Ohio State Recruiting: 2013 Finale Begins

Written January 9th, 2013 by Jim

Tell me if you have read this phrase before- this weekend will be huge for Ohio State recruiting.

It seems like we are writing those words every other week with Urban Meyer at the helm in Columbus, but overused or not, they once again ring true.

With exactly four weeks to go until NLOID on February 6, Coach Meyer and his staff will be looking to add the finishing touches on an already outstanding 2013 recruiting class.

They will start their final month of recruiting in style over the next several days by hosting almost all of the players remaining on the 2013 recruiting radar.

Pending reports from the upcoming visits, we will likely have a much better idea of what the class will ultimately look like come February 6.

Here is a look at the players who will be taking their official visits to Ohio State in the coming days.

Vonn Bell, S

Bell is the biggest target left right now and the Buckeyes will get the first crack at him on his official visit to Columbus this weekend. As befits a player of his caliber, this will be a battle to the finish with visits to Alabama and Tennessee scheduled later in the month.

Reports surrounding the all-star game festivities last week indicated that the Buckeyes may have a slight lead here, but all bets are off when Nick “3 of the last 4″ Saban is on the prowl.

Tennessee is a childhood favorite  which is always a factor as well.

It is clear that Meyer views Alabama as the team to beat (for obvious reasons) on the field in the coming years. In order to do that, it is important to match them in talent. Landing Bell would be a very important step in that direction in a head-to-head battle.

I am personally feeling pessimistic about Ohio State’s chances but that very well might be hangover from the Tressel years.

I think it is important to hope for the best but prepare for the worst in recruitments such as this one.

Chris Worley, S/LB

Some might view Worley as the backup plan for Bell (and he still might be), but most observers have expected him to be a part of the class for many months regardless of who else happens to be in it. Grades may have been an issue, but  with a recently reported score of 20 on the ACT, that issue might have been resolved opening the door for a commitment.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the staff was pushing for a commitment from Worley this weekend if his grades are in order. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see this recruitment stretch until signing day, especially if his spot in the class is contingent on what happens with Bell.

Shelton Gibson, WR

With James Quick announcing his decision to attend  Louisville, Gibson moved up to the #1 target at wide receiver. While almost everyone thinks that Gibson is a heavy Buckeye lean, grades may once again be an issue that will need to be resolved before he can commit.

You have to hope for the best here as Gibson is the top target left at a major position of need. It is always important for the Buckeyes to lock up in-state talent, and it would be a shame if they were unable to do that in this case purely due to academic reasons.

If the staff is comfortable with Gibson’s off-field resume, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pushing for a commitment this weekend.

Cornelius Elder, WR

Although I am listing Elder as a WR here, he plays primarily out of the backfield  in high school and is in the mold of Jalin Marshall as a multifaceted offensive weapon. Like Marshall, Elder would likely be used primarily at receiver in Columbus but could get carries out of the backfield (amongst other things) as well.

He has been flying under the radar for most Ohio State fans,  but his highlights are impressive and in my opinion he is clearly right with Gibson as the best options available at WR.

The only thing that sets Elder slightly back is that he would need to transition into his receiver role at the next level which could take some time.

If Gibson is off the table due to grades or anything else, it looks like Elder is clearly the best alternative despite not being a ‘pure’ receiver prospect.

The big question is if the staff would take Gibson and Elder with limited spots left in the class (and a need at offensive tackle still looming- more on that in the conclusion).

Ryan Timmons, WR

Timmons is basically a less hyped version of Elder in this class. Timmons put up tremendous rushing and receiving stats in high school but against questionable competition- which is the biggest knock against him.

He also performed well at FNL way back in the summer (winning the WR sprint) but he didn’t receive an offer. He has been patiently waiting for one ever since.

With all three receiver targets visiting at once this weekend, he may get a final answer on an offer from Ohio State. If he does receive one, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him commit on the spot.

If he doesn’t receive an offer, that would likely indicate that Gibson and/or Elder will be a part of the class.

____________________

The elephant in the room this weekend will be the 2013 offensive line recruits that will not be in attendance.

CO OT Dan Skipper is scheduled to visit Columbus on January 19-20 and CA OT Cameron Hunt might make it to Columbus at the end of the month as well.

It seems clear that the staff is still looking to add one more offensive linemen and that would obviously impact how many spots are available for the players visiting this weekend.

Currently committed players from the 2013 class, including: FL DL Joey Bosa, CA TE Marcus Baugh, OH ATH Jalin Marshall, and FL P Johnny Townsend will also be in Columbus.

In the 2014 class, OH OL/DL Marcelys Jones, his teammate at Glenville  OH ATH Marshon Lattimore, OH LB/DE Kyle Berger and MI DB Damon Webb (from Cass Tech, Michigan’s Glenville) will all be visiting this weekend as well.

Best Guess:

WR- Shelton Gibson/Cornelius Elder/Ryan Timmons

S- Vonn Bell/Chris Worley

OL- Cameron Hunt/Dan Skipper

with an extra spot for one of the alternates (if there is room to the class).

15 Comments

  1. WVaBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Good stuff Jim! I am not as concerned with WR in this class as most are. I honestly think we improve greatly in off season and have two playmakers. It’s LB we need in a hurry for sure. Ill take Worley over Bell honestly

    [Reply]

    GaryNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Bell is a 5 star. Worley a 3

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 11:19 am

    The problem is depth at WR, not lack of playmakers. Right now you have:

    SR Corey Brown
    SR Chris Fields
    JR Devin Smith
    JR Evan Spencer
    SO Michael Thomas
    rFR Frank Epitropoulos

    and that’s it on scholarship at WR.

    Jalin Marshall will likely need time to adjust to WR at the college level (although he looked good in the all-star game which was promising) and Taivon Jacobs is undersized and may need some time in the weight room before he can contribute.

    I think those are the main reasons why it is important to get a pure receiver like Gibson who can potentially contribute immediately into the class.

    [Reply]

    WVaBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    good point Jim, I think Thomas AND Marshall improve depth as you are saying.

    Gary, I know what theyre rated, just not a huge difference for me

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Plus Worley is from Ohio which gives him magical powers that OOS players don’t possess.

    He’s also part of the Glenville pipeline.

    [Reply]

  2. joelNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Gareon Conley wants to play Defense but will be given the chance to play WR also. Could be a 2-way player as Gamble was.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 11:41 am

    That is a good point although I think Conley would just be a WR if he made the move, not a two way player.

    That ability to make that move could be part of the reason why it is looking more and more like the Buckeyes may only take one more WR in this class if they land Bell and an offensive lineman.

    [Reply]

  3. JimNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Also, I just updated our 2014 Recruiting Board with the addition of MO OL Roderick Johnson.

    Regardless of what happens in the 2013 class, the offensive line will be a major focus in 2014 and I am looking forward to a potentially epic haul of players. There are certainly enough early prospects out there with offers to make for a very nice class.

    Fingers crossed on that one.

    [Reply]

  4. bhopNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Jim,

    Your list is the same as I have…I’m just as pesimistic as you are about Bell. He’s a stud and with Bama winning their 3 NC in 4 years…we should be worried about Bell’s choice.
    Worely
    Gibson
    Elder
    Bell or someone else….not sure who???
    Or an Olineman…Skipper or Hunt

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    It will be interesting to see who, if anyone, commits this weekend.

    Worley and Gibson seem like the most likely two if it were going to happen.

    You can always hope that Bell commits on the spot and cancels the rest of his visits as well. We can dream, right?

    Also, with early enrollees and attrition from the roster, could the class grow past 25? I honestly don’t know but it doesn’t seem too far fetched for that to happen… if additional players leave the team between now and signing day.

    [Reply]

  5. AceNo Gravatar
    January 9th, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    The Buckeyes have only one scholarship available. How can they sign anyone other than Vonn Bell or Gibson? Someone is over-signing like Alabama is always accused of.

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    January 10th, 2013 at 7:46 am

    It is anticipated that several players will leave the team this off season in line with what every team in college football experiences every off season.

    SEC style oversigning shenanigans are well documented and extensive, and nothing Ohio State has done up to this point even comes close.

    [Reply]

    WVaBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    January 10th, 2013 at 11:47 am

    somebody added following people to his twitter account, didnt think anyone would notice hmmmm Jim?

    Who is your ABSOLUTELY must have in this class Jim?

    [Reply]

    JimNo Gravatar
    January 10th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    That’s a tough one to answer. Recruiting is all about addressing needs on the roster over multiple areas.

    Linebacker, offensive tackle, the secondary and offensive playmakers were all areas that needed addressed in this recruiting class and the coaching staff did a wonderful job doing that.

    However, if I had to pick just one player, I think I would go with Jalin Marshall. He provides the kind of versatile explosive weapon on offense that Urban Meyer relies upon which was sorely lacking from last year’s team.

    [Reply]

  6. JimNo Gravatar
    January 10th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    JUCO WR Corey Smith enters the picture at WR thanks to a reported (by Bill Greene via twitter) visit this weekend.

    [Reply]

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