Ohio State Recruiting: Updates Petit-Frere and Jean-Baptiste to Ohio State

Ohio State Recruiting: Updates Petit-Frere and Jean-Baptiste to Ohio State

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Ohio State Recruiting: Updates Petit-Frere and Jean-Baptiste to Ohio State


Urban Meyer has reportedly put the finishing touches on the country’s No. 2 ranked recruiting class.


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Updating Ohio State’s Remaining Targets

UPDATE: Ohio State appears to have closed the books on this year’s recruiting class. It was a good finishing kick by getting the nation’s best OT in Nicholas Petit-Frere and another strong D-Lineman in Javonte Jean-Baptiste. It does appear that Rasheed Walker will likely sign with Penn State, but overall OSU will finish with the No. 2 class in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

The Alabama program and Nick Saban have been collecting rent as the top dog in recruiting for almost the last decade, but Urban Meyer and company have been pushing hard as that No. 2 team in landing blue chip talent.

Say what you will about prospects panning out, and the accuracy of all the recruiting buzz, but victories and championships on the field more often than not point to winning the recruiting wars first.

Ohio State currently sits just ahead of the Georgia Bulldogs in the top spot in the rankings with Alabama closing fast.

Here’s a look at the big remaining targets heading into National Signing Day (Part 2) for Ohio State, and a prediction for each,

The Real Targets

This all really boils down to three big targets still on the board for OSU. If past history is any indication, we shouldn’t be surprised if Urban and company were able to pull something out of his sleeve somewhere along the way, but we’ll go with what we know.

The three main guys to watch tomorrow are five-star offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere out of Tampa, four-star offensive tackle and Maryland native Rasheed Walker, and four-star defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste from New Jersey.

 Where Each Stands

Nicholas Petit-Frere – OT

6-6″, 272 lbs./ Tampa, FL (Berkely Prep)

Announcement Time: 10:30 AM on ESPNU

It’s no secret the biggest need for OSU at this point is a stud offensive tackle. Ohio State missed out on some targets in the early signing period, and the depth and experience of the group will be thin after this coming season.

Petit-Frere is the one of the biggest names out there, and is OSU’s biggest target remaining. He’s also one of the biggest mysteries of signing day because there’s not much coming out of his camp.

He’s long been rumored to be leaning on staying close to home at Florida, but if you read message boards and team sites, Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, and yes, Ohio State, all think they have a legitimate shot.

The good news for Buckeye fans is that Ohio State got to make the last impression with an official visit on Feb. 2nd. It apparently went very well, and confidence is as high as it has been on landing Petit-Frere. Many non-OSU guys are even softening towards him landing on the banks of the Olentangy tomorrow, and even crystal ball reports have him as a fairly heavy OSU lean right now. But …

Prediction: Florida

Decision: OHIO STATE!!

I truly believe Petit-Frere isn’t saying much because he is wrestling with this huge decision. But here’s the deal — I think when all is said and done, the pull to stay close to home is going to win out. He appears to very close with his family, and I think he’ll announce as a Gator tomorrow morning.

He also has a very close relationship with OSU D-Coordinator Greg Schiano because of the Tampa Bay ties, but there is uncertainty about Schiano’s desire to head back to the NFL. Don’t be surprised if Meyer shows his closing ability again, and gets in on this prize at the last possible moment, but I’m going with the Gators right now. It’ll be a close call.

rasheed walker – OT

6-6″, 300 lbs./ Waldorf, MD (North Point)

Announcement Time: 11:15 AM (Now Noon)

UPDATE: 11:30 AM – Walker has apparently moved his announcement to around Noon Eastern.

Ohio State will take both tackles if it can get them, but if Petit-Frere is off the board, Walker isn’t exactly a consolation prize. He’s a big kid, and has an untapped ceiling to work with. He could end up better than a lot of O-line recruits ranked ahead of him, and he isn’t exactly a slouch now.

Ohio State has been pushing hard over the last few weeks, but James Franklin and Penn State got the last visit and impression. OSU has closed the gap, so we’ll see. He has been a Penn State lean for a while now.

Prediction: Penn State

Decision: It appears as though Walker will be signing with Penn State. Still to be confirmed.

Again, I wouldn’t put it past Urban Meyer to swoop in and steal this one at  the very last moment, but I really feel with the relationship and geographical preference, that the Nittany Lions are going to get Walker.

OSU will continue to push.

Javontae Jean-Baptiste – DE

6-5″, 215 lbs./ Oradell, NJ (Bergen Catholic)

Announcement Time: 8:00 AM

UPDATE 9:07 AM: Ohio State is still awaiting Jean-Baptiste’s decision because school is closed. As we get word, we’ll get it out. ETA is now Noon but that can change with the weather situation.

UPDATE 11:48 AM: It appears as though Jean-Baptiste is headed to Ohio State per this tweet straight from the lips of Urban Meyer:

Ohio State has a loaded defensive line class, so not getting Jean-Baptiste wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen. But as we all know, you can never have too many pass rusher.

Ohio State likes to use its end rushers and rotate lineman more than a lot of other programs, and it has paid off big time in recent memory. There’s also a proven NFL track record with Larry Johnson developing kids like no other place in the country.

Nebraska new head coach Scott Frost has come in and made a huge sales pitch, and the thought here recently is that he was almost in the bag for Nebraska.

Prediction: Ohio State

Decision: Ohio State!!

The Buckeye staff have worked really hard on moving the needle for Jean-Baptiste. Nebraska is looking to build something, but OSU has the pedigree, has a need at defensive end, and has shown that it’s not afraid to get four DEs on the field at the same time.

Also, don’t discount the Larry Johnson factor here. He might be the most well-respected D-line coach in America, and he has a great way of building solid relationships with the players he schools.

Ohio State seems to have quickly turned Baptiste, and I expect him to sign with OSU now tomorrow. But, these things are fluid, and you can expect Frost to continue to work the sales pitch.

 

Stay with BuckeyeWire.com tomorrow as we update the progress of these three big ones that are still out there as the announcements come in.

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