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. Today, we go over the latest in the recruitment of Troy Stellato and take a look at a new linebacker prospect worth paying attention to for the Buckeyes.
Troy Stellato finalists: Ohio State and Clemson
The coronavirus pandemic has forced a number of recruits into thinking differently about their recruiting process, and that might be the impetus behind top Buckeyes target Troy Stellato’s decision to announce a “top-two” schools on Twitter earlier this week.
Those schools are Ohio State and Clemson, as everyone has expected. But the timing is interesting, and so is the verbiage. That doesn’t guarantee that it’s a final two, though whenever the country’s No. 25-ranked receiver makes a college decision, it’s almost certainly going to end up being the Buckeyes or the Tigers. Georgia, Texas, Notre Dame and USC are among the programs that have still been working to squeeze into the game for Stellato, but the writing has been on the wall here for a few months. The handwriting is getting clearer and clearer: Ohio State and Clemson are going to battle until the end here.
Initially, the plan for Stellato included a handful of spring trips with official visits taking place this summer ahead of a likely August decision. With uncertainty around the timeline for college visits to resume, everything is up in the air. There could be just two official visits taken at this point, but again, the timeline isn’t clear on when that can happen.
Ohio State reaching out to new linebacker
The Buckeyes have focused almost exclusively on North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.) linebacker prospect Barrett Carter as the complement to commitment Reid Carrico. But in the last few days, a new name has started hearing from Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington.
“We’ve talked three times since Tuesday afternoon,” Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, Fla.) 5-star linebacker Terrence Lewis told Lettermen Row. “He said they’ve been looking for a outside backer this year, and they’re going to take one.
“I’m going through the process of getting the offer from Ohio State, I still have to talk to [Ryan] Day.”
The country’s top-ranked outside linebacker had been previously in contact with the Buckeyes. But in recent months contact had waned. Now it’s picking back up, and the 6-foot-1, 200-pound prospect indicated there’s still plenty of time for Ohio State to get really involved if it chooses to.
“It’s not too late at all, that’s a school I wanted an offer from,” Lewis said. “It is a school where I feel I can excel at, plus the year I come they’re not going to have a lot of linebackers, so I can work to play early there.”
Make no mistake, Lewis notices that the Buckeyes are building something potentially historic in their 2021 class — if the fit is right for him.
“I’d love to be a part of a class that could make history,” he said. “But my main goal is making sure I choose right for me.”
Penn State, Tennessee, Nebraska and Texas A&M are among the schools that are standing out to him right now.
Thomas Fidone cuts Ohio State from final six
Ohio State had been trying to get involved with Lewis Central (Council Bluff, Iowa) 4-star tight end Thomas Fidone in the last two months, but unlike the aforementioned Lewis, it may be too late for the program in this case.
Fidone, the country’s No. 2-ranked tight end, released his top-six schools this week and did not include Ohio State. Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraka, Iowa, LSU and Penn State made the cut, and the reason according to Fidone is relatively simple: Those programs use their tight ends different than the Buckeyes do.
“We’re looking at and evaluating everyone,” Fidone told Lettermen Row. “Me and my family don’t think I fit the Ohio State offense as well as the others with the way they use their tight ends.”
Fidone acknowledged that the Buckeyes are doing a fine job developing tight ends as they prepare for the NFL, but the usage numbers in college are hard to ignore — especially stacked up against offenses that feature the position the way the schools that made his list too.
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