Coach Urban Meyer’s seventh “Friday Night Lights” skills camp had some unexpected twists in Ohio State’s recruiting efforts for quarterbacks in the 2019 and ’20 classes.
Leaving the Woody Hayes Athletic Center — the event was moved from Ohio Stadium because of the threat of inclement weather — 2020 prospect Jack Miller was all smiles.
From Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, he said he wasn’t ready to declare Ohio State his college choice since he has a visit to Alabama planned for Friday. But he used the pronoun “we” throughout the conversation and referred to Michigan, the school he visited Thursday, as “the team up north.”
He had his family along, and although he and his father had been to Ohio State several times, he said this trip was important so his mother could see the campus. As for the camp and interacting with Meyer and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, “It just kind of cemented it, how great they are, how much (time) they’re willing spend with me.”
When Miller was told that he was exhibiting commitment behavior, he laughed.
“We’ll see,” he said. “I’ll choose pretty soon, but we’ll see, for sure.”
But that’s for 2020. The search for a quarterback for the 2019 class took a turn when Dwan Mathis, long committed to Michigan State, showed up for an official visit. That would indicate serious interest by the Ohio State coaches, who had offered Mathis several months ago but had kept him on hold as they sorted through other candidates.
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio has been known for pulling an offer once a commitment makes an official visit elsewhere.
Also in attendance was quarterback Brian Maurer, who has offers from several schools but not Ohio State. Maurer, from Ocala, Florida, was trying to show Meyer and Day that he deserved one.
“I think I did phenomenal,” Maurer said. “I threw a couple bad balls, threw a couple great balls, got the approval from a lot of coaches. So I think it’s going great.”
He planned to stick around Saturday to see how things pan out. And 2020 quarterback prospect C.J. Dixon planned to stick around, too. It was his first visit to Ohio State, and although he didn’t take part in the throwing drills because of an injury, his spirits weren’t dampened.
“I’m loving it here,” Dixon said.
Dublin Coffman running back Mike “Donut” Drennen, a 2020 prospect, said he received a scholarship offer from Meyer. Drennen did not take part in the camp, but it wasn’t for lack enthusiasm for the place.
“It’s Ohio State, we’re talking about one of the No. 1 competitors in the nation, so it was big,” said Drennen, who holds 11 offers and isn’t ready to make a decision. “It’s going to be a tough decision, because I have the opportunity to stay home now. So it’s going to be pretty tough.”