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.
Ohio State still hoping to keep Doug Nester
After hosting him for an official visit this past weekend, Ohio State will continue to play the waiting game with 4-star offensive lineman Doug Nester. Here’s what Lettermen Row recruiting czar Birm had to say about the Buckeyes’ chances with National Signing Day just two weeks away:
Ohio State would’ve liked nothing more than for him to shut down his recruitment after last weekend’s visit, but it doesn’t appear to be the case. Even people close to Nester aren’t entirely sure what he’s thinking.
“I’m curious about the situation like everybody else,” Tim George, Nester’s offensive line coach at Spring Valley High School in Huntington (W.Va.), told Lettermen Row. “I know there’s a lot of coaches that come to our basketball games and I talk to Doug a lot, but we rarely talk about recruiting. It seems like everyone is getting more aggressive now that we’re getting closer to signing day.”
Everyone is Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech at this point, three programs desperate for offensive lineman in two-plus week stretch until signing day that doesn’t allow many new names or players to get evaluated. Nester visited both the Hokies and the Nittany Lions in the regular season and took a trip to Penn State in December as well. So it’s clear why Penn State feels a sense of veiled optimism as he readies for a final visit to the school.
As for the Buckeyes? It’s going to be standard operating procedure. Ohio State will continue to highlight for Nester that he chose the school for a reason some 18 months ago and that his best relationships are in Columbus. The Buckeyes will underscore his opportunity to play early in Columbus, that no school is as close to home as the Buckeyes are and that there’s no better chance to win Big Ten and national titles than with the Buckeyes.
Then it’s just holding on tight until signing day for Ohio State.
For more on Ohio State recruiting, check out the Tuesday night edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes.
Watch out for Jaelen Gill
Ohio State has had a big-time logjam at H-back in recent years, and it won’t completely clear with the talented K.J. Hill coming back for his senior season. But in the Tuesday question of the day, Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward made a compelling case for how Jaelen Gill can carve out a role this season as well as his resemblance to Parris Campbell. Here’s part of what Ward had to say:
Considering what Ohio State has lost at receiver with Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin all now off to the NFL, there is a clear path to more playing time if Jaelen Gill can continue sharpening his route-running. And with Brian Snead no longer a part of the program at running back, a player like Gill with a background carrying the football could potentially be an option to help in that department as well — even if that would just be a complementary, change-of-pace role behind J.K. Dobbins and Master Teague.
The key for Gill is that he’s more than capable of lending a hand in both areas, just as Campbell was at his best. And it’s important to keep in mind that it didn’t happen right away for Campbell or another once-touted recruit like Dontre Wilson — or even Curtis Samuel as he tried to take over that H-back role. A redshirt year shouldn’t be looked at as a sign of problems, and for Gill it isn’t an indication at all that his huge ceiling as a player has lowered at all.
Zach Boren on Craig Young
Former Ohio State linebacker Zach Boren jumped back into the Lettermen Row film lab to pop in some footage of Craig Young and project where he might fit best on the roster moving forward. In his latest episode of BuckIQ focusing on the recruiting class, the athleticism was undeniable — even if a specific role might take some time to nail down at Ohio State.
Terry McLaurin: still good
Check out former Ohio State receiver Terry McLaurin reeling in a bomb from former Missouri quarterback Drew Lock during Senior Bowl practice.
Drew Lock to Terry McLaurin. Absolute perfection. pic.twitter.com/B5CsuTItrc
— Carter Donnick (@CDonScouting) January 22, 2019
He flew under the radar on this Ohio State roster for a few years, but he’s really impressed people as he developed.
I haven't really looked too far into projections, but I feel like Terry McLaurin is going to be a steal for some team. All he does is what coaches ask of a receiver, blocks extremely well and raised his production level https://t.co/kRehl7VcXC
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) January 22, 2019
- Ohio State hoops vs. Purdue: Today
- National Signing Day: 14 days
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