Recruiting Update: 2/22/11

Written February 22nd, 2011 by Jim

James Ross is one of the top linebackers in the Midwest. Grabbing him from Michigan's home turf would be poetic justice in 2012.

Welcome back to another recruiting update. Ohio State hasn’t slowed down in terms of new verbal offers for players, which leaves us with plenty to talk about after the jump. Before we get to that, however, I’d like to address one of the emerging story lines of this recruiting class: Michigan carpet bombing the state of Ohio with offers.

Jim Tressel and his staff pride themselves on being selective with their offers and landing a high percentage of players that they target. In contrast, Hoke and his staff have been pretty blatant about throwing offers out to seemingly every Ohio prospect possible.

In a way, this is the perfect strategy for them. It is a fact that the clowns from Ann Arbor would be nothing without Ohio players and coaches saving them from their own mediocrity. Brady Hoke, being the true Michigan man that he is, understands that he is worthless without Ohio. So what better way to turn the program around than raiding an unbelievably talented 2012 crop of Buckeyes?

We have talked before about how there is no way Ohio State will keep all of the in-state talent in this recruiting class. The fence around the state will be knocked over big time and other schools will reap the benefits… at least for one year.

Ohio State has offered approximately 34 players in the 2012 class thus far. In contrast, Michigan has thrown out at least twice as many offers, including hitting Ohio hard. It may be a good strategy for them, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. The worst part will be when they pull an Ohio player or ten, which is inevitable. They will claim a “victory” over Ohio State and brag about it in their typical arrogant manner.

It will be dreadfully annoying.

That being said, Ohio State and the coaches can only take care of their recruiting business, whatever happens at other schools is largely up to us fans to deal with… so prepare yourselves accordingly.

The most important thing to remember is that when you throw out 100 offers, which Michigan is well on their way to hitting, you are only expecting to land about 25% of those offers. That’s a pretty embarrassing admission of your lack of appeal, and something that Ron Zook is infamous for at Illinois. So congratulations Michigan, you have turned into the recruiting equivalent of the Illini.

Read on for new offers and some general recruiting “buzz” since our last update. And as always, remember to check out our 2012 Big Board, which is continuously updated.

New Offers

Ifeadi Odenigbo (LB/DE)

6’4″ 210 lbs.

Centerville (OH) HS

Highlights

Many fans were hoping that Odenigbu would get an offer, and they didn’t have to wait long for their wish to come true. Ifeadi has unbelievable athleticism for his size, and his future is extremely bright, particularly considering he got a “late start” in football because his parents were worried about injuries. He projects as a LEO at Ohio State, and he has the potential to be a great one.

Devan Bogard (DB)

5’11″ 172 lbs.

Cleveland (OH) Glenville AC

Highlights

The Glenville pipeline rides again, and hopefully it works out a bit better this time around. Bogard is the first Ohio DB to get an offer and is clearly one of the best in the state. Ohio State is the early favorite as usual, but I will hold off on throwing around the lock status this time around.

Sevon Pittman (DL)

6’5″ 245 lbs.

Canton (OH) McKinley

Highlights

Pittman is just another one of the outstanding defensive line prospects in the state of Ohio for 2012. With the offer, Ohio State jumps out to the front of the pack. The Buckeyes will have an outstanding defensive line class in 2012.

James Ross (LB)

6’0″ 203 lbs.

Orchard Lake (MI) Saint Mary’s

Highlights

One of the top linebacker prospects in the Midwest for 2012, Ross is being heavily pursued by regional and national teams including Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Pittsburgh, Purdue, and Arizona State to name a few. It would be great fun to pull one of the top players out of that state up north, and some poetic justice considering how much Michigan is trying to raid Ohio State’s home turf.

Aaron Burbridge (WR)

6’0″ 175 lbs.

Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison HS

Highlights

Another Michigan prospect with heavy interest from across the Midwest, including teams like Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Illinois. His high school perennially fields one of the best football teams in the state and has a history of sending players to D1, so you know he will be ready to go at the next level. Michigan State is the early favorite.

MacGarrett Kings (ATH)

5’11″ 178 lbs.

Fort Lauderdale (FL) University School

Highlights

Another early offer to a Florida athlete, broken record here, but time will tell if the interest is mutual.

Laith Harlow (TE)

6’5″ 240 lbs.

Tallahassee (FL) Godby HS

Highlights

One of the top TE’s from the state of Florida but like everyone else from the sunshine state, we will have to wait and see if he has legitimate interest in even leaving the south, which would obviously improve Ohio State’s chances.

Geno Smith (DB)

6’0″ 165 lbs.

Atlanta (GA) St. Pius X School

Highlights

Another southern DB. Throw him in with the rest of them as “wait and see”.

Buzz

Tommy Schutt (DL)

6’3″ 301 lbs.

Glen Ellyn (IL) Glenbard West HS

He is making a trip($) to Columbus for Junior Day instead of South Bend, which is pretty good news for one school, not so much for the other.

Alton Howard (ATH)

5’10″ 175 lbs.

Orlando (FL) Edgewater HS

Highlights

Things are looking great($) for the Buckeyes here. He wants to decide “as soon as possible” so stay tuned.

Pharaoh Brown (DL)

6’6″ 220 lbs.

Lyndhurst (OH) Bush

Highlights

Another big time defensive line prospect from Ohio. It has been said over and over, but the in-state talent is off the charts in 2012. He is the rare QB/DE combo for his high school team.

Best Guess

Like the last time I put together a best guess list, already committed players are in red, “locks” are in black, and everyone else is in gray. This list gives the Buckeyes 20 for 2012, and I think that will be right around the number in the class. We shall see.

Ohio State’s Junior day is coming up at the end of the month, and hopefully there will be some commitments or new offers around that time, clearing up the recruiting picture even further.

But for now, here it is.

QB Cardale Jones
RB Warren Ball
RB Brionte Dunn
WR Dwayne Stanford
WR Alton Howard
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Jacoby Boren
OL Jonah Pirsig
OL Kyle Dodson
DL LaTroy Lewis
DL Greg McMullen
DL Tommy Schutt
DL Sevon Pittman
DE/LB Adolphus Washington
DE/LB Ifeadi Odenigbo
LB/TE Josh Perry
LB James Ross
LB Deaysean Rippy
DB Devan Bogard
DB Florida DB

11 Comments

  1. ohiosfinest75No Gravatar
    February 22nd, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Good afternoon from Germany! Questions regarding your wish list. As far as Adolphus Washington goes, is he really a lock? I believe he was qouted as saying he (including dad)grew up a buckeye fan but may want to look out side of Ohio to take his talents.Also, I know Centerville is pro-buckeye but were did you come up with Ifeadi Odenigbo being a lock? Lastly, were do you project DT/ DE Christopher Wormley? I know he grew up a Mich fan but according to multiple sites he has no favorites. I feel he should be on your wish list as well.
    Thanks in advance!

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    February 22nd, 2011 at 10:10 am

    You have basically answered most of your own questions. This list is far from scientific, and is simply my best guess based on what I know now. The “locks” are in quotations for a reason. They are simply the players I am the most confident about being in the class.

    I am highly confident about Washington because he grew up a Buckeye fan. It helps that he and his teammate Stanford would like to play together in college. They both currently have the Buckeyes as early favorites. Package deals usually don’t work out, but package deals don’t usually involve nationally rated players with legit early offers from a school like Ohio State.

    You nailed it on Odenigbo as well. I am highly confident due to Centerville being one of the most Buckeye friendly schools in the state.

    I think Wormley goes to Michigan. The chance of playing right away and turning his childhood favorite back into a contender will be too much to overcome.

    Thanks for the questions, I hope my clarifications were satisfactory for you. Go Bucks!

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    February 22nd, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Also worth noting, it is unclear whether or not Alton Howard has an offer or not… not having one would obviously take him out of the “lock” category.

    [Reply]

  2. robert mitchellNo Gravatar
    February 22nd, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Jim,
    strategically speaking do the Bucks have any wiggle room to open the number of recruits above 20 for 2011?

    if not, do you have any insight as to why OSU was aggressive in the number of recruits for 2010 and didn’t plan on more room for numbers in 2011? This is not criticism as coach is very strategic in his planning and thinking, but I would just like to understand their strategy.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    February 22nd, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I have been pretty surprised with how aggressively Tressel has thrown out some of the early verbal offers in this class, which makes me think that he is confident he can come up with a strategy between now and February 2012 to fit players into this class.

    What exactly that may be is difficult to say at the moment. Between transfers, early entries into the draft, and a number of other factors (for instance, not handing out scholarships to upper class walk-ons, which has been standard operating procedure under Tressel), the coaching staff has some level of control over the number of scholarships.

    As far as not banking scholarships from the 2011 class for 2012, it seems to be a case of “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” situation.

    This recruiting game is a funny thing and very difficult to predict. The thing that is most difficult to predict may be the exact number of scholarships in the class.

    It is something to keep an eye on though, that is for certain.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    February 22nd, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Also, as I mentioned very briefly in the main body of the article, hopefully between Junior Day at the end of this month and spring practice in April, the recruiting picture will become clearer with some more offers on the table (particularly to Ohio players) as well as some more commitments.

    It is still incredibly early in the 2012 recruiting season, so a million things can happen between now and signing day. I predict the numbers and players in the class mostly as a best guess “wish list” that I hope everyone enjoys looking over, but in no way is it a guarantee of anything.

    [Reply]

  3. smittyNo Gravatar
    February 25th, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Any news about carter? around signing day i heard he may still get an offer but havnt heard anything since.

    [Reply]

    EricNo Gravatar
    February 25th, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Should’ve checked the frontpage Smitty =D

    This was posted just last night
    http://www.thebuckeyebattlecry.com/?p=13512

    [Reply]

  4. RyanNo Gravatar
    February 25th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Ohio is the tar pit of America. You people are worthless.

    [Reply]

    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    February 25th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    You People

    You People???

    And yet, somehow, worth enough for you to time to come to our fansite to comment.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    February 25th, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    If the entire state of Ohio is the tar pit of America, what does that make Detroit?

    [Reply]

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