Jesse Prewitt III was like most of the 800 high school football players Friday at a one-day camp at Ohio State. He wanted to make an impression.
Was it on Urban Meyer and his Ohio State coaching staff? That would have been the dream — and receiver Jayden Ballard of Massillon did, gaining an offer from Ohio State at day’s end — but Prewitt, a receiver from Northland, just wanted to show any of the coaches from the at least 25 school represented that he was worthy of an offer.
He had none going in. He had one going out, from Toledo of the Mid-American Conference. So mission accomplished?
“Yes sir,” Prewitt said. What he had shown was “my route-running, I have great routes. Something I need to work on is my ball skills. But once I keep working, keep grinding, more offers will come.”
It was an example that the Ohio State camps — and there are two similar one-day sessions scheduled along with Friday Night Lights on June 22 — aren’t just about Ohio State, as Meyer stressed to the campers.
“You are here for a reason,” Meyer said. “Some of you because you love football. Most of you because you want an opportunity to play at that next level. We invite every school in Ohio, all the MAC schools, to come here for you, so you get an opportunity to show your skills.”
But he went on to say that’s just the door-opener, that proving they are team players and that they rise to the occasions in big games are the real eye-openers as far as coaches are concerned.
Prewitt was one of those who got his name on the recruiting map. On the other hand, Jamal Hill, a standout defensive back from Morrow, Georgia, already had offers from at least 20 schools, including Michigan, but he was seeking one from Ohio State.
“I wanted to get on Ohio State’s radar because I know they have a really good tradition of putting good defensive backs in the league,” said Hill, who said he’d be watching his phone, hoping for a call, while he and several teammates headed to Louisville for a camp Saturday.
As of Friday night, there were no new commitments to Ohio State reported from the camp. Offensive lineman Jonathan Allen from Dayton Dunbar, who just started playing the game six months ago, has an offer from the Buckeyes but said he is still considering his options while he soaked up tips from Ohio State line coach Greg Studrawa and others.
Perusing the talent were several coaches, including Rutgers’ Chris Ash, a former Ohio State defensive coordinator, and Frank Solich of Ohio.
“Coach Meyer and his staff are very cordial in terms of coaches coming in and working this camp, but also viewing,” said Solich, who has his staff take advantage of it every year. “Obviously, the numbers (of prospects) they have here is very impressive, and so is the quality of athlete they attract. It’s very beneficial to us.”