- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Odenigbo’s official visit to Northwestern
On Wednesday, ESPNU 150 defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) announced he will be making his college decision on Jan. 7, two days after playing in the Under Armour All-America Game.
Odenigbo has a top seven of California, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, UCLA and USC.
Notre Dame and Stanford have already received official visits, and Ohio State received an unofficial two weekends ago. On Friday, Odenigbo will travel to Northwestern, for his last scheduled official visit; he still has two more in his back pocket.
Before making his announcement, it appeared Odenigbo was still wide open and any team had a chance to make an impression on him, as USC did during his official to Notre Dame. The Trojans and UCLA were not in his preseason top five.
However, now that a date is set, it could indicate he is leaning toward a school. Either way, with Northwestern up next, it’s a great opportunity for the Wildcats to make a big impression on Odenigbo, who is looking for academics above everything else.
Top Ohio state championships could showcase future OSU players
The Ohio Division I and Division II state finals will be played on Friday and Saturday night, respectively, and playing in it will be some top talent headed to Columbus next fall and possibly in 2013.
Division I finalist Pickerington Central already has two Ohio State commitments lining up for its offense. Three-star receiver Roger Lewis committed to the Buckeyes in the summer, and three-star offensive lineman Jacoby Boren has been a long-time Buckeyes commitment. (Sebastian Smith is an Indiana commitment.)
Trotwood-Madison will play Avon in the Division II final and combined as many as three juniors could be lining up for Ohio State beginning in 2013.
Trotwood cornerback Cam Burrows is one of the top juniors in the state and is already a Buckeyes lean. His teammate Michael McCray II doesn’t have an Ohio State offer yet, but his father was an Ohio State linebacker and team captain.
Avon’s Ross Douglas doesn’t have an Ohio State offer either, but the Buckeyes will definitely be a factor in his recruitment.
Furthermore, Trotwood senior safety Bam Bradley is uncommitted and considering the Buckeyes.
Kelly’s travels on the West Coast
Following Notre Dame’s loss to Stanford this past weekend, coach Brian Kelly stayed out on the West Coast to do some recruiting. Many of the Irish’s final targets are out in California, which includes some prospects wavering a little bit.
The top target for the Irish is four-star OT Arik Armstead, a USC decommit who visited Notre Dame on Oct. 22.
Another prospect impressed with Notre Dame at that USC contest is four-star receiver Jordan Payton. It was an almost certainty Payton would commit to Michigan, but that Notre Dame visit gave him a lot to think about, and he postponed his decision date.
San Diego four-star tight end Taylor McNamara visited Notre Dame on Nov. 19 and really enjoyed the visit.
Kelly will also have to try and convince two prospects to stick with their pledges to the Irish. ESPNU 150 member Deontay Greenberry and his friend and fellow ESPNU 150 member Tee Shepard are wavering. Those two are key skill-position players in the Irish’s 2012 class.
Meyer’s initial impact at Ohio State
More than anything, Urban Meyer might be best known for his non-stop motor on the recruiting trail. Meyer loves to recruit and loves to recruit speed at that.
Entering his first weekend as the Buckeyes’ new coach, it will be interesting to see where Meyer heads first. He’s already been in touch with a number of recruits on the phone, most notably Noah Spence (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt). Spence is ranked the No. 4 player in the country. Spence still hasn’t really opened up his recruiting yet, though, as he is completely focused on his senior season after a tough loss in the playoffs a year ago.
Four-star Jeanette (Pa.) athlete Demetrious Cox has also talked with Meyer, who is trying to get him to Columbus for an official visit.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer also reported Meyer sent out his first 2013 offer when he spoke with Cleveland Heights receiver Shelton Gibson.
It’s highly unlikely Meyer gets any commitments this weekend, but it’s clear he is on a mission to finish the 2012 class strong after a lackluster start to the recruiting season for the Buckeyes.
Record-breaking receiver’s visit to SMU
National record-holder Gehrig Dieter (South Bend, Ind./Washington) is making his first official visit this weekend, and it will be to June Jones and his wide-open passing attack at Southern Methodist.
Dieter, a two-star receiver, has been leaning toward SMU for a few weeks now as the Mustangs are his biggest offer to date. Dieter loves the fact the Mustangs throw the ball on nearly every down, and Dieter has the ability to make an immediate impact there.
An announcement won’t come until Jan. 3, but the Mustangs can go a long way in locking down Dieter this weekend, especially with an official visit to Oregon coming next weekend.
It appeared the Ducks were out of it for Dieter, but receivers coach Scott Frost called Dieter to set up an official visit. Frost told Dieter to hold off on any decision until he visits Oregon, which has not offered him yet.
450dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert