Recruiting Update: 6/14/11

Written June 14th, 2011 by Jim

It wasn't a big secret why 2003 was by far Jim Tressel's worst recruiting class. Fingers crossed that the 2012 class is a different story.

In the aftermath of Jim Tressel’s resignation, there are many important things to think about as Ohio State moves forward: was Tressel treated fairly? what will his legacy be? did he really lose control of the program? will any new violations be uncovered? who will be the next long-term coach? and so on.

On top of everything else, another thing to think about is the impact that Tressel’s resignation will have on the 2012 recruiting class. If you have been following along at all this year, you know that the 2012 class is the most talented group of high school seniors in Ohio since at least 2002. In that sense, Tressel’s resignation could not have come at a worse time.

Opposing schools have already been cashing in on Ohio State’s inability to offer all of the talented in-state players, and now they will be looking to really open the floodgates by sniping the players Ohio State has offered in the midst of the turmoil (Tom Strobel became the first casualty on that front last week).

Fortunately, the new man in charge, Luke Fickell, provides some continuity and happens to be the most dynamic and effective recruiter on the staff. He has successfully locked down all 8 of Ohio State’s previous commitments (it wasn’t a sure thing the entire time either), and he will obviously be putting a lot of effort into finishing the job with many other targeted players in the class.

One thing that I think benefits Ohio State greatly here was Tressel’s recruiting style. He sold kids on falling in love with being a Buckeye, and being a Buckeye transcends whoever happens to be the current head coach. That style and emphasis was a point that Fickell hammered home at his press conference yesterday.

Still, it would be naive to think that Tressel’s resignation will have no negative impact on recruiting.

Several Ohio prospects are taking notice of the goings on in Columbus, and not in a good way. Currently committed Buckeye RB Brionte Dunn is taking a good look at schools across the Big Ten and will almost certainly head elsewhere if a post season ban is part of the Buckeyes punishment. OH DL Greg McMullen, who Bo Pelini has been doing an excellent job recruiting to Nebraska, is also looking around and currently has the Buckeyes somewhere behind Nebraska and Notre Dame.

Those are a few examples of in-state players that will require Fickell’s full attention in the coming months. Targeted players from across the country will be even more difficult to bring back into the fold. On the plus side, as Najee Murray demonstrated over the weekend, the Buckeyes still have plenty of things going for them and kids still want to be Buckeyes.

One class isn’t going to make or break a program, but there is a lot of Ohio talent heading places other than Columbus this year, and at the very least it is not much fun to watch. At the same time, with 9 committed players, the class is already shaping up to be a solid one, and if Fickell and company can reel in some of the remaining big fish in Ohio, I’d be more than willing to call that a successful class given the circumstances.

New offers and players dropped from the Big Board… right now!

New Offers

2012

Kyle Dodson (OL)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, UConn, Illinois, Iowa State, Louisville, Michigan State, Minnesota, NC State, Ohio, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Vanderbilt, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

6’6″ 310 lbs.

Cleveland (OH) Heights HS

Dodson received an offer from Ohio State and immediately committed to Wisconsin. This recruiting game can be a strange, strange thing at times.

Devonte Mathis (WR)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Florida State, West Virginia, Mississippi, South Florida, UCF, Wake Forrest

6’1″ 205 lbs.

Miramar (FL) HS

A talented Florida receiver who, as always, we will have to wait on to see if the interest is mutual.

Noah Spence (DE)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Miami (FL), Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee, USC, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Boston College, California, Cincinnati, UConn, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia

6’4″ 240 lbs.

Harrisburg (PA) Bishop McDevitt

With an offer sheet that says “one of the best in the country” it is hard to understand why it took Ohio State so long to offer Noah Spence (even though I am sure there is a good reason). Better late than never though, and definitely a player to keep an eye on moving forward.

Devin Fuller (ATH)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Miami (FL), Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Arizona State, Boston College, Cincinnati, UConn, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, TCU, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wisconsin

6’0″ 185 lbs.

Old Tappan (NJ) HS

The Buckeyes have been hitting the east coast hard of late, and Devin Fuller is yet another elite players Ohio State is hoping to draw west.

2013

Trey Johnson (LB)

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, USC, Cincinnati, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Louisville, Mississippi, Miss State, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee

6’1″ 208 lbs.

Lawrenceville (GA) Central Gwinnett

Clearly one of the top LBs in the 2013 class, we will have to wait and see if he has any interest at all in the Buckeyes.

Dropped

OH DB Allen Gant committed to Michigan (no Ohio State offer).

FL TE Laith Harlow committed to Oklahoma.

OH DE Tom Strobel committed to Michigan.

FL DB Travis Blanks committed to Clemson.

CA TE Taylor McNamara committed to Arizona.

GA DB Josh Holsey committed to Auburn.

OH OL Kyle Dodson committed to Wisconsin.

AL QB Jameis Winston dropped Ohio State from consideration.

5 Comments

  1. JimNo Gravatar
    June 14th, 2011 at 8:45 am

    With Dodson heading to Wisconsin, the Buckeyes really need to focus on finding a LT in this class. There isn’t much positive buzz around any of the currently offered linemen (outside of maybe Goodman and maybe maybe Pirsig), so it will be interesting to see if some new OL offers are sent out shortly.

    [Reply]

  2. B.R.No Gravatar
    June 14th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    wow, that was kind of a d*ck move by Dodson, with the timing of the whole thing…seemed like it was a rub-it-in-your-face deal, by waiting for the offer he’d supposedly been waiting for, then the day after he gets it — he commits to Wiscy.
    Lets offer that Orlosky kid — he’s the 17th ranked at his position, scUM and MSU have offered, among others — let’s get him Coach Fickell & co.

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    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 14th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Wait- he verballed to Wisconsin, not Oregon…

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  3. B.R.No Gravatar
    June 14th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    …hahah…yes, it would have most definitely been a dUck move if he committed to Oregon, where they drive 118 mph

    [Reply]

    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    June 14th, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    “… where they drive 118 mph”… on a suspended license… in a car under someone else’s name… and that someone else worked for the University.

    [Reply]

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