Ohio State Recruiting: 2013 Running Backs

Written March 1st, 2012 by Joe Laing
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Howland's DeVeon Smith is the top back from Ohio in the 2013 class.

Talking about running back recruiting has been a nice treat for Ohio State over the past several years given the level of success we have seen.

After last year’s class of Warren Ball and Brionte Dunn, the position isn’t the biggest need this year, although the staff is clearly looking to add at least one back to the 2013 class.

When it comes to depth, the team lost Herron (graduation) and Berry (who knows)  and Hall will be gone after next season- all of which opens up room on the depth chart.

Under coach Meyer, the type of back being targeted could be changing slightly, and not because he doesn’t want a big back like Beanie Wells or Brionte Dunn.

Meyer is looking for two distinct kinds of player, the big bruisers to go along with the backs he can split out wide and play at receiver as well.

There is talk of room for only one running back  in this class, but there are guys on the big board that you make a spot for if they want to be Buckeyes regardless of numbers.

Right now there are nine players out there that have an offer- whether they all have a true OFFER or a “hey, are you interested in Ohio State?” offer; only the coaching staff knows for sure.

Here is a look at the players on the board.

Just because I like to be biased towards Ohio guys, I will start with DeVeon Smith out of Howland high school. At 5’11” 195, Smith is a work horse who seemingly averages at least 150 yards and two TDs in every game he plays.

DeVeon will be in the running for Mr. Ohio next year and the top RB in the state.  I look for over 2,500 yards and 25 TDs during his senior campaign (junior highlights).

Smith fits more in the ‘big back’ role in Meyer’s system.  The 195 weight might make you think otherwise, but he runs with good pad level, doesn’t go down on first contact, and has good vision- although he lacks elite speed.

He has lit up Warren Harding each of the last two years which really says something about his ability.

I don’t think Ohio kids get offers to gauge interest from the Buckeyes, especially not the top RB in the state, so I have this in the OFFER category.

Smith will probably see other offers trickle in if he waits awhile but this is an old fashion tOSU/Michigan battle.

Michigan is after him pretty hard and he has mentioned that he grew up a Michigan fan, but I would never count Urban out for an Ohio kid.

Next on the list is Virginia’s Derrick Green (6’0″ 218).

Green has been on Buckeye fan’s radar since the middle of 2010 when he came to OSU summer camp and took the RB MVP award home. Around that time, he mentioned that he is an Ohio State fan and wears the #27 for a reason.

It also doesn’t hurt that he calls Curtis Grant his big brother.

Like Thomas, Green falls in the ‘big back’ category. Unlike Thomas, Green ran a 4.41 in the 40 at camp last summer. Needless to say, that is blazing for a back pushing 220.

Derrick Green passes the "look" test with flying colors- he also runs a 4.4 40.

On film, Green shows plenty of straight line speed; he gets north and south quickly. He has the wiggle to make guys miss, but he will run you over and always fall forward.

Green should be a guy that hits the all-star circuit after the season and be a high four- if not a five-star player when all is said and done.

He is starting to collect offers from all over the country: tOSU, Oklahoma, UVA, VT, Michigan, Wisconsin, PSU, etc…

He said he will wait until his birthday in mid February 2013  to make a commitment, but I think if he is going to be in this class, Meyer will know his intentions long before that.

I fully expect Green to be a Buckeye.

After talking about the two big backs at the top of the board, I get to talk about my favorite back in the class. In fact, he might be the top prospect on Ohio State’s radar overall.

That would be Illinois running back Ty Isaac (6’3 202).

Isaac is a guy that could easily play receiver, but his vision and ability to get through the line and take it to the house from the backfield is uncanny.

He rushed for 515 yards and 6 TDs on 26 carries  in the Illinois state championship game this year…and his team still lost.

Watching him run is unreal; he has such strong strides that allow him to make cuts with great acceleration and power through would-be tacklers.

Landing Isaac’s signature will be a battle. If he is not the top RB in the country I would really like to see who is- fittingly, he can choose any college he wants to attend.

He has been to Columbus already for a visit and wants to come back.

Smith, Green and Isaac are the top three targets- here is a quick overview of the rest of the players that have offers:

FL RB Greg Bryant (5’11″ 200) has Oklahoma as the early favorite.

NC RB T.J. Logan (5’11″ 188) is your definition of speed- his coach said he ran a 4.3.  South Carolina is the early favorite here.

MO RB Ezekial Elliot (6’0″ 195) is the top recruit in MO. He is a top hurdler in the country and probably a top 100 kid.  His dad played football at Mizzou, which puts them on top along with tOSU.

FL RB Ryan Green (5’10” 195) favors FL, Miami, and ND.  He is a very good looking speed back, but it looks like Ohio State may already be off his radar.

VA RB Taquan Mizzell (5’10” 195) might be the best back in the state of Virginia- which is saying something considering Derrick Green is from Virginia.

PA RB David Williams (6’0″ 183) is another speed back.  He is from Philly and says that he grew up a fan of tOSU and is a friend of Philly Brown.

When all is said and done on signing day next year, I am really not sure what to predict with Ohio State’s running back class.

Once again, it has been said that players are being told Ohio State will only take one.

If true, that gives Meyer plenty of flexibility to send out feeler offers and continue to go after the best of the best.

Going by talent alone, my top three wish list would be Ty Issac, Derrick Green, and  Ezekial Elliot.

I think we land one of Smith/Green- if not both, and we take Issac or another national stud that can be more of a speed guy with the ability to play receiver.

Honestly, it looks like there are going to be some guys that we could land that Ohio State is going to be forced to say no to.

All I can say is that Meyer isn’t recruiting a five-star or two and then some okay recruits; this offer list is a who’s who of running backs in the country and each one will have their pick of schools.

I am not sure how much time this will take to play out, but over the next few months there will be quite a bit of movement.

4 Comments

  1. JimNo Gravatar
    March 1st, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I have to disagree with Joe regarding Ty Isaac. He is a great talent no doubt with a very impressive highlight reel, but I question the level of competition he is playing against.

    To gain so many yards against another team in a state title game says something about the level of play in my opinion… and to still lose that game says even more.

    He is literally not even touched by the defense on many of his long runs- which I think says more about the defense than it does about Isaac’s skill, but that is a matter of opinion.

    Either way, I don’t believe Ohio State has all that great a shot at landing him.

    I would be happy to take either Smith/Green along with one of the speed backs- Logan, Elliot, Mizzell, Williams (who I don’t think are included in the “only take one back” talk due to being viewed as utility players for Meyer).

    Given the respective childhood fandom of Smith and Green, it would be a shame to see Smith head to Michigan, but if that ultimately happens Green choosing the Buckeyes based on his childhood fandom would help ease the pain.

    Bottom line? I’d be extremely happy with Green and a utility speedster (which could be Isaac) in the class.

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  2. Joe DexterNo Gravatar
    March 1st, 2012 at 11:40 am

    How dare you discredit Issac. He is a winner. He attends the same Academy that the one and only RUDY attended :)

    He must have something wrong with him though, cause one of his early favorites is TTUN.

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  3. Ben HNo Gravatar
    March 1st, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Green, Williams (or Mizzel), and Smith (if he doesn’t go to TTUN and I REALLY hope he doesn’t). Forget Ty Issac…he isn’t going to OSU no matter how many times he visits. I doubt it anyways…and I agree with Jim…those teams I saw him running against seemed looked like melted butter. There’s better defenses in D-VI in Ohio (Delphos St. Johns, Marion Stein Local and so many many more).

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  4. RemNo Gravatar
    March 2nd, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    great work!!! keep up the recruiting info!!!

    [Reply]

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