This weekend will be big for Ohio State recruiting. Many prospects from the 2013 and 2014 classes are scheduled to make the trip to Columbus to catch the night game against Nebraska.
Here is a quick rundown of some of the players expected to be in attendance.
Dorian Johnson – 6’6″ 280 lbs
OT, Belle Vernon (PA) Area HS
Pittsburgh is currently Johnson’s leader so this visit will be huge for Ohio State if they want to land their top remaining OT target in the 2013 class. If things don’t go well here, I expect to see some new names pop up on the radar- unless the staff isn’t going to target an OT beyond Johnson in 2013, I guess we will see.
Shelton Gibson – 6’1″ 175 lbs
WR, Cleveland Heights (OH) HS
Gibson is scheduled to visit Ohio State for several of their home games this year, so the fact that he is visiting for Nebraska in particular isn’t all that remarkable. If everything off the field (grades, mostly) is in line, it is hard not to see scarlet and gray in his future.
James Quick -6’1″ 180 lbs
WR, Louisville (KY) Trinity
James Quick is probably going to attend hometown Louisville as long as Charlie Strong is still the coach there. If Strong goes elsewhere (like, say, Arkansas) that would improve Ohio State’s chances significantly. Getting Quick on campus this weekend won’t hurt either, and if he does make it and has a good visit that would be a step in the right direction for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.
Donovan Munger – 6’4″ 290 lbs
DL – Shaker Heights (OH) HS
Ohio State would be the clear favorite with Munger if there weren’t questions about where and how he fits in the class. Defensive line is not a position of need and on offense he projects on the interior which is also not a position of need. Despite these questions, there is still the possibility that he will be a part of the class so it is good to see him in Columbus.
Chris Worley – 6’2″ 185 lbs
S/LB, Cleveland (OH) Glenville
If things don’t go well with Vonn Bell (see below) Chris Worley looks like the next best DB option in the 2013 class. He is a part of the storied Glenville pipeline and he might end up as a part of the class regardless of what happens with Bell or others. Bill Greene raves about his athletic ability and I personally wouldn’t mind seeing him on board. He says that Ohio State is the only school he communicates with so, yeah- writing on the wall and all that.
Ryan Timmons – 5’10″ 186 lbs
WR, Frankfort (KY) Franklin County
Timmons doesn’t have an offer from Ohio State at this time but the staff continues to stay in contact with him after he performed well at Friday Night Lights. Depending on how things go with the other wide receivers on Ohio State’s board (i.e. if the Buckeyes don’t land Gibson, Foster, Quick etc.) Timmons could end up being a part of the class.
Vonn Bell – 6’1″ 190 lbs
S, Rossville (GA) Ridgeland
Bell was tentatively scheduled to make the trip to Columbus for this game but now the word is that he won’t be making a visit to Ohio State until after the season. Although Bell has already been to campus this summer, if he doesn’t make it back for another visit that does not bode well for the Buckeyes in his recruitment. Tennessee is likely the team to beat.
Jason Hatcher – 6’2″ 240 lbs
DE, Louisville (KY) Trinity
Hatcher is currently verbally committed to Southern Cal. Despite this commitment, he will be joining his teammate James Quick in Columbus this weekend. He might simply be making the trip to catch a great college football game, or there could be something more there. Given the recent attrition of receiver T.Y. Williams and the rumored attrition of another receiver from the roster this week, some new spots in the class could be opening up for players that most had assumed were out of the picture due to class size.
At least 10 current Buckeye commitments are also set to be in attendance. That group includes Ezekiel Elliott, Evan Lisle, Billy Price, Joey Bosa, Tracy Sprinkle, Cameron Burrows, Eli Woodard, Jayme Thompson, Darron Lee and Jalin Marshall.
They will no doubt be doing some recruiting of their own with the uncommitted visitors.
DeShone Kizer – 6’4″ 205 lbs
QB, Toledo (OH) Central Catholic
Kizer is the top QB in Ohio in the 2014 class although the Buckeyes have yet to offer. Being from Toledo, Michigan and Michigan State are major competitors in his recruitment. The Buckeyes also have several elite out-of-state QBs that they are continuing to evaluate as well. Regardless of these factors, it is good to see the top QB in Ohio making the trip to Columbus. There are many great QB options in the 2014 class and Kizer is definitely one of them.
Marshon Lattimore – 6’0″ 185 lbs
ATH, Cleveland (OH) Glenville
Lattimore has exploded early in his junior year to become the heavy favorite to be the top overall player in Ohio in the 2014 class. Glenville pipeline, visiting Columbus early and often- all good things.
Marcelys Jones -6’4″ 325 lbs
OL, Cleveland (OH) Glenville
Jones was somewhat of a surprise early offer. I thought he would need to work on his weight before receiving one, but he must have shown the staff what they needed to see on the field. Similarly to Lattimore, Glenville pipeline, visiting early and often- good things. That said, I think both Jones and Jimmy Byrne (the two ’14 Ohio linemen with early offers) project as interior players, which leaves a big need at tackle still to be addressed.
Todd Kelly Jr. – 6’1″ 190 lbs
DB, Knoxville (TN) Webb
Big time DB that is a Volunteer legacy and will probably end up there. But hey, he is visiting Columbus so there is that.
Kyle Trout -6’6″ 280 lbs
OL, Lancaster (OH) HS
Trout is probably the top in-state tackle for 2014 (unless you project Byrne at RT, which some are) but whether or not the Buckeyes offer him a scholarship will likely depend on how well he stacks up against some of the early OOS players on film and at camp. If even a few of those OOS tackles have legitimate interest in the Buckeyes (which seems likely) the competition will be tough.
Dareian Watkins -6’2″ 192 lbs.
ATH, Galion (OH) HS
Watkins is a great athlete without a clearly defined position at the next level which is one of the main things holding him back from receiving an Ohio State offer at this point. He is quickly becoming a fan favorite thanks to his inspiring story and if he wants to be a Buckeye we hope that he has an opportunity to earn that offer with patience and hard work like Darron Lee was able to accomplish.
There are other names on the visit list for this weekend, and there will likely be some additions and subtractions before Saturday is over, but that is a rough overview of some of the bigger visits in terms of recruiting impact.
It should be a good weekend.