Landon Samson commits, Buckeyes defensive line recruiting analysis

Aritcle written by:Jeremy BirminghamJeremy Birmingham

Birm

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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. Today we’re talking about Stanford stealing a Buckeyes target, the impact of Brian Hartline on Braylon James and two 2024 linebackers to pay attention to for Ohio State.

Landon Samson commits to South Carolina, Ohio State impact

Receiver recruiting in the Class of 2022 could be over for Ohio State by Monday. Kojo Antwi will announce his college choice that day, and if he picks the Buckeyes over Georgia, Alabama, USC and Texas A&M, it probably wraps up Brian Hartline’s efforts in this cycle.

However, if Antwi picks another school, the odds are pretty good that Ohio State will still chase another receiver. The player that’s been at the top of the list behind Antwi in recent months has been Southlake (Texas) Carroll receiver Landon Samson, a teammate of Quinn Ewers with the Dragons. Samson visited Columbus with Ewers last month and left that trip with an eye on being patient as things shook out.

So that’s why it was sort of a surprise that Samson announced his commitment to South Carolina on Wednesday.

Does it mean Samson knows where Antwi is going to announce a commitment to? No, it doesn’t. Does it mean the Buckeyes wouldn’t offer the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Samson if Antwi picks another school? No, it doesn’t.

Whatever Antwi decides next Monday, Samson has made a great decision for him. If Ohio State ends up offering him at some point, he’ll have another decision to make.

Nick James announces, then cancels, decision date

The world of recruiting is a topsy-turvy one, and that was on full display this week in the form of IMG Academy defensive tackle Nick James.

James, the country’s No. 28-ranked defensive tackle, made an official visit to Ohio State in early June. He also made an official visit to South Carolina. Following the trip to Columbus, he told Lettermen Row that he intended to take his recruitment into the season and take three official visits in the fall. So when he tweeted on Wednesday that he’d be committing on Saturday, it turned some heads at Ohio State and at South Carolina. Those schools were both quickly hinted at as being the choice for the 6-foot-2, 280-pound James.

By Thursday morning, James changed his mind.

“After a long talk with my family,” he tweeted. “I will not be committing Saturday.”

Ohio State has a number of defensive tackles it is still recruiting in the Class of 2022, and it’s hard to tell exactly where James falls on the list. Caden Curry has long been at the top of the list, but in recent months there’s been an increased focus on players like Chris McClellan and Hero Kanu as potential complements to Curry. McClellan is reportedly in decision mode and a college choice from him could come in the near future. Curry and Kanu intend on waiting until the fall to make any kind of commitment, and that pair may be too good for the Buckeyes to risk losing out on.

If McClellan picks Ohio State, it could be a waiting game for Curry and Kanu. It’s a game the Buckeyes seem willing to play.

No update on J.T. Tuimoloau for Ohio State

For those waiting on a J.T. Tuimoloau update, here’s one: There isn’t one.

There is no timeline for a decision that has been announced, and nobody inside the Ohio State program has been given any inclination about when to expect it. The Buckeyes have a summer class session that begins on July 6, and if Tuimoloau wants to get started on summer classes, he’d need to be there for that. If he doesn’t, then there’s nothing that stops his recruitment from going for a few more weeks. Heck, it could go into August if he wanted.

Ohio State’s coaching staff is on vacation and isn’t pressing Tuimoloau for a decision. His family doesn’t appear to be pushing for one either. The decision will come whenever J.T. Tuimoloau is ready.

I still believe the Buckeyes will be the choice, but as of Thursday morning, no timeline for an announcement has been made.

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