Wrapping up the 2012 Recruiting Class

Written October 25th, 2011 by Jim

After a long hiatus, it’s time to jump back in with some recruiting talk.

Adverse circumstances surrounding the program have obviously impacted recruiting for months, but the 2012 class still has an opportunity to be pretty darn good.

The key will be finishing strong, and the Buckeyes look to be in a great position to do just that.

The biggest concern, as it has been for months, continues to be along the offensive line. Regardless of how the ’12 class finishes, the depth issues there may not be resolved until the ink is dry on the ’13 class.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, here is a look at how the 2012 class will wind down. Read More

Devan Bogard is a Buckeye!

Written June 26th, 2011 by Jim

Say hello to your newest Buckeye, 2012 Glenville safety Devan Bogard.

After a few weeks of mostly negative recruiting news, I am happy to report that Ohio DB Devan Bogard has decided to become the 9th member of the 2012 recruiting class.

Bogard is a Glenville kid who has not taken the typical Glenville route to Ohio State.

First, he was much more open about strongly favoring Ohio State throughout the process than Glenville kids typically are (even though he did throw out the “no favorites, open to all schools” line a few times). Obviously, committing this early also bucks a trend with a lot of Glenville kids who wait until the very end of the recruiting process to officially make a decision.

I’m not sure what motivated Devan to deviate from the typical Glenville path and  jump the gun with his commitment to the Buckeyes, but obviously it is a welcome one.

Bogard is one of the top players in Ohio in 2012 who comes from a school that has produced several outstanding defensive backs for the Buckeyes in the past (Donte Whitner, Jermale Hines).

Like Whitner and Hines, Bogard will likely play safety in Columbus.

He combines the speed and explosiveness that you expect from an elite defensive back prospect with a great nose for the football. He is not afraid of contact and is outstanding in run support.

Like all commitments that have been made during this tumultuous time, you really have to appreciate Bogard’s dedication to being a Buckeye. He says Ohio State is “family” and he isn’t affected by the NCAA hearing at all.

It seemed like the 2012 class was on hold or in reverse until the NCAA hearing is complete and Ohio State secures a long term head coach, but this commitment reverses that trend somewhat, which is nice to see.

In the grand scheme of the 2012 class, we will still likely have to wait until much closer to February to really know how things will turn out, but in the meantime, here’s to a bit of good news to start off the week.

Highlights after the jump. Read More

Ohio State’s Top Targets in the 2012 Class

Written April 29th, 2011 by Jim

Tom Strobel at the Spring Game.

As summer camps approach, the Ohio State coaching staff will be looking to continue narrowing down their top targets in the 2012 class.

While they have already seen many players at camp in previous years, they will get one last one-on-one evaluation period before making the final push for their top targets over the summer and fall.

A lot can happen between a players junior and senior years of high school, and as always, some surprise camp offers will likely emerge.

Most of the time, the camp offers replace national prospects that received token early offers. More often than not, the chances of landing some of the national prospects are slim to none from the beginning. You offer just to be sure and to establish contact with coaches and programs around the country.

At this point, the staff has a good idea of the national prospects with legitimate interest, making it possible to evaluate players with an eye on replacing current offers with no interest in the Buckeyes.

Before summer camp evaluations and a new round of offers, here is a look at Ohio State’s early offers that they still have an above average shot at landing. Read More

Recruiting Update: 2/22/11

Written February 22nd, 2011 by Jim

James Ross is one of the top linebackers in the Midwest. Grabbing him from Michigan's home turf would be poetic justice in 2012.

Welcome back to another recruiting update. Ohio State hasn’t slowed down in terms of new verbal offers for players, which leaves us with plenty to talk about after the jump. Before we get to that, however, I’d like to address one of the emerging story lines of this recruiting class: Michigan carpet bombing the state of Ohio with offers.

Jim Tressel and his staff pride themselves on being selective with their offers and landing a high percentage of players that they target. In contrast, Hoke and his staff have been pretty blatant about throwing offers out to seemingly every Ohio prospect possible.

In a way, this is the perfect strategy for them. It is a fact that the clowns from Ann Arbor would be nothing without Ohio players and coaches saving them from their own mediocrity. Brady Hoke, being the true Michigan man that he is, understands that he is worthless without Ohio. So what better way to turn the program around than raiding an unbelievably talented 2012 crop of Buckeyes?

We have talked before about how there is no way Ohio State will keep all of the in-state talent in this recruiting class. The fence around the state will be knocked over big time and other schools will reap the benefits… at least for one year.

Ohio State has offered approximately 34 players in the 2012 class thus far. In contrast, Michigan has thrown out at least twice as many offers, including hitting Ohio hard. It may be a good strategy for them, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. The worst part will be when they pull an Ohio player or ten, which is inevitable. They will claim a “victory” over Ohio State and brag about it in their typical arrogant manner.

It will be dreadfully annoying.

That being said, Ohio State and the coaches can only take care of their recruiting business, whatever happens at other schools is largely up to us fans to deal with… so prepare yourselves accordingly.

The most important thing to remember is that when you throw out 100 offers, which Michigan is well on their way to hitting, you are only expecting to land about 25% of those offers. That’s a pretty embarrassing admission of your lack of appeal, and something that Ron Zook is infamous for at Illinois. So congratulations Michigan, you have turned into the recruiting equivalent of the Illini.

Read on for new offers and some general recruiting “buzz” since our last update. And as always, remember to check out our 2012 Big Board, which is continuously updated. Read More

Recruiting Big Board Updates: 2/14/11

Written February 14th, 2011 by Jim

Meet Vadal Alexander, the most recent offensive tackle to be offered by Ohio State.

It is still early in the recruiting season so there is not much going on outside of verbal offers, but Ohio State has been throwing them out at a relatively fast clip. The early offers in general and the newest ones in particular confirm two things we already knew about the 2012 class.

First, the Buckeyes are going after offensive tackles hard. Second, the Buckeyes are looking across the country (particularly for defensive backs) before they turn their attention to Ohio players. It looks like Tressel and company will take their time (possibly waiting until camp) to sort out who they will target in-state… beyond the ones already offered of course.

This strategy may seem odd considering the amount of talent in Ohio, but with the built-in advantage the Buckeyes have (not the least of which is Tressel’s relationship with high school coaches across the state), I am sure the staff knows exactly what they are doing.

The other thing worth noting is that even though there are only 15 seniors scheduled to graduate following the 2011 season, it seems highly likely that the 2012 class will approach 20 players (give or take). The off-season is a long one, and transfers or other forms of attrition will likely open up some addition spots in the class.

Whether you are tracking early verbal offers, Ohio prospects waiting for offers, or the number of spots available in the class, 2012 recruiting will keep us entertained for months and months.

Read on for updates to the 2012 big board.

Read More

Recruiting Update: 2012 Kickoff

Written February 7th, 2011 by Jim

Offensive tackle Kyle Kalis is one of five already committed players in the 2012 class.

Now that the ink has dried on the 2011 recruiting class, it is officially time to start looking ahead to 2012… recruiting has no off season. The 2012 class is projected to have a relatively low number of scholarships, which is a shame given the huge amount of talent present in Ohio and across the country.

With 5 players already in the fold, the Buckeyes will be looking to add approximately 10-15 additional prospects over the next 12 months. Like 2011, the class will fill up quickly (primarily with in-state players), leaving the coaches plenty of time to focus on a small number of elite out-of-state targets that will take a bit longer to reel in.

Regardless of who the Buckeyes sign, disappointment is inevitable in 2012. Ohio State will miss on some extremely talented players simply because there won’t be room for them. The in-state players heading abroad will be particularly difficult to witness, but you play the hand you are dealt.

For the record, number crunches like Ohio State is facing in 2012 are exactly why oversigning provides such a huge advantage for certain teams, but I digress.

Check out our 2012 Recruiting Big Board and read on for an early look at the class. Read More

Recruiting Update: 9/21/10

Written September 21st, 2010 by Jim

Kyle Kalis (Photo via the Plain Dealer)

Joe also contributed to this post.

With the excitement of fall camp and the start of the season, recruiting has been on the back burner for weeks.

Since my last update, Ohio State received the commitment of local Columbus running back Warren Ball and Cleveland offensive lineman Kyle Kalis, the second and third commitments in the 2012 class.

With those two commitments and the recent addition of several new in-state offers (one of which was Kalis), the 2012 class is starting to gain some momentum.

As far as the 2011 class is concerned, outside of Doran Grant, Aundrey Walker, and Shane Wynn eventually becoming Buckeyes, everything else is up in the air.

The area of most confusion in 2011 is at linebacker. Ohio State clearly would like to take at least one linebacker in the class… the problem is figuring out who that will be.

Join me after the jump for a look at how the 2011 class might wind down and an early look at the extremely talented 2012 class. Read More