Although the dead period won’t end for a little more than a month and a half, all 11 of Ohio State’s commitments and several top targets have already announced they’ll head to Columbus on June 4-6 for what is shaping up to be a massive recruiting weekend for the Buckeyes.
Only a handful of the players have actually met in person, as official and unofficial visits have been off the table for more than a year and the camp circuit was scaled back significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic. That makes the weekend – dubbed Buckeye Bash 2.0 – all the more significant.
“That’s all we’re talking about right now,” linebacker commit Dasan McCullough told BuckeyesNow during Sunday’s Under Armour All-America camp in Columbus. “It’s going to be huge for all of the commits to finally meet. We’ve done a lot through social media, we have the No. 1 class in the country and only a few of us have met before. It’s going to be a huge, huge deal.”
McCullough, who committed to Ohio State in August, had never been to Columbus before Sunday’s camp. He’d also never met any of his fellow pledges, including linebackers C.J. Hicks and Gabe Powers, cornerback Jyaire Brown and offensive tackle Tegra Tshabola, who were also participating in the event.
“I’ve been talking to C.J. for almost a year now and this is our first time meeting,” McCullough said. “It’s been a pretty cool experience.”
While the commits were there to compete against some of the Midwest’s best players at their respective positions, they constantly gravitated toward one another, took photos and cracked jokes at each other’s expense. You would never know by how they interacted that this was their first time together or that they had only built their relationships through text messages, phone calls and social media.
“They’re all characters,” Tshabola said. “They’re all good people and they like to compete just like I do.”
Powers admitted it’s been difficult not being able to visit campus and spend time with the coaching staff and other commits. But he’s thankful he’ll be able to do just that soon enough.
“(I’m excited) to see everybody face-to-face instead of over Zoom or talking over the phone,” Powers said.
Hicks echoed those sentiments, but also noted how important the weekend will be as the Buckeyes look to strengthen their hold on the nation’s top-rated recruiting class, especially with targets like Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove four-star defensive tackle Caden Curry; Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star defensive tackle Dominick James; and Altoona (Iowa) Southeast Polk four-star safety Xavier Nwankpa all expected to attend.
“After the visit, we’re going to have a whole bunch of commitments,” he said.
BuckeyesNow will continue to have features from the Under Armour All-America camp throughout the week.
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