Recruit Reaction: Ohio State Commitments On Urban Meyer’s Retirement, Ryan Day’s Hiring

By December 4, 2018 (11:45 am)Football, Garrett Stepien
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When the news broke Tuesday, Ohio State recruits reacted as if they knew what to expect. As the Buckeyes announced in the morning, with a press conference at 2 p.m. inside the Fawcett Center set for the afternoon, Urban Meyer is retiring and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day is becoming OSU’s 25th head football coach.

While the departure of Meyer marks the end of an era, continuity is expected on Day’s staff. Four key members of Meyer’s cabinet that came to Columbus with him in 2012 are expected back for 2019 with Day, while the rest of the assistants on the 10-member staff are out recruiting with the anticipation of a smooth transition.

The domino effect spills into recruiting, where Ohio State boasts a pair of top-15 classes in the 247Sports composite team rankings for 2019 and 2020. The Buckeyes’ current cycle contains 15 commitments — two five-stars, nine four-stars and four three-stars — to rank 12th in the nation and second in the Big Ten behind Michigan (24 commits, No. 8 overall). Next year’s group for OSU holds seven commitments — a five-star and six four-stars — for third in the country and first in the conference.

While the trickle-down effect of Meyer’s retirement ultimately remains to be seen, pledges have already begun to publicly confirm their commitments to Ohio State under Day. The trend started with Austin (Texas) Lake Travis 2019 five-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson (6-0 1/2, 181), who committed April 29 and plans to early enroll with the Buckeyes in the spring.

Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy 2019 four-star running back Marcus Crowley (6-1, 200), who committed Nov. 4, echoed Wilson’s stance.

Recruited by Day, Wilson is in the same boat as two of OSU’s top 2020 commitments. Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral four-star quarterback Jack Miller (6-4, 210) and Rockwall, Texas, four-star wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (6-1, 188) — committed to Ohio State since July 1 and Nov. 4, respectively — both were brought aboard by Day. Interim wide receivers coach Brian Hartline played an imperative role in securing Smith-Njigba.

St. Louis Cardinal Ritter College Prep four-star wide receiver Jameson Williams (6-1 1/2, 169), who committed Sept. 28 and is Ohio State’s only receiver pledge for 2019, remains firm to the Buckeyes under Day. Williams received an in-home visit Monday from Hartline.

Also after an in-home visit Monday, from defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic 2019 four-star safety commitment Ronnie Hickman (6-1, 200) continues on the path to Columbus. Hickman has been committed to OSU since April 13.

Oak Park, Mich., 2019 four-star quarterback Dwan Mathis (6-6, 205) flipped June 24 from Michigan State to Ohio State. Day was a primary factor in the recruitment of Mathis, who remains committed.

Mentor, Ohio, head coach Steve Trivisonno told BSB that the four-star duo of offensive tackle Ryan Jacoby and defensive end Noah Potter remains committed to OSU. Trivisonno said the 6-5, 270-pound Jacoby and the 6-5 1/2, 250-pound Potter are looking forward to officially visiting the Buckeyes the weekend of Dec. 7-9 and spending more time with Day in doing so.

In the evening, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 2020 four-star defensive back Lejond Cavazos (6-0, 186) decommitted from OSU. However, Cavazos said he plans to keep Ohio State in his consideration.

Sticking to 2020, the status of Cincinnati St. Xaviers five-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson (6-7, 285) is unclear. Johnson’s mother, Monica Johnson, told WKRC-TV Cincinnati’s Adam Clements that Meyer’s announcement makes them “disappointed” but “continuing to process the news” of Day taking over.

According to Marc Givler of Buckeye Grove, OSU has an in-home visit set up Tuesday with Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas 2019 four-star safety Jordan Battle. The 6-1, 187-pounder has been committed to Ohio State since June 29 but Meyer was among the biggest reasons why.

Stay tuned to BuckeyeSports.com for more recruiting reactions as the story develops.

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