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Dotting the ‘Eyes: Race for Ohio State target Peyton Powell heats up, Brenton Strange still in contact

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Ohio State now has real competition in the battle for Odessa (Texas) athlete Peyton Powell (Peyton Powell/Courtesy)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Dotting the ‘Eyes: Race for Ohio State target Peyton Powell heats up, Brenton Strange still in contact

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Oklahoma could foil Ohio State plans for Peyton Powell

We’re just about two weeks away from the date that Ohio State is set to find out if its months-long pursuit of Odessa (Texas) Permian athlete Peyton Powell will bear fruit.

Maybe.

I say maybe because the 4-star athlete picked up a big, potentially-game changing offer on Monday from a school that he has some family connections to and is on Ohio State’s football level. I think that offer could possibly change Powell’s plans completely.

Powell’s cousin is former Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard of the New York Giants, and if you take a good, hard look at a map of the continental United States, you’ll see that Norman, Okla., is much closer to Odessa than is Columbus, Ohio.

No, distance doesn’t really matter. And to this point, the Buckeyes have a much stronger relationship with Powell. But there will almost assuredly be a visit with the Sooners set up for this coming week or next. When that happens, things are going to get dicey.

Oklahoma, like Ohio State, has offered Powell a scholarship as a defensive back, whereas the majority of his current offers are as an offensive player. His best football future is probably on the defensive side of the ball.

My current 247Sports.com crystal ball prediction for Powell is on Ohio State, but that’s extremely tenuous at this point.

Brenton Strange and Ohio State remain in contact

In case you missed it last Friday, Ohio State landed a commitment from Memphis (Tenn.) 3-star tight end Cormontae Hamilton, a soon-to-be senior captain at Whitehaven High School.

With the addition of Hamilton, the chase for a tight end in the 2019 recruiting cycle is likely finished for the Buckeyes. But there remains steady contact between the Ohio State coaching staff and Parkersburg (W.V.) 3-star prospect Brenton Strange, who earned his offer about two weeks before Hamilton did.

As the 6-foot-2, 254-pound Tennessee prospect narrowed his focus on Ohio State, though, Strange began to expand his recruiting profile and made visits to Notre Dame and Penn State, picking up a scholarship offer from both schools. All the while, Strange and Buckeyes were in contact, even when it came to the potential addition of Hamilton.

“[Tight ends] Coach [Kevin] Wilson and Urban Meyer have both said they still want me,” Strange told Lettermen Row. “They told me that they had a guy that was thinking about committing to the team about a week and a half before he did. I was happy that they had made me aware of it and that I still had my spot.”

That begs the bigger question: Does he still want it? He’s not going to answer that question right now, but the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Strange did say that there’s been no decline when it comes to his Ohio State interest.

Buckeyes and Clemson on top for in-state 2020 star

Thanks to the struggles its had in 2018 and 2019 with Jackson Carman and Zach Harrison, one of Ohio State’s biggest priorities in the Class of 2020 is to lock up Ohio’s best prospects early. That endeavor is off to a pretty good start with 5-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson, one of four players within the Buckeye State’s borders from the Class of 2020 to already have an offer from Urban Meyer and his staff.

One of the other four is Akron Archbishop Hoban athlete Deamonte Trayanum. The 4-star running back/linebacker made his most recent trip to Ohio State last Friday. He then took off for the weekend to a state he spent a few years living in and checked out the Clemson Tigers in South Carolina.

Right now, the 5-foot-11, 215-pound athlete has those two schools at the top of his list. The primary reason for his visit to Columbus last weekend was for his mother to get a chance to see the school in person.

“She really fell in love with ‘Real Life Wednesdays,'” Trayanum told Lettermen Row. “It was a good experience for her, she was really impressed. She really didn’t know a lot about Ohio State before.”

A decision for Trayanum isn’t coming any time soon. The earliest he’s planning to commit to any school would be this upcoming offseason, following his junior season. Right now, the focus is off of recruiting and on to his teammates — though a couple game day visits around the country are likely.

“I’m done with visits and stuff for now,” he said. “I’m focused on my season.”

New offer out to 4-star 2020 linebacker

The Buckeyes extended a new scholarship offer over the weekend to one of the Northeast’s best linebacker prospects: Boston (Mass.) Milton Academy 4-star prospect Kalel Mullings.

Mullings, the country’s No. 3-ranked outside linebacker prospect, visited Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State in consecutive days, giving him a chance to look at a few of the Big Ten’s power programs all at once. The Buckeyes were the first visit of the group, and the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Mullings was impressed by Urban Meyer and his staff.

“It was good,” he told Lettermen Row. “We got a chance to speak with Coach Meyer and [linebackers] Coach [Bill] Davis. They were able to cover a few areas that are important to me. Overall it was great.”

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Birm

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.