It was only a couple of weeks ago that Ohio State recruiting was cruising along and looking like a serious contender to unseat Michigan as the best class in the Big Ten. OSU had just pulled in verbals from spring game attendees Joey Bosa, Alex Anzalone and Lewis Neal, while anticipating a commitment from TE Mike Heuerman.
Heuerman would eventually commit to Notre Dame, however, and Neal reopened his recruitment shortly thereafter. It's recruiting. These things happen.
This afternoon, Anzalone decommitted as well, but this decommitment is as abrupt as it is mysterious. According to Marcus Hartman, Anzalone decommitted "based on what's best for my future and my family."
What's more, Anzalone also said Ohio State is out of the running. Alex at Eleven Warriors tweeted, "Anzalone tells me there's a reason behind decommitment but he doesn't want to say and he doesn't think he'll reconsider OSU at this point."
The timing of this decommitment coincides with the revelation that Joseph Eric Waugh, a convicted sex offender, had been contacting Ohio State recruits and players on Twitter and taking pictures with them at events. In particular, Anzalone can be seen above with his arm around Waugh.
Anzalone hasn't given any indication that he specifically decommitted because of Waugh—again, he said he doesn't want to say why, so obviously the least fans can do is acknowledge that wish.
There are still nine good months to go before signing day, and assuming this decommitment isn't a symptom of a larger problem, Ohio State and Urban Meyer will be fine once things are all said and done. Again, it's recruiting.
But losing a big-time prospect like this, to the point where he's not considering the school anymore? Regardless of why he made that decision or why he doesn't want to discuss it, that's a tough recruiting hit and there's no sense in minimizing that fact.
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