Recruiting dead period hasn't hurt Buckeyes efforts in Washington

On3 imageby:Jeremy Birmingham09/22/20


Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? This is the place for you, five days a week. Submit your questions on Twitter or on the Lettermen Row forums. Check-in daily to see what’s on the mind of Buckeyes fans all over the country. Today’s question is about the status of Ohio State’s efforts around the recruitment of Emeka Egbuka and J.T. Tuimoloau in the midst of an on-going recruiting dead period.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a Recruiting Question of the Day here at Lettermen Row because we are about to enter the eighth month of an NCAA-mandated recruiting dead period. And to be perfectly transparent, that has definitely dampened the mood around recruiting. Recruits, especially in the Class of 2021, were smart enough to read the room over the last few months and many, many more than normal have committed and turned their focus to preparation for college enrollment. Those that haven’t decided yet have turned unusually quiet while waiting for some direction or answers from the NCAA.

Two of the players in the latter category, Emeka Egbuka and J.T. Tuimoloau, are two of Ohio State’s final targets in the Class of 2021. Each player has all but disconnected from the public side of the recruiting process over the last few months, choosing to remove the majority of distractions that come from social media and instead work privately on relationship building as best they can considering the unusual circumstances of this cycle.

Despite being unable to visit Ohio State, things have continued in a very positive direction for the Buckeyes because there are not many coaches in the country better at relationship building than Ryan Day, Brian Hartline and Larry Johnson — the group primarily involved in the efforts to land the pair of Washington 5-star talents.

Yes, the dead period has put things on pause for a few months. In fact, a number of people in important positions believe each player’s recruitment would be over by now had planned spring visits happened. But overall there’s been no loss of traction for Ohio State as a top frontrunner for the nation’s top-ranked receiver and defensive tackle prospects.

Oklahoma made a big push for Egbuka in the last month or so. But the inability to get to Norman in August was a big blow to the Sooners chances. The Buckeyes have been building, growing and developing a real, tight-knit relationship with Egbuka and his family for almost two years now. The only question needing to be answered now is exactly how long he’s going to wait to make a commitment. Oklahoma is going to continue trying to push for a delay until next year while the Buckeyes are obviously hoping a decision is made — pardon the pun — sooner. Egbuka, from what I’m told, has been kind of back and forth about that because in general he knows what Ohio State offers. But as a very analytical young man, sees no harm in waiting if it means a more comprehensive choice is made.

Oregon, Alabama, Washington and USC continue to impact Tuimoloau. Unlike Egbuka, who has visited Ohio State twice, he’s never been to campus in Columbus. If he’s going to be able to make that trip, it won’t happen until at least January, but that’s OK because his plan has always been to make a decision in February. Larry Johnson’s impact can not be ignored, and there’s no reason that won’t grow when Tuimoloau and his family finally get to see the entirety of the Buckeyes program in person.

There are a number of potential twists and turns from here until signing day, but Ohio State is in very good shape to land them both as things stand right now.


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