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Buckeyes commits at The Opening, Cody Simon on his decision

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Lejond Cavazos, Julian Fleming and Jack Miller are putting in extra work at The Opening. (CJ Cavazos/Twitter)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Buckeyes commits at The Opening, Cody Simon on his decision

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’s notebook talks with latest Ohio State commitment Cody Simon and looks ahead at what could be an absolutely huge month of July for the Buckeyes.

Cody Simon finds everything he needs at Ohio State

After committing to Ohio State on Saturday afternoon, 4-star linebacker Cody Simon still wasn’t really sure why he felt the need to pick the Buckeyes.

But all that matters for Jeff Hafley and the Scarlet and Gray is that he did.

“I really don’t know,” Simon told Lettermen Row about the timing of his decision. “I knew where I wanted to go, but these past few days I just felt that it was the best place for me.”

The actual conversation between the country’s 10th-ranked outside linebacker and the Ohio State coaches came on Friday night. It was a call that the Buckeyes coaches had been hoping for after a whirlwind, three-month-long recruitment.

“They were extremely excited and had lots of energy (when he committed),” Simon said. “I’m not sure if they knew it was coming, but they were happy anyway.”

He may not know why he pulled the trigger when he did — there had never been a specific timeline for a choice — but Simon did not hesitate to say why he committed to Ohio State.

“They really have everything I’m looking for in a school,” he said, breaking down his top picks that included Penn State, Nebraska and Ohio State. “For all three schools, I felt that they were great choices, so just talking to the players and coaches just made me feel more at home there.

“Going into the (official) visit we were concerned, about (Ohio State’s academic reputation), but after going through the academic side and the life after football side, the education there really is strong.”

With his own recruitment behind him, Simon is ready to focus on his senior season at Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep. That said, he’ll contribute to the cause of recruiting for the Buckeyes when he’s asked to.

“If there is a guy who I feel can really help us, I would do my best to reach out to him and see what he’s thinking,” Simon added about the idea of acting as a recruiter. “As of right now though, I just want to enjoy it.”

Ohio State recruits at The Opening…

After making his announcement on Saturday, Simon hopped on a plane and headed to Frisco, Texas where he and another 150 or so of the country’s top high school football players were set to compete in The Opening, held at The Star, the practice home of the Dallas Cowboys.

In Texas, Simon joined fellow Buckeyes verbals Jack Miller, Julian Fleming, Gee Scott, Paris Johnson and Lejond Cavazos and that group is looking ahead to a busy three-day stretch of competing, fraternizing and relationship-building.

The Buckeyes have 15 commitments and the Big Ten’s top-ranked class but these next few days are going to be absolutely pivotal for Ohio State and the way its 2020 class finishes.

That group of verbal pledges have wasted no time working overtime to try and seal the deal with a handful of top-ranked Ohio State targets who they’ll be sharing the moment in Texas with. Ohio State commitments are spending every spare moment with Florida running back Jaylan Knighton, St. Louis athlete Mookie Cooper, Texas defensive lineman Vernon Broughton, North Carolina lineman Jacolbe Cowan, California athlete Kourt Williams, Arizona defensive back Lathan Ransom and yes, 5-star LSU commitment Elias Ricks.

Miller, who has chosen to sit out the final events of the Elite 11 Finals to rest a strained back muscle, will use his time in Texas to recruit almost exclusively from here and the Buckeyes are hoping for good news on the heels of the efforts made by him, Cavazos, Paris Johnson and others. According to the always-outspoken cornerback Cavazos, things are already going well.

So exactly what’s coming for the Buckeyes? There are a few things in the works.

Could help set up a monster month of July for the Buckeyes

Here are the players in the Class of 2020 that we know are going to commit somewhere in the next few weeks, at least according to the players themselves.

  • July 3 • Mitchell Melton, linebacker • Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan
  • July 4 • Josh Fryar, offensive line • Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana
  • July 16 • Lathan Ransom, safety • Ohio State, Texas, Notre Dame, LSU, Oklahoma
  • July 30 • Jaylan Knighton, running back • Ohio State, Florida State

These prospects are all expected to make a college decision in July as well, though no specific date for their announcement has been given.

  • Cameron Martinez, athlete • Ohio State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan
  • Joe Royer, tight end • Ohio State, Arizona State, Penn State
  • Mookie Cooper, athlete • Ohio State, Illinois, USC, Miami, Texas
  • Kourt Williams, athlete • Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Penn State, Texas A&M
  • Bijan Robinson, running back • Ohio State, Texas, USC

If all eight of those players pick the Buckeyes and there is positive momentum with each, the Ohio State 2020 class would technically be at 23 verbals (considering kicker Jake Seibert as a grayshirt) heading into the first of August.

Ryan Day, Jeff Hafley, Mark Pantoni and the rest of the Buckeyes recruiting machine can get very specific in what they look for after.

I believe this class ends at 25 signees and after months of concern and consternation, things appear to be shaping up quite nicely for Ohio State.

Need more Ohio State recruiting #Stuff? Check out the Lettermen Row forums and let us know what’s on your mind. Don’t forget to sign up for the tri-weekly recruiting newsletter, just in case there’s anything you’ve missed during the week.

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Scoop
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Scoop

Birm,

GREAT update! Also, that’s nine recruits, not eight, so we’d be at 24 if they all commit. We really will be handpicking after that. Sheesh! #GoBucks

Kyle
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Kyle

23. The kicker is part of the 24 and grey shirting, which makes 23. Burm was correct.

Traptnmi
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Traptnmi

Martinez is a special asset.An upright elusive type runner which really looks bizarre, but is so unique and effective and having that thick lower half, just makes him superior for whatever position he chooses as the coaches say is up to him. #seeingisbelieving

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.

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