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
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
Today, Mike Mitchell made official what we’ve expected since this summer, and became the latest verbal commitment to Ohio State at the Army All American game.
In fact, here’s the article that we’ve had loaded up in the on deck circle from early July of 2012-
Well, that escalated in a hurry. (ha… if only we knew)
Earlier this week, whispers started to fly regarding Plano Texas linebacker Mike Mitchell’s interest in Ohio State, although the Buckeyes were said to be in the mix with Florida State and Texas A&M.
Friday, though, things got serious. First, Mike excelled at
Oregon’sNike’s “The Opening” competition, and set a new national record in total SPARQ score with a 154.47 score, including a 4.39 laser timed 40 yard dash. While in Eugene, he began to connect with other Buckeye commits and word began spreading that he was Ohio State’s to lose.
And today, it became official as he gave his verbal as the fourteenth member (whoops!) of the 2013 recruiting class.
At 6′ 3″ and about 220 pounds, he also had interest from Oregon, TCU, Southern Cal, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Old Miss in addition to the schools mentioned earlier.
Mike has a history of hoops excellence as well; here’s video of him dunking over opponants during a game his sophomore year. For basketball junkies, you’ve got to wonder if this might also help Mickey, Mike’s younger brother and a top recruit for 2015, consider joining the scarlet and grey… the younger Mitchell is a pretty decent football player as well.
Since that time, Mike has been identified as a 5 star linebacker and the number two player at his position by Scout, and has had offers from every school in the country. His “hat choices” included Texas A&M and Oregon.
Mike’s official was the weekend of the 2012 Celebration, and confirmed what he’d believed to be true all along- that Ohio State was the place for him to spend the next four years or so.
After the jump, check out his highlight video- he plays with good speed and a lot of aggression. Oh, and his nickname seems to be “The Abusement Park”. I kid you not.
Great news for a Saturday; it’s great to come back from a vacation to read that Indianapolis Lawrence Central’s Tim Gardner has become the 16th member of the Ohio State 2013 recruiting class.
Gardner initially “verballed” back in June, but was informed that his commitment wasn’t quite necessary at this time- there’s speculation that the Buckeyes wanted to see his discipline in the form of some conditioning.
He did the work, and was seen as a part of Friday Night Lights working with Buckeye great and offensive guru LeCharles Bentley… you can check his form in the photo to the right, from our friend Josh Winslow.
The off field dedication, the passion and potential that LeCharles saw in him all led to the staff welcoming him as a part of this incoming class. At 6′ 5″ and 300+ pounds, he’s projected as a guard at Ohio State, although he currently plays tackle at Lawrence North, an Indianapolis powerhouse. You can get a glimpse of his work in this Hudl.com highlight video- pay attention to his feet and agility, as well as his propensity for finishing blocks.
Gardner is currently rated a “three star” by some recruiting services, although there’s a lot of speculation that this will change as Tim continues to work through his senior season. He held offers from Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, and Louisville as well as Ohio State.
With Gardner in the fold, there’s speculation that Ohio State may only take one more offensive lineman in the upcoming class. If that person is willing to work as hard as Tim did to earn his place in the scarlet and gray, it’ll be an elite group coming in.
Welcome to the Buckeye Family, Mr, Gardner!