As expected, the Spring Game brought a flurry of commitments Ohio State’s way.
Although Neal is only rated as a 3-star by Rivals and Scout, he reminds me of 2012 NC LB/DE Jamal Marcus in many ways- including being vastly underrated.
With 13 commitments in the 2013 class and FL TE Mike Heuerman expected to announce his decision at any time, spots are filling up quickly and the staff can really focus on nailing down the final few positions of need.
Most people are projecting 21 as the upper limit of scholarships in 2013, so with Heuerman on board (speculation as I write this), that leaves approximately seven spots to fill.
Here is a look at how that might happen.
The commitment of TX QB J.T. Barrett last week was huge. It allows the staff to be incredibly picky about who else they take at QB- if they decide to take anyone at all.
Right now the primary focus is on OH QB Mitch Trubisky, who coach Herman will go see throw on Friday. If things go well during that workout and the staff wants a second QB, Trubisky committing to the Buckeyes seems like a forgone conclusion.
On the other hand, the staff might want to bank that scholarship for another position, or they may wait to see other players throw over the summer and into their senior seasons.
If I had to guess right now, I would say we add Trubisky or no one in the class.
Similar to QBs, this will come down to whether the staff want to take another player or bank the scholarship for another position, meaning it will either be one more or nothing.
Green has long been considered a heavy Buckeye lean. However, given his recent comments, it seems like Ohio State may have shut down RB recruiting… Or Green is just playing the recruiting game.
My guess is that the staff has shut down RB recruiting- which becomes pretty clear when you look at the total numbers below.
If you haven’t heard the news, for various reasons (primarily academic interest, or lack thereof) PA WR Robert Foster is no longer being pursued by the coaching staff.
Right now it looks like the staff will take 2-3 additional players, and there are plenty of candidates to fill those spots with or without Foster.
There was a lot of buzz surrounding Quick attending the spring game, and the Ohio connection puts Gibson near the top as well.
Beyond those two clues, with so many names vying to fill just a few spots, how this one turns out is hard to predict.
Difficult to predict or not, it is safe to say that some extremely talented players will be joining Ohio State’s receivers in the 2013 class.
It is important to note that some TEs may be looked at to play H-back, which will basically replace fullbacks in the new offense.
For those worried about taking so many TEs in the last few years, adding H-backs to the equation helps to explain the large numbers.
This makes even more sense when you consider that both Heuerman and Baugh are prime H-back candidates and may be looked at to replace both current FBs on the roster (Boren and Homan) who graduate after this season.
It was somewhat surprising to see several of Ohio State’s targets (MA OL John Montelus, NJ OL Marcell Lazard) drop off the board this weekend thanks in part to other school’s big Spring Game recruiting pushes.
The staff will likely add 2-3 more players here.
IL OL Ethan Pocic remains the top name on the board. At this point, it seems safe to pencil him into the class.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see some additional offers go out following camp evaluations, meaning that some new names might pop up or jump to the top of the board over the summer.
My personal opinion is that the Buckeyes are still looking for one more player here with a preference for another defensive tackle.
If I had to pick/guess, I would put MA DL Maurice Hurst in the class and call it a day.
OH DL Donavan Munger is another possibility to fill the interior DL position.
There are many additional names on the board that the staff may not continue to pursue as well due to numbers.
My final guess would be one more interior player (once again, Hurst is the most likely candidate in my opinion) and maybe an additional elite DL if they have room/can’t say no.
That or, once again, none.
With the commitments of Anzalone and Neal over the weekend, the need here just went way down.
My impression is that the Buckeyes are pursuing one additional LB in the class, which could come down to IN LB Jaylon Smith and IN LB Tim Kimbrough (his offer may be based on what happens with Smith).
I also wouldn’t be surprised if a player like SC LB Devaris Brunson emerge later in the year.
Other surprises for the last spot are, of course, a possibility as well- including not taking another LB at all.
The Buckeyes are definitely pursuing at least one addition safety in the class. After that things will likely depend on what happens elsewhere (as with most of the positions discussed here).
GA DB Vonn Bell has emerged as a serious contender for that safety spot, and right now I would even put him as the favorite to fill it.
If Bell is indeed a Buckeye lean, my desire to flip OH DB Dymonte Thomas decreases significantly, although Dymonte is still a top contender to fill the safety spot.
OH DB Chris Worley is another possibility at safety- he may get a look as the third LB as well.
There are other offers out there right now, and I think the Buckeyes may take on additional player if the fit is right, but once again, that would largely depend on what the rest of the class looks like.
As I write this (Monday night), there are 13 commitments in a class with an upper limit around 21.
Throw in Heuerman to make it 14 and we are looking at the following numbers to close:
The minimum projection puts the class at 19, which means the wiggle room is exceedingly small from here on out.
The staff will be able to focus their efforts on the few remaining targets that they want the most, and if the close to the 2012 class was any indication, that should work out just fine for Buckeye Nation.