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 the Youngstown, Ohio, area and took a good look at Hubbard and Warren Harding high schools. While there, we talked to offensive guard Matt Jones and running back Larry “LJ” Scott of Hubbard. Both are Buckeyes targets as sophomores. Harding is the home of Denmark sensation Hjalte Froholdt and Ohio State legacy James Daniels, whose father LeShun Daniels Sr. played offensive guard for the Buckeyes in the 1990s. One other interesting note about Daniels is that his brother LeShun Daniels Jr. signed a letter of intent to play for Iowa this February.
Vividly Virginia: The Buckeyes made it abundantly clear last week that Virginia was fertile recruiting ground. Ohio State long has had offers out to Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge/Woodbridge), Andrew Brown (Chesapeake/Oscar Frommel Smith) and Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach/Bayside), but last Wednesday the Buckeyes offered five Virginians in rapid fashion. The offers went out to outside linebacker Ricky DeBerry (Richmond, St. Christophers), cornerback Garrett Taylor (Richmond, St. Christophers), wide receiver Scott Bracey (Richmond/Benedictine School), wide receiver Jaason Lewis (Virginia Beach/Ocean Lakes) and inside linebacker Jahvoni Simmons (Virginia Beach/Ocean Lakes).
Zeke the freak II: As impressive as Ezekiel Elliott’s four sectional titles were two weekends ago, the future Ohio State running back topped himself. How? He won four Class 3 state titles to further solidify his legacy at St. Louis John Burroughs High School. The 6-foot, 205-pound ESPN 150 running back swept the field at the state tournament by taking home gold in the 100-meter dash (11.03), 200 (22.25), 110 (13.97) and 300 hurdles (39.01). It wrapped up an incredible year for the senior as he led the Bombers to their third consecutive runner-up finish in football. Elliott rushed for 2,155 yards and scored 50 total touchdowns.
Word on the street: @DelagrangeChris asked about Ohio State’s recruiting class size. Currently sitting at nine commitments, 2014 could be a small class. Right now, the minimum is 14, but it could grow through transfers or players leaving early for the NFL. If, for example, Bradley Roby and maybe Ryan Shazier leave early for the NFL, that creates two spots. BuckeyeNation is looking at a possible class of 19, but that number is by no means set in stone.
What to watch: Head to campus this weekend as the Elite 11 regional and Nike Football Training Camp will take place on the Ohio State practice fields. While Urban Meyer can’t be there to watch because of NCAA rules, there will be some big-time talent lurking around the Buckeyes' facility. Hand -- the No. 1 ranked defensive end in the nation and fourth overall player -- is scheduled to participate at the NFTC, as are ESPN 150 juniors Jalen Hurd, Damon Webb, Todd Kelly Jr. Michael Ferns, Ian Bunting, Jaden Gault and Adonis Jennings. Ohio State target Brandon Harris is scheduled to take a visit to Ohio State on May 30 and will be a part of the Elite 11 along with DeShone Kizer, Darius Wade, Caleb Henderson and Drew Barker. Ohio State commitments Kyle Berger, Lonnie Johnson, Dylan Thompson, Kyle Trout are signed up for the NFTC, and Parris Campbell Jr. and Dante Booker might show up as well.