National Letter Of Intent Signing Day is on February 3rd, 2016. With the date rapidly approaching, Ohio State fans such as myself are eagerly anticipating the new crop of talented recruits that Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and his staff will be welcoming into Columbus for the 2016 season and beyond.
Ohio is one of the top football states in the country. It is inevitable that other programs will try to come into Ohio, and recruit top players to their respective programs. Ohio State can do their best to keep these players at home, but it is almost impossible for Ohio State to sign all of them.
Below are some top players from Ohio who have Ohio State offers, but have decided to go elsewhere to further their football careers…
1. OT Tommy Kraemer, Cincinnati Elder ~ Kraemer will be signing with Notre Dame. The top rated player in the state of Ohio, Kraemer committed to Notre Dame back in October 2014.
2. OT Liam Eichenberg, Cleveland St. Ignatius ~ Eichenberg committed to Notre Dame last April, despite Ohio State’s strong recruiting effort. Eichenberg ranks as the fourth best player in the state of Ohio.
3. ILB Brendan Ferns, St. Clairsville ~ Ferns has not yet announced a decision, but will probably choose between West Virginia and Penn State. Ferns seemed like an Ohio State commitment last spring and summer, but Ohio State does not offer a petroleum engineering major, and Ferns wants to go to a school that offers that course of study.
4. ATH George Hill, Hubbard ~ Hill was actually the first player to verbally commit to Ohio State back in June 2014, but rescinded his commitment in October 2015. Hill will be signing with Pittsburgh.
5. WR Justin Layne, Cleveland Benedictine ~ Layne verbally committed to Michigan State in April of 2015. Layne stated that Ohio State’s recruitment of him “went about things the wrong way.”. Layne may be a thorn in Ohio State’s side over the next four to five seasons, so this one will bear watching for certain.
6. DE Prince Sammons, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy ~ Sammons was extended an Ohio State offer, but never visited. Sammons has not yet announced, but it could be Auburn, Michigan State, Duke, or Oregon, based on the 247Sports recruiting timeline of Sammons. Hoping it is not Michigan State, as the Buckeyes would then have to face him every season for the next few seasons.
Considering Ohio State has landed a significant number of the top twenty players in the state, Buckeye fans need not be overly concerned or worried. Losing both Kraemer and Eichenberg hurts, but Ohio State will not face these players, unless in a bowl game, and Ohio State has been doing well in that capacity when given the chance. Same for Hill and possibly Sammons; Ohio State won’t see these players, unless in a bowl game.
As for Layne, and possibly Sammons? Anytime Ohio State has to face an Ohio player in conference play, especially the way Ohio State and Michigan State have battled these past few seasons, only will make watching Layne’s career and performances against the Buckeyes even more tantalizing.
Here is to wishing all of these young men on this list, as well as all of the Ohio players who will sign on the dotted line on February 3rd, the very best in their respective college playing careers.