Ohio State Recruiting: Puting a Bow on 2013

Written May 16th, 2012 by Jim

With a solid foundation already laid in 2013, the staff can focus on putting the finishing touches on the class while beginning to turn their attention to 2014.

Let me start by saying that it is quite remarkable how far along the 2013 class already is considering we are still over eight months away from signing day.

Although the quick turnaround on the commitments of linebackers Alex Anzalone and Lewis Neal shortly after the Spring Game was less than ideal (to put it lightly), with so much time left before ink goes on paper, there is no doubt that those losses will be compensated for.

One thing that may change, however, is the priorities the staff pursues moving forward.

In other words, the two new openings might not be filled by other linebackers.

A shift in focus following the attrition seems even more likely given the solid 2011 group of linebackers and  a 2014 linebacker class that already looks very strong.

Regardless of where the priorities are, the staff will be able to focus on their top targets to fill the remaining spots in the class, which will no doubt result in another outstanding group of players.

Here is a position by position look at how things currently stand in the 2013 class and a brief glimpse ahead to 2014.

Quarterback

I have said for a long time that I think it will be OH QB Mitch Trubisky or no one in the class.

The only way that changes at this point is if someone explodes during camps in Columbus.

One thing is for sure- one more player here is the absolute max in the class with TX QB J.T. Barrett already committed.

2014 sneak preview: I already really like how things are going with the recruitment of 2014 KY QB Drew Barker (particularly with Coombs, the Kentucky recruiting master, on staff).

Also, 2014 MD QB William Crest has Ohio State as his early favorite.

Running Back

It looks like Ohio State is after one more player here, but the line becomes a little blurred when you look at whether they are targeting a pure running back or simply another versatile playmaker in the offense.

That may come down to who decides to commit first.

For instance, if VA RB Derrick Green commits then the staff adds a pure power RB to the class.

If a player like NJ RB Corey Clement pulls the trigger (Coach Warinner will be visiting tomorrow) then they add an all-around playmaker to the offense similar to OH ATH Jalin Marshall.

Other players are also in the mix (see the big board) and once again, it will likely be a case of whoever decides to commit first.

The competition for this spot may even cross over into the receivers, who all could be lumped into one pool of players to fill the “dynamic playmaker” role on the offense.

The staff can’t really go wrong with anyone left on the board, so we will just have to wait and see what happens.

AZ WR Devon Allen is a top WR target in 2013 for the Buckeyes. (Photo: 11W)

Receiver

This is where things start to get interesting in the class.

It looks like the staff is targeting at least two additional players at receiver, but like the running backs, who exactly those players end up being is uncertain.

Two of my favorites are KY WR James Quick and AZ WR Devon Allen, while players like OH WR Shelton Gibson, NC WR Uriah LeMay, and CA WR Demorea Stringfellow remain very much in the mix.

Players like PA WR Robert Foster and IL WR Laquon Treadwell (along with the others on the big board) are long shots at best right now.

Landing two of the listed players is well within the realm of possibility and that would make a very fine class.

Tight End

The staff seems to still be pursuing NC TE Josh McNeil, but if McNeil isn’t part of the class it appears unlikely that anyone will join CA TE Marcus Baugh in 2013.

2014 sneak preview: The staff has already offered players like NC TE Jeb Blazevich, NJ TE Garrett Dickerson, and FL LB/TE Vincent Jackson in the 2014 class, which may indicate that the focus has largely moved beyond 2013 here.

IL OL Ethan Pocic is one of several top OT targets remaining in 2013. (Photo: 11W)

Offensive Line

One of the primary indicators that there may have been a shift in focus following the post-spring game linebacker de-commitments (say that three times fast) is that it now appears there will be an interior offensive lineman joining the class.

The two leading contenders for that interior spot are OH OL/DL Donovan Munger and DE OL Khaliel Rodgers.

At least one more offensive tackle will also join the class, and I personally wouldn’t mind seeing two additional tackles.

I am hoping that the recent offer to GA OL J.P. Vonashek is an indication of the staff’s desire to land two tackles and not an indication of how things are going with other targeted players.

IL OL Ethan Pocic remains the top player on the board, although he is in no hurry to make a decision.

PA OL Dorian Johnson and DC OL Derwin Gray are both options at tackle as well.

Any combination of Pocic, Johnson, Gray or Vonashek (even if it is only one of the above) would be a great addition to OH OL Evan Lisle in the class.

Although signing day for the 2013 class is over 8 months away, VA DE Da'Shawn Hand and others are already causing a stir in the 2014 class.

Defensive Line

Although there are numerous offers reportedly still on the table, I would be relatively surprised to see any additional movement from defensive linemen in the 2013 class.

OH DL Billy Price and FL DL Joey Bosa are a very nice one-two punch headlining the class, and the hope is that OH DL Tracy Sprinkle can turn into yet another 3-star diamond in the rough for the Silver Bullets.

After the stellar 2011 class- particularly at defensive end, I am certainly satisfied with those three primarily interior players and it looks like the staff may be as well.

2014 sneak preview: VA DE De’Shawn Hand looks like one of the top players in the country for 2014 and is “very excited” about his Ohio State offer. So, that’s good.

Linebacker

The spring game commitments locked this position up for the year, and the subsequent de-commitments sent things into a tizzy.

The staff sent out a recent offer to DC LB Yannick Ngakoue, so it looks like they’d still like to take at least one more LB in the class.

That said, IN LB Jaylon Smith is almost certainly going to Notre Dame, and after that there hasn’t been a lot of buzz.

We’ll see what happens during camp and if any new names emerge.

2014 sneak preview: “Package deals” are generally not worth much in recruiting, but early reports indicate the GA LB Raekwon McMillan and the previously mentioned VA DE Da’Shawn Hand are both very interested in Ohio State.

So, that’s good.

OH LB Dante Booker also has an early offer from Ohio State and the Buckeyes are, as usual, in good shape early in-state.

Defensive Back

It still looks like the Buckeyes are after an elite safety in the class.

GA DB Vonn Bell continues to be the top target.

An additional player may be added.

There are plenty of  reported offers that could fill that spot, but whether or not that happens will largely depend on what happens with Bell and what happens elsewhere in the class.

____________________

So, if you’re keeping track:

QB: 0-1

RB: 0-1

WR: 2-3

TE: 0-1

OL: 2-3

DL: 0-1

LB: 1-2

DB: 1-2

With 11 current commitments and a projected class of around 20, those numbers give Ohio State a minimum class of 17.

That actually leaves quite a bit of room for surprises, and I am sure there will be plenty of them before signing day.

Once again, it is still very early in the 2013 class despite the fact that the staff is already turning their attention toward 2014.

Urban Meyer is a machine on the recruiting trail.  Things will continue to be ever changing and always interesting.

6 Comments

  1. JimNo Gravatar
    May 16th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I forgot to mention that in the past two weeks A LOT of offers have gone out to 2014 offensive linemen, meaning that the OL will likely be a focus in that class regardless of what happens in 2013.

    Once again, I hope that isn’t a response to negative vibes from the 2013 players but rather a renewed focus on the position that got lost at times under Bollman’s watch.

    [Reply]

    Ben HNo Gravatar
    May 16th, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    As far as 2013, O-linemen and WRs are the main concern for me.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    May 16th, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I’m sure it’s no coincidence that those are the two positions almost guaranteed to have at least two more players joining the class from.

    [Reply]

    Ben HNo Gravatar
    May 17th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    No…it’s not just the #’s with this class to this point (trust me Jim…I’m not like a TTUN fan and “really” concerned with #s at this point in the process). I hope you’re right and they will land more quality guys at these positions. IMO would like to see them load up on good O-linemen and more game breaker types at WR. This team was lacking last year at back up O-line and good speed threat at WR…and still is to an extent in the spring game. I like Mike Thomas…he’ll be special if he stays healthy…along with Philly Brown and Smith or Fields. Look around after that…not much there beside freshman WRs…Ty Williams will be used if he keeps his head out of his ass…otherwise Jim…we’re hurting at WR. TEs and Hall are what will fill the void IMO…sure hope you’re right Jim.

    [Reply]

    Ben HNo Gravatar
    May 17th, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Also…the biggest thing that concerns me is that a lot of these WRs and O-linemen that were considered “locks” (if there really is such a thing in recruiting) just a couple weeks ago. I just hope the coaches are able to get the ones they want at WR and Oline. Even though it’s “Urban” still looks like some of these guys are going to be tougher to get than it seemed after last year (BTW…I don’t believe in “silent” verbals for example Gibson…you’re either in or not). That haul in one and a half months was sick last year. It’s only Mid May and I’d say this class will be in the top 5 and probably 20 or 21 strong in 2013…depending on early departures.

    [Reply]

  2. Ben HNo Gravatar
    May 16th, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Indeed…there isn’t a problem with what’s being recruited now or in 2012 at O-linemen…it’s what OSU and Bollman failed to do and get at least three or more “Good” lineman in every class. It just didn’t make sense the decline of performance under the walrus and will never be understood by yours truly. Mangold was great…then go look at the rest…

    [Reply]

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