Flipping quarterback Dwayne Haskins and linebacker Keandre Jones, and landing receiver Binjimen Victor, got Ohio State back to the top of Scout’s team recruiting rankings, in the Big Ten and nationally.
Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State still have enough serious targets on the board to make runs up the chart as National Signing Day (Feb. 3) approaches.
Still, the Buckeyes may be tough to beat. Their take on Monday swelled their 2016 class to 21 recruits, including 16 four-star prospects, the most in the country. Ohio State has one five-star recruit – Nick Bosa of St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), ranked by Scout.com as the No. 5 overall prospect nationally.
Ohio State went into the South to pluck one of its latest four-star prospects. The Buckeyes beat Florida and Tennessee for Victor, who is from Coconut Creek (Fla.) High School. The nation’s No. 10 receiver and a U.S. Army All-American, he is long, athletic and could push for early time.
Another four-star prospect, Haskins of The Bullis School (Potomac, Md.), originally was a Maryland commit.
“Haskins has plus arm strength, makes good pre-snap reads, throws a pretty deep ball, throws well on the move and gave throw into tight windows,” according to Scout.com recruiting analyst Brian Dohn. “He is fluid in the way he moves within the pocket, and when need be on short patterns, he gets rid of the ball quickly.”
Jones, a product of Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) is another four-star prospect and former Terrapin commit, who took a surprise official visit to Columbus the weekend of Jan. 15. He is the nation’s No. 15 linebacker and has good athleticism and size at 6 feet 3, 215 pounds.
The top five Big Ten recruiting classes (with national ranking in parentheses):
1. Ohio State Buckeyes (1)
2. Michigan Wolverines (6)
3. Michigan State Spartans (8)
4. Penn State Nittany Lions (12)
5. Wisconsin Badgers (29)
Other key Big Ten commits
TE Zarrian Holcombe to Illinois: The Fighting Illini had a good week and Holcombe of Summer Creek (Texas) is a big part of that. He’s a 6-foot-5 pass catcher who will transition from wide receiver to tight end. A one-time Texas A&M commit, the nation’s No. 27 tight end could develop into a real weapon for Illinois.
DE A.J. Epenesa to Iowa (2017): One of the biggest commits of the week was the Hawkeyes landing the nation’s top junior defensive end. He is a legacy recruit (the son of former Iowa defensive end Eppy Epenesa) with a rare combinaton of size, athleticism and technical prowess.
Michigan hosts wide receiver Eddie McDoom of West Orange High (Winter Garden, Fla.) this weekend. The Wolverines are his No. 1 school and he says he will commit if he likes the visit. The Wolverines are also awaiting a Thursday announcement from cornerback David Long, the No. 64 prospect in the country who is expected to pick Michigan. … Defensive end Collin Miller of Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.) moved up his Nebraska visit from Jan. 29 weekend to this weekend. It would be a surprise if he waited too much longer to become a Husker. … Michigan State hosts defensive tackle Karamo Dioubate of The Preparatory Charter School (Philadelphia, Pa.) and guard Luke Campbell of Olentangy (Lewis Center, Ohio) this weekend. Provided the visits go well, both are prospects at which the Spartans should have outstanding shots. … Ohio State will have Rodjay Burns of Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) on campus this weekend. Ranked as a wide receiver, the Buckeyes are recruiting the Louisville commit as a cornerback. He says he will make a decision on sticking with the Cards or going with the Bucks after this visit.
Allen Trieu has covered recruiting for Scout since 2005 and became the manager of the Midwest in 2010.
Ryan Ginn of BuckeyeSports.com contributed to this report.
For more Big Ten recruiting news and analysis, visit scout.com