Ohio State recruiting: Buckeyes’ October to-do includes needing a big splash … and a big win

With the 2017 football season already more than one-third of the way over, the Ohio State recruiting efforts — specifically for the Class of 2018 — are entering the home stretch, with just about four months until National Signing Day 2018.

It may be October, but recruiting is alive and well, as usual. Coaches around the country will use whatever spare time they find in their schedules to evaluate talent this month. Ohio State’s top-ranked recruiting class doesn’t have many spots left in it, but the time is coming for the Buckeyes’ top targets to make a decision — or for the Buckeyes to start identifying other targets.

Buckeyes must land Anthony Cook — or make another major splash on the recruiting trail

Anthony Cook is expected to announce his college decision on Oct. 30. The Buckeyes need to be the team to whom the 5-star cornerback commits.

Cook, the country’s No. 2-ranked corner, has had Ohio State at the top of his list for a long time. He’s close with Buckeyes freshmen Jeffrey Okudah and Baron Browning and he’s already made his official visit to Columbus. The problem here is Texas and Tom Herman, because the Longhorns aren’t walking away from their home state’s top player without a serious, serious fight. LSU is the team looking to play the role of spoiler, but as we’ve written before, this is the first  real battle for a recruit between Urban Meyer and Herman.

Though he’s been talking about a late-October decision, some recent scuttlebutt suggests Cook may delay his choice. That’d be a negative for the Buckeyes.

For October to be a success, Ohio State has to land Cook, or lock in another of their top-tier targets.

Ohio State can’t have any attrition in October

The Buckeyes have lost just commitment in this recruiting cycle so far — Andrew Chatfield, who re-opened his recruitment in August after pledging to the Buckeyes in June.

With a handful of committed players still considering visits to other schools — big names including Emory Jones, Jaiden Woodbey and Josh Proctor — the Buckeyes need to go another month unscathed.

Jones, their quarterback commit, is going to visit Alabama and probably another school or two (though he has yet to announce when). Oklahoma continues to chase Proctor heavily, though the ninth-ranked safety in the class is  on record saying he’s done with recruiting, he’s also recently told people he  would take other visits.

Ohio State has 18 commitments and would like to add 6-7 more. To have a successful October, the Buckeyes will need to only be moving forward, not backward. That may be a challenge.

Penn State weekend needs to be a win on the field to be a win off of it

A disturbing trend has popped up in Columbus in recent seasons.

A few of the Buckeyes’ biggest recruiting weekends in recent memory (Virginia Tech in 2014, Michigan State in 2015, Oklahoma in 2017) have been dampened by losses on the field.

That cannot happen again when Ohio State welcomes in Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio Stadium will be  buzzing that day if the Nittany Lions, still feeling the glow of last season’s win against the Buckeyes, come to town unbeaten and ranked in the top 5. Meyer and his coaching staff will be hosting dozens of big-time players for that game, including some on official visits.

They simply can’t have another major weekend soured by the taste a loss leaves in your mouth. For October to be a win off the field, the Buckeyes need that win on it. Period.

The post Ohio State recruiting: Buckeyes’ October to-do includes needing a big splash … and a big win appeared first on Land of 10.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.