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 Monday through Friday on Lettermen Row, including tonight’s update on Cade Stover, Mekhail Sherman, Doug Nester and more.
Cade Stover plans to sign with Ohio State in two weeks
It’s getting to crunch time for Lexington 4-star linebacker Cade Stover.
The Ohio State commit had his first face-to-face meeting with new coach Ryan Day on Sunday night. It was a visit that helped put any concern about Stover’s status with the Buckeyes to rest. Stover’s mom, Chelsi, made spaghetti — but because of dinner plans with Ole Miss commit Nick Broeker back in Columbus, Day and linebackers coach Bill Davis only had dessert.
The main course for the coaches was to keep Stover on course.
“Ryan Day is a great guy,” Stover told Lettermen Row of the meeting. “I plan on signing [with Ohio State] in December.”
Stover is hopeful that Ohio State will retain Davis, who has become very close with during the last two years. He will not enroll early, but signing in December allows him to focus on finishing up his senior season of basketball. Last Friday, Stover became the all-time leading scorer in Lexington basketball history.
Harry Miller will sign with Ohio State in December
It’s long been thought that if Ohio State were to retain Day following Urban Meyer’s retirement that the 2019 recruiting class would likely hold on to its top two pieces, 5-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson and 5-star offensive lineman Harry Miller.
Last week, Wilson confirmed his intentions to stay with the Buckeyes. And early Monday afternoon, Miller did the same.
“Harry is a strong and convicted young man,” his mother, Kristina Miller, told Lettermen Row. “While I believe he would succeed anywhere, he honestly felt he is meant to be there at Ohio State.”
This decision wasn’t an easy one for Miller, who had still been considering Stanford. But the writing was on the proverbial wall toward the end of last week when she took to Twitter to give a pretty hearty stamp of approval to Day.
Did everyone hear my bff @ryandaytime just became Head Coach of @OhioStateFB?! 🤣 Wow! He is going to be extraordinary! Elite Coach, even better person. On the shoulders of giants, on his own way 2 greatness. Congrats my friend, Nina & kids too! See U 2morrow 😘#LegendInTheMaking pic.twitter.com/OZ2zxiVObE
— Kristina Miller (@KschilbMiller) December 5, 2018
Day visited the Miller family last week, and after a hectic few days, it couldn’t have come at a better time. It was in that moment when the relationship they’ve built over the last year or so really paid off — for both sides.
“His visit was a relief. We are very close. Coming to us is easy,” Kristina Miller said. “We were originally going to take him out to dinner, but he was really tired so we stayed in, relaxed, laughed, told stories and just enjoyed each other’s company for four hours.
“[Day] is very special. Wise. Smart. I think it’s going to be a very special time for both Ryan and Harry.”
There are many reasons Ryan Day was the right guy for Ohio State when Meyer retired, and his ability as a recruiter is certainly one of them. He’s connected with Miller and his family from the start and was the driving force in his recruitment for much of the last year, and that should be more obvious than ever.
5-star linebacker Mekhail Sherman on Urban Meyer, Ryan Day
Ohio State has been primarily focused on wrapping up the 2019 class in the wake of Meyer’s retirement, but it’s never too early to worry about 2020. One of the top players in the country, 5-star linebacker Mekhail Sherman, was very close with Meyer. And with a decision planned for next summer, he could see his recruitment seriously impacted by a change at Ohio State.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Sherman seems to be taking Meyer’s departure in stride. The Buckeyes are absolutely entrenched here, and he’s not knocking them because of the coaching change.
“Urban Meyer talked to my sister and my family,” Sherman told Lettermen Row. “He still supports me and my recruitment with Ohio State or anywhere I go. Meyer had a close relationship with [the family].”
Now it’s incumbent on Ryan Day to follow up on those bonds. Sherman, the country’s second-ranked outside linebacker, is certainly looking forward to getting to know the 39-year-old head coach.
“I’ve just got to get familiar with Ryan Day,” Sherman said. “That’s it. The coaching staff is the still the same, but it’s just a move in a positive direction for Coach Day.
“It’s like a prince taking the throne from the tired king. It’s the same kingdom. The same culture. I still have lots of love for Ohio State.”
Billy Davis was in Washington D.C. to see Sherman on Monday.
The latest with Doug Nester, Ohio State
Outside of Jordan Battle, the biggest remaining question mark among Ohio State’s current 2019 commits may be offensive guard Doug Nester. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound lineman was the first Ohio State verbal in the class, but he’s decided to back off his plans for early enrollment and December signing upon learning of Meyer’s retirement last week.
That is unlikely to change, despite his official visit to Ohio State this weekend, according to multiple sources connected to West Virginia’s No. 2-ranked 2019 prospect.
Nester is a key piece of the offensive line plans in the future. But to sign him, Day and Ohio State will need to fend off Virginia Tech, Penn State and Georgia. Sources close to the Buckeyes believe that Virginia Tech is the biggest threat, but Penn State is confident that it is in a good position as well. Georgia is always a concern for any player, but especially with offensive line coach Sam Pittman on an absolute tear in the last two recruiting cycles, signing pretty much any player he wants.
It’s been remarkable to see what Day and the Buckeyes have been able to do to this point with 2019 commitments, but Nester appears to be the outlier at this time. Ohio State will have to hold on until February.
Current Ohio State commits and their status
As of 4 p.m. on Monday, here’s where things seem to stand with the Buckeyes and their current crop of 2019 and 2020 commitments.
- 2020 offensive lineman Jake Wray
- 2020 defensive back Lejond Cavazos
Here’s where things are with the other commits already in the mix.
- 2019 QB Dwan Mathis: Solid.
- 2019 RB Steele Chambers: Solid. Will take a second official visit to confirm plans but expects to sign in February.
- 2019 RB Marcus Crowley: Solid.
- 2019 WR Garrett Wilson: Solid.
- 2019 WR Jameson Williams: Solid.
- 2019 TE Cormontae Hamilton: Solid.
- 2019 OL Ryan Jacoby: Solid.
- 2019 OL Doug Nester: Mostly solid, took Ohio State official visit but Virginia Tech, Georgia and Penn State remain threats.
- 2019 OL Harry Miller: Solid.
- 2019 DL Noah Potter: Solid.
- 2019 LB Cade Stover: Solid.
- 2019 DB Bryson Shaw: Solid.
- 2019 DB Ronnie Hickman: Solid.
- 2019 DB Craig Young: Solid.
- 2019 DB Jordan Battle: Some concern, Ryan Day is expected to visit next week and a decision about a second official visit will be made at that time.
- 2020 QB Jack Miller: Solid.
- 2020 RB Darvon Hubbard: Some concern.
- 2020 WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba: Solid.
- 2020 OL Paris Johnson: Some concern, but met with Ryan Day and moving in the right direction.
- 2020 OL Luke Wypler: Solid.
I’ll continue updating this list as changes happen.
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.