When I was a freshman in high school, the most important Christmas-time decision that I made was the type of dress socks that I was buying for my dad.
Massillon freshman quarterback Danny Clark is having a significantly better beginning of his Holiday season than most of us did, as he became the first member of the Ohio State 2017 recruiting class today.
You read that correctly: 2017. Only current Buckeyes who are redshirting will still be a part of the team when Clark puts on the scarlet and gray, but it sounds like this is as close to a sure thing as can come in the world of recruiting: Clark is the real deal.
As Buckeye fans know, the Massillon Tigers program is one where expectations and pressure can be incredibly high, and yet Clark became the first freshman quarterback to have started for the Tigers this year and led Massillon into the State Playoffs.
According to Recruiting gurus, Clark’s verbal could have come even before he enrolled in high school, but it wasn’t until today that Coach Meyer extended the offer and had it immediately accepted.
The freshman is currently 6’4″, and weighs 205 pounds. Those numbers are sure to change as he continues through the Tiger program and, you know, adolescence and so forth. Clark is targeted as “pro style” QB with a 40 time in the high 4 seconds.
You may think that those vuvuzela’s you keep hearing are due to the World Cup, but you would be wrong. They are trumpeting the arrival of Devin Smith, the latest Buckeye commitment (which is infinitely more exciting than the World Cup will ever be).
Smith is a WR from the storied Massillon High School program, and at 6’1″ and around 175 lbs. he is close to ideal size for a WR.
While Smith may be a new name to some, he has been on Ohio State’s radar for quite some time, he just didn’t have an official offer. Luckily for Smith, he was given the oppurtunity to showcase himself at a summer camp this past weekend, and he made the most of it.
Smith was so impressive that Ohio State did not hesitate to offer a scholarship and the rest, as they say, is history (at least in terms of the recruitment).
It is great to see a kid who wanted a Buckeye offer so badly go out and earn it on the field. That shows a lot of heart and determination (not to mention athletic ability) and those qualities will serve you well both on and off the football field.
Smith is the 15th commitment for the class of 2011 for the Buckeyes. The implications for the rest of the class are the same from here on in, one less spot for someone else, and people are going to get left out if they wait around too long [Shane Wynn].
I will come back with a more in depth recruiting analysis in the future, but for now, a big congratulations to Devin Smith, the newest member of the Buckeye family.
[Side note: Georgia linebacker James Vaughters committed to Stanford today.]
I grew up with the name Chris Spielman dominating the news. When I was in junior high, he was a running back and a linebacker at Massillon High School, a mere seven miles from my house. He humiliated both offenses and defenses across the state week after week. Guys in this town still have nightmares from when they were 16 year-old kids and would get punished having to try and tackle him on Friday night. They don’t talk about getting tackled by him because the concussion took that memory away.
Dude was even on a Wheaties box before he turned 18.
Then he chose Ohio State. Actually, his father told him to choose Ohio State or “never come home again”. Spielman was apparently considering that school up north.
In 1986 he was all over the field against Michigan, recording 29 tackles in a single game. No, that’s not a misprint. 29 tackles in one game.
So by the time I got to see him up close for the first time, he was a legend.
In 1987, I went up to Michigan Stadium to see the Buckeyes/Wolverines game. Four days earlier, Ohio State had fired head coach Earle Bruce and it was considered a travesty in every part of Ohio except the university president’s office. The players were pissed, and they were fully supporting Bruce.
During pre-game warmups that cold morning, we were right along the end zone wall, screaming for our Bucks. The players (who, in solidarity, had all put on white headbands with the name “Earle” emblazoned upon it in black Sharpie) were fired up and loving the atmosphere of the day. Hundreds of high-fives and hugs being exchanged between players and fans. It was electric.
Except for Spielman.
I have never seen a scarier sight in my life than when #36 came near our corner of the end zone. The look in his eyes was of pure anger and pure hunger. Nobody reached out to wish Spielman luck. They were too afraid of him. He looked as if he would literally plunge a rusty 6-inch shank in your jugular vein if you got in his way.
We were terrified of him and we were on the same freaking team.
And then we watched Michigan’s offense try to use only half of the field, constantly running to the side of the field that didn’t have a guy named Spielman on it. They clearly remembered the attack they had witnessed in 1986 (seriously, 29 tackles!) and tried their best to avoid a repeat.
That day, Spielman and the rest of the Buckeyes gave Bruce his final win at Ohio State, beating Bo Schembechler 23-20. Thanks, Chris!
36 days until kickoff!