Ohio State Recruiting: Spring Game Roundup

Written April 24th, 2012 by Jim

The 2013 recruiting class is filling up fast thanks to a big Spring Game recruiting weekend.

As expected, the Spring Game brought a flurry of commitments Ohio State’s way.

Although we tried to temper our expectations initially, things couldn’t have gone much better with PA LB Alex Anzalone and FL DL Joey Bosa both making their plan to be Buckeyes official.

NC LB/DE Lewis Neal followed up with a surprise commitment for good measure, helping to alleviate the loss of OH LB Courtney Love to Nebraska.

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.

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky will be evaluated in person by QB coach Tom Herman of Friday.

Quarterbacks

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.

Running Backs

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.

VA RB Derrick Green, PA RB David Williams and  NJ RB Corey Clement appear to be the primary contenders for the last spot.

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.

Ah, recruiting.

My guess is that the staff has shut down RB recruiting- which becomes pretty clear when you look at the total numbers below.

Wide Receievers

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.

OH WR Shelton Gibson, KY WR James Quick and IL WR Laquon Treadwell are at the top of the board- not necessarily in terms of the most likely members of the class.

Not far behind that group is NC WR Uriah LeMay, AZ WR Devon Allen, MD WR Taivon Jacobs and NC WR Marquez North.

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.

Mike Heuerman with fellow Floridian Joey Bosa (behind). Most expect them to play together in Columbus.

Tight Ends

Add FL TE Mike Heuerman to CA TE Marcus Baugh and call it a 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.

Offensive Line

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.

PA OL Dorian Johnson, IN OL Darius Latham, DC OL Derwin Gray and DE OL Khaliel Rodgers are all possibilities, but there isn’t a good read on any of them at this point.

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.

Defensive Line

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.

Elite players like NJ DE Tashawn Bower and IN DE Elijah Daniel would be hard to say no to, but it is difficult to project how much the staff will pursue them at this point in the class.

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.

Lewis Neal's commitment only leaves room for one more LB in the class - maybe.

Linebackers

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.

Defensive Backs

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:

QB: 0-1

RB: 0-1

WR: 2-3

OL: 2-3

DL: 0-2

LB: 0-1

DB: 1-2

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.

12 Comments

  1. DaleNo Gravatar
    April 24th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Very insightful article.

    [Reply]

  2. JimNo Gravatar
    April 24th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    According to the Buckeye Planet Recruiting Team, Hurst may have tried to commit over the weekend and was told that the D-line class is full, so it looks like 0 is the number there moving forward.

    [Reply]

    EricNo Gravatar
    April 24th, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Interesting – if this gets out, it may force players to make faster decisions regarding whether or not to play for Urban Meyer. Wait too long and you lose your spot.

    Also – this is a good indication that the coaching staff isn’t about to start oversigning. If they’re willing to tell a player like Hurst “Sorry, but we don’t have room for you anymore”, then there’s no reason to believe they’re not carefully tracking their recruiting numbers.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    April 24th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    It is also a nice illustration of why oversigning is such a huge advantage for schools.

    I also think that most of the recruits were well aware of the time sensitive nature of their offers from the start, which is part of the reason why this class has filled up so quickly.

    [Reply]

    Ben HNo Gravatar
    April 24th, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Wow…that’s crazy if the staff had to tell Hurst No. I read the same thing Jim. Surprising but good in the sense as some here have said about not over-signing. I was kind of worried about that after this weekend. Thought may be guys like C.Jones or other guys would possibly be forced to transfer due to a larger class than expected.

    [Reply]

  3. Ben HNo Gravatar
    April 24th, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Great article too btw Jim…as usual.

    [Reply]

  4. Ethan McGheeNo Gravatar
    April 25th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Jim… On another note Is the rumor true about Brian Bobek transferring.. I know he was a top center coming suppose to be the future after Brewster… but Linsley has been huge this offseason and Boren has been a surprise… Not that big of a loss… and our fans that are worrying about depth don’t forget we still have Kyle Dodson coming as well as Joey Oconner and Pat Eflien who dominated Boren in camp so he should be good…

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    April 26th, 2012 at 6:35 am

    It is too early to tell for sure if the rumor about Bobek is true, but it appears that Boren passed him up on the depth chart almost instantly this spring which makes it easy to understand where the rumor is coming from.

    [Reply]

  5. Ethan McGheeNo Gravatar
    April 25th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I was also just thinking out loud about the depth of our D Line and all the guys coming in… Do you think there’s a good chance Chase Farris moves to Oline he was also a good tackle in high school… Then how about Joel Hale as a guard he is good just don’t see much room for him and possibly Kenny Hayes(Is he considering leaving though?) moving to the Oline… We have studs like Bennett(AA Guard in HS) hes just to good on D to move though… Heard as well Billy Price next years class said he would play G if he had to but prefers DT … One last thing Munger is thinking hard about us.. have heard Warriner is recruiting him is he a possible G… Sorry have alot ?’s … and thoughts…

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    April 26th, 2012 at 6:33 am

    After this season I really don’t think we will be seeing too much movement back and forth between the offensive and defensive lines… but I could be wrong.

    At guard we have Norwell (JR) Hall (RS JR) Underwood (SO) Brown (SO) with Patrick Elflein (FR) and Joey O’Connor (FR) coming in. I think we might be looking at a guy like Munger for guard if we see a transfer from anyone in that group in the coming months, but otherwise I don’t think the need at guard is there right now- especially not a need to move more guys from the D-Line over to the O-line.

    [Reply]

  6. Ethan McGheeNo Gravatar
    April 25th, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I know also people wonder why another D-Lineman like Lewis Neal… he is a Jamal Marcus Prospect as stated by many and I am happy to have him especially with Courtney Love who was a supposedly silent commit but got afraid of depth… All is well… Jaylon Smith come on down:)

    [Reply]

  7. Ethan M.No Gravatar
    April 26th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    With lil Mike Heuerman committing to the Irish… Do you think we will pursue Mcneil again, Bama and many schools are after him and hes just a great player in all. Suppose to come on a visit still… Just being optimistic chance of flipping happening if schools like Notre Dame struggle and Mike flipping and etc.. might be to late since our class will be full by then most likely but again all is well…. Im happy with Baugh

    [Reply]

Comment On Article