Early Offer: OSU and LeBron wow recruits

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Lost in the shuffle of the news at USC was that Ohio State made a major impression with key targets visiting for the Wisconsin game; whoever is hired at UConn will inherit a difficult situation but with upside possibilities; junior college receiver D'haquille Williams remains committed to Auburn but is looking at others.

Recruits ‘wowed’ by Ohio State atmosphere

Uncommitted prospects Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman), John "JuJu" Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly), DeAndre Goolsby (Derby, Kan./Derby), Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) and Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) all went home this past weekend after official visits to Ohio State with something to think about. “It was insane,” Dixon said. “BuckeyeNation was turned up. You can tell they are passionate about their team and the energy was crazy.” It wasn’t just official visitors, as unofficial visits by ESPN Junior 300 outside linebacker Justin Hilliard, wide receiver David Dowell, running back Mike Weber, athlete Brian Cole and offensive tackle Drew Richmond elicited similar responses. Recruits also got a chance to hang with LeBron James -- the ultimate recruiting tool -- as he led the Buckeyes from the Blackwell Inn to St. John Arena for the skull session and pregame speech. “Just watched Lebron James give a pregame speech in the team room, so sick. #buckeyes This is the real deal,” Gesicki tweeted.

UConn has tough task ahead

Connecticut fired coach Paul Pasqualoni Monday, just two days after the Huskies lost 41-12 at Buffalo. Pasqualoni was never able to make UConn relevant in the Big East and the Huskies are 0-4 this season heading into American Athletic Conference play. The Huskies don’t have a large in-state recruiting base to work with, and the elite prospects often end up at higher profile schools. That alone makes it difficult to turn the program into a national power, and we’re likely never to see UConn playing Oklahoma in a major bowl again. But there is enough talent in the northeast -- supplemented with hitting talent pockets in the southeast and good coaching -- for the Huskies to at least contend for championships in the American. The school has invested too many resources to struggle like it has.

Auburn fights to keep star WR

Highly regarded junior college receiver D'haquille Williams of Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. remains committed to Auburn but reportedly will take official visits to LSU, USC and potentially to Texas and Florida State. The Tigers have a chance to further lock up Williams’ commitment this weekend when he takes an unofficial visit Saturday for the Ole Miss game. However, LSU is worth keeping an eye on. Williams is originally from Louisiana and has talked about how playing for the other Tigers would allow his family to see him on a regular basis.