Ohio State Recruiting Update: Still Going Strong

Written January 16th, 2012 by Jim

After this weekend’s recruiting visits, Urban Meyer isn’t slowing down even a little bit on the recruiting trail.

Obviously the biggest news over the weekend was the commitment of offensive tackle Taylor Decker.

Securing a tackle was priority number one for this class, and Decker fills the need with flying colors.

Greedily, I’d like to see more movement along the offensive line in the near future, and chances are I will get my wish.

Here is a recap of the weekend and a look forward.

Offensive Line

The offer this weekend to CO OL Joey O’Connor indicates that the coaching staff is thinking along the same lines as me when it comes to the line.

Although O’Connor is projected by the staff on the interior, attrition has opened up some spots in the class and I, for one, am very excited about the possibility of adding him into the mix.

Once again, I direct you to the video evidence (junior highlights, senior highlights) for all the convincing one needs.

O’Connor will go home to discuss the new Ohio State offer with his family- a commitment seems likely shortly afterward. He may wait until after his scheduled visit to Cal on the 28th to decide, but then again, he may not.

If/when O’Connor joins Decker, that leaves OH OL Kyle Dodson and IL OL Jordan Diamond as the primary targets left on the board.

My personal preference would be to take O’Connor and Dodson (a likely scenario) and call it a class, leaving some other school to worry about where Diamond will sign on NLOID.

Linebackers

Then there are the linebackers

IN LB David Perkins had a great visit to Ohio State this weekend ($), but he won’t be making a commitment anytime soon.

Dalton Santos, elite middle linebacker and a hot new name on Ohio State's radar.

The main consideration for Perkins seems to be what position he wants to play in college: linebacker or running back. If he decides that linebacker is the position for him Columbus seems like a likely destination.

With or without Perkins things are far from bleak at LB.

MA LB Camren Williams and teammate MA CB Armani Reeves are still scheduled to visit on January 18th. This will be Williams’ second trip to Columbus and he is bringing his mother with him this time.

I would be very surprised if Williams weren’t a Buckeye (you don’t visit twice and bring your mom with you the second time around for nothing), and it may just happen on or shortly after the 18th.

Reeves is a wildcard, although he could help fill the depth issues caused by recent attrition.

In other linebacker news, TX LB Dalton Santos did not visit Tennessee this weekend as scheduled(where he is currently a soft verbal commit) which is a bad sign for the Volunteers. Santos is scheduled to make an official visit to Columbus on January 28th, which is a good sign for the Buckeyes.

More positive news for Ohio State is that NC LB Jamal Marcus will be in Columbus this weekend. Although it will be a tough recruiting battle against Florida and ECU (he wants to stay close to home), getting him on campus can’t hurt.

Marcus is Joe’s favorite linebacker on the board, and after watching his film, you really can’t argue with him about that.

Finally, FL LB Joe Jackson is scheduled to visit Columbus on the 20th (although that may be up in the air) and NC LB Keilin Rayner is scheduled to visit on the 28th.

Right now it doesn’t seem likely that either one will be a part of the 2012 class.

I would very happily take any combination of Williams, Perkins, Santos, and Marcus and call it a class.

Cornerbacks

With the previously mentioned attrition, a new position of interest on the board is cornerback.

MA CB Armani Reeves is the primary target to join the class, but after that things are murky.

OH DB/LB Bam BradleyTX ATH De’Vante Harris (visiting on January 27th), TN DB Will Redmond,  and MD ATH Ronald Darby are all in the mix, but outside of Bradley, it is difficult to get a read on any of them.

Reeves and Harris are true CBs, while Bradley is a ‘star’ hybrid which makes him less of a priority in the class in my opinion.

Any combination of the three would be a nice addition to the class, but this seems like a spot where we might see additional offers and plenty of movement before signing day.

Offensive Weapons

Finally, that leaves the elusive but much sought after explosive offensive playmaker.

The big news this weekend was AZ WR Davonte Neal‘s visit to Columbus. He called the visit his “best yet” but that is far from the commitment that I was personally hoping for.

VA ATH Joel Caleb, TN RB Brian Kimbrow, and GA ATH Jordan Moore are all in the mix, but the longer this drags on (especially with no visits scheduled) the less likely it is that an explosive offensive player will be in the class.

Davonte Neal still seems to be the best bet here.

If Ohio State whiffs, I would be happy loading up on an extra linebacker or lineman, but I imagine Meyer is a bit more laser focused on getting a speedster into his offense than I am.

Along with the CBs, I expect a lot of movement here in the final weeks (unless Neal does us all a favor and finalizes this position with a commitment).

Best Guess

Joe

  • OL – Joey O’Connor
  • OL –  Kyle Dodson
  • LB – Camren Williams
  • S/LB – Bam Bradley
  • DB – Armani Reeves
  • ATH – Davonte Neal

Jim

  • OL – Joey O’Connor
  • OL – Kyle Dodson
  • LB – Camren Williams
  • LB – David Perkins/Dalton Santos
  • DB – Armani Reeves
  • Surprise – Davonte Neal/De’Vante Harris/Joel Caleb/surprise

We both projected six spots, but how many more players will be in this class will be the biggest surprise of all.

With the way players are dropping from the current team, who knows what the final number will ultimately be.

To reiterate, for every player lost a spot opens up  for an extra LB like Dalton Santos in the class, and that certainly isn’t a bad thing (especially with no bowl game, making next season basically a practice year to gain experience).

14 Comments

  1. C-DogNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Scout.com lists Neal as a cornerback rather than a wide receiver, and has him as their #5 at that position (pretty darn good). Here I see him called a WR. Which is it? Or is it both? What are the chances he comes in and makes an impact at a position beyond what an “athlete” usually does? Also, which of the two OTs left on the board (Dodson, Diamond) recently had surgery on his shoulder?

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    With the recent need and interest in CBs, Neal on the defensive side of the ball is an interesting idea.

    That said, I would be very surprised if he ended up on defense at Ohio State. In my opinion, Meyer is looking at him as an explosive offensive weapon all the way.

    De’Vante Harris is a similar two-way player in high school who could make an impact on either side of the ball in college. Opposite of Neal, I think he is being looked at exclusively on the defensive side of the ball.

    Either way, the versatility of these players is obviously a nice thing to be worried about.

    I hadn’t heard anything about shoulder surgery for the OTs, but a quick google search indicates that it is Dodson and he should be full go by summer (according to the google blurb).

    [Reply]

    JoeNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I like Neal with the ball in his hands, he is just too dangerous. I think he could easily play on the defensive side of the ball and make a huge impact, but much like Teddy when he was here, you just have to put the ball in his hands. Neal went to the UA game as a DB, but they needed WR’s so he switched to the Offensive side of the ball.

    [Reply]

  2. EricNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Neal would be great on either side but he rushed and received for over one thousand yard in each rushing and receiveing so sounds like a Percy Harvin to me.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 11:04 am

    It was my New Year’s resolution to stop comparing recruits to Percy Harvin- but yeah.

    [Reply]

    C-DogNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Thinking about Percy Harvin gives me migraines.

    [Reply]

  3. JimNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Looks like Neal won’t be making his college decision until March.

    The search for the ’12 difference maker on offense continues…

    Like I said, give me an extra LB or OL and call it a day.

    Robert Foster and Jalin Marshall will more than make up for any “misses” on offense this year.

    [Reply]

    EricNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Wow march, looks like he and Diamond really want to drag this out. I agree with you Jim get another LB or OL and move on.

    [Reply]

  4. JimNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    2013 OH CB Cam Burrows will announce his college decision on Thursday.

    Look for Ohio State’s 2013 recruiting class to get rolling in a big way on that day.

    [Reply]

  5. JoeNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Also Jamal Marcus has dropped Florida. Look for things to heat up when he is in town on his visit.

    I still like him best out of the 4 LB’s that we have left on the board.

    Marcus
    Williams
    Santos
    Perkins

    [Reply]

  6. RemNo Gravatar
    January 16th, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Thanks for the update! Please keep up the good work as frequent as possible heading into signing day.

    [Reply]

  7. ZbdNo Gravatar
    January 17th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    The number one QB Gunner Kiel changed his commitment again from LSU to Notre Dame. So Urban isn’t the only one to get a recruit to change for the better. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/story/2012-01-16/gunner-kiel-leaves-lsu-will-join-notre-dame/52607324/1

    [Reply]

  8. ChrisNo Gravatar
    January 19th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    ESPN is predicting Jamal Marcus to sign with OSU. ESPN said that is the only visit he has scheduled at this point.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    January 19th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    ESPN, as usual, has no idea what they are talking about.

    [Reply]

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