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. Tonight’s update has feedback on a major Ohio State recruiting weekend including thoughts from three key official visitors.
Cody Simon ‘honored’ by Ohio State plans for himÂ
The Ohio State recruiting class of 2020 could end up with just one linebacker in it. And since being offered by the Buckeyes, there has been no player made a bigger priority than New Jersey 4-star Cody Simon.
The St. Peter’s Prep linebacker, the country’s 10th-ranked player at his position, made his first trip to Columbus in over two years this weekend and left feeling like he’s a top target for Ohio State.
“From the last time I was there, the program seems like it hasnâ€™t missed a beat,” Simon told Lettermen Row. “One thing I found out from talking to players is how much they trust in their coaches and the support system that theyâ€™ve built around the players. They see me as coming in as a [weakside] linebacker for them and maybe transitioning to the [middle] later.
“I felt pretty honored that they think so highly of me. They seemed to have a great plan for me.”
Simon is a big-time football player, but his and family’s focus has always been about the best opportunity for football and education. They saw more than enough at Ohio State, and it was an eye-opening opportunity for the program to once again shed its reputation as just a “football factory.”
“We were really impressed with the academic side of it. Also, the Real Life Wednesdayâ€™s that they do are really important,” Simon said. “The players there are extremely well off after they leave college. It wasnâ€™t that I was surprised by it, but it’s just that we hadnâ€™t known about all the opportunities they give.”
Simon is likely done taking official visits and will start to sort through his options with the hopes of a decision being made in the next handful of weeks.
“[The timeline is] before the season, so I can just focus on school and playing,” Simon said. “Really, what will separate the schools for me is if I am able to see myself in those schools for four years. It really does shorten the list for me.
“Ohio State is definitely one of the schools I could see myself at.”
Ohio State gives Cam Martinez plenty to think about
Muskegon (Mich.) 3-star athlete Cam Martinez is one of the country’s best football players, and that’s the message the Buckeyes tried to deliver to him on his official visit this weekend in Columbus.
“I had a great time this weekend,” Martinez told Lettermen Row. “It was good to see the coaches again and interact with them. Also the players, I havenâ€™t really hung out with the players. So it was good to spend time with them.
“Coach Day told me he thinks Iâ€™m one of the best athletes in this class. He just wants me on the team, no matter what position I play.”
That’s why Martinez, who was hosted by Buckeyes receiver Kamryn Babb, met separately this weekend with Brian Hartline and Jeff Hafley. He got to know each coach along with Day because Ohio State believes Martinez could be an All-Big Ten type talent on either side of the ball.
The Buckeyes don’t care where Martinez plays on the football field as long as he’s doing it in Columbus.
After making official visits to Minnesota and Northwestern, Martinez believes he’s done taking those trips and will spend a little time trying to work through a decision with his family. The Golden Gophers, Wildcats and potentially Michigan are going to be the biggest challenger to the Buckeyes. But don’t leap to conclusions that his decision is a done deal.
He’s extremely close with the coaching staff at Northwestern, and the Minnesota staff made a surprisingly big impression on him during his visit to Minneapolis.
“Weâ€™re gonna talk about it, pray about it,” Martinez said. “Make sure of a decision and then go from there.”
Kourt Williams feels at home at Ohio State, enters decision mode
The Buckeyes top target at the new Bullet position is St. Johns Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 4-star prospect Kourt Williams, who also made his official visit over the weekend. The 6-foot-1, 216-pound linebacker prospect thinks that plan fits his talents very well.
“The visit was great,” Williams told Lettermen Row. “It was just the whole tradition there. The whole plan and goal they have for their program. They have a really-highly ranked recruiting class this year and I can see why. I feel like that Bullet position is the perfect position for me to utilize my skill set.
I absolutely felt comfortable there. I just felt it inside the program, how the coaches and players treated me and my family.”
Williams visited Ohio State in March. And since that trip to Columbus, the Buckeyes have been considered the favorite to land him despite official visits to Oklahoma, Penn State and Tennessee. He was hosted by Buckeyes lineman Wyatt Davis, who played at St. John Bosco. And Williams also spent a lot of time with linebacker Teradja Mitchell.
The plan for Williams now is to head home and try to sort out everything he’s seen in the last few months.
He has no specific timeline for a choice but does know that he wants to get out of California for college
“I want to get away from home,” Williams said. “I will decide before the season. As for a particular time frame, I donâ€™t know yet.”
Need more Ohio State recruiting #Stuff? Check out the Lettermen Row forums and let us know what’s on your mind. Don’t forget to sign up for the tri-weekly recruiting newsletter, just in case there’s anything you’ve missed during the week.