INDIANAPOLIS — While closing in on a dozen offers, Darius West (Lima, Ohio/Lima Central Catholic) will not be satisfied until he lands an offer from three of the Midwest’s biggest programs. The Watch List defensive back has interest from Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State, but he is still in the works of landing an offer from each of the schools. West, who stands 5-foot-10, weighs 183 pounds and can play either corner or safety, was high on Michigan during the summer, but the contact with the Wolverines fell off for several months, causing some hurt feelings on West’s part.
Before he works on strategy and game plans with his staff, before he breaks down any film, schools his players in technique or checks in with the strength staff on their progress, coach Urban Meyer has one critical task that everything else hinges on. Meyer has to get great players to Columbus first.
The official visits and in-home visits are over for ESPN 150 safety Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland). Ohio State was thought to have an early lead for the 6-foot, 190-pound defensive back, then Alabama surged ahead last fall. Over the last week however, a new frontrunner might have emerged. “Last Monday, Butch Jones and the defensive staff came to my house with Krispy Kreme and spent time with my family, and that was really good,” Bell said.
It’s becoming quite common for Ohio State — a trip to Georgia nets another offer. The latest came in the form of ESPN Watch List cornerback D.J. Smith (Marietta, Ga./Walton). Smith becomes the 15th 2014 player from the Peach State to pick up an offer from the Buckeyes. He’s also the 12th cornerback with an offer from Ohio State — 11 of those cornerbacks are Watch List juniors. This season, the 6-foot, 182-pound Smith made 40 tackles, two interceptions and recorded four pass breakups.
Wide receiver vs. defensive back one-on-one matchups from the Jan. 4 Under Armour Combine held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The combine featured many of the nation’s top 2014 and 2015 prospects.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Not much has changed in the last few months regarding the recruitment of ESPN 150 defensive back Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland). The 6-foot, 190-pound safety has never mentioned leaders or a concrete decision date, and with the final recruiting weeks on the horizon, his stance remains the same. “I am going to take these officials and go from there,” Bell said while at Under Armour All-America Game registration today at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
Three schools are still in the running for ESPN 150 defensive back Vonn Bell (Ooltewah, Tenn./Ridgeland), and according to Ridgeland head coach Mark Mariakas, each program will have a chance to host the 6-foot, 190-pound safety next month following the Under Armour All-America Game. “He’s taking visits to all three schools in January,” Mariakas said. “Ohio State on Jan. 11, Alabama on Jan. 18, and Tennessee on Jan. 25. That is the plan as of this afternoon.
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