Saturday’s home game against Nebraska isn’t just a chance to impress the pollsters as much as it is an opportunity to grab the attention of some of the biggest recruits for Ohio State.
The list for the primetime game against the Cornhuskers reads like a who’s who of candidates for the Buckeyes starting with former Penn State commit Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon). No. 27 in the ESPN 150, the second-ranked offensive tackle leads the list of headliners planning to attend and is followed by James Quick (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) at wide receiver.
Both have Ohio State in their top three. Johnson rounds out his list with Pitt and Virginia Tech, while Quick (No. 57) comes in with Louisville and Oregon.
The list of uncommitted senior unofficial visits continues with defensive tackle Donovan Munger (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights), the No. 281 player in the ESPN 300, and linebacker Christopher Worley (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville). Both are considered heavy Ohio State leans. Athlete Ryan Timmons (Frankfort, Ky./Franklin County) is also expected to be in attendance.
THE COMMITS: The unofficial visits aren’t limited to just uncommitted seniors as the ESPN 300 is well represented by Ohio State commits beginning with No. 7 Eli Woodard (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern), No. 19 Cam Burrows (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood), No. 45 Joey Bosa (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas), No. 98 Jalin Marshall (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic), No. 145 Evan Lisle (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville), No. 175 Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis/John Burroughs), No. 209 Billy Price (Youngstown, Ohio/Austintown Fitch), No. 212 Jayme Thompson and ending with Tracy Sprinkle (Elyria, Ohio/Elyria).
THE NEXT BATCH: The junior class has some heavy hitters headed to Columbus on Saturday as well with teammates Marcelys Jones (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) and Marshon Lattimore expected in attendance. The Glenville duo should be joined by ESPN Watch List juniors Todd Kelly Jr. (Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School of Knoxville) and DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic). Tinashe Bere (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore), Dareian Watkins (Galion, Ohio/Galion), Brian Allen (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) and teammate Ian Bunting are also planning on attending.
THE ROUND BALL AS WELL: The list of recruits includes hoops prospects as well, as Thad Matta has ESPN 100 center BeeJay Anya (Gaithersburg, Md./DeMatha Catholic), ESPN 100 small forward Ishmail Wainright (Raytown, Mo./Montrose Christian) and senior power forward Nigel Hayes (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer) scheduled to make the trip to Columbus.
SHINE ON: With 20 touchdowns, Elliott isn’t the only one putting up Tecmo Bowl type numbers this season as J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider) and Sprinkle are having incredible seasons as well. Barrett has unofficially gone 36 of 67 for 723 yards with five touchdowns in four games. He’s rushed 84 times for 524 yards and has added six touchdowns. Through six games, Sprinkle has recorded 59 tackles, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 23 quarterback pressures.
WHERE WE’RE GOING: Friday is as set in stone as two-second old concrete. BuckeyeNation will definitely be at the Austintown Fitch-Massillon game to watch Price take on Michigan commit Gareon Conley, Cincinnati commit Kyle Kempt and Buckeyes targets Marcus Whitfield and Nathaniel Devers for Massillon. After that it’s a toss-up between St. Xavier-La Salle, Hilliard Darby-Westerville South or Bishop Luers-Bishop Hartley.