This weekend might be a huge one in Buckeye recruiting for 2009.
A veritable who’s who of prep stars will be in Columbus for camps, with
several of them being Buckeye leans at the moment who may end their
recruitments on site. As it is, the first domino appears to have
fallen. Duron Carter — son of Buckeye legend Cris Carter — has committed to Ohio State
. The commitment came at a break in one of the sessions during the advanced camp going on this weekend.
His commitment comes as no surprise for those following the recent recruiting news. Several reports had stated
that Duron had become sold on the Buckeyes following the Spring Game
and would commit at the advanced camp this weekend. For those who have
been following Duron’s recruitment from the beginning, it comes as some
surprise. Duron had stated early and often that he was no lock to
become a Buckeye just because his dad had played there. Further, he grew up a Michigan and USC fan and was very much favoring LSU in the Spring. As such, I wasn’t particularly optimistic that Duron would follow in his father’s footsteps.
The difference appears to be the Spring Game, however. Duron flew up
to Columbus for the Spring Game, where his father was an honorary coach
for the game. Further, he made acquaintances with other Buckeye leans
from the Sunshine State, such as Jaamal Berry, Vladimir Emilien and
Victor Marc (not offered). Not long after, Ohio State was all he would
talk about as LSU and the Florida schools were delegated to the
Duron’s commitment came during an intermission during a training
session at the advanced camp, where several top Buckeye targets are
currently getting trained by members of the coaching staff. The commitment has father and son alike equally excited.
For Duron, he feels honored to “be attending the best school in the
country”. For Cris, though, the commitment appears to have resonated
particularly strongly, as Scout reports he was overwhelmed with emotion
over the commitment.
“This is a great moment for me and I’m kind of
speechless right now,” Cris Carter said. “They’re on a break right now
and I’m off by myself taking it all in. (Ohio State wide receivers)
Coach Hazell has been coaching him all day. This is kind of surreal.
This morning I went for a walk and thought to myself that I can’t
believe how great this is. I feel like I died and went to heaven
because I get to go through the Buckeye experience twice.”
I’m still pleasantly surprised in the grand scheme of things,
however. Buckeye fans claim Cris Carter, though it’s not apparent to me
if Cris was ever part of the program after the chain of events that led
to him losing his eligibility. Indeed, during John Cooper’s reign, I’m
not sure he did much of anything for the program. If my reading of the
relationship between Cris and the Ohio State program is correct, then a
lot of props are in order for Jim Tressel for opening the doors up to
Cris Carter and strengthening ties between the Buckeye receiving great
and the program. If you remember, Cris Carter made the trip to Austin
to be on the sidelines for the Buckeyes’ hosing of the Longhorns in
2006 and, as mentioned just earlier, was an honorary coach for the
On Duron himself, though, I think I can say with reasonable
certainty that he was the recruit on the board that I coveted the most,
largely for two reasons. First, he’s a legacy. It’s important for
Buckeye fans to not expect him to develop into the type of receiver his
father was, but we can all still have that warm, fuzzy feeling of
Buckeye legacies creating their own legacies at Ohio State. Second,
this guy blocks like it’s what he was built for. I’m talking Hines
Ward-caliber enthusiasm for downfield blocking. I don’t claim to be an
expert, but I get the very real sense that most high school wideouts
are skittish at the prospects of blocking, but not Duron. Combine his
enthusiasm to plant people on the turf with his 6′3 frame, athleticism
and huge hands, and I think we’ll enjoy Duron even if he doesn’t become
as prominent as his dad.
Duron’s commitment might also mean that much more to recruiting in
2009 as he could be the first domino to fall. It seems like 8 spots or
so are open for this class, suggesting that spots are filling up.
Carlos Hyde might be next to secure his spot, but this could be the
commitment that gets someone like Justin Green to decide that he wants
In the meantime, though, it looks like Terrelle Pryor will be
forking over his no. 2 jersey — the jersey of number of Cris Carter at
Ohio State — after all. Terrelle Pryor told Cris Carter that the number
is waiting for Duron if he wants it.