Ohio State’s Top Targets in the 2012 Class

Written April 29th, 2011 by Jim

Tom Strobel at the Spring Game.

As summer camps approach, the Ohio State coaching staff will be looking to continue narrowing down their top targets in the 2012 class.

While they have already seen many players at camp in previous years, they will get one last one-on-one evaluation period before making the final push for their top targets over the summer and fall.

A lot can happen between a players junior and senior years of high school, and as always, some surprise camp offers will likely emerge.

Most of the time, the camp offers replace national prospects that received token early offers. More often than not, the chances of landing some of the national prospects are slim to none from the beginning. You offer just to be sure and to establish contact with coaches and programs around the country.

At this point, the staff has a good idea of the national prospects with legitimate interest, making it possible to evaluate players with an eye on replacing current offers with no interest in the Buckeyes.

Before summer camp evaluations and a new round of offers, here is a look at Ohio State’s early offers that they still have an above average shot at landing.

19. Shane Dillon (QB)

Highlights: Video #1, Video #2

Offers: Ohio State, Florida State, Arizona, Colorado, Cincinnati, Vanderbilt

Shane Dillon is the quarterback prospect for the Buckeyes in 2012. I would place him much higher on this list, but quarterback is not a position of need at the moment (particularly given Cardale Jones taking a gray shirt from the 2011 class).

However, if Braxton Miller jumps to the top of the depth chart in the fall, transfers at QB would be a very real possibility, making landing one in 2012 more important. Dillon consistently lists Ohio State amongst his top teams, and he has significant connections with Ohio State through QB coach George Whitfield.

18. Taylor McNamara (TE)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Florida State, Miami (FL), USC, Stanford, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, San Diego State, Vanderbilt, Washington

Taylor McNamara is one of the top TE prospects in the country who deserves to be much higher on this list. Once again, however, TE is not a position of need right now for the Buckeyes after taking two in 2011.

McNamara grew up an Ohio State fan and considered committing on the spot during a visit to Columbus earlier in the year, but the staff asked him to hold off and look around some more (he has since received offers from practically every major program in the country- mission accomplished). Like Shane Dillon, McNamara has a major connection to Columbus in George Whitfield Jr. and he consistently lists Ohio State amongst his favorites.

17. Rushel Shell (RB)

Highlights: Video #1, Video #2

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, UCLA, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Colorado, North Carolina

LaTroy Lewis could be the Buckeyes next commitment in 2012.

Rushel Shell would be much higher on this list if the Buckeyes didn’t already have two RB recruits committed in the 2012 class. He is an elite national prospect (his stats and highlights are off the charts) with legitimate interest in the Buckeyes.

If Brionte Dunn waivers on his commitment, Shell is the best insurance you could possibly have… if the Buckeyes can convince him to come to Columbus.

16. LaTroy Lewis (DL)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Cincinnati

LaTroy Lewis has the least impressive offer list of all of Ohio’s defensive linemen at the moment (even though dozens of schools are “showing interest”). The coaches must like what they see, however, and you can’t really argue with their past success recruiting defensive players.

He lists Ohio State in his top three and the Buckeyes are his clear favorite at the moment given the offer. He is considering making a decision sometime during the summer, and he could be the Buckeyes next commitment.

15. Devan Bogard (DB)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, USC

Devan Bogard is currently the lone player able to keep the Glenville pipeline open in 2012. Like all Glenville prospects, Ohio State is an early favorite. Bogard is more open about favoring the Buckeyes than most Glenville players have been in the past, so here’s hoping they don’t get burned this time around.

It is not a coincidence that his only other offer happens to be from the team that has very recently burned Ohio State for a Glenville recruit.

14. Demetrious Cox (DB)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Kansas State, Kansas, Boston College, Arizona State, Connecticut, Syracuse, Temple, West Virginia

The Buckeyes seem to be looking at Demetrious Cox primarily as a safety. However, as his highlight video makes clear, he is a great weapon on offense as well. Being from the same high school as Pryor and Jordan Hall gives the Buckeyes an advantage here, and Ohio State is clearly one of the early favorites.

13. Chris Wormley (DL)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois, Cincinnati, Toledo

Chris Wormley reminds me a lot of a young Cameron Heyward. He looks like the perfect fit at strong side defensive end for the Buckeyes. While he has Ohio State high on his list, Michigan was his childhood favorite and they will be tough to beat.

This recruitment will boil down to a classic border battle between Ohio State and TSUN. Ohio State has a shot, but I have always gotten the feeling that he will end up heading north. Wormley will be one of the top targets for the coaching staff as they try to seal the deal between now and signing day.

12. Tom Strobel (DL)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Stanford, UCLA, Akron, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Kent State, Miami (OH), Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia, West Virginia

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

Listed at 6’6″/250 lbs. Tom Strobel has a frame that you can’t teach. He also has good athleticism and a great motor to go along with his frame, making him one of the top defensive end prospects in Ohio.

He visited for the spring game, and like almost every Ohio player, the Buckeyes are one of the favorites.

11. Greg McMullen (DL)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Purdue, Cincinnati

Greg McMullen is another elite Ohio defensive end (he will likely grow into a defensive tackle in college). His recruitment is a head-to-head battle between Ohio State and Nebraska (with Notre Dame as a possible third wheel) at the moment.

He is teammates with LaTroy Lewis at Akron Hoban which doesn’t hurt the Buckeyes cause.

10. James Ross (LB)

Highlights: Video #1, Video #2, Video #3

Offers: Ohio State,  Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, USC, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Missouri, Purdue

James Ross is one of the top linebackers in the midwest with the offer sheet to prove it. Linebacker is not exactly a position of need for the Buckeyes right now, but Ross is too good to turn away if he wants to play football in Columbus.

Ohio State is clearly in the mix, but it will obviously be a battle to land his services.

9. Terry Richardson (DB)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, UCLA, USC, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Vanderbilt

Terry Richardson is one of the top defensive backs in the midwest (if not the country). His offer sheet shows that his limited size (5’9″ 160 lbs.) is not a concern for most college programs. It is tough to get a read on Richardson’s favorites, but Ohio State seems to have as good a shot as anyone at this point.

Richardson will attempt to make it to Columbus for a game in the fall and will announce at the Under Armour game early next year.

8. Evan Goodman (OL)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Florida State, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, Nebraska, UCLA, Georgia, Clemson, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Marshall, South Florida

Ohio State needs offensive linemen in the 2012 class, but unfortunately many of the early offers don’t seem to have much interest in the Buckeyes. Evan Goodman is the exception. Despite being pursued by college football royalty across the country, Goodman will take an official visit to Columbus and has always had the Buckeyes near the top of his list.

At a position of need, Goodman is the best national recruit that the Buckeyes currently have a legitimate shot at.

7. Se’Von Pittman (DL)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Tennessee

Se’Von Pittman has grown (figuratively and literally, he is much larger now than what is listed in his highlight video) into one of Ohio’s most sought after defensive linemen. His offer sheet has exploded, but Ohio State is still in great shape to land his services.

Pittman is a frequent visitor to Columbus and a former teammate with 2011 commit Steve Miller.

6. Dwayne Stanford (WR)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Texas Tech, Tennessee, Michigan State, Purdue, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Kent State

Ifeadi Odenigbo has exploded into one of Ohio's most sought after recruits.

Dwayne Stanford is the top wide receiver prospect in Ohio this year. At 6’4′/200 lbs. he has great size to go along with elite athleticism that has schools across the country recruiting him.

He grew up a Miami (FL) fan and was unhappy when they went down to the Buckeyes in Tempe, but he has recently come around and likes Ohio State now as well.

Being the in-state school (in addition to recruiting his teammate Adolphus Washinton) puts the Buckeyes in a great position.

5. Ifeadi Odenigbo (LB/DE)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma, Stanford, North Carolina, California, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, West Virginia

Ifeadi Odenigbo was an under the radar prospect only a few months ago. Many Ohio State fans were hoping that he would receive an early offer, and thankfully it didn’t take long for the staff to come through with one.

Like Ohio State and its fans, programs across the country have also taken notice of Odenigbo’s elite combination of size, speed, and athleticism, and he has quickly become one of the most sought after recruits in Ohio.

He currently lists Ohio State, Notre Dame, Northwestern, and Stanford amongst his favorites, and being from a historically pro Buckeye program (Centerville, home of A.J. Hawk, Mike Nugent, and 2011 commit Michael Bennett), Ohio State should be in great shape.

4. Deaysean Rippy (LB)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, Michigan, USC, Tennessee, Iowa, Colorado, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Tennessee

One of Pennsylvania’s top prospects in 2012 regardless of position, linebacker Deaysean Rippy hilariously has no interest in Penn State (they haven’t even offered).

Check the highlight video and the offer sheet- Rippy is one of the top linebackers in the country. It looks like it may boil down to a two way battle between Ohio State and Florida for his services, similar to LB Curtis Grant’s recruitment in 2011… hopefully the results are similar.

3. Tommy Schutt (DL)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami (FL), Florida, Auburn, Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Toledo

Like most of Ohio State’s top targets, Tommy Schutt’s offer sheet pretty much speaks for itself. He attended Ohio State’s junior day and has serious interest in the Buckeyes. It will be a battle with many elite programs, but Schutt is clearly one of the top defensive tackles in the nation and well worth the effort if Ohio State can reel him in.

2. Jaquay Williams (WR)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan, LSU, Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Southern Miss, Arkansas, Clemson

Adolphus Washington is arguably Ohio's top player in 2012.

Out of all of the elite national receivers (his highlight video speaks for itself) the Buckeyes have offered thus far, Jaquay Williams appears to have the most legitimate interest in Ohio State.

Williams grew up in PA as a Buckeye fan, has already visited Columbus once, and will again in the future on an official visit. The Buckeyes are looking to land several WRs in this class, and Williams is clearly one of the top targets (along with Stanford).

1. Adolphus Washington (LB/DE)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Texas, Florida State, USC, Oregon, Texas A&M, Illinois, Colorado, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Indiana, Syracuse, Louisville, West Virginia, Northwestern

Adolphus Washington is regarded by many as the top player in Ohio for 2012. He athleticism is off the charts (he is an elite basketball player as well) and his offer sheet shows it.

Keeping Ohio’s top talent in-state is always a priority for the Buckeyes, and landing Washington would be a huge step in that direction.

Being the home state school always has its advantages, and recruiting his teammate Dwayne Stanford doesn’t hurt either. I like Ohio State’s chances at this point, but stranger things have happened.

5 Comments

  1. JimNo Gravatar
    April 29th, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Watch for articles on Ohio State’s top long-shot targets and top non-offered targets sometime next week.

    [Reply]

  2. ChrisNo Gravatar
    April 29th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Wormley isn’t as much of a sure thing for Michigan as you might think. You forgot to add the fact that Kenny Hayes, Wormley’s good friend and high school teammate, is heading to OSU this fall. I know personally that Kenny has put the full court press on Chris to get him to Columbus.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    April 29th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I wasn’t trying to paint Wormley as a sure thing to Michigan.

    However, compared to the rest of the Ohio d-linemen(Pittman, McMullen, Lewis, and Strobel), Wormley seems like the one most likely to head elsewhere.

    Ohio State and Michigan both have plenty of advantages that seem to counter balance one another, so like I said, it will be a classic head-to-head battle.

    [Reply]

  3. JimNo Gravatar
    May 2nd, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    James Ross (#10) committed to Michigan this morning.

    [Reply]

    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    May 2nd, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    That’s 4 top 15 (Scout ranking) LBs in the last two years. And all of them get to be “the next Ray Lewis”.

    [Reply]

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