Ohio State recruiting: Pennsylvania’s top prospect to visit, Briggs picks back up with Buckeyes

Ohio State football recruiting-Buckeyes football recruiting-Joey Porter
            Jr-2019 recruiting

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Pennsylvania’s top prospect planning return visit

You likely remember the name Joey Porter from the Bill Cowher-era Pittsburgh Steelers. Porter prowled the field and earned four All-Pro nods and a Super Bowl ring during his standout career. Porter is now coaching for the Steelers as a linebackers coach after a standout 13-year NFL career and is making a life for himself in Pittsburgh again.

It’s in the western Pennsylvania area that his son, Joey Porter Jr., has bloomed into an impressive prospect in the 2019 recruiting class. In fact, Porter was recently named the No. 1 player in the state of Pennsylvania by 247Sports following an impressive performance at the Under Armour camp in Geneva (Ohio). Porter has collected an impressive early offer list, earning scholarships from Pitt, West Virginia, Maryland, Boston College, Syracuse, and several Group of 5 programs.

“It’s been getting crazy, especially after the football [season]. It’s definitely been getting crazy. I’m getting used to it now though, it’s been fun,” Porter said. “I really can’t say too many bad things about colleges wanting me to go to their school. … I’ve been talking with Pitt, West Virginia, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan a little bit, Wisconsin a little bit, Syracuse, Toledo, and I think that’s all of them. None of the four Big Ten programs have offered me yet, but I’m trying to get out there for some visits soon.”

We previously discussed Ohio State’s interest in Porter  when Buckeyes linebackers coach Billy Davis stopped in at Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny to check in on the NFL legacy. He will soon return the favor when he returns to Ohio State for another visit.

“I’m visiting Ohio State and Penn State pretty soon and then probably Wisconsin and Michigan a little later,” Porter said. “Ohio State and Penn State sent me invites, I’ve just got to check in with my schedule and lock in a date. … I went up to Columbus last year for a camp, but it’s been a minute. Ohio State’s camp was actually the very first time I started playing cornerback. I was at wide receiver, but I switched mid-day to cornerback.”

Since making that move to defensive back, Porter’s recruitment has taken off. He landed his first Power-5 offer from Pitt just days later and has risen from a relatively anonymous recruit to a realistic option for several major programs. There’s been speculation that Porter could follow in his father’s footsteps and grow into a linebacker, but he’s expecting to play defensive back at the next level.

“Some people say linebacker, but I don’t know what schools are thinking with me playing linebacker. Most of them want me to play cornerback,” Porter said. “I’ve training my speed, but really it’s been my technique. Technique is everything. I’m just working on getting better and getting my speed faster.”

Porter will be angling to pick up an offer from the Buckeyes this summer. Although he has plans to visit before then — likely for an upcoming spring practice — Porter will also work out at a prospect camp for Ohio State this summer in an attempt to prove himself to the Buckeyes staff. It’s one of the major offers on his wish list.

“Ohio State has just been telling me to keep working and that they’ve got to get me back up to their school. They want me to do a camp or something like that, which is another opportunity to walk around and see the school. That offer would mean everything to me. It’s Ohio State,” Porter said. “It’s a great school and I would love to play there. I’d like to play anywhere, but I really like the competition at that school.”

Porter has plenty of time remaining in his recruitment and is in no rush to wrap things up, despite all of the offers he holds.

“I want to keep adding offers still and see who really wants me to go to their school. I’ll probably cut my list next school year, like around the beginning of the football season I’ll probably cut down and then find a time to commit after that,” he said.

Buckeyes pick it back up with Briggs

Cincinnati (Ohio) Walnut Hills defensive tackle Jowon Briggs was the very first player in Ohio’s 2019 recruiting class to land an offer from the Buckeyes, drawing a scholarship from Ohio State in the fall of his sophomore season. Despite that, Briggs, the No. 76 prospect overall and No. 4 defensive tackle in the class, had a bit of fall-off in communication with Ohio State over the winter. That was recently corrected and Briggs says he’s back in touch with the Buckeyes coaching staff.

“Ohio State and Coach Larry Johnson hit me up the other day kind of saying, ‘What’s up?’ and trying to get me out for a visit here soon,” Briggs said.

It’s been relaxed lately in general in recruiting for Briggs. He says he’s mostly been focused on tracking all of the coaching changes and trying to adapt to changing landscapes at each of the schools recruiting him.

“Lately, it’s been pretty chill I guess. All of the colleges are making a lot of decision right now on different things with National Signing Day and everything and different coaches coming in and out and getting them comfortable,” Briggs said. “[Cincinnati’s] coach left and went up to Michigan and there are just D-line coaches leaving left and right. That’s tough because those are the people I have to connect with the most.”

Briggs affirmed that he did intend to take Ohio State up on their invitation to come visit Columbus again, but he’s had other priorities on his mind beyond scheduling specific visit dates. Recruiting may have to take a backseat to his second sport.

“I don’t really have any visits lined up right now, I’ve been busy with track season coming up. I throw both discus and shot put. It’s probably one of my favorite things,” said Briggs. “I didn’t really grow up watching football and I was never big on it back in the day, but I used to love watching the Olympics. … I’m probably going to sit down [with] my family soon and see what’s up and where I can go. It’s a lot to ask my parents to go and drive 4 hours or 8 hours every weekend for these visits.”

It’s been quite some time since Briggs took unofficial visits, but he did take the time to reminisce on a trip to Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish and Buckeyes are expected to be Briggs’ top-2 options in recruiting.

“It was nice there. It was really nice there. It’s like aesthetically pleasing to me at Notre Dame. It’s real quiet, it’s a nice town. I think it’s kind of pushed off and secluded a little bit,” Briggs explained. “Football is great there and academics are definitely great there. The people are great, the coaches are great. I’ve always liked the quiet. My mom is from Springfield and I love going up there where it’s more quiet.”

Ohio State active in Georgia

Ohio State had a little burst of activity Thursday in Georgia. First, the Buckeyes made a top-schools list for an under-the-radar target they offered in December – Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson wide receiver Deshon Stoudemire. The Buckeyes were joined by Michigan State, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisville, Nebraska and Iowa State on Stoudemire’s to-9 list. He has not yet been available for comment, but look for more on Stoudemire’s recruitment soon.

Another prospect in the Atlanta area, 2019 safety Kyle Hamilton of The Marist School, landed an offer from Ohio State on Wednesday. Hamilton is a 6-foot-3, 188-pound safety, ranked as the No. 74 player at his position nationally. The Georgia native has collected an impressive offer sheet that includes the Buckeyes, Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame, Louisville, Maryland and many other programs.

Finally, shortly before the publication of this article, Ohio State extended another new offer, albeit not in Georgia. The Buckeyes joined the race for 4-star tackle William Harrod of Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian Academy, the No. 22 player at his position and No. 5 in Maryland. Ohio State joins Harrod’s offer list, which previously included schools such as Michigan, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, South Carolina and 10 other Power-5 programs.

Miss a day of the Ohio State recruiting notebook? Don’t fret! You can get all of the previous versions of Dotting the Eyes here.

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