Proving that recruiting knows no off season or national boundaries, and showing once again that the Ohio State staff will look everywhere to find competitors, it seems as if the Buckeyes have added a punter for the 2013 class. And we all know how important it is to have someone handle these duties with excellence on and off the field.
You may remember the saga of Johnny Townsend, the Buckeye verbal that ended up in Gainsville after a signing day snafu. You might also recall that Ohio State was in conversation with Cedarville’s Andrew Gantz, who ended up verballing to Tennessee (but now will be heading to Cincinnati- we hope to have more on this in the coming weeks).
Given that neither of those opportunities panned out (I wonder why kickers were eschewing OSU?), the plan was to have Drew Basil handle kick-off, extra point/field goal, and punting responsibilities this upcoming season.
Luckily, though, that won’t be necessary, as the Dispatch is reporting that Cameron Johnston is reporting to Columbus from Melbourne Australia to handle the rare occasions when the Buckeyes don’t gain ten yards in the attempts allotted. And, in case you were wondering, we here at tBBC are certainly taking some credit for this.
While at this point there has been no confirmation on this from Ohio State, this is not unheard of territory in college football; LSU’s Brad Wing got his start as an Aussie Rules player, and Ohio State’s own Devin Barclay came to the gridiron after a stint at another sport.
Having trained with Prokick Australia, Johnston is reported to consistently provide 60-65 yard punts with expansive hang time… I hope Charles will be able to help us with any conversion rate that might be necessary. For those unfamiliar with Australian Rules, drop kicks are an important part of the scoring game.
After the jump, you can see some of Johnston’s workout videos, as well as some tape of his performance in Aussie Rules. Again, I have no idea what’s going on there, but it will certainly change things to know that our punter knows how to tackle. As always, please excuse the soundtrack. Read More
After a momentous day for Buckeye football, and after a few frosty beverages, here’s the staff’s reflections on the epic 2013 recruiting class!
Who’s the player on offense/defense who will make the biggest impact during his career at OSU?
Ken: Mike Mitchell. I think he has potential to have a Spielman/Katzenmoyer type career at OSU
WVa: Offense: I am going to go with one that has been in the fold for a good bit. Jalin Marshall is the guy I see coming in right away and contributing and will have a great career in Scarlet and Gray.
Defense: Tracy Sprinkle is my guy here. He looks to me to be the perfect fit to take over where Nathan Williams left off and really reminds me of my favorite Buckeye to come out of WV Darrion Scott. Good size and plays low and will show early what he has in that motor that never quits.
Tim: For me, the player who will make the biggest impact will be Cam Burrows. There is a question of whether he will play safety or corner at OSU, but wherever he finds himself playing, he will be an impact player on defense. His combination of size and speed could enable him to be a great one.
Jason: Jalin Marshall. All these kids have tremendous talent and endless possibilities, so I’ll put my eggs in the basket of the one who’s the best player in Ohio
Eric: The biggest impact defensively is likely going to be on the Defensive Line, where the Buckeyes are going to be making up the most ground. A good freshman, like Joey Bosa, could step in and really make life easier for the defense.
Offensively, that’s a little trickier. The answer is going to be whoever manages to fill the playmaker role for Urban Meyer the best. It could be Ezekiel Elliott, James Clark, or Jalin Marshall. It could also be any one of a dozen others who may prove to be extremely effective as a fast, shifty, playmaker.
Mali: I think that we’re going to see some amazing things from Dontre Wilson… I watch what DeAnthony Thomas does in Eugene, and what Harvin did with Meyer at Florida, and I can’t help but envision some fireworks from the moment he steps on campus.
I’m also excited to see what Chris Worley will bring to the table- a safety that hits like a linebacker, or a linebacker that can run with receivers… as the game gets faster, it’ll be great to have a counterpunch.
What new recruit will most likely see early playing time? Who redshirts? Read More
Wednesday was a memorable day for Ohio State fans, as the program again finished National Letter of Intent Day with a class ranked in the top three in the nation, with some calling it the very best for the 2013 recruiting cycle.
It was a memorable day for Orlando’s Johnny Townsend as well, although for different reasons. What he expected to be a day of celebration for his achievements was put on hold; parties and press announcements held up for a bit as things sorted themselves out.
Townsend was supposed to be a part of Ohio State’s record setting class, but as of this article he has not yet submitted his signed letter of intent. In fact, as of late Wednesday night, rumors were swirling that he would join Florida’s 2013 class on Thursday.
The reasons for that are difficult to pin down. Early reports were that he was having second thoughts, or that Ohio State had rescinded the offer at the last minute. However, comments from his family indicated that this last possibility was not true, and that he instead had the paperwork for a full, four year tenure at Ohio State.
There was even speculation that he had decided to attend the University of Alabama, where he was offered the opportunity to gray-shirt prior to verballing to Coach Meyer; to be a part of the team at his own expense until a scholarship was made available for him, typically within a year. Again, at this point it seems that this report was also inaccurate.
What happened on Wednesday? And how does Townsend’s situation reflect an under-reported aspect of the recruiting process? Read More
In a battle that came down to the wire, Georgia standout safety Vonn Bell selected Ohio State over Tennessee and becomes the latest member of what’s shaping up to be an epic 2013 recruiting class.
Bell is ranked as a five star athlete on all of the major recruiting sites, and was a standout during this January’s Under Armour game. He also held offers from Auburn, Arkansas, and Georgia, but it was a late battle between Alabama, Tennessee, and the Buckeyes for his commitment.
A life-long Volunteer fan, the team from Knoxville was seen as a late comer in his recruitment, but following a visit there on January 25th, they were back into the thick of it for him almost immediately. Bell and his family kept their recruiting process very close to the vest; as late as Tuesday, many scouting experts were evenly divided on whether or not he’d end up a Vol or a Buckeye.
Recruited by Coach Withers, there was a lot of speculation that both Bell and his family felt most at home with the OSU coaching staff for a while- that they were impressed by Coach Meyer and the direction of the program, in addition to the opportunity to see early playing time for their son.
Measurables: 5’11″, 185 pounds with a 4.45 forty yard dash. He’s a ball hawk, but also is not afraid to be physical in run support or blowing up a play in the secondary. Check his highlights after the jump: Read More
National Letter Of Intent Day is often called “Second Christmas”, and today Coach Meyer got another great present to open as Florida receiver James Clark joined the 2013 Recruiting Class.
Clark visited Columbus in January, but was seen as a strong Florida lean- even visiting Gainesville this past weekend after being on their campus numerous times over the past several months. However, it seems that his interest in being a part of an explosive offense, coupled with Florida’s large WR class and his connection with the academic programs in Columbus have led him to be a part of the Scarlet and Gray.
Clark will be a graduate of New Smyrna high school, where he earned accolades and was seen as a four star athlete by the major recruiting services. He’s a 5’10″, 170 speedster with 10.4 speed in the 100 meter dash, and was offered by Clemson and Nebraska to go along with the Gators. Like Dontre Wilson, he had Tom Herman as his primary recruiter- you can imagine what he’ll look like in Coach Herman’s offense as you check out his highlights after the jump. Read More
Signing Day Central from Official Site (Photo Gallery, Bios, etc.)
Bill Greene Live Chat at Noon (via Fox Sports Ohio)
Welcome to The Buckeye Battle Cry’s signing day headquarters for Ohio State’s 2013 class!
For people that follow recruiting obsessively, this is like the Super Bowl.
Below you will find all of the latest information on the players that may be deciding to join Ohio State’s class today, as well as the latest updates on the verbally committed players that have signed and faxed their letters of intent to Ohio State.
Please feel free to join the conversation in the comments section. We would also like to give a shout out to the fantastic work and community discussion that takes place over at BuckeyePlanet.com.
Also, Fox Sports Ohio will be hosting a livechat with Bill Greene at noon today; be sure to head over to get the latest on Buckeye and national recruiting news.
Vonn Bell and James Clark will announce their decisions early in the morning, which could make an already exciting day even better.
Ezekiel Elliott will announce his college decision later in the day and there is buzz surrounding Taivon Jacobs and Trey Johnson potentially not signing with Ohio State as originally planned.
Regardless of what happens, this class is one of the top groups in the nation and Urban Meyer is clearly stockpiling the talent necessary for future National Title chases in the years to come.
While National Letter of Intent day is Wednesday, Ohio State received word Monday that Texas athlete Dontre Wilson wasn’t interested in waiting until then, as he verballed to be the latest member of the Buckeyes’ 2013 class.
Wilson, a one time Oregon commit, has been in contact with Coach Meyer and the staff for quite some time. After Oregon coach Chip Kelly left to
flee NCAA sanctions pursue an NFL opportunity with the Eagles, Wilson re-opened his recruiting. Shortly thereafter, he was in Columbus for an official visit where he, in the words of sources from Texas, “fell in love with Ohio State”.
Oregon did not go quietly, however, as their entire coaching staff visited with him following his trip to Columbus. Wilson was also scheduled to have traveled to Stillwater and visit TBPU, but cancelled that trip. Instead, he chose to visit Austin this past weekend, where news of his being a Buckeye lean started to surface. This was the second such “leak” from the Longhorns- they also let it be known that A’Shawn Robinson was headed to Alabama after the star stepped away from his commitment to Texas.
Wilson played at De Soto High School, and was assessed as a four star recruit by most of the national services. He’s a smaller athlete, and is projected to play in the slot at Ohio State, or as it’s being called “the Percy Harvin position”. He makes a great counter punch to Ohio State’s power running game, and may see playing time early on.
He was named the Dallas Area Offensive Player of the Year by the Dallas Morning News following a senior campaign that saw him amass 1,892 yards and 37 touchdowns rushing, while also catching 37 passes for 752 yards and nine TDs as well. You can check out some of his many highlights after the break. Read More
After a bit of a delay in order to ensure that everything was sorted out on both sides, current Mississippi State verbal wide receiver Corey Smith has flipped his commitment and become the 23rd member of the 2013 recruiting class.
Originally from Akron, Smith is a 6′ 170 pound recruit who will have two years of eligibility left upon enrolling at Ohio State. While at Buchtel, he was listed as one of the top athletes in the state of Ohio for 2011, and attended Ohio State for games and camps during his junior and senior seasons.
He’s listed as a four star receiver by numerous recruiting services, and held offers from Penn State, Tennessee, Alabama, Washington, and North Carolina, among others. He initially verballed to the Volunteers, but needed to take care of some issues with his core classes and chose to do so at EMCC. It was speculated following his visit this past weekend that he would be a part of this class, but it wasn’t until his transcripts were examined that he was able to finally make it official.
After the break, check out his highlights from high school and from this past year at East Mississippi Community College: Read More