Ohio State Buckeyes: TCU Horned Frogs

States of strength: Texas RBs 

May, 15, 2014
When it comes to running backs, the state of Texas is loaded. Ten running backs represent the Lone Star State in the ESPN 300. Of those 10, five are committed. A total of seven running backs in the state have reported FBS commitments.

ESPN 300 RBs from the state:

No. 50 Ronald Jones II: Ranked the nation’s No. 3 running back, Jones is an explosive, game-changing back who -- as scary as it might sound -- will only get better. Jones committed to Oklahoma State on April 6 and finished his junior season with more than 2,400 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns.

Getting to know DaMarkus Lodge 

April, 17, 2014
Throughout this recruiting cycle, RecruitingNation will profile a number of ESPN 300 prospects in the 2015 class, including an inside look at the prospect, his recruitment, a scouting report and what college program could benefit when he ultimately makes his decision.

DESOTO, Texas -- With all the multiple camps, combines and special events happening each spring, DaMarkus Lodge chooses not to be a regular on the circuit.

It’s not that Lodge is against them, or that he thinks he’s above them. The ESPN 300 receiver has simply prioritized his life as a student-athlete. The camp circuit happens to be a middle-of-the-pack priority.

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As expected, Day 2 at the Under Armour All-America practices were smoother, more concise and much more productive. The players are now starting to think less and play more. Natural ability is starting to come to the forefront, which allows for them to be more productive. There have been fewer dropped passes, fewer misses by the QBs and the offensive lines are starting to jell quicker than expected. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this group is there have not been any true letdowns. They have stepped up and been as advertised almost top to bottom for both squads. Let’s hit the highlights of the day:

Top performers

WR Cameron Sims (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish): Sims might not wow anyone with his 40-yard dash time, but it may not matter. Sims is so similar to Mike Evans at Texas A&M. He just makes plays. He has extremely long arms and is outstanding when in contested matchups. The ball will look like it is uncatchable and then next thing you know he jumps out of nowhere, extends and makes a play and the defender is left scratching his head. When it comes down to it, the QBs for Team Highlight can trust that if they need to throw it up, Sims will make a play. The most basic thing about the position is catching the football and Sims has no problem doing that.

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#CampusConnection: Primetime Live

October, 26, 2013
Will UCLA score enough points to somehow beat Oregon? Will Missouri all but clinch the SEC East against South Carolina? Will Ohio State remain unbeaten against the rival Nittany Lions? Head on over to Campus Connection at 7 ET and follow the evening action along with 10 of our reporters, including Mark Schlabach at UCLA-UO, Chris Low at SC-Mizzou, Max Olson at Texas-TCU, Greg Ostendorf at FAU-Auburn and Austin Ward at PSU-OSU.

Post your comments and questions and we’ll include as many of them as possible.

Ohio State grabs pledge No. 15

July, 28, 2013

Ohio State’s emphasis on recruiting the offensive line is evident. So is the strength of this cycle’s recruiting class.

Offensive guard Demetrius Knox (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal) became the Buckeyes 15th pledge on Sunday evening and the fourth offensive lineman to commit to Ohio State in this cycle.

Ranked 193rd overall and 11th at his position, Knox is also the second ESPN 300 lineman to commit in a row, following Jamarco Jones (Chicago/De La Salle), who gave his pledge to Ohio State on June 27.

Knox is also the sixth pledge to appear in the ESPN 300 for the Buckeyes.

“He’s originally from Springfield, Ohio,” Knox's high school coach, Aaron Beck, said. “That’s an area he’s comfortable with. Our offensive line coach [John Bates] played there. I don’t know how much or how little that played into it. They have recruited him heavily and recruited him well.”

In choosing the Buckeyes, the 6-foot-4, 296-pound Knox turned down UCLA and TCU, who were among his finalists.

“It was real close between them,” Beck said. “He loved all three programs. They all recruited him well. But he has family there, so a lot of things favored them there.”

Knox, who originally was committed to Texas, is a big piece to the puzzle and is one of Beck’s strongest players on a team that has at least nine Division I college players on it.

The Buckeyes are also getting an individual who helped Louisville commit Daniel Gresham to a 1,000-yard rushing season and 18 touchdowns as a junior.

“Ohio State is getting a guy who is extremely athletic and extremely quick,” Becks said. “He’s the most flexible. The potential and upside with him, the sky is the limit. I can’t tell you how happy I am personally.”

In joining the Buckeyes’ 2014 class, he is part of a class that includes tackles Kyle Trout (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster), Marcelys Jones (Cleveland/Glenville) and Jamarco Jones.

He’s also a gigantic get for the Buckeyes, who will be in desperate need of linemen after four senior starters run out of eligibility after the season.

“Oh my gosh, their class is unbelievable,” Beck said. “It’s going to be so much fun to watch over the next five years. They’re definitely going to get everyone’s attention. We’re excited for him and his family. It’s good for him and our program.”

Knox’s recruitment is now in the books, and Beck couldn’t be happier as he could tell his big man was ready to put his pledge in the books.

“When kids start getting recruited as a sophomore, this process gets to be cumbersome,” Beck said. “Especially for a guy like Demetrius, who I think could have gone to any school he wanted to go to. Six months ago it was, 'Coach, I want to commit at the Army All-America game,' and then it was, 'I want to commit and get this over with.' ”
LEANDER, Texas — After a late-June and early-July trip to the West Coast that included elite camp appearances and unofficial visits, Houston Lamar four-star safety John Bonney was back with his teammates recently for the Texas 7-on-7 state championships.

The Redskins performed well, going 3-0 in pool play in day one of Division I action, then making a run in bracket play to the quarterfinals before bowing out to eventual Division I tournament champion, Southlake (Texas) Carroll.

Bonney, a 6-foot, 182-pound prospect who has 32 offers, was glad to be back with his team. Now his focus is shifting to the start of fall practice in August and a potential decision on his college future.

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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Offensive lineman Demetrius Knox has had an interesting recruitment thus far. The one-time Texas commit is now no longer considering the Longhorns and will likely head out of state.

The four-star lineman has a current top five of UCLA, Ohio State, Florida State, Florida and TCU and says he still needs to further evaluate these programs to see which is the best fit for him.

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ESPN 150 OG Smith focused on season 

June, 13, 2013
While many top college prospects are traveling across the country to take unofficial visits, attend camps and find ways to visit schools that they're interested in, ESPN 150 offensive guard Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) is taking a different approach, according to his head coach.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound prospect, who is No. 118 in the ESPN 150, is focusing on offseason workouts and not recruiting currently.

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It won’t be much of a break for Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./Olathe) in a few weeks.

Then again, one of the most sought-after offensive guards in the nation wants to make sure he’s making the right choice when it comes to colleges.

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Buckeyes fourth in Way-Too-Early Top 25

January, 8, 2013

There are still seven months before the start of the 2013 season, and the teams and their order figure to change frequently, but it's never too early to take a look at the Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2013.

And with three national championships in the past four years, there's no reason to change the team that's on top. Ohio State, with a schedule that's conducive for another unbeaten run, is ranked No. 4.

Also see:

Skai Moore ready for Wisconsin 

November, 17, 2012
Three-star linebacker Skai Moore (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School) admits that his personal recruiting board is changing quickly.

Just a few weeks ago the 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior had a top three of Vanderbilt, Rutgers and Wake Forest and was expected to have made a decision by now.

Then Ohio State jumped in with an offer, followed by Wisconsin, and now Moore admits he’s had to reset everything.

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Watch List OT Knox sets decision date 

November, 15, 2012
Demetrius Knox (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints) is ready to make his decision.

The ESPN Watch List 2014 offensive tackle is planning to announce his choice on Nov. 26 at a ceremony at his school.

"I was talking it over with my coach and he said we should just go ahead and get this whole thing over with," Knox said. "I'm kind of tired of talking to other coaches and all that stuff. I just want everybody to know where I'm going."

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#BlueChipBattles: Nov. 2

November, 2, 2012
RecruitingNation has summoned its writers from around the country to compile a list of the top 10 battles for elite football recruits Insider leading up to February's signing day. We'll update our rankings periodically to reflect a change in a player's status (i.e., new offers, trimmed-down list or a positive/negative official visit).

Our writers have debated the list for weeks, but we value your input as well. Voice your opinion on Twitter (@RecruitingESPN) using#BlueChipBattles or vote for which player should hold the No. 1 spot on Facebook.

#BlueChip Battles: Oct. 26

October, 26, 2012
Pitt doesn't want WR Robert Foster to leave the Keystone State and USC hopes to keep CB Max Redfield in Cali. The local programs' bid to keep those two stars in-state highlights this week's #BlueChipBattles Insider.

#BlueChipBattles is the Twitter hashtag to use if you want to voice your opinion on our list or to view other fans' reactions as the commitments begin to roll in. Get recruiting updates on the players above as well as the nation's other top football prospects here: @RecruitingESPN.

ESPN 150 LB Mike Mitchell to commit? 

July, 27, 2012
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When linebacker Mike Mitchell (Plano, TX/Prestonwood Christian Academy) arrived in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for the Champion Gridiron Kings event at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, he hinted that a decision might be coming soon.

"I am waiting for my parents to get here to my hotel and we plan to discuss things as far as my commitment goes," Mitchell said.

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Did Ohio State Cheap Out On Championship Rings?
ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell discusses Ohio State's decision to spend less than the maximum allowed on rings for its players.