December 14, 2009

Hankins has a new leader after Ohio State visit

The Buckeyes have had some success in recruiting in that state up north through the years but it is never an easy pull to get a player to come South. Ohio State has pulled out all of the stops however to try and land Detroit (Mich.) Southeastern defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.

The 6-foot-3, 300-plus pounder has racked up double digit offers including one from the Buckeyes and the three star prospect had a chance to check in with the Buckeyes this past weekend with an official visit.

"It went really great," Hankins said. "It was nice. All of the players were really cool."

The soft spoken Hankins had a chance to look in on Ohio State's bowl practice as the Buckeyes get ready to head west to take on the Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl on January, 1st. What did Hankins think about what he saw at the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex?

"Practice went well," Hankins said. "They have a nice rotation there and they are going to lose a couple of defensive tackles so there might be a few openings for me to come in and play so that is kind of good."

The trip was not Hankins first trip to Columbus but it was different from his first time around being hosted around by current players and getting a chance to see what life on the team was like.

"I have seen part of the campus before but this is the first time that I have had a chance to see everything and get a good look at it," Hankins said.

Hankins grew up as a Michigan fan so was it weird seeing everyone donned in Scarlet and Gray rather than Maize and Blue?

"It wasn't that weird," Hankins joked. "They have been showing a lot of interest in me."

Currently Hankins has the Buckeyes out in front with the Florida Gators second and with Michigan and Alabama in the mix at 3rd and 4th respectively. With the recruiting process starting to wind down as the calendar gets into mid-December when would Hankins like to end his recruitment and give a verbal commitment?

"I would say before Christmas I will have my decision made," Hankins said.

The wildcard of the recruitment is the school to get involved the latest. Alabama jumped in late in the game and has piqued Hankins' interest. With less than two weeks left before his self-imposed decision date is there a chance that he will make it down to Tuscaloosa (Ala.) to check things out?

"I am going to take a look at them," Bryant said. "My coach wants me to take a look at them and see what they have to offer. I know they are losing big Terrence Cody."

With a premium nationally on big time defensive tackles everyone will be waiting anxiously to see how this one goes and the Buckeyes are hoping to hold on and secure a big commitment from a big player.

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