With two weeks until National Signing Day, Ohio State had a day to remember Monday by hauling in three four-star recruits, including flipping two players from another Big Ten school.
Coconut Creek (Fla.) wide receiver Binjimen Victor announced his commitment on Twitter and said he could “only further (his) college career at one school.” That place was Ohio State.
Next, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer flipped a pair of in-state Maryland commits: Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) linebacker Keandre Jones and Bullis School (Potomac, Md.) quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
“Urban sees his recruiting territory as coast-to-coast,” said Scout.com’s Bill Greene. “He goes for the very best guys he can get, and the results speak for themselves.”
Ohio State has 21 commits in its 2016 class, making a strong case for the nation’s best in advance of the Feb. 3 signing day. Meyer filled necessary spots vacated by players who declared early for the draft and threw a counter-punch to rival Michigan, which has been making aggressive strides on the recruiting trail.
Victor, an Army All-American, is the fourth Ohio State commit from Florida.
“It’s big to land Victor because of where he’s coming from,” said Barton Simmons, 247Sports’ Director of Scouting. “He’s one of the top receivers in the country, and Ohio State is landing him out of SEC country. You’re beating Miami, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, all those programs for a guy like that. That’s really what makes this such a big commitment.
“Urban Meyer has asserted presence in Florida.”
Haskins, the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2016, was an Elite 11 finalist and an Under Armour All-American. Haskins had been a driving force in Maryland’s “DMV Movement” with its appeal to players in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Ohio State had long been in play for Haskins, who said that he went to Buckeyes camps as an 8-year-old. “It has been a dream of mine to play for The Ohio State University,” he said.
Jones, an Under Armour All-American, had been committed to Maryland since December 2014 and said in the fall he was “locked in,” although he left himself the possibility that he could change his mind depending on the coaching situation. Jones is ranked as the No. 9 outside linebacker in the nation and the No. 4 player in Maryland, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
“Reeling in both Haskins and Jones, it’s a statement for Ohio State,” Simmons said. “Maryland thought they had these guys. They relied on in-state pride but Ohio State circled the wagons, came in the back door and took two of the best players in the state.”
Haskins is viewed as the biggest steal for Meyer, who was forced to recruit another quarterback after Tristen Wallace’s flip to Oregon.
“For a guy like Haskins to be the guy you turn to in need of a backup plan, it’s striking that’s what they’re able to do,” Simmons said. “They made a strong push late in the process and he’s one of the elite passers in the class. It’s a real testament to the recruiting power of Meyer and Ohio State.”
Despite the big news, ESPN national recruiting analyst Craig Haubert doesn’t view the Buckeyes’ big day as a real shock.
“Urban Meyer is Urban Meyer, and it’s as simple as that,” Haubert said. “He’s proven it everywhere he goes and he continues to show his reach as a recruiter. Now we’re seeing it in Maryland’s territory.”
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