Amile Jefferson to make announcement Tuesday

Written May 12th, 2012 by Joe Dexter
It looks like Philly native and Friends Central forward Amile Jefferson will finally make the decision of which college to play for Tuesday afternoon. With the late signing period looming Wednesday, it looks like the top 25 prospect has nailed it down to where he wants to go.According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jefferson said on Friday that he’s “still looking” at Ohio State, Kentucky, Villanova, N.C. State, and Duke.  The Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Pennsylvania had at one point put the Buckeyes high on his list, but since has seemed to favorite the likes of N.C. State and Duke.The Friends’ Central senior averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game in his high school career. The McDonalds All-American has a very good all around game, that best suits him at the power forward position in the college game.

Early on, it looked like Duke and Ohio State would be in a battle to convince Jefferson they were the school for him. But as of late, N.C. State has really put together a push to convince the undersized forward. And now, with one scholarship left for 2012, Calipari is putting in his last sales pitch for Jefferson in Lexington.

Back in December, I profiled Jefferson in a 2012 recruiting update:

A lot of what has kept the Jefferson recruiting wheel rolling has to do with the likes of Anthony Bennett, who has yet to sign a Letter of Intent, and might even opt to wait until after the late signing period.

Both Power forwards were on the radar of Kentucky and Duke. Jefferson has also continued to explore his options based on probable NBA Draft picks. NC State, who was the most recent to jump in the mix, has a top five class heading to campus in 2012. If they could add Jefferson, they could really be a threat in the ACC right away next season. With the talented C.J. Leslie returning though, many wonder if Jefferson still has them as a favorite heading into Tuesday.

I personally believe that Duke would be the perfect fit for Jefferson to develop his game and get immediate playing time. In fact, in due time, he could become the next Eldon Brand or Shane Battier in that program. His skill set really plays into how the Duke program has handled it’s undersized bigs in the past.

His game is similar to that Sheldon Williams, Carlos Boozer, Christian Laettner, Leoul Deng and the tons of forwards that have come through the program and made their way to the NBA.

All we can hope for is that his announcement doesn’t take as long as former recruit Tony Parker, who selected UCLA after three hours of non-sense.

Lewis Neal Is A Buckeye!!

Written April 23rd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Making Fans Already

And the good news keeps rolling, as North Carolina’s Lewis Neal becomes the lucky thirteenth member of the OSU class of 2013.

The 6’3″ Neal is projected as a defensive lineman, and plays weakside end at James Hunt HS in Wilson North Carolina.  He visited the ‘Shoe on Saturday for the spring game, which gave us what could easily be the most awesome recruiting photo ever, seen on the right.

Neal’s offer list is a strong one, particularly given that he is rated as a three star by most of the major recruiting sites. He held offers from Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Tennessee, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, and Purdue.

After the jump, you can get a better look at his film- great first reaction and tenacity, although the technique is a bit raw (who’s wasn’t in high school?). From what we hear, he’s just now coming into his own in terms of his abilities, and is a hard worker both on and off the field.

It will be interesting to see if Ohio State keeps him on the line or bumps him back to linebacker- our recruiting team seems to think that this commitment more than makes up for Courtney Love’s decision to head to Nebraska over the weekend.

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Joey Bosa Is A Buckeye!!!

Written April 23rd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Welcome To Columbus, Mr. Bosa!

Ohio State’s work during their big recruiting weekend continues to roll, as they add the twelfth member  of the 2013 class, defensive lineman Joey Bosa from Fort Lauderdale’s St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

Bosa, a four/five star athlete that’s ranked in the top 30 nationally by the major scouting services, is currently plays strong-side defensive end (think John Simon) for STA. The junior is listed as 6’5″ and at 260 pounds, and has amazing Buckeye ties- he’s the nephew of former Ohio State linebacker Eric Kumerow.

Bosa is another OSU verbal with an incredible laundry list of offers from BCS schools, including Alabama, the Big Three schools in Florida, Tennessee, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Auburn; he made visits to Madison and Ann Arbor last weekend when he also came by Columbus.

When you watch his film (after the jump), it’s hard to not see why Coach Meyer would be so high on him- his strength and athleticism are disruptive for opposing offenses. Having Bosa as a part of the Ohio State team, in addition to the current defensive line and incoming 2012 class makes me weep for B1G offensive coordinators and quarterbacks- Wonder what ACC school Wisconsin will pillage to find their next cannon fodder?

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Alex Anzalone Is A Buckeye!!!

Written April 21st, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Buckeye Legend, and Legend To Be?

Sorry to be a bit late on this one… we were busy celebrating the Buckeye Spring Game victory/grieving the Buckeye Spring Game loss. As you can imagine, beverages were involved in both scenarios.

Anywho- Since Buckeye Hoops Nation grew by one today, it only made sense that the Football team bring one into the fold as well; and following the Spring Game Pennsylvania Wyomissing’s Alex Anzalone gave his verbal commitment to become the eleventh member of Ohio State’s 2013 recruiting class.

A rumored Buckeye lean for the past few weeks (given his mail, can you blame him?), Anzalone is one of the top rated outside linebackers in the country this year- a four star recruit on all three major scouting services. It might be easier to list the schools that haven’t offered him a scholarship at this point, since his list is a veritable “Who’s Who” of BCS powerhouses that might require Yakko Warner to adequately cover in totality. A short list: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Southern Cal. Michigan also offered him a scholarship, but I’m sure Wolverine fans will tell you they’d “cooled on him recently”.

A 6’3″ student athlete, Anzalone played both linebacker and running back for his high school- after the jump, you can see his athletic ability on display (as well as his team’s ridiculous looking helmets… can’t win them all). I’m most impressed with his work on offense, his speed is evident as he pulls away from folks on numerous runs, and he will deliver punishment running the ball equally as easily as he does on D.

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Amedeo Della Valle is a Buckeye!

Written April 21st, 2012 by Joe Dexter

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/Ame_DV_2/statuses/193736551820300288"]

The Buckeyes have finally added someone to the 2012 class, and boy is he a good one to add to the talent pool next year. If your a fan of European play, then you will be excited about the addition of Amedeo Della Valle. The 6’6″ Italian combo guard out of Nevada chose Ohio State today over Texas A&M and Arizona.

At one point, it looked like Michigan was going to be the favorite when rumors swirled that Trey Burke was headed to the NBA. After Burke decided to come back for another season and the commitment of fellow point guard Spike Albrecht, Della Valle made his interest known in Ohio State.

After a visit this Tuesday, it became clear that the Ohio State Buckeyes were the favorite. Arizona has a slew of guards within the 2012 class. Texas A&M is an upstart that could of used his services.

Like we mentioned on Friday’s recruiting update, what is so special about Della Valle is his ability already to play defense. Sure, he is no  Aaron Craft, but he adds great depth at the guard position. He also adds range and a good ability to drive to the hoop.

This now means that the Buckeyes have three open scholarships remaining heading into the season.

We’ll keep you updated on the latest.

Here is a scouting video of Della Valle to enjoy.

J.T. Barrett Is A Buckeye !!!

Written April 18th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

If you’re like me, you can’t wait for Saturday’s Spring Game.

And, that also makes you like Texas QB J.T. Barrett, who wasted no time in becoming the tenth member of the Ohio State 2013 Recruiting Class. Who needs a Recruiting Weekend to make it official, right?

Lone Star Buckeye

The 6’2″, 205 pound QB from Rider HS in Wichata Falls TX has an impressive offer sheet, including Mississippi State, Nebraska, Baylor and LSU. I guess that’s to be expected when you’re the type of athlete who gets awarded “Best Arm” at December’s Under Armour Junior Combine. According to some, he outperformed Shane Morris at the Elite 11 Camp

Oh, and did I mention his 3.75 GPA?  Yeah, there’s that too. He visited Columbus in late March with his father, and was impressed by Coach Hermann and Coach Meyer’s vision for the program.

As always, highlights after the jump- Read More

A Comprehensive Review of Coach Tressel’s Recruiting Classes

Written March 20th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye
It’s no secret that we here at tBBC owe a lot to Buckeye Planet- several of our team learned our craft there, and the connections we have with insiders from BP help guide and direct our coverage. It’s a great community of fans, and I encourage every Buckeye to get involved there if they have the time and energy.

So, when I read this article by user Lord Jeff Buck, I knew it’d be something that I wanted to share with the rest of Buckeye Nation. LJB has “guest posted” here before, and his work is always amazing- I’m glad that he’s given us permission to post his work here again.

As a note- this is just the introduction to a much MUCH larger piece. I’ve included the links to the review of each individual class, as well as a summary of “Bests” and “Busts”. Enjoy!!

Looking Back

In this article, I review every player who signed a Letter of Intent (or equivalent) to play football at Ohio State during the Jim Tressel era, which covers the recruiting classes of 2001 to 2011. I also review a few walk-ons and transfers who made some impact during their Buckeye careers.

Overall, Jim Tressel signed 222 recruits in his eleven years at the helm (an average of just over 20 per class), and the average “star” rating for his recruits was 3.61* according to Rivals, and 3.67* according to Scout. Overall, according Rivals, Tressel signed 15 five-star prospects, 118 four-star prospects, 71 three-star prospects, 15 two star prospects, and 3 unrated prospects; and according to Scout, he signed 26 five-star prospects, 94 four-star prospects, 67 three-star prospects, 12 two-star prospects, and 23 unrated prospects.

I have re-ranked each signee based on how well he performed (or is performing) at Ohio State. In my ranking system, a five-star player is one of the all-time Buckeye greats, and a four-and-a-half star player is not too far behind. A four-star performer is usually an All American, or some other player who has distinguished himself in a special way. A three-and-a-half star performer is a borderline great player, while a three-star performer is an above average player (usually a multi-year starter). Two-and-a-half star performers are spot starters, key reserves, role players, and special team standouts, while two-star performers are career back-ups who rarely saw the field. The one-star ranking is reserved for those players who suffered career-ending injuries, or who transferred out of Ohio State after four years in the program.

Zero star performers are outright busts, players who accomplished very little while at Ohio State and then left the program early due to transfers, academics, ineligibility, or criminal activity. A very few early departees received higher ratings because they made significant contributions to the program before they left (Terrelle Pryor, Maurice Clarett, and E.J. Underwood).

After I determine an initial rating for a player, I sometimes adjust that rating up or down based on intangibles or character issues. For example, Terrelle Pryor was a five-star performer during his three years at Ohio State, but I docked him one full star due to his involvement in TatGate and his other off-the-field transgressions, all of which caused him to be kicked off of the team, and which were factors in Ohio State’s being put on probation, in Coach Tressel’s being fired, in the program’s being dragged through the mud by the media, etc.

On the other hand, defensive tackle Joel Penton was a 2.5 star role player who saw limited action, but I increased his rating by half-a-star because he won the Wuerffel Trophy, one of college football’s “good guy” awards.

To date, I have given final grades to each of the 165 Tressel signees who have left the program, either through using up his eligibility, or transfer, or injury, or dismissal; the remaining 57 signees have been given partial or incomplete grades. Of the players with final grades, 6 received five stars, 6 received 4.5 stars, 12 received 4 stars, 20 received 3.5 stars, 28 received 3 stars, 17 received 2.5 stars, 15 received 2 stars, 12 received 1 star, and 49 received 0 stars; thus, the current average star rating for the Tressel signees is 2.08 stars. Read More

Michigan’s Big Weekend Sends Message

Written February 22nd, 2012 by Jim

Apparently kids want to play football for this guy. ( John T. Greilick/The Detroit News)

Sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due- Brady Hoke and his Michigan program did very well on the recruiting trail this past weekend.

The weekend was so good, in fact, that the rest of the Big Ten- and especially those of us in Buckeye Nation, need to sit up and take notice.

Not only did Michigan land eight verbal commitments in a matter of 48 hours, some of those commitments came from players on Ohio State’s radar- and a few even had offers from the Buckeyes! *gasp*

On top of the numbers is the quality- every last one of the eight verbals was a four-star prospect according to Rivals.

This type of success, particularly head-to-head with the Buckeyes, is a far cry from what we had all come to expect and enjoy during the Rodriguez era.

Is it time for the Big Ten to panic?

With Meyer’s close to the 2012 class and this opening for Hoke’s 2013 class- probably.

Is it time for Buckeye Nation to panic?

The answer to that is a resounding no, but this weekend sent a clear message.

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