Alternative title for this update: Christmas in June or The Homestretch.
With the commitment of legacy WR Evan Spencer on Saturday, the class of 2011 has grown to 13 players. That means that the magic number for the rest of the class is 9 (or so I have read). What happens with the last 9 scholarships? that is what I am here to talk about.
Breaking News: Joel Hale has committed to the Buckeyes as I put the final touches on this post. I will leave the text the same, mostly so I look smart.
First I’d like to elaborate on some things from my last recruiting update.
Most importantly, I want to retract my position that Trey DePriest is an “absolute must get” for this class. I based that designation mostly on the fact that if Ohio State lost DePriest to Alabama, that would be two years in a row that the top LB in Ohio left the state for college.
Upon further examination, who cares?
First, Ohio State is absolutely loaded at LB and will be for several years to come, making the position less than a priority for this class.
Second, the way this class is shaping up, Ohio State may have its choice of premier players. This means two things. One, players that wait until signing day may not have a scholarship waiting for them, even if their name is DePriest. Two, since LB is not an area of need at the moment, why not give that extra spot to a premiere player at a position that Ohio State is a little thinner at.
Third, I get a generally bad feeling about the recruitment. When a kid wavers this much early on, it does not lead to good things for Ohio State in most cases. I would love to see DePriest in scarlet and gray, but in situations like this it is better to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. DePriest is an absolute wild card in this recruiting class, but from what I can tell things just aren’t looking good for Ohio State here.
The moral of the story is that DePriest is a wild card for this class, and not an ‘absolute must get’ like I said before.
So DePriest is a wild card at best, a Crimson Tide (?) at worst. Where does that leave us?
Miller is the highest profile commit in the class thus far (and will probably remain the highest profile commit). There is the possibility that Ohio State may be looking at Cardale Jones as well, but he apparently has some work to do in the classroom before a scholarship comes his way… if the coaches choose to extend an offer. With only 9 spots left, I am going to say that Ohio State is done at QB for the class unless numbers open up elsewhere, which probably won’t happen.
Now that Spencer is a Buckeye, Ohio State will most likely be looking for one more WR in the class. Who that will be is anyones guess.
My best guess is still Glenville’s Shane Wynn. At the same time, as Duane Long points out, this may not be the best year for the “Glenville way” of waiting around until signing day. There might not be any scholarships left by then. I don’t think that Ohio State will save a spot for Wynn in the class if he waits too long.
Throw in the fact that the Miller commitment has apparently peaked the interest of some elite WRs from around the country and you get a second WR spot that is up in the air and another wild card for the class.
I was a little concerned about Vannett in my last update, but just today it was announced that he “knows where he wants to go” but is taking some visits to confirm that it is the right decision for him. Buckeye.
Aundrey Walker is just about the only true offensive line offer out there right now that might commit (a guy like Angelo Mangiro could play offense, but probably won’t). Duane Long seems to think his scholarship will be off the table if he waits too long. I have a hard time believing that, but if Ohio State gets the type of players that make you give up Walker’s spot, you can’t really complain.
It is Walker or nothing for the OL unless something drastic happens.
The final DL spot (or two?) is another wild card for this class.
There is a lot of positive buzz surrounding Joel Hale at this point. So much so that he might even be in line as one of the next commits. I underestimated his interest in Ohio State significantly it would seem. I am extremely happy to be wrong if the smoke turns into fire in this case.
Edit: Let the extreme happiness begin. Hale is a versatile DL with the strength to play inside and the athleticism for the edge. Needless to say, he is a huge addition to the class. He chose Ohio State over offers from Florida and Penn State among others. Here is a video of Hale being all strong and stuff.
Important stats and such: 6’4,” 290 lbs from Center Grove High school in Indiana. Football related work here:
Linebacker is the toughest area in this class to predict by far. Ohio State could take as many as two, or as few as zero(opening up scholarships for other positions). The number will most likely hinge on a first come first serve basis. If other positions commit before any linebackers… Ohio State might not be taking any linebackers in this class.
DB and DL numbers hinge on how many linebackers end up in the class.
Gambrell is already on board, Grant will be eventually. I think Ohio State takes the first one to commit of the three remaining players listed. If the numbers shake out they may take a fourth because any of those three would be hard to say no to.
Swann is a player that I haven’t mentioned much, but buzz from the Buckeye Planet recruiting team is enough to put him back on the short list.
Tanner will be a Buckeye and that should be it at safety for the class. Wayne Lyons is still in the picture but is a part of the numbers game that everyone is fighting against. Unless he jumps on board quickly there might not be room.
In summary, Ohio State has 13 14 commits right now, 4 more players that are very likely to be Buckeyes soon or will have a spot held for them (Vannett, Walker, Grant, Tanner), 1 player that is rumored to be very close to committing (Hale), and 4 scholarships left for a lot more than four players, all of whom would be great additions to the class.
It is not a bad position to be in from the schools perspective, but may be bad for players like those from Glenville that like to take their time with the recruiting process.
There is a lot of flexibility how those last four scholarships will be handed out, and more than likely, they will go to the first players to commit. Like I said, not a good position for players that want to wait until the last minute.
The four spots will most likely end up going to 1-2 CBs, 1-2 LBs, 1-2 DL, 1 WR, 1 S (Wayne Lyons).
All of these players know that the spots are limited, so I expect quite a bit of action over the next several weeks. It should be fun to watch.
Finally, I would like to give a shout out to the Buckeye Planet recruiting team. A lot of the information I share in these updates comes from them, so here’s a big thank you to them.