On Saturday, some big recruits were in East Lansing, Mich., for unofficial visits, so it was the perfect time for Ohio State to make a name for itself.
ESPN Watch List juniors Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South), Dominique Booth (Indianapolis/Pike), Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield), Malik McDowell (Detroit/Loyola) and Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech) were on hand to watch the Buckeyes eke out a 17-16 win over Michigan State.
“I like the fact they never gave up,” Garrett said. “They kept fighting.”
Garrett, who registered 78½ tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception as a sophomore, liked even more how he could step into a Buckeyes linebacker unit that will be young again next season.
“I think I would fit in their D pretty good,” he said. “It’s aggressive. They play fast and they like to hit.”
For Booth, who took in Ohio State’s 35-28 win over Cal two weeks ago, it was a second chance to watch the Buckeyes, and he saw even more to like in Round 2.
“I saw a lot more screen plays and that’s my favorite play,” Booth said. “Braxton Miller is talented. He’s very in tune and getting better every week.”
Booth took no bias into East Lansing, and he saw the best in both teams. But what he noted most was Miller and Co. making one big play after another.
“Ohio State, they were players,” Booth said. “They made the big plays. Devin Smith down the sideline showed a lot of speed. It was good.
“I’d bring explosiveness if I went there. That screen play is where I’m best, especially after the catch. I think I bring that once the ball is in my hands.”
The wideout is one of the most highly sought athletes in the Class of 2014 after a sophomore season in which the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Booth made 46 catches for 585 yards and five touchdowns.