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Recruiting Mailbag: On Summer OVs, Darwin Barlow And Potential Four-Star Upgrades



Had some awesome feedback from our last recruiting mailbag, so I appreciate you all indulging me with yet another for a second consecutive week. Had some really good questions from the readers – and also a lot – so I tried to condense them all into one post. Hope you enjoy.

Shane Hatfield: It seems like the trend now is to take your OV in the summer and then try to commit before your senior year starts. Is that accurate? Before the rule change, it seems like they were committing in the spring or summer based on their unofficial visits and then taking their official visits in the fall.

Summer official visits do seem to be en vogue at the moment. Thanks to the early signing period being a smashing hit, players are hitting their official visit circuit months before they used to. I’m not sure if it’s something that’s changed for good or if it’s just a recent fad because of NSD being bumped up a few months, but I can guarantee you this: coaches absolutely love the way this has played out. Rather than juggling official visits from top targets in addition to game-planning, practices and media availability during football season, they can devote their full attention to summer crootin and then do the same for their football responsibilities in-season.

Seth Dow: If Darwin Barlow commits to OSU, how likely are we to also land Tamauzia Brown? Where do you see our recruiting class finishing this year in Big 12  and nationally? Is the Blake Barron connection going to help us get Anfernee Orji? How many more DL and OL will we take in this class? Are we going to take some LBs or are we converting safeties instead now?

Seth Dow off the top rope with the rare five-part question! I’ll try and be brief. 1. Whether Barlow commits or not, I don’t think Tamauzia is OSU-bound. 2. I think the recruiting class will finish around, say, 35 nationally. That will be around fifth or sixth in the conference. 3. Even with the Blake Barron connection with Anfernee Orji, I think it won’t help – only because his connection to his brother, a Vanderbilt player, is probably going to trump all. 4. I think they take one, maybe two more DL in the 2019 class, max. Maybe one more OL. 5. They will take linebackers in this class, yes. Thus far they’ve had no luck – which is a bit concerning, considering that was one of Glenn Spencers’ biggest struggles as DC.

Tyler Davis: What current commits for the 2019 class do you see as potentially being upgraded to 4-star by the end of the upcoming football season?

If I’m being honest, I’d be surprised if any were upgraded from three stars to four stars. OSU doesn’t typically get that type of fortune with recruiting services. But guys I think should be four-star prospects: Cole Birmingham, Taylor Miterko, Preston Wilson, Jayden Jernigan.

Taylor York: Do you think Holder’s comments will have a negative effect on this recruiting cycle?

Since Holder made those comments, OSU has climbed roughly 10 spots in the national rankings … just saying! But seriously: I don’t think it has any impact. Coaches may hear it and take it as a slight, but it’s not going to make them slouch on the job. If anything, it will make them want to prove Holder wrong. As for recruits, they don’t concern themselves with stuff like that. I asked one OSU commit what he made of the comments, and his response was more or less, “What in the world are you talking about?”

GeoPokes: With so many OL commits, are we at quantity over quality right now? Would it be best to have two 4* or four 3*?

The OL needed an overhaul of talent, and they’ve done that exceedingly well over the last two cycles. I think Josh Henson has found a formula that reels in both quantity and quality. As I noted above, I truly believe three of the four OL commits should be considered four-star prospects based on their offer sheets and tape alone. So right now, based on my view, they have three four-star commits and one three star. I think most fans should be over the moon about what Henson has been able to accomplish.

James Engel: Does it bother you that Gundy is getting commits from people who only have 1 or 2 other offers (and from non-Power 5 schools)? Or do you see this as Gundy just being a step ahead of everyone else?

I don’t lose sleep about it, but it’s a bit disconcerting to see an unranked player with a lowly offer sheet commit to OSU over schools like, say, Buffalo and Yale or something. I think Gundy has earned the benefit of the doubt given his phenomenal track record, but in the same token, Holder was right to mention that they settle for recruits a lot when they don’t necessarily have to.

Blake Goddard: Level of confidence in Boynton being able to nab some of those PWP guys for 2020?

I’ve been told OSU is in a good spot with Bryce Thompson. Boynton has made a pointed effort to make him and his father a priority. As for Dayten Holman … wouldn’t be surprised if he stayed in Norman. The most interesting thing is going to be where Davion Bradford lands. He has already made multiple trips to campus, and the PWP connection with OSU is real.

Austin Long: With 11 remaining scholarships left, how many of those are going to go to defensive lineman?

Probably all of them … (or maybe just two). Collin Clay, Trace Ford, Z’Core Brooks, Taurean Carter, Javasia Brunson, Enoch Jackson and Carl Williams are all still on the board. I would guess they try and take one more DE and one more DT.

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