Ohio State Recruiting: Spring Game Extravaganza!

Written April 19th, 2012 by Joe Laing

Tell me if you have heard this one before: it will be a huge recruiting weekend in Columbus.

Although some recruiting excitement has trickled in over the past several weeks, most observers expect the floodgates to really open this weekend at Ohio State.

That flood may have started a day or two early with OH DL Tracy Sprinkle and TX QB J.T. Barrett becoming commitments 9 and 10 for the 2013 recruiting class over the past two days.

I don’t expect the number to hold at 10 for much longer.

Dozens of recruits will be visiting Columbus to take in the Spring Game this weekend (thus the title)- with the headliners being PA LB Alex Anzalone and FL DL Joey Bosa.

Anzalone was once rumored to be a Florida lean, but that seems to have turned towards Ohio State- the same can be said for Bosa, who reportedly had Alabama out in front until the Buckeyes made a recent push.

The fact that both will be attending the Spring Game on Saturday speaks volumes.

I’m not sure if weekend commitments can be expected from either player, but at this point I don’t think anything would be surprising with the way Meyer is recruiting.

While those two have the most buzz surrounding them, they are far from the only recruits making the trip.

Here is a look at some of the other players visiting this weekend.

2013 QB recruiting is likely on hold, but 2014 Kentucky prospect Drew Barker is already standing out in the next class.

Quarterback

The two QB’s that will be in attendance are 2013 PA QB Chavas Rawlins and 2014 KY QB Drew Barker.

Despite Rawlins making a return visit (although he doesn’t have an offer), I don’t expect to hear much in terms of QB recruiting until after summer camp when the coaches have a chance to see some more guys throw.

The initial thought was that Ohio State was looking at taking two QBs in the 2013 class, but with J.T. Barrett on board the staff may turn their attention to other positions of need.

At the very least, the coaches will almost certainly wait until after camp and their in-person evaluations before making a strong push for a second QB.

Drew Barker is an early name for 2014 and a big-time player to watch closely. He was in Columbus earlier this week and is coming back for the weekend- so clearly he has plenty of interest in the Buckeyes.

Throw in Coach Coombs, who is the master at recruiting SW Ohio and Kentucky, and it is easy to see Barker as a top QB on the 2014 board.

Running Back

The lone RB in attendance will be VA RB Derrick Green.

I think most expect that if there is a second back in the class to go along with Ezekial Elliott it will be Green. Outside of that, it seems unlikely that the Buckeyes would take a second RB at this point.

Green visited Clemson for their Spring Game recently and has named them as a favorite, but if Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes make a strong push it is hard to see him not coming to Columbus.

There has been talk of moving his decision up from post signing day 2013, as he had originally talked about, which seems like a good sign if Green were to join the Buckeyes before the limited class numbers fill up.

It will come down to whether the Buckeyes want two RBs in the class or not, and based on numbers, it clearly isn’t a necessity.

This weekend could be the start of a strong push for Kentucky WR James Quick.

Wide Receiver

Two WRs will be in attendance: 2013 KY WR James Quick and 2014 IN WR Dominique Booth.

I believe that Quick could easily be added to the headliners that were mentioned in the intro- but the buzz about commits from the other two is what pushes them over the top.

The vibe is trending in the right direction with Quick as well, though, which  could have something to do with the recent news that the Buckeyes have moved on from PA WR Robert Foster.

Speculation is that Louisville is the early leader for Quick, but as usual, if the Buckeyes make a strong push they are very much in play.

The visit this weekend could be the start of just such a push.

Dominique Booth’s name is very new to the radar and one to watch for in the 2014 class.  He already holds 7 early offers, although not from Ohio State currently.

Tight End

The lone TE in attendance will be 2013 FL TE Mike Heuerman.  I don’t think it is really going out on a limb to say that a weekend commitment could be in the works from him.

Heuerman along with Marcus Baugh would make for a top notch TE class.

Notre Dame is making a late push for Heuerman, which could throw a wrench in those plans. He has visited South Bend multiple times recently, so that is something to watch out for, particularly if the recruitment drags on beyond his currently planned announcement date on the 27th.

Similar to the QBs, it initially seemed like the target number was two in the class, but if Heuerman is starting to look Notre Dame’s way, it is not hard to see the staff sticking with Baugh and turning their attention to other positions of need.

Offensive Line

Two linemen are slated to be in attendance: 2013 OH OL Kyle Meadows and 2013 OH OL Dylan Wiseman.

At this point neither have been offered, making them unlikely members of the 2013 class.

That, of course, can change following camps or a stellar senior season.

IL OL Ethan Pocic and NJ OL Marcell Lazard remain at the top of the board, but neither are scheduled to be in Columbus this weekend.

Perhaps the biggest recruiting news is Joey Bosa's return visit to Columbus.

Defensive Line

The D-linemen set to be in attendance are 2013 FL DL Joey Bosa, 2013 IN DL Elijah Daniel, 2013 NC DE Lewis Neal , and 2013 MA DT Maurice Hurst, Jr..

As we talked about earlier, Bosa is the name to really keep an eye on as one of the headliners.

The news has been very positive out of the Bosa circle following his visit to Columbus earlier this week.

A commitment would be great on his return visit, but don’t get upset if it doesn’t happen right away- this one is trending strongly in the right direction as evidenced by two visits in less than a week.

Elijah Daniel has long been rumored to be looking to head south, but his trip this weekend is a positive sign for the Buckeyes. There is a long way to go in this recruitment, but like any player, getting him on campus is a great first step.

Lewis Neal is very similar to 2012 NC LB Jamal Marcus (even beyond the same home state). He is listed as a DE but may be getting looked at as a LB by the Buckeyes.

Maurice Hurst Jr. is a unique player. His father played CB in the NFL with the Patriots and he is a defensive linemen. Unsurprising, he shows a tremendous amount of quickness for his size and position.

Mike Vrabel is leading his recruitment, and the Patriots connection makes it one to watch (Camren Williams, anyone?).

With Sprinkle committing and the positive news surrounding Bosa, it will be interesting to see if the Buckeyes continue to pursue defensive linemen.

If they do, a true space eating DT would seemingly be at the top of the list- but that is just my opinion. If a guy like Elijah Daniel wants to commit you make room for him.

Linebacker

There are currently four linebackers set to be in attendance: 2013 PA LB Alex Anzalone, 2013 OH LB Courtney Love, 2013 IN LB Tim Kimbrough, and  2013 OH LB William Houston.

We looked at the linebackers in depth earlier this week, so check that out if you haven’t already.

As mentioned at the top, Anzalone is one of the headliners this weekend. His decision to come to Columbus over trips to South Bend and Happy Valley is a very positive sign for the Buckeyes.

Similar to Bosa, expecting a weekend commitment might be a bit premature, but this one is certainly trending in the right direction.

With the Anzalone recruitment going well and Jaylon Smith still available, the news surrounding Courtney Love has been hot and cold.

A weekend commitment from Love would not surprise me, but the staff may want to hold off until they know more about the rest of the class.

Tim Kimbrough is in a similar position to Love. Some insiders think that he will receive an offer soon, but that might depend on what the rest of the class looks like.

If Kimbrough does receive an offer, he would instantly jump to the top of the ‘likely’ Buckeyes list.

That could happen this weekend (even a commitment), but once again, the staff may want to hold off.

We will find out soon enough.

Floridian Mackensie Alexander is the headliner amongst the defensive backs.

Defensive Back

This is a group of visitors that I am really not sure what to expect from, and there are a lot of them.

They include: 2013 FL DB Mackensie Alexander, 2013 OH DB Caleb Day, 2013 OH DB Christopher Worley, 2013 FL DB Meckenro Alexander, 2013 OH DB Reon Dawson, and 2014 OH DB Devon Rogers.

Getting Mackesnie Alexander on campus is a big step, but it is hard to get a read on his recruitment (he already committed and then de-committed from Tennessee) and there is seemingly a long way to go.

If the Buckeyes are looking at adding one more corner (which would seem ideal, especially if Cam Burrows moves to safety) then Alexander could fit the bill nicely.

As mentioned last week in our defensive backs preview, both Day and Worley are guys to keep an eye on as likely commits, but like Courtney Love, the staff may be waiting (for various reasons) before accepting a commitment.

Day may have grade issues and the staff might want to see him in person at camp, while Worley could play a number of positions (linebacker in addition to DB) which makes his place in the class uncertain.

Out of all the positions, defensive backs is definitely the hardest one to get a read on at this time- although that could clear up somewhat in the next few days.

Athlete

2013 KY ATH Ryan Timmons 2014 OH ATH Dareian Watkins will be in attendance as well- there isn’t much to say about either at this time.

____________________

Four 2013 commitments will also be in attendance (Eli Woodard, Jayme Thompson, Cam Burrows, Tracy Sprinkle) along with a large portion of the 2012 class not participating in spring practice.

They will all no doubt be putting in some recruiting work of their own with the uncommitted players, which should put the Buckeyes in a better position with many of the big time players in attendance.

All in all, it looks to be an amazing weekend for Ohio State recruiting and I am very much looking forward to watching the fireworks (along with the Spring Game, of course).

7 Comments

  1. AndersonNo Gravatar
    April 19th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Great article!

    [Reply]

  2. DaleNo Gravatar
    April 19th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    This is a great article. So many kids to look at. Meyers certainly will be very busy trying to reach out to all these kids at one time and convince them to commit. I liked the video on Bosa and Chavas Rawlins. It seems like this recruiting effort is like overbooking a plane flight. Sign up as many as you can and then see who drops off. We’ve seen Meyer’s take aways from other programs and I wonder how many you can realistically hold on to until they do sign on the dotted line.

    These kids can change their minds anytime after a verbal commit. No wonder the Head coaching job is so mentally draining trying to keep all these kids happy so they don’t change their minds.

    [Reply]

  3. DaleNo Gravatar
    April 19th, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Who couldn’t love a kid named “Tracy Sprinkle” or “Courtney Love”

    Can I hear and Amen and a Hallelujah!

    [Reply]

  4. stuartNo Gravatar
    April 19th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    have seen ryan timmons play, he is awesome

    [Reply]

  5. stuartNo Gravatar
    April 19th, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    ryan timmons also plays a great game of basketball

    [Reply]

  6. Ethan McGheeNo Gravatar
    April 20th, 2012 at 12:54 am

    So we all know how good Mackenzie Alexander is but how good is his brother Meckenro Alexander and is he a safety not a corner like his brother… also if mackenzie committed would we still take Vonn Bells commitment…. nothing aganist Jayme thompson we took him to early don’t you think… could be a roger lewis where he doesn’t end up with us…. Then Tracy Sprinkle we could have waited but if Chase Farris is on the aquad than sprinkle deserves to be….

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    April 20th, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Update on the visits, the Alexanders won’t be making the trip, which basically eliminates them from consideration in the class (unless they make the trip in the future, which seems unlikely).

    I think Vonn Bell is the #1 target at safety right now (even over Dymonte Thomas) and things are looking good on that front. Bell has repeatedly talked about how Ohio State was the visit that stood out the most to him.

    I think the staff saw a ton of potential in Jayme Thompson, which is why they went after him hard. That is good enough for me. That goes for Tracy Sprinkle as well.

    It is important to note that if a kid doesn’t attend camps and combines hosted by the recruiting services, chances are they will not be highly ranked. None of the recruiting services were even aware of Sprinkle until Ohio State offered.

    So to sum up, Alexander is out of the picture, we are still looking for a safety and Vonn Bell is looking good, and don’t worry too much about the commitments from underrated players… if Meyer likes them enough to accept an early offer, that is good enough for me.

    [Reply]

Comment On Article