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, including today’s update on Tommy Eichenberg, 2020 lineman Geirean Hatchett and more.
Tommy Eichenberg decommits from Boston College
There may not be a more important remaining recruit for Ohio State in the class of 2019 than Cleveland St. Ignatius 2019 linebacker Tommy Eichenberg. I realize that sounds a bit dramatic for a player the Buckeyes offered just two months ago. But the need at linebacker combined with what appears to be another recruiting battle between Ohio State and Michigan for a top-ranked Ohio prospect has turned this entire recruitment on its ear.
Late Monday night, Eichenberg’s recruitment took another twist, though it was kind of expected.
I have decided to reopen my recruitment. Thank you Boston College for everything.
— Tommy Eichenberg (@tommyike41) November 20, 2018
Boston College had done a great job recruiting the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Eichenberg. But from the moment Ohio State and Michigan offered him, the odds of the Eagles holding on to his commitment all but vanished. Now, it’s more than likely a two-team race to the finish line, but the contest is really just getting started.
This weekend, the country’s 19th-ranked inside linebacker will visit the Buckeyes for The Game against the Wolverines. He’s already visited Michigan, taking in a game at the Big House in early November. There will almost assuredly be second visits officially made to each school in the next month or two as he tries to figure out his future.
Eichenberg grew up dreaming of playing at Ohio State, but so did Kyle Kalis, who opted for the Wolverines in 2011 when questions about the Buckeyes program were being raised amid the scandal that ousted Jim Tressel from Columbus. Ultimately, I believe that as long as Urban Meyer remains at the helm the Buckeyes will win this one. But it’s going to be a major battle over the next two months.
Geirean Hatchett excited for second Ohio State trip
Many of Ohio State’s top 2020 targets will be in attendance this weekend for the Michigan game, including Ferndale (Wash.) 4-star prospect Geirean Hatchett. The country’s fifth-ranked offensive guard visited the Buckeyes in July, and he’s excited about the chance to reconnect with Ohio State coaches and recruits this weekend.
“The most important thing [about this visit] will be to reconnect in person with the coaches and even some of the players,” Hatchett told Lettermen Row. “I’m in regular contact with [Buckeyes offensive line] Coach [Greg] Studrawa and Urban Meyer, but getting that in-person contact is important.
“Paris Johnson and I have been talking, so we will definitely spend some time together. Reece Atteberry might be showing up, but he’s not sure yet. It would be cool to connect with him again after seeing him a couple weeks ago at Oklahoma. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the other recruits there.”
(Atteberry did confirm with Lettermen Row he is not making the trip, for what it’s worth.)
A chance to be in Columbus for a game of this magnitude between two schools he’s very interested in was a good enough reason for the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Hatchett to fly across the country on the Thanksgiving holiday.
“I’m coming with my dad, Bill, and two friends, Grace and Jacob,” he said. “We arrive Thursday night and fly back out Sunday evening. We will get to spend some time with the coaches and team on Friday, and of course the game day stuff on Saturday, then a little more time with coaches Sunday morning before taking off.
“I want to see a game day at Ohio State, but especially against Michigan and with the division on the line. It’s going to be awesome.”
Dublin Coffman standout waits to hear from Ohio State
Ohio State has hosted 2021 4-star prospect AJ Kirk, the younger brother of former Buckeyes All-American safety Mike Doss, three separate times this season. Still, they’ve not offered the country’s No. 2-ranked sophomore safety.
When you consider that, it makes some sense that Ohio State has not yet offered his teammate at Dublin Coffman High School, linebacker Devon Williams. Williams, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound athlete who camped at Ohio State this past summer, was offered by Michigan earlier this week. The Wolverines have offered Kirk, by the way, and that makes sense when thinking about how much easier it is for out of state schools to pull the trigger on an offer that they don’t need to worry about being immediately accepted. Williams is actually the third prospect at Coffman offered by Michigan, joining Kirk and 2020 running back Mike Drennen II.
But I digress. Michigan offered Williams early, but he’s not heard yet much from Ohio State. He’s hoping that changes.
“It would mean a lot [to hear from Ohio State],” Williams said. “They have a great history, and they’re a national powerhouse who’s always in the national championship race year after year. They also have a reputation for putting guys in the NFL, and plus, it’s Ohio State. Everyone in Columbus loves the Buckeyes.”
Williams worked out for the Buckeyes this summer, and the 3-star prospect has been to the school on a recruiting visit when he was a freshman. He’s close friends with Kirk, so that relationship could be worth paying attention to as their recruitments unfold.
New Ohio State offensive line target in 2019 emerges
Ohio State is a hosting an intriguing offensive lineman from Indianapolis on Wednesday, according to a report from Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.com.
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) November 19, 2018
Dawand Jones is a massive, 6-foot-8, 360-pound offensive lineman who has been offered in the last three weeks by Michigan, TCU, Florida State, USC, Indiana, Cincinnati and Mississippi State. He spent last weekend visiting the Wolverines, and the Ben Davis High School star’s 247Sports crystal ball is 100-percent maize-and-blue tinted. I’d expect him to receive an offer from Ohio State this week, and the program will have to work quickly if it does extend the offer to offset the Wolverines recent momentum gain. He’s from the same school as Michigan running back Chris Evans.
The country’s No. 84-ranked offensive tackle is a fast-rising prospect and is worth watching moving forward. He has taken one official visit to this point to USC, but it’s reasonable to expect he’ll start planning others in December.
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.