What was once thought to be a sure-to-be great 2012 class has turned into a wait-and-see year on the recruiting trail for Ohio State.
The off the field troubles in the spring and over the summer put a small wrench in that plan to say the least.
In recruiting, hope springs eternal. So whatever happens in the 2012 class there is always 2013 to look forward to, and that is exactly what we are going to do here.
At this point we don’t know for sure who will be recruiting that class, but Fickell and company have already started by extending some key early offers.
In addition to another solid in-state class in 2013, there already look to be a couple big name out-of-state guys who have Ohio State as their early favorite.
We will first take a look at the offered guys that I feel Ohio State has a good shot at landing.
There are national guys already offered out of Florida, Georgia, etc. but at this point it is way too early to even get excited about any of those guys.
Check back in the spring to see if they make the trip up to Columbus or next fall to see if they schedule an official visit, until then, keep your expectations on hold.
There are currently seven players with offers that I feel very confident in Ohio State’s chances.
Here they are:
6’0″ 190 lbs.
Middletown (OH) HS
Highlights: Video #1
He is the starting QB for the Middletown Middies and could be the top player in the state of Ohio.
At this point he is much more of an athlete that is playing QB and I would not be surprised to see him lineup at WR in college.
Middletwon switched to a triple option offense this year, so he is carrying the ball 30 times a game.
He is from a very pro tOSU school (home of Cris Carter) and he has been to multiple games @ the Horseshoe.
Watching him on film, he reminds me of Mike Vick, especially when he does the hop to set up his defenders and then just accelerates past them.
6’2″ 195 lbs.
Trotwood (OH) Madison HS
Another player in the running for best player in the state. Burrows is a DB out of Trotwood Madison, a place that has had a lot of talent over the years, but hasn’t sent many to tOSU.
Burrows is 6’2” 195 and runs a 4.4. On film it is easy to see why he could be the top player in the state.
He was in town last weekend for the Akron game and we expect him to be back for a couple more before the season is over.
tOSU is his dream school and he currently has the Bucks on top.
6’0″ 175 lbs.
Hilliard (OH) Darby HS
Highlights: Video #1
Day is another DB from right here in Columbus. He is a big time player for Hillard Darby.
His mom is an Ohio State grad, and not many other schools are sending in offers because it is just a matter of time for the good guys.
On film, you can see his body type for a prototypical CB. I look for a big year out of Day this year on the High School gird iron.
6’4″ 265 lbs.
Austintown (OH) Fitch HS
Billy is an OL/DL combo player out of Austintown Fitch. He works out with John Simon in the off season and when watching him play that is who you are reminded of.
Expect him to be a top 50 player in the country next year.
When he latches on to guys they are driven straight back. He has quick feet, very good leverage, and the initial punch is very strong.
He has also already gone head-to-head against guys like Steve Miller and SeVon Pittman and held his own .
6’0″ 170 lbs.
Voorhees (NJ) Eastern HS
Highlights: Video #1 (freshman season)
Eli is a stud cornerback out of the state of NJ.
He has been to Ohio State camp multiple time, including this past summer where he ran a 4.4840 and received an offer.
He calls Ohio State his dream school and I expect this one to end well for the Buckeyes!
He was at the game this past weekend, and also just received an offer from Alabama, so the kid is a baller.
6’3″ 215 lbs.
Fort Wayne (IN) Bishop Luers HS
Highlights: Video #1
Jaylon is the brother of Ohio State RB Rod Smith and is projected as a 5-star recruit. He is already 6’3” 215.
Jaylon plays on the defensive side of the ball where he lines up at LB.
He attended the spring game and I expect him to be a fixture at many home games this year to watch his brother play.
He talks to his brother about recruiting and about his future in college football. Once again I am expecting this one turns out well for the Buckeyes!
(Jim’s note: He is the 2013 version of Ifeadi Odenigbo in the ’12 class, landing both of them would give the Buckeyes some unbelievable athleticism and talent on the edge of the defense. Fingers crossed.)
6’0″ 218 lbs.
Richmond (VA) Hermitage HS
Green is a big time RB prospect out of VA. He is close with Curtis Grant (goes to the same HS), is a huge fan of Eddie George (says he will bring his number out of retirement at OSU), and he camped in Columbus this past summer, where he was really impressed with what he saw.
Unsurprisingly, he favors the Buckeyes which is always a good thing. With 2012 committments from Ball and Dunn, Green could be the only RB in the class of 2013.
6’5″ 230 lbs.
Somerville (NJ) Immaculata
Bower is a 6’5′ 230 lb freak for a 16 yr old kid.
He camped in Columbus over the summer and received an offer.
He has family in Columbus and Newark and would like for them to see him play at Ohio State. He currently plays DE but with his frame he could slide inside.
He currently has some big time offers from other schools like FSU.
After those seven players there are plenty more talented prospects in Ohio that are already making a name for themselves in recruiting circles. I will take a position by position look at where we may stand with this class as well as give an update on a few prospects at each position.
With Braxton Miller in the 11′ class and Cardale Jones in the 12′ class we may pass on a QB in 13′.
Obviously, I spoke about Marshall earlier, but can he play the position in college? Tom Tupa Jr. (Brecksville), Kyle Kempt (Massillon), Kyle Stahl (St. Henry) are three names in-state that stand out.
We Spoke about Green earlier and mentioned that he may be the only RB in the class.
There are quite a few names floating around already either way. Guys like Chris Davis (Colerain), Willaim Houston (Dublin Scioto), DeVeon Smith (Warren Howland), and LeShun Daniels (Warren Harding) are a few to look out for.
This is a position that looks very bright in the future with Devin Smith and Evan Spencer already on the field and Frank Epitropoulos and Roger Lewis already in the fold for 2012.
So how many will we look to take in 2013? I say at least one, maybe two.
From Shaker Heights, Deniro Laster has great size at 6’3” 21o. He really shows the ability to go up and get the ball and is clearly a physical receiver. He also showed well in camps over the summer and is clearly an Ohio player to watch.
Kevin Gladney (Akron Firestone), at 6’4” 175, is another in-state receiver with great size. He looks very smooth on film and shows great ability going up and getting the ball and its highest point. He also has the ability to run after the catch.
Two other instate receivers to watch are Trey Kilgore (St. X) and Rob Wheelwright (Walnut Ridge), brother of Ernie Wheelwright (Minnesota WR).
With Blake Thomas in the fold in 2012, this is another position we could pass on in 2013.
Two names to watch are Mike Heurman (brother of frosh TE Jeff Heurman) out of FL and Jacob Matuska out of Bishop Hartley in Ohio.
Matuska is already 6’5” 240 and has great size. Matuska was in attendance last weekend for the Akron game. I look for him to rise up the recruiting charts soon.
This is a real position of need. The Buckeyes are struggling to field a full 2-deep with scholarship o-lineman right now.
I look for an offer or two to go out soon and I also look for us to try and take four or more linemen in this class.
The only OOS name that is really on the radar right now is David Dawson out of Michigan. Unfortunately he attends a feeder school to Michigan. He has been in attendance to a game though, so you never know.
In-state looks to be another solid year.
OT Evan Lisle (Centerville) maybe the top name right now. He showed well last weekend on TV, especially when Centerville was forced to pass as their option attack was being shut down. He looks like a tackle prospect, but it remains to be seen if his feet are good enough to play on the left side.
Lovell Peterson (Huber Heights Wayne) is probably the top interior prospect in Ohio. He was Braxton Miller’s center last year, and is already at 6’4” 285.
Alex Gall (Moeller), Steve Mathie (Glen Oak), Xzavier McCallister (Canton McKinely), and Kyle Meadows (Lakota West) are four that should get a long look from Ohio State.
We spoke about Billy Price and Tashawn Bower already. Defensive line is always a position that we like to take 3 or 4 every year, so there will likely be a few more in the class.
Taco Charlton (Pickerington Central) is the top DE in state. He is a freak athletically and is already 6’6” 240. He is raw in terms of technic, but you can’t teach his athleticism.
Cross town rival Pickerington North also has a DE getting early attention in Jake Butt. Antoher physical specimen at 6’6” 215, he plays in a LEO type role as a standup DE for his HS. He has some solid technique already with a good spin move and bull rush.
DT Elijah Daniel is an Indiana kid that is getting early looks from bigger schools, including Ohio State.
Henry Poggi is a kid out of Maryland to watch. His brother was a 2010 recruit that is currently at Iowa, so he has ties to the midwest. We have extended an early offer, but he is a long shot.
IL DT Colin Goebel is the cousin of Garret Goebel and a player to watch. He could play OL as well.
Michael McCray is a 6’4” 218 lb athlete out of Trotwood Madison that plays OLB that could grow into a LEO in our defensive scheme. He is very atheletic and is starting to get some big time looks.
This will be a real position of need for the 2013 class and Jaylon Smith is obviously the headliner at this point. The Buckeyes will probably two more in the class.
Ben Gedeon (Hudson) is a kid that already has offers from Michigan and PSU. At 6’3” 215 has great size. He lines up everywhere on the field. RB, FB, QB, WR, TE, LB and really shows off his athleticism on film. He reminds me of Andrew Sweat with his ability to fight off blockers and deliver a blow to the ball carrier.
Darrien Howard (Chaminade Julienne) is a prototypical Mike LB. He is 6’1 240 already. He has the size, just not the hips to turn and run and move side to side. Despite this, he will be in the mix for an offer.
Tim Kinbrough out of Indiana is a big time prospect that his right behind Jaylon Smith for top LB in Indiana. He is another player that could get an offer and get a long look.
Courtney Love (Cardinal Mooney) just received an offer from Nebraska (not surprising given Pelini’s connections). He is a smaller type OLB. He could even be a star type player at Ohio State. He loves to fill gaps and makes lots of plays in the backfield. He also plays QB for Mooney.
We have already spoke about Burrows, Day, and Woodard.
I say we take 4 or 5 in the class so the Buckeyes will likely be looking for at least one more.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ross Douglass (Avon) as our next offer. He looks like a very good cover guy despite being undersized. Has really performed well at multiple camps, and I am very impressed with his film.
Another player to watch is Jalyn Powell (Warren Harding). He plays a lot of RB for them, but he has great size for a SS. He really stands out on film , whether he is running the ball, catching the ball, or making big hits. He just oozes athleticism on film.
Solomon Warfield (St. Eds) is another in-state safety to watch.
That is alot to take in for one update, but it will be fun to watch how this class fills in over the next year and half.
There are loads of talented players that the Buckeyes are already in on. It will be interesting watching how the coaching situtation works itself out as well, which will clearly have an impact on the class (even though most of the players love the Buckeyes, not necessarily one coach or another).
One name that I didn’t include is Dymonte Thomas. He is probably a top 10 player in the state at S or RB. But he is Michigan lean at this point and Ohio State not offerings yet tells me they feel he is going elsewhere.