It’s been a tumultuous time for Ohio State football, and questions continue to linger over the future, but on Tuesday the Buckeyes received some outstanding news on the recruiting front.
Adolphus Washington, the 6’-6”, 240 pound defensive end from Taft High School in Cincinnati announced that he will be attending The Ohio State University next season. Washington is the #1 recruit overall in the state of Ohio per Scout.com and he is the #3 DE in the country. Scout.com also has him ranked as the #1 player in the Midwest.
Being able to secure the top player in Ohio is a major accomplishment for the Ohio State staff. As mentioned, the Buckeyes are facing a lot of questions right now. They are still waiting to hear from the NCAA on potential additional sanctions, their coaching situation is still up in the air and by all accounts there will be a different coaching staff next year.
Indeed, all the turmoil almost cost the Buckeyes the chance to secure Washington’s commitment. A rumored OSU lean early in the recruiting process, things began to look bleak for OSU’s chances once the scandal broke and Jim Tressel was fired. In fact, many recruiting insiders began to report that Washington was no longer even considering the Buckeyes, especially after Kyle Kalis flipped to Michigan and Brionte Dunn re-opened his recruiting as well.
No matter what head coach Luke Fickell’s future may hold, he deserve an incredible amount of respect and props for bringing Washington back into the Buckeye family. Fickell, long regarded as one of Ohio State’s most talented recruiters, worked tirelessly to convince Washington to still take an official visit to Columbus.
That push paid off for Fickell, as it was on that official visit that Adolphus Washington decided he felt that OSU really was home. At Tuesday’s press conference Washington said that it was on that visit that Ohio State was able to show him all the academic advantages the school had to offer him and he felt most comfortable with all the aspects outside of football. Washington also mentioned that he felt comfortable with Luke Fickell and that he had no doubt that Ohio State was where he wanted to commit to.
It’s somewhat unusual for a school to be able to land a recruit of Washington’s stature without a coaching staff firmly in place, but at Tuesday’s press conference, Washington admitted he wasn’t too worried about. Noting that Ohio State will still be Ohio State no matter who coaches, he also mentioned that he believes Urban Meyer will indeed be his head coach next year, something he’s genuinely excited about. Washington also said he hopes that Urban Meyer will retain Luke Fickell on his staff.
At Tuesday’s press conference at Taft High School it wasn’t all good news for the Buckeyes, however. Washington’s teammate, WR Dwayne Stanford had narrowed his choices down to Ohio State, Cincinnati, and Oregon. Stanford and Washington were long expected to be a package deal, but after taking a visit to Eugene, Oregon last week, Stanford felt that the Oregon Ducks would be a better fit for him, and so Tuesday he announced his decision to commit to Oregon.
Stanford certainly would have been a welcome addition to the class, but losing out on him was softened by the recent commitment of Fork Union Military Academy’s Michael Thomas. Thomas is a teammate at Fork Union of fellow Ohio State commit and former Glenville star QB Cardale Jones.
After mostly negative news in the recruiting world in the wake of Jim Tressel’s forced resignation, Ohio State must feel relieved to finally get some great news in the form of the state’s top player. Washington will have a chance to make an immediate impact on the OSU front 7. Now Washington will just wait to officially see who his coach will be next year.