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Dotting the ‘Eyes: Deciphering Zach Harrison timeline, Elias Ricks ready for Ohio State visit

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Zach Harrison remains the top recruiting priority for Ohio State. (Zach Harrison/Courtesy)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Dotting the ‘Eyes: Deciphering Zach Harrison timeline, Elias Ricks ready for Ohio State visit

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What’s up with Zach Harrison at this point?

If you’re a regular reader here at Lettermen Row, you’ve seen that during most weekdays, I take one #RecruitingQuestionoftheDay and spend a couple hundred words expounding on a topic. Usually, the requests are varied and touch on any number of topics around Ohio State recruiting.

Last week, though, when I asked for questions, there were three or four folks who basically asked the exact same guy: 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison.

Those are a couple of them. Today, we’ll eschew the hashtag and talk about Harrison a little bit in this spot.

The Buckeyes are still fighting Michigan and Penn State. There is no change there, and I think that’s not something most people want to hear, but that’s what that situation. Michigan’s efforts in the last few months to really push into the mix have come to fruition thanks to the addition of linebackers coach Al Washington. Washington recruited Harrison’s high school while he was an assistant coach at Cincinnati and the two have a really excellent relationship to this point, and it’s only getting better as more time is spent on it.

Michigan’s commitments have done a great job working on Harrison and have gotten to know him well during visits around the region. That’s not something the Buckeyes can point to yet, despite efforts from their verbal pledges.

Penn State’s James Franklin is one of the more likable, energetic coaches in the country. The Nittany Lions are a rising program with great history and tradition and are also seriously in the mix.

That’s where things might get tricky for Ohio State. Yes, the idea has always been for Harrison to commit around his birthday in mid-August. But that’s never been a guarantee, and I don’t think that’s going to be the case at all if he’s not 100-percent sure of a decision. Right now, it does not appear that the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Harrison is close to that, and I would not be optimistic that will change in the next two or three weeks.

If Harrison doesn’t make a college decision before his senior season at Olentangy (Ohio) Orange begins, then there’s a pretty good chance that this recruitment stretches into November or December. That will certainly add stress to the process for the Buckeyes, but it provides Harrison a chance to further evaluate the programs he’s looking at.

He’s absolutely not going to decide if he’s not sure.

As for my opinion? It’s still hard to pick against Ohio State here, but the longer the process drags on, the more clear it is that he’s sincerely considering leaving Ohio for college. I don’t think a November or December decision is absolutely bad news for the Buckeyes, but I do think they’d prefer this end sooner than later. It’s much easier to consider leaving Columbus for Ann Arbor with just a few weeks of lead time before a departure than it would be with four or five months.

5-star Elias Ricks eager to make trip to Ohio State

Lettermen Row caught up with California 5-star cornerback Elias Ricks at The Opening in Dallas early in July, and he told us at that time he’d been planning a visit to Columbus. That trip will occur this coming weekend as the summer recruiting dead period comes to an end.

“I’m taking a red eye,” Ricks told Lettermen Row. “I’ll be there on Saturday. I’ll spend the morning at Ohio State, and then I’ll go to Michigan. I will be in Columbus for just three to four hours.”

It’s a short trip for Ricks, but the 2020 prospect says he’s not worried about the lack of time there.

“I’ll get to see what they got planned for me,” he said. “I honestly just want to see the school and how they do things out there. I know I’ll get out there for another visit at some point.”

Ohio State has not offered Ricks yet, but if they do that this coming weekend, expect the Buckeyes to be one of his early favorites.

New 2019 offensive line target for Ohio State? 

The Buckeyes have been chasing a handful of 2019 offensive linemen throughout the past few months as they look to supplement their current three-man haul of Doug Nester, Ryan Jacoby and Harry Miller.

There are guys out there that you’ve heard discussed before, players like Darnell Wright, Walter Rouse, Jonathan Allen, Trevor Keegan and others. But there are always more that we haven’t focused on much to this point.

One of those players is Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy’s Darrian Dalcourt. He’s the country’s No. 14 offensive guard and has quietly been recruited quite hard by the Buckeyes over the last few months. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Dalcourt is Maryland’s sixth-ranked prospect and he has offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State and others. He made two trips to Columbus in the spring and is likely to return for another visit this season.

The biggest need on the offensive line for the Buckeyes is at tackle, but Dalcourt is a player that is good enough to recruit no matter what.

Need more Ohio State recruiting? 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.


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.