Ohio State’s latest recruiting competition with Georgia appears to be at its final stretch as the Buckeyes battle the Bulldogs for Mekhail Sherman.
After he officially visited both schools over the past weekends, the five-star edge rusher from Washington (D.C.) St. John’s College took to Twitter and announced OSU and UGA as his two finalists.
It’s between Ohio State & Georgia fr. No interviews, & I appreciate the coaches for presenting me opportunities & the fan bases which came with them. Appreciate you all💞
— Mekhail Sherman🌹 (@JuicedUpK9) April 30, 2019
The 6-3, 234-pounder has been atop Ohio State’s board for more than the past year. Sherman reported an offer Jan. 29, 2018, from the Buckeyes and made multiple unofficial visits to Columbus in the time since then.
His first trip came July 27-28, he returned Nov. 24 for OSU’s 62-39 win over Michigan at Ohio Stadium and then Sherman came back in an official capacity last Friday through Sunday. The Buckeyes’ official visit occurred after Sherman did the same with Georgia the previous weekend of April 19-21.
Sherman made the July and November trips to Ohio State with high school teammates in five-star wide receiver Rakim Jarrett and Tre Williams, who were top targets for the Buckeyes at the time. However, both blue-chip prospects subsequently spurned OSU and committed elsewhere for 2020 — Jarrett (6-0, 190) April 27 to LSU and Williams (6-2 1/2, 306) Jan. 26 to Clemson.
Since the Bulldogs offered Feb. 26, 2018, Sherman has been back to Athens, Ga., on multiple occasions as well. Before the official visit, Sherman made an unofficial trip to UGA during its spring camp March 1.
With more than 30 offers in tow, Sherman cut his list to seven Dec. 2. He included Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Michigan and Penn State among the five others.
Sherman had season-ending ACL surgery Oct. 17, cutting his junior campaign short, but he was expected to fully recover by April. After the procedure six months ago, Sherman said former head coach Urban Meyer (2012-18) was “one of the first people” he called.
In the time since then, with Meyer’s Dec. 4 retirement from the helm and two-year offensive coordinator Ryan Day’s Jan. 2 promotion to head coach, Sherman’s relationships have been rebuilding over the past five months. Day’s defensive staff reshuffled as two-year linebackers coach Bill Davis left Jan. 8 to pursue NFL opportunities and landed Jan. 11 with the Arizona Cardinals in the same post, and Al Washington was hired Jan. 8 from Michigan after recruiting Sherman for the Wolverines.
Sixth-year defensive line coach Larry Johnson has also been heavily involved. Johnson doubles as the area recruiter for Sherman’s region.
His timeline for a commitment decision is set for an announcement at some point in the summer, and the Buckeyes currently trail in the 247Sports crystal ball predictions with 91 percent favor of the Bulldogs. He is the 247Sports composite’s No. 11 overall prospect, No. 2 outside linebacker and No. 1 player in D.C. for 2020.