Ohio State Football Recruiting: 4 Top Targets to Watch at 'The Opening'

David Regimbal@davidreg412Featured ColumnistJune 13, 2014

Credit: 247 Sports

The Opening is an exclusive football camp for the nation's top high school recruits—a six-day gauntlet of drills at Nike's headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. 

The event kicks off on July 5 and will run through July 10. Naturally, a number of Ohio State's top recruiting targets are scheduled to participate.

Players such as 5-star defensive end Josh Sweat, 4-star offensive tackle Drew Richmond and 4-star wide receiver Christian Kirk, all of whom have Buckeye offers, will get in on the action. Even Tyler Green, the 4-star safety who committed to Ohio State last Sunday, will be in attendance.

The following four recruits should be of particular interest to Ohio State fans. 

Jashon Cornell

Ohio State has one of the most loaded defensive lines in all of college football, but that isn't stopping Meyer from pursuing some of the top big men in the country.

That includes Jashon Cornell, the 5-star defensive end out of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Cornell has offers from programs such as Alabama, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and USC, but the Buckeyes are heavy favorites to land his commitment. The 6'4", 260-pound pass-rusher notched 70 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 15 sacks as a junior last year, making him the No. 3 weak-side defensive end and the No. 37 overall prospect in the country.

Justin Hilliard

Five-star linebacker Justin Hilliard is another defensive standout Meyer is targeting.

Hilliard, a 6'2", 230-pound prospect out of Cincinnati, Ohio, is the top-ranked outside linebacker and the No. 14 recruit overall. He has offers from top programs such as Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Penn State and USC.

Ohio's top prospect plants to announce on Wednesday.

Hilliard is close friends with Cornell, who also plans to announce his commitment on Wednesday. Ohio State fans will know whether these two 5-star recruits will be future Buckeyes when The Opening kicks off.

Van Jefferson

The Buckeyes have loaded up at wide receiver over the last three recruiting classes. Meyer has brought some lethal speed to the position with players such as Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall and Johnnie Dixon.

Van Jefferson is a different kind of receiver.

While he has good speed—247Sports reports that he runs a 4.56 40-yard dash—he is highly rated because of his crisp route-running ability, his knack for catching the ball in traffic and his size.

Those are qualities Ohio State will need to complement all the speed on the perimeter. Landing Jefferson has to be one of Meyer's top recruiting priorities.

Matthew Burrell

Beating Alabama and Nick Saban on the field starts with beating them on the recruiting front. Meyer and the Buckeyes are very aware of that, and they don't back down from college football's most efficient recruiting machine.

Both schools are going after 4-star offensive tackle Matthew Burrell

Matthew Burrell is rated the No. 7 offensive tackle in the country.
Matthew Burrell is rated the No. 7 offensive tackle in the country.Credit: 247 Sports

The Woodbridge, Virginia, product has more than three dozen offers, highlighted by programs such as Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.

According to 247Sports' crystal ball predictions, Ohio State is the overwhelming favorite.

Burrell recently announced a top 15, so his recruitment is far from over. With the momentum they have, though, Meyer and the Buckeyes have to like where they stand with the 6'5", 290-pound tackle.

All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter: @davidreg412.


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