One Fan’s Opinion: The Dark Side Of Signing Day

Written February 8th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye
Wednesday was a celebration for many across the country; families, coaches, and fans. But not everyone saw National Signing Day as a great event.What started out as a Tuesday conversation with a friend of mine who works in Higher Education turned into his sending me the following reflection on the underside of roster management, admissions, and the pursuit of the next big thing.

Bells And Whistles

“My word is my bond“…except in college football recruiting.

It has been well covered on the BBC before but there aren’t too many boy scouts (in the traditional sense) involved in the circus that culminated on National Signing Day.  We all saw the faces of 17-18 year olds sitting behind a table with significant others and an pen in hand.  What is a day that will ultimately change their life forever, though, is littered with ugly.  There is enough blame to go around and in this writer’s opinion, very little should be shouldered by the 18 year old kid.

Let’s start with the system (driven by the media), which asks a kid to give his “word” (which used to mean something) and announce his verbal commit way in advance…but what is that commitment anyway…doesn’t everyone know that guys are non-committal at best?  This promise isn’t something that will keep anyone away.  If nothing else, it draws MORE attention from other teams trying to “flip” that word (read: promise).

Next, there are the coaches, lathering up the recruits and blowing smoke saying they are the best player they’ve seen (in the past 5 minutes).  All to find out that this best player is just one of 5 recruited at that position, and in many cases he was told he was top guy on the coach’s list (as were the other 4).

Then there is the NCAA, which I’m convinced couldn’t host a 5 year old’s birthday party properly.  How does a “program” like Ole Miss sign a class that rivals USC, OSU, TX, FL, or AL?  Schadenfreude that’s how.  When did Mississippi become the hotbed of college football…NEVER.  And the NCAA stands by smiling.

Finally, as our friends at Oversigning so wonderfully articulates, how do many programs in the country do math? When the rest of the nation is playing with 85, they are playing with 100, 105 and in some cases 110.  The travesty in this, is that to get to 85, many STUDENT athletes are sent packing because they aren’t as fast or as strong as they were told they were a year ago, and instead of earning a college degree from a sound academic institution, they are getting one from a directional school, if one is achieved at all.

So how do we fix this? Well, I propose a few options. Read More

Vonn Bell Is A Buckeye !!!

Written February 6th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

All Smiles

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

James Clark Is A Buckeye !!!

Written February 6th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Wears It Well

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

Ohio State Recruiting: National Signing Day!

Written February 6th, 2013 by Jim

The Super Bowl of recruiting is finally here.

Signing Day Central from Official Site (Photo Gallery, Bios, etc.)

Bill Greene Live Chat at Noon (via Fox Sports Ohio)

Meyer Call-in Show on 97.1 The Fan at Noon

Live Press Conference at 3 p.m.

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.

Signing Day Targets Read More

BBN: Three Questions From Ohio State’s 2012 Signing Day

Written February 2nd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye
Following an epic National Letter of Intent Day at Ohio State, several of the Buckeye Blogs wanted to take a closer look at how this will all play out for the future. Be sure to check out the work at The Buckeye Blog, Buckeye House Call, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, Our Honor Defend, and The Silver Bullet for their responses to the round table questions and all things NLOID related.

Marion. But of course.

It’s Groundhog Day; February 2, 2012. While it might be tempting to channel our inner Ned Ryerson, reliving the epic signing day yesterday over and over and over again wouldn’t be all that productive (unless you’re Bret Bielema’s therapist). Nope, it’s time to embrace the other side of the festive event and recognize that yesterday was a sign that the seasons were changing. The long, dismal, self inflicted winter of Buckeye Nation’s discontent is moving on, and the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train.

No, Urban Meyer didn’t look for his shadow as he emerged from the Ohio State War Room on Monday, but you can bet that his presence has cast a shadow across the hearts of B1G fans as certainly as it brought sunlight to Columbus and beyond. A new day was here- a day where most of the B1G took yet another step strengthening their position against signing day abuses; a day where the most egregious oversigners had to change their habits and make decisions on NLOID; heck, a day where James Patrick Tressel may have even found a home.

But for Buckeye fans, little of that mattered. Most of them celebrated by quoting the great Mark Twain in reflection of their favorite squadron- “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” As we all know, though, they don’t hand out crystal footballs on signing day so the work continues for the OSU staff and student athletes.  And for those of us who follow and report and reflect on their decisions, there are always questions to be answered.

Who are you most excited to see in the Scarlet and Gray?

Eric- Hands down, I’m the most excited to see what Brionte Dunn can bring to the fold.  Reportedly, Dunn is a bruising power back that will harken back to the days of yore for the Buckeyes. 

Many people have made a big deal about how Dunn won’t fit into Urban Meyer’s system.  That statement couldn’t be further from the truth.  Recall that Tim Tebow was often used in lieu of a power back, being used to plow ahead for yardage.  Florida is not a state known for it’s big bruisers, being better known for it’s speedsters of course, and Urban Meyer was simply not able to get the kinds of running backs he prefers – the big kinds.

Meyer will easily integrate Dunn into the offense, and it should be fun to watch unfold.  As a bonus, Bill Greene commented during his Q&A liveblog yesterday that he believed Dunn would be the starting running back for the Buckeyes next season.  Just as an FYI. Read More

Ohio State Recruiting: NLOID

Written February 1st, 2012 by Jim

The Super Bowl of recruiting is finally here.

[Update] Don’t forget to check out the Signing Day Chat with Bill Greene. Bill is the best in the business and it is well worth your time.

[Update II] You can also go back and view Kyle Dodson’s announcement if you missed it, which featured a unique way of choosing the Buckeyes that is worth watching.

Welcome to The Buckeye Battle Cry’s signing day headquarters for Ohio State’s 2012 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 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 and to follow the links for the latest information and discussion via BuckeyePlanet.com.

Ohio State may get all of the signing day targets below, or they may get none of them. It should make for an interesting day.

Regardless of what happens with the players making decisions today, this is an outstanding class for the Buckeyes and it will be a lot of fun watching develop in the years to come. Click through for all the details on this epic day.

Read More

Kyle Dodson is a Buckeye!

Written February 1st, 2012 by Joe Laing

Big man on campus.

Ho hum, another day in Buckeye land with another commitment.

The latest comes from Cleveland Heights offensive tackle Kyle Dodson (6’6″ 310 lbs).

Dodson is the finishing touch on what has turned into a solid group of 2012 offensive linemen for the Buckeyes.

He  joins Taylor Decker, Joey O’Connor, Patrick Elflein, and Jacoby Boren in the class.

At one point not that long ago, this group looked like it could be in serious trouble.

Filling the depth at tackle was  particularly concerning for the future.

Thankfully, Meyer turned that around in a big way- securing commitments from Dodson and Decker at tackle and throwing in O’Connor for good measure.

Despite the strong finish from Meyer, Dodson’s decision to be a Buckeye was far from a sure thing throughout his recruitment.

After saying that Ohio State was his dream school early on in the process, Kyle committed to Wisconsin over the summer after Coach Tressel left Ohio State. Read More

Jamal Marcus is a Buckeye!

Written February 1st, 2012 by Jim

Jamal Marcus becomes the next LB in the 2012 class looking to make an instant impact on Ohio State's defense.

The incredible infusion of talent into the Silver Bullet defense continues today with the verbal commitment of NC LB Jamal Marcus.

Within days of each other, linebackers David Perkins, Camren Williams and now Jamal Marcus have chosen to be Buckeyes. It can’t by emphasized enough how exciting that is for the future of the defense.

The pitch to the recent 2012 recruits is a chance for early playing time after a very down year in 2011. That message has hit home with Jamal Marcus and the other LBs, who are poised to make a major impact right out of the gate (similar to what Ryan Shazier did as a true freshman in 2011).

It wouldn’t be surprising to see all three get on the field next season- although a redshirt year for at least one of them is likely.

The competition will be intense to see who gets on the field, and that will lead to improved play from the group. Read More