If you haven't noticed, I try to channel this guy every time I talk about offensive linemen.

I established in my last update that recruiting rankings don’t matter. If you don’t buy that, at the very least they are terrible indicators of how successful a player will be in college, and that is a fact.

At the same time, recruiting clearly does matter to college football.

The reasons why are pretty clear, but to state the obvious, the teams that do the best job filling their needs  from year to year with the best talent, or at least talent that fits their system, will be the teams that have the most success each fall.

That brings me to Ohio State and their major need in the 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes. Most of you probably know what I am talking about already, but for those that don’t, the Buckeyes need offensive tackles.

There are currently four true tackles on the roster: Mike Adams (SR), J.B. Shugarts (SR), Marcus Hall (RS SO),  and Andrew Norwell (SO).

Beyond those four, the Buckeyes will have to get a little creative to fill the depth chart.

Based on the spring game, it looks like freshman Tommy Brown will be playing tackle this season, although his more natural position seems to be guard. In a pinch, Jack Mewhort can probably play tackle if the need arrises.

So, where does that leave the Buckeyes?

Well, things aren’t that bad in 2011, although the five game suspension of Mike Adams makes depth a concern early in the year.

When he returns, things should be grand. I have said before that I think the 2011 line could be one of the best we have seen in recent memory, and I stand by that.

With the graduation of Adams and Shugarts at the end of the season, however, 2012 will be a different story.

Obviously, Marcus Hall or Andrew Norwell could both be used at LT in 2012 (with the other playing RT).

In my opinion, Hall will be the starting LT during Adams’ suspension, and that experience could prove valuable in the future.

Even with Hall at LT, depth will still be a major concern and something that needs to be addressed on the recruiting trail.

That brings us back around to tackles being such an urgent need in the next two recruiting classes. The Buckeyes won’t be looking for just any tackle either; finding the next great left tackle to protect Braxton Miller’s blind side will be a top priority.

That is why the recent defections of Kyle Kalis and Kyle Dodson sting a little extra.

All is not lost, however, and a new offer has apparently gone out to 2012 OL Nick Davidson (although we may not know for sure for a few days). If true, it would be an exciting development.

Additionally, the 2013 in-state offensive tackle class is already looking strong, which could end up being a huge haul for the Buckeyes.

Not a bad lineman to channel either.

Here is a look at the newest offers and some of the 2013 linemen that are already on the radar.

New Offers

2012

Nick Davidson (OL)

6’6″ 270 lbs.

Eden Prairie (MN) HS

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Stanford, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Clemson, Duke, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina State

Nick Davidson is the son of former Ohio State football captain Jeff Davidson, making him a legacy and long time fan of the Buckeyes. He has the size and frame that you look for in a future tackle.

If he does have an offer, it seems like the Buckeyes have a great chance at signing him, which would go a long way in helping to address the OT depth in 2012.

George “Bam” Bradley (DB)

6’2″ 200 lbs.

Trotwood (OH) Madison HS

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arizona, Cincinnati, Northwestern, Syracuse, Vanderbilt

This offer bucks the offensive line trend that I was going with for this update, but Bam Bradley visited Columbus over the weekend and was offered in person by Coach Fickell.

Bradley has long been considered one of the best players in Ohio, and many fans have been hoping he would get an offer for months now. The wait is obviously over.

Ohio State joins Michigan and Pittsburgh as Bam’s favorites, and he would like to decide before the season, which means in the next month or two.

This is an exciting offer for the Buckeyes, but it probably isn’t a good sign for the Florida DBs that the Buckeyes have been focusing their recruiting efforts on up to this point.

2013 Offensive Linemen

These players won’t be on campus in time to help the 2012 offensive line, but signing a big tackle class in 2013 will be very important. Luckily, the in-state class is already looking very strong.

Kyle Meadows (OL)

6’6″ 290 lbs.

Lakota (OH) West HS

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: none

Meadows started at LT as a sophomore and looks destined to play there at the next level. He has the size and footwork for the position, and a frame perfect for excelling in a college strength and conditioning program.

Lakota West has sent players like Steve Rehring and Solomon Thomas to Ohio State in the past, so you have to imagine that if offered, the Buckeyes would have an above average shot, particularly since any left tackle that comes to OSU in 2013 would immediately have a spot on the depth chart.

Steve Mathie (OL)

6’5″ 270 lbs.

Canton (OH) GlenOak HS

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: UCLA

Bill Greene is very high on Steve Mathie, calling him a future left tackle for sure and comparing him favorably to Kyle Dodson and Taylor Decker from the 2012 class.

Mathie has camped in Columbus and comes from a very Buckeye friendly high school. He has also expressed early interest in Ohio State and the Buckeyes clearly would have a great shot if they decide to offer.

Evan Lisle (OL)

6’5″ 255 lbs.

Centerville (OH) HS

Highlights: Video #1

Offers: none

Like the other two linemen, Evan Lisle is already being talked about as one of the top Ohio linemen in the 2013 class. He comes from OSU friendly Centerville, and is receiving interest from several programs.

Lisle has a mean streak on the field that can’t be taught.

____________________

All together, that is three tackle prospects receiving plenty of early hype from three very Buckeye friendly high schools.

There is still a million recruiting years between now and signing day for the 2013 class, but it looks like a strong year for offensive tackles, and that is obviously a good thing for the Buckeyes.

Dropped

OH DL LaTroy Lewis committed to Tennessee.

2 Comments

  1. EricNo Gravatar
    July 25th, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I feel like we should almost start turning these into Tackle/OLine recruiting pitches.

    “Hey Kids! Yes, you could be the next great lineman at Ohio State! Apply within!”

    [Reply]

  2. JimNo Gravatar
    July 25th, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Telling kids that they will get playing time right away certainly doesn’t hurt, which is why I think the 2013 class will be huge for offensive tackles and why the Buckeyes may still have a chance with some of the big names (Diamond, Simmons) in the 2012 class.

    [Reply]

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