When looking at offensive line recruiting, it is simplest to break things down into two categories: interior players and tackles.
Boren and Elflein could play defense, and O’Connor could play right tackle- but for right now two tackles and three interior players is what the 2012 class looks like.
Looking ahead to 2013, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are hoping to add depth across the board, but they will be focusing largely on tackles yet again.
Right now the staff is primarily targeting national players, but there are plenty of Ohio linemen that can earn an offer at camp as well.
Here is the breakdown.
Starting with tackles, the name at the top of the list is Evan Lisle out of Centerville, Ohio.
Listed at 6’6″ 265, Lisle has a great frame to go along with above average athleticism- he can run well at the second level and get to his blocks in open space (highlights).
I see right tackle in his future.
Rated as a four-star by Rivals, Lisle currently holds offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Miami (FL) among others.
Even with such an impressive list, being an Ohio kid from an extremely Buckeye-friendly school, it would be quite the shock if Lisle doesn’t commit to Ohio State.
The Buckeyes are going head-to-head with some of the top programs in the country for each player, but Ohio State appears to be in as good of shape as anyone right now.
Landing two players from that group would be outstanding- more than two would be Urban-esque.
Both have early offers from Ohio State, but it is too early to tell if the interest is mutual.
The Buckeyes won’t have a legitimate shot at either unless they visit.
Finally, registering as “no chance” for the Buckeyes is five-star Laremy Tunsil out of Florida.
He won’t be leaving the SEC to play college ball, but falls under the category of “too good not to offer”.
All three are solidly on Ohio State’s radar but have not been offered. Each will likely be evaluated and have the opportunity to earn an offer at summer camp- if they don’t receive one before then.
Additional offers, regardless of the timing, will hinge largely on what happens with the players further up the board.
Switching to the interior line, the need here obviously isn’t as high.
This is due to two things: the Buckeyes landed a big class of mostly interior linemen in 2011, and tackles can move down to guard much easier than guards can move to tackle (see: Bryant Browning).
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a tackle or two on the board slide down to guard if they choose to come to Ohio State- which would eliminate the need to specifically target interior linemen.
One projected interior player worth mentioning is Lovell Peterson from Wayne High School (where Braxton Miller went).
Peterson doesn’t have many early offers, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him blow up over the summer.
He could be the next in line to fulfill Ohio State’s tradition of producing great centers, but that will obviously hinge on if he is offered and if he chooses Ohio State.
Outside of Evan Lisle, things are relatively uncertain along the line in terms of players Ohio State currently leads for.
As mentioned, the Buckeyes appear to have an above average shot at many of the players on the board, but things can and do change rapidly in the world of recruiting.
It is a safe bet to assume that several of the national players will become a part of the class, but determining exactly who those players are is difficult.
Another thing that is difficult at this stage is guessing the number of linemen that will be a part of the class. The total will likely be close to five again, but it may push even higher- particularly if more than a few of the national players come on board.
When it comes to numbers, it will be especially interesting to see what happens with the Ohio linemen who are on the radar but not yet offered.
Most of the offered players to this point are from out-of-state, which is noteworthy- particularly as it is a far cry from the Bollman led recruiting efforts of the past decade.
That is clearly not a bad thing, but targeting so many out-of-staters is certainly a new experience. The hope, obviously, is for improved play along the line, but that is something that won’t be determined for several years.
When you swing for the fences with national players you are bound to miss sometimes. This is a concern for Ohio State, especially when you have talent in your own back yard that you are holding off on offering.
Having Urban Meyer in charge helps to alleviate that concern somewhat, but it is certainly still there at this point in the recruiting cycle.
As always, remember to check out our 2013 Recruiting Board (located in the ‘recruiting’ drop down bar at the top of the page) for all the latest news on Ohio State recruiting.