With Jeremy Cash on board and a huge recruiting weekend ahead for Ohio State, now is a good time for a brief recruiting update.
There are still no commits at QB for this class but until further notice, it is Braxton Miller or nothing. Miller is one of the top prospects in the country and will be an outstanding ‘get’ for the Buckeyes.
The good news is that a lot of people (including myself) think it is a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ Miller will become a Buckeye. The extreme optimist in me hopes that he commits during the spring game and starts recruiting his peers who will be in attendance.
That may or may not happen, but Miller’s father has indicated that he would like to make his decision ‘early’, so hopefully we won’t be waiting too long to find out where he is going, even if he doesn’t commit at the spring game.
A lot of people are pushing for Cardale Jones of Glenville to get an offer, but we will have to wait and see on that one. Jones will be visiting Ohio State this weekend for the spring game, but it doesn’t appear that Ohio State is interested in more than one QB in this class, at least for right now.
Unless something happens late in the year that changes things, Jones might not even get an offer.
I like Jones a lot, but this is a case of trusting the coaches, we will see what happens.
There is still not a lot of action at RB in the ’11 class.
Apparently Ohio State is showing a lot of interest in NJ running back Savon Huggins who is obviously a special talent, but I would be extremely surprised if he or any other running back became a part of this class.
There are no heavy Buckeye leans at WR at this point, but there are a few guys that are at the top of the list.
First is Shane Wynn of Glenville. Wynn is undersized but he is dynamic with the ball in his hands. He will be at the spring game this weekend along with a lot of other Glenville prospects, but a commitment anytime soon is unlikely.
Being from Glenville, Wynn will most likely wait until late in the process to commit, and will also most likely be a Buckeye.
The next prospect is Evan Spencer from Illinois. Spencer is the son of former Buckeye Tim Spencer, so the family connection alone makes Ohio State’s chances pretty good.
Here are some highlights of Evan Spencer.
Another player to keep an eye on is Ja’Juan Story of Florida. Story is an elite prospect who will be visiting Ohio State for the spring game.
Outside of the spring game visit, there isn’t much to indicate that Ohio State has a shot with Story, but anything could happen.
As of right now, Spencer and Wynn are the most likely players to become a part of this class, and everyone else is a long shot at best.
It seems like Ohio State wants to take two TEs in this class.
The two main targets appear to be Ben Koyack and Nick Vannett. Koyack has legitimate interest in Ohio State and he has listed them as a leader from very early on.
I like Ohio State’s chances with Koyack and he has consistently said that how a team uses their tight end is a factor for him, but not the most important one.
To me, this is a direct response to other teams negatively recruiting against Ohio State and an indication that Koyack likes Ohio State enough to not be concerned about how many times the ball might be thrown his way.
That being said, it would be nice to get the TEs a little more involved in the offense this season to increase the chances of landing the elite TE prospects, including Koyack.
Vannett, on the other hand, appears to be infatuated with Notre Dame and primarily concerned with how the offense utilizes the TE.
I don’t like Ohio State’s chances of landing him at the moment.
Some other TEs that have recently received offers (indicating that the staff may feel the same way about Vannett as me) but it is difficult to determine their interest level at this point (some have even committed to other schools since receiving an OSU offer).
I am fairly confident that Koyack will be a Buckeye, but who they take as a second TE, if they take one at all (depending on what happens with Koyack), will be interesting to see.
It doesn’t look like Ohio State will end up taking very many LBs in this class. The primary focus right now is obviously Trey DePriest.
Alabama and Ohio State are at the top of DePriest‘s list, and he will most likely choose between the two. Ohio State may lose the top in-state LB to an out-of-state program two years in a row, or they might not. Stay tuned.
Other names of interest are James Vaughters, Conner Crowell, Michael Caputo, and Curtis Grant.
All have offers, all have Ohio State on their list, but it’s hard to tell where any of them are going at this point.
If I had to pick someone other than DePriest, Vaughters is probably the best bet to be a Buckeye.
The recent commitment of Jeremy Cash will hopefully get the ball rolling with the Florida prospects, one of which is fellow S Wayne Lyons. However, the impact of Cash will probably be more important at other positions.
That is because Ronald Tanner is going to be a Buckeye, and between the two, Ohio State is set at S for the class.
There is an outside possibly that Lyons will be a Buckeye as well, which would make the Buckeyes really really set at S.
I don’t think there is any way Ohio State takes more than three in this class, and depending on what Lyons does, they may just take Cash and Tanner and call it a year.
Between Gambrell and Grant, Ohio State is set here.
Grant hasn’t committed to the Buckeyes yet, but he has consistently listed Ohio State as his leader, even after taking official visits to other schools. I would be surprised if he ended up somewhere other than Columbus.
Any of the other targets choosing to come on board would be icing on the cake.
Gorman is one of the Florida prospects that Cash might start recruiting, but that is only speculation.
I think Ohio State lands Grant and possibly one of the targets and calls it a year.
Ohio State has one of the best DE classes in the nation already with Miller, Hayes and Farris, so you can’t complain.
There are still offers out to some elite out-of-state prospects, but the chance of any of them becoming Buckeyes is pretty slim.
I think Ohio State is finished at DE for this class unless one of the targets surprises me, which would be a very nice surprise.
Ohio State has done really well with the bigs up to this point, and they are in great shape with Bennett and Walker.
In addition to those two, I think Ohio State would like to sign at least one more big for the class. As of right now, it seems like Hale is the most interested, but Mangiro took an official visit last weekend so there might be a realistic shot at landing him as well.
McReynolds will most likely stay on the east coast, possibly at UNC.
This is what I think the class will look like.
QB: Braxton Miller
WR: Shane Wynn, Evan Spencer, ?
TE: Ben Koyack, ?
S: Jeremy Cash, Ronald Tanner, ?
CB: DerJuan Gambrell, Doran Grant, ?
DE: Steve Miller, Kenney Hayes, Chase Farris
Bigs: Chris Carter Jr., Antonio Underwood, Brian Bobek, Tommy Brown, Michael Bennett, Aundrey Walker, ?
That’s 17 players plus 5 (or so) spots that I think will be filled by one of the targets replacing a question mark.
That’s my best guess as of right now, which is subject to change of course, new prospects are always coming into the picture.
Outside of the question marks and possibly Koyack, I am confident that the 17 I listed will be a part of the class.
Ideally, several players will commit this weekend at the spring game, making the recruiting picture even clearer.
The 2011 class is off to a great start and should finish strong.
Extra early prediction, the 2012 class is going to be pretty damn good too.