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Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State working to keep recruits after Urban Meyer’s retirement

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Paris Johnson will visit Ohio State on Friday. (via @ParisJohnsonJr on Twitter)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State working to keep recruits after Urban Meyer’s retirement

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise! Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more. 

Jake Wray decommits from Ohio State

Ohio State’s Class of 2020 suffered another loss on Wednesday when 4-star offensive tackle Jake Wray announced his decommitment. One day earlier, 4-star cornerback Lejond Cavazos did the same. Wray said he’ll still consider Ohio State but wanted to look at more options in the aftermath of Urban Meyer’s retirement.

“Committing early had only big loop hole for me,” Wray wrote. “No major coaching changes.”

Paris Johnson set to visit

Ohio State will have a chance to state its case with its most important commitment in the 2020 class, 5-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson. Lettermen Row recruiting czar Birm reported on Wednesday that Johnson will be in Columbus on Friday to meet with the Buckeyes’ coaching staff.

Whether or not Johnson remains committed will have a big effect on the Buckeyes’ class going forward. In addition to being a 5-star prospect from Ohio, Johnson has also been an enthusiastic recruiter of other top players in the 2020 class. Losing a homegrown elite talent is never ideal, but it’s especially so when it could also mean losing some help in landing other big recruits.

Doug Nester not enrolling early

Ohio State’s earliest commit in the 2019 class won’t be among its earliest arrivals anymore. The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reported that 4-star offensive lineman Doug Nester has decided not to enroll early and will instead take some official visits to other schools:

Nester said that he remains “committed right now” to the Buckeyes, but noted that the coaching change has prompted him to take a step back in the recruiting process and weigh all options to ensure he makes the right decision for his future.

“That’s very important,” Nester said. “I just feel like with all this happening, I really have to go back and check all the boxes off. I’m going to take my officials to different places and see what’s out there.”

Greg Schiano visits Lejond Cavazos

Lejond Cavazos decommitted from Ohio State on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, he received a visit from Greg Schiano at IMG Academy.

“Coach Schiano came by today,” Cavazos told Lettermen Row on Wednesday afternoon. “We were just talking about like the future of Ohio State under Coach Day.

“I don’t have a relationship with [Ryan Day], but we’ve met. The reason for committing to the school was relationships. I want to rebuild a relationship with him and just make sure I get the same feeling as I did with Coach Meyer. Coach Day seems like a great guy, and I know for a fact he will lead Ohio State in the right direction. I just want to get to know him.”

What Ohio State needs to do

In the Wednesday recruiting question of the day, Birm was asked whether any assistant coaching changes would impact the 2019 recruiting class. Here’s part of what he had to say:

If Ryan Day wants his career to start the way he needs it to at Ohio State, he’s going to need to make changes. Before doing that, though, he needs to sit down with the players in question and explain to them why he needs to and how his future hires will give players a better chance to fulfill their potential. If they choose not to believe his message, that’s on them, I suppose. But what’s not changing at Ohio State is far more important for player development than what is.

The post-football life plan developed by Meyer and Ryan Stamper isn’t changing. The incredibly detailed, successful and player-focused strength and health program created and maintained by Mickey Marotti isn’t changing. The well-oiled machine that is the Ohio State behind-the-scenes staff crafted by Meyer, Brian Voltolini and Quinn Tempel isn’t changing. The prolific player personnel department led by Mark Pantoni isn’t changing. The Brand U concept forged by Sammy Silverman and the Ohio State media team isn’t changing.

Changes may come after bowl game

Whether or not Day ends up making significant staff changes will probably be revealed after the Buckeyes play in the Rose Bowl.

“We’re so busy right now and everything has happened in the last 48 hours very fast,” Day said. “Guys are on the road recruiting. This is a big time for us recruiting with the early signing day. We’re getting ready for the bowl game. That’s the focus right now.

“Like every year at the end of the bowl game, we’ll go through and evaluate everything.”

Hoops team wins again

Ohio State basketball is off to a 2-0 start in Big Ten play after beating Illinois 77-67 in Chicago on Wednesday night. Lettermen Row’s John Brice broke down the win in his Three Points analysis.

Counting down

  • Early signing period: 13 days
  • Rose Bowl: 26 days

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Ryan Ginn

Ryan Ginn has covered Ohio State football and recruiting since 2013, having done so previously for Buckeye Sports Bulletin and He is currently a student at Tulane Law School and resides in New Orleans, La.

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