NCF On The Trail: Ohio State recruiting

Despite being one of the top programs in the nation, LSU still has some work to do to land one of the top junior prospects in the south.

Coaches from LSU visited Todd Kelly Jr. this week. However, the Watch List prospect from Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb said he's primarily focusing on his top ten finalists.


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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Airius Moore (Beavercreek, Ohio/Beavercreek) headed to Tropicana Field last week for the Under Armour Combine in hopes of further improving his stock.

The 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker has offers from Cincinnati and Illinois and is hearing from several programs in the Northeast and Midwest.

"Boston College sends me a lot of mail," he said. "Penn State, Ohio State, Louisville, Iowa -- I can't really think of any more."


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LB Trey Johnson chooses Ohio State

January, 4, 2013
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- For months, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and his staff have made the No. 2 inside linebacker prospect in the country a recruiting priority.

Their patience paid off tonight when Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) committed to Ohio State during the Under Armour All-America Game, live on ESPN.

Johnson chose Ohio State over Florida and Tennessee.

A longtime Auburn Tigers commitment, Johnson happened to be returning from his official visit to Ohio State on Nov. 25 when Auburn fired coach Gene Chizik. That time on the Columbus, Ohio, campus helped the No. 2 inside linebacker get a better feel for the Buckeyes.

“When I took a visit up there it was different,” said Johnson, a starter in the UA Game. “I kind of like the feel up there, the depth chart. And there are many factors that make it a good fit there.”

The addition of Johnson gives Ohio State 20 commitments, nine of those being members of the ESPN 150, and boosts what is already the No. 4 recruiting class in the ESPN rankings.

Johnson, who made 140 tackles, three sacks, and one interception as a senior, is the first linebacker commitment for the Buckeyes in the 2013 class. They are still working to add linebacker and ESPN 150 prospect Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian Academy), and are in the mix for another standout in the Peach State, Under Armour All-American safety Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland).
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Offensive tackle Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial), committed to Cal since July, is about to get busy again with recruiting.

[+] EnlargeCameron Hunt
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comCameron Hunt looks forward to an upcoming U-M visit, for which former teammate Kyle Bosch will likely be his host.
Hunt plans to visit Michigan on Jan. 11 after he returns home from the Under Armour All-America Game, Oregon on Jan. 18 and Cal on Jan. 25.

He’s also considering Ohio State, though he has yet to set a visit. It has been a long road for Hunt, who drew little recruiting interest before a breakout camp circuit last spring.

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Max Redfield reveals final trio 

December, 30, 2012
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The verdict is in for Max Redfield. We’ll learn his decision on Friday on ESPN's 5 p.m. ET telecast of the Under Armour All-America Game.


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Weekend Rewind: Ohio State 

December, 10, 2012
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Ohio State has to be feeling pretty good about itself these days.

With eight commits already on official visits over the weekend, the Buckeyes added two more names to their 2013 recruiting class when four-star ESPN 150 cornerback Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) and four-star ESPN 300 defensive tackle Donovan Munger (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) gave their pledge to the team.

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ESPN 150 RB David Williams names top 3 

December, 8, 2012
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GERMANTOWN, Pa. -- ESPN 150 tailback David Williams said Saturday afternoon he trimmed his list to three schools: Arizona State, Ohio State and South Carolina.

Williams (Philadelphia/Imhotep Charter) isn't sure when he might make a decision, but he said it would likely come near signing day. He wants to see each school on an official visit and then talk a potential commitment over with his family.

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S Malcolm Cook re-opens recruitment 

December, 5, 2012
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Malcolm Cook (Fork Union, Va./Fork Union) hasn't officially decommitted from Virginia following the firing of four assistants, but the safety said he's re-opening his recruitment.

In the last 48 hours, the prospect has received 11 offers and entertained visits and phone calls from the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and USC. He planned to speak with the Trojans after basketball practice Wednesday, and he chatted in-person with Penn State assistant Charles London on Tuesday.

"It doesn't really matter to me about other schools looking at me," he said, when asked whether this new attention was a consolation. "The reason I committed to Virginia was because of the defensive coordinator, Coach [Jim] Reid. So I was really hurt by Coach Reid not being there.

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Gareon Conley next Urban Meyer flip?

November, 15, 2012
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In the recruiting world, they call it flipping when one school has a recruit under its wing but by signing day that athlete commits to a different university.

As the days dwindle until national signing day, attention has turned to which players Urban Meyer and Co. might roll their way in an all-important 2013 recruiting class for Ohio State.

Some look at Tony Stevens (Orlando, Fla./Evans) or Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett). However, if odds were set, the most likely candidate is one most fans already know about.

Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has made it no secret that he wants to take visits -- whether official or unofficial -- before giving Michigan his signature.

A longtime Wolverine pledge, the cornerback has said he chose Michigan because no other big-name schools were really after him.

The Wolverines were the only visit Conley took, but now that he has interest from schools including Oregon and Ohio State he wants to see what they’re all about, even if that means he is no longer committed to Michigan.

The Ducks have shown strong interest, while Ohio State has extended an offer.

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ESPN Watch List receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield) made a college decision close to three weeks ago. He just can't seem to find the right time to make it public.

The 6-foot-0, 174-pound receiver planned to have a ceremony at his high school Thursday but said the school asked him to delay the announcement because of another event that day.

"They keep saying they have things going on in the library," Snodgrass wrote in a text message.

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When Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown) opened his junior season with 390 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns in three quarters during a 40-0 win over Rockmart, some eyebrows were raised.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Chubb hit the halfway mark of the regular season with a 366-yard, 7-touchdown performance against Southeast Whitfield, and then schools really started to take interest.

Now with an offer from Ohio State, Chubb could become a big part of a Buckeyes offense that already includes high school touchdown machines Bri’onte Dunn (Canton, Ohio/GlenOak) and Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis/John Burroughs), should he decide to come to Columbus in 2014.

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Williams intrigued by FSU's success 

November, 1, 2012
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It's not a surprise that the big boys of college football drop in on Eagle's Landing Christian in McDonough, Georgia.

After all, there are several elite FBS prospects starring there. Andrew Williams, a 2014 Watch List defensive end, is just one of them.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect reports that schools such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame and Ohio State, among others, have been by this season.

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Notre Dame has offered only one quarterback in the 2014 class, but an ESPN Watch List member will make it to South Bend in November.

Junior quarterback Drew Barker (Hebron, Ky./Conner) has been hearing from the Fighting Irish a lot recently, and in turn he will make a Nov. 17 trip to South Bend. The Irish will host Wake Forest in Notre Dame's last home game of the season.

"I thought I'd check it out," said Barker, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound signal-caller.

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WR Thaddeus Snodgrass names top five

October, 25, 2012
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ESPN Watch List wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield) told ESPN.com this week that he will make a commitment either Nov. 2 or Nov. 5. He added that he now has a top five.

The 6-foot, 174-pound junior announced late Wednesday night on his official Twitter account that the choice will be between -- in no particular order -- Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

According to ESPN.com Midwest recruiting analyst Jared Shanker, Snodgrass will make an unofficial visit to Notre Dame sometime next week before his announcement. He originally planned to visit the Fighting Irish for their game Nov. 3 against Pittsburgh, but now would like to visit earlier.

The visit for the Pitt game is contingent on whether Snodgrass commits Nov. 2 and to which program he ultimately commits.

His announcement will take place at Springfield High School.
Davonte James (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield) might be hard-pressed to top his first experience at The Horseshoe.

On hand with teammate Thaddeus Snodgrass, the ESPN Watch List junior watched the improbable become probable when Kenny Guiton took over for an injured Braxton Miller to lead Ohio State over Purdue in a 29-22 overtime thriller.

“I thought it was a great game,” James said. “I didn’t think they were doing that bad. I liked that they never gave up. It was great.”

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