In the second half of our bye week recruiting special we will be taking a look into next year’s recruiting, which the coaching staff has already said is their primary focus for this week’s recruiting trips.
Unfortunately, we will still be dealing with the 82 scholarship restrictions next year; combined with this year still in the balance and it’s anyone’s best guess with attrition, so for this review we’ll talk more about this class without numbers involved.
At this point the Ohio class of to be seniors doesn’t look to be littered with highly ranked 4 and 5 star talent. But with Meyer and staff having almost a year under their belt we are starting to see national recruits mentioning us on their early short lists.
In the 2014 class, QB will be a position of need as Kenny Guiton will graduate and Braxton will be a senior leaving us with just 2 others on the roster- Cardale Jones and ’13 commit J.T. Barrett. The ’14 class will bring us 1 or 2 depending on talent and probably what they see in Jones and Barrett. At this point the QB position is very tough to get a feel on. As such, I am going to hold off on naming names because there are lot of QBs on the board and not many with offers; the coaching staff has said several times that they want recruits to come to camp next summer to earn their offers.
Looking at the RB position the depth chart appears stocked with talent, and adding Elliott this year only adds to the mix. Lots of early highly talented names on the board. I think 1 would be just alright and we might pass on talent much like this year with when we grabbed Elliott and passed on highly ranked Derrick Green.
At this point there are 4 guys that are at the top of the list and posses early offers.
- NC RB Darell Scott is very exiting on film and could be top on the board right now, but we are currently behind South Carolina fighting for his services.
- Jonathan Haden, the brother of Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden, who Meyer coached at Florida has also named the Bucks his early leader and with all the talent on the board will be one to watch but he has the genes for sure.
- Early 5 star TN Jalen Hurd who once looked like a ‘Bama lean has recently named us his early leader. He is a kid that could turn into a RB/TE/WR. Plans to be in town for The Game at the end of this month.
- In what will seem like a theme as we go through the 2014 recruits a top GA recruit Myles Autry has the Bucks on top. He has some big offers, he fits into the scat back / slot receiver that far too many have called the Percy Harvin role. He grew up a Buckeye fan but has family ties to Georgia Tech where his brother currently plays.
WR has probably been one of Meyer’s most focused on positions since coming here. He has landed some good athletes that look to transition into the WR position but not a true receiver yet. I know I am greedy but guys like Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, Larry Fitzgerald, Julio Jones Justin Blackman are the guys I would like to see on our roster to go along with the speed. We will take a look at a couple that look to be the most likely to still be on the list 3 months from now. I could see us pulling 3 if they are the right three.
- Thaddeus Snodgrass the first commit in the 2014 class is an Ohio recruit that is an athlete that has the raw skills but will need polish. See the recent article for more about Thaddeus.
- Marshon Lattimore is probably the top player in the state next year and a 5 star recruit who can score from anywhere on the field. He can also play on either side of the ball but I want to see him with the ball in his hands. He is the type that will play on the outside get down the field as well as take a reverse or WR screen to the house. He is from Glenville which is always a good thing.
- Now for a hodgepodge of notes. GA Demarre Kitt an early Georgia decommt will visit for the Michigan game for his second visit in 12 months. TN Josh Malone is also planning on visiting for The Game. FL Artavis Scott was here for Friday Night Lights and really shined and earned an offer. SC Shaquille Davidson and NC Trevion Thompson both have us in their early top 4.
With three underclassmen and Marcus Baugh in the 13′ class TE isn’t a huge position of need but look for Meyer to attack a couple top TEs. Also still be on the look out for ’13 recruit Mike Heurman who is currently a Notre Dame commit.
- The number one guy on the board at the moment is probably 4 star NC Jeb Blazevich who attended camp over the summer and was back in town for the Illinois game last weekend. Reports are that he had a good time and good conversation with coach Meyer. He is one of the most sought after TEs in the country as he is already up to 19 offers. The competition appears to be Clemson where his brother is currently playing.
- Two other names early on the radar with offers are CA Bryce Dixon who wants to visit for a game. Could Meyer pull another California TE? I know I am not going to put it past him. Also NJ Garrett Dickson is a big athlete that we offered as a TE.
Orland Brown Jr.
OL will be a primary focus in the ’14 class especially top flight OTs. I see us taking 3-4 lineman in this class. And one of them won’t be Jimmy Byrne as it appears both sides are going to move on.
- GA Orlando Brown Jr. Could be one that is on Buckeye fans’ minds all recruiting season. He is from same high school as Bradley Roby and Cam Heyward and has lots of family with Ohio ties which is always a good thing. You may recognize the name as he is the son of late Cleveland Browns OT Orlando Brown.
- KS 5 star Braden Smith was an early offer and has his pick of school. Not much news since the offer.
- MD Damian Prince is another who will have offers from everyone. He has been staying in close contact with Zach Smith and stated he is most comfortable with coaches at Ohio State and Rutgers. Not sure if that puts us in his top 2 or not.
- IL Jamarco Jones earned his offer at camped then came back for FNL and had a great time and will be back for The Game. He has offers from most of the Midwest and is one to follow for sure.
- Big Marcelys Jones from Glenville will most likely be a part of this class with an early offer, since he has mentioned he may like to make an early commit. He plays tackle on both sides of the line in high school but will probably turn more into a OG in college.
- FL K.C. McDermott has been to OSU, and has family with Ohio ties and one brother currently plays at Ohio University. We should be on his short list till he makes a decision. He will play OT in college and is another with his pick of school.
- NJ Quenton Nelson is another tackle to watch and was excited about the offer and may visit for The Game.
- Kyle Trout is the next best lineman in Ohio that may need to impress at camp or have a couple of the guys above go elsewhere.
Meyer has really tried to load up on the Defensive Line since coming here, and I see another 3-4 in this class. Right now there aren’t a lot of names on the big board and not much instate talent at this position.
- MD Sam Mustipher is a recruit that could be placed in the O Line section but for now we will keep him on the defense. We are noted as his leader right now and he has an early offer; he has said he will visit in the coming weeks.
- VA Andrew Brown is one of the DT types that we are jealous of the SEC for having. He is 295 lbs and could play on the outside but his size allows him to play the interior with the speed to get after the QB and push the pocket. Watching his sophomore film he looks like a college freshmen already- He has said he would like to visit but seems to maybe have UNC or in state schools on top early in the process.
- VA Da’Shawn Hand is currently the number one recruit in the country. Would be a huge get for Urban and he has landed these types before, but currently it looks like Va Tech has the early lead. He will probably play out for awhile but Hand is really humble and a great kid for the number 1 recruit in the country. He will also be in attendance for The Game.
LB was the position that I was most excited to talk about. We have been lacking some at LB and watching us on the field this year has been painful at times. I expect 3 guys and at this point it would be surprising if we don’t land 3 top 10 LBs in the country.
- GA Raekwon McMillan could be the headliner of this class since he’s currently #1 or #2 MLB depending on where you look. He is a bad bad dude on film and really unloads on the ball carrier. He has offers from all and has his pick of school. He has had Ohio State in his top 3 for a while now with home state Georgia and Alabama, and lately has been listing us as his leader. He has great size already as a high school junior; he’s 6’3” 215 with amazing tackling ability and the ability to run sideline to sideline. McMillan has already been to Columbus for FNL and is planning to be back for The Game. He also mentioned that Thad Snodgrass has been trying to recruit him to Ohio State.
- One of the only 5 offers out to Ohio juniors is ASVSM LB Dante Booker, another 5 star recruit. He is probably #2 ranked student athlete in the state behind Lattimore, and has named the Buckeyes his leader. Could be the first commit in the class and is a matter of when not if.
- IL Clifton Garrett grew up a fan of Ohio State and is another with impressive film. We were his early leader but as of late he has named Michigan State and Oklahoma at the top. IT will be a fun one to watch his recruitment play out, since he has made friends and hung out at FNL with Booker and McMillan. At this point it sounds like the trio will be back in Columbus at the same time again for The Game.
- Another top IL LB, Nyles Morgan was just offered this week by OSU. He has the Bucks on his short list but has admitted that he grew up a fan of Michigan State. If any of the above three go elsewhere Morgan is not a drop off and would be welcomed.
- Florida LB Dillon Bates (son of Brad Bates the ex Dallas Cowboy) was offered this past week when he visited for the Illinois game. Not much else in terms of favorites.
The last position we will look at is the defensive backfield. We have done a great job in 2013 bringing in top notch CBs and a couple safeties and we aren’t done quite yet. I think another 3-4 would be in line for next year as well, as there have been a flurry of early offers sent out to big time players.
- 5 star NJ Jabrill Peppers could be the best of the bunch and will probably will be a recruitment that goes for a long time. He has listed a top 6 and we are included. Not much else can be asked this early for a top 10 kid in the country, but he is planning on making a visit for The Game.
- IL Parker Westphal looks like a Michigan/OSU battle and right now Michigan is on top and who he is comparing all of his other visits too. He is in no hurry to make a decision.
- TX secondary teammates Brandon Simmons and Edward Paris have both been offered by OSU. Not much info on the two as they are both national recruits but Paris is wide open and mentioned that he would like to check out OSU. He has a good friend who currently runs track in Columbus for the Buckeyes.
PA Montae Nicholson can probably be penciled into the class at this point, as he grew up in Columbus and rooting for the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes have said they are recruiting him as a safety and on film he looks like he enjoys sticking his nose in there and help out in the run game which is always nice to see from the safety position. From his sophomore to junior film he appears to have got a lot bigger and the staff has seen him life in action at camp before they decided on the offer.
- DC D’Andre Payne was also at camp this past summer, but didn’t work out due to injury. He seemed to be high on Va Tech, but did visit PSU while the Bucks were in town and he mentioned that he was impressed with the OSU secondary.
- MI Damon Webb is a top DB from Cass Tech which is a very Michigan friendly programl. Coach Coombs was up to see him on Thursday, along with his 13′ teammate OL David Dawson. We are currently in his top 4 but look for him to end up at Michigan, but he has said he will be in town for The Game.
- FL DB Quincy Wilson who is a teammate of 2013 recruit Skai Moore. He received his offer at camp when he tore it up. He commented that he always liked us growing up and that we stand out over his other offers. He is in no hurry to decide and mentioned that he will take his visits and verbal after his senior season.
- GA Nick Glass was once a UGA commit but has since reopened his recruitment. He has mentioned that he will be in town for The Game, and has also developed a relationship with top LB recruit McMillan- this could help our cause here if McMillan chooses the Buckeyes.
- VA Quin Blanding another 5 star top 10 player in the country. His comparison that some have used is the late Sean Taylor, and to have a player like that roaming around in our secondary would be amazing. Meyer has made it known that he will recruit Blanding hard; he’s just recently released his top 10 and we are right there. I wouldn’t expect anything quickly here.
- 5 star LA Laurence Jones was just recently offered. He is huge for a DB at 6’2” 215 as a junior so he could turn into a OLB or a Star. He mentioned 5 months before he was offered that he grew up a Buckeye fan and would like to hear from us.
At this point it is really a huge crapshoot to even guess who will be in the class, but it is always fun to put together a dream class right? We will talk even more about the 2014 class the week before the Michigan game, as that will be the huge kickoff to the class when a lot of them are in town together and maybe can start talking about playing together.
QB – who knows?
RB – Hurd/Haden/Autry – 2 of these guys maybe? They have all mentioned us as their leader.
WR – Lattimore / Snodgrass – pencil in both of them
TE – Blazevich – #1 on the board right now…NOt sure how good our chances are but he has been to columbus 2 times already
OL – Jones/Jones/McDermott/Prince - This would be a A+ Oline class
DL – Mustipher/Hand – Mustipher we lead for, Hand is a pipedream of all pipedreams but has talked to McMillan about playing together
LB – McMillan/Booker/Garrett – Not too far fetched, they have all spoke about playing together at Ohio State.
DB – Peppers/Blanding/Nicholson/Jones – This would be the top secondary class in the country by far.
That is 19 and could throw in a Kicker to put us at 20, which in my opinion would be top class in the country. Obviously we get 7 of these guys and a ton of other names pop up. But there are lots of kids that seem to be saying the right things right now that we are in top 2, we are the leader, or that we have a good chance.
As always, we’ll keep you in the loop.