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Noah Cain (left) still has Ohio State in his top schools. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Dotting the ‘Eyes: Ohio State leads for Elias Ricks, still alive with Noah Cain

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Ohio State still in the mix for Noah Cain

Ohio State was once the leader to land 4-star 2019 tailback Noah Cain. Now, the Buckeyes find themselves in a quagmire with five other top-tier programs fighting for his eventual commitment. Cain released his Top-6 schools via Twitter on Sunday night.

Cain told Lettermen Row at Nike’s The Opening at the start of July that he has never lost his affection for the Buckeyes, despite the perception that they’ve fallen off in his recruitment because of verbal commitments from Sampson James and Steele Chambers.

“The love is never lost with Ohio State,” he said. “I’m into who can develop me, help me be a first-round draft pick, who can help me achieve my academic goals. It’s really about that.”

There are still months to go in Cain’s recruitment as he sticks to his plan of a December commitment. At present, the Buckeyes are likely in the fifth or sixth spot in this race. The question from here is whether or not they’re able to secure an official visit. Then they may need to convince Cain that Chambers is more likely to play linebacker in college than he is running back, despite all the talk suggesting otherwise.

My pick right now is LSU for this Baton Rouge native, especially after Georgia dove into Louisiana to take away 5-star tailback John Emery, who committed to the Bulldogs on Sunday.

Buckeyes falling behind for 2020 OL Justin Rogers?

Ohio State may be slipping in the race for Oak Park (Mich.) standout Justin Rogers, according to a conversation with Jeff Sentell from Rogers was in Athens over the weekend for his second visit to Georgia in the last four months, and since spring the Bulldogs have been the leader in his recruitment.

“It is really between Ohio State and Georgia for me right now,” he said. “I’d give Ohio State a 50 percent and then Georgia an 80 percent there.”

Don’t read too much into that math. That’s the way Rogers looks at it. It does allow for some unique interpretations, but he clarified what that actually meant.

He was asked if that was how close Georgia and Ohio State were to becoming the school he attends on a scale of 1-to-100. Georgia scores an “80” on that scale. The Buckeyes are currently at 50 on that metric.

Ohio State has hosted Rogers on probably a dozen visits over the last two years. He’s been to Georgia twice and called this past weekend’s visit “the best” he’s been on. That being the case, there’s almost two years left before a college decision is going to be made, according to the early 5-star prospect.

“I’m going to sign in my senior year on the last signing day during that last signing day,” he said.

Rogers has publicly listed Ohio State as his leader for much of the last year, so this recent Bulldogs surge may be somewhat disappointing for the Buckeyes. But it hardly spells the end of this recruitment. In fact, I’d argue that it signals the true beginning.

Time to move on D’Von Ellies could be running out

Ohio State was pretty darn close to receiving a commitment from Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh 3-star defensive tackle D’Von Ellies about two weeks ago. There wasn’t much movement at the defensive tackle position until this weekend, though, so there was not really much to worry about.

Then the weekend hit and suddenly the clear skies turned gray.

Since then, another of the Buckeyes top targets at the position committed elsewhere, with Missouri’s Etinosa Reuben committing to Clemson. In that period, Ellies also picked up two big offers with Florida and Penn State jumping into the fray.

Now there’s no telling what happens with the country’s No. 27-ranked defensive tackle. Ohio State continues to stay in contact with Ellies, who has told Lettermen Row that he intends to make a decision “sometime in August.”

Right now, the Buckeyes still have the lead in this recruitment. But the Penn State offer, as well as a consistent push from the Virginia Tech Hokies, has the ability to upset this proverbial apple cart.

Elias Ricks excited by Buckeyes offer

One of the highest-ranked players to check out Ohio State over the weekend was Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei 5-star cornerback Elias Ricks, the country’s No. 2-ranked cornerback in the Class of 2020. Ricks told Lettermen Row in early July that the Buckeyes were one his “dream” teams.

“That’s one of my dream schools,” Ricks said. “I just want to get out there, hear some good news possibly and come back home.”

The good news he wanted to hear was that he’d received an offer from Ohio State. That happened on Saturday morning.

Overall, the visit was everything Ricks wanted it to be.

“It felt like home,” he said.”What stood out was how cool the coaches were. They loved me. The coaches are so cool and humble and they made sure that they established a good relationship with me.”

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound defensive back was only in town for a few hours, but the Ohio State experience, especially Urban Meyer, exceeded his expectations.

“It went better than I thought, and right now it’s Ohio State and USC in the lead,” he said. “I thought it would be different. Urban Meyer is such a down-to-earth guy. He made me feel comfortable there, they made it feel like home. I definitely plan on going back there and using an official visit to Ohio State.”

Following his visit with the Buckeyes, Ricks stopped at Michigan for a meeting with Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.

Matter of time for Rashawn Williams and Ohio State?

The Buckeyes have just one commitment from a wide receiver in their Class of 2019, but they could be closing in on a number of them in 2020, including Detroit (Mich.) Martin Luther King’s Rashawn Williams. The country’s 21st-ranked wideout was back in Columbus for the second time and left feeling good about where things stand with the Buckeyes. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Williams made the visit with his mother and his sister, but the primary reason for the trip was to get more familiar with new wide receivers coach Brian Hartline.

“It was great,” Williams told Lettermen Row. “[Hartline] is a great coach with an outstanding personality. He knows what it take to play in the league and he won’t expect anything less from his players.”

Though some rumors about a potential commitment over the weekend had started to percolate, Williams says it’s just not time — yet.

“I just have to have a sit down conversation with the people that helped me get to this point,” he said. “The rest is done.”

Ohio State has been close to landing top players from Detroit powerhouse MLK in the past. Will they make the move and lock up Michigan’s top 2020 wide receiver? It could just be a matter of time.

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