BPRT's Recap of the Class of 2013
General Thoughts - On paper, this is arguably the greatest recruiting class in Buckeye history. But how great will it look when half of the class washes out? Even with the inevitable attrition, there is enough talent here to form the nucleus of a national championship squad ... This staff continues to amaze the recruiting world. Not only is this new approach the absolute polar opposite of the prior staff, it is successful nation-wide. You can't lie and say the commitable/uncommitable offer deal did not bother you just a little...as B10 fans, we were all engrossed in doing 'the right way'. Who can define the 'right way' given the explosion of recruiting, internet, and social media? The game has changed and as long as there isn't any type of improprieties happening, a staff cannot carry a stick to a gun fight. Meyer and staff are relentless and they should be given the salaries and expectations ... Completely agree with both above posts. The way this staff is recruiting is nothing like we've ever seen before. Get in & buckle up, because it's just getting started ... Urban Meyer's closing ratio down the stretch is the stuff of legend and he proved it again this year by adding Mike Mitchell, Trey Johson, Chris Worley, Corey Smith, Dontre Wilson, Vonn Bell and James Clark. On top of that he managed to hold on to a few recruits that were looking around...namely Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott and Donovan Munger. The way this class finished is rivaled only by the talent that was landed out of the gate, including superb talents like Jalin Marshall, J.T. Barrett, Eli Apple, Evan Lisle, etc. One of the most impressive things about this staff is how they will not be outworked...from Mark Pantoni to Tom Herman to Coach Meyer himself, this staff simply will not bow out to anyone.
Earliest Impact - Lots of contenders here, but five-star prospect Mike Mitchell enters an extremely thin linebacking corps, and he should get a chance to contribute - and possibly start - from day one ... I agree with the above, but I also know Herman is ready to get this offense into Nitro. Dontre Wilson and Jalin Marshall are my early predictions for immediate impact because they are gamebreakers. This offense is not swinging for singles ... So many options....Offense, have to go with Jalin Marshall (but don't sleep on Corey Smith). What he brings is exactly what this offense needs. The way he improved over the course of the UA Game Week was, by all reports, tremendous. I agree that Dontre will contribute early as well, but I think Marshall sees the field first. Defense- Mike Mitchell. Another supreme talent in a position of need ... All great options and guys I certainly see contributing early. The easiest choices are some combination of Wilson/Marshall and Mitchell/Johnson but I will throw a couple of other names out there. Corey Smith was obviously not brought in to redshirt. He also wasn't brought in to sit behind the current WR corp and learn the position. He was brought in because the staff thinks he is an immediate upgrade over some on the current roster. On defense, one of the key positions that will be up for grabs this spring is the cornerback spot opposite Brad Roby. Eli Apple is already on campus and in my opinion might have had the most underrated senior highlights video in this class. He will have a chance to push Doran Grant and Armani Reeves for that second starting corner job.
Most Star Potential - Any of the offensive skill players could achieve stardom in Urban Meyer's scheme, but I'll go out on a limb and say that Marcus Baugh enjoys an All American career, thus becoming the first Buckeye tight end since 1970 to earn that honor ... Fans love the big play. I'll stick with Marshall and Wilson as the showtime duo that will have America talking ... Vonn Bell. Get him hooked up with Marotti & it's lights out ... Mike Mitchell. You just can't teach that kind of size, speed and athleticism. He will have a map to stardom laid out for him. I expect him to follow through.
Surest Thing - Five-star prospects are supposed to become star players, so I'll go with defensive end Joey Bosa, who should see early action and develop steadily throughout his career ... I'm going to go with Vonn Bell here. Given the safety depth and issues, Bell will be a steady presence for the Silver Bullets ... I agree with Bosa here. I think he proves that he's ready for the college game in the fall & sees the field early ... Trey Johnson. A total student of the game. The kind of kid who will do what is necessary in the weight room, in the film room, at the dinner table, in the classroom, etc. to excel as a Buckeye. Michael Hill is a close second.
Most Upside - Defensive end Tracy Sprinkle is one of the few three-star signees in this class, but he has the size and athleticism to become an impact player down the road ... Darron Lee is a wildcard. He has a chance to be unreal if he does not get lost during the developmental period he needs ... Chris Worley....Has great speed & will take your head off. Just need to figure out where to put him ... I've been talking about Sprinkle since the early fall. I think he is one guy that tends to get overlooked when talking about the great defensive linemen Coach Meyer has brought in the last two year but he is a freak of nature.
Biggest Reach - Urban Meyer doesn't really reach for players, but the offensive line needed some bodies, and when several blue chip recruits spurned Ohio State, Tim Gardner received an unlikely offer ... As much as this pains me to say, from trusted evaluators, there are mixed reviews on Billy Price. His motor and work ethic are unquestioned, but his overall athleticism may limit him with what Meyer is bring in the program. However, Price is like Zach Boren...he is a football player so success will not be a shock either ... Really tough to pick anyone from this excellent class, but I'll say Tim Gardner. Definitely an "off" year with OL recruiting, but I expect a big bounce back with the '14 class ... I would have said Gardner when he committed but the reviews of his progress were enough to ease my concern. As such I'll say Gareon Conely was the biggest reach for me...and not because I don't think he can develop but we're talking about a kid who's only been playing football for three years. Probably hasn't scratched the surface of what he can be. Does he start out on offense or on defense? Some of that will depend on the current roster.
Sleeper - With all the polished gems in this class, it's hard to find the diamond in the rough, but safety/star/outside linebacker Darron Lee (#33 prospect in Ohio according to Rivals, #23 according to Scout) reminds me of another Cie Grant ... Darron Lee...no question ... Agree with Darron Lee & Chris Worley as well ... Darron Lee is a great choice. The kid was the only player I can think of in this class, outside of maybe Townsend, who basically had a private audition with the staff and came away with an offer. That to me is as impressive as anything. But I also think people have forgotten about Michael Hill in this class. Tough to call a unanimous 4-star a sleeper but this kid the type of SEC-style defensive tackle that can come in and compete for time right away, provided he is fully healed from his injury.
Biggest Surprise - The Buckeyes added a couple of superstars late in the process, but flipping Gareon Conley from Michigan was a real shocker ... Dontre Wilson flipping from Oregon was a shocker ... James Clark. Multiple unofficials & the extended unofficial to Florida the weekend before Signing Day....I thought he was all Gator. Quite a nice surprise ... Vonn Bell. I had him to Alabama. I had him to Tennessee. I never had him to OSU. Until Signing Day.
The One Who Got Away - Johnny Townsend. After three years of Ben Buchanan, I was really hoping for a significant upgrade at the punter position. Then again, Urban Meyer doesn't believe that the punt is the most important play in football, so we should be alright ... I'll agree with Townsend. Not many misses so this is a gimme ... Agree with Townsend ... James Quick was a big one to me. Until Meyer went and got Wilson, Clark and Smith. I really liked Derrick Green. Meyer managed to hold onto Elliott. I liked Tashawn Bower early. Meyer landed Bosa. At one point I thought OSU might land a LB/Viper class of Jaylon Smith, Alex Anzalone and Lewis Neal. Meyer got us Mitchell, Johnson and Tyquan Lewis. The only area this class might have needed a small improvement was offensive line. For that reason I'll say Dennis Finley and Dorian Johnson are the ones that got away. I liked other guys such as Dan Skipper, Hunter Bivin, David Dawson, etc. but those are two guys I really thought OSU could land.
What This Class Lacks - Offensive linemen, again ... OL for sure ... OL...which will be made up for in the '14 class ... OL...and a punter (thank you Johnny Townsend).