Those would be the Under Armour All America Game on the 4th and the US Army All American Bowl on the 5th .
For Ohio State fans, many players already committed to the Buckeyes will be participating in these games.
Several more players may officially announce their decision to play for the Buckeyes during the games.
Finally, there are several players heading to that school up north that will be participating in the games. It is never too early to scout the opposition.
Here is a rundown of the players who may be of interest to Ohio State fans, and stay tuned this weekend for coverage of the games, including an update from the UA game Friday night and a liveblog on Saturday.
Cam Burrows – DB
Burrows was the first commitment in the class and he remains one of the best. He is a versatile DB with great size who could play corner or move to safety in Columbus. He will likely play corner in this game and it will be fun to see him matched up against the elite receivers. The Buckeyes need help in the secondary right away and Burrows is a likely candidate to step up immediately.
Jalin Marshall -ATH
The second commitment in the class, Marshall has long been expected to fill the “Percy Harvin” roll in Urban Meyer’s offense. That basically means he is so explosive running the football that you do whatever you can to get the ball in his hands. Given that he may be learning a new position and will need to split time between so many other good players, we might not get to see Marshall’s full potential in this game, but he has the opportunity and ability to contribute right away for the Buckeyes if he can learn the playbook.
Joey Bosa – DL
Bosa is a terror in the trenches and another candidate to see the field right away next year in Columbus- think Adolphus Washington. Like Washington, he has the size to play inside and the athleticism to play DE which makes him the perfect candidate for the 3-technique tackle or strong side DE. I wouldn’t be surprised if he became a fan favorite quickly once he gets on campus.
Gareon Conley – DB/WR
Conley was under the radar when he committed to Michigan earlier in the year. However, he has quickly shown that he is one of the most talented and athletic players in Ohio if not the country. When Ohio State turned up the heat on his recruitment it didn’t take long for him to flip to the good guys. He will have an opportunity to show how well he stacks up against the best in the country before becoming the next Massillon Tiger to try to make his mark as a Buckeye.
Marcus Baugh – TE
Baugh is an extremely athletic TE prospect with great hands who should fit perfectly into Urban Meyer’s offense. Like a lot of the skill positions in all-star games, it will be hit or miss whether or not he sees the ball a lot. Either way, Urban Meyer knows how to utilize an athletic TE and he should shine once he gets on the field for Ohio State.
Trey Johnson – LB
Deciding between: Ohio State, Florida, Tennessee, Penn State
Most people consider Johnson a heavy lean towards Ohio State at this point. The defense needs more help at linebacker than anywhere else in this class and Johnson would be a huge addition. He is scheduled to make his decision during the game, and like every undecided player at these all-star games, there is plenty of Buckeye peer pressure. Most people are expecting a huge weekend for Ohio State and Johnson will likely be the first piece to drop.
Vonn Bell – S
Deciding between: Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee
Like Johnson, there will be a lot of peer pressure on Bell to become a Buckeye this weekend. Unlike Johnson, he plans to take official visits in January (Ohio State on the 11th) before making a final decision. Bill Greene recently called the Buckeyes the favorite, so that is a great first sign. We will have to wait and see how the officials go, however.
Evan Lisle – OT
One of the top offensive linemen in the country who is already committed to be a Buckeye. He comes from a run heavy offense so it will be interesting to see how he does in pass protection against the best rushers. The team needs immediate help on the depth chart at OT and his performance in this game could indicate if he can step in and help out immediately next season.
Michael Hill - DT
A huge DT prospect that could play nose or the 3-technique in Columbus. He is yet another cog in the defensive line juggernaut that the coaching staff has been putting together over the past two years.
Eli Apple (Woodard) – CB
One of the top corner prospects in the entire country who committed to Ohio State early. He will be enrolling for spring practice and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him crack the two-deep come fall (or earlier).
Johnny Townsend – P
With Ben Buchanan lost to graduation, Townsend will get every opportunity to become the starting punter in Columbus right away. He plays quarterback and defense in high school in addition to punting, and was hand picked by Meyer to be a Buckeye. Although a bit under the radar as befits the position, Townsend is not your average punter and I think Ohio State fans will be pleasantly surprised once he steps on the field.
James Quick - WR
Deciding between: Ohio State, Louisville
This one looks like a 50/50 toss-up between Ohio State and Louisville. The Cardinals are the hometown favorite and the Buckeyes give him an opportunity to play on the big stage for championships. He is scheduled to announce during the game but signing day is a long way off.
Shelton Gibson – WR
Deciding between: Ohio State, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee
It is looking more and more like Gibson’s decision will come down to off-field factors (he won’t be announcing during the game). If he qualifies he still should be a Buckeye, but given the academic pedigree of his new second favorite West Virginia, it looks like he is smartly preparing for alternative scenarios. Look for Ryan Timmons (official visit January 11) and Cornelius Elder (official visit January 11) as alternates if this one (or Quick) doesn’t work out for whatever reason.
Ezekiel Elliott -RB
An explosive and multi-dimensional weapon on offense that a lot of people are excited to see in Columbus. An all-star game is the perfect opportunity for him to show what he can do on the big stage.
Mike Mitchell – LB
Deciding between: Ohio State, Texas A&M, Oregon
Mitchell is another heavy favorite to Ohio State at this point. He is looking for an opportunity to contribute immediately and being a Buckeye offers him exactly that. Between Trey Johnson and Mitchell, the defense will very likely have two new LBs scheduled to join the squad by the end of the weekend.