. Coach Mattison was at [a game] in January and he reached out again recently. He just wants to keep building the relationship and wants me to get back up there during the spring.”

Despite being one of his dream schools, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end at The Culver Academies has no plan for any sort of quick commitment. He wants to see a few schools that have been on his list as well.

“Committing right now never really crossed my mind,” he said. “Obviously, it was a big offer for me. But I’m still looking forward to seeing other school and building relationships.  I’m thinking about taking a trip to Iowa in March, and I’ll hopefully make it out to Kentucky and Northwestern.”

It was Mattison who offered Craig, and he has also recruiting him while on the coaching staff at Michigan. The country’s 23rd-ranked defensive end said the two haven’t talked much about Mattison’s flip to the Buckeyes. He’s happy he made it, though.

“We haven’t really talked about the reasoning on why he switched,” Craig said. “But Ohio State has always been my favorite school, so I was definitely happy for him when I found out he took the job.

“I’m actually really excited to see what he and Larry Johnson can do. I mean, both of them have been around for a while and they both know the game so well. It’ll be interesting to see their new schemes come together next year.”

Craig will be visiting Ohio State at some point this spring.

Larry Johnson impresses Gabriel Rubio

Ohio State recently offered Gabriel Rubio, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound sophomore defensive tackle from Missouri.

A standout at the Lutheran School of St. Charles County, Rubio now has eight offers — and the interest from the Buckeyes is a bit of a game changer for him.

“It’s exciting and humbling at the same time,” Rubio told Lettermen Row. “It’s exciting because Ohio State is such a powerhouse program, but it’s humbling because I know that I have to work hard to deserve it.”

Currently unranked, Rubio’s offers are from Iowa, Louisville, Kentucky, Nebraska and others. He’s not had much direct communication with Ohio State yet to this point.

“I’ve had zero direct contact with any of the Ohio State coaches,” Rubio said. “[Wide receivers coach Brian] Hartline came to my school and met with my head coach, Arlen Harris. I ran into them when I was on my way to the office and my coach said that [Hartline] liked what he saw and that he was going to watch my film.

“A few days later I was working out with my team. Coach Harris pulled me aside and said that Coach Hartline called him and said that after breaking down my film that they loved it and offered. The next week Coach Mattison came to the school, and after meeting with my coach said that he was impressed and wanted me to come to Ohio State this spring, so I’m planning on going. I don’t have a date yet.”

Rubio is excited to see how Mattison and Johnson work together with the defensive linemen. That duo and their history of success will keep him interested in the Buckeyes.

“It’s hard not to want to be with coaches that have proven to be able to put their players into the league,” Rubio said. “I’m a sponge and I want to learn as much as I can about my position. I’m really drawn towards coaches that are excited to train up players and my opinion is that Ohio State is definitely top notch.”

Former Florida commit hoping for contact with Ohio State

Last June we talked with Providence Day School (Charlotte, N.C.) defensive lineman Kedrick Bingley-Jones after he was offered by the Buckeyes.

“It’s huge,” the 6-foot-4, 265-pound lineman said. “This is one I’ve been hoping to earn for a long time. I’m definitely taking them into consideration. I have paid attention to people like Joey Bosa and other defensive linemen who have come out of there. I know the academics for the school are really huge, and that plays an important role for me.”

Bingley may have taken Ohio State into consideration, but didn’t do it for long — he committed to Florida at the end of July. However, as recruitments do go these days, it ended in a decommitment months later and the country’s 10th-ranked strongside defensive end was back on the market as of mid-January.

One of the first schools he reached out to was Ohio State.

“I’m going to try and be in more contact with the Buckeyes,” he said. “Maybe they’ll be in more contact since I decommitted.”

This week, Bingley-Jones spoke with Larry Johnson and was told his scholarship offer from Ohio State still stood and that the program wanted to get him on campus this spring. Stay tuned to see if that happens.

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Still getting used to “Coach Mattison” being referenced


Good stuff Birm. I know he’s not featured here, but any idea when Jaheim Thomas will get an offer? Or why he isn’t?


Larry Johnson is on top of his game. Another guy from Missouri turned out all right at OSU and the Cowboys… Ezekiel Elliott.


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 and and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.

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