Stay in touch or be left out because Ohio State recruiting is a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week obsession. What’s the latest news as the Buckeyes build for the future? Get that and more Sunday through Thursday on Lettermen Row. Thursday’s notebook reviews the upcoming decision by North Carolina defensive lineman Jacolbe Cowan and the key decision made by Texas cornerback Ryan Watts.
Ryan Watts decommits, in the mix at Ohio State
Late Wednesday night, Little Elm (Texas) 4-star defensive back Ryan Watts made a big change in his recruiting process.
“I’ve decommitted from Oklahoma,” Watts told Lettermen Row. “And I’m very interested in Ohio State. The Oklahoma staff was surprised and upset, of course, but they respected my decision.”
While I’m not entirely sure Oklahoma should’ve been surprised since the official visit Watts took to Ohio State three weeks ago was a good indicator that his commitment wasn’t entirely solid, the timing of the move is interesting. It’s also, potentially, a positive development for the Buckeyes.
When Watts announced he was going to make an official visit to Ohio State, he also suggested Penn State and maybe Texas A&M would get one as well. Right now it appears the trip to Happy Valley, which was scheduled for Oct. 19, is off. What that means for the Aggies remains up in the air.
“I was scheduled for Penn State, Oct. 19, but I decided to stay home,” Watts said. “Family issues.”
Watts also acknowledged speaking to another coaching staff on Wednesday night, though he didn’t say whether or not that discussion happened prior to his decommitment or after it. That staff? Ohio State. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound cornerback talked to both Ryan Day and Jeff Hafley, and that also seems like good news for the Buckeyes.
So what happens from here? Watts will have to make another tough decision on whether or not to schedule a visit to Texas A&M or anywhere else — or if he’ll put his recruitment back on the shelf and commit to Ohio State in short order.
Final Call on Ohio State target Jacolbe Cowan
The Buckeyes could be a few days away from a decision from Ryan Watts, but they are a day away from knowing whether or not they’ve done enough to land 4-star defensive lineman Jacolbe Cowan.
Cowan is the country’s 15th-ranked defensive tackle according to theÂ 247Sports.com composite ranking, but his strength is in his versatility. That’s just one of the reasons why the Buckeyes have been recruiting him for over a year now.
The final group of schools for the 6-foot-5, 265-pound North Carolina lineman includes Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, Tennessee and North Carolina. Cowan has spent plenty of time on each campus, but only the Buckeyes have hosted the Charlotte standout for an official visit. That’s telling when trying to make sense of his recruitment, one that has been played very close to the vest for the last few months.
While Cowan has played it cool, what he’s never hidden is that there’s a special bond between him and Larry Johnson. It’s been Johnson driving his recruitment for Ohio State, and it’s the relationship with the legendary coach and the chance to play for him that I believe will lead to his college choice.
Final Call: Jacolbe Cowan will commit to the Buckeyes on Friday night.
Who is Kyle McNamara? Why did the Buckeyes offer him?
Ohio State already has the country’s top-ranked wide receiver group in the Class of 2020. The names have been discussed here for months: Julian Fleming, Gee Scott, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Mookie Cooper, all of them rated as top-15 prospects.
It’s a really good group — and one that would appear to be full.
So, with that group locked down, why would the Buckeyes offer an undersized, 2-star wide receiver as they reportedly did in the last week?
— Kyle McNamara (@KyleMcNamaraWR) September 27, 2019
That’s a good, valid, question. But the answer isn’t really quite so simple. They didn’t offer Kyle McNamara as a way to drive a wedge between him and his brother Cade, a freshman quarterback at Michigan. They also didn’t offer him because there’s any fear about the status of their current crop of receivers.
McNamara is ranked as the country’s 389th-best wide receiver and is listed at 5-foot-8 and 170-pounds. His junior highlight film shows a pretty capable and explosive young player, but his only scholarship offer has been from Central Michigan. The Chippewas, who offered in June, don’t need to be worried about Ohio State stealing their guy.
They may, though, have to worry about others doing that because McNamara’s recruiting profile will certainly receive a bump with the Block O attached to it. McNamara, who plays at Nashville’s Lipscomb Academy where he’s coached by Trent Dilfer, is already starting to hear from other schools looking to piggyback off of the Buckeyes interest.
For McNamara to have the chance to utilize this offer from Ohio State, a number of unexpected events would need to occur. Still, McNamara is a talented young receiver who is going to find himself with the chance to make plays in college. It’s unlikely that college is Ohio State, however.
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