The major commitments are coming fast and thick, and the nation’s strongest programs are making sure they aren’t left out.
After a major weekend for the likes of Florida State and Clemson, four national powers including the Tigers were back on the board again Monday. Clemson received a commitment from four-star Florida running back Chez Mellusi, defending champion Alabama added four-star cornerback Christian Williams, Oklahoma got a commitment from four-star safety Jarrian Jones and Ohio State added in-state defensive end Noah Potter.
Of the quartet of new decisions, the most high profile is Alabama’s latest addition. Williams is among the top-10 ranked cornerbacks in the nation, an in-state product from Daphne (Ala.) High who had 19 scholarship offers, including those from in-state rival Auburn and SEC rivals LSU, Florida, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
Clemson’s latest running back pledge, Mellusi, is a steal from Florida who was expected to commit to Notre Dame or Miami. Instead he chose Clemson because of a combination of coaching acumen and the culture he perceived when he visited the South Carolina campus.
“After the Clemson visit, I was really, really, really amazed with what I saw,” Mellusi told 247 Sports. “The culture is really cool. I love the coaching staff. I knew I was going to make the right decision, but I just wanted to go over it with my family and stuff like that before I committed.
“I loved it. My dad loved it. My mom didn’t visit, but she already loves it. She supported me all the way through with my decision.”
Like Mellusi, Jones’ decision came down to what he saw at the Oklahoma spring game, which pulled him over the line and away from in-state power Mississippi State. Jones was the second four-star safety prospect to commit to Oklahoma in the immediate aftermath of the team’s spring game, following Jamal Morris, the Fort Bend Bush star who hails from Oklahoma’s more frequent hunting ground of Texas. Jones was torn between his heart at Oklahoma and head at Mississippi State. We all know which impulse he went with.
As for Ohio State’s big addition, it was the most predictable of Monday’s lot. Noah Potter is a standout defensive end for Mentor High in suburban Cleveland. A top-10 overall prospect in the state, he chose the Buckeyes ahead of 23 other scholarship offers including three perceived fellow finalists: Penn State, Wisconsin and Florida.
Still, if anyone needed proof of the power of Ohio State on a Northeast Ohio star’s mindset, one need only take a look at Potter’s commitment image:
That’s a deft photoshop of Potter in front of other notable Buckeyes defensive ends from years past, including both Joey and Nick Bosa.
Why is the image important? Because Potter already wears No. 97 at Mentor, paying tribute to heroes at his position on his favorite team.
A Buckeye fan from Ohio following in the footsteps of the best defensive ends? It was always going to be difficult to lure Potter away from the Buckeyes.