Ohio State’s Big Recruiting Weekend

Written December 12th, 2011 by Jim

Good weekend for the good guys.

By most reports, this weekend went just about as well as it possibly could have for Ohio State and their 2012 recruiting effort.

Many big time recruits made official visits to Columbus, including:

OH OL Kyle Dodson, IL OL Jordan Diamond, IL DT Tommy SchuttOH DE Se’Von Pittman, and OH RB Brionte Dunn.

They were joined by practically the entire (already committed) 2012 Ohio State class, including:

OH RB Warren Ball, OH WR Frank Epitropoulos, OH WR Roger Lewis, OH TE Blake Thomas, OH OL Jacoby Boren, OH OL/DL Patrick Elflein, OH LB Josh Perry, OH LB Luke Roberts, OH DB Devan Bogard, OH DB Najee Murray, and OH DB Tyvis Powell.

As you can see, there was plenty of pro Buckeye sentiment represented to help persuade the not-quite-Buckeyes.

Here are the latest updates on the players and the class.

QB

Although this isn’t really a position of need for the Buckeyes, AL QB Jameis Winston is the type of player that you don’t say no to. Winston will visit Ohio State ($), but this recruitment will likely drag on ($) until at least signing day.

There are no other QBs on the board at this time.

RB

As mentioned, OH RB Brionte Dunn visited Ohio State this weekend. He is also scheduled to visit that school up north next weekend and has in home visits with both head coaches still to come.

This is obviously a two horse race, but when a supposedly committed player is still looking around that is not a good sign. If he doesn’t end up making the trip next weekend that would obviously be cause for some optimism, but with the trip on, temper your expectations accordingly.

Anything could happen, but this one is certainly not sending out good vibrations at the moment.

I hope the song made you feel a little better (click the ‘good vibrations’ link) because Dunn is in the sad land of ‘soft’ verbals.

WR

I have AZ WR Davonte Neal listed as a WR on our 2012 Big Board, but he is likely being looked at to fill the “Percy Harvin” role in Meyer’s offense.

Stan Drayton visited Neal last week ($) and he would like to set up an official visit to Columbus.

OL

That sinking feeling in your gut over Dunn is exactly what Badger fans are feeling right now with OH OL Kyle Dodson thanks to the Buckeyes.

IL OL Jordan Diamond also had a great visit ($) but will visit Auburn and Arkansas before making a final decision.

As I said, things couldn’t have gone much better this weekend, so there is room for a healthy amount of optimism for both players.

The fact that there hasn’t been much action in terms of other offers (which certainly hasn’t been the case with other positions) could be an indication that the coaching staff are also feeling relatively confident here.

DE

Spartan fans get their chance to share the ‘pit in your stomach’ soft verbal feeling with OH DE Se’Von Pittman. There is room for a healthy amount of optimism here as well.

Based on offers, it seems clear that Meyer would like to sign more than one additional DE in this class and the final spot will likely come down to PA DE Noah Spence, NJ DE Darius Hamilton, or FL DE Dante Fowler.

Spence will be visiting Ohio State on the 17th and will likely be choosing between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions.

Ohio State is a contender to receive Hamilton’s last official visit, which will come down to Rutgers, Southern California, and Ohio State. He visited Florida this weekend, will visit California next weekend, with Tennessee and probably Oklahoma scheduled in January. His final decision certainly won’t be made anytime soon and he likely won’t be in Columbus anytime soon (if at all) either.

After an initial surge in interest surrounding Fowler after Meyer was hired, there hasn’t been much buzz recently surrounding his recruitment… at least not on the Ohio State front.

DT

Meyer clearly wants to take at least one DT in this class.

IL DT Tommy Schutt visited Columbus this weekend and the buzz has been particularly positive concerning his experience. Penn State, it’s your turn to share the ‘soft verbal’ blues.

In what now seems like an unlikely scenario, if Schutt doesn’t come to Columbus NY DT Ekpen Iduoze also visited this weekend and could be Meyer’s back up plan.

LB

Given the recent offers, Meyer definitely wants at least one more LB in this class.

MA LB Camren Williams will be visiting with his father (teammate of Vrabel with the Patriots) in the next few days and not coincidentally he recently received an offer from the Buckeyes. He is certainly a player to keep an eye on moving forward, especially when you consider the connection to Vrabel. Interestingly enough, he is currently considered another Penn State ‘soft verbal’.

NC LB Jamal Marcus and IN LB David Perkins look to be the other primary targets on the board right now (Ifeadi Odenigbo has dropped off significantly).

Marcus plans to decide in mid-January and he would like to visit Ohio State and Florida before that. His decision will likely be between Ohio State, Florida, and North Carolina. Meyer is rumored to be interested in two major defensive coaches and primary recruiters at both schools (D.J. Durkin at Florida and Everett Withers at North Carolina) which may ultimately factor in to this recruitment (especially Withers).

Ohio State is in Perkins’ final five schools and he will be visiting Columbus on January 14th.

ATH

As most people know by now, MD ATH Cyrus Jones and MD ATH Stefon Diggs are the top targets to fill the ‘Harvin’ role for Meyer (I am already sick of calling it that, remind me to think of something else soon).

Jones will visit Ohio State on the 16th and he will likely choose between Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Auburn, or Alabama.

Diggs plans to visit Ohio State but does not have anything finalized yet.

Other players on the board are VA ATH Joel Caleb and FL ATH Nelson Agholor.

Caleb has already visited Columbus but will likely wait until signing day before making his college decision.

Agholor does not have any reported plans to visit Columbus at this time.

Meyer’s back up plan could be OH ATH Tyler Foster of Canton McKinley.

Best Guess

OL: Kyle Dodson

OL: Jordan Diamond

DL: Se’Von Pittman

DL: Tommy Schutt

DL: Noah Spence

LB: Jamal Marcus/David Perkins/Camren Williams

ATH: Stefon Diggs/Cyrus Jones/Joel Caleb/Tyler Foster

With the way Meyer has been moving and shaking, it’s a good idea to leave a space or two open for a few (more) surprises in the coming weeks as well.

If Dunn decides to skip his trip north next weekend you can throw him on there as well.

Remember to check out our Recruiting Big Boards (’12, ’13, ’14) for links to all of the latest news and discussion on Ohio State’s targeted and offered players via Buckeye Planet.

14 Comments

  1. JoeNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Dodson, Diamond, Pittman, Schutt, Spence…I Would put all in the in category as of right now.

    Cyrus Jones seems like the top one in terms of best chance in the athlete/WR category.

    I still think Dunn comes to Ohio State, but anyone saying they know for sure at the moment is truly guessing…Kid is truly torn between going to a good program and getting early playing time, and playing with friends, or going to a great program and seeing a stacked depth chart and playing for titles…

    And I am going to go out on a limb and say that Meyer finds a way to convince Winston to be part of this class.

    Jamal Marcus is the top pick for me at LB, but it has been hard to read how many Meyer might want and who might be the leading candidate right now.

    So as of right now…I say we get the first 5, land Jones, Winston, a LB, and keep ahold of Dunn.

    [Reply]

  2. MartyNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I think we’re seeing the fundamental differences between OSU recruiting strategies of the past (find the guy, hone in, play upon honor of being a Buckeye, pray) and the new scope of the Urban Meyer era which employs Plan B’s, C’s, and even D’s.

    That said, I think Dunn goes north for the ability to be the featured back.

    [Reply]

  3. JoeNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I agree. It is a totally different recruiting strategy and i don’t think anyone is going to or can say that Tress’ recruiting strategy didn’t work and didn’t produce very good results. But what Meyer’s strategy does is cause for much more information and more fun to follow.

    I think the gotchas in Tress’ system were, not enough follow up at times for kids that needed more constant attention like they were getting from other schools and we missed out on some kids that we should have landed.

    The gotchas in Meyer’s system are do these kids really want to be Buckeyes or are they just looking to play D-I football and a big time football school. Not saying that these aren’t ok, but as we saw at Florida there will be kids transfer out, or be disgruntled due to playing time.

    Both things that can be worked around, and both systems have showed they can be effective. We will have more raw talent under Meyer, but are they as disciplined of kids and are they looking out for a close team environment or themselves.

    [Reply]

  4. Nelson BakerNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Gotta have Dunn!! Great start to Urban’s head to head battles with Hoke!!

    *this post has been edited due to language concerns.

    [Reply]

    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I think you goofed the edit- you left in the “H” word, and didn’t cut out the polysyllabic ones (so scUM fans can read it, too).

    [Reply]

  5. BonayNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Well done. Thanks Jim. These next two weeks should be very interesting…

    [Reply]

  6. ChrisNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    What about Ifeadi Odenigbo?

    [Reply]

  7. JoeNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Not going to happen…

    [Reply]

  8. aaron nihartNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Need to recruit in state prospects harder than put of state… That’s the only thing I think Meyer needs to change.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I have a feeling Meyer will recruit his targets with an equal amount of tenacity regardless of what their home state happens to be.

    Meyer is no fool, he will pull plenty of players from Ohio- potentially flipping two already committed Ohio prospects in two weeks on the job is extremely impressive proof of that.

    Meyer will also pull plenty of national prospects and anyone hoping to see an 80-20 split of Ohio dominated classes will likely be disappointed.

    [Reply]

  9. RodNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Feel good about Gilmans Cyrus Jones being a Buckeye. Ex Buckeye LB Stan White who played for the Baltimore Colts is the Defensive Coordinator at his high school and Stan White Jr who played on the 2002 Buckeye Championship team also is a coach on staff. Seen him play in person and he is a human highlight film.

    [Reply]

  10. JohnNo Gravatar
    December 12th, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    we’re loaded at RB — Dunn is great, but if we can afford to lose one position it’s a RB, (esp. in favor of an OL or DL)
    In other words – I’d trade Dunn for someone like Spence, or even Kozan

    [Reply]

  11. EricNo Gravatar
    December 13th, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    The editor of GoBlueWolverine, and host of Michigan Insider on WTKA radio reported today that Dunn will not be taking his visit to Michigan.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    December 13th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Obviously this is an encouraging development.

    [Reply]

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