There really hasn’t been much in the way of recruiting news since the commitments of 2012 prospects Brionte Dunn and Kyle Kalis at the end of September. However, the 2011 class will see some action tomorrow night.
Since Trey DePriest chose to head south, linebackers have been one of the most active and interesting areas for Ohio State recruiting. The coaching staff seems to want at least one linebacker in the 2011 class, but who that will be has been a question mark.
Ohio State could get an answer as early as tomorrow night when Maryland linebacker Conner Crowell announces his college destination. He has recently narrowed his choices to co-favorites Penn State and Ohio State and will decide between the two schools.
For a long time I have assumed that Crowell would be Penn State bound due to his east coast ties, but Penn State recruiting gurus appear to be as uncertain as anyone else about his destination. You would think if he was leaning one way or the other they would at least get a hint of it.
Given Penn State’s struggles on the field and the rumored turmoil amongst the coaching staff off of it, I’d say Ohio State has at least a 50/50 shot. We won’t have to wait long to find out.
Wallace initially reached out to the Ohio State staff with interest, but it appears his heart lies on the west coast and he is not currently as serious about Ohio State as he once was. That may change with an official visit, but for right now it is not looking good for the Buckeyes.
In other linebacker news, Virginia LB Curtis Grant lists Ohio State in his top three along with Florida and North Carolina, but says he won’t be making a decision until signing day in February. Ohio State has a history of not doing well with players that wait until signing day, so lower your expectations accordingly.
Finally, Pennsylvania linebacker Ejuan Price is still deciding between Ohio State and Iowa and he is not likely to choose soon. At one time Price seemed destined to be the next Ohio State commitment but that is clearly no longer the case. The fact that Iowa has come on so strong is not an encouraging development.
All of these negatives with Ohio State targets make the Crowell decision tomorrow night relatively important.
Beyond some hope with 50/50 Price, whose recruitment seems to be trending away from OSU at the moment anyway, there are not many encouraging signs with Wallace or Grant that make you think they will be Buckeyes.
Either way, we won’t be hearing any of their decisions soon.
If Ohio State can lock up Crowell, it would solidify the LB spot in the 2011 class and ease any worries about the other linebackers that seem to be looking elsewhere. If Crowell heads to Happy Valley, Ohio State may be looking at a late in-state offer or no LB at all in the 2011 class.
That type of scenario wouldn’t be devastating, but striking out at a position is not desirable no matter what the circumstances. Stay tuned.