In the aftermath of Friday Night Lights and Girdiron Kings, the recruiting picture for Ohio State’s 2013 class continues to come into focus as the final spots are narrowed down and filled.
In fact, the coaches appear to have such a good idea of how the rest of the class will look that they have seemingly turned much of their attention towards 2014.
Still, for those that follow recruiting who don’t have quite as much insight into what is going on as the coaching staff, there are certainly some questions which remain unanswered.
The biggest question continues to be whether or not Ohio State can find another offensive tackle in the class. The recent commitment of IN OL Tim Gardner fills an offensive line spot, but he appears destined for an interior position which leaves the search for a tackle ongoing.
The second biggest question is how many wide receivers or offensive skill position players Ohio State is still pursuing- and obviously which players will fill those spots.
The recent news that VA RB Derrick Green was told by the staff that they are going in a different direction was somewhat of a surprise given his talent and connections to the program. It seems to indicate that RB recruiting in the class is shut down.
With the staff no longer pursuing a running back (unless they view PA RB David Williams as a utility player, which they might) will that open up an additional spot for a WR of a DB?
Finally, there will likely be one linebacker added to the class- the short story is that things are looking great on that front.
Here is a full rundown of the players that could take the final spots in Ohio State’s 2013 class.
Ohio State is the clear leader for Gibson, but he will take all of his official visits before deciding. If there is only one spot left at WR, could waiting be a bad move for him?
Well, maybe not.
Although Devon Allen has the Buckeyes solidly in his group of leaders, he doesn’t plan on making a decision anytime soon either. He will be back to Columbus for The Game in November, however, and return visits are never a bad sign.
If there is only room for one WR Gibson and Allen are the clear favorites to fill that spot.
Since neither appear to be in a hurry to decide and Urban Meyer isn’t the kind of guy that would be shy about letting them know where they stand in the class- could there be room for both?
I wouldn’t mind seeing that.
PA RB David Williams, who I mentioned in the opening, could be a possibility here as well depending on how the staff is recruiting him in the offense.
Most Ohio State fans have been hoping for some time that GA DB Vonn Bell will eventually join the class after a solid visit this summer. Things have been quiet in his recruitment of late, so it is hard to say where things stand for the good guys.
Worley could fill multiple positions at Ohio State and is very similar to Buckeye commit Darron Lee in that respect, which could hurt his value in the eyes of the coaches.
Similarly to the receivers, I wouldn’t mind seeing Bell and Worley both added in the class.
If space is an issue, one or the other seems like the most likely finish for the position at this time.
As mentioned in the opening, Ohio State recently added IN OL Tim Gardner to OH OL Evan Lisle in the offensive line class. That gives the Buckeyes one projected edge and one projected interior player so far.
They are likely looking to add one more edge player if possible.
All of Ohio State’s chips seem to be down on MI OL Dennis Finley at this time- at least in terms of players with reported offers.
Finley was at FNL but is in no hurry to decide and has Ohio State in his top three with Michigan State and Wisconsin.
If things fall through with Finley (he seems like a Spartan lean to me) Ohio players like Kyle Meadows are a possibility, but beyond that it is hard to say what the staff might be thinking here.
One possibility is looking ahead to a stacked 2014 class to fill their offensive line needs.
There are already offers out to numerous quality ’14 OOS players like GA OL Orlando Brown Jr., TX OL Demetrius Knox, IL OL Jamarco Jones, FL OL K.C. McDermott and FL OL Mason Cole (Jones, McDermott and Cole were all at FNL).
With prospects like that waiting in 2014, if Ohio State doesn’t land Finley I wouldn’t mind seeing them turn their offensive line efforts fully to the future despite the need at tackle. It could open up another spot in the 2013 class for a DB or a WR and make the depth chart more attractive.
On the other hand, a player might emerge during the season for the Buckeyes to take a look at. It will be interesting to see what the staff is thinking (and does) here.
There has been speculation for some time that Munger might be an interior offensive line prospect if he were to come to Columbus. If that is the case, the commitment of Gardner would seemingly have an impact on his status with the class.
Either way, Munger is in no hurry to decide despite enjoying FNL and having Ohio State as one of his favorites.
Tyquan Lewis earned an offer from Ohio State at camp in Columbus earlier this summer and brought his mom with him for a return visit to FNL this weekend. Impressing mom is always huge in a recruitment, and it appears that things are in great shape for the Buckeyes.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lewis join the class, but Munger may be a victim of the numbers crunch.
Finally, we come to linebacker where TX LB Mike Mitchell has been the primary player on the radar after exploding at The Opening earlier in the month.
Mitchell attended Gridiron Kings with several future Buckeyes this past weekend, and speculation swirled that he might commit yesterday if his father approved.
No commitment came, however, and Mitchell decided that he wouldn’t announce a decision until after he visited Columbus.
Making sure to visit the campus before you commit to a school seems like some solid fatherly advice to me, and after his previous 80% statement things certainly seem to be trending well for the good guys here.
Based on all of the above and barring any major surprises, which are not only possible but likely in recruiting, here is my guess for the rest of the class.
LB: Mike Mitchell
DB: Vonn Bell
DB: Chris Worley
DL: Tyquan Lewis
WR: Shelton Gibson
WR: Devon Allen
I am the most confident right now with Mitchell, followed by Lewis and Gibson/Allen.
I chose not to include an offensive lineman in my prediction because I think Finley is a Spartan and the 2014 class already looks solid enough to make up for a miss (it’s not like we haven’t dealt with small O-line classes before, courtesy of Bollman).
If the staff does pull another OT that would obviously shake this prediction up and would likely bump out the second DB or WR.
I am the least confident in Bell being a part of the class, however, and if he heads elsewhere that would open a spot back up.
Another spot might open up if Worley is not a part of the class. I really like what he brings to the table in terms of versatility, but his spot in the class may have already been taken by Darron Lee. Depending on how things went for him at FNL, the staff may have players further up on the board that they would take before him- especially if Bell is still in the picture.
Despite the limited numbers, clearly there is plenty of room for some surprises before signing day.
Recruiting news generally dies down once football practice and games start, plus many of the targeted players aren’t planning on making a decision quickly, making this a nice primer for what will likely be a quiet few months on the recruiting trail.
Quiet or not, stayed tuned to our recruiting coverage here at the Buckeye Battle Cry for all the latest news and notes.