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Explaining two Ohio State-related crystal ball predictions
OK, Buckeyes fans, I want you all to stop reading for a second and take a deep breath.
For much of the last month, I’ve tried to explain that I believe 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison will end up committing to Michigan over Ohio State and Penn State. Today, even with what sources in Columbus said a was a “somewhat positive” visit with the program on Saturday, I’ve officially flipped my 247Sports.com crystal ball to the Wolverines.
Why today? Simply put, I wasn’t able to earlier. 247Sports had been updating its system and temporarily halted the ability of non-247 writers to issue predictions. I discovered this morning that I was once again able to make a pick.
Here’s wrote we wrote about Harrison and Ohio State on Oct. 15:
“Ohio State is working hard to be the choice, but right now it’s impossible to suggest that the Buckeyes are any kind of leader or that they are the favorite. In fact, if I was making an assumption, it’d be that Harrison will end up at Michigan, but there’s still time for things to flip around.”
And here’s what we wrote last week:
“Ohio State has done everything they can to show him why it is the right place for him, despite the fact that, like 2018 offensive lineman Jackson Carman, the school is close to home and it appears Harrison desires a chance to get away for college. The two biggest negatives working against Ohio State right seem to be the campus size and how close to home it is for Harrison.”
Those things haven’t changed. Harrison’s high school season is over, and at this point, he’s not planning to return to Columbus for the game against Michigan on Nov. 24. To me, it’s the right time for him to batten down the hatches and make the decision everyone has been waiting for.
If he’s ready.
If he’s not, and this is what Ohio State fans and staff have to be hoping for, then this recruitment could go into December and through at-home visits in late November. Right now, though, the momentum appears to be with the Wolverines. And it will take a pretty remarkable turnaround for the Buckeyes to change it.
On a similar note, I also put in a crystal ball prediction today on Ohio State commit Jordan Battle, a player that I believe will ultimately flip to Alabama. Battle has been committed to the Buckeyes since the summer, but he has made an official visit to Oklahoma and also has one scheduled for this weekend with the Crimson Tide. His family has repeatedly voiced concerns about Urban Meyer’s future in Columbus, and I don’t think anything Meyer or Ohio State does or says will mute those worries.
Alabama has done a great job of amplifying the worry, and I think it will land Battle because of it.
Sorry, friends, but I’m not here to just write the good news.
Ohio State offers 2021 quarterback Drake Maye
Moving on to less disappointing tidbits, Ohio State offered a new 2021 quarterback on Sunday night.
Thankful to receive an offer from Ohio State University! Go Bucks❗️🍑 pic.twitter.com/4d5zb7XKh6
— Drake Maye (@DrakeMaye2) November 5, 2018
North Carolina’s Drake Maye, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound quarterback, spent the weekend in Columbus getting to know Ryan Day and the Ohio State program. Maye is the younger brother of Luke Maye, a star for the Tarheels basketball program, and Cole, a pitcher at the University of Florida.
“Coach Day was great,” Maye told Lettermen Row. “He’s coached a lot of great quarterbacks and is one of the best in the business. I would love to play under a coach like Coach Day and look forward to building a relationship with him.”
Maye was in Columbus with his teammate, 4-star 2020 wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad III. The Ohio State experience was overall eye-opening.
“It was an awesome visit to Ohio State,” he said. “I really liked the coaches and the atmosphere. I was really impressed with the offensive style of the Buckeyes. It’s a pro-style scheme that gets you ready for the next level. I also was impressed by the type of players they have, not only great players but great people too.”
Aidan Keanaaina spends the weekend at Ohio State
At the end of July, 4-star defensive tackle Aidan Keanaaina visited Ohio State for the first time. His father, Stacey, played at Colorado State with Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford, a relationship that has put Ohio State in a good position early in the recruitment of the 6-foot-3, 300-pound 2020 prospect from Denver. That’s the background of his return visit to Ohio State this past weekend.
“I had a good time,” Keanaaina said. “I liked the intensity of the game. I know Ohio State is competitive already but the game was intense and great to watch.”
The country’s 29th-ranked 2020 defensive tackle spent a lot of time on Sunday with Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
“Sunday I was able to talk with Coach Johnson more. We talked about my past season and what the future looks like for me,” he told Lettermen Row. “He said that I have the potential to be a great athlete and need to take the right steps to become one. They see me working into their 1-technique position, and I like that.”
Keanaaina believes he’ll next return to Ohio State for an official visit next spring, but he isn’t yet close to any kind of college decision.
“I probably will be back in the spring for an official,” he said.”I’m seeing new things about schools I haven’t seen before. Some are good, and some aren’t as good. I don’t believe I’m anywhere near a decision, but the process has begun and the countdown begins.”
Notre Dame currently has 100-percent of the crystal ball predictions for Keanaaina. He’s been to South Bend twice in the last three months as well.
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.