BuckeyeNation continues to hit the road in search of budding Division I talent that should catch the eyes of Ohio State fans. Here’s what we came up with this week:
This week’s targets: BuckeyeNation swung out to Akron and made stops at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and Buchtel. St. Vincent-St. Mary is the home of Ohio State commitment and running back Parris Campbell Jr. as well as eighth-ranked outside linebacker Dante Booker. Buchtel, which is coached by former Michigan running back Ricky Powers, also has a few diamonds in the rough. One in particular is defensive end Anthony Clark, who is gathering steam as he heads into his senior season. The interest in Ohio State is strong at both schools as the Buckeyes try to back a strong 2013 recruiting class with another in 2014.
Area of interest: While everyone talks about Urban Meyer going national for his classes, five of his eight commitments are from Ohio. Ohio State should maintain that strategy and rely on recruits to help out as well. Campbell is already teammates with Booker and is trying to persuade the outside linebacker to join the Buckeyes’ ranks. At Cleveland Glenville, Ohio State pledge and offensive tackle Marcelys Jones is teammates with the top-ranked player in the state in ESPN 150 athlete Marshon Lattimore. If Meyer continues to fence in his borders and has the help from recruits, it should help in the long run. All eight pledges hail from the Midwest.
Prospect’s performance: Anyone wanting to know why Ohio State is so high on Cedartown (Ga.) running back Nick Chubb saw it at the Georgia state track and field finals. Competing in the long jump during the last day of competition, rain became an issue and when Chubb made his jump on the take-off board, he slipped and went sideways, eventually landing hard on his side and chest. Chubb shook it off and continued rather than bowing out, earning admiration from the crowd and showing why he’s a can’t-miss prospect. The junior is planning to announce his college choice on May 28.
Word on the street: The concern as of late among Ohio State fans has been about the quarterback position and @beyondthecastle asked us on Twitter why the Buckeyes are so quarterback-heavy right now in terms of interest. The truth is, Ohio State knew what it wanted in Gainesville (Ga.) signal caller Deshaun Watson and was willing to wait things out. When Watson said he was sticking with Clemson, Ohio State sent offensive coordinator Tom Herman on a tour around the nation looking for quarterbacks. The scholarship offers to Brandon Harris, Kyle Allen and Zack Darlington were in the plans if things fell through for Watson. It’s typically good to take at least one quarterback in every class, and Ohio State wants to make sure it doesn’t get shut out.
What to watch: The Nike Football Training Camp series heads out to Oakland, Calif., this weekend where several top targets are planning to compete. From an Ohio State angle, the name to watch out for is Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom). The 6-foot-2, 205-pound running back has seen his recruiting blow up this spring after a junior season when he rushed for 1,443 yards and scored 20 touchdowns. He’s been a camp sensation and is closing in on 50 offers. He has trimmed his list to 15 and the Buckeyes made the cut. He’s definitely a name to watch.