Recruiting Update: 2012 Kickoff

Written February 7th, 2011 by Jim

Offensive tackle Kyle Kalis is one of five already committed players in the 2012 class.

Now that the ink has dried on the 2011 recruiting class, it is officially time to start looking ahead to 2012… recruiting has no off season. The 2012 class is projected to have a relatively low number of scholarships, which is a shame given the huge amount of talent present in Ohio and across the country.

With 5 players already in the fold, the Buckeyes will be looking to add approximately 10-15 additional prospects over the next 12 months. Like 2011, the class will fill up quickly (primarily with in-state players), leaving the coaches plenty of time to focus on a small number of elite out-of-state targets that will take a bit longer to reel in.

Regardless of who the Buckeyes sign, disappointment is inevitable in 2012. Ohio State will miss on some extremely talented players simply because there won’t be room for them. The in-state players heading abroad will be particularly difficult to witness, but you play the hand you are dealt.

For the record, number crunches like Ohio State is facing in 2012 are exactly why oversigning provides such a huge advantage for certain teams, but I digress.

Check out our 2012 Recruiting Big Board and read on for an early look at the class.


With the addition of Braxton Miller in 2011 and the gray shirt of Cardale Jones (which essentially makes him a member of the 2012 class), quarterback is not a priority this year.

The Buckeyes currently have offers out to Shane Dillon and Jameis Winston. Winston is a huge long shot and will most likely stay in Alabama. Dillon has Ohio State connections (George Whitfield Jr.) and is much more likely to give Columbus a look.

Both players are too good to say no to, thus the early interest, but it would be surprising to see much action at quarterback beyond them.

Running Backs

Warren Ball (pictured) and Brionte Dunn have RB covered in 2012.

Ohio State didn’t sign a back in 2011 largely because of the talent available in 2012. With two elite in-state players already in the fold (Warren Ball, Brionte Dunn), the Buckeyes were all but done here before the 2011 class was even signed.

There is currently an offer out to PA RB Rushel Shell, but given the limited numbers, it would be surprising if the Buckeyes heavily pursued anyone else.

Wide Receivers

This is an interesting position. Ohio State has plenty of young talent on campus already, but no one knows how well they will perform on the field. The ‘need’ is basically up in the air pending their performances.

Needs based or not, several offers are already out to some elite players. Dorial Green-Beckham (compares favorably with Randy Moss) and Angelo Jean-Louis are long shots at best.

Dwayne Stanford, being an Ohio guy and teammates with fellow OSU target Adolphus Washington, is a much more realistic option.

Checking in at 6’4″ 200 lbs. he is a huge target, literally and figuratively speaking. Even with offers from elite programs around the country, Ohio State appears to have the early edge.

Dwayne Stanford is the top target at WR for the Buckeyes.

If Stanford jumps on board, that might be it for WRs in 2012.


Buchtel’s Corey Smith is an Ohio player to keep an eye on. He is possibly my favorite in-state WR behind Stanford.

Florida WR D’Vario Montgomering has great size at 6’3″ and grew up an Ohio State fan. He is a player that may be in-line for a future offer.

Tight Ends

After signing two players in the 2011 class, tight ends will be more of a luxury than a necessity this time around.

An early offer went out to California stand-out Taylor McNamara, who considered committing on the spot but has since pulled back and will take his time.

Ohio State can be very patient here, and will most likely wait on McNamara to decide. If things don’t go well, OH TE Sam Grant and FL TE Kent Taylor provide excellent alternate options… if the Buckeyes decide to pursue the position beyond McNamara, which isn’t certain.

Offensive Line

After loading up on interior lineman in 2011, tackles represent one of the most pressing needs in 2012… the early offers show it. Within 24 hours of NLOID, Ohio State offered three elite tackle prospects from across the country, bringing the total number of early offers to four.

The four are: Jonah Pirsig (Minnesota, 6’9″ 300 lbs.), Richard Webb (Maryland, 6’7″ 325 lbs.), Jordan Diamond (Illinois, 6’6″ 289 lbs.), and D.J. Humphries (North Carolina, 6’5″ 245 lbs.)

You can’t go wrong with any of those players, and the Buckeyes appear to be in great shape with at least two of them. Pirsig plans to make an official visit with his family in the spring and will probably camp at OSU over the summer, and the OSU offer “changed everything” for Diamond and moved the Bucks to the top of his list.

Tackles are a must get for the Buckeyes this year, and they are aggressively going after some of the top prospects in the country. There are plenty of alternate options beyond the four early offers (check the big board), and it will be exciting to see who the Buckeyes can land at this position of need.


Taylor Decker and Kyle Dodson are two in-state lineman that will be in the running for offers.

Other names worth knowing are: Ohio State legacy Nick Davidson, the son of Jeff Davidson; Evan Goodman, who performed well at summer camp last year and is looking for an Ohio State offer; Alex Jauregui, who is from the same school as Brad Robey and Cam Heyward; Benny McGowan, an interior line prospect from Buckeye friendly Centerville.

Defensive Line

Ohio is loaded with talent in 2012, and no position reflects that more than the defensive line.

The Buckeyes have already issued verbal offers to Chris Wormley (Toledo Whitmer), Greg McMullen (Akron Hoban), LaTroy Lewis (Akron Hoban), and Illinois defensive tackle Tommy Schutt.

Greg McMullen is one of many outstanding 2012 defensive line prospects in Ohio.

Wormley is a 50/50 battle between Ohio State and Michigan, so flip a coin on that one. He would be a huge get for either team and both have clear advantages (being good vs. early playing time and turning a program around).

Being from Toledo, Wormley is practically in enemy territory and he grew up a Michigan fan, so if Ohio State lands him it could be considered a ‘steal’. Fingers crossed.

McMullen has a top two of Ohio State and Nebraska. Being the home state school is a huge advantage here so things are trending Buckeye.

Lewis has Ohio State in his top three and may be ready to decide this summer… which bodes well for the good guys.

Schutt has ‘definite interest’ in Ohio State and is one to watch. He is the only true DT offered so far. With elite size and quickness off the line of scrimmage he would be an outstanding addition to an already impressive in-state group of players.

The talent pool is so deep that there will almost certainly be players that don’t get offers that you would like to see in the class (Sevon Pittman). The plus side is that Ohio State is all but guaranteed an elite d-line class (again).


Michigan prospect Danny O’Brien is starting to pick up some recruiting steam, he made it to Columbus for a game in the fall.


Ohio State loaded up in 2011 so they can be selective as they look to add one or two more LBs this year. Early offers are out to Adolphus Washington (who is a LEO candidate and could be considered a DE as well) and Deaysean Rippy.

Washington is an Ohio native and could be one of the next commitments for the Buckeyes. Rippy is considered one of the best players in PA and has a top three of Ohio State, Florida, and hometown Pitt… it will be an interesting recruitment to say the least.

It is tough predicting numbers this early, but Ohio State may be done if they can land their two early offers. On the other hand, a player like Ifeadi Odenigbo may be too good to pass up.

Odenigbo is extremely raw, but his athleticism is off the charts and being from OSU friendly Centerville, he is a player to watch.

There are many other talented LBs out there, making it another position that Ohio State will have to watch  some extremely talented players head elsewhere.


There are many other linebackers out there. Joe Bolden and Kaleb Ringer are two extremely talented Ohio players that Ohio State may not have room for.

Michigan linebacker James Ross is another player that has some nice offers and early interest in the Buckeyes.

Defensive Backs

This is an area that is hard to read at the moment. There are only two offers out to Florida prospects T.J. Davis and Travis Blanks, who both seem unlikely to leave the south.

The Buckeyes might wait and see how things go with other positions before deciding how many players to take here. There is plenty of talent in Ohio this season, but it may take summer camps to sort out which players will be receiving offers.

Between Devan Bogard, who recently received an offer from USC (Cleveland Glenville), V’Angelo Bentley (Cleveland Glenville), Bam Bradley (Trotwood Madison), Allen Gant (Sylvania Southview), Deshawn Hall (Canton GlenOak), and Jarrod Wilson (Akron Buchtel), the Buckeyes have plenty of in-state options. They will likely end up with one or two players between them.


Ohio State already has verbal offers out to some elite out-of-state  “athletes” this year. They are all unbelievable talents but also highly unlikely to come to Columbus. Check out the big board for more details.


Alton Howard is from the same high school as Mike Brewster, who has been in contact with him about Ohio State. He was recently offered by the Buckeyes, and although he is a bit undersized, he is a game breaker.

Three other Maryland athletes stand out: Deontay McManus (offered), Cyrus Jones (offered), and Stefon Diggs, a top 50 player who has interest in the Buckeyes.

Best Guess

Players in red are already committed, players in black are highly likely to be Buckeyes, and players in gray are up in the air at a position that will likely be filled.

Joe’s guesses are straight black. He is bolder than me and doesn’t need caveats with his guesses.

Jim Joe
QB Cardale Jones Cardale Jones
RB Warren Ball Warren Ball
RB Brionte Dunn Brionte Dunn
WR Dwayne Stanford Dwayne Stanford, Alton Howard
TE Taylor McNamara or Sam Grant Sam Grant
OL Kyle Kalis Kyle Kalis
OL Jacoby Boren Jacoby Boren
OL Jonah Pirsig or Richard Webb Jonah Pirsig
OL Jordan Diamond or DJ Humphries Jordan Diamond or Kyle Dodson
DL LaTroy Lewis LaTroy Lewis
DL Greg McMullen Greg McMullen
DL Tommy Schutt Sevon Pittman
DL Chris Wormley or Sevon Pittman Adolphus Washington
LB Josh Perry Josh Perry
LB Adolphus Washington Deaysean Rippy
LB Deaysean Rippy
DB one of the Ohio options who knows?

Once again, the numbers are debatable, but that gives the Buckeyes 17 players in 2012… for now that seems about right. The lines will be the foundation of the class that everything else will be built around. It looks like the Buckeyes want to add at least two more offensive lineman and four or so defensive lineman.

After that there will be a serious numbers crunch. Some extra spots are likely to open up over the next year, but there will be players left out.

Regardless, 2012 is going to be an outstanding class for the Buckeyes. Coach Tressel and his staff pride themselves on landing a huge percentage of the players they target, and this year will be no different.


Ohio State will follow up a very good 2011 class with a huge 2012 class. Obviously offensive tackle is the one big position of need.

The Buckeyes have the opportunity to go national and try to grab some 5 and 4 star talent from across the country. If some players are missed, Ohio has plenty of talent to fill the gaps. 2012 should be a nice mix of in-state and out-of-state players.


  1. Class of 2012 Buckeye Big Board - UPDATE 1/28/11
    February 7th, 2011 at 9:31 am

    [...] [...]

  2. BenNo Gravatar
    February 7th, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Wow! That’s the first time I’ve seen clips of Odenigbo. I certainly see the raw you speak of, but that was fun to watch. I like how often he and Bennett meet at the quarterback. Is he in the LEO vein like Adolphus?


    JimNo Gravatar
    February 7th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    The thing that makes Odenigbo so special is his combination of size and speed. To move to LEO, however, he would have to bulk up even more. The question will be how much speed he can maintain while putting on weight.

    He has the athleticism to be an outstanding player in space, but if he moved to D-Line he may fall back on the recruiting board at an already stacked position.

    The other thing to note is that he is extremely similar to the already committed Josh Perry in terms of size and athleticism, so have the Buckeyes already filled the ‘niche’ that Odenigbo occupies? I don’t know the answer to that.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to say the least.


  3. JimNo Gravatar
    February 7th, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Oh, and by the way, a huge shout out to the BuckeyePlanet recruiting team. They do an outstanding job aggregating all of this information… if you didn’t already know that from all of the links.

    There is no better place to track individual recruits than on BuckeyePlanet.


  4. EricNo Gravatar
    February 7th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Man Kalis is BIG! Look at the legs on him!

    I definitely would not want to be in his way ever, least of all on a football field.


  5. While We’re Waiting… Cavalier Fans, Tribe Grades and Recruiting Never Ends | WaitingForNextYear
    February 8th, 2011 at 8:02 am

    [...] Looking ahead to the 2012 recruiting class- “With 5 players already in the fold, the Buckeyes will be looking to add approximately 10-15 additional prospects over the next 12 months. Like 2011, the class will fill up quickly (primarily with in-state players), leaving the coaches plenty of time to focus on a small number of elite out-of-state targets that will take a bit longer to reel in. Regardless of who the Buckeyes sign, disappointment is inevitable in 2012. Ohio State will miss on some extremely talented players simply because there won’t be room for them. The in-state players heading abroad will be particularly difficult to witness, but you play the hand you are dealt.” [Jim/Buckeye Battle Cry] [...]

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