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Misc A Comprehensive Review of Coach Tressel's Recruiting Classes

Discussion in 'Football Recruiting' started by LordJeffBuck, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    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.

    There are two reasons why this overall rating is so low, especially compared to the recruit ratings of Rivals (3.61 stars) and Scout (3.67 stars). First, 23 of the busts (zero or one star ratings) were from the recruiting classes of 2008 to 2011; these players have already received their final grades, while almost all of their classmates are still waiting to receive theirs. In other words, the busts are counted first, and this artificially lowers the overall rating at this early stage. As the remaining players from those classes use up their eligibility, then the overall rating will undoubtedly increase.

    Even still, the final overall rating for the Tressel signees will be significantly lower than their collective recruit ratings, probably by a half star or more. The recruiting services are looking at finished products - they analyze each player's high school body of work, determine which ones were the best, and grade them accordingly. However, the recruit ratings do not necessarily determine who will be the best college prospects. The recruiting services cannot, and do not try to, accurately predict which kids will bust out at the college level - there is simply no way to know who is going to suffer a career-ending injury, or who will get into trouble with the law, or who will transfer, or who will flunk out, or who will be unable to learn the playbook, or who will not develop physically, or who will turn out to be typical college students, namely more interested in drinking beer and chasing girls than doing work. In other words, the recruit ratings look backward to high school, and not forward college. Obviously, my ratings look at what actually happened at Ohio State, and they include all of those kids who busted out for whatever reason (61 to date, or 27.5% of all Tressel signees), and at is why my ratings will necessarily be much lower.

    Note on recruit ratings: The on-line data bases for both Rivals and Scout have player ratings beginning with the recruiting class of 2002. Although I have been able to find most of the Rivals ratings for the class of 2001, I have not found any Scout ratings for that class.
  2. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2001

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2001 :osu:

    On January 18, 2001, Jim Tressel was hired to replace John Cooper as the head football coach of The Ohio State University. Coming onto the scene just two weeks before Signing Day, Coach Tressel did not have much time to engage in recruiting, but he was for the most part able to hold together the class started by John Cooper (especially securing shaky commitments from Rivals 100 prospects Dustin Fox and Angelo Chattams), and he did add a few very key recruits of his own, namely Chris Gamble, Mike Nugent, Lydell Ross, Maurice Hall, and Marcus Green.

    Although it was well-regarded on Signing Day (as are most Ohio State recruiting classes), in retrospect, the class of 2001 was largely forgettable, with many busts and underachievers. However, it did contain two of the all-time greatest Buckeyes, wide receiver/cornerback/return man Chris Gamble and place kicker Mike Nugent, each of whom played a crucial role in Ohio State's 2002 national championship run.

    Quarterback
    Ohio State did not sign a quarterback in the recruiting class of 2001.

    Running Back
    The Buckeyes signed three top running back prospects in 2001, Maurice Hall (Columbus Brookhaven; Rivals 4*, #10 RB, #59 overall; Scout NR), Lydell Ross (Tampa Gaither; Rivals 4*, #26 RB; Scout NR), and JaJa Riley (San Diego Mission Bay; Rivals 3*, #68 RB; Scout NR), but none of them really panned out at Ohio State.

    Lydell Ross committed to Notre Dame two weeks before Signing Day, but then at the last minute switched over to Ohio State. Ross exhibited promise early in his career, as he rushed for 419 yards and 6 touchdowns as a true freshman (including 124 yards against Indiana), and he seemed ready to take over for senior Jonathan Wells. But the arrival of Maurice Clarett in 2002 curtailed Lydell's development, and he was never able to re-establish himself even after Clarett's abrupt departure prior to the 2003 season. As he matured, Ross put on weight, which reduced his speed and agility (which weren't all that great to begin with), and rendered him strictly a between the tackles runner. For his career, Ross rushed for 2,339 yards (16th in Ohio State history) and 26 touchdowns on 596 carries (for a paltry 3.92 average).

    Unlike Lydell Ross, Maurice Hall was never given the opportunity to become a featured back, and he had most of his success as a kick returner (a Buckeye record 1,642 yards on 72 returns for a 22.8 average, but no touchdowns). As a running back, Hall had 974 yards and 6 touchdowns on 236 carries (for a similarly skimpy 4.13 average). Maurice will best be remembered as the player who scored the winning touchdowns against both Illinois (in overtime) and Michigan to preserve a perfect regular season in 2002 and send the Buckeyes to the national championship game against the Miami Hurricanes. For his Buckeye career, Hall had 2,681 all-purpose yards (25th best at Ohio State) and 6 total touchdowns.

    A team never needs to sign three running backs in one recruiting class, and the third guy will always be a prime candidate to transfer. In this class, JaJa Riley was the third guy, and he lasted just two years (redshirt in 2001, 12 carries for 44 yards in 2002) before heading out west to UNLV, where he didn't find any more success than he found in Columbus. Ironically, Riley probably would have seen plenty of action for the Buckeyes in 2003, as injuries and ineptitude forced the staff to play true freshman defensive back Ira Guilford at tailback.

    Fullback Brandon Schnittker (Sandusky Perkins; Rivals NR; Scout NR) made only four starts in four years, and had only 23 carries for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is best remembered as a lead blocker, and for his 15-yard reception during the game-winning drive against Michigan in 2002, a beautiful leaping one-handed grab of a pass intended for Michael Jenkins.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Lydell Ross (4*); Maurice Hall (4*); Brandon Schnittker (NR); JaJa Riley (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/4*); Lydell Ross (3*); Maurice Hall (3*); Brandon Schnittker (2-1/2*); JaJa Riley (0*)​

    Receiver
    When he signed with Ohio State, Chris Gamble (Fort Lauderdale Dillard; Rivals 2*, #89 WR; Scout NR) was a little known wide receiver prospect from south Florida. And at Ohio State, Gamble had marginal success at the wide receiver position, catching just 40 passes for 609 yards (15.2 average) and no touchdowns. His greater fame came on the defensive side of the ball, where he was a natural at cornerback - Chris first played the position in game four of the 2002 season (against Cincinnati), and he made an interception on his first play.

    After injuries decimated the Buckeyes' defensive backfield during the middle of the 2002 campaign, Gamble became the team's starting cornerback (replacing Richard McNutt - remember him?), and he also remained a starting wide receiver, thus becoming the first Buckeye two-way player in decades (and the best since Hopalong Cassady in the mid-1950's); to complete his Superman role, Chris also returned punts and kicks on special teams. Chris finished the 2002 season with 548 yards from scrimmage, 586 return yards, 24 tackles, and four interceptions, and he registered some of the biggest plays of the year: a 43-yard touchdown run against Indiana, a 57-yard pass reception against Miami in the Fiesta Bowl (the Buckeyes' longest pass play of the season), the game-winning 40-yard pick six against Penn State, and game-saving interceptions against Purdue, Cincinnati, and Wisconsin. For his titanic efforts, Gamble was honored as a first team All Big Ten player, a second team All American, and Buckeye co-MVP (along with quarterback Craig Krenzel).

    As a junior in 2003, Chris played almost exclusively on defense, where he made 41 tackles and picked off three more passes, and generally shut down one half of the field. However, Gamble's most memorable play of the season was a negative one, when he bit on a double move and gave up a 79-yard touchdown to Lee Evans in a 17-10 loss to Wisconsin, which ended the Buckeyes' 19-game winning streak. Although Chris had a fine season overall in 2003 - he was once again selected as a first team All Big Ten player - he didn't provide any of the magical moments that seemed to be so routine during the 2002 national championship run.

    Gamble is a very difficult player to rate, as he was a complete non-factor as a freshman (170 all-purpose yards), had a monumental sophomore season, fell back to mere greatness as a junior, and then skipped his senior season to turn pro. His career numbers are not all that spectacular - 65 tackles, 7 interceptions, 21 passes broken up, 1,568 all-purpose yards, and 2 touchdowns - but in the highly-specialized game of modern football, he was able to excel in all three aspects, offense, defense, and special teams. The verdict: Four-and-a-half stars for succeeding at a high level in a unique role.

    Gamble declared early for the NFL, and he was a first round selection in the 2004 draft as a cornerback. Chris has been a starting cornerback for the Carolina Panthers for the past eight seasons, with career totals of 493 tackles, 27 interceptions, 51 passes broken up, and a pair of pick sixes.

    Chris Vance (Fort Meyers, Florida; Fort Scott Community College; Rivals 4* JUCO; Scout NR) was a rare junior college signee for Ohio State. After catching 80 passes for 1,286 yards and 15 touchdowns in his two years at Fort Scott, Vance was one of the top JUCO players in the country. Chris had a very nice season his first year in Columbus, as he collected 34 passes for 605 yards (17.8 average) and 4 touchdowns; but he had a disappointing follow up in 2002, when he caught only 13 passes for 178 yards (13.7 average) and 3 touchdowns in his second and final season at Ohio State. Despite having relatively few chances, Vance was a big play receiver who had four touchdown receptions of over 30 yards, including a 61-yarder against Akron in 2001. His career numbers: 47 receptions for 783 yards (16.7 average) and 7 touchdowns.

    The other wide receiver signed in 2001 was actually the most highly touted of the three prospects. Angelo Chattams (Dayton Chaminade Julienne; Rivals 4*, #9 WR, #67 overall; Scout NR) was generally considered one of the top high school players in the state of Ohio, and he was favorably compared to Joey Galloway. But Angelo got into some legal trouble (he was arrested for stealing a set of golf clubs in 2002), and then he suffered a career-ending spine injury the following year. He had only two pass receptions for 26 yards as a Buckeye; however, he did graduate from Ohio State in 2006.

    Tight end Ryan Hamby (Cincinnati Moeller; Rivals 2*, #45 TE; Scout NR) is best known for dropping the potential game-winning pass against the Texas Longhorns in 2005, a miscue which many fans believe cost the Buckeyes a shot at a national championship that year. Ryan did, however, manage to catch 45 other passes for 482 yards (10.7 average) and 5 touchdowns for his Ohio State career. A marginal player who would be long-forgotten but for his infamous drop.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Chris Gamble (2*); Chris Vance (4*); Angelo Chattams (4*); Ryan Hamby (2*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3*); Chris Gamble (4-1/2*); Chris Vance (3*); Angelo Chattams (1*); Ryan Hamby (3*)​

    Offensive Line
    This was clearly the weakest group for the class of 2001. Adam Olds (Dublin Coffman; Rivals 4*, #27 OL; Scout NR) was a promising prospect, but his career was cut short due to chronic injuries, most notably a congenital hip condition; he redshirted in 2001, sat out 2002 due to hip surgery, played limited minutes in 2003, and then underwent a second hip surgery after that season which prevented him from returning to the team. Adam was Academic All Big Ten in 2002 and 2003.

    Ryan Cook (Martinsville, Indiana; Rivals 2*, #87 OL; Scout NR) was a reach, saw little if any action through two years, and transferred somewhere prior to the 2003 season (I have not been able to determine where he ended up).

    Andree Tyree (London; Rivals 2*, #58 TE; Scout NR) had little success on either side of the ball (offensive line, defensive line, linebacker) until the final game of his Ohio State career, the 2005 contest against Michigan, where as a blocking tight end he played like a turbocharged steam roller, flattening Wolverines on almost every snap (especially on Antonio Pittman's game-winning touchdown run, where he literally collapsed the entire right side of the Wolverine defensive line). That one game was good enough to earn him a letter and a place in the hearts of Buckeye fans everywhere.

    Rivals rankings: Group (2-3/4*); Adam Olds (4*); Ryan Cook (2*); Andree Tyree (2*)
    LJB rankings: Group (1*); Adam Olds (1*); Ryan Cook (0*); Andree Tyree (2*)​

    Defensive Line
    The Buckeyes signed four defensive lineman in the class of 2001, and two of them were solid contributors. Simon Fraser (Upper Arlington; Rivals 4*, #7 DE, #75 overall; Scout NR) started out slow as the back-up for All American defensive end Will Smith, but by his senior season (2004) he was a full-time starter and a team captain. For his career, Fraser had 62 tackles, 17 TFL's, 7 sacks, and 10 batted passes. Simon had a brief stint in the NFL as an undrafted free agent.

    Marcus Green (Louisville (KY) Male; Rivals 3*, #85 OL; Scout NR) was a big defensive tackle who became a two-year starter for the Buckeyes. Primarily a run stuffer, Green finished his career with 86 tackles, 7.5 TFL's, and 3 sacks. Like Fraser, Green was also an undrafted free agent in the NFL.

    The third signee had the most interesting Buckeye career, albeit the least productive. Redgie Arden (Ironton; Rivals 5*, #7 LB, #54 overall; Scout NR) was originally signed as a linebacker prospect, but quickly outgrew the position. After a redshirt season, Arden saw spot action at defensive line (3 tackles) and tight end (4 receptions for 50 yards), but most of his exploits occurred off of the field - he was twice arrested for drunk driving and then got pummeled in a bar fight by some Marshall football players prior to the start of the 2004 season. That last incident effectively ended Arden's Buckeye career, and ensured that he would be one of the more colorful busts in Ohio State history.

    Quinton Thomas (Fort Lauderdale Dillard; Rivals 2*, #90 DE; Scout NR) signed a Letter of Intent with Ohio State, but failed to gain admission. Thomas spent a year at a junior college and then walked on to the Arkansas State football team. Quinton eventually earned a scholarship from the Red Wolves, and he recorded 53 tackles and 3 sacks in his final two seasons combined.

    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Simon Fraser (4*); Marcus Green (3*); Reggie Arden (5*); Quinton Thomas (2*)
    LJB rankings: Group (1-3/4*); Simon Fraser (3-1/2*); Marcus Green (3*); Reggie Arden (0*); Quinton Thomas (0*)

    Linebacker
    The two linebacker recruits for the class of 2001 - Andree Tyree and Reggie Arden - ended up switching positions, and they are rated elsewhere (Tyree with the offensive line, Arden with the defensive line).

    Defensive Backs
    Wide receiver Chris Gamble turned out to be the best defensive back recruit in this class (and one of the all-time great Buckeyes), but cornerback Dustin Fox (Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 4*, #5 S, #82 overall; Scout NR) was a solid performer during his four years in Columbus. Fox started 37 of 47 games, and recorded 217 tackles, 7 interceptions, and 30 PBU's during his Buckeye career. As a senior, Dustin was a team captain and earned second team All Big Ten honors. Fox played mostly at cornerback out of necessity, although he was probably better suited to play safety; by playing out of position, Fox certainly helped out his team, but he hurt his reputation amongst Buckeye fans, who routinely derided him both for playing soft coverage and for getting beat deep. After he left Ohio State, Fox was selected in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft; he bounced around the NFL for four seasons, logging eight tackles in just twelve games. Currently, Dustin co-hosts a sports talk radio show on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.

    LeAndre Boone (Herndon, Virginia; Rivals NR; Scout NR) was literally a last minute addition to the Buckeyes' class of 2001, as he signed just days before the opening of fall camp. Boone did very little in two years at Ohio State, and then he transferred to Hampton University, where he was diagnosed with a career-ending heart condition after just one game.

    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Dustin Fox (4*); LeAndre Boone (NR)
    LJB rankings: Group (1-3/4*); Dustin Fox (3-1/2*); LeAndre Boone (0*)

    Specialists
    Jim Tressel always believed in expending scholarships on kicking specialists, and in his initial recruiting class he signed place kicker Mike Nugent (Centerville; Rivals 2*, #8 PK; Scout NR) . Although fans never like to "waste" a scholarship on a kicker, I think that every member of the Buckeye Nation would agree that Nugent was well worth the investment - during his Ohio State career, Mike connected on a school record 72 field goals in 88 attempts, for a success rate of .818, another Buckeye record. Nugent's accomplishment is even more remarkable when you consider that he made only six of his first thirteen field goal attempts, and then finished his career by connecting on 66 of 75 tries (.880 success rate). Mike was an All American in 2002 (25 of 28 FG's, for a .893 success rate, which is an Ohio State single season record), had an "off" season in 2003 (16 of 19 FG's, for a .842 success rate, which is fifth best in school history), and was again selected as an All American in 2004 (24 of 27 FG's, for a .889 success rate, which is second best in school history); he also won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's best college kicker in 2004. Not only was Nugent extremely accurate (a school record 24 consecutive field goals during the 2001 and 2002 seasons), but he also had a big leg, as he connected on a school record eight field goals of fifty yards or more in just nine attempts (an incredible .889 success rate); he had a pair of 55-yard field goals, which were the second longest in school history. Nugent left Ohio State (and still remains) the program's all-time leading scorer with 356 points (72 FG, 140 XP). Simply the greatest place kicker in Ohio State history, and no one else is even close.
    Rivals rankings: Group 2*); Mike Nugent (2*)
    LJB rankings: Group (5*); Mike Nugent (5*)​

    Walk-Ons and Transfers
    Offensive lineman Mike Kne (Cleveland St. Ignatius; Rivals NR; Scout NR) helped lead the Wildcats to a state championship in 1999, played at Division I-AA Fordham as a true freshman in 2000, and then transferred to Ohio State. Kne redshirted in 2001, but saw action in over thirty games throughout the remainder of his career (including several starts); Mike earned himself a scholarship prior to the 2003 season. One of the more important walk-ons during the Tressel regime, Mike was a three-star performer at Ohio State.

    Cornerback Chris Conwell (Shaker Heights; Rivals NR; Scout NR) signed with Youngstown State in their class of 1999, and then followed Jim Tressel to Ohio State in 2001. After sitting out a year, Conwell walked-on to the Buckeye squad in 2002, and he promptly led the team to a national title. Well, not quite, but Chris did play in all fourteen games that year, spent some time in the two-deep, and made valuable contributions on special teams (eight tackles).

    Defensive back Rob Harley (Elmhurst (IL) York Community; Rivals NR; Scout NR) is best known as being the nephew of Buckeye legend Chic Harley. Rob walked on to the Ohio State squad in 2001, saw limited action during the 2002 national championship season, and then earned letters in each of his last three years (6 tackles combined). Harley currently works as an assistant coach for Ohio Dominican University.

    The LJB Ratings for the Class of 2001 (18 signees, 2.11* average)
    5.0* Mike Nugent
    4.5* Chris Gamble
    4.0*
    3.5* Simon Fraser; Dustin Fox
    3.0* Lydell Ross; Maurice Hall; Chris Vance; Ryan Hamby; Marcus Green
    2.5* Brandon Schnittker
    2.0* Andree Tyree
    1.0* Angelo Chattams; Adam Olds
    0.0* JaJa Riley; Ryan Cook; Redgie Arden; Quinton Thomas; LeAndre Boone

    A small class of just eighteen signees that produced two superstars (Nugent and Gamble) and several solid contributors (Fox, Hall, Ross, Hamby, Fraser, Green, and Vance), all of whom played valuable roles in the 2002 national championship season. However, over a third of the class busted out, and with the exception of the two superstar performers, it often seemed that the rest of this class received playing time less for their own talent than for the lack of talent around them. This dearth of talent became evident in 2004, when this class was juniors and seniors - the Buckeyes plodded their way through a mediocre 8-4 season that was redeemed only by the late season heroics of quarterback Troy Smith (class of 2002) and Teddy Ginn (class of 2004); the emergence of running back Antonio Pittman (class of 2004) and wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (class of 2003); and solid defensive performances from A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Quinn Pitcock, Nate Salley, Donte Whitner, and Ashton Youboty (all from the classes of 2002 and 2003); all of which culminated in a dramatic upset of Michigan in the regular season finale and a victory in the Alamo Bowl. While the class of 2001 laid a few foundation stones, the Tressel dynasty was really built on the outstanding recruiting class that followed it - the much heralded class of 2002.

    Additional Notes
    Although Coach Tressel did a nice job of holding the class of 2001 together, he did lose a few commitments down the stretch. Massive defensive tackle Alphonso Townsend (Lima Senior; Fork Union Military School; Rivals ?; Scout NR) originally signed with Ohio State as part of the class of 2000, but he failed to meet admission requirements and, like several other Buckeyes before and since, he took a post-grad year at Fork Union. Even though Townsend had no obligation to re-sign with Ohio State in 2001, it was generally assumed that he would do so, and he even remained committed to the Buckeyes right up until Signing Day. But of course, Alphonso did not stick with Ohio State, and instead went to play for Michigan State. After a redshirt year in 2001, Townsend saw some action in 2002 (13 tackles and a sack), but then disappeared. Alphonso briefly re-emerged in 2005 as a transfer to Division II North Alabama, but he never actually made it down there, citing personal problems back home. Townsend was last seen as a member of the Lima Warriors semi-pro football team.

    Another defensive tackle who originally committed to Ohio State but ended up at Michigan State was Brandon McKinney (Dayton Chaminade-Julienne; Rivals ?; Scout NR). Although McKinney was certainly no star player, he did at least have a serviceable career with the Spartans, as he logged 93 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Brandon has been a journeyman player in the NFL for the past seven seasons (60 tackles in 61 games played).

    Defensive back Jacob Stewart (Ypsilanti, Michigan; Rivals ?; Scout NR) was another Cooper commitment who ended up jumping ship after Ohio State hired Jim Tressel. Stewart ended up signing with Michigan, where he went on to have a typically illustrious career (27 tackles, 2 interceptions).
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
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  3. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2002

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2002 :osu:

    Jim Tressel's first full recruiting class at Ohio State was one of epic proportions. At the time, the young Buckeyes were ranked as a top-five class in the country (#5 by Rivals, #3 by Scout). The class consisted primarily of Ohioans (18 of the 25 signees were in-state), but two of the out-of-state prospects made a big impact at Ohio State (Santonio Holmes and Nate Salley, both Floridians). The class was well-balanced in terms of position, and most of the signees eventually provided some contribution to the team. No less than four of the recruits were named first team All Americans (Troy Smith, A.J. Hawk, Nick Mangold, Quinn Pitcock), four were NFL first round draft choices (Hawk, Mangold, Santonio Holmes, Bobby Carpenter), and eight others were drafted in lower rounds (Smith, Pitcock, Rob Sims, Roy Hall, Nate Salley, Maurice Clarett, Doug Datish, Jay Richardson). This class helped to win a national championship in 2002, had a 4-1 record in bowl games, and a 3-1 record in BCS bowls; on the down side, however, this class might best be remembered for its major role in the Debacle in the Desert, and three 2002 signees were at the center of NCAA investigations (Troy Smith, Maurice Clarett, Derek Morris).

    Quarterback
    When the Bucks signed Elite 11 quarterbacks Justin Zwick (Massillon Washington; Rivals 4*, #3 pro-style QB, #40 overall; Scout 4*, #14 QB) and Troy Smith (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #12 dual-threat QB; Scout 4*, #15 QB) in 2002, it seemed that the team would be set at the helm for a title run in 2005 or 2006, and that's exactly what happened.

    In rating the two quarterbacks, let's get the easy part over with first: Justin Zwick was a good back-up at Ohio State. In other words, he was a major disappointment, considering the fact that he was one of the true headliners for the class of 2002. Zwick compiled a record of 5-4 as a starting quarterback (including a victory in the 2004 Alamo Bowl), and for his career he completed 158 of 276 passes (.572 completion percentage) for 1,779 yards, with 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Buckeye fans knew right from the start that one of the two Elite 11 quarterbacks would be reduced to a back-up role, we just didn't anticipate that Zwick would be that guy.

    Now, for the more complex analysis, namely Troy Smith. Years from now, will people remember Troy Smith, the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner, as the greatest quarterback in Ohio State history, or will they remember him as yet another talented Buckeye signal caller (Cornelius Greene, Art Schlichter, Bobby Hoying, Joe Germaine) who couldn't quite get the job done? In his final two seasons, Troy led the Buckeyes to a combined record of 22-3 (#4 finish in 2005, #2 finish in 2006), with the only losses coming to Texas (13-0, #1 in 2005), Penn State (11-1, #3 in 2005), and Florida (13-1, #1 in 2006). In other words, the three losses suffered by the 2005-06 Buckeyes came at the hands of teams whose combined record was 37-2 (a .949 winning percentage); and two of those three losses were to the eventual national champion. Add in three straight wins against Michigan (including a career-defining 386-yard performance in the 2004 Game, the fourth best in Buckeye history, the best against Michigan), a shared Big Ten title in 2005, an outright Big Ten title in 2006, and the aforementioned Heisman Trophy, plus numerous records, highlight reel plays, and hall of fame stats, and Troy Smith simply has to be considered the best Buckeye quarterback ever, right?

    Or does he? The Troy Smith Buckeyes were about as close to great as a team can get without being truly great. Championships are still the ultimate measure of greatness, and Troy did not lead Ohio State to the promised land, despite a phenomenal supporting cast (seven first-round picks in the 2006 and 2007 NFL drafts combined). Troy's off-the-field issues at the end of the 2004 season (a two-game suspension for taking cash from a booster) was one of the primary reasons that the Buckeyes got off to a slow start in 2005, with close losses to Texas and Penn State; and his apparent lack of preparation and poor conditioning were factors in the BCS title game fiasco in January of 2007 (4 of 14 passing for 35 yards and an interception; 20 rushes for -29 yards and a fumble lost; 34 total plays for 6 total yards and two turnovers; in a 41-14 drubbing at the hands of the Florida Gators).

    Of course, Troy's career numbers are impressive, especially considering that he started only 28 games, and barely played in 14 others (just 17 passes attempted in those games in those games in which he did not start): 420 completions (7th best at Ohio State) in 670 attempts for a .627 completion percentage (2nd best at Ohio State), 5,720 yards (6th best at Ohio State), 54 touchdowns (4th best at Ohio State), and just 13 interceptions (his 4.15 TD/INT ratio is the best in Ohio State history); plus 1,168 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing; for 6,888 total yards (4th best at Ohio State) and 68 total touchdowns (3rd best at Ohio State).

    On the whole, Troy's positives far outweigh his negatives, but those negatives certainly impacted Ohio State at inopportune moments. The verdict? Five stars, with an asterisk.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Troy Smith (4*); Justin Zwick (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Troy Smith (4*); Justin Zwick (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Troy Smith (5*) (with an asterisk); Justin Zwick (2-1/2*)​

    Running Back
    Upon signing superstar Maurice Clarett (Warren Harding; Rivals 5*, #1 FB, #37 overall; Scout 5*, #5 RB, #26 overall), the Bucks looked to be set at running back for at least three seasons. In fact, as a true freshman, MoC made an immediate impact for the Buckeyes. In the season opener against Texas Tech, Clarett rushed for 175 yards on just 21 carries and scored three touchdowns, including bursts of 59 yards and 45 yards. In week three against a top-ten Washington State squad, Maurice rushed for 230 yards (sixth best at Ohio State) and two more touchdowns. Clarett missed the week four game against Cincinnati due to injury, and then posted four straight 100-yard games before injuries once again took their toll - Clarett would miss two more games and see limited action in two others before finishing the regular season strong with a 119-yard effort against Michigan. In the subsequent national championship game against Miami, the Hurricanes focused their defensive efforts on stopping Clarett, and he was held to just 47 yards on 22 carries; however, he did score a pair of touchdowns, including the game winner in double overtime, and he made perhaps the biggest play of the contest when he stripped the ball from Miami defensive back Sean Taylor after an interception. For his rookie campaign, Clarett put up some great numbers - a Buckeye freshman record 1,237 yards rushing (the 15th best season in Ohio State history), 104 yards receiving, and 18 total touchdowns in just 11 games - and he was arguably the most an important component of Ohio State's 2002 national championship team.

    While Reecie seemed destined for Buckeye greatness, he left the program in infamy (and in the midst of a prolonged NCAA investigation) after just one tremendous season; his subsequent fall from grace and eventual redemption are well-documented on BuckeyePlanet and elsewhere, but his journey included a year-long suspension from Ohio State for taking extra benefits, a New York Times expose', a lawsuit against the National Football League, a 4.82 forty time at the 2005 NFL combine, a surprising third round selection by the Denver Broncos in the 2005 NFL draft, a not-so-surprising release from the Broncos during the 2005 preseason, a pair of arrests in 2006, a four-year stint in jail, and finally a return to football with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL, a re-enrollment as a student at Ohio State, and a reconciliation with Jim Tressel.

    Although it was bad enough that the Buckeyes lost Clarett immediately after he led them to a national championship, his premature departure was exacerbated by the fact that no one emerged to fill the void at running back in either 2003 or 2004. While Clarett himself averaged 112.5 yards per game, 5.60 yards per carry, and 1.45 touchdowns per game in 2002, the running back by committee in 2003 and 2004 (Lydell Ross, Maurice Hall, Branden Joe, Antonio Pittman, and Ira Guilford) averaged just 101.6 yards per game, 3.99 yards per carry, and .72 touchdowns per game. Of the cast of pretenders, Lydell Ross was the leading rusher, with 1,301 yards (59.1 yards per game) on 310 carries (4.20 yards per carry) and 14 touchdowns (.64 touchdowns per game) in those two seasons combined. The Buckeyes were not able to resurrect their running attack until the emergence of Antonio Pittman in 2005 (1,331 yards, 5.5 yards per carry, 7 touchdowns).

    Maurice Clarett was certainly one of the most talented Buckeyes ever (and that's saying a lot), and he led the team to a national championship as a true freshman ... but off-the-field issues curtailed a hall-of-fame career. Five stars as a freshman, zero stars thereafter, two-and-a-half stars overall.

    Stan White, Jr. (Baltimore Gilman; Rivals 4*, # 18 OLB; Scout 4*, #9 TE) was a top linebacker prospect, but he played primarily fullback and H-back at Ohio State (11 receptions for 78 yards). He was a powerful run blocker, and his highlight Buckeye moment came on the game-winning touchdown in the 2005 Michigan game, when he trucked two Wolverine defenders with one block.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4-1/2*); Maurice Clarett (5*); Stan White, Jr. (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4-1/2*); Maurice Clarett (5*); Stan White, Jr. (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/2*); Maurice Clarett (2-1/2*); Stan White, Jr. (2-1/2*)​

    Wide Receiver
    One of the few perceived weaknesses of the recruiting class of 2002 was the wide receiver position, where the Bucks signed only two prospects, including the unheralded Santonio Holmes (Belle Glades (FL) Central; Rivals 3*, #38 WR; Scout 4*, #13 WR). After a red-shirt year, Holmes displayed questionable hands early in his freshman campaign, then suddenly blossomed into a star mid-way through the 2003 season (32 receptions, 549 yards, 17.2 average, 7 touchdowns). With the graduation of Michael Jenkins after the 2003 season, Santonio became Ohio State's "go to" receiver in 2004 (55 receptions, 769 yards, 14.0 average, 7 touchdowns) and 2005 (53 receptions, 977 yards, 18.4 average, 11 touchdowns). For his three-season Buckeye career, Holmes had 140 receptions (fifth all-time at Ohio State) and 2,295 yards (fifth all time) for a 16.4 average (eleventh all time) and 25 touchdowns (third all time), with 8 of those touchdowns being over 40 yards, including two of greater than 80 yards (85 yards against Notre Dame in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, the second longest pass play in Ohio State history and a Fiesta Bowl record; 80 yards against Marshall in 2004, tied for fourth longest in team history). In a game against Marshall in 2004, Holmes had 224 yards receiving, one of the four 200-yard games in Buckeye history, and the second highest single game total. Holmes was also good return man, with 810 return yards (385 on punts, 425 on kicks) and a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown against Northwestern in 2004. Holmes amassed 3,123 all-purpose yards, which puts him in 15th place at Ohio State. Santonio was a great, nearly legendary, Buckeye performer who has continued his success in the NFL: In six seasons since being selected in the first round of the 2006 draft, he has 338 receptions for 5,235 yards (15.5 average) and 34 touchdowns, and he was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII.

    On the other hand, junior Roy Hall (Lyndhurst Brush; Rivals 4*, #19 WR; Scout 4*, #24 WR) was an unqualified disappointment. Billed as the next David Boston, Hall was virtually invisible on the field, where his career stats were 52 receptions for 580 yards and 3 touchdowns, which really aren't very good numbers for a single season. Despite his lack of production, Hall showed enough size (6' 2", 229 pounds) and raw athleticism (4.41 forty, 4.13 shuttle, 38" vertical, 19 bench reps) in post-season work-outs that the Indianapolis Colts selected him in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL draft. As an athlete, Roy Hall will largely be remembered as the guy who body checked LeBron James to the floor in a high school basketball game, and who broke Ted Ginn's foot during an endzone celebration at the beginning of the 2006 BCS title game.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Santonio Holmes (3*); Roy Hall (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Santonio Holmes (4*); Roy Hall (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Santonio Holmes (4-1/2*); Roy Hall (2-1/2*)​

    Offensive Line
    With five quality signees, four of whom turned out to be at least solid multi-year starters, the offensive line was the cornerstone of the class of 2002. Derek Morris (Rivals 5*, #2 OT, #24 overall; Scout 5*, #6 OL) was the rare Signing Day surprise in OSU's favor: not only was Derek a consensus high school All-American, but he also came from North Carolina, not exactly a pipeline of talent to Columbus. However, Morris was the subject of some recruiting irregularities (courtesy of offensive line coach Jim Bollman), and Ohio State released him from his Letter of Intent before he ever became a part of the football program. Derek eventually signed with North Carolina State in 2003, and he had a mediocre career for the Wolfpack.

    Nick Mangold (Kettering Alter; Rivals 4*, #3 OC; Scout NR) was a three-year starter (33 starts in 45 games, all at center), and he became an All American as a senior and a first round selection in the 2006 NFL draft. Since being drafted by the New York Jets, Mangold has been selected to four Pro Bowls (2008-2011). At a school that has a long history of producing quality centers - Tom DeLeone, Steve Myers, Kirk Lowdermilk, Jeff Uhlenhake, LeCharles Bentley, Michael Brewster - Nick Mangold was arguably the best of the bunch.

    Rob Sims (Northfield Nordonia; Rivals 4*, #20 OG; Scout 3*, #38 OL) was a four-year starter for the Buckeyes (40 starts in 47 games, at left tackle and left guard). Sims was a first team All Big Ten selection as a senior and a fourth round selection in the 2006 draft; Rob is still playing in the NFL, and he has started 66 games over the past six seasons for the Seattle Seahawks and the Detroit Lions.

    Doug Datish (Warren Howland; Rivals 4*, #6 OT; Scout 3*, #43 OL) was a versatile lineman who started for three years (35 starts in 41 games, at center, left guard, and left tackle). As a fifth-year senior in 2006, he was named All Big Ten first team as a center, and he became a sixth round selection in the 2007 NFL draft.

    T.J. Downing (Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 3*, #35 OG; Scout 2*, #121 OL) got off to a slow start, but he became a starter over his final two seasons (24 starts at right guard), and he was named to the All Big Ten first team as a senior in 2006; Downing entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2007.

    R.J. Coleman (Clarksburg (WV) Robert C. Byrd; Rivals 4*, #6 TE; Scout 4*, #7 TE) and Tim Schafer (Upper Arlington; Rivals 4*, #12 SDE; Scout #21 DE) were moved to the offensive line in order to provide some much-needed depth, although neither saw any significant action during their respective careers; Schafer managed to earn five starts at right tackles in 2004, but Coleman had his playing days cut short due to a chronic "stinger" condition.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Nick Mangold (4*); Rob Sims (4*); Doug Datish (4*); T.J. Downing (3*); Tim Schafer (4*); R.J. Coleman (4*); Derek Morris (5*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Nick Mangold (NR); Rob Sims (3*); Doug Datish (3*); T.J. Downing (2*); Tim Schafer (4*); R.J. Coleman (4*); Derek Morris (5*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-3/4*); Nick Mangold (4-1/2*); Rob Sims (4*); Doug Datish (3-1/2*); T.J. Downing (3*); Tim Schafer (2-1/2*); R.J. Coleman (1*); Derek Morris (0*)​

    Defensive Line
    The Buckeyes signed five defensive linemen in 2002, led by blue chipper Quinn Pitcock (Piqua; Rivals 4*, #5 DT, #72 overall; Scout 4*, #7 DT, #46 overall). After a red-shirt year (forced on him due to off-the-field issues), Pitcock showed flashes of brilliance during his career, and he finally developed into an All American as a senior in 2006, recording 39 tackles, 12 TFL's, and 8 sacks. Despite the accolades, however, Quinn still had a rather spotty senior campaign - five of his eight sacks came in just two contests, and he didn't do much to control the line of scrimmage against either Michigan or Florida, games in which the Buckeye defense gave up 39 and 41 points, respectively. Pitcock's careers totals include 133 tackles, 27.5 TFL's, 14 sacks (tied for 15th all time at Ohio State), and 1 interception, and he was selected in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts. After his rookie season in the NFL, Pitcock unexpectedly retired, citing depression and an addiction to video games. Quinn attempted to re-enter the NFL in 2010, but he has been unsuccessful to date. A four-star Buckeye career ... barely.

    Despite battling illness and injury throughout his time in Columbus, Mike Kudla (Medina Highland; Rivals 4*, #18 SDE; Scout 5*, #2 DE, #49 overall) had a solid if not spectacular Buckeye career: 19 starts, 90 tackles, 20 TFL's, 14.5 sacks (tied for 13th best at Ohio State), and a fumble recovery for a touchdown against Purdue in 2003. Mike finished strong, being named a first team All Big Ten performer for the 2005 season before lighting it up in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame (7 tackles, Fiesta Bowl record 3 sacks). Kulda had a cup of coffee in the NFL as an undrafted free agent, graduated from Ohio State in 2008, and now is a State Farm agent in Twinsburg, Ohio.

    Jay Richardson (Dublin Scioto; Rivals 3*, #32 SDE; Scout NR) accomplished very little on the gridiron until his redshirt senior season (he had issues with motor and motivation), but during his Buckeye finale he made 25 tackles, 8.5 TFL's, 4 sacks, and 7 pass deflections, upping his career totals to 52 tackles, 12.5 TFL's, 7 sacks, and 9 passed deflections. Based primarily on his breakout senior season, Jay was selected in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL draft; he spent four years in the NFL, earning 22 starts in 55 games (117 tackles, 7 sacks).

    Joel Penton (Van Wert; Rivals 3*, #41 SDE; Scout 3*, #37 DE) was a career back-up (46 tackles, 7 TFL's, 2 sacks, fumble recovery), but I give him an extra half star for winning the 2006 Wuerffel Trophy, which is awarded to the college football player who who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

    As mentioned above, Tim Schafer signed as a defensive lineman but was moved to the offensive line, and he is rated with that position group.

    Overall, this was the strongest defensive line class in the Tressel era, with an All American, an All Big Ten selection, a part-time starter, a valuable role player, and most importantly, no busts.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Quinn Pitcock (4*); Mike Kudla (4*); Jay Richardson (3*); Joel Penton (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Quinn Pitcock (4*); Mike Kudla (5*); Jay Richardson (NR); Joel Penton (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Quinn Pitcock (4*); Mike Kudla (3-1/2*); Jay Richardson (3*); Joel Penton (3*)

    Linebacker
    The Buckeyes signed the best linebacker class in the country in 2002, and that unit certainly met its high expectations. A.J. Hawk (Centerville; Rivals 3*, #30 OLB; Scout 3*, #32 LB) was the lowest-ranked member of the group, yet he was a two-time All-American and the winner of the 2005 Lombardi Award. For his Buckeye career, Hawk had 394 tackles (fifth all time at Ohio State), 41 TFL's (eighth all time at Ohio State), 15.5 sacks (twelfth all time at Ohio State), 7 interceptions, and 2 touchdowns (interception return, blocked punt). Hawk was the fifth player selected in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers, and he has continued his success with Green Bay - A.J. he has been a regular member of the Packers' starting defense (91 starts in 94 games), averaging nearly 100 tackles per season.

    Bobby Carpenter (Lancaster; Rivals 4*, #13 OLB; Scout 4*, #22 LB) was consistently solid and often spectacular over his Buckeye career, as he finished with 191 tackles, 23.5 TFL's, 14.5 sacks (tied for 13th best at Ohio State), 3 interceptions, and 7 deflected passes. Against Michigan State in 2005, Bobby tied the Buckeyes' single-game record with four sacks. Carpenter was selected in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys, but he has had a rough time in the NFL, with only ten starts in six seasons (165 tackles and a pick six to his credit).

    Mike D'Andrea (Avon Lake; Rivals 5*, #2 ILB, #29 overall; Scout 5*, #2 LB, #12 overall) was arguably the biggest name of this huge recruiting class, but he turned out to be one of the few busts of the 2002 signees. Throughout his Buckeye career, D'Andrea was injury-prone and he never looked comfortable in his few opportunities at middle linebacker; he finished with just 44 tackles, 6.5 TFL's, and 1 sack in three years, and he lost his entire senior season due to injury.

    Stan White, Jr. was a high school linebacker who moved around quite a bit before ending up as a fullback, and he is rated with the running backs.

    This linebacking corps did end up with a five-star player (Hawk), but he was just a three-star recruit, while the five-star recruit (D'Andrea) simply didn't pan out.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Mike D'Andrea (5*); Bobby Carpenter (4*); A.J. Hawk (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Mike D'Andrea (5*); Bobby Carpenter (4*); A.J. Hawk (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Mike D'Andrea (2*); Bobby Carpenter (4*); A.J. Hawk (5*)

    Defensive Back
    Ohio State signed five defensive backs in the class of 2002. The headliner of the group was safety Nate Salley (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas; Rivals 4*, #7 S; Scout 4*, #19 S), and he almost lived up to his lofty billing. Nate was a three-year starter at free safety, and he put up some fairly impressive numbers (181 tackles, 3 INT's, 15 PBU's, and a blocked kick), but he never seemed to be a game-changing performer. Nate was selected in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft, and he spent three nondescript seasons with the Carolina Panthers (11 tackles in 24 games).

    Tyler Everett (Canton McKinley; Rivals 3*, #23 S; Scout 4*, #16 S) was part-time starter, most-time reserve who sometimes played cornerback, other times played safety; from that description alone you can get the idea that Everett never really found himself at Ohio State (101 tackles, 3 INT's, 11 PBU's, 1 blocked kick, pick six). After his senior season, Tyler entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent (three games, no stats).

    Brandon Mitchell (Atlanta Mays; Rivals 3*, #35 S; Scout 4*, #26 S) was a back-up until he earned a starting slot at safety as a fifth-year senior, and he made the most of his opportunity, racking up some decent numbers: 60 tackles (4th on team); 4 TFL's; 2 interceptions. However, Mitchell was inconsistent at times, and never really became a leader of the defensive unit. Brandon will be remembered more for being a good student in the classroom (three time Academic All Big Ten) and a good character in the locker room. His career totals were 106 tackles, 5 TFL's, 5 INT's, 9 PBU's, and 2 TD's on interception returns.

    E.J. Underwood (Hamilton; Rivals 4*, #19 CB; Scout 4*, #13 CB) had a nice start to his Buckeye career (21 tackles and 3 PBU's as a true freshman), took a step back as a sophomore due to an injury (just 4 tackles in 6 games), rebounded as a junior (29 tackles and 1 PBU), but then ran into academic problems, and finally transferred to NAIA Pikeville College prior to the 2005 season. During his time in Columbus, Underwood recorded 54 tackles and 4 PBU's, and stuck around just long enough to earn two stars for his efforts.

    Speedy Mike Roberts (Toronto Central Teck; Rivals 3*, #49 CB; Scout NR), the rare Canadian recruit, did very little in Columbus for four years (two tackles, zero letters), and then transferred to Indiana State, a 1-AA school in football, prior to the 2006 season. In his one season as a Sycamore, Roberts logged 31 tackles and 4 PBU's.

    The defensive backs were not bad overall, but relatively speaking, this position group was definitely the most disappointing in the excellent class of 2002.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Nate Salley (4*); Tyler Everett (3*); Brandon Mitchell (3*); E.J. Underwood (4*); Mike Roberts (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Nate Salley (4*); Tyler Everett (4*); Brandon Mitchell (4*); E.J. Underwood (4*); Mike Roberts (NR)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/2*); Nate Salley (3-1/2*); Tyler Everett (3*); Brandon Mitchell (3*); E.J. Underwood (2*); Mike Roberts (1*)

    Specialists
    Ohio State did not sign either a punter or a place kicker in the class of 2002.

    Walk Ons
    Ironically, former walk-on Antonio "Yao" Smith (Rivals NR; Scout NR) outplayed most of the big-name defensive back signees from the class of 2002. A key special teams performer for two years (8 tackles in 2004, 6 tackles and a fumble recovery in 2005), as a fifth-year senior in 2006, Smith earned both a scholarship and a starting cornerback position. He capitalized on his opportunity by tallying 71 tackles (tied for second on the team), 10 TFL's (third on the team), and 2 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), while earning first team All Big Ten honors. Smith always played with heart and passion, and he was an unexpected bonus to the recruiting class of 2002. If rated with the 2002 signees, Yao would merit 3-1/2 stars.

    Drew Norman (Gnadenhutten Indian Valley; Rivals NR; Scout NR) walked-on in 2002 and became the team's starting long snapper for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. As a redshirt senior, Norman won the Ike Kelley Award as the Buckeyes' outstanding special teams performer. Drew graduated with a degree in civil engineering.

    The LJB Ratings for the Class of 2002 (25 signees, 3.02* average)
    5.0* Troy Smith; A.J. Hawk
    4.5* Santonio Holmes; Nick Mangold
    4.0* Rob Sims; Bobby Carpenter; Quinn Pitcock
    3.5* Doug Datish; Mike Kudla; Nate Salley
    3.0* T.J. Downing; Jay Richardson; Joel Penton; Brandon Mitchell; Tyler Everett
    2.5* Justin Zwick; Maurice Clarett; Stan White, Jr.; Roy Hall; Tim Schafer
    2.0* Mike D'Andrea; E.J. Underwood
    1.0* R.J. Coleman; Mike Roberts
    0.0* Derek Morris

    The numbers don't lie - four first team All Americans, four first-round draft choices, a Heisman, a Lombardi, a Wuerffel, four wins over Michigan, three Big Ten championships, one national title, and a 55-9 overall record (an .859 winning percentage). But the disappointment of the Debacle in the Desert to end the 2006 title run lingers in the background, an unfortunate taint on the class of 2002. This class had many bona fide stars - Hawk, Smith, Carpenter, Holmes, Mangold, Pitcock, Sims - and an equal number of solid performers - Datish, Downing, Richardson, Kudla, Salley, Mitchell, Everett. Most of the rest became role players who provided some contributions to the team - Zwick, White, Penton, Hall, Schafer. As with every class, there were a few busts - Morris, Coleman, Underwood, Roberts, D'Andrea. And then there is the enduring enigma that is Maurice Clarett. All in all, a great class that achieved great things, but should have been just a little bit greater.

    Additional Notes - One of the first commitments to the class of 2002 was running back/linebacker Drushaun Humphrey (Toledo Rogers; Rivals NR; Scout NR), who was generally considered to be one of the top prospects in the state of Ohio and an all-around freak athlete. On April 30, 2001, soon after announcing his intention to attend Ohio State, Drushaun collapsed while playing basketball, and within minutes he was dead from an apparent heart attack. Although Humphrey's young life was cut short before he could ever become a Buckeye, Coach Tressel posthumously awarded him with a 2002 national championship ring.

    As mentioned above, Derek Morris signed a Letter of Intent to play football at The Ohio State University, but he was released by the school before he ever suited up for the Buckeyes. For that reason, he is not listed as an Ohio State signee by either Rivals or Scout for the recruiting class of 2002. I have included him here because he potentially took a scholarship away from another high school player who might have signed with the Buckeyes ... and in this particular case, that potential Buckeye was not just some theoretical generic recruit, but rather was linebacker Buster Davis (Daytona Beach (FL) Mainland; Rivals 4*, #5 MLB; Scout 4*, #8 LB, #55 overall). Even though he claimed to be a Buckeye lean late in the recruiting process, Davis did not receive a Letter of Intent from Ohio State, and he eventually signed with Florida State. In other words, Morris took Davis's scholarship, and neither ended up becoming Buckeyes in the long run. Davis had a solid career as a Seminole (265 tackles, 27.5 TFL's, 8 sacks, 3rd round draft choice), and he would have nicely filled the hole at middle linebacker between All Americans Matt Wilhelm (2002) and James Laurinaitis (2006).

    Another reason why the Buckeyes had no room for Buster Davis was that wide receiver Richard Washington (Fort Myers, Florida; Rivals 4*, #6 WR, #54 overall; Scout 5*, #6 CB, #57 overall) pulled a Signing Day shocker and inked with North Carolina State despite having been an Ohio State verbal commitment. Washington, who proclaimed himself the Wolfpack's "Rookie of the Year" before ever setting foot on campus, was academically ineligible as a freshman, and thus did not play at all during his rookie campaign. When he finally did get the chance to see the field, Washington caught 73 passes for 848 yards and 8 touchdowns, which would be fairly impressive numbers over a single season, but Richard managed to accomplish that feat in only twice the amount of time. Ironically, Washington played against Ohio State in 2003, and he helped to lose the game for the Wolfpack when he lost a kickoff in the sun - the ball ricocheted off of his helmet, and the fumble was recovered at the N.C. State 3-yard line by the Buckeyes, who quickly punched the ball into the end zone. The two teams met again in 2004, and Washington played a small role in another loss (3 catches for 27 yards). After the 2004 season, Richard was kicked off of the Wolfpack team for smoking weed; he transferred to Ole Miss, sat out the 2005 season due to transfer rules, and then entered the 2006 NFL supplemental draft without ever having played a down for the Rebels. Washington was not selected in the supplemental draft, but he did play a couple of years of semi-pro ball, and at last check he is still looking for work. Karma....

    Fun Facts - In the recruiting class of 2002, the Buckeyes signed an A.J., an E.J., an R.J., and a T.J. Coach Tressel would go on to sign only two more "J's" during his tenure at Ohio State - A.J. Trapasso in 2004 and C.J. Barnett in 2009.

    After losing Pierre Woods to Michigan in 2001, the Buckeyes got the "Glenville pipeline" rolling in the class of 2002 with the signing of quarterback Troy Smith. Coach Tressel would eventually sign seventeen Glenville Tarblooders, with at least one signee in every class from 2002 to 2011 (although the lone 2011 signee, Cardale Jones, took a post-grad year at Fork Union before re-signing with Ohio State as part of their class of 2012).
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
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  4. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2003

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2003 :osu:

    The class of 2003 was the absolute worst recruiting class in the history of Ohio State football. I know that my declaration sounds like hyperbole, but some class has to be the worst, so why not this one? The class of 2003 was hampered from the start by its small size (only 14 signees), and then it was decimated by career-ending injuries, dismissals, and transfers, so that only five players made it through the program. To make matters worse, Ohio State was coming off of a national championship season, and most experts felt that the Buckeyes would sign a top flight class in 2003, but instead their class was ranked #25 by Scout and #41 by Rivals - and that was before nine players busted out. The final indignity was the Signing Day massacre, when no less than eight major recruits spurned Ohio State for other schools - linebacker Shawn Crable (Michigan), defensive lineman Ray Edwards (Purdue), defensive lineman Stanley McClover (Auburn), running back Michael Bush (Louisville), offensive lineman Arron Sears (Tennessee), defensive lineman Turk McBride (Tennessee), tight end Jamesley Jean (North Carolina State), and wide receiver Devin Stearns (California). On the positive side, the five survivors from this class all turned out to be pretty good players - safety Donte Whitner, cornerback Ashton Youboty, wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, defensive lineman David Patterson, and offensive lineman Kirk Barton.

    Quarterback
    Todd Boeckman was originally supposed to be part of the class of 2003, but he took a grey shirt and did not join the program until the following year; he will be rated with the class of 2004. With a fifth-year senior starter (Craig Krenzel), a fifth-year senior back-up (Scott McMullen), and two redshirt freshmen (Justin Zwick and Troy Smith), the quarterback situation was set for both the short and long term, and the staff wisely decided to pass on signing a quarterback in the class of 2003.

    Running Back
    The Buckeyes did not sign a running back in the class of 2003, primarily because they seemed set at the position with sophomore Maurice Clarett carrying the load, and with juniors Lydell Ross and Maurice Hall backing him up. After Clarett unexpectedly left the program prior to the 2003 season, and Ross and Hall proved unable to succeed as a featured back, the Buckeyes quickly became very thin at this critical position. In retrospect, the staffs' inability to sign a running back in this class was a major failure that impaired the Buckeyes' ground game for the next two seasons; it would not fully recover until the emergence of Antonio Pittman in 2005.

    Wide Receiver
    Anthony Gonzalez (Cleveland St. Ignatius; Rivals 4*, #16 CB; Scout 4*, #8 CB) was signed as a cornerback, but quickly switched to wide receiver. After a redshirt season, Gonzalez slowly worked his way into the wide receiver rotation, with his breakout moment occurring in the 2004 version of The Game - a 68-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Troy Smith to open the Buckeyes' scoring in that contest. The same two players also hooked up for The Catch in the closing moments of the 2005 Game. Anthony became a prime target in 2006 (51 receptions, 734 yards, and 8 touchdowns, all good for second best on the team behind Ted Ginn), and his play was a major factor in the Buckeyes' perfect regular season. Gonzalez's career numbers were 87 receptions (21st all time at Ohio State) for 1,286 yards (14.8 average) and 13 touchdowns (tied for 13th all time).

    Anthony left the program after his red shirt junior season and he was a first round selection of the Indianapolis Colts in the 2007 NFL draft. After a promising start to his pro career (94 receptions for 1,240 yards and 7 touchdowns in his first two seasons), Gonzalez has seen little action the past three seasons due to injuries (5 receptions for 67 yards in 11 games).

    The other wide receiver signed in this class was Devin Jordan (Massillon Washington; Rivals 3*, #29 WR; Scout 3*, #51 WR), who was a high school teammate of quarterback Justin Zwick (class of 2002). At Ohio State, Jordan had even less success than Zwick - he suffered two serious leg injuries and never played a down for the Buckeyes. Devin did remain with the program as a "student assistant coach", where he helped Coach Hazell tutor the Buckeye wide receivers. After graduation, Jordan has remained in coaching, with assistant positions at Wittenberg, Otterbein, and most recently Walsh University.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Anthony Gonzalez (4*); Devin Jordan (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Anthony Gonzalez (4*); Devin Jordan (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/4*); Anthony Gonzalez (3-1/2*); Devin Jordan (1*)​

    Tight End
    Okay, here is where things start getting ugly. On paper, the most successful position group for the class of 2003 was tight end. Louis Irizarry (Youngstown Ursuline; Rivals 4*, #3 TE, #38 overall; Scout 4*, #4 TE) was one of the headliners for this class, and many thought that with his combination of size (6' 5", 235 lbs) and speed (4.6 forty), he would revolutionize the tight end position at Ohio State. Well, let's just say that Louis had other ideas. In his brief time on the field (he played in eight games in 2003), Irizarry dropped passes. Then he was suspended for four games after a dorm room altercation. In the spring of 2004, he had a second brush with the law, this one much more serious - he beat up a fellow student and stole his wallet, thereby earning himself a three-year stretch at the gray bar hotel. After serving six months, Louis was granted an early release and he enrolled at Youngstown State, where he finished his football career without further incident. Ironically, as a Penguin, he played against the Buckeyes in the opening game of the 2007 season - he had four receptions for 19 yards.

    The other tight end signee in 2003 was Marcel Frost (Lyndhurst Brush; Rivals 3* #31 TE; Scout 4*, #11 TE). Frost red shirted in 2003, was switched to defense, found himself in the dog house, switched back to offense, finally saw some playing time in 2005 (7 catches for 70 yards), received a season-long suspension in 2006, and then transferred to Jackson State. Of the seven dismissals in this class, Frost lasted the longest, not getting the boot until August of 2006.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Louis Irizarry (4*); Marcel Frost (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Louis Irizarry (4*); Marcel Frost (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (0*); Louis Irizarry (0*); Marcel Frost (0*)​

    Offensive Line
    The Buckeyes signed only one offensive lineman in this class, Kirk Barton (Massillon Perry; Rivals 3*, #60 OT; Scout 3*, #101 OL). A high school tight end, Barton was considered a major reach by all the recruiting experts; one pundit even went so far as to state that Kirk wasn't even the best blocker on his own high school team. But Barton proved the so-called experts wrong, and he became a four-year starter at right tackle (42 starts in 51 games) and an All American as a fifth-year senior in 2007. Over his last two seasons, Kirk recorded 134 knockdown blocks and 16 touchdown-resulting blocks, and he allowed just three sacks in 670 pass plays. After his playing days in Columbus were over, Barton was a seventh round draft choice in the 2008 NFL draft. Kirk bounced around the NFL for a couple of years, and now works as an offensive quality control assistant for the Buckeyes.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Kirk Barton (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Kirk Barton (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (4*); Kirk Barton (4*)​

    Defensive Line
    One of the prospects who survived the class of 2003 was defensive tackle David Patterson (Warrensville Heights; Rivals 4*, #7 DT, #83 overall; Scout 4*, #4 DT). Although Patterson didn't quite live up to his four-star billing, he had a productive career at Ohio State, especially when compared to the majority of his classmates. Patterson was a two-year starter who amassed 72 tackles, 17 TFL's, and 8 sacks during his time in Columbus; after leaving Ohio State, he became an undrafted free agent in the NFL.

    The other two defensive line signees were complete busts. Sian Cotton (Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary; Rivals 3*, #48 DT; Scout 3*, #24 DT), best known for being LeBron James's sidekick/teammate in high school, lasted a couple of years in Columbus (6 tackles, 1 sack) before transferring first to Youngstown State and then to Walsh University, an NAIA school located in Canton. Brandon Maupin (West Chester Lakota West; Rivals 3*, #21 SDE; Scout 4*, #10 DT) had an even quicker exit, heading to Division II Lane College after the 2004 season (1 tackle). Both Cotton and Maupin were academic casualties.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); David Patterson (4*); Sian Cotton (3*); Brandon Maupin (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/2*); David Patterson (4*); Sian Cotton (3*); Brandon Maupin (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (1*); David Patterson (3*); Sian Cotton (0*); Brandon Maupin (0*)

    Linebacker
    The Buckeyes signed one linebacker prospect in 2003, but you probably don't remember him. Reggie Smith (East Cleveland Shaw; Rivals 3*, #27 OLB; Scout 3*, #23 LB) made it through his redshirt season before flunking out; he ended up at Walsh University in Canton, and is currently on the roster of the Western Pennsylvania Wildcatz, an indoor football developmental team.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Reggie Smith (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Reggie Smith (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (0*); Reggie Smith (0*)

    Defensive Back
    Six of the fourteen signees for the class of 2003 were defensive back prospects. As mentioned above, Anthony Gonzalez flipped to the other side of the ball and played wide receiver at Ohio State; he is rated with that position group. The rest of the crew had mixed success, with one All American, one All Big Ten performer, one career-ending injury, one dismissed for arrest, and one academic casualty.

    Let's start with the successful players. Donte Whitner (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #3 CB, #27 overall; Scout 5*, #1 CB) became an enforcer in the Buckeyes' defensive backfield, earning All American honors at free safety in 2005 before turning pro a year early. For his Buckeye career, Whitner had 164 tackles, 13 TFL's, 5 sacks, 5 INT's, 9 PBU's, and 2 TD's (blocked punt, pick six). Donte was a first round selection in the 2006 NFL draft, and he has continued that success in the NFL, where he has played 84 games (81 starts) in six seasons, averaging 85 tackles per year, with seven career interceptions.

    Ashton Youboty (Klein, Texas; Rivals 4*, #14 S; Scout 3*, #24 CB) was a two-year starter at cornerback and an All Big Ten selection in 2005 before turning pro after his third season in the program. For his Buckeye career, Youboty had 131 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, 5 INT's, 23 PBU's, and a touchdown on a blocked field goal. Ashton was selected in the third round of the 2006 NFL draft, but he has been an NFL journeyman thus far, with just 48 games played in six seasons, and only 12 starts; he has 85 total tackles and a pair of interceptions.

    Curt Lukens (North Canton Hoover; Rivals 3*, #35 S; Scout 3*, #44 S) played in a handful of games in 2004 and 2005, mostly on special teams, logging just one tackle. Curt was forced to give up football in 2006, when chronic shoulder injuries ended his career. Like Devin Jordan, Lukens remained with the team as a "student assistant coach".

    Ira Guilford (Hoboken, New Jersey; Rivals 4*, #8 S; Scout 3*, #19 CB) saw some action as a true freshman at running back. Although Ira didn't have much success at his new position (28 carries for 64 yards), it actually turned out to be the high point of his Buckeye career, and here's why: Guilford was hanging around with teammate Louis Irizarry (see above) at 3 o'clock one fine morning when Irizarry decided to pummel and rob a fellow student. Although Guilford cooperated with the police and was not involved in the actual robbery, he pled guilty to assault and served 45 days of house arrest. Even though it was a first offense, and a relatively minor one at that, the Buckeyes didn't really need a running back who averaged 2.3 yards per carry, so the staff jettisoned Guilford along with Irizarry. After being dismissed from Ohio State, Ira bounced around quite a bit, first to junior college, then to Troy, before finally ending up at William Patterson University (a Division III school in New Jersey).

    Believe it or not, the fifth defensive back signee had even less success than Ira Guilford. Known as "Superman" in high school, Dareus Hiley (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #14 CB; Scout 4*, #6 CB) was supposed to be the 2003 version of Teddy Ginn. But Hiley ran into academic problems at Ohio State, and within a year he had transferred out to Mesabi Range Junior College in Minnesota ... and he failed to remain eligible even at the JUCO level. He is now a landscaping in the Cleveland area.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Donte Whitner (4*); Ashton Youboty (4*); Curt Lukens (3*); Ira Guilford (4*); Dareus Hiley (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Donte Whitner (5*); Ashton Youboty (3*); Curt Lukens (3*); Ira Guilford (3*); Dareus Hiley (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (1-3/4*); Donte Whitner (4*); Ashton Youboty (3-1/2*); Curt Lukens (1*); Ira Guilford (0*); Dareus Hiley (0*)

    Specialists
    Ohio State did not sign either a punter or a place kicker in the class of 2003.

    Walk Ons and Transfers
    Linebacker Anthony Schlegel originally signed with the Air Force Academy in the class of 2001. After two years of success in Colorado Springs (164 tackles, 14 TFL's, 3 sacks, 1 INT), Schlegel decided to transfer to Ohio State. After sitting out the 2003 season, Anthony became the Buckeyes' starting middle linebacker in 2004, and along with A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter, he formed one of the most formidable linebacking corps in Ohio State history. Schlegel was a marginal athlete who compensated for his lack of speed and mobility with extra effort, drive, and attitude. In two years at Ohio State, Schlegel recorded 166 tackles, 17.5 TFL's, and 5.5 sacks, and he was selected in the third round of the 2006 NFL draft, where he had a short (17 games, 5 starts) and unproductive (34 tackles) career. Anthony is currently an assistant strength and conditioning coach for Ohio State. If Schlegel were to be rated with the 2001 signees, he would merit 3-1/2 stars.

    Linebacker John Kerr (Cleveland St. Ignatius; Rivals 2*, #64 MLB; Scout 3*, #94 LB) was a Buckeye fan growing up, but he did not receive a scholarship offer from Ohio State, so he signed with Indiana for their recruiting class of 2002. After an outstanding freshman campaign (114 tackles), Kerr left the Hoosier program and walked on at Ohio State. John sat out the 2003 season due to transfer rules, was ineligible for the entire 2004 season, saw the field as a reserve in 2005 (14 tackles) and as a part time starter in 2006 (26 tackles). For his Buckeye career, John had 40 tackles, 1.5 TFL's, and 1 PBU. A two-and-a-half star player.

    Although Ohio State did not sign any fullbacks in the class of 2003, the Buckeyes did accept two preferred walk-ons that year: Tyler "Tank" Whaley (Ironton; Rivals NR; Scout NR) and Trever Robinson (Richmond (VA) Huguenot; Rivals NR; Scout NR). Whaley entered the program as a center, took a red shirt season, and eventually switched over to fullback; during his senior campaign, Tank split time fairly evenly with starting fullback Dionte Johnson (class of 2004). Whaley was put on scholarship prior to the 2007 season. Robinson also red-shirted in 2003, and then became a four-year starter on special teams, playing in over forty games, and earning four letters and a scholarship (before the 2006 season) in the process. As a senior, Trever saw some action at fullback, making 3 catches for 10 yards and a touchdown; he also contributed five tackles on special teams. If I were to rate Whaley and Robinson with this class, each would receive 2-1/2 stars.

    Daniel Dye (Napoleon; Rivals NR; Scout NR) walked on in 2003 and earned a scholarship before the 2007 season; as a fifth-year senior, Dye saw playing time in seven games as a second-string guard. Although he didn't contribute much, he did last five years in the program without being suspended, arrested, or flunked out, so in relative terms that accomplishment has to be worth two stars.

    In 2007, three of the aforementioned walk-ons won an Ohio State post-season award: Trever Robinson earned the Ike Kelley Award as the top special teams performer; Dan Dye received the John Galbreath Award as the senior with the best academic record; and Tyler Whaley won the Bo Rein Award as the team's most inspirational player.

    Ohio State did not sign any specialists for the class of 2003. However, Dimitrios Makridis (Warren Harding; Rivals NR; Scout NR) walked on that year, and he earned a scholarship before the 2007 season as the team's starting long snapper. He would merit two-and-a-half stars if he were ranked with this class.

    The LJB Ratings for the Class of 2003 (14 signees, 1.43* average)
    5.0*
    4.5*
    4.0* Kirk Barton; Donte Whitner
    3.5* Anthony Gonzalez; Ashton Youboty
    3.0* David Patterson
    2.5*
    2.0*
    1.0* Curt Lukens; Devin Jordan
    0.0* Marcel Frost; Louis Irizarry; Ira Guilford; Sian Cotton; Dareus Hiley; Reggie Smith; Brandon Maupin

    Just like I said with the class of 2002, the numbers don't lie - two star players, three solid contributors, and nine total busts. This class was redeemed somewhat by a couple of key transfers into the program (Anthony Schlegel, John Kerr) and by the contributions of four former walk-ons. Even if we add those six players into the mix, the star rating for this class is just 1.83, which is still nothing short of disastrous.

    Additional Notes - Louis Holmes (Fort Lauderdale Dillard; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*) was a defensive end prospect out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who committed to the Buckeyes for the class of 2003. However, Louis did not have the academic requirements to pass the NCAA Clearinghouse, so he did not sign a Letter of Intent with Ohio State and instead spent a post-grad year at Bridgton Academy in Maine. But that tactic didn't work to improve his grades, and Holmes ended up at a junior college for the next two years. All throughout this process, Buckeye fans heard rumors that Louis had finally passed the Clearinghouse, that he was seen on campus with other members of the team, that he had actually enrolled for the upcoming quarter, that he already had his own locker in the WHAC, and so on and so forth. Due to all of the unverified reports, but no actual sightings, Louis became known as "Bigfoot" amongst Buckeye fans. When Holmes finally did become eligible in 2006, he signed with Arizona, where he collected 73 tackles, 10.5 TFL's, and 6 sacks in two seasons. Bigfoot was last seen in the Arena Football League, but I have no video confirmation to date.

    Stanley McClover (Fort Lauderdale Dillard; Rivals 4*, #12 SDE; Scout 4*, #14 DE) was the second player in two years to pull a Signing Day switcheroo against the Buckeyes. Despite making a verbal commitment to Ohio State, Stanley ended up signing with Auburn. Years later, McClover admitted that he was paid to attend Auburn, and that cold hard cash was the only reason that he didn't end up at Ohio State. Stanley was academically ineligible in 2003, and he played just two seasons on The Plains (66 tackles, 15.5 sacks, 5 pass deflections, 5 forced fumbles) before going pro. After being selected in the seventh round of the 2006 draft, Stanley was an NFL bust, with just eight tackles and one sack in fourteen games over three seasons.

    Defensive tackle Evans Desir (Fort Lauderdale Dillard; West Hills Community College; Rivals NR; Scout NR) was yet another Fort Lauderdale Dillard prospect from the class of 2003 who almost played football for Ohio State. Unlike Louis Holmes and Stanley McClover, Desir never actually had an offer from Ohio State, but that didn't stop him from "committing" to the Buckeyes on Signing Day. Evans actually did enroll at Ohio State, and he attempted to walk on to the football team, without success. Desir was quoted in an April 2007 article about college students seeking counseling for anxiety and depression: "You think you are going to come and play in the Michigan game, but it all didn't work out like that." Apparently, his counselor helped him concentrate on the future instead of dwelling the past; hence, Evans is no longer pursuing a career in football.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
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  5. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2004

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2004 :osu:

    Upon first impressions, the Buckeyes' 2004 recruiting class seemed to be similar to their epic class of 2002, as the 2004 haul was large (26 signees), talented (ranked 9th by Rivals, 11th by Scout), and had top end star power (consensus five-star prospect Teddy Ginn, ranked as the #2 overall prospect in the country by Rivals). However, this class did close on a sour note, as the Buckeye coaching staff suffered through Signing Day Massacre 2.0, with six recruits spurning the Buckeyes at the last minute: linebacker James Bryant (Miami), running back Andrew Johnson (Miami), defensive lineman Rhyan Anderson (Miami), defensive lineman Willie Young (North Carolina State), defensive lineman Javier Estopinan (Florida), and wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett (Southern Cal)

    Even though this group of recruits looked good on paper, time has not been kind to the class of 2004, and in retrospect that class seems more like a larger version of the roundly criticized class of 2003. Although the class of 2004 did produce a few genuine stars (Ted Ginn, Antonio Pittman, Vernon Gholston), it also generated far too many busts, several of whom left the program prior to exhausting their eligibility.

    Unlike 2003, the Buckeye staff did well both in the state of Ohio - the only significant loss was tight end Fred Davis to Southern Cal - and out of state. In fact, nine of the twenty-five signees were from outside of Ohio, including four from Pennsylvania (a state in which the Buckeyes had been completely shut out for nearly a decade prior to 2004), two from Florida, and one each from Michigan, Missouri, and Louisiana. The problem with the class of 2004 wasn't bringing the talent in, but rather developing that talent and keeping it healthy and in academic good standing.

    Quarterback
    Todd Boeckman (Rivals 3*, #19 Pro-style QB; Scout 3*, #28 QB) was originally supposed to be part of the class of 2003, but he took a grey shirt and did not join the program until 2004. After redshirting in 2004 and seeing mop-up action in 2005 and 2006 behind Troy Smith, Boeckman became the starting quarterback for Ohio State prior to the 2007 season. As a junior, Boeckman had a largely successful campaign, as he threw for 2,379 yards and 25 touchdowns in earning All Big Ten first team honors, and leading the Buckeyes to an 11-2 record and a berth in the BCS title game. After a career performance in a night game at Penn State in week nine (19/26, 253 yards, 3 TD's), a 37-17 victory that sent the Bucks to 9-0 on the season, there was some speculation that Boeckman might even be a dark horse Heisman candidate.

    But Todd played poorly down the stretch, and his subpar performance against Illinois in week eleven (13/23, 156 yards, 3 interceptions) was the primary factor in the Buckeyes' first loss of the season. Boeckman did just enough to beat Michigan in the regular season finale (7/13, 50 yards, 1 interception, 39 hand-offs to Chris Wells), and was just mediocre in the 38-24 loss to LSU in the BCS title game (15/26, 208 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions).

    Todd entered the 2008 season as the clear starter at quarterback, but he never recovered from his late-season regression in 2007. Boeckman had a big day against Division I-AA patsy Youngstown State in the opener (14/19, 187 yards, 2 touchdowns), but fell back in week two against lowly Ohio (16/26, 110 yards). In the week three match-up against top-ranked Southern Cal, Boeckman completely fell apart (14/21, 84 yards, 2 interceptions, 5 sacks), and his ill-advised pick six at the end of the second quarter sealed the Buckeyes' fate in the 35-3 debacle, and his own fate as the team's signal caller. Super freshman Terrelle Pryor would start and take the majority of the snaps the rest of the way, and for the remainder of the season, Boeckman would complete just 13 of 27 passes for 239 yards and 3 touchdowns; ironically, the last touchdown pass of Boeckman's career was to Terrelle Pryor in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.

    Todd Boeckman was a three-star prospect who did nothing for four years, had one great season as a junior, and then was beaten out by a much better player as a sixth-year senior. And in reality, that's pretty much what you'd expect to get from a three-star prospect. Boeckman was able to bridge the gap between the Troy Smith era and the Terrelle Pryor era, and he almost took the Buckeyes to the promised land along the way. And when, as a sixth-year senior, he was surpassed by a true freshman, Todd was a good soldier who didn't complain about the lack of playing time. For his Buckeye career, Boeckman completed 255 of 402 passes (.634 completion percentage, the best in Ohio State history) for 3,085 yards (11th best at Ohio State), 31 touchdowns (10th best at Ohio State), and 16 interceptions.

    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Todd Boeckman (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Todd Boeckman (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3*); Todd Boeckman (3*)​

    Running Back
    With depth being a real issue after the early and unexpected departure of Maurice Clarett in 2003, the Buckeyes signed a trio of tailbacks as part of the class of 2004. Antonio Pittman (Akron Buchtel; Rivals 4*, #13 RB; Scout 3*, #31 RB) was the most highly-regarded of the three, and as things turned out he was the only one to have any success in the scarlet and grey. Pittman began to make a name for himself in his true freshman season, and he posted a 144-yard game against Indiana in week seven. Pittman would finish his rookie campaign with 381 yards on just 72 carries, for a fine 5.3 average, which was over a yard per carry better than senior tailbacks Lydell Ross (4.1), Maurice Hall (4.2), and Branden Joe (3.2). As the undisputed starter in 2005, Pittman had his best season, with 1,331 yards (11th best at Ohio State) on 243 carries (5.5 average) and 7 touchdowns. In 2006, Antonio split time with super freshman Beanie Wells, but he still led the team in rushing with 1,232 yards (16th best at Ohio State) on 242 carries (5.1 average) and 14 touchdowns. In his three seasons as a Buckeye, Pittman rushed for 2,945 yards (8th best in OSU history), for an average of 84.1 yards per game (5th best in OSU history), and 22 touchdowns. Antonio turned pro after his junior season, and he was a fourth-round selection in the 2007 NFL draft; in two years in the NFL, he gained 435 yards on 117 carries (3.7 average) and no touchdowns.

    Erik Haw (Columbus Independence; Rivals 3*, #23 RB; Scout 3*, #58 RB) earned a surprising offer from the Buckeyes after posting several sub-4.4 forties at Ohio State's 2003 summer camp. Although Haw never lit up the competition (red-shirt in 2004; 14 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown in 2005), he did light up a joint, in public, on campus, and that was enough to earn him a quick ticket out of Columbus. Erik transferred to Jackson State, where he had some success (982 yards rushing and 16 TD's in two seasons) before declaring for the 2008 NFL draft.

    The final member of the trio was Dennis Kennedy (Ft. Lauderdale Stranahan; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*, #62 CB), a "sleeper" prospect who received a late offer from the Buckeye staff. Although he signed a Letter of Intent with the Buckeyes, Kennedy never enrolled at Ohio State. Dennis experienced some personal tragedies as a high school senior, and as a result his grades suffered and he failed to pass through admissions. Dennis subsequently signed with Akron, where he had a decent career: 2,522 yards rushing, 745 yards receiving, 29 total touchdowns, and a two-point conversion.

    The Buckeyes don't often go after fullback prospects, but they made an exception in 2004 when they signed Dionte Johnson (Columbus Eastmoor; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*), the son of Thomas "Pepper" Johnson, the former Buckeye All American linebacker. At the time, many fans thought that the younger Johnson received an offer merely because he was a legacy recruit - and in retrospect, they were probably right. Dionte did earn four letters during his Ohio State career, but he started only six games, seemed a bit overmatched against top competition, and was generally outplayed in 2007 by former walk-on Tyler "Tank" Whaley.

    Brandon Smith (Euclid; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*) signed as a linebacker, but quickly switched to tight end, where he was no better than a third-stringer. However, prior to his senior season, Brandon made another position switch - to fullback - where he made 8 cacthes for 79 yards and provided some valuable lead blocks for tailback Beanie Wells. For his Ohio State career, Smith had 16 receptions for 139 yards.
    Rivals rankings: Group (2-1/2*); Antonio Pittman (4*); Erik Haw (3*); Dennis Kennedy (2*); Dionte Johnson (2*); Brandon Smith (2*)
    Scout rankings: Group (2-1/4*); Antonio Pittman (3*); Erik Haw (3*); Dennis Kennedy (2*); Dionte Johnson (2*); Brandon Smith (2*)
    LJB rankings: Group (1-3/4*); Antonio Pittman (4*); Erik Haw (0*); Dennis Kennedy (0*); Dionte Johnson (2-1/2*); Brandon Smith (2-1/2*)​

    Wide Receiver
    Theodore Ginn, Jr. (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 5*, #1 CB, #2 overall; Scout 5*, #1 CB) will go down in history as the most exciting player ever to wear the scarlet and grey (with all due respect to Chic Harley, Hopalong Cassady, Vic Janowicz, Archie Griffin, et al.) and one of the true legends of Buckeye football.

    Despite his immense potential, Ginn's career got off to a very slow start - through his first four games as a Buckeye, Teddy had just 3 receptions for 9 yards, and most fans thought that a return to cornerback was imminent. Over the next four weeks, however, Ginn began to exhibit some of his amazing talent, returning two punts for scores (65 yards vs. Wisconsin, 67 yards vs. Penn State), while also hitting pay dirt against Indiana on a 59-yard strike from newly-appointed starting quarterback Troy Smith, a high school teammate of Ginn. But Ginn really made a name for himself during the final third of his freshman campaign, as he scored three touchdowns against Michigan State in week nine (a 17-yard run, a 60-yard punt return, and a 58-yard reception to seal the victory); had 87 yards receiving and an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in an upset win over Michigan; and racked up 118 yards of total offense and a touchdown against Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl, a game in which he was named the Most Valuable Player. Even though he was a non-factor for the first third of the season, Teddy was still second on the team with 896 all-purpose yards, he tied for the team lead with 8 touchdowns, and he set Buckeye single-season records with four punt returns for touchdowns (in just 15 returns) and 25.6 yards per punt return (smashing the previous mark of 18.7 yards per return). At then end of his freshman campaign, Ginn was named to several All American teams as a return specialist.

    Given the high expectations after his rookie season, Ginn experienced somewhat of a "sophomore slump" in 2005. Although he led the team with 1,668 all-purpose yards and scored 7 touchdowns, opposing defenses were more focused on TGII and thus he had fewer big plays to his credit. That is, at least until the Fiesta Bowl, when Ginn scorched Notre Dame for 240 yards of total offense and scored on a 56-yard pass and a beautiful 68-yard run on a reverse.

    As a junior, Teddy once again led the team with 1,504 all-purpose yards, and he scored 11 times (and also threw for a touchdown); but he became a more complete receiver, as evidenced by his team-high 59 receptions and 9 touchdown catches. The last play of Ginn's college career was the opening kickoff of the 2006 BCS championship game, which he returned 93-yards for a touchdown; he was sidelined for the rest of the contest with a broken foot suffered in the subsequent end zone celebration. Once again, Ted received some All American recognition after the 2006 season, and he was also named first team All Big Ten.

    For his three-year Ohio State career, Ted Ginn caught 135 passes (seventh all time) for 1,943 yards (eighth all time) and 15 touchdowns (tied for tenth all time); in addition, he amassed 4,068 all-purpose yards (eighth all time), and he was responsible for 27 touchdowns (15 receiving, 3 rushing, 6 punt returns, 2 kick-off returns, and 1 passing), most of them being memorable (an incredible 16 of his touchdowns were 50 yards or longer). His six punt returns for touchdowns is a Big Ten record.

    Although he was a top-ten selection in the 2007 NFL draft, Ginn has been somewhat of a disappointment as a pro, as he has not been able to able to crack the starting line-up as a wide receiver. In five seasons, Teddy has 159 receptions for 2,047 yards (12.9 average) and 6 touchdowns; 26 rushes for 203 yards (7.8 average) and 2 touchdowns; together with 3 touchdowns on punt returns and 3 touchdowns on kick returns.

    The other two receivers whom the Buckeyes signed in 2004 were ranked nearly as high as Ted Ginn coming out of high school, but both were essentially busts during their time at Ohio State. Albert Dukes (Belle Glades (FL) Central; Rivals 4*, #14 WR; Scout 4*, #24 WR), hailed form the same high school as Buckeye great Santonio Holmes, and according to the recruiting buzz, Dukes was an even more talented receiver than his accomplished predecessor. However, Albert got into some off-the-field trouble early in his career, and he never really seemed to find his niche in Columbus; in three seasons, Dukes had 4 receptions for 39 yards. Devon Lyons (Pittsburgh Woodland Hills; Rivals 4*, #5 safety; Scout 3*, #17 S) played as a true freshman in 2004, but chronic injuries (he missed the entire 2005 season with an ankle problem) and position switches (from wide receiver to safety and back again) killed his once-promising career, and he left Ohio State with just 2 receptions for 15 yards. Both Dukes and Lyons graduated from Ohio State with one year of eligibility remaining, and each transferred for his final season: Dukes to Valdosta State, Lyons to West Virginia.

    Rivals rankings: Group (4-1/4*); Ted Ginn, Jr. (5*); Albert Dukes (4*); Devon Lyons (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Ted Ginn, Jr. (5*); Albert Dukes (4*); Devon Lyons (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/4*); Ted Ginn, Jr. (5*); Albert Dukes (1*); Devon Lyons (1*)​

    Tight End
    The Buckeyes signed the best tight end class in the country in 2004, landing two of the top four prospects at that position. After seeing significant playing time as a true freshman in 2004, Rory Nicol (Beaver, Pennsylvania; Rivals 4*, #4 TE; Scout 4*, #2 TE) missed the entire 2005 season with a foot injury. Nicol returned to action in 2006 as the Buckeyes' starting tight end, a job that he held for the remainder of his college career. Granted, the tight end was under-utilized in Tressel's offensive scheme, but Nicol's career numbers are still somewhat disappointing (38 receptions, 329 yards, 6 TD's), especially for a kid who wasn't known as a devasting blocker.

    The other tight end signee from the class of 2004 was Chad Hoobler (Carrollton; Rivals 4*, #3 TE; Scout 4*, #4 TE). After two position switches - first to linebacker, then to defensive end - Chad abruptly left the program during 2006 fall practice and transferred to Ashland, where he suffered career-ending knee injuries. Hoobler then pursued a career as an MMA fighter. Chad finished with six tackles as a special teams performer.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Rory Nicol (4*); Chad Hoobler (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Rory Nicol (4*); Chad Hoobler (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (1-1/2*); Rory Nicol (3*); Chad Hoobler (0*)​

    Offensive Line
    The Buckeyes' offensive line haul was supposed to be the cornerstone of the 2004 class, but that group was distinctly disappointing. The prize recruit from the quartet of signees was Kyle Mitchum (Erie (PA) McDowell; Rivals 4*, #6 OT, #56 overall; Scout 4*, #7 OL), but Mitchum was frequently injured and saw little playing time during his five years on campus.

    Ben Person (Xenia; Rivals 4*, #10 OG; Scout 4*, #17 OL) was another highly-regarded prospect from the class of 2004. Although Person developed rather slowly, he earned the starting right guard slot for his final two seasons (2007 and 2008).

    Weighing in at well over 300 pounds as a high school senior, Steve Rehring (West Chester Lakota West; Rivals 3*, #29 OT; Scout 3*, #48 OL) was considered a "project" recruit. However, he was actually the first member of the 2004 OL class to see the field, and he even earned a letter as a true freshman. An illness sidelined Rehring for most of the 2005 season (he ended up taking a red-shirt that year), but he returned to earn a starting role in 2006 (left guard). Despite being a starter for most of his final three seasons, Rehring was an inconsistent performer, primarily due to weight and conditioning issues.

    The Buckeye staff took a chance on Jon Skinner (Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania; Rivals 3*, #39 OG; Scout 3*, #94 OL), who suffered a major knee injury in high school. Skinner remained injury-prone at Ohio State, although he logged some quality time as a back-up in 2005, 2006, and 2007. But then Jon suffered yet another injury prior to the 2008 season and never played again.

    On the whole, this group had two busts (Mitchum and Skinner) and two contributors (Person and Rehring) whose play could best be described as "inconsistent", as at times they looked great, and at others they looked slow, unathletic, out-of-shape, and even disinterested.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Kyle Mitchum (4*); Ben Person (4*); Steve Rehring (3*); Jon Skinner (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Kyle Mitchum (4*); Ben Person (4*); Steve Rehring (3*); Jon Skinner (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/2*); Kyle Mitchum (2*); Ben Person (3*); Steve Rehring (3*); Jon Skinner (2*)​

    Defensive Line
    At six-foot-four, 264 pounds, defensive end Vernon Gholston (Detroit Cass Tech; Rivals 4*, #11 WDE; Scout 3*, #39 DE) might hold the distinction for being the must "cut" player ever to wear the scarlet and grey. However, Big Vern was no mere body builder in shoulder pads, as he was one of the most productive defensive ends in Ohio State history. After seeing limited action as a true freshman (no tackles in six games), Gholston lost most of the 2005 season due to a broken hand (one tackle in two games), and he took a medical redshirt that year. Fully recovered in 2006, Vernon started all 13 games for the Buckeyes, registering 49 tackles, 15 TFL's (15th best at Ohio State), and 8.5 sacks (13th best at Ohio State) en route to being named a second team All Big Ten performer by both the coaches and the media. Gholston continued his progress in 2007, as he was named a first team All American after racking up 37 tackles, 15.5 TFL's (14th best at Ohio State), a Buckeye single-season record 14 sacks, and a touchdown on a fumble recovery; against Wisconsin, he tied Ohio State's single-game record with four sacks. For his career, Gholston had 87 tackles, 30.5 TFL's, 22.5 sacks (fifth best at Ohio State), and a interception. Despite having one year of eligibility remaining, Gholston decided to enter the 2008 NFL draft, where he was a top-ten selection by the New York Jets; unfortunately, Big Vern has been a monumental bust as a pro, with just 42 tackles and no sacks in three seasons.

    When you sign one Vernon Gholston, you've already had a successful defensive line class, regardless of what your other signees end up doing. And in the case of the Buckeyes' class of 2004, the other two defensive line prospects didn't do much at all during their tenures in Columbus. Nader Abdallah (Metairie, Louisiana; Rivals 3*, #30 DT; Scout 3*, #44 DT) took a red shirt in 2004, then saw action in only eight games over the next two seasons, logging just a single tackle during that time. However, in his last two seasons, Nader played in every game and he was an integral member of the Buckeyes' defensive tackle rotation. As a senior, he made several big plays, was named honorable mention All Big Ten, and won the Jack Stephenson Award as the Buckeyes' outstanding defensive lineman. For his Ohio State career, Nader had 54 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, and 4 deflected passes. Abdallah is a good example of a kid who slacked off for three years (overweight and poor work ethic), but ultimately put in the effort and finished strong, and for that I give him an extra half star.

    Alex Barrow (Dublin Coffman; Rivals 3*, #31 DT; Scout 3*, #59 DE) showed more early promise than Nader Abdallah, but he saw his playing time steadily decrease while the Buckeyes gradually improved their depth along the defensive line. As a red-shirt junior, Barrow earned most of his minutes on special teams. At the end of the 2007 season, Alex announced that he would not return to the team for his senior campaign, but would instead pursue a career in advertising or public relations after graduating with a degree in communications. For his Ohio State career, Barrow registered 16 tackles and 1 sack in 32 games played.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Vernon Gholston (4*); Nader Abdallah (3*); Alex Barrow (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Vernon Gholston (3*); Nader Abdallah (3*); Alex Barrow (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Vernon Gholston (4-1/2*); Nader Abdallah (3*); Alex Barrow (2*)

    Linebacker
    One of the stars of the recruiting class of 2004 was linebacker Marcus Freeman (Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #4 MLB, #31 overall; Scout 4*, #11 LB). After seeing action in every game as a true freshman (4 tackles), Freeman missed the entire 2005 campaign with a knee injury. Marcus rebounded nicely in 2006, as he was second on the team with 71 tackles; he also had 2 interceptions and broke up 6 passes. But despite the solid numbers, many people questioned Freeman's toughness and his ability to stop the run. In 2007, Freeman once again finished in second place with 109 tackles (including 9.5 TFL's), and he also played well in pass coverage (5 pass break-ups). However, Freeman's season was somewhat inconsistent, as he had huge performances against Minnesota (11 tackles, 1 TFL), Penn State (14 tackles, 2 TFL's), Illinois (18 tackles, 1 TFL), Michigan (9 tackles), and LSU (14 tackles), but in other games he seemed to play "soft" and disappear at times. Marcus slipped somewhat during his senior campaign, as he logged only 84 tackles in 2008. For his career, Freeman had 268 tackles (20th all time at Ohio State), 21 TFL's, 6 sacks, 2 INT's, and 15 PBU's. Of all the 2004 signees, Marcus Freeman was perhaps the most disappointing because our expectations for him were so high. Although Freeman was certainly a solid performer during his Ohio State career, he never had that one break-out year - while the fans expected him to be an All American, he never even made All Big Ten. After leaving Ohio State, Marcus was selected in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL draft. Freeman spent one year on a practice squad, and then was forced to quit football due to an enlarged heart. Marcus is currently the linebackers coach for Kent State.

    The other linebacker who signed with Ohio State in 2004 was Curtis Terry (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*). Although Curtis was a late addition to the class, he quickly made a name for himself on special teams, and he earned letters in both 2004 and 2005 for his participation on the punt, punt return, kick-off, and kick-off return squads. In 2006, Terry worked his way into linebacker rotation, where he recorded 17 tackles and 3.5 TFL's primarily in a back-up role. Curtis seemed poised to have a break-out year in 2007, but an ankle injury kept him on the sidelines for the entire season. As a senior, Curtis saw limited action in 9 games, finishing with 6 tackles and 2 TFL's before succumbing to another season-ending injury. For his career, Terry had 25 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Marcus Freeman (4*); Curtis Terry (2*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Marcus Freemen (4*); Curtis Terry (2*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-3/4*); Marcus Freeman (3-1/2*); Curtis Terry (2*)​

    Defensive Back
    The Buckeyes signed six defensive backs in 2004, but two of them - Ted Ginn and Devon Lyons - were quickly moved to wide receiver. The other four struggled to find a role with the Buckeyes, and none of them saw consistent minutes on defense.

    Like fullback Dionte Johnson, Shaun Lane (Hubbard; Rivals 3*, #14 CB; Scout 3*, #32 CB) was another legacy recruit in the class of 2004, his father being former Buckeye great Garcia Lane (cornerback, 1980-1983). Shaun red-shirted in 2004, and saw limited action since then, mostly on special teams. For his career, Lane had 50 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 pass broken up.

    The Buckeye career of Nick Patterson (St. Louis Hazelwood Central; Rivals 3*, #30 ATH; Scout 3*, #41 S) was similar to that of Shaun Lane: redshirt in 2004, then sporadic playing time over the next four seasons (although Nick did start the 2006 season opener at free safety); he finished with just 18 tackles and an interception.

    As a true freshman, Sirjo Welch (Columbus Beechcroft; Rivals 3*, #17 safety; Scout 4*, #7 S) earned the reputation as a special teams demon - he recorded 15 tackles and earned a letter for his efforts. Sirjo's production tailed off in 2005, and he logged only 5 tackles in 9 games while spending some time in the coaches' doghouse due to poor academics. Apparently Welch's grades went from bad to worse, as he became academically ineligible after the 2005 season, dropped out of Ohio State, and enrolled at Cincinnati ... where he failed to qualify; Sirjo eventually ended up at Kentucky State, where he finished his career in 2009.

    Another academic casualty for the class of 2004 was cornerback Brandon Underwood (Hamilton; Rivals 3*, #16 CB; Scout 3*, #14 CB), who left the program after the 2006 season with just 3 tackles to his credit. Underwood also transferred to Cincinnati.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Shaun Lane (3*); Nick Patterson (3*); Sirjo Welch (3*); Brandon Underwood (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Shaun Lane (3*); Nick Patterson (3*); Sirjo Welch (4*); Brandon Underwood (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (1-1/2*); Shaun Lane (2-1/2*); Nick Patterson (2*); Sirjo Welch (1*); Brandon Underwood (0*)

    Specialists
    Punter A.J. Trapasso (Pickerington; Rivals 2*, #25 PK; Scout 3*) was one of five kicking specialists signed during the Tressel era, and he certainly earned his scholarship. After sitting out the 2004 season as a redshirt, Trapasso won the punting job in 2005, and he was a four-year "starter" at that position. A.J. had a solid but not spectacular career, averaging 41 yards per punt. Jonathan Skeete (Gahanna Lincoln; Rivals NR; Scout NR) was a late signee in the class of 2004. After redshirting as a freshman, Skeete was arrested in the summer of 2005 for distributing marijuana and booted from the school. Jonathan returned briefly as a walk-on and then transferred to Morgan State, where he punted and place kicked for three seasons without much success (8 field goals, 27 extra points, 35.3 yard average on 64 punts).

    Rivals rankings: Group (2*); A.J. Trapasso (2*); Jonathan Skeete (NR)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); A.J. Trapasso (3*); Jonathan Skeete (NR)
    LJB rankings: Group (1-1/2*); A.J. Trapasso (3*); Jonathan Skeete (0*)

    Walk Ons and Transfers
    Despite signing two scholarship kickers in the class of 2004, the Buckeyes also accepted place kicker Ryan Pretorius (Durban, South Africa; Rivals NR; Scout NR) as a preferred walk-on. Originally a professional rugby player, Pretorius quit that sport after sustaining a shoulder injury. Ryan had no previous experience with American football when he decided to walk-on at Ohio State at the age of twenty-five. Pretorius saw little action during his first three years, but then became the team's primary kicker for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. For his career, Ryan made 34 of 44 field goals attempts (.773 success rate, third best in school history, with four of his misses being blocked) and scored 190 points. A three-star performer.

    The LJB Ratings for the Class of 2004 (26 signees, 2.09* average)
    5.0* Ted Ginn, Jr.
    4.5* Vernon Gholston
    4.0* Antonio Pittman
    3.5* Marcus Freeman
    3.0* Todd Boeckman; Rory Nicol; Ben Person; Steve Rehring; Nader Abdallah; A.J. Trapasso
    2.5* Dionte Johnson; Brandon Smith; Shaun Lane
    2.0* Alex Barrow; Curtis Terry; Nick Patterson; Kyle Mitchum; Jon Skinner
    1.0* Devon Lyons; Albert Dukes
    0.0* Erik Haw; Dennis Kennedy; Brandon Underwood; Chad Hoobler; Sirjo Welch; Jonathan Skeete

    This class was a real mixed bag, with three outstanding players (Ginn, Gholston, Pittman) and one more who was pretty close (Freeman). The rest were marginal talents - even the three-star players (Boeckman, Nicol, Person, Rehring, Abdallah, Trapasso) received their starting positions more by default than by merit. With an overall rating of just over two stars, this class really failed to live up to its potential, and fully half of the class were busts. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about this class is that there were very few shameful exits, especially compared to the rogues gallery that was the class of 2003.

    Additional Notes
    On a cold, dark night in January of 2004, a five-star talent stepped off of a plane at LAX ready to take The City of Angels by storm. Was he a young actor with a boatload of charisma and a movie star smile? The Next Big Thing on the music scene? A member of the socialite glitterati? No, he was wide receiver Fred Davis (Toledo Rogers; Rivals 5*, #3 WR, #19 overall; Scout 5*, #2 WR), otherwise known as Pete Carroll's Number One Guy. Ah, remember the bravado which issued from young Mr. Davis back then: "A good season for me would be breaking Mike's (freshman) record. I'd be happy with that. It's not impossible. I think it could happen." (BTW, "Mike" refers to Mike Williams, who set NCAA freshman records for receptions (81), yards (1,265) and touchdowns (14) in 2002 for Southern Cal.) And how about this gem: "I went to Ohio State games and I really thought they were boring. I kind of fell asleep. Their offense makes you fall asleep. They're near my hometown, so they'll probably take care of me if I went there, but what's the reason to play there? To block?" (Scott Wolf, Los Angeles Times, 03/04/04) Well, somewhere along the way, Fred forgot to back up his words with production on the field. Before his freshman season, in a move dripping with irony and drenched in karma, Davis was switched to tight end (where, presumably, he had to do a little blocking), and in limited action he caught 4 passes for 30 yards and 0 TD's (just a bit short of Mike Williams's freshman numbers). Fred took the move so well that he ended up getting suspended for the Trojans' national championship game, and then tried to transfer to ... you guessed it ... Ohio State. However, Fred stuck with the program at Southern Cal (primarily because Ohio State wanted nothing to do with him), and he showed marked improvement in 2005, catching 11 passes for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. For his career at Southern California, Fred Davis made 117 receptions for 1,408 yards and 13 touchdowns, which were only slightly better than Mike Williams's freshman totals (see above). To be fair, Davis did finally have a decent year as a senior (62 receptions, 881 yards, 8 touchdowns, All American recognition), or else he would have gone down in history as a first class bust. Still, when one considers the overwhelming amount of hype lavished on Davis (much of it self-generated), his career was a definite disappointment. Davis did manage to parlay his one-year wonderdom into a second-round selection in the 2008 NFL draft, and so the Washington Redskins are stuck with this inconsistent prima donna now.

    Fun Facts - There were two Buckeye legacies in the class of 2004, Dionte Johnson, the son of All American linebacker Pepper Johnson; and Shaun Lane, the son of All Big Ten cornerback Garcia Lane. Neither son achieved the success of his father, although both were four-year lettermen for Ohio State.

    In the 2007 NFL draft, the Buckeyes had two wide receivers selected in the first round, Anthony Gonzalez (Indianapolis Colts, pick #32) and Ted Ginn (Miami Dolphins, pick #9); ironically, both entered Ohio State as highly-ranked cornerback prospects (Gonzo in 2003, Ginn in 2004).

    As bad as the class of 2004 was, it could have been much worse. The Buckeyes tried to sign blue chip prospects James Bryant, Rhyan Anderson, Andrew Johnson, Willie Wilson, Charlie Jones, and Bobby Washington (and they went down to the wire with Bryant, Anderson, and Johnson), but all six ended up at Miami, where they were spectacular busts. None of the six finished his career as a Hurricane, and Williams washed out at three other schools (West Los Angeles Community College; Louisville; Glenville State) before finally landing at tiny Union College, an NAIA institution located in Barbourville, Kentucky. The monumental failure of Miami's recruiting class of 2004 sunk the Hurricanes into oblivion - they are just 59-41 (.590) since 2004, and just 41-35 (.539) since 2006 - and they are still struggling to recover some measure of respectability. If those guys had all been Buckeyes.... For a complete recap of Willie Wilson's storied career, as well as 49 others from the class of 2004 who denied themselves the opportunity of being Buckeyes, please check out this LINK.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
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  6. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2005

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2005 :osu:

    The Buckeyes' recruiting class of 2005 was thought by many to be a fairly strong effort at the time of its signing (ranked #12 by Rivals, and #7 by Scout), and for the most part the class turned out well. Twelve of the eighteen signees were regular starters for at least one season (Alex Boone, Jim Cordle, Todd Denlinger, Brian Hartline, Malcolm Jenkins, James Laurinaitis, Brian Robiskie, Anderson Russell, Austin Spitler, Donald Washington III, Lawrence Wilson, and Doug Worthington). On the other hand, only three of the group flamed out (Freddie Lenix, Rob Schoenhoft, and Ryan Williams), while the remaining three signees (Andre Amos, Jamario O'Neal, and Maurice Wells) had unremarkable four-year careers. The oddity of this class was that the highest-ranked recruits (Doug Worthington, Alex Boone, and Jamario O'Neal) had average-to-solid Buckeye careers, while the most productive players at Ohio State (James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins, and Brian Robiskie) were all unheralded recruits.

    Quarterback
    Ohio State signed only one quarterback in the class of 2005, namely Rob Schoenhoft (Cincinnati St. Xavier; Rivals 4*, #6 pro-style QB; Scout 4*, #17 QB). The Buckeyes initially made a run for highly-regarded California signal caller Mark Sanchez, and only became truly interested in Schoenhoft after Sanchez pledged to Southern Cal. Schoenhoft, who had a big arm but limited mobility, seemed like a mismatch from the start, as Ohio State was already well into the process of implementing an offensive scheme around the abilities of "dual threat" quarterback Troy Smith. In three years at Ohio State, Rob saw only mop-up duty (18 for 26, 134 yards, no TD's or INT's), and then transferred to Division I-AA Delaware. As a Blue Hen in 2008, Schoenhoft completed 83 of 160 passes (.519) for 934 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions, but he also suffered three concussions which caused him to quit football altogether with one year of college eligibility remaining.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Rob Schoenhoft (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Rob Schoenhoft (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (0*); Rob Schoenhoft (0*)​

    Running Back
    With a relatively small number of scholarships available, Ohio State signed only one running back in 2005, but he was definitely one of the stars of the recruiting class. In high school, Maurice Wells (Jacksonville Sandalwood; Rivals 4*, #4 all-purpose back; Scout 4*, #19 RB) was touted as a work horse back (5,985 yards, 55 touchdowns for his high school career) with sprinter's speed (4.44 forty). After years of trying, it seemed like the Buckeye staff had finally found an A-list running back to take the running game back to championship level, but unfortunately Mo Wells ended up playing more like Mo Hall than Mo Clarett. Although he had significant opportunities during each of his four seasons in Columbus, Wells managed to gain just 1,271 yards on the ground in 307 carries (for a barely respectable 4.14 average), while adding 145 yards in receiving and scoring 12 total touchdowns; needless to say, those numbers don't add up to an impressive season by Ohio State standards. Despite the lack of production, Wells was always regarded as a good teammate and a solid citizen off of the field, which still count for something.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Maurice Wells (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Maurice Wells (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/2*); Maurice Wells (2-1/2*)​

    Wide Receiver
    On paper, the Buckeyes signed an uninspiring a pair of receivers for the class of 2005, in the form of Brian Robiskie (Chagrin Falls; Rivals 3*, #61 WR; Scout 2*) and Brian Hartline (Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 3*, #36 WR; Scout 4*, #31 WR). However, both players were two-year starters at Ohio State, and both were drafted by the NFL in April of 2009 (Robiskie was selected by Cleveland in the second round, Hartline by Miami in the fourth round). Of the two Brians, Robiskie was the first to earn significant playing time, and as a result he posted the better numbers for his Buckeye career: 127 receptions (ninth all time at Ohio State), 1,866 yards (eleventh all time), 14.69 average, and 24 touchdowns (fourth all time), including ten touchdowns of 30 yards or more, all while twice earning Academic All American honors. Hartline redshirted in 2005, and then over the next three seasons added 90 receptions (19th all time), 1,429 yards (18th all time), 15.88 average (14th all time), and 12 touchdowns receiving (tied for 15th all time); he also had 75 yards rushing on 10 carries, and scored on a school-record 90-yard punt return. Although they were both considered filler for their recruiting class, the Brians became quite a dynamic duo.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Brian Robiskie (3*); Brian Hartline (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Brian Robiskie (2*); Brian Hartline (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Brian Robiskie (4*); Brian Hartline (3-1/2*)​

    Offensive Line
    As a high school junior, Alex Boone (Lakewood St. Edwards; Rivals 5*, #3 OT, #20 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OL, #15 overall) was already being promoted as the best offensive lineman to come from the state of Ohio since the legendary Orlando Pace. Although Boone started for three-plus years for the Buckeyes, he never really lived up to his vast potential - he was second team All Big Ten in 2007 and first team in 2008, when most observers felt that should have been an All American considering his immense talent. An inability to handle speed rushers (Florida, LSU, USC) and a well-publicized drinking problem certainly didn't help Alex's reputation. After leaving Columbus, Boone signed with the San Francisco Forty-Niners as an undrafted free agent, and in 2011 he played in all sixteen games.

    The other offensive lineman in the class of 2005 was Jim Cordle (Lancaster; Rivals 4*, #7 OG; Scout 4*, #30 OL). Cordle was a valuable handyman along the line, earning starts at each of the five OL positions (33 starts overall). However, Cordle was never really able to lock down a spot on the line, and he remained a utility player throughout his career. After his playing days in Columbus were over, Cordle entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent; in 2011, he played for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4-1/2*); Alex Boone (5*); Jim Cordle (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4-1/2*); Alex Boone (5*); Jim Cordle (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Alex Boone (3-1/2*); Jim Cordle (3*)​

    Defensive Line
    The Buckeyes signed four defensive linemen in 2005. The most highly rated of the group was defensive end Doug Worthington (Athol Springs (NY) St. Francis; Rival 4*, #5 SDE, #80 overall; Scout 5*, #3 DE, #42 overall), and he was the most productive at the college level (104 tackles, 12 TFL's, 4.5 sacks, 1 interception). Worthington was a steady player who got the job done in the trenches, and as a senior was voted a team captain. Doug was selected in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL draft, but he is still waiting to see his first game action.

    Lawrence Wilson (Akron St. Vinent-St. Mary; Rivals 4*, #12 WDE; Scout 4*, #29 DE) originally committed to Notre Dame, but when the Domers fired head coach Ty Willingham and brought in Charlie Weis as his replacement, Wilson decided to look around and he eventually settled on Ohio State. Although Wilson had some success in Columbus (59 tackles, 12 TFL's, 7 sacks, 2 interceptions, 6 pass deflections), he spent much of his career (including almost the entire 2007 season and half of the 2008 season) on the sidelines with various injuries (broken leg in 2007, torn ACL in 2008).

    Todd Denlinger (Troy; Rivals 4*, #14 DT; Scout 4*, #13 DT) is another player who has had his career impacted by numerous injuries. After logging valuable minutes in eleven games as a red-shirt freshman in 2006, Todd suffered a knee injury in 2007 and an ankle injury in 2008 which severely limited his productivity. For his career, Denlinger logged 40 tackles, 9.5 TFL's, 3 sacks, and an interception.

    The final defensive line signee of the class was Ryan Williams (Mission Viejo, California; Rivals 4*, #12 SDE; Scout 3*, #62 DE). Williams, along with quarterback Mark Sanchez and offensive linemall Kevin Bemoll, were part of the famed "MV3", a group of three Mission Viejo stars who all seriously considered signing with Ohio State. Ryan was the only one who actually became a Buckeye (Sanchez signed with Southern Cal, Bemoll with Cal), but his stay in Columbus was a very short one. Williams took a red-shirt in 2005 and saw action in just two games in 2006 (no stats). After the 2006 season, Ryan decided to transfer to San Diego State, where he played briefly before being sidelined due to concussions; he quit football soon thereafter.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Doug Worthington (4*); ; Lawrence Wilson (4*); Todd Denlinger (4*); Ryan Williams (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Doug Worthington (5*); Lawrence Wilson (4*); Todd Denlinger (4*); Ryan Williams (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/4*); Doug Worthington (3-1/2*); Lawrence Wilson (3*); Todd Denlinger (2-1/2*); Ryan Williams (0*)

    Linebacker
    With the class of 2005, head coach Jim Tressel earned the reputation for being able to find diamonds in the rough. Exhibit "A" is linebacker James Laurinaitis (Plymouth (MN) Wayzata; Rivals 3*, #28 MLB; Scout 3*, #45 LB). Despite having had a very productive high school career (193 tackles, 28 TFL's, 5 sacks as a senior "Mr. Football" winner), Laurinaitis came to Columbus as an unheralded recruit who was best known as the son of former pro wrestler "Road Warrior Animal" from the tag team "Legion of Doom". But "Lil Animal" ceased being a novelty act after his break-out performance against Texas in 2006 (13 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU, and 2 forced fumbles in a 24-7 trampling of the #2 team in the country), and by the end of his sophomore season, Laurinaitis was regarded as one of the best defensive players in the country. James led the Buckeyes in tackles for each of his final three seasons, with 115 in 2006, 121 in 2007, and 130 in 2008. For his stellar career, James racked up 375 tackles (seventh all time at Ohio State), 24.5 TFL's, 13 sacks (18th at Ohio State), 9 interceptions, 7 passes defensed, and 4 forced fumbles.

    Laurinaitis became only the eighth Buckeye to be named a first team All American three times (2006, 2007, 2008), and he also racked up numerous other awards and recognitions: Big Ten Defensive Player of the year twice (2007, 2008); Academic All Big Ten twice (2007, 2008); elected team captain for both his junior and senior seasons; the Bronco Nagurski Award (2006; best defensive player); the Butkus Award (2007; best linebacker); the Lott IMPACT Trophy (2008; best defensive player); and the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award (2008; best student-athlete). Looks like the so-called recruiting gurus might have underrated Laurinaitis just a little bit....

    After finishing his career at Ohio State, Laurinaitis was selected in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams, and he developed into an instant star in the pros. In his first three seasons, James started all 48 games, and he has already amassed 376 tackles, 8 sacks, 5 interceptions, and 12 passes broken up.

    With James Laurinaitis firmly entrenched in the middle of the Buckeye defense for three years, Austin Spitler (Bellbrook; Rivals 3*, #48 MLB; Scout 3*, #87 LB) saw most of his action on special teams and in garbage time (44 tackles, 3 TFL's, 1 sack). But as a fifth-year senior, Spitler essentially matched his totals from the previous three seasons with 38 tackles, 5 TFL's, 1 sack, and 1 interception. For his career, Austin made 82 tackles, 8 TFL's, 2 sacks, and 1 interception, which would have been an off-year for James Laurinaitis.

    Freddie Lenix (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #22 ATH; Scout 4*, #27 LB) had academic issues and never enrolled at Ohio State. Lenix failed to gain admission in 2005, grey shirted, enrolled at a local community college, once again failed to gain admission in 2006, and eventually wound up at the University of Cincinnati, where his tenure lasted all of one game before he left the program for personal reasons. Lenix recently resurfaced at Notre Dame College, an NAIA school in South Euclid, Ohio.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); James Laurinaitis (3*); Austin Spitler (3*); Freddie Lenix (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); James Laurinaitis (3-1/4*); Austin Spitler (3*); Freddie Lenix (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/2*); James Laurinaitis (5*); Austin Spitler (2-1/2*); Freddie Lenix (0*)​

    Defensive Back
    Ohio State signed five defensive backs in 2005, and most of them had productive careers in the scarlet and gray. The unquestioned leader of the group was Malcolm Jenkins (Piscataway, New Jersey; Rivals 3*, #61 CB; Scout 3*, #28 S), another "sleeper" recruit who played far beyond the expectations of the recruiting experts. Jenkins was a middle-of-the-road prospect who blew up at Ohio State's summer camp and earned himself an offer on the spot. At the time, fans scoffed at the offer to Jenkins, citing it as evidence that Jim Tressel needed to hire a recruiting co-ordinator to replace the recently-retired Bill Conley. But Jenkins proved the doubters wrong, as he left Columbus as one of the best defensive backs ever to play football at Ohio State. For his career, Jenkins recorded 196 tackles, 13.5 TFL's, 11 interceptions, 17 pass break-ups, 4 forced fumbles, 2 blocked kicks, and two pick sixes (61 yards versus Penn State in 2006, 24 yards versus Penn State in 2007) en route to twice being named a first team All American (2007, 2008) and winning the 2008 Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. Malcolm was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the first round (14th pick) of the 2009 NFL draft. Since entering the NFL, Jenkins has 196 tackles, 3 interceptions (including a 96-yard pick six), and 22 passes broken up in 44 games (36 starts); he also has a Super Bowl ring from the 2009-10 season.

    Anderson Russell (Atlanta Marist; Rivals 2*; Scout 3*, #84 RB) was another prospect who was supposed to be "filler" in the class of 2005, but instead he became a multi-year starter. Russell took a red-shirt in 2005, and then earned the starting free safety job at the beginning of the 2006 season. However, his campaign was cut short when he suffered a knee injury on a cheap shot against Iowa in week five. Russell rebounded to have a solid career, and he left Columbus with 195 tackles, 10 TFL's, 3 sacks, 6 interceptions, 11 pass break-ups, 5 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries.

    Donald Washington III (Indianapolis Franklin Central; Rivals 2*; Scout 3*, #90 WR) was yet another under-the-radar recruit who had some success at the college level. Washington red-shirted in 2005, then quickly became a starter at cornerback, which he held throughout most of the 2006 and 2007 seasons. As a fourth-year player, however, Donald experienced some off-the-field issues which led to a brief suspension and cost him his starting position, and at the end of the 2008 season he declared for the NFL. Washington was one of the most athletic members of the Buckeye squad (4.49 forty, 45" vertical, 11' 3" standing broad jump) and he was a fairly productive player during his tenure at Ohio State (102 tackles, 3 interceptions, 4 pass break-ups, 3 fumble recoveries), so the Kansas City Chiefs took a chance on him in the fourth round of the 2009 draft. He has been a role player ever since, with 52 tackles in 32 games (only five starts).

    As a sophomore in high school, Jamario O'Neal (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #3 CB, #31 overall; Scout 5*, #3 CB, #17 overall) might have been the best football player in the country for his age. However, as is often the case with early bloomers, Jamario reached his ceiling before entering college, and his career at Ohio State was nondescript (49 tackles, 2.5 TFL's, 1 interception). After the injury to Anderson Russell in 2006 (see above), O'Neal did make seven starts at safety as a true sophomore, but during his last two seasons as a Buckeye, he gradually drifted down the depth chart until he was relegated to mop-up duty.

    Cornerback Andre Amos (Middletown; Rivals 4*, #25 WR; Scout 4*, #30 WR) was a very talented player who was repeatedly bitten by the injury bug and thus saw little action (24 tackles and an interception for his career).
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Malcolm Jenkins (3*); Anderson Russell (2*); Donald Washington III (2*); Jamario O'Neal (4*); Andre Amos (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Malcolm Jenkins (3*); Anderson Russell (3*); Donald Washington III (3*); Jamario O'Neal (5*); Andre Amos (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Malcolm Jenkins (5*); Anderson Russell (3-1/2*); Donald Washington III (3*); Jamario O'Neal (2-1/2*); Andre Amos (2*)

    Specialists
    The Buckeyes did not sign a kicking specialist in 2005.

    Walk Ons and Transfers
    Although the Buckeyes did not since a kicking specialist in this class, they did obtain place kicker Aaron Pettrey (Raceland, Kentucky; Rivals NR; Scout NR) and punter Jon Thoma (Louisville (Ohio) St. Thomas Aquinas; Rivals NR; Scout NR) as a preferred walk-ons. Pettrey originally committed to Ohio State as a member of the class of 2004, then greyshirted; joined the team as a walk-on in 2005, then redshirted; and finally saw action in 2006. For his Buckeye career, Aaron made 29 of 39 filed goal attempts (.744 success rate, fourth best in school history) and scored 173 points; he connected on six field goals of fifty yards or more (second best in school history) in ten attempts (for a respectable .600 success rate). Three stars.

    Thoma saw little action through his first four years, but earned the starting job and scholarship as a redshirt senior. Never known to have a big leg (37.2 yard average), Jon did a fine job with punt placement - 25 of 61 punts inside opponents' twenty (.410), and only two touchbacks. Not a great punter, but worth two-and-a-half stars.

    Offensive lineman Andrew Moses (Columbus Bishop Watterson; Rivals NR; Scout NR) played in 26 games for Ohio State and earned a 3.87 GPA in the honors program. As a fifth-year senior, Moses earned an athletic scholarship for his efforts as a back-up guard and center. A good kid who earns two-and-a-half stars.

    Although both of his parents are Ohio State alums who bleed scarlet and grey, long snapper Harrison Till (Wayne (NJ) Wayne Hills; Rivals NR; Scout NR) began his academic career at Duke in 2002, where he lettered in both football and track, and graduated with honors in just three years. In the summer of 2005, Till transferred to Ohio State and enrolled in the Fisher College of Business; under the "Masoli Rule", he was immediately eligible to suit up for the Buckeye football team. Harrison played two seasons for Ohio State as a long snapper, earning a letter as a fifth-year senior in 2006, and he graduated with his Masters degree the following spring. Although most Buckeye fans will not remember Till's accomplishments on the field, he will always be highly regarded for his passionate support of Jim Tressel in the aftermath of TatGate, calling Tressel "by far the most honest, ethical, and open minded coach I encountered on my journey," which also included interviews at Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Stanford. A two-star performer with five-star character.

    Massive defensive tackle Juan Garnier (Boston English; Rivals NR; Scout NR) had perhaps the strangest odyssey of any Buckeye football player (although Justin Boren would give him some competition). Despite receiving some Division I-AA scholarship offers, Garnier wanted to play big time college football because he believed that doing so would give him the best opportunity for a career in the NFL. So despite having no money, Juan walked away from a free education and walked on at Auburn in 2002. After a redshirt year, Juan left Auburn and headed back home to Massachusetts for the entire 2003 season. Juan spent the spring of 2004 at a community college, and then walked on at Alabama in the summer of that year. Before he could suit up for the Crimson Tide, Juan had returned home once again. Finally in 2005, Garnier made it to Columbus, where he walked on at Ohio State. Juan spent two seasons with the Buckeyes, seeing game action on special teams in 2006. Even though it looked like Juan might have a future with the Buckeyes, he was not placed on scholarship prior to the 2007 season. At that point, Juan and his mother were tens of thousands of dollars in debt, as he chased his dream of gridiron glory. Juan graduated from Ohio State in August of 2007 with two years of eligibility remaining, but without a scholarship he could not afford to remain in school. So Garnier returned to Alabama, again as a walk on, but received neither a scholarship nor playing time. Since 2009, Juan has been trying to make a name for himself in the Arena League. For more on Garnier's story, check on this article on CBSSportsline.com by Dennie Dodd: Team Garnier Perseveres, Despite Stacked Deck.

    The LJB Ratings for the Class of 2005 (18 signees, 2.78* average)
    5.0* James Laurinaitis; Malcolm Jenkins
    4.5*
    4.0* Brian Robiskie
    3.5* Brian Hartline; Alex Boone; Doug Worthington; Anderson Russell
    3.0* Jim Cordle; Lawrence Wilson; Donald Washington III
    2.5* Maurice Wells; Todd Denlinger; Austin Spitler; Jamario O'Neal
    2.0* Andre Amos
    1.0*
    0.0* Rob Schoenhoft; Ryan Williams; Freddie Lenix

    The recruiting class of 2005 was the first one that we followed in depth at BuckeyePlanet, and it's hard to believe that those guys finished their Ohio State careers several years ago. The class was very good overall, arguably the best one in the Tressel era. It produced two bona fide superstars in James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins, who are in the discussion for best ever at their respective positions, and a dozen more players who made at least some positive contributions during their tenures at Ohio State. Only three players left the program early, and just one of them (Lenix) was an academic casualty.

    More importantly, the class of 2005 marked the first time that Jim Tressel was in control from start to finish. Tressel's first four classes had been spearheaded by recruiting coordinator Bill Conley (with an assist from John Cooper in 2001), but Conley left the scene in the spring of 2004, and he had very little to do with the class of 2005 (however, he reportedly offered running back Maurice Wells without any input from the coaching staff). The differences between the Conley and post-Conley classes are remarkable. There have been less academic and character issues in the post-Conley era, and instead Ohio State consistently leads the Big Ten in classroom performance (six members of the class of 2005 were twice been named Academic All Big Ten - Cordle, Denlinger, Hartline, Laurinaitis, Robiskie, and Spitler); Brian Robiskie was a two-time Academic All American; and James Laurinaitis won the 2008 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for football, which is awarded to "the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year across nine different sports ... who has exhausted his/her collegiate eligibility [and has exhibited] personal qualities that define a complete student athlete. These areas of excellence are defined under the categories of Classroom, Character and Community, as well as the candidate?s performance and team loyalty during Competition." Despite focusing more intently on classroom, character, and community, Tressel's teams have still succeeded in competition, as the class of 2005 compiled an overall record of 54-10, with a perfect 5-0 record in The Game. The only stumbling block for this class was bowl games, where the team posted a mark of 2-3, including losses in the 2006 and 2007 BCS championship games, but somewhat redeemed with a win in the 2010 Rose Bowl.

    Additional Notes
    One of the biggest names of the 2005 recruiting class was Jason Gwaltney (North Babylon, New York; Rivals 5*, #3 RB, #15 overall; Scout 5*, #8 RB, #43 overall), a bruising tailback who rushed for 135 touchdowns during his high school career. Although Gwaltney had offers from both Ohio State and Southern Cal, he committed to West Virginia live on ESPN, thereby becoming the first five-star high school prospect in Mountaineers' history. After signing with West Virginia, Jason very boldly predicted that he would rush for 2,000 yards as a true freshman. Well, Jason gained 186 yards on 45 carries (4.13 average) in 2005, which means that he came up just 1,814 yards short of the mark. With that outstanding freshman campaign under his belt, Gwaltney rested on his laurels and stopped going to class, which is a no-no even at a place like West Virginia. So Jason was dismissed from the team by then head coach Rich Rodriguez - one wonders if Gwaltney would have still got the boot from that strict disciplinarian if he had come substantially closer to his 2,000-yard goal. In any event, Gwaltney spent a year-and-a-half at Nassau Community College, transferred first to Division II C.W. Post (709 yards in 6 games as a sophomore in 2008), then to Division III Kean University (8 rushes for 37 yards in one game as a junior in 2009; 254 rushes for a school-record 1,412 yards (5.56 average) and 8 touchdowns, plus 22 receptions for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns, as a senior in 2010). Despite finishing his college career strong, albeit at a very low level, Gwaltney is apparently out of football.

    Offensive lineman Ronnie "Taz" Wilson (Pompano Beach (FL) Ely; Rivals 3*, #16 OG; Scout 4*, #19 OL) was a BP legend, as Taz was one of the few recruits who has been an active poster on our website. For a long time, it appeared that Ohio State was the favorite to land Wilson, but he eventually decided to stay close to home and signed with Florida. After a redshirt year in 2005, Ronnie earned All SEC Freshman honors in 2006. But then the wheels started falling off his promising career. First, Wilson was involved in a bizarre confrontation in April of 2007, when he was arrested for discharging a semi-automatic rifle into the air during a fight; although he claimed that was acting in self defense, Ronnie was dismissed from the Gators after that incident. Wilson was arrested again in January of 2008 for possession of marijuana, although those charges were later dropped. Taz was given the opportunity to walk on to the Gators in 2008, but in October of that year he was arrested for assault and battery. The third brush with the law was the final straw, and Ronnie was once again dismissed from the team. In between arrests, Taz was apparently going to class, and he graduated from Florida in the spring of 2009 (undoubtedly with a criminology major). Wilson then transferred to Morgan State, where he was a starting offensive lineman in 2009 and 2010. At last report, Ronnie was trying to hook up with an Arena League team.
  7. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2006

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2006 :osu:

    With the departure of sixth-year senior Tyler Moeller after the 2012 Gator Bowl, the recruiting class of 2006 is now at long last history. The class had plenty of talent on paper (ranked #12 by Rivals, #13 by Scout) but only Chris "Beanie" Wells lived up to his hype. The other three blue chip prospects signed by the Buckeyes that year - Connor Smith, Robert Rose, and Ray Small - were all borderline busts, and two of them (Rose and Small) had recurring off-the-field issues that hampered their effectiveness. The Buckeyes received solid contributions from nine players, and only four of the signees totally busted out. All in all, a good but not great class that was lacking in top end star power.

    Quarterback
    Antonio Henton (Fort Valley (GA) Peach County; Rivals 3*, #9 dual-threat QB; Scout 4*, #13 QB) was supposed to be the heir apparent to Troy Smith, but inability to learn the playbook, homesickness, and a rather unfortunate off-the-field incident (he was caught in a sting operation allegedly trying to solicit sex from an undercover policewoman) all led to an early exit from Columbus. After his redshirt freshman season in 2007 (3 of 6 passing for 57 yards and a touchdown; 9 rushes for 41 yards), Henton transferred to Division I-AA Georgia Southern, where he had a productive year in 2008 (156/279 for 1,852 yards, 15 TD's, 12 INT's, plus 628 yards rushing and 9 TD's). But Henton still wasn't happy, and he eventually left Georgia Southern for his hometown school, Fort Valley State University, where he hooked up with former high school teammate (and 2006 Auburn signee) Chris Slaughter. Antonio was the Wildcats starting quarterback in 2011, and he will return to FVSU in 2012 for his senior season.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Antonio Henton (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Antonio Henton (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (0*); Antonio Henton (0*)​

    Running Back
    Chris "Beanie" Wells (Akron Garfield; Rivals 5*, #1 RB, #3 overall; Scout 5*, #1 RB, #1 overall) was the rare five-star recruit who actually lived up to the hype. As a true freshman in 2006, Wells backed up Antonio Pittman, but he still managed to rush for 576 yards on 104 carries (5.5 average) and 7 touchdowns, including a beautiful 52-yard burst in the Michigan game.

    In 2007, Wells took over the starting duties, and he had a monster year, with 1,609 yards (4th best in school history) on 274 carries (5.9 average) and 15 touchdowns. He had a 221-yard game (tenth best in Ohio State history) against Michigan State in week eight, and then capped the regular season with a 222-yard performance against Michigan (ninth best in Ohio State history, and a Buckeye record in The Game), including a 62-yard touchdown run. In the subsequent BCS Championship Game, Wells gave Ohio State an early lead with a 65-yard touchdown run, the highlight of an otherwise uninspired performance from the Buckeyes.

    Due to nagging injuries, Beanie played in only ten games in 2008, but he still accumulated 1,197 yards (20th best at Ohio State) on the ground on 207 carries (5.8 average) and 8 touchdowns. Once again, Wells torched the Wolverines for 134 yards on just 15 carries (8.9 average), with yet another long touchdown run (59 yards), in a 42-7 blowout. Wells added 106 yards in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, his seventeenth 100-yard rushing performance, tied for third best in Buckeye history.

    Even though Wells was a between-the-tackles runner, he still busted off eleven touchdown runs of greater than twenty yards, including blasts of 43, 52, 55, 59, 62, and 65 yards. Beanie was one of the most proficient Wolverine killers in Buckeye history: in three games (all wins), he had 412 yards on 59 carries (6.98 average) and 4 touchdowns, with three of those touchdowns runs being over fifty yards. For his three-year career, Wells rushed 585 times for 3,382 yards (fourth best in school history) for a 5.78 average per carry (fifth best in school history) and 30 touchdowns; his 93.9 yards per game is third best in Buckeye history. If Heisman Trophy winners Archie Griffin and Eddie George are "five star" Buckeyes, then Beanie Wells isn't very far behind.

    The other running back signed in 2006 was fullback Aram Olson (Columbia (SC) Irmo; Rivals 3*, #6 FB; Scout 3*), who had chronic foot injuries and never played for the Buckeyes. He did, however, graduate from Ohio State, and is currently working as a physical trainer back in South Carolina.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Chris Wells (5*); Aram Olson (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Chris Wells (5*); Aram Olson (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-3/4*);Chris Wells (4-1/2*); Aram Olson (1*)​

    Receiver
    After the success of Troy Smith, Donte Whitner, and Teddy Ginn, Ray Small (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #7 WR, #88 overall; Scout 4*, #11 CB, #98 overall) was supposed to be the "Next Big Thing" to come out of Glenville. Although he did have some success on the field, mostly in the return game (2,252 all-purpose yards - 31st best at Ohio State - and 5 total touchdowns), Small was never able to crack the starting line-up as a wide receiver, and his career numbers would only make for a moderately impressive season (61 receptions for 659 yards and 3 touchdowns). Ray constantly found himself in the coaches' dog house for minor violations of team rules, and he was suspended for the final game of his career, the 2010 Rose Bowl; and when TatGate broke, Ray was piling on in the media, trying to find his fifteen minutes of fame. A five-star talent who barely avoided bustdom ... but who will be lucky to avoid hard time, as he was recently arrested for allegedly possessing marijuana, heroin, 243 Oxycontin tablets, and a loaded handgun. Docked half a star for repeated off the field transgressions.

    Jake Ballard (Springboro; Rivals 4*, #8 TE; Scout 4*, #6 TE) had the kind of career that you'd expect from a Buckeye tight end - 34 receptions for 377 yards and 3 touchdowns. A multi-year starter but an inconsistent blocker, Jake's highlight moment came in the 2010 Rose Bowl, when he made a circus catch of a Terrelle Pryor pass to keep the game-clinching drive alive. In 2010, Ballard was signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent, and he had more production in 2011 (38 receptions for 604 yards and 4 touchdowns) than he did in his entire Tresselball career; he also earned a Super Bowl ring for his efforts.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Ray Small (4*); Jake Ballard (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Ray Small (4*); Jake Ballard (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-3/4*); Ray Small (2-1/2*); Jake Ballard (3*)​

    Offensive Line
    Connor Smith (Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 4*, #4 OG, #55 overall; Scout 5*, #4 OL, #30 overall) was supposed to be one of the best offensive linemen to come out of Ohio, ever; instead, he rarely saw the field during his five years at Ohio State. On the other hand, Bryant Browning (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #20 OG; Scout 3*, #61 OL) was supposed to be a long-term project, but he ended up being a team captain and a three-year starter for the Buckeyes (and a four-time Academic All Big Ten). Andy Miller (Washington (PA) Trinity; Rivals 3*, #41 TE; Scout 3*) was a converted tight end who saw limited action at offensive tackle, but he did earn a couple of starts in 2009. In sum, this was the kind of offensive line haul that caused fans to resent Coach Bollman - two projects, a legit prospect who wasn't coached up, and no true tackles.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Connor Smith (4*); Bryant Browning (3*); Andy Miller (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Connor Smith (5*); Bryant Browning (3*); Andy Miller (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-3/4*); Connor Smith (2*); Bryant Browning (3-1/2*); Andy Miller (2-1/2*)​

    Defensive Line
    Thaddeus Gibson (Euclid; Rivals 4*, #9 OLB; Scout 4*, #9 LB) was a high school linebacker who added about thirty pounds and played primarily at defensive end for Ohio State. After redshirting in 2006 and seeing spot action in 2007 (Thad played in only nine games and grumbled about it), Gibson put together two pretty good seasons in Columbus, and ended up his three-year career with 82 tackles, 25 TFL's, 10 sacks, an interception, and a 69-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Thaddeus was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft, and he has bounced around the NFL for three seasons, with three tackles in four games.

    Defensive tackle Dexter Larimore (Merrillville, Indiana; Rivals 3*, #39 DT; Scout 3*, #60 DT) was a top high school heavyweight wrestler. Larimore pursued only football in college, and he had a solid if not spectacular Buckeye career: 91 tackles, 16.5 TFL's, and 8 sacks. Dexter is also an accomplished ceramics artist.

    Like wide receiver Ray Small, Robert Rose (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 5*, #1 SDE, #17 overall; Scout 4*, #5 DE, #52 overall) was a blue chip prospect from Glenville who barely avoided being a bust in college. Rose had several minor off-the-field issues (mostly academics), and his on-field production suffered as a consequence (31 tackles, 11 TFL's, 7.5 sacks, 5 pass deflections in four years, mostly in garbage time). Also like Small, Rose was suspended for his final game in scarlet and grey, the 2010 Rose Bowl. Docked half a star for off-the-field issues.

    Walter Dublin (Sarasota, Florida; Rivals 3*, #28 WDE; Scout 3*) redshirted at Ohio State in 2006, left the program, took a year off, transferred to Division I-AA Central Connecticut State, was booted from that school before the start of the 2008 season, kicked around the Arena Leagues and Canadian League for a while, and is now apparently out of football.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Thaddeus Gibson (4*); Dexter Larimore (3*); Robert Rose (5*); Walter Dublin (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Thaddeus Gibson (4*); Dexter Larimore (3*); Robert Rose (4*); Walter Dublin (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/4*); Thaddeus Gibson (3-1/2*); Dexter Larimore (3-1/2*); Robert Rose (2*); Walter Dublin (0*)​

    Linebacker
    Ross Homan (Coldwater; Rivals 4*, #11 OLB; Scout 4*, #14 LB) had a roller coaster career at Ohio State. After playing significant minutes as a true freshman in 2006 (28 tackles, 2 TFL's, 1 sack, 1 interception), Ross sat out most of the 2007 season due to injury, and took a medical redshirt. He rebounded well in 2008, finishing tied for fourth on the team with 67 tackles, and also notching 6 TFL's and a sack. But as a junior in 2009, Ross had a monster year, with 108 tackles (team leader), 5 TFL's, 2 sacks, 5 interceptions (tied for team lead), and 5 passes broken up (second on team), and he was arguably the best linebacker in the Big Ten (although with typical anti-Buckeye bias, he was not voted to the All Big Ten first team). However as a senior, Homan had a few nagging injuries that cost him two games, and his numbers fell back considerably (72 tackles, 2 TFL's, 1 sack, 1 interception). During his tenure at Ohio State, Homan had 275 tackles (18th at Ohio State), 15 TFL's, 5 sacks, 7 interceptions, and 11 PBU's, and that was good enough to earn him a sixth round selection in the 2011 NFL draft. A player who came close to achieving greatness, but a relatively weak senior campaign cost him All American honors, and kept him just shy of a four-star rating.

    After being named the JUCO Player of the Year in 2005, Larry Grant (Norcross, Georgia; City College of San Francisco; Rivals 4* JUCO; Scout 5* JUCO) transferred to Ohio State. Grant had a slow start for the Buckeyes in 2006, but he came on in 2007 to place fifth on the team with 51 tackles. For his two-year Buckeye career, Larry had 69 tackles, 10 TFL's, 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 passes broken up, and 3 blocked kicks. Grant was selected in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft, and he has seen action in 48 straight NFL games through the end of the 2011 season; his career stats in the NFL: 87 tackles, 5 sacks, 5 PBU's, and 4 forced fumbles.

    Mark Johnson (Los Angeles Dorsey; Rivals 4*, #6 MLB; Scout 4*, #12 LB) redshirted in 2006, saw mop up duty in 2007 and 2008 (3 total tackles), and then transferred to the University of Findlay where he played in five games in 2010 before leaving the team for some unknown reason.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Ross Homan (4*); Larry Grant (4*); Mark Johnson (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4-1/4*); Ross Homan (4*); Larry Grant (5*); Mark Johnson (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/4*); Ross Homan (3-1/2*); Larry Grant (3*); Mark Johnson (0*)​

    Defensive Back
    Kurt Coleman (Clayton Northmont; Rivals 4*, #13 CB; Scout 4*, #14 CB) quickly outgrew the cornerback position, and became a three-year starter at safety for Ohio State. During his career, he recorded 219 tackles, 10.5 TFL's, 3 sacks, 9 interceptions, 13 passes broken up, 5 forced fumbles, and a blocked kick; one of his highlight plays was an 89-yard interception return for a touchdown against Wisconsin in 2009, the fifth longest in Ohio State history. Kurt was named an All American after his senior season in 2009, and he became a seventh round selection in the 2010 NFL draft. Coleman is now a starting safety for the Philadelphia Eagles (78 tackles and 4 interceptions in 2011).

    Chimdi Chekwa (Clermont (FL) East Ridge; Rivals 3*, #45 CB; Scout 2*) was an afterthought in the class of 2006. Despite having received no serious interest from any other major program, Chekwa came out of nowhere to receive a late offer from Ohio State. After a redshirt year in 2006, Chimdi quickly blossomed into a solid starting cornerback. For his career, Chekwa made 145 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 29 passes broken up, and he was named an All American after the 2010 season. Chimdi was a fourth round draft pick in the 2011 NFL draft, and he saw limited action as a rookie (8 tackles in 4 games for the Oakland Raiders).

    Tyler Moeller (Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 3*, #50 OLB; Scout 4*, #23 LB) had a long, difficult road at Ohio State. Moeller redshirted in 2006, then saw limited action in 2007 and 2008. Although he was progressing toward a starting spot for 2009, during the off-season, Moeller was the victim of a vicious assault that left him with a brain injury; as a result, Tyler missed the entire 2009 season, but he was granted a medical redshirt for that year. Moeller returned strong in 2010, recording 20 tackles, 4.5 TFL's, a sack, and an interception in five games before going down with a season-ending pectoral injury. As a sixth-year senior in 2011, Moeller was the starter at the "star" position, and he posted 44 tackles and a pick. Tyler's overall numbers are not very impressive (90 tackles, 9.5 TFL's, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 1 blocked kick), but he overcame a ton of adversity to finish out his career in the scarlet and grey, and for that he serves a solid three-star rating

    Aaron Gant (Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's; Rivals 3*, #17 FB; Scout 2*) was known as the hardest hitter on the team during his tenure at Ohio State, and he had the self-inflicted injuries to prove it - foot problems, several concussions, and a knee injury that kept him out of action for the entire 2009 season. Because he was more or less constantly dinged up, Aaron saw limited action for the Buckeyes, registering 46 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and a pass broken up during his career.

    Grant Schwartz (Dana Point (CA) Dana Hills; Rivals 3*, #40 S; Scout 2*), was a high school quarterback who never really found a position at Ohio State; he flipped back and forth between defensive back and wide receiver, and saw most of his action on special teams (4 tackles; 5 receptions for 39 yards). The highlight of Grant's career was his collision with Michigan's Michael Shaw in the tunnel to the locker room prior to The Game in 2009.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Kurt Coleman (4*); Chimdi Chekwa (3*); Tyler Moeller (3*); Aaron Gant (3*); Grant Schwartz (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4-1/4*); Kurt Coleman (4*); Chimdi Chekwa (2*); Tyler Moeller (4*); Aaron Gant (2*); Grant Schwartz (2*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-1/4*); Kurt Coleman (4*); Chimdi Chekwa (4*); Tyler Moeller (3*); Aaron Gant (2-1/2*); Grant Schwartz (2*)​

    Walk Ons and Transfers
    Josh Kerr (Strongsville; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*) is the younger brother of former Buckeye linebacker John Kerr (transferred into Ohio State in 2003). Josh originally signed with Miami of Florida in 2004, but the Hurricane staff asked him to grey shirt due to limited scholarships. Kerr refused, was released from his Letter of Intent, and transferred to Ohio State. After sitting out the 2004 and 2005 seasons, Kerr was placed on scholarship by the Buckeyes prior to the 2006 season. Josh redshirted in 2006, did not play in 2007, lost most of the 2008 season to injury, and played four games in 2009 and three games in 2010 as a reserve. A walk-on who was given a full ride but still played like a walk-on.

    Jake McQuaide (Cincinnati Elder; Rivals NR; Scout NR) was the Buckeyes' starting long snapper for three seasons (2008-2010), and he earned three letters for his efforts; in life off of the gridiron, Jake graduated with a 3.6 GPA with a degree in aeronautical engineering. Since leaving Ohio State, McQuaide was signed by the St. Louis Rams as a free agent, and he became their starting long snapper for the 2011 NFL season.

    The LJB Ratings for the Class of 2006 (20 signees, 2.50* average)
    5.0*
    4.5* Chris Wells
    4.0* Kurt Coleman; Chimdi Chekwa
    3.5* Bryant Browning; Thaddeus Gibson; Dexter Larimore; Ross Homan
    3.0* Jake Ballard; Larry Grant; Tyler Moeller
    2.5* Ray Small; Andy Miller; Aaron Gant
    2.0* Connor Smith; Robert Rose; Grant Schwartz
    1.0* Aram Olson
    0.0* Antonio Henton; Walter Dublin; Mark Johnson

    Obviously, the class of 2006 produced some solid talent, but only one difference maker came out of this class - running back Chris "Beanie" Wells, who was one of the top five tailbacks in the history of Ohio State football. With the surprisingly good class of 2005 preceding it, the class of 2006 had enough talent to take the Buckeyes to a national title, but they fell just a bit short on several occasions. Their five-year record was 56-9 (.862 winning percentage), and they played in a BCS bowl after each season (2-3 record, 0-2 in national championship games).

    When a team gets so close to the proverbial brass ring, it is tempting to look back and speculate what might have been if a few things had turned out just a bit differently. If Ray Small could have been Ted Ginn 2.0 ... if Robert Rose would have developed into the next Will Smith ... if Connor Smith had been a force along the offensive line ... if just one of those blue chip prospects had turned out to be something special, then maybe the Buckeyes could have got over the top. But perhaps the most overlooked factor was quarterback Antonio Henton. After a tremendous run with Troy Smith at the helm, the Buckeye staff had to junk their "dual threat" offensive scheme to suit the skill set of Todd Boeckman, a pure drop back passer. If Henton could have taken the reins in 2007, then Ohio State would have had a smoother transition from the Troy Smith era to the Terrelle Pryor era, and the team might have made a serious title run in 2008. Although Boeckman generally played well, he was a liability against athletic defenses (LSU, USC), and his meltdown against Southern Cal in week three of the 2008 season threw a title contending team into complete disarray, and forced true freshman Terrelle Pryor into the starting role too soon.

    Additional Notes
    Trvia question: Who succeeded James Laurinaitis at middle linebacker at Wayzata High School? Answer: Tommy Becker (Plymouth (MN) Wayzata; Rivals 3*, #52 MLB; Scout 2*). And if Becker had his way, he would have followed Laurinaitis to Columbus as well. But the Buckeyes never offered, and Tommy ended up signing with Minnesota. Becker redshirted in 2006, was moved to defensive end, then moved again to fullback, got lost in the mix during a coaching change, quit school in October in 2007, and finally transferred to Division III University of St. Thomas across the river in St. Paul. In three years for the Tommies (2008-2010), Tommy made 238 tackles, 21 TFL's, 7.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 7 PBU's, 4 forced fumbles, and 3 blocked kicks. After being bypassed by the NFL, Becker signed with the Wichita Wild of the Indoor Football League.

    Fun Facts - Linebacker Larry Grant was one of only two Junior College transfers to be signed by the Buckeyes during the Jim Tressel regime. The other was wide receiver Chris Vance from the recruiting class of 2001.

    Speaking of Larry Grant, he played in a national championship game in each of his four years in college (City College of San Francisco in 2004 and 2005; Ohio State in 2006 and 2007). But Larry was no good luck charm - quite the opposite in fact, as his team lost all four games.

    Both Connor Smith and Grant Schwartz were Buckeye legacies, with Connor being the son of Joe Smith, an offensive tackle who earned four letters from 1979 to 1982, and an Academic All American in 1982; and with Grant being the son of Brian Schwartz, a defensive back who earned four letters from 1976 to 1979. Unfortunately neither son had the success of his father.

    Weird Fact - During the Tressel era, the Buckeyes signed two players with the initials "A. O." - Adam Olds (class of 2001) and Aram Olson (class of 2006). Both suffered career-ending injuries while at Ohio State, and barely played for the Buckeyes.
  8. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2007

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2007 :osu:

    The fifteen-man recruiting class of 2007 (ranked #15 by Rivals, #16 by Scout) produced only a few above-average players - Dane Sanzenbacher, Cameron Heyward, Brian Rolle - and nearly half of the class busted out. However, this class produced enough solid players to supplement the strong classes of 2005, 2006, and 2008. The major weakness for this class was balance - seven of the fifteen signees were defensive backs, and only three were linemen (one offensive, two defensive); the staff also signed just one linebacker, and failed to sign a quarterback despite a critical lack of depth at that position. Compounding this imbalance, four of the defensive back signees were total busts (two were booted from the program, one transferred out after seeing no playing time, and one suffered career-ending injuries), and none of the remaining three signees played at higher than a three-star level. This class will be largely forgotten in time, and it will be best remembered for its best players - Sanzenbacher, Heyward, and Rolle, each of whom was also a fine ambassador for the program, at a time when other stars were tarnishing the Ohio State brand.

    Quarterback
    As mentioned above, the Buckeyes did not a sign a quarterback in the recruiting class of 2007.

    Running Back
    At 210 pounds with 10.3 speed in the 100 meters, Brandon Saine (Piqua; Rivals 4*, #5 RB, #50 overall; Scout 4*, #11 RB, #88 overall) looked like a sure thing, and after a solid freshman season (60 rushes for 267 yards and 2 TD's; 12 receptions for 160 yards and 1 TD) it seemed that he would become the heir apparent to Beanie Wells. But Saine had some nagging injuries, and he could never master the subtleties of the running back position, such as finding holes and setting up his blockers, and his career never really took off. In his four years in Columbus, Brandon rushed for 1,408 yards on 301 carries (4.68 average), caught 55 passes for 616 yards, and scored 17 total touchdowns; he added 224 yards in kick returns, which gave him 2,248 all-purpose yards (32nd best at Ohio State). Always a big play threat with his blazing speed, six of Brandon's touchdowns were of 22 yards or more, including a 60-yard reception against Indiana in 2010. Brandon is currently with the Green Bay Packers, and in eight games in 2011, he had 69 yards rushing and 69 yards receiving.

    With the highly-regarded Brandon Saine already in the fold, Daniel "Boom" Herron (Warren Harding; Rivals 4*, #18 RB; Scout 4*, #27 RB) seemed like an unnecessary addition, especially in such a small class. But as things turned out, Herron actually had the better career, at least on the field. After a redshirt and a couple of uninspiring seasons, Boom had a breakout year in 2010, when he rushed for 1,155 yards (22nd best in school history) and scored 16 touchdowns. The highlight of Herron's season was an 89-yard run against Michigan, which tied him with Gene Fekete (1942) for the longest rush and the longest play from scrimmage in Ohio State history; in reality, Boom's run should have been a 98-yard touchdown, but an official who was out of position called a phantom hold near the Wolverine goal line, which negated the touchdown and reduced the length of the run by nine yards. But Herron's success was short-lived, and he was suspended for the first six games in 2011 for his part of the TatGate and Bobby D scandals; as a result, he was limited to 675 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns as a senior. For his Buckeye career, Herron rushed for 2,869 yards (tenth best at OSU) on 592 carries (4.85 average) and 32 touchdowns. Docked half a star for bad off-the-field decisions.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Brandon Saine (4*); Daniel Herron (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Brandon Saine (4*); Daniel Herron (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3*); Brandon Saine (3*); Daniel Herron (3*)​

    Wide Receiver
    Dane Sanzenbacher (Toledo Central Catholic; Rivals 3*, #71 WR; Scout 4*, #58 WR) was perhaps the most controversial offer during the Tressel era ... which just goes to show how much fans know about these things. When Dane wowed the coaches at Ohio State's summer camp and earned an instant offer, a large portion of Buckeye Nation was absolutely furious that the staff was wasting scholarships on kids who "obviously" couldn't play (the "obviousness" being derived from his recruiting service rankings, which were actually even lower at the time of his offer). But Dane obviously could play, and by his senior season, he was the team's leading receiver (55 catches for 948 yards and 11 touchdowns; first team All Big Ten; team captain; team MVP; Bo Rein Award as the team's most inspirational player) as well as a fan favorite. For his Buckeye career, Dane had 124 receptions (tenth best at OSU) for 1,879 yards (tenth best at OSU) and 19 touchdowns (tied for fifth best at OSU). After he graduated from Ohio State, Dane was snubbed in the 2011 NFL draft, but he signed on with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent and caught 25 passes for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns during his rookie season.

    Taurian Washington (Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's; Rivals 4*; Scout 4*, #40 WR) was a high school teammate of defensive back Aaron Gant (class of 2006). Washington rarely saw the field and had a nondescript Buckeye career (8 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown).
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Dane Sanzenbacher (3*); Taurian Washington (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Dane Sanzenbacher (4*); Taurian Washington (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3*); Dane Sanzenbacher (4*); Taurian Washington (2*)​

    Offensive Line
    Relying on Bollman-metrics, the Buckeyes signed only one offensive lineman in the class of 2007, guard Evan Blankenship (Monaca (PA) Center; Rivals 3*, #27 OG; Scout 3*, #50 OG). Evan was a little-known recruit who somehow managed to catch the eye of the Buckeye coaching staff at summer camp. Blankenship barely played during his five years at Ohio State, but he did stick with the team, which says something about his character. Evan is now pursuing a career as a country and western singer.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Evan Blankenship (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Evan Blankenship (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2*); Evan Blankenship (2*)​

    Defensive Line
    Cameron Heyward (Suwanee (GA) Peachtree; Rivals 4*, #13 DT; Scout 4*, #20 DT) is the son of former Pitt Panther and NFL great Craig "Ironhead" Heyward. Cameron was one of the blue chippers in this recruiting class, and he definitely lived up to his billing. Heyward always seemed to play well in the big games, and he had perhaps his best performance in his last game as a Buckeye - the 2011 Sugar Bowl - in which he recorded 6 tackles, 3.5 TFL's, a sack, and pass deflection. Cameron also had an 11-tackle, 2-sack performance against Penn State in 2009, when he was tossing around Nittany linemen like rag dolls. For his Ohio State career, Heyward had 163 tackles, 37.5 TFL's (12th best at Ohio State), 15.5 sacks (11th best at Ohio State), 5 pass deflections, a dramatic 80-yard interception return (Miami 2010), a fumble recovery for a touchdown (Michigan 2009), and a safety (Ohio 2010). To date, Cameron has been arguably the best defensive line signee during the Tressel era. After finishing up at Ohio State, Heyward was a first round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 NFL draft; as a rookie, Cam played in all sixteen regular season games, recording 11 tackles, a forced fumble, and a deflected pass.

    Solomon Thomas (West Chester Lakota West; Rivals 4*, #17 WDE; Scout 3*, #43 DE) is best known for making the interception that sealed the Buckeyes' victory in the 2011 Sugar Bowl ... a victory that was subsequently vacated due in part to his own TatGate transgressions. Other than that one key play, Thomas didn't do much as a Buckeye, logging just 27 tackles and the aforementioned interception in 31 games. Knocked down half a star for off-the-field nonsense.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Cameron Heyward (4*); Solomon Thomas (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Cameron Heyward (4*); Solomon Thomas (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3*); Cameron Heyward (4*); Solomon Thomas (2*)​

    Linebacker
    Despite being just 5-foot-10 and 225 pounds, Brian Rolle (Immokalee, Florida; Rivals 4*, #17 LB; Scout 4*, #6 WLB) played mostly at middle linebacker on the Buckeyes' defense. Known primarily for his high motor, aggressive play, and big hits, Rolle was also fast and athletic enough to make plays from sideline to sideline. Brian saw meaningful action during his first two seasons, became a starter as a junior, and then became a team captain and All Big Ten performer as a senior. Rolle had several huge plays for the scarlet and grey, including a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown (Marshall 2010), a fumble recovery for a touchdown (New Mexico State 2009), and a defensive two-point conversion on a game-saving 99-yard interception return (Navy 2009). For his Buckeye career, Rolle had 210 tackles, 21.5 TFL's, 3.5 sacks, and 4 interceptions, and after he left Ohio State he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL draft (54 tackles as a rookie). Rolle was the heart and soul of a great defensive team that gave up an average of 13 points and 256 yards per game during the 2009 and 2010 seasons combined. A player I'd like to rate four stars, but his numbers don't quite justify it.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Brian Rolle (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Brian Rolle (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Brian Rolle (3-1/2*)​

    Defensive Back
    Eugene Clifford (Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 4*, #4 S, #60 overall; Scout 5*, #2 S, #25 overall) was the star of the Buckeyes' recruiting class of 2007. However, Clifford ran afoul of the law and was dismissed from the team after the 2007 season (8 tackles in four games). Eugene transferred to Division I-AA Tennessee State, where he apparently got his act together - in three seasons, he racked up 204 tackles, 9 interceptions, and 26 passes broken up, all while staying out of trouble.

    James Scott (Daytona Beach (FL) Seabreeze; Rivals 4*, #10 CB; Scout 4*, #12 CB) was another highly-rated prospect who couldn't adjust to college life and got the boot. Scott ended up transferring to Ole Miss after the 2007 season (6 tackles in 9 games), but he couldn't adjust to life in Oxford either, and he was dismissed from the Rebels program in February of 2009. His current whereabouts are unknown (at least to me).

    Devon Torrence (Canton South; Rivals 4*, #24 ATH; Scout 4*, #12 S) pursued a professional baseball career while also suiting up in the scarlet and grey. With Devon's mind not totally focused on football, this led to a couple of wasted years in Columbus. When Torrence finally gave up baseball prior to the 2009 season, he became a starter at cornerback and had a pretty good finish to his career, with four-year totals of 98 tackles, 4 INT's, 10 PBU's, 4 forced fumbles, a blocked kick, and a pick six; he also caught 4 passes for 31 yards as a wide receiver during his early days in Columbus.

    Jermale Hines (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #10 OLB; Scout 4*; #16 SLB) was an undersized linebacker who moved back to safety and became a two-year starter at that position. He recorded 157 tackles and 3 interceptions during his career, and scored on a 48-yard fumble recovery (Michigan State 2008) and a 32-yard interception (Wisconsin 2009). During his rookie season in the NFL in 2011, Hines saw action for three different teams - he had six tackles in six games.

    Donnie Evege (Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #16 CB; Scout 3*, #59 CB) already had an injury-plagued career, then he suffered a major knee injury which cut short his 2010 season in week 3, and an elbow dislocation in the spring of 2011 that effectively ended his playing days. Evege posted 14 tackles as a Buckeye, all during the 2009 season, the one year in which he remained relatively healthy.

    Nate Oliver (Lakewood St. Edwards; Rivals 4*, #12 S; Scout 4*, #11 S) was a valuable special teams performer who saw action in 45 games (29 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery). Oliver's lack of speed (4.8 forty) effectively prevented him from seeing the field as a defensive back.

    Rocco Pentello (Westerville South; Rivals 3*, #58 S; Scout 2*) was a high school quarterback who was overmatched at Ohio State, so after three seasons of limited action, he transferred first to Division II Ashland University for the 2010 season, and finally to Division III Otterbein for the 2011 season; Rocco was not able to crack the starting line-up at either school.

    Overall, this group was particularly disappointing, with no exceptional players, two solid starters, a special teams contributor, and four busts.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Eugene Clifford (4*); James Scott (4*); Devon Torrence (4*); Jermale Hines (4*); Donnie Evege (4*); Nate Oliver (4*); Rocco Pentello (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Eugene Clifford (5*); James Scott (4*); Devon Torrence (4*); Jermale Hines (4*); Donnie Evege (3*); Nate Oliver (4*); Rocco Pentello (2*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Eugene Clifford (0*); James Scott (0*); Devon Torrence (3*); Jermale Hines (3*); Donnie Evege (1*); Nate Oliver (2-1/2*); Rocco Pentello (0*)​

    Walk Ons
    Joe Bauserman (Tallahassee Lincoln; Rivals 3*, #22 pro-style QB; Scout 2*, #55 QB) originally committed to the Buckeyes as part of the class of 2004, but he never signed a Letter of Intent with Ohio State and instead he opted to pursue a career in professional baseball as a pitcher. Joe played in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization for three seasons, and he gave up on baseball when he experienced some injuries. After quitting baseball, Bauserman enrolled at Ohio State for the summer quarter of 2007, and that fall he walked on to the Buckeye football squad. Joe took a redshirt in 2007 and then spent the next three years as a back-up to Terrelle Pryor. But when Pryor was unexpectedly dismissed from the Buckeye squad prior to the 2011 season, Bauserman suddenly found himself as the starting quarterback by default. Unfortunately, Bauserman was not able to capitalize on his opportunity, and after a few games he was surpassed by true freshman Braxton Miller; a 2-for-14 performance (13 yards passing, -3 yards rushing) in a 24-6 loss to Miami pretty much sealed his fate. Bauserman's career numbers were basically what you'd expect from a reserve quarterback: 65 of 133 (.489) for 812 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. If I were to rate Bauserman with the 2007 signees, he would receive 2-1/2 stars.

    After graduating from high school in 2001, Devin Barclay (Annapolis (MD) McDonogh; Rivals NR; Scout NR) embarked on a professional soccer career, and he did not find his way into American football until April of 2007, when he walked on at Ohio State. By his own admission, Barclay never anticipated seeing game action for the Buckeyes, but after starting place kicker Aaron Pettrey suffered an injury midway through the 2009 season, Devin was pressed into action. Over the next eighteen games, Barclay connected on 27 of 34 field goals (.794 success rate, second best at Ohio State) and all 74 extra point attempts, scoring a total of 155 points; his 74 consecutive extra points is third best in school history, and his 62 in a row in 2010 is a single-season record. Barclay was a very good kicker during his year-and-a-half of action, and I would give him a four star rating.

    Tony Jackson (Galloway Westland; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*) passed up offers from Cincinnati and Bowling Green to walk on at Ohio State. Jackson was a valuable special teams player and he even worked his way into the depth chart, eventually earning a scholarship for the 2011 season. For his Buckeye career, Tony made 11 tackles in 29 games.

    Tight end Spencer Smith (Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals NR; Scout NR) is the son Buckeye offensive tackle Joe Smith (lettered 1979 to 1982), and the younger brother of Buckeye offensive lineman Connor Smith (Class of 2006). Spencer walked-on in 2007, saw his first real action in 2010 (2 receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown in 13 games; Academic All Big Ten), and lettered twice (2010 and 2011). A true Buckeye who had almost as much success in Columbus as his older brother, who was a former five-star prospect.

    The LJB Ratings for the Class of 2007 (15 recruits, 2.20* average)
    5.0*
    4.5*
    4.0* Dane Sanzenbacher; Cameron Heyward
    3.5* Brian Rolle
    3.0* Brandon Saine; Daniel Herron; Devon Torrence; Jermale Hines
    2.5* Nate Oliver
    2.0* Taurian Washington; Evan Blankenship; Solomon Thomas
    1.0* Donnie Evege
    0.0* Eugene Clifford; James Scott; Rocco Pentello

    The class of 2007 turned out to be similar to the class of 2003 - both classes were very small (14 in 2003; 15 in 2007) and had a large percentage of busts (9 in 2003; 7 in 2007). However, what saved the class of 2007 from being a complete disaster was the fact that only three of the signees left school, compared to seven for the class of 2003. Even still, saying that this class was somewhat better than the worst recruiting class in Buckeye history is faint praise, indeed.

    For the most part, the players who succeeded still had frustrating careers, and performed a notch below their respective talent levels. Brandon Saine had an early injury and never developed into a feature back. Boom Herron had a breakout season as a junior in 2010, and then was suspended for half of his senior campaign. Devon Torrence lost two years trying to be a two-sport star. Jermale Hines was a tweener who didn't have enough size for linebacker or ideal athleticism for safety. Even Cameron Heyward seemed like a sure fire All American after his outstanding performance against Penn State in week ten of the 2009 season (11 tackles, 3 TFL's, 2 sacks), but he didn't reach those lofty heights again until the 2011 Sugar Bowl (6 tackles, 3.5 TFL's, 1 sack, 1 pass deflection); in the fifteen games between his two signature performances, Heyward averaged only 3.5 tackles, .8 TFL's, and .3 sacks per game, and he left Columbus as a great player who was on the verge of legendary status. Only Brian Rolle and Dane Sanzenbacher met or exceeded expectations.

    Additional Notes
    One of the most intense recruiting sagas in BuckeyePlanet history was Joseph Barksdale (Detroit Cass Tech; Rivals 4*, #6 DT, #67 overall; Scout 5*, #4 DT, #36 overall). Early on in the recruiting process, Barksdale made an unofficial visit to Ohio State, and apparently issued a dreaded silent verbal to the Buckeye staff. Then Barksdale started making other visits ... and issuing other silent verbals ... until about a dozen schools thought that they were a lock to sign Joseph in February of 2007. While Ohio State seemed to be a recurring favorite, the inside scoop was that the Buckeyes wanted Barksdale to play offensive line, and he considered himself to be a defensive tackle all the way. Joseph finally issued a real verbal commitment - to LSU - at the Army All American game, and to the surprise of just about everyone, he actually did sign a Letter of Intent with the Bayou Bengals. Upon arriving in Baton Rouge, Barksdale was immediately switched to offensive line. Although Joseph made 39 starts for LSU, he was considered to be a chronic underachiever. Barksdale was a third round selection in the 2011 NFL draft, and he was a reserve offensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders last season.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  9. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2008

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2008 :osu:

    Although it was not a particularly large group, the class of 2008 was one of the most highly regarded in the history of Ohio State (ranked #4 by Rivals, #4 by Scout). No less than six of the twenty signees was ranked a five-star prospect by at least one of the major recruiting services - offensive linemen Michael Brewster, Mike Adams, and J.B. Shugarts, linebacker Etienne Sabino, wide receiver DeVier Posey, and quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Of course Pryor was the prize of this recruiting class, and he produced the most good on the field and the most bad off of it. This group helped to lead the Buckeyes to a 33-6 record (.846 winning percentage) and two BCS bowl wins from 2008 to 2010, but they were also the core of the 2011 team that collapsed to a 6-7 record amidst several scandals, a prolonged NCAA investigation, and two head coaching changes. Only eight signees remain members of the 2012 squad, with six being projected as starters next year.

    Quarterback
    In preparing the individual player summaries for the recruiting classes of 2001 to 2011, I saved Terrelle Pryor (Jeannette, Pennsylvania; Rivals 5*, #1 dual-threat QB, #1 overall; Scout 5*, #1 QB, #1 overall) for last, because there was the most to say about him. Of the entire Tressel era, Pryor was the most important recruit, the most successful on the field, and the most disappointing off the field.

    Not only was Terrelle Pryor the consensus number one football recruit for the class of 2008, but he was also a top twenty basketball prospect before he decided to pursue football at the college level. As a high school sophomore, Terrelle was actually committed to Pitt to play basketball, but soon thereafter he decided to re-open his recruitment and focus on football. At 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds with legit 4.4 speed, Pryor was a once-in-a-generation freak athlete; and he played the most important position on the gridiron; and he was a two-sport superstar; and for all those reasons combined, he was (and remains) the most heavily recruited high school prospect ever. It will be a very long time before we see another media circus/fan feeding frenzy like the one that surrounded Terrelle Pryor.

    After delaying his announcement for almost two months, Pryor finally signed with Ohio State over Penn State, Michigan, and West Virginia. Even though he was joining a squad that had just been to two consecutive BCS title games, and was returning a sixth-year senior quarterback in Todd Beockman (first team All Big Ten in 2007, with 2,379 yards passing, .639 completion percentage, and 25 touchdowns), Pryor was nevertheless expected to be an early contributor for the Buckeyes. In the 2008 season opener against Division I-AA Youngstown State, a 43-0 blowout victory over a cupcake opponent, Pryor saw significant minutes and completed 4 of 6 passes for 35 yards, and rushed 9 times for 52 yards and a touchdown. However, Terrelle saw limited action in week two, as Ohio State needed a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat lowly Ohio by the score of 26-14; with star running back Beanie Wells on the sidelines with an injury, the Buckeye offense sputtered all game long, and Boeckman (16 for 26, 110 yards) did not look like he had command of the team. In fact, without the benefit of four interceptions by the Buckeye defense and a Ray Small punt return for a touchdown, Ohio State might have suffered its first defeat ever against a MAC opponent; but in the end, the Boeckman-led offense did just enough, barely, to eke out the win.

    In any event, the Ohio game was an ill omen for the following week, a clash against the number-one ranked Southern Cal Trojans, in Los Angeles. Although the Buckeyes opened the scoring with a 17-play drive capped by a 29-yard field goal (a Tresselball special), the offense did nothing the rest of the way, and the Trojans won 35-3 in a smackdown of epic proportions. While Boeckman had been average against Ohio the week before, he was undeniably awful against Southern Cal, completing 14 of 21 passes for just 84 yards and throwing two crucial interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown; he was also sacked five times for total losses of 36 yards. Pryor saw plenty of action against the Trojans, and even though he was nothing special (7 of 9 passing for 52 yards; 11 rushes for 40 yards), at least the offense had some spark when he was behind center.

    After the dismal and embarrassing showing against Southern Cal, there was really no way that Boeckman could keep his job as the team's starting quarterback, and sure enough Pryor was given the reins in week four against Troy. Terrelle responded with a positive effort, completing 10 of 16 passes for 139 yards and 4 touchdowns (an Ohio State freshman record), including long strikes to Brian Robiskie (38 yards) and Brian Hartline (39 yards); he also added 66 yards on the ground, and the Buckeyes pulled out a hard-fought 28-10 win.

    Terrelle's performance against Troy was good enough to earn him the starting job for the remainder of the season, as the staff decided to suffer through some growing pains with their freshman phenom rather than play out the string with their sixth-year senior. This decision did not sit well with certain members of the team, who had trusted Boeckman's veteran leadership, but in the long run it proved to be the right move. Pryor led the team to five straight wins, including a last minute comeback victory at Wisconsin, before losing for the first time as the starting quarterback, to #3 Penn State, 13-6; in that game, the Buckeyes were ahead in the fourth quarter and driving, when Pryor fumbled on a quarterback sneak, a crucial mistake which swung the momentum totally in favor of the Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes' only other loss came in the Fiesta Bowl to #3 Texas, 24-21, a game in which Todd Boeckman started and played significant minutes. For the season, Pryor put up respectable numbers: an 8-1 record as the starting quarterback, 100 completions in 165 attempts (.606 completion percentage) for 1,311 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions, together with 631 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns on the ground, and one receiving. After the season, Terrelle was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches.

    With a successful rookie season under his belt, big things were expected from Terrelle Pryor in 2009, and in large measure, he met those expectations. The team got off to a slow start with a 31-27 nail biter against Navy, in which Pryor was 14 for 21 for 174 yards, a touchdown, and an interception, along with 30 yards and a touchdown rushing. Then the Buckeye offense managed to produce just 265 yards in an 18-15 loss to Southern Cal; however, Pryor accounted for 213 of those yards, or over eighty percent of Ohio State's total offense. Next came cake walks against Toledo, Illinois, and Indiana, and a deceptively easy win over Wisconsin (31-13), in which the Buckeye offense put up only 184 total yards, but the team scored on a kick-off return and two pick sixes; Terrelle had a particularly rough day, completing just 5 of 13 passes for 87 yards, a touchdown, and a interception, and gaining a mere 35 yards on 10 carries. The following week went from bad to worse, as Pryor played hit the low point of his college career in a 26-18 upset loss to a lousy Purdue squad that entered the game with a record of one win and five losses; Terrelle was 17 of 31 passing for 221 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw two picks, lost two fumbles, and was sacked five times for -44 yards, and managed just 34 yards on 21 carries.

    The Purdue loss was arguably the worst of the entire Tressel era (and there were some really bad ones to compete with it), but it did mark the turning point for the Buckeyes, who would lose only one more game in their next nineteen with Terrelle Pryor at the helm. Ohio State won its remaining Big Ten games in 2009 to finish 7-1 in the conference, and they earned an outright conference championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl to face a highly-ranked Oregon squad. In the Buckeyes' first Rose Bowl appearance since 1997, Pryor amassed 338 total yards of offense (twelfth best in school history, second best in a bowl game) and accounted for both Buckeye touchdowns in the 26-17 victory, and he was named the MVP of the game. For the season, Terrelle put up very good numbers: 167 completions in 295 attempts (.566 completion percentage) for 2,094 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions; along with 162 rushes for a team-leading 779 yards (4.8 average) and 7 touchdowns.

    Pryor took his game to the next level in 2010, leading the Buckeyes to a 12-1 record, a conference championship, and a Sugar Bowl victory (336 total yards - thirteenth best at Ohio State, third best in a bowl game - in another MVP performance), and in the process he posted some truly exceptional stats: 210 completions (third best in school history) in 323 attempts (.650 completion percentage, second best in school history) for 2,772 yards (third best in school history), 27 touchdowns (third best in school history), and 11 interceptions, while adding 754 yards on the ground in 135 rushes (5.6 average). For the season, Pryor accounted for 3,526 total yards, an Ohio State record, and 32 total touchdowns (27 passing, 4 rushing, 1 receiving), another Ohio State record. With his senior season remaining, it looked like Terrelle Pryor was poised to rewrite the Buckeye record book and become a serious Heisman Trophy contender, all while leading his team on a national title run.

    But not so fast, my friends.... In December of 2010, Pryor and several other members of the team were implicated in TatGate, a scheme in which the players traded memorabilia for tattoos and other improper benefits. Terrelle initially received a five-game suspension for his role in the scandal, but as the investigation unfolded, he was suspected of having received additional improper benefits, and he decided to leave Ohio State in June of 2011 rather than to face further discipline; he was subsequently banned from the program. Pryor entered the 2011 NFL supplemental draft, and he was selected in the third round by the Oakland Raiders; he saw very limited action during the 2011 season. It remains to be seen whether he has the skills to make it in the NFL as a quarterback; if not, then a position switch to wide receiver or tight end would likely be in order, because he is simply too fine an athlete not to play somewhere.

    It is really not relevant whether Terrelle Pryor had textbook throwing mechanics, or whether he went through his progressions properly, or whether he was better suited to play tight end in the NFL. In this analysis, the only thing that matters is what he accomplished at Ohio State, and simply put, he was the most productive Buckeye football player ever. In his three seasons at Ohio State, Pryor led the Buckeyes to a 31-4 record (.886 winning percentage) and two BCS bowl wins as the starting quarterback. Moreover, he amassed 8,360 total yards and 76 total touchdowns, both of which rank second in Buckeye history behind Art Schlichter (8,850 total yards and 85 total touchdowns). However, on a per game basis, Pryor (39 games) bested Schlichter (44 games) in both categories - 214.4 to 201.1 in total yards per game, and 1.95 to 1.93 in total touchdowns per game. If Pryor could have stayed out of trouble and played his senior season, then he would have easily smashed Schlichter's records, and several others as well; moreover, he would have been in the discussion for best Buckeye football player ever, and that's saying something given the long and storied history of the Ohio State program.

    For his three-year Buckeye career, Pryor completed 477 passes (3rd best at Ohio State) in 783 attempts, for a completion percentage of .609 (3rd best at Ohio State), for 6,177 yards (5th best at Ohio State), 57 touchdowns (tied for first at Ohio State) and 26 interceptions. Terrelle also added 2,164 yards rushing (18th best at Ohio State, and tops among quarterbacks) in 436 attempts, for an average of 4.96 yards per carry, and 17 touchdowns. As mentioned above, his total yards (8,360) and total touchdowns (76) both rank second in Ohio State history.

    Terrelle Pryor was definitely a five-star talent, and he played at a five-star level while at Ohio State. In rating his overall performance, however, I cannot overlook his off-the-field issues, which issues in large part led to the firing of head coach Jim Tressel, the vacation of the entire 2010 season, and the current probation, bowl ban, and loss of scholarships imposed against the Buckeye football program. Because Pryor appeared to be the ringleader of the TatGate scoundrels, and because his other character issues (not yet fully disclosed) led to his premature departure from the program, I have to dock him one full star.
    Rivals rankings: Group (5*); Terrelle Pryor (5*)
    Scout rankings: Group (5*); Terrelle Pryor (5*)
    LJB rankings: Group (4*); Terrelle Pryor (4*)​

    Running Back
    Nicknamed "Flash" for his blazing speed, Lamaar Thomas (Fort Washington (MD) Friendly; Rivals 4*, #4 ATH, #33 overall; Scout 4*, #10 RB, #107 overall) was one of the top overall recruits in the country for the class of 2008. However, the Buckeye coaching staff never really figured out how to incorporate Thomas into their offense, and he saw most of his game action returning kicks (where he wasn't all that good, as his average of 21.2 yards per return suggests). Lamaar lasted two years at Ohio State, accumulated 766 all-purpose yards, and then transferred to New Mexico. As a redshirt junior for the Lobos in 2011, Thomas played in only four games due to multiple injuries (457 all-purpose yards, 2 touchdowns).

    Jermil Martin (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*; Scout 2*) will be best remembered for his 39-yard touchdown run against Minnesota during the 2009 season. Other than that, Jermil didn't accomplish much at Ohio State (11 rushes, 88 yards, 1 touchdown) before transferring to Northwestern Oklahoma State University, an NAIA school, prior to the 2010 season. Last year, Martin rushed for 223 yards and four touchdowns for NWOSU.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Lamaar Thomas (4*); Jermil Martin (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Lamaar Thomas (4*); Jermil Martin (2*)
    LJB rankings: Group (0*); Lamaar Thomas (0*); Jermil Martin (0*)​

    Receiver
    DeVier Posey (Cincinnati LaSalle; Rivals 5*, #3 WR, #21 overall; Scout 5*, #4 WR, #15 overall) is one of the most disappointing recruits of the Jim Tressel era. In 2008, Posey had a typical true freshman learning experience (11 receptions for 117 yards and 1 touchdown), but then led the team in receiving as a sophomore (60 receptions, 828 yards, 8 touchdowns) in 2009. However, as a junior in 2010, he failed to take the next step to superstardom and his numbers plateaued (53 receptions, 848 yards, 7 touchdowns), largely because of several dropped passes.

    Even if DeVier could have stayed at the same level as a senior, then he would have been remembered as one of the Buckeye greats at the wide receiver position. However, he was suspended for five games for his role in the TatGate scandal, and another five games for his role in the Bobby D scandal, and he was active only for the final three games of the 2011 season. In his truncated senior campaign, Posey made just 12 catches for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Even with a wasted final year, Posey's career totals still put him amongst the Buckeyes' all time leaders: 136 receptions (sixth all time) for 1,955 yards (seventh all time) and 18 touchdowns (seventh all time). A five-star talent who consistently played at a four-star level (bad hands held him back), but had a three-star career because of severe mistakes off of the field.

    Like every other tight end under Tressel/Bollman system, Jake Stoneburner (Dublin Coffman; Rivals 4*, #3 TE, #120 overall; Scout 4*, #4 TE, #65 overall) had a quiet career, with just 37 receptions for 445 yards and 9 touchdowns in three seasons. However, Stoneburner still has one year of eligibility remaining, and he should be in position to have a breakout year under the tutelage of Urban Meyer, who is known to feature the tight end in the passing game. Right now, Stoney rates three stars for being a multi-year starter with average production, but his stock will go through the roof if he puts up big numbers as a senior. The Buckeyes have not had an All American tight end since Jan White in 1970, and one of Coach Meyer's goals for the 2012 season is to get Stoneburner that honor by throwing him the ball early and often. Update 11/25/2012 - Jake was used primarily as a wide receiver in 2012, and his production improved slightly as he hauled in 16 passes for 269 yards and 4 scores. However, except for a 72-yard touchdown against Penn State, where he beat a linebacker in single coverage, Stoney never really created the mismatches that we expected from a six-foot-five, 240-pound wide out. Stoneburner had a more productive career than the typical Buckeye tight end - 53 receptions for 714 yards (13.5 average) and 13 touchdowns - but he really wasn't the difference maker that he should have been.

    Nic DiLillo (Madison; Rivals 3*, #28 TE; Scout 3*, #39 TE) never really played at Ohio State (he was passed on the depth chart by walk-on Spencer Smith), and he was removed from the team after the 2010 season for reasons that remain unknown to this day; Nic did not have any legal or academic or injury issues, so lack of talent has to be one of the main factors in his forced resignation. DiLillo did not transfer from Ohio State, and he graduated from the school in December of 2011 with a degree in communications.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); DeVier Posey (5*); Jake Stoneburner (4*); Nic DiLillo (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); DeVier Posey (5*); Jake Stoneburner (4*); Nic DiLillo (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2*); DeVier Posey (3*); Jake Stoneburner (3-1/2*); Nic DiLillo (0*)​

    Offensive Line
    Michael Brewster (Orlando Edgewater; Rivals 5*, #4 OT, #12 overall; Scout 5*, #1 OC, #23 overall) will be remembered as much for what he did off the field as for what he did on it. Even though he had no previous connection with the State of Ohio or Ohio State, Brewster became a fan of the program, made an early commitment to Coach Tressel, and then became the chief recruiter for the class of 2008. As the very vocal leader of the "Brew Crew", Michael helped to convince several other top prospects to attend Ohio State along with him. As a player, Brewster grabbed the starting center spot in the fourth game of his true freshman season, and never relinquished the role for the rest of his career; he made 49 consecutive starts, one behind the Buckeye record set by Luke Fickell. Brewster was a Freshman All American in 2008 and an All American in 2010. Brewster was one of the few kids from this class who performed up to expectations on the gridiron and kept his head screwed on straight. Under difficult circumstances, Michael took a half step back as a senior in 2011, or else he would be a five-star Buckeye.

    For almost two decades, Buckeye fans have been waiting for the next Orlando Pace, and Mike Adams (Dublin Coffman; Rivals 5*, #1 OT, #3 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OT, #11 overall) was almost that guy. After a slow start, in which his motivation and dedication were questioned, Big Mike really kicked it into gear during the latter half of his sophomore season. As a junior, Adams started all thirteen games and earned first team All Big Ten honors. Mike was expected to reach the next level as a senior, but he was suspended for five games for his role in the TatGate affair; even with only half a season to showcase his talents, Mike was named All Big Ten second team. Probably the most talented Buckeye offensive lineman since Orlando Pace, but non-football issues kept Adams from achieving such hallowed heights. Docked half a star for his involvement in TatGate.

    Okay, just admit it - when you hear the name J.B. Shugarts (Klein, Texas; Rivals 4*, #11 OT, #87 overall; Scout 5*, #7 OT, #34 overall), you immediately think of false starts, right? Well, J.B. did have at least 25 false start penalties during his four years in Columbus, but he was also a stalwart on an offensive line that was occasionally very spotty. Shugarts made over 30 career starts for Ohio State, and he played through several injuries (shoulder, feet, knee). Not the five-star player that he was projected to be, but still near the very top of the list of offensive linemen recruited during the Tressel regime.

    This was the most heralded group of offensive line signees in the history of Buckeye football, and there was simply no way that these guys were going to live up to their collective five-star ranking. It should be considered a very good result that Ohio State was able to get one superstar, one borderline superstar, and one very solid player out of the Brew Crew offensive line prospects ... especially because Adams was well along the road to bustdom as a freshman and Shugarts had chronic injury problems.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4-1/2*); Michael Brewster (5*); Mike Adams (5*); J.B. Shugarts (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (5*); Michael Brewster (5*); Mike Adams (5*); J.B. Shugarts (5*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Michael Brewster (4-1/2*); Mike Adams (3-1/2*); J.B. Shugarts (3-1/2*)​

    Defensive Line
    Like Tim Anderson and Dexter Larimore before him, Garrett Goebel (Lombard (IL) Montini; Rivals 4*, #6 DT, #64 overall; Scout 4*, #4 DT, #51 overall) was an outstanding high school heavyweight wrestler. Granted, Goebel plays an unglamorous position in the Buckeyes' defense (nose tackle), but he has yet to put together a solid season - 33 tackles, 4 TFL's, and a sack as a full-time starter in 2011, mop-up duty in the two previous campaigns. Goebel has one more chance to emerge as a playmaker along the defensive line, but he will be pushed by several younger players in 2012. Right now, Garrett merits a three-star rating - barely - but he runs the risk of dropping down unless he can put together a solid senior season. Update 11/25/2012 - Garrett put up slightly better number in 2012 - 42 tackles, 4 TFL's, a sack, and a blocked kick - but he was not really a dominating force in the middle of a Buckeye defense that could best be described as shaky. Nevertheless, Goebel performed well enough to shore up his 3* rating. His career number were 86 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, and a blocked kick.

    Nathan Williams (Miami Trace; Rivals 4*, #5 WDE, #156 overall; Scout 4*, #24 DE, #243 overall) is a high-motor, big-play defensive end who suffered a season-ending injury in week one of the 2011 season. If fully recovered, Williams will return to the LEO position in 2012, where he should have a monster year with a revamped defensive line surrounding him. Nathan's career totals: 92 tackles, 21.5 TFL's, 10 sacks, and an interception. Right now, I have Williams pegged as a three-star performer, but if he is able to return to his 2010 form, then he should end up at least a half-star higher. Update 11/25/2012 - Nathan never fully recovered from his knee injury, and his production certainly suffered as a result. As a senior, he racked up 40 tackles, but just 3.5 TFL's and 2 sacks, as he didn't have the closing speed and explosion necessary to make big plays behind the line of scrimmage. Williams finished his career, with 132 tackles, 25 TFL's, 12 sacks, and an interception. Occasional flashes of brilliance merit a 3.5* rating for his career.

    While Goebel and Williams have at least been productive players who have cracked the starting line up, the other three defensive line signees from the class of 2008 were total busts. Keith Wells (Gainesville, Georgia; Rivals 3*, #15 WDE; Scout 4*, #16 DE, #199 overall) had academic and motivational issues, never really played at Ohio State, transferred to Columbus State Junior College, and recently signed on with tiny Ohio Dominican University. By all accounts, a nice kid who really liked Ohio State, but who just never pushed himself to succeed at the highest level.

    Willie Mobley (Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Rivals 4*, #9 DT, #174 overall; Scout 4*, #13 DT, #201 overall) was another really nice guy who had a quick exit from the Ohio State program. Mobley fit in well with his Buckeye teammates, but after his first year on campus, he found himself buried in the depth chart, so he decided to move on, first to junior college, then to the University of Arizona. Willie played sparingly for the Wildcats in 2010, then tore up his ACL in the off-season and missed the entire 2011 campaign; he is still listed on Arizona's roster for the 2012 season.

    Some guys you know in advance are going to bust, and Shawntel "Shaq" Rowell (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #66 DT; Scout 3*, #60 DT) was one of them. In high school, he had issues with academics, weight, conditioning, and motivation, which isn't exactly a recipe for success at the college level. Well, ultimately it was the academics that got Shaq, as he failed to achieve a qualifying test score. Rowell went the JUCO route, and finally signed with West Virginia as part of their class of 2011; he had 8 tackles in 10 games for the Mountaineers last season.

    Overall, this was a nearly disastrous group of defensive line signees, with three total busts, a guy who has yet to maximize his potential, and another who has shown flashes of brilliance but is attempting to recover from a very serious injury.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Garrett Goebel (4*); Nathan Williams (4*); Willie Mobley (4*); Keith Wells (3*); Shawntel Rowell (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Garrett Goebel (3-3/4*); Nathan Williams (4*); Willie Mobley (4*); Keith Wells (4*); Shawntel Rowell (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (1-1/4*); Garrett Goebel (3*); Nathan Williams (3*); Willie Mobley (0*); Keith Wells (0*); Shawntel Rowell (0*)​

    Linebacker
    Etienne Sabino (Miami Dr. Krop; Rivals 4*, #1 MLB, #46 overall; Scout 5*, #2 MLB, #39 overall) was one of the many blue chip prospects in this class, but after four years, we're still waiting for the light bulb to go on. Sabino played sparingly as a true freshman and sophomore (six tackles each season, together with a blocked punt returned for a touchdown in 2008), and then redshirted in 2010 because he couldn't crack the starting line up. As a junior last season, Etienne started five games, saw considerable action in most of the rest, and racked up 62 tackles (fifth on the team). Bino heads into his senior year as a huge question mark - will he finally be able to realize his immense potential, or will he be remembered as just another guy? Update 12/25/2012 - Sabino was injured as a senior, and he played in only eight games. When he played, he could best be described as average, at least by Ohio State standards. For his 3* career, Etienne recorded 119 tackles, 10.5 TFL's, 4.5 sacks, an interception, and a touchdown on a blocked punt recovery.

    Andrew Sweat (Washington (PA) Trinity; Rivals 4*, #17 MLB; Scout 4*, #6 MLB, #98 overall) was often injured during his four years in Columbus, but he played through them to become a starter (and the team's best linebacker) in 2011, his senior year. For his career, Andrew made 133 tackles, 9 TFL's, and 3 interceptions.
    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Etienne Sabino (4*); Andrew Sweat (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4-1/2*); Etienne Sabino (5*); Andrew Sweat (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (3*); Etienne Sabino (3*); Andrew Sweat (3*)​

    Defensive Back
    Travis Howard (Miami Dr. Krop; Rivals 4*, #19 CB; Scout 3*, #24 CB) was supposed to be the next great cornerback at Ohio State, following in the footsteps of Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield, Ahmed Plummer, Nate Clements, Chris Gamble, Ashton Youboty, Malcolm Jenkins, and Chimdi Chekwa. But Howard hasn't nearly reached those heights, and he enters his senior season as a guy who really needs to have a breakout year. For his career, Travis has 56 tackles, 4 INT's, 7 PBU's, and a pick six to his credit ... which are nearly identical to the numbers posted by Malcolm Jenkins in 2008, the season in which he won the Thorpe Award (57 tackles, 3 interceptions, 9 PBU's, 3 forced fumbles). Update 11/25/2012 - Howard never really developed into a lock-down corner, but playing alongside Bradley Roby for two years, he didn't really need to. As a senior, Travis had his best season, with 40 tackles, 4 INT's, 6 PBU's, and a blocked punt.

    Orhian Johnson (Gulfport (FL) Boca Ciega; Rivals 3*, #35 ATH; Scout 3*, #30 QB) has been a frustrating player - a safety with decent size (6' 2", 205 pounds) who doesn't really want to mix it up with anybody. In three seasons, Johnson has 92 tackles and four interceptions as a spot starter and fifth defensive back. It's pretty clear that Orhian will never be an enforcer in the secondary, but he still has enough talent to end his career with a big senior season. Update 11/25/2012 - Johnson definitely made strides as a senior, but he still often played defense like a converted quarterback. For his career, Orhian had 131 tackles, 6 interceptions, 10 passes broken up, 2 forced fumbles, and a blocked kick.

    Zach Domincone (Beavercreek; Rivals 3*, #74 ATH; Scout 3*, #71 S) is basically a special teams performer; he has 18 tackles in three seasons, and is not expected to be in the mix for serious playing time in 2012. Update 11/25/2012 - Zach logged 5 tackles as a senior, all on special teams.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Travis Howard (4*); Orhian Johnson (3*); Zach Domicone (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Travis Howard (3*); Orhian Johnson (3*); Zach Domicone (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2-3/4*); Travis Howard (3*); Orhian Johnson (3*); Zach Domicone (2*)​

    Specialists
    Ben Buchanan (Westerville Central; Rivals 3*, #3 PK; Scout 3*, #4 PK) redshirted in 2008, backed-up Jon Thoma in 2009, and has been the starting punter for the past two seasons. Buchanan has averaged 41.2 yards per punt and has placed 42 punts inside the opponents' twenty-yard line (.356 average), but he has also had three punts blocked (the first suffered by the Buckeyes since the 2002 season). Ben has been a slight disappointment so far, and he needs to have a big senior year in order justify a scholarship for a position that is normally awarded to a walk-on. Update 11/25/2012 - In his final season, Ben kept his average right at 41.0 yards per punt, but only 16 of his 59 boots were placed inside the opponents' 20-yard line (.271), and 3 were blocked. Not a good finish to a mediocre career.
    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Ben Buchanan (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Ben Buchanan (3*)
    LJB rankings: Group (2*); Ben Buchanan (2*)​

    Walk Ons and Transfers
    I think that it's safe to say that there has never been a more celebrated transfer into the Buckeye football program than Justin Boren (Pickerington North; Rivals 4*, #1 OC, #64 overall; Scout 5*, #7 OL, #42 overall), and it is unlikely that there will ever be another one in the same universe. Not only was Boren a five-star prospect coming out of high school, and not only did he pay his own way to come to Ohio State as a walk-on, but his original school of choice was Michigan, where his father Mike played football and his mother Hope ran track. During his two years in Ann Arbor (2006 and 2007), Justin made 18 starts, and earned All Big Ten honorable mention status after his sophomore season. Although he was well on his way to becoming a Wolverine superstar, Boren became disgruntled when Rich Rodriguez replaced Lloyd Carr at the end of the 2007 season; specifically, Justin complained about Rich Rod's "lack of values", which of course proved to be a rather prescient observation. After leaving Michigan, Justin returned home to Columbus and enrolled at Ohio State, which had been his second choice during his original recruitment. Boren was obliged to sit out the 2008 campaign due to transfer rules, but after joining the team in 2009 he made 24 starts in two years, and twice earned All Big Ten first team honors; he was also named a second team All American after the 2010 season. As an extra bonus, Justin's two younger brothers - Zach and Jacoby - both subsequently signed with the Buckeyes (in the classes of 2009 and 2012, respectively). A three-and-a-half star performer on the field, Justin gets at least another half-star for the psychological damage that he wrought upon the Wolverine fan base.

    Cornerback Taylor Rice (Dublin Scioto; Rivals NR; Scout NR) walked on in 2008, redshirted, saw limited action in 2009, and then won letters in 2010 and 2011 for his work on special teams. Last year, Rice recorded five tackles, which was more than twice as many as five-star freshman linebacker Curtis Grant. Taylor is scheduled to return for his senior season in 2012. Update 11/25/2012 - Taylor logged two more special teams tackles as a senior.

    The LJB Ratings for the Class of 2008 (20 recruits, 2.23* average)
    5.0*
    4.5* Michael Brewster
    4.0* Terrelle Pryor
    3.5* Jake Stoneburner; Mike Adams; J.B. Shugarts; Nathan Williams
    3.0* DeVier Posey; Andrew Sweat; Garrett Goebel; Etienne Sabino; Travis Howard; Orhian Johnson
    2.5*
    2.0* Zach Domicone; Ben Buchanan
    1.0*
    0.0* Nic DiLillo; Jermil Martin; Willie Mobley; Shawntel Rowell; Lamaar Thomas; Keith Wells

    The recruiting class of 2008 will always be remembered primarily for Terrelle Pryor, both for his accomplishments on the field, and for his indiscretions off of it. Pryor was undeniably a great player - one of the best ever at Ohio State - but he was also a troublemaker of the first magnitude, and his misdeeds caused his head coach to be fired, his program to be placed on probation, and his university to be disgraced. Admittedly, Pryor did not act alone, and the misdeeds of several others, including Jim Tressel himself, exacerbated the situation and increased the punishment meted out by the NCAA. However, Pryor was the leader of his team, the quarterback, the superstar, the cynosure of the entire Buckeye Nation - he should have been the one setting the positive example, but instead he walked down the wrong path, and unfortunately others followed.

    At this point, the rest of the class is also somewhat disappointing, for various reasons - Michael Brewster, an All American in 2010 who regressed as a senior; Mike Adams and DeVier Posey impairing their careers through off-the-field misconduct; J.B. Shugarts and Andrew Sweat not reaching their full potential due to nagging injuries; Jake Stoneburner being seriously underused in the Tresselball offense; Garrett Goebel, Etienne Sabino, and Travis Howard still waiting for the light bulb to go on after four years in the program; Nathan Williams suffering a career-threatening injury on the verge of superstardom. Although two-thirds of this class has contributed to date, and some at a very high level, there were still six total busts. Update 11/25/2012 - None of the fifth-year seniors had a breakout year in 2012, but Stoneburner, Williams, Goebel, Sabino, Howard, and Johnson all had solid seasons.

    Additional Notes
    Dawawn Whitner (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #44 DT; Scout NR) is the younger brother of Buckeye All American safety Donte Whitner. Dawawn did not sign with the Buckeyes in the class of 2008, but the staff offered him a greyshirt so that he could have time to get his grades in order. With that possibility in front of him, Whitner went to Columbus State, Ohio State-Newark, and Erie Community College in order to become eligible, but before he could fulfill his dream of becoming a Buckeye, Dawawn developed Type-I diabetes and was forced to quit football.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  10. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2009

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2009 :osu:

    On paper at least, the recruiting class of 2009 was the best of the Tressel era (ranked #3 by Rivals, #1 by Scout). It was a large class (25 signees, although Carlos Hyde went to prep school, and did not enter Ohio State until 2010), and it contained mostly top-end talent (17 players rated either four or five stars). Coming on the heels of the equally outstanding class of 2008, it looked like the Buckeyes would be in the national title hunt for several years. But nine of the 2009 signees have already busted out, and several others appear to be career back-ups; only defensive lineman Johnny Simon and fullback Zach Boren have performed at a high level so far.

    Quarterback
    After signing superstar Terrelle Pryor in 2008, the Buckeyes had a difficult time getting a quarterback interested in being a bench warmer for three years. After striking out with two other prospects on the eve of Signing Day, the Buckeye staff sent out a last minute offer to Kenny Guiton (Houston Eisenhower; Rivals 3*, #35 dual-threat QB; Scout 3*, #53 QB), who was all set to sign with Prairie View A&M until Ohio State showed up on his doorstep. When a teammate told Kenny that an Ohio State coach was at his school looking for him, he thought that it was some kind of joke. But the offer was in fact real, and Kenny accepted it before the Buckeye staff could change their minds. Guiton redshirted in 2009, and has seen only limited action since then, completing one of two passes for five yards and an interception, while rushing four times for 21 yards and a touchdown. In 2012, Kenny will battle incoming freshman Cardale Jones for the right to be the back-up to Braxton Miller (class of 2011). Update 01/11/2014 - Kenny became a valuable back-up to the oft-injured Braxton Miller, and he will be remembered by most Buckeye fans for his heroics in the 2012 Purdue game, when he led the team to an improbable come-from-behind victory - down 22-14 with just 47 seconds left in regulation, he drove the team 61 yards for a touchdown and two-point conversion, then won the game in overtime. Against Cal in 2013, Guiton hooked up with wide receiver Devin Smith for a 90-yard touchdown pass, the longest play from scrimmage in Buckeye history. For his career, Guiton completed 89 of 134 passes (.664) for 893 yards, with 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions; he rushed 53 times for 383 yards (7.23 ypc) and 6 touchdowns; and he also accounted for a pair of two-point conversions (one passing, one rushing).

    Rivals rankings: Group (3*); Kenny Guiton (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3*); Kenny Guiton (3*)
    BPRT rankings: Group (3*); Kenny Guiton (3*)​

    Running Back
    Ohio State originally signed Carlos Hyde in the class of 2009, but he took a post-grad year before re-signing with the Buckeyes in 2010; he will be ranked with next year's class.

    Jaamal Berry (Miami Palmetto; Rivals 4*, #5 RB, #56 overall; Scout 4*, #8 RB, #69 overall) had some off-the-field issues in high school, and similar incidents occurred in college, causing him to be kicked off of the team after the end of the 2011 season. Prior to his dismissal, Berry had 35 carries for 272 yards and a touchdown (a 67-yard burst against Eastern Michigan in 2010), and saw significant action returning kicks (28 returns for 684 yards, for a fine 24.4 average). A very talented bust who was on the verge of accomplishing big things in Columbus.

    Jordan Hall (Jeannette, Pennsylvania; Rivals 4*, #27 ATH; Scout 3*, #38 RB) was a high school teammate of Terrelle Pryor, and many people felt that Hall received his Buckeye offer as a favor to Pryor. However, through three seasons, Hall has proven himself to be a competent player in his own right (817 yards rushing, 202 yards receiving, 1,494 yards returning, 11 total touchdowns), and in 2012 he has a chance to be a featured player in Urban Meyer's offense.
    Update 01/11/2014 - Hall remained a reserve for his final two seasons, and ended his career with 1,571 yards rushing, 286 yards receiving, and 1,632 yards returning, for a grand total of 3,498 all-purpose yards (13th best at Ohio State); Jordan accounted for 20 total touchdowns (14 rushing, 4 receiving, 1 returning, 1 passing) and scored a two-point conversion.

    The Buckeyes signed two fullback prospects in 2009, namely Zach Boren (Pickerington Central; Rivals 3*, #78 ATH; Scout 3*, #45 MLB) and Adam Homan (Coldwater; Rivals 3*, #10 FB; Scout 3*, #10 FB). Boren is the younger brother of former Buckeye offensive lineman Justin Boren, and Homan is the younger brother of former Buckeye linebacker Ross Homan. The problem with signing two fullbacks is that only one of them will see any meaningful action, and then only on a limited number of plays. In this case, Boren quickly beat out Homan, and Zach has been a three-year starter for the Buckeyes. Known mostly for his lead blocking, Boren has had only a few touches (one carry for two yards, 20 receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown). On the other hand, Homan has seen action mostly on special teams and in mop up action (3 receptions for 18 yards; 2 tackles). Update 11/25/2012 - Boren began his senior season as the team's starting fullback, where he had 16 touches for 82 yards and 2 scores. However, Urban Meyer's offense does not call for a fullback, and the team had a hole at middle linebacker, so Zach made the position switch in week 7. As the Buckeyes' starting MLB for the second half of the season, Boren made 50 tackles (6th on the team), a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Homan participated primarily on special teams.

    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Jaamal Berry (4*); Jordan Hall (4*); Zach Boren (3*); Adam Homan (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Jaamal Berry (4*); Jordan Hall (3*); Zach Boren (3*); Adam Homan (3*)
    BPRT rankings: Group (2-1/2*); Jaamal Berry (1*); Jordan Hall (3-1/2*); Zach Boren (3-1/2*); Adam Homan (2*)​

    Receivers
    Duron Carter (Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas; Rivals 4*, #11 WR, #90 overall; Scout 4*, #10 WR, #93 overall) is the son of Cris Carter, quite possibly the Buckeyes' greatest wide receiver ever, and for that reason Ohio State fans were expecting big things from him. Although Duron had some marginal success as a true freshman (13 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown), he got into academic trouble and left Ohio State for a junior college prior to the 2010 season. Carter wanted to return to Ohio State, but he was unable to gain admission, so he signed with Alabama as part of their class of 2011. Duron once again failed to get his academics in order, and he was ineligible for the entire 2011 season; as of March 2012, he is suspended from Crimson Tide program, and it is not yet known whether he will be able to rejoin the team in the future. It's tough to give the son of a Buckeye legend a zero-star ranking, but Duron was a complete bust at Ohio State.

    James Jackson (Grand Ledge, Michigan; Rivals 4*, #32 WR, #225 overall; Scout 4*, #32 WR) was a bona fide speedster (4.31 forty, 10.56 in the 100 meters) who wasn't really a football player and didn't enjoy mixing it up with the big boys on the gridiron. After a couple of uneventful years in the Ohio State program, he transferred to Division II Grand Valley State, a program which is more his speed.

    Chris Fields (Painesville Harvey; Rivals 4*, #19 WR, #129 overall; 3*, #46 WR) is still a member of the Buckeye squad, which gives him a leg up on the other two receivers signed in this class, but he has done very little during his three years in Columbus (11 receptions for 136 yards). It is still too early to tell whether Fields fits in with the new coaching staff's offensive scheme. Update 01/11/2014 - Fields remained a fourth option for his entire career, and will best be remembered as the player who hooked up with Kenny Guiton for the game-tying touchdown against Purdue in 2012. For his career, Chris hauled in 31 passes for 384 yards and 7 touchdowns; he also had a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown against Toledo in 2011.

    Rivals rankings: Group (4*); Duron Carter (4*); James Jackson (4*); Chris Fields (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Duron Carter (4*); James Jackson (4*); Chris Fields (3*)
    BPRT rankings: Group (1*); Duron Carter (0*); James Jackson (0*); Chris Fields (2-1/2*)​

    Offensive Line
    One of the key recruits in the class of 2009 was offensive tackle Marcus Hall (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #6 OT, #52 overall; Scout 4*, #5 OT, #65 overall). Although Hall played as a true freshman and actually earned one start, he was suspended for the entire 2010 season for academic improprieties, and returned for the 2011 season as a spot starter. In general, Marcus has had issues with academics and motivation, and he has not proven to be athletic enough to play tackle. Hall still has two years to turn his career around, but right now he is a borderline bust. Update 01/11/2014 - As seniors in 2013, Hall (RG), Mewhort (LT), and Linsley (C) were the core of arguably the best offensive line in the country. As a team, the Buckeyes averaged 308.6 yards rushing and 45.5 points per game in 2013, and these three guys were a big part of that success. Mewhort and Linsley were both first team All Big Ten as seniors.

    Jack Mewhort (Toledo St. Johns; Rivals 4*, #2 OC, #212 overall; Scout 4*, #11 OT, #146 overall) redshirted in 2009, saw enough action in 2010 to be named to the Rivals Big Ten All Freshman team, and then started all thirteen games at left guard in 2011. Mewhort is currently a three-star performer whose rating should continue to rise throughout his final two seasons.

    Corey Linsley (Boardman; Rivals 4*, #6 OG, #174 overall; Scout 4*, #8 OG, #181 overall) has played a limited role in two seasons, but he should be in line for a starting position in 2012. A two-star guy right now who could easily move up next season.

    Sam Longo (Bellbrook; Rivals 3*, #26 OT; Scout 3*, #23 OT) was an undersized lineman who lasted a couple of years in Columbus and then transferred to Cincinnati.

    Reid Fragel (Grosse Pointe (MI) South; Rivals 3*, #11 TE; Scout 4*, #12 TE, #294 overall) played tight end for the past three seasons (14 receptions, 185 yards, one touchdown), mostly as an extra blocker along the offensive line. Fragel is scheduled to make the switch to left tackle in 2012, which shouldn't be too hard for him, since he was basically an extra tackle in the Tresselball offense. Update 11/25/2012 - Fragel became the Buckeyes' starting right tackle in 2012, and he performed quite well in the role, as the team rushed for 242 yards per game and 5.2 yards per carry.

    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/2*); Marcus Hall (4*); Jack Mewhort (4*); Corey Linsley (4*); Sam Longo (3*); Reid Fragel (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (3-3/4*); Marcus Hall (4*); Jack Mewhort (4*); Corey Linsley (4*); Sam Longo (3*); Reid Fragel (4*)
    LBJ rankings: Group (3*); Marcus Hall (3-1/2*); Jack Mewhort (4*); Corey Linsley (4*); Sam Longo (0*); Reid Fragel (3*)​

    Defensive Line
    Melvin Fellows (Garfield Heights; Rivals 4*, #10 WDE, #216 overall; Scout 5*, #3 DE, #22 overall) was one of the stars of the recruiting class, but due to chronic injuries he barely saw the field in his three seasons as a Buckeye; Melvin has received a medical hardship waiver, thus ending his days as an Ohio State football player.

    John Simon (Youngstown Cardinal Mooney; Rivals 3*, #36 DT; Scout 5*, #5 DT, #27 overall) is the rare prospect to receive a five-star rating from one major recruiting service, and a three-star rating from the other. Simon is currently playing closer to the five-star level, as he has recorded 109 tackles, 28.5 TFL's, 11.5 sacks, 5 pass deflections, and an interception in three seasons. Simon was a true force along the defensive line in 2011 - 53 tackles, 16 TFL's (tied for 11th best at Ohio State), 7 sacks, 3 deflections - and he should make some preseason All American teams in 2012. If he finishes his career strong, look for him to have a tree in the Buckeye Grove. Update 11/25/2012 - Simon had a strong senior season, with 45 tackles, 14.5 TFL's, 9 sacks, 4 batted passes, and a forced fumble, and he was a first team All Big Ten selection by both the coaches and the media. Johnny leaves Ohio State seventh all-time in both tackles for loss (43.0) and sacks (20.5). Whatever Simon lacked in physical skills, he made up for in work ethic, attitude, and determination. A great player - 4 stars.

    Adam Bellamy (Aurora; Rivals 3*, #40 DT; Scout 3*, #42 DT) was not highly-touted coming out of high school, but he has had some decent success so far (36 tackles, 3.5 TFL's, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections in two years). Adam started ten games in 2011 as a defensive end; going forward, he will likely move inside, and he should be a valuable member of the Buckeyes' defensive line rotation for the next two seasons. However, it remains to be seen whether he will end his Buckeye career as a starter or a role player. Update 08/17/2012 - Despite being projected as a contributor on the defensive line, Bellamy suddenly left the team and quit football with two years of eligibility remaining.

    Jonathan Newsome (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #25 WDE; Scout 4*, #27 DE, #264 overall) had a promising start to his Buckeye career (20 tackles and a blocked punt in his first two seasons, mostly as a key special teams performer), but academic issues led to his being suspended for the 2011 season, and he transferred to Ball State.

    Rivals rankings: Group (3-1/4*); Melvin Fellows (4*); John Simon (3*); Adam Bellamy (3*); Jonathan Newsome (3*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4-1/4*); Melvin Fellows (5*); John Simon (5*); Adam Bellamy (3*); Jonathan Newsome (4*)
    BPRT rankings: Group (2*); Melvin Fellows (1*); John Simon (4*); Adam Bellamy (2*); Jonathan Newsome (0*)​

    Linebacker
    Dorian Bell (Pittsburgh Gateway; Rivals 5*, #3 OLB, #33 overall; Scout 5*, #2 WLB, #19 overall) was a true blue chip prospect who didn't live up to expectations on the field (9 tackles as a redshirt freshman in 2010) and had several issues off the field that led to a season-long suspension for the 2011 season. Bell decided to transfer to Division I-AA Duquesne prior to the 2011 season, where he had marginal success (37 tackles and a sack in seven games).

    After two seasons as a reserve, Storm Klein (Newark Licking Valley; Rivals 4*, #11 OLB, #214 overall; Scout 4*, #10 SLB, #230 overall) developed into a starter as a junior in 2011, but he wasn't exactly an impact player (45 tackles, a sack, and an interception). Klein has one more year to demonstrate his potential, but right now he is well behind other recent Buckeye linebackers such as Bobby Carpenter, Anthony Schlegel, Marcus Freeman, Ross Homan, and Brian Rolle, not to mention superstars like A.J. Hawk and James Laurinaitis. Update 11/25/2012 - a disappointing end to a disappointing career - 18 tackles and a sack in limited duty before being replaced by converted fullback Zach Boren.

    Jordan Whiting (Louisville (KY) Trinity; Rivals 4*, #15 MLB; Scout 3*, #16 MLB) was nearly invisible during his three seasons at Ohio State (two tackles in twenty games played), and he transferred to Louisville after the 2011 season.

    Rivals rankings: Group (4-1/2*); Dorian Bell (5*); Storm Klein (4*); Jordan Whiting (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); Dorian Bell (5*); Storm Klein (4*); Jordan Whiting (3*)
    BPRT rankings: Group (3/4*); Dorian Bell (0*); Storm Klein (2-1/2*); Jordan Whiting (0*)​

    Defensive Back
    C.J. Barnett (Clayton Northmont; Rivals 4*, #13 CB, #145 overall; Scout 4*, #14 CB, #136 overall) played limited minutes as a true freshman, earned the starting strong safety spot as a sophomore, received a season-ending knee injury in week two, but rebounded fairly well in 2011 with 75 tackles (team leader) and two interceptions. However, teams were able to attack the Buckeyes over the middle of the field last year, which indicates that the safety play wasn't exactly up to snuff. In fact, the entire defense was suspect in 2011, as the team gave up 273 points (the most since 1999) and allowed opponents to score over 20 points nine times (hasn't happened since 1999). If the defensive unit is going to return to form in 2012, Barnett will have to be one of the players who takes his game up to the next level. Update 01/11/2014 - Barnett failed to take his game to the next level, and poor safety play was one of the main reasons that the Buckeyes surrendered an average of almost 24 points per game against FBS competition in 2012 and 2013. Although C.J. was able to post some impressive numbers during his final two seasons (140 tackles, 6 interceptions, 11 passes broken up), his play on the field told a different story. A reluctant three stars because he was a three-year starter.

    Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown (Pittsburgh Gateway; Rivals 5*, #6 CB, #31 overall; Scout 4*, #9 CB, #74 overall) was a high school teammate of linebacker Dorian Bell (see above). Like Bell, Brown was a super blue chip recruit whose Buckeye career hasn't panned out, but for a different reason - injuries. Corey has two years left to show his five-star skills on the gridiron, but right now he is not slated to be a starter in 2012. Update 01/11/2014 - Brown never came close to his five-star potential, and he finished his career with 81 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 INT.

    Dominic Clarke (Frederick (MD) Tuscarora; Rivals 4*, #19 CB, #177 overall; Scout 4*, #26 CB, #262 overall) was developing into a strong nickel cornerback (26 tackles, an interception, and four passes broken up in two seasons) before being dismissed from the team after the 2011 season for various minor criminal indiscretions.

    Jamie Wood (Pickerington Central; Rivals 4*, #4 S, #74 overall; Scout 4*, #9 S, #131 overall) has been a major disappointment so far, with just 17 tackles in two seasons. Of course, Wood still has time to emerge from the pack, but he has shown nothing on the field to indicate that he will do so. Update 10/04/2012 - Due to nagging shoulder injuries, Jamie was forced to quit football. He is scheduled to graduate in December of 2012, and intends to return to the team as a graduate assistant.

    Rivals rankings: Group (4-1/4*); C.J. Barnett (4*); Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown (5*); Dominic Clarke (4*); Jamie Wood (4*)
    Scout rankings: Group (4*); C.J. Barnett (4*); Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown (4*); Dominic Clarke (4*); Jamie Wood (4*)
    LJB rankings: Group (1-1/2*); C.J. Barnett (3*); Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown (2-1/2*); Dominic Clarke (0*); Jamie Wood (1*)​

    Walk Ons and Transfers
    Nate "War Daddy" Ebner (Hilliard Davidson; Rivals NR; Scout NR) played rugby at Ohio State for two years, then walked on to the football team for the 2009 season. In three years as a special teams warrior, Ebner racked up 30 tackles and a sack, and he was named the Bo Rein Most Inspirational Player after the 2011 season. If ranked, Nate would merit two-and-a-half stars.

    Long snapper George Makridis (Warren Harding; Rivals NR; Scout NR) is the younger brother of Dimitrios Makridis, who was also a long snapper for the Buckeye (2003 to 2007). George walked on in 2009, redshirted, did not play in 2010, and then became the starting long snapper for the 2011 season. The Buckeyes signed long snapper Bryce Haynes as part of their class of 2011, so Makridis' tenure might be a short one. Update 01/11/2014 - Makridis and Haynes split long snapping duties in 2012 and 2013. George won three letters for his efforts.

    The least glorious position on a football team is undoubtedly the guy who holds for field goals and extra points; at least the long snapper gets to block and tackle occasionally, and he might even get his uniform dirty once in a while. In days gone by, the job of holding went to someone who had good hands and nothing better to do, usually a third-string quarterback. But as special teams have evolved over the years, the holder has become recognized as a real position, just like the kicker, the punter, and the snapper - a bad hold can cost your team points every bit as much as an errant snap or a hooked kick. Last year, the Buckeyes' holder was senior Derek Erwin (Tiro Buckeye Central; Rivals NR; Scout NR), a 2009 walk-on who was also listed as the team's back-up punter. According to Ohio State's official website, Erwin was successful on all 56 of his holds in 2011, and he earned a letter for his efforts.

    The LJB Ratings for the Class of 2009 (24 signees, 1.92* average)
    5.0*
    4.5*
    4.0* John Simon; Corey Linsley; Jack Mewhort
    3.5* Zach Boren; Marcus Hall; Jordan Hall
    3.0* Reid Fragel; C.J. Barnett; Kenny Guiton
    2.5* Storm Klein; Chris Fields; Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown
    2.0* Adam Homan; Adam Bellamy
    1.0* Melvin Fellows; Jamie Wood; Jaamal Berry
    0.0* Duron Carter; Sam Longo; James Jackson; Jonathan Newsome; Dorian Bell; Jordan Whiting; Dominic Clarke

    The class of 2009 is rivaling the class of 2003 as the worst of the Tressel era. Although most of these guys have a year or two left to prove themselves, nine signees have already busted out, and at least four others appear to be buried deep on the depth chart. With that being said, most of the early contributors still have room to grow, so the final rating for this class could be significantly higher than the initial rating. Update 11/25/2012 - The number of busts is up to 10-1/2 (Adam Bellamy provided quality minutes in 2011 before unexpectedly quitting the team during fall practice), which means that almost half of this signing class provided little or no value. Of the remaining players, only John Simon became a star, and only Zach Boren exceeded expectations. Jack Mewhort, Marcus Hall, and Corey Linsley all performed admirably as starters in 2012, and they will anchor the offensive line as seniors in 2013. Safety C.J. Barnett had a rough season, with several mental and physical lapses that led to big plays. Reid Fragel moved from tight end to right tackle and played well all season, while Storm Klein and Adam Homan went out quietly. Kenny Guiton, Chris Fields, and Pittsburgh Brown return for the 2013 season as reserves, while Jordan Hall is petitioning for a medical redshirt. Update 01/11/2014 - Mewhort, Linsley, and Hall all became good-to-great players in 2013, and Kenny Guiton proved to be a valuable back-up to Braxton Miller. However, Chris Fields, Pitt Brown, and C.J. Barnett continued to disappoint.

    Additional Notes
    The diva of the recruiting class of 2009 was quarterback Tajh Boyd (Hampton (VA) Phoebus; Rivals 4*, #4 pro-style QB, #51 overall; Scout 5*, #4 QB, #23 overall), who committed to West Virginia in March of 2008 ... then de-committed in October ... then committed to Tennessee in November ... then de-committed in December ... and then things started to get interesting. Boyd subsequently made official visits to Ohio State, Oregon, and Clemson, a diverse group of college choices if ever there was one, and he apparently made silent verbals to all three schools. Right up until the minute of his public announcement on January 27, 2009, each of his suitors was firmly convinced that it had secured Tajh's services - in a surprise move (at least according the fan bases of the two losers), Clemson received his commitment. The drama spilled over to the message boards, where "insiders" from the three schools' respective websites began calling each other out in typical internet tough guy fashion. In any event, with Signing Day just a week away, Tajh didn't have enough time to make yet another college selection, so he actually did sign with Clemson. After a redshirt in 2009 and limited action in 2010, Boyd had a monster year in 2011 (298/499, .597 completion percentage, 3,828 yards, 33 touchdowns, 12 interceptions; 218 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground), in leading his team to a 10-4 record and an ACC championship. But Boyd's erratic play down the stretch was the primary factor in Clemson's late season collapse. In the first eight contests of 2011, Boyd averaged 298 yards passing per game and threw 24 touchdowns against only 3 interceptions, as the Tigers shot out to an 8-0 record with a legitimate chance at being a national title contender; in the final six contests, however, Boyd averaged 241 yards passing per game, and threw only 9 touchdowns against 9 interceptions, as the Tigers struggled to a 2-4 finish, including a 70-33 thrashing at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Orange Bowl. Tajh enters the 2012 season straddling a fine line between Heisman candidate and egregious bust. Update 01/11/2014 - Over his final two seasons, Boyd developed into one of the best quarterbacks in college football, and in his final game he threw for 378 yards and 5 touchdowns as his Clemson Tigers defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl, 40-35.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  11. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2010

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2010 :osu:

    Ohio State's class of 2010 was not highly regarded at the time (ranked 25th by Rivals, #20 by Scout), and it looks like the recruiting experts had this class pegged. While it is still way too early to make any definitive statements about this class, wide receiver Corey "Philly" Brown, offensive line Andrew Norwell, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, and cornerback Bradlet Roby all look like budding stars, while five other signees have already left the program. The rest of the kids are in various stages of limbo, especially with a new coaching regime in town.

    Quarterback
    Taylor Graham (Wheaton (IL) North; Rivals 4*, #14 pro-style QB, #236 overall; Scout 3*, #51 QB) is the son of former Buckeye quarterback Kent Graham (lettered in 1990 and 1991). Taylor redshirted in 2010, played a few snaps in garbage time against Akron in 2011, and then transferred to Hawaii at the end of the season. Zero stars.

    Running Back
    Carlos Hyde (Naples (FL) High; Rivals 4*, #2 FB; Scout 4*, #1 FB) originally signed with the Buckeyes for the recruiting class of 2009, but he took a post-grad year at Fork Union Military Academy before re-signing in 2010. As a true freshman, Hyde had limited opportunities (24 carries for 141 yards), but he displayed enough speed to remain at tailback despite weighing in at 238 pounds. As a sophomore, Hyde was third on the team in rushing with 106 carries for 566 yards and 6 touchdowns, including a 63-yard jaunt against Nebraska. Carlos will likely enter the 2012 season as the Buckeyes' number one tailback, but he must hold off freshman phenoms Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball. Hyde is a kid who would benefit from a vigorous off-season conditioning program. Probable rating: 3*+ Update 01/11/2014 - Hyde had a very good season in 2012 (970 yards rushing, 16 TD's), and then followed it up with a monster season in 2013 (1,521 yards rushing, seventh best in Ohio State history, and 15 TD's). For his career, Carlos rushed for 3,202 yards (fifth best) and 37 touchdowns (fourth best) and averaged a school record 6.12 yards per carry (beating Archie Griffin's mark of 6.05 yards per carry). Hyde was probably the biggest beneficiary of playing in Urban Meyer's high-powered offense, but he certainly made the most of his opportunities. His career falls somewhere in between Antonio Pittman (a 4* player) and Beanie Wells (a 4-1/2* player). So, 4-1/4*?

    Roderick Smith (Fort Wayne (IN) Harding; Rivals 4*, #6 RB, #65 overall; Scout 4*, #8 RB, #51 overall) had academic issues, joined the team late in 2010, took a redshirt, got a few chances in 2011, and literally fumbled away his opportunity to establish himself in the tailback rotation. After getting 29 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown (with a couple of key fumbles thrown into the mix), Rod was switched to linebacker for the remainder of the season. For some reason, which remains unknown to this day, Smith did not join his teammates at the 2012 Gator Bowl. If Rod can get his act together, then he still has enough talent to excel in Columbus; if not, then he will be on a fast train to Bustville. Probable rating: 2*-

    Adam Griffin (Columbus DeSales; Rivals 2*; Scout NR), the son of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, also plays running back. Now we certainly don't want to count out the son of a Buckeye legend, but this one is looking like the ultimate recruiting reach. Adam has seen action in one game in two years (no carries), and we do not anticipate him cracking the depth chart any time soon. Probable rating: 2*- Update 08/18/2013 - Adam was switched to defensive back, saw most of his time on special teams, and then was forced to quit football due to a shoulder injury. He ended his abbreviated career with 14 tackles and a pass broken up. One star.

    David Durham (Charlotte (NC) Christian; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #100 OLB) signed as a linebacker prospect, redshirted, switched positions to fullback, played sparingly in year two, then decided to transfer to Pitt. Zero stars.

    Wide Receiver
    Corey "Philly" Brown (Springfield (PA) Cardinal O'Hara; Rivals 4*, #10 ATH, #118 overall; Scout 4*, #25 WR) has decent size, great speed, and he is always running free in the defensive backfield, but there is just one problem - his hands are suspect. In two years, Brown has made 22 receptions for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns. In Urban Meyer's wide open offense, Philly is just the kind of receiver who could put up insane numbers, but he'll have to make his mark quickly, as he has only two years of eligibility remaining. Probable rating: 3*+, with superstar status still a distinct possibility. Update 01/11/2014 - Philly had two fine seasons to finish out his Buckeye career, but he never really achieved stardom. As a receiver, he hauled in 123 passes for 1,440 yards and 13 touchdowns; he also added 15 rushes for 138 yards and a touchdown and 41 punt returns for 400 yards and a pair of scores. For his career, Brown had 145 receptions (fifth best at Ohio State) for 1,750 yards (14th best) and 15 touchdowns (tied for 15th best). A solid but not spectacular career: 3-1/2 stars.

    Verlon Reed (Columbus Marion Franklin; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 3*, #37 S) was a surprise offeree for the class of 2010, and a surprise starter at wide receiver for the 2011 season. However, he suffered a major knee injury in the Michigan State game in week five, and he was lost for the remainder of the year; in the games that he played, Reed caught 9 passes for 132 yards. Even if Verlon can fully recover from his injury, will he be able to re-establish himself as one of the team's top receivers? Update 01/14/2013 - Verlon caught one pass for 13 yards in 2012, and then transferred to Findlay, where he got the opportunity to play quarterback. In 2013, Reed completed 128 of 190 passes (67.4%) for 1,791 yards, 11 TD's, and 7 INT's, while adding 389 yards and 2 TD's on the ground. On star.

    At 6-foot-7 with 4.5 speed, Tyrone Williams (East Cleveland Shaw; Rivals 3*, #49 WR; Scout 4*, #32 WR) was supposed to be the ultimate match-up nightmare for opposing defenses. That's a great theory, but your giant receiver with sprinter's speed still needs to catch the ball when it is thrown to him. Williams had a redshirt year in 2010, and caught just 5 passes for 74 yards in 2011. Still too early to tell, but Tyrone really hasn't shown much in two years. Probable rating: 2*- Update 10/01/2012 - Tyrone was dismissed from the team for violation of team rules. Zero stars.

    James Louis (Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic; Rivals 4*, #33 WR, #232 overall; Scout 4*, #29 WR) made a July commitment to Ohio State, and then spent the next six months wavering on his decision. James finally did sign with Ohio State (over Florida), but he never really seemed comfortable that far away from home, so after a redshirt season in 2010, he transferred to Florida International. A nice, personable kid who was well-liked by his Buckeye teammates, but he just wasn't happy in Columbus. Zero stars, unfortunately.

    Offensive Line
    Andrew Norwell (Cincinnati Anderson; Rivals 4*, #9 OT, #59 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OT, #8 overall) saw significant minutes as a true freshman, and then started all thirteen games in 2011. Norwell will definitely have a starting spot going forward, but it's still too early to say whether he will end up at tackle or guard. Probable rating: 3-1/2*+ Update 01/11/2014 - Despite a strong start to his career, Norwell never developed into an All American, although he was named to the first team All Big Ten team in 2013. Four stars.

    Defensive Line
    Johnathan Hankins (Detroit Southeastern; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #48 DT) made an impact as a true freshman (16 tackles, 1 sack), and then followed it up with a strong sophomore campaign - 67 tackles (fourth on the team), 11 TFL's, and 3 sacks. Hankins certainly has talent, but at 335 pounds plus, he really does need to get into better shape in order to maximize his potential. Johnathan will be an anchor on the defensive line for the next two years, but whether he becomes great or remains merely good will depend on his off-season conditioning. Update 01/01/2013 - Hankins had a disappointing junior year, with 55 tackles but only 4 TFL's and 1 sack. Nevertheless, Hankins declared for the NFL draft, where he was selected by the New York Giants in the second round. Hank's career numbers were 138 tackles, 16 TFL's, 5 sacks, and a blocked kick. Three-and-a-half stars.

    J.T. Moore (Boardman; Rivals 3*, #39 WDE; Scout 4*, #36 DE) redshirted in 2010, and then saw action in all thirteen games in 2011, logging nine tackles, including one for loss. Moore is a tough kid and a hard worker, so don't count him out, but there are definitely more talented kids on the roster. Probable rating: 2*+

    Darryl Baldwin (Solon; Rivals 3*, #22 SDE; Scout 3*, #44 DE) redshirted in 2010, and made three tackles and a sack in seven games in 2011. With a deep defensive line and opportunities along the offensive line, look for Baldwin to switch to the other side of the ball in 2012. Either way, it appears that Darryl will likely get lost in the shuffle, as there are simply too many players with more talent on this team. Probable rating: 2*-

    As a junior, Jamel Turner (Youngstown Ursuline; Rivals 4*, #22 WDE; Scout 4*, #6 OLB) was perhaps the best football player in his class ... but then things went south in a hurry. Turner made an early commitment to the Buckeyes, then (1) he was dismissed from the Ursuline basketball team; (2) had issues with school attendance; (3) transferred to Fork Union Military Academy in order to improve his academics; (4) was kicked out of Fork Union for misconduct; (5) returned to Youngstown and received a gunshot wound in a drive-by shooting; and finally (6) was nearly killed in a second drive-by shooting. After recovering from his wounds, Jamel enrolled in Butler Community College in Kansas. Although Turner still talks about making it to Ohio State some day, he's got a very long way to go. Right now, he's sitting at zero stars, but a few years ago this kid was one of the the best athletes in the entire country, so you never really know....

    Linebacker
    Scott McVey (Cleveland St. Ignatius; Rivals 3*, #69 OLB; Scout 4*, #3 MLB, #123 overall) made a name for himself during St. Ignatius' 2008 state championship run, and especially in the title game where he recorded 8 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and an interception. McVey redshirted in 2010, did not play in 2011 due to chronic injuries, and took a medical waiver at the end of the season. A promising career cut short by injury. One star as an injury casualty.

    Defensive Back
    Bradley Roby (Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 3*, #44 CB) was one of the sleepers of the class of 2010, but after a redshirt year, he quickly established himself as one of the team's starting cornerbacks. In 2011, Roby has 47 tackles, 3.5 TFL's, 3 INT's (tied for team lead), and 6 PBU's (tied for second on the team). It's still early, but Roby looks like he might be next in the long line of great Buckeye cornerbacks. Probable rating: 3-1/2*+, with 5* being a distinct possibility. Update 01/11/2014 - Roby performed at an All American level during his final two seasons in Columbus. For his career, he recorded 179 tackles, 7.5 TFL's, 8 INT's, 36 PBU's, 3 blocked kicks, and 5 total touchdowns. Bradley was generally the best player on a bad defense. 4-1/2*

    Christian Bryant (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #10 CB, #114 overall; Scout 4*, #8 CB, #84 overall) earned a starting spot at safety as a true sophomore in 2011, and he recorded 68 tackles (third on the team) and 8 passes defensed (tied for second on the team). Bryant looks to be a fixture in the Buckeyes' defensive backfield for the next two seasons. Probable rating: 3-1/2*+ Update 01/11/2014 - Due to injury, Bryant missed significant portions of both his freshman and senior season, and finished his career with 171 tackles, 2 interceptions, 23 PBU's, and 33 forced fumbles. 3-1/2*

    Chad Hagan (Canonsburg (PA) Canon McMillan; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #84 S) had his high school career shortened due to injuries and a congenital heart condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Hagan is over his injuries and his heart condition is under control, and he was able to suit up for the Buckeyes in 2011, recording two tackles in seven games. Chad was recruited as a safety, but at 225 pounds he is probably better suited for the "star" position or linebacker. Either way, health permitting, he should continue to see some time on special teams. Update 03/21/12 -Apparently, Chad's health issues were not completely resolved after all, as he was removed from the active roster in anticipation of receiving a medical hardship waiver. One star as an injury casualty.

    Specialists
    As a true freshman, Drew Basil (Chillicothe; Rivals 2*, #12 PK; Scout 3*, #6 PK) saw action on kickoffs and long field goals; his only two attempts of the season were of 50+ yards, and both were blocked. As a sophomore, Basil took over all kicking chores, and connected on 16 of 19 field goals (.842 success rate, tied for fifth best in school history). Drew is very accurate, but he has not yet shown a strong leg, as his career long field goal is only 47 yards. Probable rating: 3*+ Update 01/11/2014 - Basil proved to be an accurate kicker (33/40 FG, for a school record .825 success rate, beating Mike Nugent's mark of .818) with a weak leg (career long FG of 52 yards, only 3 for 9 on kicks over 45 yards). A reliable short-range kicker who was never asked to win games with his leg: 4*

    Walk Ons and Transfers
    Dionte Allen (Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's; Rivals 4*, #5 CB, #40 overall; Scout 4*, #5 CB, #66 overall) was originally a prospect in the class of 2007. Allen strongly considered signing with Ohio State, where he would have joined his high school teammates Aaron Gant (class of 2006) and Taurian Washington (class of 2007), be ultimately he opted to head a thousand miles south to Florida State, his childhood favorite. However, after redshirting his first year, and seeing action in only fourteen games over the next two seasons (18 tackles, 3 PBU's), Allen decided to transfer to Ohio State so that he could be with his friends and closer to home. Dionte sat out the 2010 season due to the transfer rules, and he saw limited minutes in four games in 2011 (no stats), his final year of eligibility. A top prospect whose career was derailed by a poor initial college choice.

    Offensive lineman Ivon Blackman (Bedford; Rivals NR; Scout NR) originally signed with Robert Morris University as part of their class of 2009, and then transferred to Ohio State the following year. Blackman walked onto the Buckeye squad in 2010, redshirted, and then saw action in four games in 2011. Under Bollman-metrics, Blackman had a decent chance to make the two-deep, like other walk-ons before him such as Mike Kne, Daniel Dye, Andrew Moses, and Josh Kerr. But with Coach Meyer expending a lot of effort to re-stock the offensive line, Ivon will probably never see any meaningful action at Ohio State. Update 01/11/2014 - Blackman played in thirteen games as a senior in 2013.

    Julian Vann (Lithonia (GA) Parkview; Rivals NR; Scout NR), a walk-on defensive back, is The Man Who Knows No Fear. As we discovered in Tony Gerdeman's Ozone article, Vann claims that he can wrestle a lion and choke a shark, and for those reasons many of his Buckeye teammates (well, at least least two of them) would select Julian as their lone companion in an alley fight, even though he tips the scales at a mere 170 pounds. A bigger feat for Julian would be to get some playing time for the Buckeyes, as he has yet to see the field in two seasons.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  12. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    The Recruiting Class of 2011

    :osu: The Ohio State University Buckeyes' Recruiting Class of 2011 :osu:

    It's really way too early to project how these kids will turn out, but hey, wild speculation is what we do on the Internet. It looks like the Buckeyes signed two budding superstars in the class of 2011 (ranked #11 by Rivals, #6 by Scout), in quarterback Braxton Miller and linebacker Ryan Shazier. Defensive lineman Michael Bennett also performed well in a reserve role (and he did see some quality minutes), and wide receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer should be solidly in the rotation next year. The rest of the class is still up in the air, as you would expect for a group of freshmen. One player who really needs to step up his game is linebacker Curtis Grant, who was a consensus five-star prospect, but who has shown very little in his brief time at Ohio State. Three players have already busted out (two transfers, one dismissal), and those early departures will hurt the overall rating of this class.

    Quarterback
    Braxton Miller (Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #1 dual-threat QB, #34 overall; Scout 5*, #2 QB, #36 overall) became the starting quarterback in week four and never looked back. Although he had some issues finding receivers and delivering the ball on time and with accuracy, it was abundantly clear that Miller is a play maker and a game breaker. As a true freshman, Braxton completed 85 of 157 passes (.541 completion percentage) for 1,159 yards, 13 touchdowns, and just 4 interceptions, while also leading the team in rushing with 715 yards on 159 carries (4.5 average) and 7 touchdowns, one of which was an 81-yarder against Indiana (the fifth longest rush in Ohio State history). The Heisman talk could begin as early as 2012, especially with Urban Meyer running the offense. Projected rating: 4*+

    Cardale Jones (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #12 pro-style QB; Scout 3*, #24 QB) signed with Ohio State for the class of 2011, but then took a post-grad year at Fork Union Military Academy. He re-signed with the Buckeyes as part of their class of 2012. No rating for this class, and as a 2012 signee he does not count as a Tressel recruit.

    Running Back
    For the first time since 2003, the Buckeyes did not sign a running back prospect.

    Wide Receiver
    Devin Smith (Massillon Washington; Rivals 3*, #58 WR; Scout 4*, #29 WR) was a surprise contributor as a true freshman, and he caught 14 passes for 294 yards (both team highs, believe it or not) and 4 touchdowns. Smith should be an even bigger part of the offense going forward, so his ceiling should be pretty high. Projected rating: 3*+

    Evan Spencer (Vernon Hills, Illinois; Rivals 3*, #51 WR; Scout 4*, #19 WR, #139 overall) is the son of former Buckeye tailback Tim Spencer. Evan saw significant playing time as a true freshman, and he hauled in 3 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. It's still too early to tell if Spencer will emerge from the pack or see spot duty as a reserve wide out. Projected rating: 2-1/2*+

    Tight End
    Jeff Heuerman (Naples (FL) Barron Collier; Rivals 3*, #18 TE; Scout 3*, #24 TE) played in eleven games as a true freshman, catching one pass for 25 yards. His future looks bright, primarily because there will be only four tight ends on the roster in 2012, and only he and starter Jake Stoneburner have seen any game action. Projected rating: 3*+

    Nick Vannett (Westerville Central; Rivals 4*, #13 TE, #192 overall; Scout 4*, #14 TE) was a redshirt for the class of 2011. As a tight end with good hands, Vannett could excel in Urban Meyer's offense. No rating.

    Offensive Line
    Buckeye fans have always complained about the low numbers of offensive linemen signed during the Tressel-Bollman era. In 2011, however, the Buckeye staff countered their own trend by signing four offensive linemen. There were only a couple of problems. First, all of the signees were interior linemen, and none had the skill set to play tackle. Second, three of the signees were major projects. Third, all three of those major projects were offered in March of 2010, almost a year before Signing Day, and long before the staff had the chance to seek out more talented players both in-state and nationwide. So in 2011, the Buckeyes got numbers, but they did not necessarily get balance or talent.

    Brian Bobek (Palatine (IL) Fremd; Rivals 4*, #3 OC, #250 overall; Scout 4*, #1 OC, #98 overall) played in five games in 2011. Brian will get every opportunity to replace Michael Brewster, so he should become at least a contributor to this team. Still, we have seen very little on the field so far, and better prospects than this have busted out in the past. Update 06/09/2012 - Brian left Ohio State and transferred to Minnesota.

    Antonio Underwood (Shaker Heights; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #22 OG) played in four games in 2011, starting one of them. That says more about the depth on the Buckeyes' offensive line than it does about Underwood's talent, as he was clearly a redshirt candidate. Still, the game experience must have done him some good. Projected rating: 2*+

    Even though the Ohio State official website states that Tommy Brown (Akron Firestone; Rivals 3*, #42 OG; Scout 3*, #83 OT) saw action in one game in 2011 (Miami, in week three), I believe that information to be inaccurate, and that he redshirted last year. I certainly hope so, because Brown was a major project coming into Ohio State, and he really needed a year to get himself acclimated to the college game. No rating.

    Chris Carter, Jr. (Cleveland JFK; Rivals 3*, #24 OG; Scout 3*, #27 OG) looks to be a long-term project after a redshirt year in 2011. Carter needs to lose weight and get into shape, and fast, or he will never see the field. No relation to Buckeye great Cris Carter. No rating, but the prognosis is not good.

    Defensive Line
    Michael Bennett (Centerville; Rivals 4*, #3 DT, #41 overall; Scout 4*, #8 DT, #57 overall) earned serious minutes as a true freshman, logging 17 tackles, 5 TFL's, and 3 sacks. Bennett looks like a surefire contributor going forward, and he has all the talent to achieve superstar status. Projected rating: 3-1/2*+

    Joel Hale (Greenwood (IN) Center Grove; Rivals 3*, #35 DT; Scout 3*, #30 DT) made four tackles in nine games in 2011. The Buckeye defensive line is very deep, but Hale will almost certainly be somewhere in the rotation. Projected rating: 2-1/2*+

    For some strange reason, Kenny Hayes (Toledo Whitmer; Rivals 4*, #7 SDE, #68 overall; Scout 4*, #14 DE, #87 overall) and Steve Miller (Canton McKinley; Rivals 4*, #7 WDE, #167 overall; Scout 5*, #9 DE, #42 overall) saw minimal action in 2011 (five games for Hayes, two for Miller), thus burning their redshirts for the sake of a handful of meaningless snaps. Miller had one tackle, and Hayes didn't make the stat sheet. No ratings, but the trio of defensive ends signed in the class of 2012 (Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, and Se'Von Pittman) might make these guys irrelevant pretty quickly. Update 08/04/12 - In the wake of the 2012 defensive line signings, Kenny Hayes asked for his release from the team, and Ohio State granted it; he transferred to Toledo.

    Chase Farris (Elyria; Rivals 4*, #11 SDE, #142 overall; Scout 4*, #10 DT, #107 overall) took a redshirt in 2011. A highly-rated defensive line prospect who needs to make a move in the very near future or he will risk being lost in the mix. No rating.

    Linebacker
    Ryan Shazier (Plantation, Florida; Rivals 4*, #14 OLB; Scout 4*, #5 OLB, #81 overall) played significant minutes as a true freshman, earning a starting role for the final three games of the season. Against Penn State, his first start, he had 15 tackles, which left many Buckeye fans wondering why he had been sitting behind the least accomplished group of Buckeye linebackers in recent (or even distant) memory. Despite the slow start, Shazier finished the season with 57 tackles (sixth on the team), 5 TFL's, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 blocked punt, and he was named to some freshman All American teams. We know that it's early, but Ryan looks like a future All American, and the next great Buckeye linebacker. Projected rating: 4*+ Update 01/11/2014 - Ryan had a break-out year in 2012 (115 tackles, 17 TFL's, 3 forced fumbles, and a pick six) and an All American season in 2013 (143 tackles, 22.5 TFL's, 4 forced fumbles). Ryan was not always the most disciplined player, and his defenses were some of the worst in Buckeye history, but he was always a disruptive force on the field. Shazier has declared for the 2014 NFL draft. 4*

    Curtis Grant (Richmond (VA) Hermitage; Rivals 5*, #1 MLB, #2 overall*; Scout 5*, #1 OLB, #19 overall) had a tough rookie campaign, logging only two tackles in ten games. Still, he has immense talent, and the depth chart is favorable, so don't be surprised if Curtis emerges as a solid contributor in 2012. Projected rating: still too early to tell, but anything from bust to superstar is possible.

    Conner Crowell (Waldorf (MD) North Point; Rivals 3*, #24 OLB; Scout 3*, #24 MLB) was injured in 2011 and took a redshirt. No rating. Update 01/23/2013 - Chronic injuries cut short Crowell's career. He finished with one tackle in three games played. One star.

    Ejuan Price (Pittsburgh (PA) Woodland Hills; Rivals 3*; Scout 4*, #14 MLB) signed a Letter of Intent with Ohio State, but asked to be released after Jim Tressel resigned/was fired. The school obliged, and Price signed with Pitt instead. Zero stars.

    Defensive Back
    Doran Grant (Akron St.Vincent-St. Mary; Rivals 4*, #7 CB, #102 overall; Scout 4*, #5 CB, #70 overall) played in all thirteen games in 2011, mostly on special teams, recording six tackles. With the off-season dismissal of #3 CB Dominic Clarke, Grant should see plenty of action in 2012. Projected rating: 2-1/2*+

    Ron Tanner (Columbus Eastmoor; Rivals 3*, #26 S; Scout 4*, #11 S) redshirted in 2011. The Buckeyes need a young safety to step up in 2012, so Tanner will definitely have a shot to see some playing time. No rating.

    Jeremy Cash (Plantation, Florida; Rivals 3*, #25 S; Scout 3*, #30 S) was a high school teammate of linebacker Ryan Shazier (see above). Cash played in five games as a true freshman, mostly on special teams, and recorded three tackles. After the regime change, he decided to transfer to Duke. A good kid, but we reluctantly have to give him zero stars.

    DerJuan Gambrell (Toledo Rogers; Rivals 3*, #35 CB; Scout 4*, #22 CB) redshirted in 2011, and was dismissed from the team (criminal conduct) shortly after the end of the season. Zero stars.

    Specialists
    Bryce Haynes (Cumming (GA) Pinecrest Academy; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*) earned a scholarship as a long snapper, but he did not play in 2011. Haynes needs to beat out walk-on George Makridis, and soon, or else his scholarship offer will look like a bad move ... a really bad move. No rating.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  13. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    Tressel Era Recruits By State

    Jim Tressel signed recruits from nineteen states, plus the Canadian province of Ontario; roughly sixty percent of his signees were from Ohio, and forty percent were from elsewhere. Coach Tressel signed recruits from 159 different high schools (although two went to junior college and one went to prep school before signing with Ohio State). Cleveland Glenville had the most signees with sixteen, and Dublin Coffman was next with four signees; seven schools produced three signees each, thirty-one schools produced two signees each; and 119 schools produced one signee each.

    Cleveland Glenville has produced some of the best talent, with Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Troy Smith, plus All Americans Teddy Ginn and Donte Whitner. However, even with those superstar players, the average rating for the Glenville signees is only 2.11 stars, with two incomplete grades. On the other hand, Centerville (near Dayton) has produced two five star talents (Mike Nugent and A.J. Hawk), and 2011 signee Michael Bennett already looks like a future All American candidate. In fact, the entire Dayton area has been very good to Ohio State, with an average star rating 2.93. Besides Nugent and Hawk, Dayton has produced three other All Americans - Nick Mangold, Quinn Pitcock, and Kurt Coleman - and freshman phenoms Braxton Miller and Michael Bennett are very real possibilities to join them some day.

    Ohio (134 signees, 60.4%, 2.27*)
    Akron Area (6 signees, 2.7%, 2.88* average)

    4.0* Antonio Pittman (RB; Class of 2004; Akron Buchtel; Rivals 4*, #13 RB; Scout 3*, #31 RB); 2,945 yards, 5.29 average, 22 touchdowns
    INC* Tommy Brown (OL; Class of 2011; Akron Firestone; Rivals 3*, #42 OG; Scout 3*, #83 OT); redshirt freshman
    4.5* Chris "Beanie" Wells (RB; Class of 2006; Akron Garfield; Rivals 5*, #1 RB, #3 overall; Scout 5*, #1 RB, #1 overall); 3,382 yards, 5.78 average, 30 touchdowns, 93.9 yards per game
    3.0* Lawrence Wilson (DE; Class of 2005; Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary; Rivals 4*, #12 WDE; Scout 4*, #29 DE); 59 tackles, 12 TFL's, 7 sacks, 2 interceptions, 6 pass deflections
    0.0* Sian Cotton (DT; Class of 2003; Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary; Rivals 3*, #48 DT; Scout 3*, #24 DT); 6 tackles, 1 sack
    INC* Doran Grant (DB; Class of 2011; Akron St.Vincent-St. Mary; Rivals 4*, #7 CB, #102 overall; Scout 4*, #5 CB, #70 overall); 6 tackles

    Canton Area (12 signees, 5.4%, 2.45* average)
    3.5* Dustin Fox (CB; Class of 2001; Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 4*, #5 S, #82 overall); 217 tackles, 7 INT's, 30 PBU's
    3.5* Brian Hartline (WR; Class of 2005; Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 3*, #36 WR; Scout 4*, #31 WR); 90 receptions, 1,429 yards, 12 touchdowns; school record 90-yard punt return for touchdown
    3.0* T.J. Downing (OG; Class of 2002; Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 3*, #35 OG; Scout 2*, #121 OL); 24 starts
    3.0* Tyler Everett (DB; Class of 2002; Canton McKinley; Rivals 3*, #23 S; Scout 4*, #16 S); 101 tackles, 3 INT's, 11 PBU's, 1 blocked kick, pick six
    INC* Steve Miller (DL; Class of 2011; Canton McKinley; Rivals 4*, #7 WDE, #167 overall; Scout 5*, #9 DE, #42 overall); 1 tackle
    3.0* Devon Torrence (CB; Class of 2007; Canton South; Rivals 4*, #24 ATH; Scout 4*, #12 S); 98 tackles, 4 INT's, 10 PBU's, 4 forced fumbles, 1 blocked kick, 1 pick six; 4 receptions, 31 yards
    0.0* Chad Hoobler (TE; Class of 2004; Carrollton; Rivals 4*, #3 TE; Scout 4*, #4 TE)
    4.0* Kirk Barton (OT; Class of 2003; Massillon Perry; Rivals 3*, #60 OT; Scout 3*, #101 OL)
    2.5* Justin Zwick (QB; Class of 2002; Massillon Washington; Rivals 4*, #3 pro-style QB, #40 overall; Scout 4*, #14 QB); 158/276 (.572), 1,779 yards, 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
    1.0* Devin Jordan (WR; Class of 2003; Massillon Washington; Rivals 3*, #29 WR; Scout 3*, #51 WR); injured and did not play
    INC* Devin Smith (WR; Class of 2011; Massillon Washington; Rivals 3*, #58 WR; Scout 4*, #29 WR); 14 receptions, 294 yards, 4 touchdowns
    1.0* Curt Lukens (DB; Class of 2003; North Canton Hoover; Rivals 3*, #35 S; Scout 3*, #44 S); 1 tackle

    Cincinnati Area (12 signees, 5.4%, 1.68* average)
    4.0* Andrew Norwell (OL; Class of 2010; Cincinnati Anderson; Rivals 4*, #9 OT, #59 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OT, #8 overall)
    3.0* Tyler Moeller (S; Class of 2006; Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 3*, #50 OLB; Scout 4*, #23 LB); 90 tackles, 9.5 TFL's, 1 sack, 2 INT's, 1 blocked kick
    2.0* Connor Smith (OL; Class of 2006; Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 4*, #4 OG, #55 overall; Scout 5*, #4 OL, #30 overall)
    0.0* Eugene Clifford (S; Class of 2007; Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 4*, #4 S, #60 overall; Scout 5*, #2 S, #25 overall); 8 tackles
    3.5* DeVier Posey (WR; Class of 2008; Cincinnati LaSalle; Rivals 5*, #3 WR, #21 overall; Scout 5*, #4 WR, #15 overall); 136 receptions, 1,955 yards, 18 touchdowns
    3.0* Ryan Hamby (TE; Class of 2001; Cincinnati Moeller; Rivals 2*, #45 TE; Scout NR); 45 receptions; 482 yards, 5 touchdowns; 3 solo tackles
    0.0* Rob Schoenhoft (QB; Class of 2005; Cincinnati St. Xavier; Rivals 4*, #6 pro-style QB; Scout 4*, #17 QB); 18/26 (.692), 134 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
    2.0* E.J. Underwood (DB; Class of 2002; Hamilton; Rivals 4*, #19 CB; Scout 4*, #13 CB); 54 tackles, 4 PBU's
    0.0* Brandon Underwood (CB; Class of 2004; Hamilton; Rivals 3*, #16 CB; Scout 3*, #14 CB); 3 tackles
    3.0* Steve Rehring (OG; Class of 2004; West Chester Lakota West; Rivals 3*, #29 OT; Scout 3*, #48 OL); 23 starts
    2.0* Solomon Thomas (DE; Class of 2007; West Chester Lakota West; Rivals 4*, #17 WDE; Scout 3*, #43 DE); 27 tackles, 1 interception
    0.0* Brandon Maupin (DT; Class of 2003; West Chester Lakota West; Rivals 3*, #21 SDE; Scout 4*, #10 DT); 1 tackle

    Cleveland Area (39 signees, 17.6%, 2.20* average)
    2.0* Adam Bellamy (DL; Class of 2009; Aurora; Rivals 3*, #40 DT; Scout 3*, #42 DT; 36 tackles, 3.5 TFL's, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections
    2.0* Mike D'Andrea (LB; Class of 2002; Avon Lake; Rivals 5*, #2 ILB, #29 overall; Scout 5*, #2 LB, #12 overall); 44 tackles, 6.5 TFL's, 1 sack
    4.0* Brian Robiskie (WR; Class of 2005; Chagrin Falls; Rivals 3*, #61 WR; Scout 2*, NR); 127 receptions, 1,866 yards, 24 touchdowns
    5.0* Troy Smith (QB; Class of 2002; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #12 dual-threat QB; Scout 4*, #15 QB); 420/670 (.627), 5,720 yards, 54 touchdowns, 13 interceptions; 1,168 yards rushing, 14 touchdowns
    5.0* Theodore Ginn, Jr. (ATH; Class of 2004; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 5*, #1 CB, #2 overall; Scout 5*, #1 CB); 4,068 all-purpose yards, 27 total touchdowns (15 receiving, 3 rushing, 8 returning, 1 passing)
    4.0* Donte Whitner (S; Class of 2003; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #3CB, #27 overall; Scout 5*, #1 CB); 164 tackles, 13 TFL's, 5 sacks, 5 INT's, 9 PBU's, and 2 TD's (blocked punt, pick six)
    3.5* Bryant Browning (OG; Class of 2006; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #20 OG; Scout 3*, #61 OL); 39 starts
    3.0* Jermale Hines (S; Class of 2007; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #10 OLB; Scout 4*; #16 SLB); 157 tackles; 3 INT's, 2 TD's (fumble recovery, pick six)
    2.5* Jamario O'Neal (S; Class of 2005; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #3 CB, #31 overall; Scout 5*, #3CB, #17 overall); 49 tackles, 1 interception
    2.5* Ray Small (ATH; Class of 2006; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #7 WR, #88 overall; Scout 4*, #11 CB, #98 overall); 2,252 all-purpose yards, 5 total touchdowns
    2.0* Curtis Terry (LB; Class of 2004; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 25 tackles, 5.5 sacks
    2.0* Robert Rose (DL; Class of 2006; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 5*, #1 SDE, #17 overall; Scout 4*, #5 DE, #52 overall); 31 tackles, 11 TFL's, 7.5 sacks, 5 pass deflections
    0.0* Jonathan Newsome (DE; Class of 2009; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #25 WDE; Scout 4*, #27 DE, #264 overall); 20 tackles, blocked punt
    0.0* Dareus Hiley (DB; Class of 2003; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #14 CB; Scout 4*, #6 CB); no stats
    0.0* Freddie Lenix (LB; Class of 2005; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #22 ATH; Scout 4*, #27 LB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* Jermil Martin (RB; Class of 2008; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 11 rushes, 88 yards, 1 touchdown
    0.0* Shawntel "Shaq" Rowell (DT; Class of 2008; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #66 DT; Scout 3*, #60 DT)
    3.5* Marcus Hall (OL; Class of 2009; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #6 OT, #52 overall; Scout 4*, #5 OT, #65 overall)
    3.5* Christian Bryant (S; Class of 2010; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #10 CB, #114 overall; Scout 4*, #8 CB, #84 overall); 171 tackles, 2 INT's, 23 PBU's, 3 FF's
    INC* Chris Carter, Jr. (OL; Class of 2011; Cleveland JFK; Rivals 3*, #24 OG; Scout 3*, #27 OG); redshirt freshman
    3.5* Anthony Gonzalez (WR; Class of 2003; Cleveland St. Ignatius; Rivals 4*, #16 CB; Scout 4*, #8 CB); 87 receptions, 1,286 yards, 13 touchdowns
    1.0* Scott McVey (LB; Class of 2010; Cleveland St. Ignatius; Rivals 3*, #69 OLB; Scout 4*, #3 MLB, #123 overall); no stats
    0.0* Reggie Smith (LB; Class of 2003; East Cleveland Shaw; Rivals 3*, #27 OLB; Scout 3*, #23 LB); no stats
    0.0* Tyrone Williams (WR; Class of 2010; East Cleveland Shaw; Rivals 3*, #49 WR; Scout 4*, #32 WR); 5 receptions, 74 yards
    INC* Chase Farris (DL; Class of 2011; Elyria; Rivals 4*, #11 SDE, #142 overall; Scout 4*, #10 DT, #107 overall); redshirt freshman
    3.5* Thaddeus Gibson (DE; Class of 2006; Euclid; Rivals 4*, #9 OLB; Scout 4*, #9 LB); 82 tackles, 25 TFL's, 10 sacks, 1 interception, 1 touchdown (fumble recovery)
    2.5* Brandon Smith (FB; Class of 2004; Euclid; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 16 receptions, 139 yards
    1.0* Melvin Fellows (DE; Class of 2009; Garfield Heights; Rivals 4*, #10 WDE, #216 overall; Scout 5*, #3 DE, #22 overall); no stats
    3.5* Alex Boone (OT; Class of 2005; Lakewood St. Edwards; Rivals 5*, #3 OT, #20 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OL, #15 overall); 36 starts
    2.5* Nate Oliver (S; Class of 2007; Lakewood St. Edwards; Rivals 4*, #12 S; Scout 4*, #11 S); 29 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery
    2.5* Roy Hall (WR; Class of 2002; Lyndhurst Brush; Rivals 4*, #19 WR; Scout 4*, #24 WR); 52 receptions, 580 yards, 3 touchdowns
    0.0* Marcel Frost (TE; Class of 2003; Lyndhurst Brush; Rivals 3* #31 TE; Scout 4*, #11 TE); 7 receptions, 70 yards
    0.0* Nic DiLillo (TE; Class of 2008; Madison; Rivals 3*, #28 TE; Scout 3*, #39 TE); no stats
    3.5* Mike Kudla (DE; Class of 2002; Medina Highlands; Rivals 4*, #18 SDE; Scout 5*, #2 DE, #49 overall); 90 tackles, 20 TFL's, 14.5 sacks, fumble recovery for a touchdown
    4.0* Rob Sims (OL; Class of 2002; Northfield Nordonia; Rivals 4*, #20 OG; Scout 3*, #38 OL); 40 starts
    2.5* Chris Fields (WR; Class of 2009; Painesville Harvey; Rivals 4*, #19 WR, #129 overall; 3*, #46 WR); 31 receptions, 384 yards, 7 touchdowns; 69-yard punt return TD
    INC* Antonio Underwood (OL: Class of 2011; Shaker Heights; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #22 OG)
    INC* Darryl Baldwin (DL; Class of 2010; Solon; Rivals 3*, #22 SDE; Scout 3*, #44 DE); 3 tackles
    3.0* David Patterson (DT; Class of 2003; Warrensville Heights; Rivals 4*, #7 DT, #83 overall; Scout 4*, #4 DT); 72 tackles, 17 TFL's, 8 sacks

    Columbus Area (25 signees, 11.3%, 2.06* average)
    0.0* Sirjo Welch (DB; Class of 2004; Columbus Beechcroft; Rivals 3*, #17 safety; Scout 4*, #7 S); 20 tackles
    3.0* Maurice Hall (ATH; Class of 2001; Columbus Brookhaven; Rivals 4*, #10 RB, #59 overall); 2,616 all-purpose yards, 6 total touchdowns
    1.0* Adam Griffin (RB; Class of 2010; Columbus DeSales; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout NR); 14 tackles
    2.5* Dionte Johnson (FB; Class of 2004; Columbus Eastmoor; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*); 14 total yards
    INC* Ron Tanner (DB; Class of 2011; Columbus Eastmoor; Rivals 3*, #26 S; Scout 4*, #11 S); redshirt freshman
    0.0* Erik Haw (RB; Class of 2004; Columbus Independence; Rivals 3*, #23 RB; Scout 3*, #58 RB); 14 rushes, 61 yards, 1 touchdown
    1.0* Verlon Reed (Class of 2010; WR; Columbus Marion Franklin; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 3*, #37 S); 9 receptions, 132 yards
    3.5* Mike Adams (OT; Class of 2008; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 5*, #1 OT, #3 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OT, #11 overall); 25 starts
    3.5* Jake Stoneburner (TE; Class of 2008; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 4*, #3 TE, #120 overall; Scout 4*, #4 TE, #65 overall); 53 receptions, 714 yards (13.5 average), 13 touchdowns
    2.0* Alex Barrow (DL; Class of 2004; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 3*, #31 DT; Scout 3*, #59 DE); 16 tackles, 1 sack
    1.0* Adam Olds (OL; Class of 2001; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 4*, #27 OL; Scout NR)
    3.0* Jay Richardson (DE; Class of 2002; Dublin Scioto; Rivals 3*, #32 SDE; Scout NR); 52 tackles, 12.5 TFL's, 7 sacks, 9 pass deflections
    0.0* Jonathan Skeete (P/K; Class of 2004; Gahanna Lincoln; Rivals NR; Scout NR); no stats
    4.0* Bobby Carpenter (LB; Class of 2002; Lancaster; Rivals 4*, #13 OLB; Scout 4*, #22 LB); 191 tackles, 23.5 TFL's, 14.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 7 deflected passes
    3.0* Jim Cordle (OL; Class of 2005; Lancaster; Rivals 4*, #7 OG; Scout 4*, #30 OL); 33 starts
    2.0* Andree Tyree (OL; Class of 2001; London; Rivals 2*, #58 TE; Scout NR)
    2.5* Storm Klein (LB; Class of 2009; Newark Licking Valley; Rivals 4*, #11 OLB, #214 overall; Scout 4*, #10 SLB, #230 overall); 91 tackles, 3 TFL's, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions
    3.0* A.J. Trapasso (P; Class of 2004; Pickerington; Rivals 2*, #25 PK; Scout 3*); 41 yards per punt
    3.5* Zach Boren (FB; Class of 2009; Pickerington Central; Rivals 3*, #78 ATH; Scout 3*, #45 MLB); 235 all-purpose yards, 3 touchdowns; 50 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF, 1 FR
    1.0* Jamie Wood (S; Class of 2009; Pickerington Central; Rivals 4*, #4 S, #74 overall; Scout 4*, #9 S, #131 overall); 17 tackles
    3.5* Simon Fraser (DE; Class of 2001; Upper Arlington; Rivals 4*, #7 DE, #75 overall); 62 tackles, 17 TFL's, 7 sacks, 10 deflected passes
    2.5* Tim Schafer (OL; Class of 2002; Upper Arlington; Rivals 4*, #12 SDE; Scout #21 DE)
    2.0* Ben Buchanan (P; Class of 2008; Westerville Central; Rivals 3*, #3 PK; Scout 3*, #4 PK); 41.1 yards per punt; 32.8% inside opponents' 20-yard line; 6 punts blocked
    INC* Nick Vannett (TE; Class of 2011; Westerville Central; Rivals 4*, #13 TE, #192 overall; Scout 4*, #14 TE); redshirt freshman
    0.0* Rocco Pentello (DB; Class of 2007; Westerville South; Rivals 3*, #58 S; Scout 2*, NR); no stats

    Dayton Area (19 signees, 8.6%, 2.93* average)
    2.0* Zach Domincone (DB; Class of 2008; Beavercreek; Rivals 3*, #74 ATH; Scout 3*, #71 S); 23 tackles
    2.5* Austin Spitler (LB; Class of 2005; Bellbrook; Rivals 3*, #48 MLB; Scout 3*, #87 LB); 82 tackles, 8 TFL's, 2 sacks, 1 interception
    0.0* Sam Longo (OL; Class of 2009; Bellbrook; Rivals 3*, #26 OT; Scout 3*, #23 OT)
    5.0* Mike Nugent (PK; Class of 2001; Centerville; Rivals 2*, #8 PK; Scout NR); 356 points, .818 FG percentage
    5.0* A.J. Hawk (LB; Class of 2002; Centerville; Rivals 3*, #30 OLB; Scout 3*, #32 LB); 394 tackles, 41 TFL's, 15.5 sacks, 7 interceptions, 2 touchdowns (interception return, blocked punt)
    INC* Michael Bennett (DL; Class of 2011; Centerville; Rivals 4*, #3 DT, #41 overall; Scout 4*, #8 DT, #57 overall); 17 tackles, 5 TFL's, 3 sacks
    4.0* Kurt Coleman (S; Class of 2006; Clayton Northmont; Rivals 4*, #13 CB; Scout 4*, #14 CB); 219 tackles, 10.5 TFL's, 3 sacks, 9 INT's, 13 PBU's, 5 forced fumbles, 1 blocked kick
    3.0* C.J. Barnett (S; Class of 2009; Clayton Northmont; Rivals 4*, #13 CB, #145 overall; Scout 4*, #14 CB, #136 overall); 224 tackles, 8 interceptions, 12 PBU's
    1.0* Angelo Chattams (WR; Class of 2001; Dayton Chaminade Julienne; Rivals 4*, #9 WR, #67 overall; Scout NR); 2 pass receptions, 26 yards; forced fumble, fumble recovery
    3.5* Marcus Freeman (LB; Class of 2004; Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #4 MLB, #31 overall; Scout 4*, #11 LB); 268 tackles, 21 TFL's, 6 sacks, 2 INT's, 15 PBU's
    1.0* Donnie Evege (DB; Class of 2007; Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #16 CB; Scout 3*, #59 CB); 14 tackles
    INC* Braxton Miller (QB; Class of 2011; Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #1 dual-threat QB, #34 overall; Scout 5*, #2 QB, #36 overall); 1,871 total yards, 20 total touchdowns
    4.5* Nick Mangold (OC; Class of 2002; Kettering Alter; Rivals 4*, #3 OC; Scout NR); 33 starts
    2.0* Andre Amos (CB; Class of 2005; Middletown; Rivals 4*, #25 WR; Scout 4*, #30 WR); 24 tackles, 1 interception
    4.0* Quinn Pitcock (DT; Class of 2002; Piqua; Rivals 4*, #5 DT, #72 overall; Scout 4*, #7 DT, #46 overall); 133 tackles, 27.5 TFL's, 14 sacks, 1 interception
    3.0* Brandon Saine (RB; Class of 2007; Piqua; Rivals 4*, #5 RB, #50 overall; Scout 4*, #11 RB, #88 overall); 1,408 yards, 4.68 average; 55 receptions, 616 yards; 17 total touchdowns
    3.0* Jake Ballard (TE; Class of 2006; Springboro; Rivals 4*, #8 TE; Scout 4*, #6 TE); 34 receptions, 377 yards, 3 touchdowns
    2.5* Todd Denlinger (DT; Class of 2005; Troy; Rivals 4*, #14 DT; Scout 4*, #13 DT); 40 tackles, 9.5 TFL's, 3 sacks, 1 interception
    3.0* Ben Person (OG; Class of 2004; Xenia; Rivals 4*, #10 OG; Scout 4*, #17 OL); 22 starts

    Toledo Area (4 signees, 1.8%, 1.33* average)
    4.0* Dane Sanzenbacher (WR; Class of 2007; Toledo Central Catholic; Rivals 3*, #71 WR; Scout 4*, #58 WR); 124 receptions, 1,879 yards, 19 touchdowns
    0.0* DerJuan Gambrell (DB; Class of 2011; Toledo Rogers; Rivals 3*, #35 CB; Scout 4*, #22 CB); no stats
    0.0* Kenny Hayes (DL; Class of 2011; Toledo Whitmer; Rivals 4*, #7 SDE, #68 overall; Scout 4*, #14 DE, #87 overall); no stats
    4.0* Jack Mewhort (OL; Class of 2009; Toledo St. Johns; Rivals 4*, #2 OC, #212 overall; Scout 4*, #11 OT, #146 overall)

    Youngstown Area (9 signees, 4.1%, 1.92* average)
    4.0* Corey Linsley (OL; Class of 2009; Boardman; Rivals 4*, #6 OG, #174 overall; Scout 4*, #8 OG, #181 overall)
    INC* J.T. Moore (DE; Class of 2010; Boardman; Rivals 3*, #39 WDE; Scout 4*, #36 DE); 9 tackles, 1 sack
    2.5* Shaun Lane (DB; Class of 2004; Hubbard; Rivals 3*, #14 CB; Scout 3*, #32 CB); 50 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 PBU
    3.0* Daniel "Boom" Herron (RB; Class of 2007; Warren Harding; Rivals 4*, #18 RB; Scout 4*, #27 RB); 2,869 yards, 4.85 average, 32 touchdowns
    2.5* Maurice Clarett (RB; Class of 2002; Warren Harding; Rivals 5*, #1 FB, #37 overall; Scout 5*, #5 RB, #26 overall); 221 rushes, 1,237 yards, 5.60 average, 18 touchdowns
    3.5* Doug Datish (OL; Class of 2002; Warren Howland; Rivals 4*, #6 OT; Scout 3*, #43 OL); 35 starts
    4.0* John Simon (DL; Class of 2009; Youngstown Cardinal Mooney; Rivals 3*, #36 DT; Scout 5*, #5 DT, #27 overall); 154 tackles, 43.0 TFL's, 20.5 sacks, 9 pass deflections, 1 interception
    0.0* Louis Irizarry (TE; Class of 2003; Youngstown Ursuline; Rivals 4*, #3 TE, #38 overall; Scout 4*, #4 TE); no stats
    0.0* Jamel Turner (DE; Class of 2010; Youngstown Ursuline; Rivals 4*, #22 WDE; Scout 4*, #6 OLB); never enrolled at Ohio State

    The Rest of the State (8 signees, 3.6%, 2.40* average)
    4.0* Drew Basil (PK; Class of 2010; Chillicothe; Rivals 2*, #12 PK; Scout 3*, #6 PK); 33 for 40 field goals, .825 percentage
    3.5* Ross Homan (LB; Class of 2006; Coldwater; Rivals 4*, #11 OLB; Scout 4*, #14 LB); 275 tackles, 15 TFL's, 5 sacks, 7 interceptions, 11 PBU's
    2.0* Adam Homan (FB; Class of 2009; Coldwater; Rivals 3*, #10 FB; Scout 3*, #10 FB); 3 receptions, 18 yards
    0.0* Redgie Arden (DE; Class of 2001; Ironton; Rivals 4*, #7 LB, #54 overall); 4 receptions, 50 yards; 3 tackles
    3.0* Todd Boeckman (QB; Class of 2004; St. Henry; Rivals 3*, #19 Pro-style QB; Scout 3*, #28 QB); 255/402 (.634), 3,085 yards, 31 touchdowns, 16 interceptions
    2.5* Brandon Schnittker (FB; Class of 2001; Sandusky Perkins; Rivals 1*; Scout NR); 23 carries, 60 yards, 2 touchdowns
    3.0* Joel Penton (DT; Class of 2002; Van Wert; Rivals 3*, #41 SDE; Scout 3*, #37 DE); 46 tackles, 7 TFL's, 2 sacks, fumble recovery
    3.5* Nathan Williams (DE; Class of 2008; Washington Court House Miami Trace; Rivals 4*, #5 WDE, #156 overall; Scout 4*, #24 DE, #243 overall); 132 tackles, 25 TFL's, 12 sacks, 1 interception

    Out of State (88 signees, 39.6%, 1.78*)
    Florida (24 signees, 10.8%, 1.90* average)

    4.5* Santonio Holmes (WR; Class of 2002; Belle Glades Central; Rivals 3*, #38 WR; Scout 4*, #13 WR); 140 receptions, 2,295 yards, 16.4 average, 25 touchdowns; punt return for touchdown
    1.0* Albert Dukes (WR; Class of 2004; Belle Glades Central; Rivals 4*, #14 WR; Scout 4*, #24 WR); 4 receptions for 39 yards
    4.0* Chimdi Chekwa (CB; Class of 2006; Clermont East Ridge; Rivals 3*, #45 CB; Scout 2*, NR); 145 tackles, 5 INT's, 29 PBU's
    0.0* James Scott (S; Class of 2007; Daytona Beach Seabreeze; Rivals 4*, #10 CB; Scout 4*, #12 CB); 6 tackles
    0.0* James Louis (WR; Class of 2010; Delray Beach Atlantic; Rivals 4*, #33 WR, #232 overall; Scout 4*, #29 WR); no stats
    4.5* Chris Gamble (ATH; Class of 2001; Fort Lauderdale Dillard; Rivals 2*, #89 WR; Scout NR); 1,568 all-purpose yards; 65 tackles, 7 interceptions, 21 passes broken up; 43-yard TD run; 40-yard pick six
    0.0* Quinton Thomas (DL; Class of 2001; Fort Lauderdale Dillard; Rivals 2*, #90 DE; Scout NR); never enrolled at Ohio State
    3.5* Nate Salley (S; Class of 2002; Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas; Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #7 S; Scout 4*, #19 S); 181 tackles, 3 INT's, 15 PBU's, 1 blocked kick
    0.0* Duron Carter (WR; Class of 2009; Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas; Rivals 4*, #11 WR, #90 overall; Scout 4*, #10 WR, #93 overall); 13 receptions, 176 yards, 1 touchdown
    0.0* Dennis Kennedy (RB; Class of 2004; Fort Lauderdale Stranahan; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, #62 CB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    3.0* Chris Vance (WR; Class of 2001; Fort Meyers; Fort Scott Community College; Rivals 4*; Scout NR); 47 receptions, 783 yards, 16.7 average, 7 touchdowns
    3.0* Orhian Johnson (S; Class of 2008; Gulfport Boca Ciega; Rivals 3*, #35 ATH; Scout 3*, #30 QB); 131 tackles, 6 INT's, 10 PBU's, 2 FF's, 1 block
    3.5* Brian Rolle (LB; Class of 2007; Immokalee; Rivals 4*, #17 QB; Scout 4*, #6 WLB); 210 tackles, 21.5 TFL's, 3.5 sacks, 4 interceptions
    2.5* Maurice Wells (RB; Class of 2005; Jacksonville Sandalwood; Rivals 4*, #4 all-purpose back; Scout 4*, #19 RB); 1,271 yards rushing, 4.14 average, 145 yards receiving, 12 total touchdowns
    3.0* Etienne Sabino (LB; Class of 2008; Miami Dr. Krop; Rivals 4*, #1 MLB, #46 overall; Scout 5*, #2 MLB, #39 overall); 119 tackles, 10.5 TFL's, 4.5 sacks, INT, TD on blocked punt
    3.0* Travis Howard (CB; Class of 2008; Miami Dr. Krop; Rivals 4*, #19 CB; Scout 3*, #24 CB); 96 tackles, 8 INT's, 13 PBU's, blocked punt, pick six
    0.0* Jaamal Berry (ATH; Class of 2009; Miami Palmetto; Rivals 4*, #5 RB, #56 overall; Scout 4*, #8 RB, #69 overall); 970 all-purpose yards, 1 touchdown
    4.0* Carlos Hyde (RB; Class of 2010 Naples; Rivals 4*, #2 FB; Scout 4*, #1 FB); 3,202 yards, 6.12 average, 37 touchdowns, 78.1 yards per game
    INC* Jeff Heuerman (TE; Class of 2011; Naples Barron Collier; Rivals 3*, #18 TE; Scout 3*, #24 TE); 1 reception, 25 yards
    4.5* Michael Brewster (OC; Class of 2008; Orlando Edgewater; Rivals 5*, #4 OT, #12 overall; Scout 5*, #1 OC, #23 overall); 49 starts
    0.0* Jeremy Cash (S; Class of 2011; Plantation; Rivals 3*, #25 S; Scout 3*, #30 S); 3 tackles
    4.0* Ryan Shazier (LB; Class of 2011; Plantation; Rivals 4*, #14 OLB; Scout 4*, #5 OLB, #81 overall); 315 tackles, 44.5 TFL's, 9 forced fumbles, 2 blocks, pick six
    0.0* Walter Dublin (DE; Class of 2006; Sarasota; Rivals 3*, #28 WDE; Scout 3*, NR); no stats
    3.0* Lydell Ross (RB; Class of 2001; Tampa Gaither; Rivals 4*, #26 RB; Scout NR); 2,339 yards, 3.92 average, 26 touchdowns

    Pennsylvania (14 signees, 6.3%, 1.95* average)
    3.0* Rory Nicol (TE; Class of 2004; Beaver; Rivals 4*, #4 TE; Scout 4*, #2 TE); 38 receptions, 329 yards, 6 touchdowns
    1.0* Chad Hagan (DB; Class of 2010; Canonsburg Canon McMillan; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #84 S)
    2.0* Kyle Mitchum (OL; Class of 2004; Erie McDowell; Rivals 4*, #6 OT, #56 overall; Scout 4*, #7 OL)
    4.0* Terrelle Pryor (QB; Class of 2008; Jeannette; Rivals 5*, #1 dual-threat QB, #1 overall; Scout 5*, #1 QB, #1 overall); 8,360 total yards, 76 total touchdowns
    3.5* Jordan Hall (ATH; Class of 2009; Jeannette; Rivals 4*, #27 ATH; Scout 3*, #38 RB); 3,498 all-purpose yards; 20 total touchdowns
    2.0* Evan Blankenship (OL; Class of 2007; Monaca Center; Rivals 3*, #27 OG; Scout 3*, #50 OG)
    2.0* Jon Skinner (OL; Class of 2004, Mount Carmel; Rivals 3*, #39 OG; Scout 3*, #94 OL)
    0.0* Dorian Bell (LB; Class of 2009; Pittsburgh Gateway; Rivals 5*, #3 OLB, #33 overall; Scout 5*, #2 WLB, #19 overall); 9 tackles
    2.5* Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown (DB; Class of 2009; Pittsburgh Gateway; Rivals 5*, #6 CB, #31 overall; Scout 4*, #9 CB, #74 overall); 81 tackles, 1 interception
    1.0* Devon Lyons (WR; Class of 2004; Pittsburgh Woodland Hills; Rivals 4*, #5 safety; Scout 3*, #17 S); 2 receptions for 15 yards
    0.0* Ejuan Price (LB; Class of 2011; Pittsburgh Woodland Hills; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 4*, #14 MLB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    3.5* Corey "Philly" Brown (WR; Class of 2010; Springfield Cardinal O'Hara; Rivals 4*, #10 ATH, #118 overall; Scout 4*, #25 WR); 145 receptions, 1,750 yards, 15 touchdowns; 2 punt return TD's
    3.0* Andrew Sweat (LB; Class of 2008; Washington Trinity; Rivals 4*, #17 MLB; Scout 4*, #6 MLB, #98 overall); 133 tackles, 9 TFL's, 3 interceptions
    2.5* Andy Miller (OT; Class of 2006; Washington Trinity; Rivals 3*, #41 TE; Scout 3*, NR); 4 starts

    Georgia (8 signees, 3.6%, 2.25* average)
    3.5* Anderson Russell (S; Class of 2005; Atlanta Marist; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 3*, #84 RB); 195 tackles, 10 TFL's, 3 sacks, 6 INT's, 11 PBU's, 5 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries
    3.0* Brandon Mitchell (S; Class of 2002; Atlanta Mays; Rivals 3*, #35 S; Scout 4*, #26 S); 106 tackles, 5 TFL's, 5 INT's, 9 PBU's, 2 pick sixes
    INC* Bryce Haynes (LS; Class of 2011; Cumming Pinecrest Academy; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*); redshirt freshman
    0.0* Antonio Henton (QB; Class of 2006; Fort Valley Peach County; Rivals 3*, #9 dual-threat QB; Scout 4*, #13 QB); 3/6 (.500), 57 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions
    0.0* Keith Wells (DE; Class of 2008; Gainesville; Rivals 3*, #15 WDE; Scout 4*, #16 DE, #199 overall); no stats
    3.0* Larry Grant (LB; Class of 2006; Norcross; City College of San Francisco; Rivals 4* JUCO; Scout 5* JUCO); 69 tackles, 10 TFL's, 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 passes broken up, 3 blocked kicks
    4.0* Cameron Heyward (DL; Class of 2007; Suwanee Peachtree Ridge; Rivals 4*, 313 DT; Scout 4*, #20 DT); 163 tackles, 37.5 TFL's, 15.5 sacks, 5 deflected passes, 1 touchdown (fumble recovery), safety
    4.5* Bradley Roby (CB; Class of 2010; Suwanee Peachtree Ridge; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 3*, #44 CB); 179 tackles, 7.5 TFL's, 8 INT's, 36 PBU's, 3 blocks, 5 touchdowns

    Michigan (6 signees, 2.7%, 2.25* average)
    4.5* Vernon Gholston (DE; Class of 2004; Detroit Cass Tech; Rivals 4*, #11 WDE; Scout 3*, #39 DE); 86 tackles, 30.5 TFL's, 22.5 sacks, fumble recovery for a touchdown
    3.5* Johnathan Hankins (DT; Class of 2010; Detroit Southeastern; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #48 DT); 83 tackles, 12 TFL's, 4 sacks
    0.0* James Jackson (WR; Class of 2009; Grand Ledge; Rivals 4*, #32 WR, #225 overall; Scout 4*, #32 WR); no stats
    3.0* Reid Fragel (OL; Class of 2009; Grosse Pointe South; Rivals 3*, #11 TE; Scout 4*, #12 TE, #294 overall); 14 receptions, 185 yards, 1 touchdown; 12 starts at RT
    2.5* Aaron Gant (S; Class of 2006; Orchard Lake St. Mary's; Rivals 3*, #17 FB; Scout 2*, NR); 46 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 PBU
    2.0* Taurian Washington (WR; Class of 2007; Orchard Lake St. Mary's; Rivals 4*, NR; Scout 4*, #40 WR); 8 receptions, 107 yards, 1 touchdown

    Indiana (5 signees, 2.3%, 2.17* average)
    INC* Roderick Smith (RB; Class of 2010; Fort Wayne Harding; Rivals 4*, #6 RB, #65 overall; Scout 4*, #8 RB, #51 overall); 116 yards, 1 touchdown
    INC* Joel Hale (DT; Class of 2011; Greenwood Center Grove; Rivals 3*, #35 DT; Scout 3*, #30 DT); 4 tackles
    3.0* Donald Washington III (CB; Class of 2005; Indianapolis Franklin Central; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 3*, #90 WR); 102 tackles, 3 INT's, 4 PBU's, 3 fumble recoveries
    0.0* Ryan Cook (OL; Class of 2001; Martinsville; Rivals 2*, #87 OL; Scout NR)
    3.5* Dexter Larimore (DT; Class of 2006; Merrillville; Rivals 3*, #39 DT; Scout 3*, #60 DT); 91 tackles, 16.5 TFL's, 8 sacks

    Illinois (4 signees, 1.8%, 0.00* average)
    3.0* Garrett Goebel (DT; Class of 2008; Lombard Montini; Rivals 4*, #6 DT, #64 overall; Scout 4*, #4 DT, #51 overall); 86 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sack, blocked kick
    INC* Evan Spencer (WR; Class of 2011; Vernon Hills; Rivals 3*, #51 WR; Scout 4*, #19 WR, #139 overall); 3 receptions, 78 yards, 1 touchdown
    0.0* Taylor Graham (QB; Class of 2010; Wheaton North; Rivals 4*, #14 pro-style QB, #236 overall; Scout 3*, #51 QB); no stats
    0.0* Brian Bobek (OC; Class of 2011; Palatine Fremd; Rivals 4*, #3 OC, #250 overall; Scout 4*, #1 OC, #98 overall)

    California (4 signees, 1.8%, 0.50* average)
    2.0* Grant Schwartz (ATH; Class of 2006; Dana Point Dana Hills; Rivals 3*, #40 S; Scout 2*, NR); 4 tackles; 5 receptions, 39 yards
    0.0* Mark Johnson (LB; Class of 2006; Los Angeles Dorsey; Rivals 4*, #6 MLB; Scout 4*, #12 LB); 3 tackles
    0.0* Ryan Williams (DE; Class of 2005; Mission Viejo; Rivals 4*, #12 SDE; Scout 3*, #62 DE); no stats
    0.0* JaJa Riley (RB; Class of 2001; San Diego Mission Bay; Rivals 3*, #68 RB; Scout NR); 44 yards on 12 carries

    Maryland (4 signees, 1.8%, 0.88* average)
    2.5* Stan White, Jr. (FB; Class of 2002; Baltimore Gilman; Rivals 4*, # 18 OLB; Scout 4*, #9 TE); 11 receptions, 78 yards
    1.0* Conner Crowell (LB; Class of 2011; Waldorf North Point; Rivals 3*, #24 OLB; Scout 3*, #24 MLB); one tackle in 3 games
    0.0* Lamaar Thomas (ATH; Class of 2008; Fort Washington Friendly; Rivals 4*, #4 ATH, #33 overall; Scout 4*, #10 RB, #107 overall); 766 all-purpose yards
    0.0* Dominic Clarke (CB; Class of 2009; Frederick Tuscarora; Rivals 4*, #19 CB, #177 overall; Scout 4*, #26 CB, #262 overall); 26 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PBU's

    Texas (3 signees, 1.4%, 3.50* average)
    3.0* Kenny Guiton (QB; Class of 2009; Houston Eisenhower; Rivals 3*, #35 dual-threat QB; Scout 3*, #53 QB); 89/134 (.664), 16 TD's, 4 INT's; 383 yards rushing, 6 TD's
    3.5* J.B. Shugarts (OT; Class of 2008; Klein; Rivals 4*, #11 OT, #87 overall; Scout 5*, #7 OT, #34 overall); 35 starts
    3.5* Ashton Youboty (CB; Class of 2003; Klein; Rivals 4*, #14 S; Scout 3*, #24 CB); 131 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, 5 INT's, 23 PBU's, 1 TD (blocked field goal)

    New Jersey (2 signees, 0.9%, 2.50* average)
    0.0* Ira Guilford (DB; Class of 2003; Hoboken; Rivals 4*, #8 S; Scout 3*, #19 CB); 28 rushes, 64 yards
    5.0* Malcolm Jenkins (CB; Class of 2005; Piscataway; Rivals 3*, #61 CB; Scout 3*, #28 S); 196 tackles, 13.5 TFL's, 11 INT's, 17 PBU's, 4 forced fumbles, 2 blocked kicks, 2 pick sixes

    North Carolina (2 signees, 0.9%, 0.00* average)
    0.0* David Durham (FB; Class of 2010; Charlotte Christian; Rivals 3*; NR; Scout 3*, #100 OLB); no stats
    0.0* Derek Morris (OL; Class of 2002; Huntersville North Mecklenburg; Rivals 5*, #2 OT, #24 overall; Scout 5*, #6 OL)

    Virginia (2 signees, 0.9%, 0.00* average)
    0.0* LeAndre Boone (DB; Class of 2001; Herndon; Rivals NR; Scout NR); no stats
    INC* Curtis Grant (LB; Class of 2011; Richmond Hermitage; Rivals 5*, #1 MLB, #2 overall*; Scout 5*, #1 OLB, #19 overall); 2 tackles

    Kentucky (2 signees, 0.9%, 1.50* average)
    3.0* Marcus Green (DT; Class of 2001; Louisville Male; Rivals 3*, #85 OL; Scout NR); 86 tackles, 7.5 TFL's, 3 sacks
    0.0* Jordan Whiting (LB; Class of 2009; Louisville Trinity; Rivals 4*, #15 MLB; Scout 3*, #16 MLB); 1 tackle

    Minnesota (2 signees, 0.9%, 2.50* average)
    5.0* James Laurinaitis (LB; Class of 2005; Plymouth Wayzata; Rivals 3*, #28 MLB; Scout 3*, #45 LB); 375 tackles, 24.5 TFL's, 13 sacks, 9 interceptions, 7 passes broken up, 4 forced fumbles
    0.0* Willie Mobley (DL; Class of 2008; Eden Prairie; Rivals 4*, #9 DT, #174 overall; Scout 4*, #13 DT, #201 overall); no stats

    New York (1 signee, 0.45%, 3.50* average)
    3.5* Doug Worthington (DL; Class of 2005; Athol Springs St. Francis; Rival 4*, #5 SDE, #80 nationally; Scout 5*, #3 DE, #42 overall); 104 tackles, 12 TFL's, 4.5 sacks, 1 interception

    Louisiana (1 signee, 0.45%, 3.00* average)
    3.0* Nader Abdallah (DT; Class of 2004; Metairie; Rivals 3*, #30 DT; Scout 3*, #44 DT); 54 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, 4 deflected passes

    Missouri (1 signee, 0.45%, 2.0* average)
    2.0* Nick Patterson (S; Class of 2004; St. Louis Hazelwood Central; Rivals 3*, #30 ATH; Scout 3*, #41 S); 18 tackles, 1 interception

    South Carolina (1 signee, 0.45%, 1.0* average)
    1.0* Aram Olson (FB; Class of 2006; Columbia Irmo; Rivals 3*, #6 FB; Scout 3*, NR); no stats

    West Virginia (1 signee, 0.45%, 1.0* average)
    1.0* R.J. Coleman (OL; Class of 2002; Clarksburg Robert C. Byrd; Rivals 4*, #6 TE; Scout 4*, #7 TE)

    Ontario (1 signee, 0.45%, 1.0* average)
    1.0* Mike Roberts (CB; Class of 2002; Toronto Central Teck; Rivals 3*, #49 CB; Scout NR); 2 tackles
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
    BB73 likes this.
  14. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    Tressel Era Recruits By Position

    What is most surprising about this analysis is that the offensive linemen performed so well, with an average star rating of 2.54, the highest of any major position group. Part of the reason for this high rating is that, despite the frequent Bollman bashing, the Buckeyes actually did produce many quality offensive linemen during the Tressel era, including All Americans Nick Mangold, Michael Brewster, and Kirk Barton, together with All Big Ten first team selections Rob Sims, Doug Datish, T.J. Downing, Alex Boone, and Mike Adams. Another reason is that, with a relatively low number of offensive line signees, marginal talents like Ben Person, Steve Rehring, Jim Cordle, and Bryant Browning were able to lock down starting roles for several years each, primarily by competing against walk-ons and cast-offs - if you sign too few kids, then you have to play the ones that you've got. A final reason is that the staff did a fine job of keeping the players in the program, as to date only five of the thirty-four offensive line signees have been busts (two career-ending injuries, two transfers, one player never enrolled).

    Even though it contains two five-star performers, the linebacker position group has a surprisingly low rating of just 2.11 stars. One reason for this is that a third of the rated players busted out. Another reason is that, at Ohio State, the standard for linebackers is set very high, with the likes of Randy Gradishar, Tom Cousineau, Marcus Marek, Pepper Johnson, Chris Spielman, Steve Tovar, Andy Katzenmoyer, Matt Wilhelm, A.J. Hawk, and James Laurinaitis leading the way. Therefore, great players like Marcus Freeman, Brian Rolle, and Ross Homan, who would be legends at most schools, merit only three-and-a-half star ratings at the real Linebacker University.

    Quarterback (9 signees, 2.07*)
    5.0* Troy Smith (Class of 2002; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #12 dual-threat QB; Scout 4*, #15 QB); 420/670 (.627), 5,720 yards, 54 touchdowns, 13 interceptions; 1,168 yards rushing, 14 touchdowns
    4.0* Terrelle Pryor (Class of 2008; Jeannette, Pennsylvania; Rivals 5*, #1 dual-threat QB, #1 overall; Scout 5*, #1 QB, #1 overall);
    3.0* Todd Boeckman (Class of 2004; Rivals 3*, #19 Pro-style QB; Scout 3*, #28 QB); 255/402 (.634), 3,085 yards, 31 touchdowns, 16 interceptions
    INC* Kenny Guiton (QB; Class of 2009; Houston Eisenhower; Rivals 3*, #35 dual-threat QB; Scout 3*, #53 QB); 89/134 (.664), 893 yards, 16 TD, 4 INT; 383 yards rushing and 6 TD
    2.5* Justin Zwick (Class of 2002; Massillon Washington; Rivals 4*, #3 pro-style QB, #40 overall; Scout 4*, #14 QB); 158/276 (.572), 1,779 yards, 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
    0.0* Rob Schoenhoft (Class of 2005; Cincinnati St. Xavier' Rivals 4*, #6 pro-style QB; Scout 4*, #17 QB); 18/26 (.692), 134 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
    0.0* Antonio Henton (Class of 2006; Fort Valley (GA) Peach County; Rivals 3*, #9 dual-threat QB; Scout 4*, #13 QB); 3/6 (.500), 57 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions
    0.0* Taylor Graham (Class of 2010; Wheaton (IL) North; Rivals 4*, #14 pro-style QB, #236 overall; Scout 3*, #51 QB); no stats
    INC* Braxton Miller (QB; Class of 2011; Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #1 dual-threat QB, #34 overall; Scout 5*, #2 QB, #36 overall); 1,871 total yards, 20 total touchdowns

    Running Back (14 signees, 2.05*)
    4.5* Chris "Beanie" Wells (Class of 2006; Akron Garfield; Rivals 5*, #1 RB, #3 overall; Scout 5*, #1 RB, #1 overall); 3,382 yards, 5.78 average, 30 touchdowns, 93.9 yards per game
    4.0* Carlos Hyde (RB; Class of 2010 Naples, Florida; Rivals 4*, #2 FB; Scout 4*, #1 FB); 3,202 yards, 6.12 average, 37 touchdowns, 78.1 yards per game
    4.0* Antonio Pittman Class of 2004; Akron Buchtel; Rivals 4*, #13 RB; Scout 3*, #31 RB); 2,945 yards, 5.29 average, 22 touchdowns
    3.0* Lydell Ross (Class of 2001; Tampa Gaither); 2,339 yards, 3.92 average, 26 touchdowns
    3.0* Brandon Saine (Class of 2007; Piqua; Rivals 4*, #5 RB, #50 overall; Scout 4*, #11 RB, #88 overall); 1,408 yards, 4.68 average; 55 receptions, 616 yards; 17 total touchdowns
    3.0* Daniel "Boom" Herron (Class of 2007; Warren Harding; Rivals 4*, #18 RB; Scout 4*, #27 RB); 2,869 yards, 4.85 average, 32 touchdowns
    2.5* Maurice Clarett (Class of 2002; Warren Harding; Rivals 5*, #1 FB, #37 overall; Scout 5*, #5 RB, #26 overall); 221 rushes, 1,237 yards, 5.60 average, 18 touchdowns
    2.5* Maurice Wells (Class of 2005; Jacksonville Sandalwood; Rivals 4*, #4 all-purpose back; Scout 4*, #19 RB); 1,271 yards rushing, 4.14 average, 145 yards receiving, 12 total touchdowns
    0.0* JaJa Riley (Class of 2001; San Diego Mission Bay); 44 yards on 12 carries
    0.0* Erik Haw (Class of 2004; Columbus Independence; Rivals 3*, #23 RB; Scout 3*, #58 RB); 14 rushes, 61 yards, 1 touchdown
    0.0* Dennis Kennedy (Class of 2004; Ft. Lauderdale Stranahan; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, #62 CB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* Jermil Martin (Class of 2008; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 11 rushes, 88 yards, 1 touchdown
    1.0* Adam Griffin (RB; Class of 2010; Columbus DeSales; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout NR); 14 tackles
    INC* Roderick Smith (RB; Class of 2010; Fort Wayne (IN) Harding; Rivals 4*, #6 RB, #65 overall; Scout 4*, #8 RB, #51 overall); 116 yards, 1 touchdown

    Fullback (7 signees, 1.86*)
    2.5* Brandon Schnittker (Class of 2001; Sandusky Perkins); 23 carries, 60 yards, 2 touchdowns
    2.5* Stan White, Jr. (Class of 2002; Baltimore Gilman; Rivals 4*, # 18 OLB; Scout 4*, #9 TE); 11 receptions, 78 yards
    2.5* Dionte Johnson (Class of 2004; Columbus Eastmoor; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 14 total yards
    2.5* Brandon Smith (Class of 2004; Euclid; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 16 receptions, 139 yards
    2.0* Adam Homan (FB; Class of 2009; Coldwater; Rivals 3*, #10 FB; Scout 3*, #10 FB); 3 receptions, 18 yards
    1.0* Aram Olson (Class of 2006; Columbia (SC) Irmo; Rivals 3*, #6 FB; Scout 3*, NR)
    0.0* David Durham (Class of 2010; Charlotte (NC) Christian; Rivals 3*; NR; Scout 3*, #100 OLB); no stats

    Wide Receiver (22 signees, 2.16*)
    4.5* Santonio Holmes (Class of 2002; Belle Glades (FL) Central; Rivals 3*, #38 WR; Scout 4*, #13 WR); 140 receptions, 2,295 yards, 16.4 average, 25 touchdowns; punt return for touchdown
    4.0* Brian Robiskie (Class of 2005; Chagrin Falls; Rivals 3*, #61 WR; Scout 2*, NR); 127 receptions, 1,866 yards, 24 touchdowns
    4.0* Dane Sanzenbacher (Class of 2007; Toledo Central Catholic; Rivals 3*, #71 WR; Scout 4*, #58 WR); 124 receptions, 1,879 yards, 19 touchdowns
    3.5* Anthony Gonzalez (Class of 2003; Cleveland St. Ignatius; Rivals 4*, #16 CB; Scout 4*, #8 CB); 87 receptions, 1,286 yards, 13 touchdowns
    3.5* Brian Hartline (Class of 2005; Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 3*, #36 WR; Scout 4*, #31 WR); 90 receptions, 1,429 yards, 12 touchdowns; school record 90-yard punt return for touchdown
    3.5* DeVier Posey (Class of 2008; Cincinnati LaSalle; Rivals 5*, #3 WR, #21 overall; Scout 5*, #4 WR, #15 overall); 136 receptions, 1,955 yards, 18 touchdowns
    INC* Corey "Philly" Brown (WR; Class of 2010; Springfield (PA) Cardinal O'Hara; Rivals 4*, #10 ATH, #118 overall; Scout 4*, #25 WR); 145 receptions, 1,750 yards, 15 touchdowns; 2 punt return TD's
    3.0* Chris Vance (Class of 2001; Fort Meyers, Florida; Fort Scott Community College); 47 receptions, 783 yards, 16.7 average, 7 touchdowns
    2.5* Roy Hall (Class of 2002; Lyndhurst Brush; Rivals 4*, #19 WR; Scout 4*, #24 WR); 52 receptions, 580 yards, 3 touchdowns
    INC* Chris Fields (WR; Class of 2009; Painesville Harvey; Rivals 4*, #19 WR, #129 overall; 3*, #46 WR); 31 receptions, 384 yards, 7 touchdowns; 69-yard punt return TD
    2.0* Taurian Washington (Class of 2007; Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's; Rivals 4*, NR; Scout 4*, #40 WR); 8 receptions, 107 yards, 1 touchdown
    1.0* Angelo Chattams (Class of 2001; Dayton Chaminade Julienne); 2 pass receptions, 26 yards; forced fumble, fumble recovery
    1.0* Devin Jordan (Class of 2003; Massillon Washington; Rivals 3*, #29 WR; Scout 3*, #51 WR); injured and did not play
    1.0* Albert Dukes (Class of 2004; Belle Glades (FL) Central; Rivals 4*, #14 WR; Scout 4*, #24 WR); 4 receptions for 39 yards
    1.0* Devon Lyons (Class of 2004; Pittsburgh Woodland Hills; Rivals 4*, #5 safety; Scout 3*, #17 S); 2 receptions for 15 yards
    1.0* Verlon Reed (Class of 2010; WR; Columbus Marion Franklin; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 3*, #37 S); 10 receptions, 145 yards
    0.0* Duron Carter (Class of 2009; Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas; Rivals 4*, #11 WR, #90 overall; Scout 4*, #10 WR, #93 overall); 13 receptions, 176 yards, 1 touchdown
    0.0* James Jackson (Class of 2009; Grand Ledge, Michigan; Rivals 4*, #32 WR, #225 overall; Scout 4*, #32 WR); no stats
    0.0* James Louis (Class of 2010; Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic; Rivals 4*, #33 WR, #232 overall; Scout 4*, #29 WR); no stats
    0.0* Tyrone Williams (WR; Class of 2010; East Cleveland Shaw; Rivals 3*, #49 WR; Scout 4*, #32 WR); 5 receptions, 74 yards
    INC* Devin Smith (WR; Class of 2011; Massillon Washington; Rivals 3*, #58 WR; Scout 4*, #29 WR); 14 receptions, 294 yards, 4 touchdowns
    INC* Evan Spencer (WR; Class of 2011; Vernon Hills, Illinois; Rivals 3*, #51 WR; Scout 4*, #19 WR, #139 overall); 3 receptions, 78 yards, 1 touchdown

    Tight End (10 signees, 1.29*)
    3.5* Jake Stoneburner (TE; Class of 2008; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 4*, #3 TE, #120 overall; Scout 4*, #4 TE, #65 overall); 53 receptions, 714 yards, 13 touchdowns
    3.0* Ryan Hamby (Class of 2001; Cincinnati Moeller); 45 receptions; 482 yards, 5 touchdowns; 3 solo tackles
    3.0* Rory Nicol (Class of 2004; Beaver, Pennsylvania; Rivals 4*, #4 TE; Scout 4*, #2 TE); 38 receptions, 329 yards, 6 touchdowns
    3.0* Jake Ballard (Class of 2006; Springboro; Rivals 4*, #8 TE; Scout 4*, #6 TE); 34 receptions, 377 yards, 3 touchdowns.
    0.0* Louis Irizarry (Class of 2003; Youngstown Ursuline; Rivals 4*, #3 TE, #38 overall; Scout 4*, #4 TE); no stats
    0.0* Marcel Frost (Class of 2003; Lyndhurst Brush; Rivals 3* #31 TE; Scout 4*, #11 TE); 7 receptions, 70 yards
    0.0* Nic DiLillo (Class of 2008; Madison; Rivals 3*, #28 TE; Scout 3*, #39 TE); no stats
    0.0* Chad Hoobler (Class of 2004; Carrollton; Rivals 4*, #3 TE; Scout 4*, #4 TE)
    INC* Nick Vannett (TE; Class of 2011; Westerville Central; Rivals 4*, #13 TE, #192 overall; Scout 4*, #14 TE); redshirt freshman
    INC* Jeff Heuerman (TE; Class of 2011; Naples (FL) Barron Collier; Rivals 3*, #18 TE; Scout 3*, #24 TE); 1 reception, 25 yards

    Offensive Line (34 signees, 2.54*)
    4.5* Nick Mangold (Class of 2002; Kettering Alter; Rivals 4*, #3 OC; Scout NR); 33 starts
    4.5* Michael Brewster (Class of 2008; Orlando Edgewater; Rivals 5*, #4 OT, #12 overall; Scout 5*, #1 OC, #23 overall); 49 starts
    4.0* Rob Sims (Class of 2002; Nordonia; Rivals 4*, #20 OG; Scout 3*, #38 OL); 40 starts
    4.0* Kirk Barton (Class of 2003; Massillon Perry; Rivals 3*, #60 OT; Scout 3*, #101 OL)
    4.0* Jack Mewhort (OL; Class of 2009; Toledo St. Johns; Rivals 4*, #2 OC, #212 overall; Scout 4*, #11 OT, #146 overall)
    4.0* Corey Linsley (OL; Class of 2009; Boardman; Rivals 4*, #6 OG, #174 overall; Scout 4*, #8 OG, #181 overall)
    4.0* Andrew Norwell (OL; Class of 2010; Cincinnati Anderson; Rivals 4*, #9 OT, #59 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OT, #8 overall)
    3.5* Doug Datish (Class of 2002; Warren Howland; Rivals 4*, #6 OT; Scout 3*, #43 OL); 35 starts
    3.5* Alex Boone (Class of 2005; Lakewood St. Edwards; Rivals 5*, #3 OT, #20 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OL, #15 overall); 36 starts
    3.5* Bryant Browning (Class of 2006; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #20 OG; Scout 3*, #61 OL); 39 starts
    3.5* Mike Adams (Class of 2008; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 5*, #1 OT, #3 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OT, #11 overall); 25 starts
    3.5* J.B. Shugarts (Class of 2008; Klein, Texas; Rivals 4*, #11 OT, #87 overall; Scout 5*, #7 OT, #34 overall); 35 starts
    3.5* Marcus Hall (OL; Class of 2009; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #6 OT, #52 overall; Scout 4*, #5 OT, #65 overall)
    3.0* T.J. Downing (Class of 2002; Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 3*, #35 OG; Scout 2*, #121 OL); 24 starts
    3.0* Ben Person (Class of 2004; Xenia; Rivals 4*, #10 OG; Scout 4*, #17 OL); 22 starts
    3.0* Steve Rehring (Class of 2004; Lakota West; Rivals 3*, #29 OT; Scout 3*, #48 OL); 23 starts
    3.0* Jim Cordle (Class of 2005; Lancaster; Rivals 4*, #7 OG; Scout 4*, #30 OL); 33 starts
    3.0* Reid Fragel (OL; Class of 2009; Grosse Pointe (MI) South; Rivals 3*, #11 TE; Scout 4*, #12 TE, #294 overall); 14 receptions, 185 yards, 1 touchdown
    2.5* Tim Schafer (Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #12 SDE; Scout #21 DE)
    2.5* Andy Miller (Class of 2006; Washington (PA) Trinity; Rivals 3*, #41 TE; Scout 3*, NR); 4 starts
    2.0* Andree Tyree (Class of 2001; London)
    2.0* Kyle Mitchum (Class of 2004; Erie (PA) McDowell; Rivals 4*, #6 OT, #56 overall; Scout 4*, #7 OL)
    2.0* Jon Skinner (Class of 2004, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania; Rivals 3*, #39 OG; Scout 3*, #94 OL)
    2.0* Connor Smith (Class of 2006; Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 4*, #4 OG, #55 overall; Scout 5*, #4 OL, #30 overall)
    2.0* Evan Blankenship (Class of 2007; Monaca (PA) Center; Rivals 3*, #27 OG; Scout 3*, #50 OG)
    1.0* Adam Olds (Class of 2001; Dublin Coffman)
    1.0* R.J. Coleman (Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #6 TE; Scout 4*, #7 TE)
    0.0* Ryan Cook (Class of 2001; Martinsville, Indiana)
    0.0* Derek Morris (Class of 2002; Rivals 5*, #2 OT, #24 overall; Scout 5*, #6 OL)
    0.0* Sam Longo (Class of 2009; Bellbrook; Rivals 3*, #26 OT; Scout 3*, #23 OT)
    0.0* Brian Bobek (OC; Class of 2011; Palatine (IL) Fremd; Rivals 4*, #3 OC, #250 overall; Scout 4*, #1 OC, #98 overall)
    INC* Tommy Brown (OL; Class of 2011; Akron Firestone; Rivals 3*, #42 OG; Scout 3*, #83 OT); redshirt freshman
    INC* Chris Carter, Jr. (OL; Class of 2011; Cleveland JFK; Rivals 3*, #24 OG; Scout 3*, #27 OG); redshirt freshman
    INC* Antonio Underwood (OL: Class of 2011; Shaker Heights; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #22 OG); redshirt freshman

    Defensive Line (42 signees, 1.92*)
    4.5* Vernon Gholston (Class of 2004; Detroit Cass Tech; Rivals 4*, #11 WDE; Scout 3*, #39 DE); 86 tackles, 30.5 TFL's, 22.5 sacks, fumble recovery for a touchdown
    4.0* Quinn Pitcock (Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #5 DT, #72 overall; Scout 4*, #7 DT, #46 overall); 133 tackles, 27.5 TFL's, 14 sacks, 1 interception
    4.0* Cameron Heyward (DL; Class of 2007; Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge; Rivals 4*, 313 DT; Scout 4*, #20 DT); 163 tackles, 37.5 TFL's, 15.5 sacks, 5 deflected passes, 1 touchdown (fumble recovery), safety
    4.0* John Simon (DL; Class of 2009; Youngstown Cardinal Mooney; Rivals 3*, #36 DT; Scout 5*, #5 DT, #27 overall); 154 tackles, 43 TFL's, 20.5 sacks, 9 pass deflections, 1 interception
    4.0* Johnathan Hankins (DT; Class of 2010; Detroit Southeastern; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #48 DT);138 tackles, 16.5 TFL's, 5 sacks, blocked kick
    3.5* Mike Kudla (Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #18 SDE; Scout 5*, #2 DE, #49 overall); 90 tackles, 20 TFL's, 14.5 sacks, fumble recovery for a touchdown
    3.5* Doug Worthington (Class of 2005; Athol Springs (NY) St. Francis; Rival 4*, #5 SDE, #80 nationally; Scout 5*, #3 DE, #42 overall); 104 tackles, 12 TFL's, 4.5 sacks, 1 interception
    3.5* Simon Fraser (Class of 2001; Upper Arlington; Rivals 4*, #7 DE, #75 overall); 62 tackles, 17 TFL's, 7 sacks, 10 deflected passes
    3.5* Dexter Larimore (DT; Class of 2006; Merrillville, Indiana; Rivals 3*, #39 DT; Scout 3*, #60 DT); 91 tackles, 16.5 TFL's, 8 sacks
    3.5* Thaddeus Gibson (DE; Class of 2006; Euclid; Rivals 4*, #9 OLB; Scout 4*, #9 LB); 82 tackles, 25 TFL's, 10 sacks, 1 interception, 1 touchdown (fumble recovery)
    3.5* Nathan Williams (DE; Class of 2008; Washington Court House Miami Trace; Rivals 4*, #5 WDE, #156 overall; Scout 4*, #24 DE, #243 overall); 132 tackles, 215 TFL's, 12 sacks, 1 interception
    3.0* Marcus Green (Class of 2001; Louisville (KY) Male); 86 tackles, 7.5 TFL's, 3 sacks
    3.0* Jay Richardson (Class of 2002; Rivals 3*, #32 SDE; Scout NR); 52 tackles, 12.5 TFL's, 7 sacks, 9 pass deflections
    3.0* Joel Penton (Class of 2002; Rivals 3*, #41 SDE; Scout 3*, #37 DE); 46 tackles, 7 TFL's, 2 sacks, fumble recovery
    3.0* David Patterson (Class of 2003; Warrensville Heights; Rivals 4*, #7 DT, #83 overall; Scout 4*, #4 DT); 72 tackles, 17 TFL's, 8 sacks
    3.0* Lawrence Wilson (Class of 2005; Akron St. Vinent-St. Mary; Rivals 4*, #12 WDE; Scout 4*, #29 DE); 59 tackles, 12 TFL's, 7 sacks, 2 interceptions, 6 pass deflections
    3.0* Nader Abdallah (Class of 2004; Metairie, Louisiana; Rivals 3*, #30 DT; Scout 3*, #44 DT); 54 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, 4 deflected passes
    INC* Garrett Goebel (DT; Class of 2008; Lombard (IL) Montini; Rivals 4*, #6 DT, #64 overall; Scout 4*, #4 DT, #51 overall); 86 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, blocked kick
    2.5* Todd Denlinger (Class of 2005; Troy; Rivals 4*, #14 DT; Scout 4*, #13 DT); 40 tackles, 9.5 TFL's, 3 sacks, 1 interception
    2.0* Alex Barrow (Class of 2004; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 3*, #31 DT; Scout 3*, #59 DE); 16 tackles, 1 sack
    2.0* Robert Rose (DL; Class of 2006; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 5*, #1 SDE, #17 overall; Scout 4*, #5 DE, #52 overall); 31 tackles, 11 TFL's, 7.5 sacks, 5 pass deflections
    2.0* Solomon Thomas (DE; Class of 2007; West Chester Lakota West; Rivals 4*, #17 WDE; Scout 3*, #43 DE); 27 tackles, 1 interception
    2.0* Adam Bellamy (DL; Class of 2009; Aurora; Rivals 3*, #40 DT; Scout 3*, #42 DT; 36 tackles, 3.5 TFL's, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections
    1.0* Melvin Fellows (DE; Class of 2009; Garfield Heights; Rivals 4*, #10 WDE, #216 overall; Scout 5*, #3 DE, #22 overall); no stats
    0.0* Redgie Arden (Class of 2001; Ironton; Rivals 4*, #7 LB, #54 overall); 4 receptions, 50 yards; 3 tackles
    0.0* Quinton Thomas (DL; Class of 2001; Fort Lauderdale Dillard; Rivals 2*, #90 DE; Scout NR); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* Sian Cotton (Class of 2003; Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary; Rivals 3*, #48 DT; Scout 3*, #24 DT); 6 tackles, 1 sack
    0.0* Brandon Maupin (Class of 2003; West Chester Lakota West; Rivals 3*, #21 SDE; Scout 4*, #10 DT); 1 tackle
    0.0* Ryan Williams (Class of 2005; Mission Viejo, California; Rivals 4*, #12 SDE; Scout 3*, #62 DE); no stats
    0.0* Walter Dublin (DE; Class of 2006; Sarasota; Rivals 3*, #28 WDE; Scout 3*, NR); no stats
    0.0* Shawntel "Shaq" Rowell (Class of 2008; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #66 DT; Scout 3*, #60 DT)
    0.0* Keith Wells (DE; Class of 2008; Gainesville; Rivals 3*, #15 WDE; Scout 4*, #16 DE, #199 overall); no stats
    0.0* Willie Mobley (DL; Class of 2008; Eden Prairie; Rivals 4*, #9 DT, #174 overall; Scout 4*, #13 DT, #201 overall); no stats
    0.0* Jonathan Newsome (Class of 2009; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #25 WDE; Scout 4*, #27 DE, #264 overall); 20 tackles, blocked punt
    0.0* Jamel Turner (Class of 2010; Youngstown Ursuline; Rivals 4*, #22 WDE; Scout 4*, #6 OLB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* Kenny Hayes (DL; Class of 2011; Toledo Whitmer; Rivals 4*, #7 SDE, #68 overall; Scout 4*, #14 DE, #87 overall); no stats
    INC* Steve Miller (DL; Class of 2011; Canton McKinley; Rivals 4*, #7 WDE, #167 overall; Scout 5*, #9 DE, #42 overall); 1 tackle
    INC* Chase Farris (DL; Class of 2011; Elyria; Rivals 4*, #11 SDE, #142 overall; Scout 4*, #10 DT, #107 overall); redshirt freshman
    INC* Darryl Baldwin (DL; Class of 2010; Solon; Rivals 3*, #22 SDE; Scout 3*, #44 DE); 3 tackles
    INC* Michael Bennett (DL; Class of 2011; Centerville; Rivals 4*, #3 DT, #41 overall; Scout 4*, #8 DT, #57 overall); 17 tackles, 5 TFL's, 3 sacks
    INC* J.T. Moore (DE; Class of 2010; Boardman; Rivals 3*, #39 WDE; Scout 4*, #36 DE); 9 tackles, 1 sack
    INC* Joel Hale (DT; Class of 2011; Greenwood (IN) Center Grove; Rivals 3*, #35 DT; Scout 3*, #30 DT); 4 tackles


    Linebacker (23 signees, 2.11*)
    5.0* A.J. Hawk (Class of 2002; Rivals 3*, #30 OLB; Scout 3*, #32 LB); 394 tackles, 41 TFL's, 15.5 sacks, 7 interceptions, 2 touchdowns (interception return, blocked punt)
    5.0* James Laurinaitis (Class of 2005; Plymouth (MN) Wayzata; Rivals 3*, #28 MLB; Scout 3*, #45 LB); 375 tackles, 24.5 TFL's, 13 sacks, 9 interceptions, 7 passes broken up, 4 forced fumbles
    4.0* Bobby Carpenter (Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #13 OLB; Scout 4*, #22 LB); 191 tackles, 23.5 TFL's, 14.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 7 deflected passes
    INC* Ryan Shazier (LB; Class of 2011; Plantation, Florida; Rivals 4*, #14 OLB; Scout 4*, #5 OLB, #81 overall); 315 tackles, 44.5 TFL's, 9 forced fumbles, 2 blocks, pick six
    3.5* Marcus Freeman (Class of 2004; Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #4 MLB, #31 overall; Scout 4*, #11 LB); 268 tackles, 21 TFL's, 6 sacks, 2 INT's, 15 PBU's
    3.5* Ross Homan (Class of 2006; Coldwater; Rivals 4*, #11 OLB; Scout 4*, #14 LB); 275 tackles, 15 TFL's, 5 sacks, 7 interceptions, 11 PBU's
    3.5* Brian Rolle (Class of 2007; Immokalee, Florida; Rivals 4*, #17 QB; Scout 4*, #6 WLB); 210 tackles, 21.5 TFL's, 3.5 sacks, 4 interceptions
    3.0* Larry Grant (Class of 2006; City College of San Francisco; Rivals 4* JUCO; Scout 5* JUCO); 69 tackles, 10 TFL's, 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 passes broken up, 3 blocked kicks
    3.0* Andrew Sweat (Class of 2008; Washington (PA) Trinity; Rivals 4*, #17 MLB; Scout 4*, #6 MLB, #98 overall); 133 tackles, 9 TFL's, 3 interceptions
    3.0* Etienne Sabino (LB; Class of 2008; Miami Dr. Krop; Rivals 4*, #1 MLB, #46 overall; Scout 5*, #2 MLB, #39 overall); 119 tackles, 10.5 TFL's, 4.5 sacks, interception, touchdown (blocked punt)
    2.5* Austin Spitler (Class of 2005; Bellbrook; Rivals 3*, #48 MLB; Scout 3*, #87 LB); 82 tackles, 8 TFL's, 2 sacks, 1 interception
    INC* Storm Klein (LB; Class of 2009; Newark Licking Valley; Rivals 4*, #11 OLB, #214 overall; Scout 4*, #10 SLB, #230 overall); 91 tackles, 3 TFL's, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions
    2.0* Mike D'Andrea (Class of 2002; Rivals 5*, #2 ILB, #29 overall; Scout 5*, #2 LB, #12 overall); 44 tackles, 6.5 TFL's, 1 sack
    2.0* Curtis Terry (Class of 2004; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 25 tackles, 5.5 sacks
    1.0* Scott McVey (Class of 2010; Cleveland St. Ignatius; Rivals 3*, #69 OLB; Scout 4*, #3 MLB, #123 overall); no stats
    1.0* Conner Crowell (LB; Class of 2011; Waldorf (MD) North Point; Rivals 3*, #24 OLB; Scout 3*, #24 MLB); 1 tackle
    0.0* Reggie Smith (Class of 2003; East Cleveland Shaw; Rivals 3*, #27 OLB; Scout 3*, #23 LB); no stats
    0.0* Freddie Lenix (Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #22 ATH; Scout 4*, #27 LB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* Mark Johnson (Class of 2006; Los Angeles Dorsey; Rivals 4*, #6 MLB; Scout 4*, #12 LB); 3 tackles
    0.0* Dorian Bell (Class of 2009; Pittsburgh Gateway; Rivals 5*, #3 OLB, #33 overall; Scout 5*, #2 WLB, #19 overall); 9 tackles
    0.0* Jordan Whiting (Class of 2009; Louisville (KY) Trinity; Rivals 4*, #15 MLB; Scout 3*, #16 MLB); 1 tackle
    0.0* Ejuan Price (Class of 2011; Pittsburgh (PA) Woodland Hills; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 4*, #14 MLB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    INC* Curtis Grant (LB; Class of 2011; Richmond (VA) Hermitage; Rivals 5*, #1 MLB, #2 overall*; Scout 5*, #1 OLB, #19 overall); 2 tackles

    Defensive Back (46 signees, 1.94*)
    5.0* Malcolm Jenkins (Class of 2005; Piscataway, New Jersey; Rivals 3*, #61 CB; Scout 3*, #28 S); 196 tackles, 13.5 TFL's, 11 INT's, 17 PBU's, 4 forced fumbles, 2 blocked kicks, 2 pick sixes
    4.5* Bradley Roby (CB; Class of 2010; Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 3*, #44 CB); 179 tackles, 7.5 TFL's, 8 INT's, 36 PBU's, 5 touchdowns
    4.0* Donte Whitner (Class of 2003; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #3CB, #27 overall; Scout 5*, #1 CB); 164 tackles, 13 TFL's, 5 sacks, 5 INT's, 9 PBU's, and 2 TD's (blocked punt, pick six)
    4.0* Kurt Coleman (Class of 2006; Clayton Northmont; Rvals 4*, #13 CB; Scout 4*, #14 CB); 219 tackles, 10.5 TFL's, 3 sacks, 9 INT's, 13 PBU's, 5 forced fumbles, 1 blocked kick
    4.0* Chimdi Chekwa (Class of 2006; Clermont (FL) East Ridge; Rivals 3*, #45 CB; Scout 2*, NR); 145 tackles, 5 INT's, 29 PBU's
    3.5* Dustin Fox (Class of 2001; Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 4*, #5 S, #82 overall); 217 tackles, 7 INT's, 30 PBU's
    3.5* Nate Salley (Class of 2002; Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas; Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #7 S; Scout 4*, #19 S); 181 tackles, 3 INT's, 15 PBU's, 1 blocked kick
    3.5* Ashton Youboty (Class of 2003; Klein, Texas; Rivals 4*, #14 S; Scout 3*, #24 CB); 131 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, 5 INT's, 23 PBU's, 1 TD (blocked field goal)
    3.5* Anderson Russell (Class of 2005; Atlanta Marist; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 3*, #84 RB); 195 tackles, 10 TFL's, 3 sacks, 6 INT's, 11 PBU's, 5 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries
    3.5* Christian Bryant (S; Class of 2010; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #10 CB, #114 overall; Scout 4*, #8 CB, #84 overall); 171 tackles, 2 INT's, 23 PBU's, 3 FF's
    3.0* Tyler Everett (Class of 2002; Canton McKinley; Rivals 3*, #23 S; Scout 4*, #16 S); 101 tackles, 3 INT's, 11 PBU's, 1 blocked kick, pick six
    3.0* Brandon Mitchell (Class of 2002; Atlanta Mays; Rivals 3*, #35 S; Scout 4*, #26 S); 106 tackles, 5 TFL's, 5 INT's, 9 PBU's, 2 pick sixes
    3.0* Donald Washington III (Class of 2005; Indianapolis Franklin Central; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 3*, #90 WR); 102 tackles, 3 INT's, 4 PBU's, 3 fumble recoveries
    3.0* Tyler Moeller (Class of 2006; Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 3*, #50 OLB; Scout 4*, #23 LB); 90 tackles, 9.5 TFL's, 1 sack, 2 INT's, 1 blocked kick
    3.0* Devon Torrence (Class of 2007; Canton South; Rivals 4*, #24 ATH; Scout 4*, #12 S); 98 tackles, 4 INT's, 10 PBU's, 4 forced fumbles, 1 blocked kick, 1 pick six; 4 receptions, 31 yards
    3.0* Jermale Hines (Class of 2007; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #10 OLB; Scout 4*; #16 SLB); 157 tackles; 3 INT's, 2 TD's (fumble recovery, pick six)
    3.0* Orhian Johnson (S; Class of 2008; Gulfport (FL) Boca Ciega; Rivals 3*, #35 ATH; Scout 3*, #30 QB); 131 tackles, 6 INT's, 10 PBU's, 2 FF's, blocked punt
    3.0* Travis Howard (CB; Class of 2008; Miami Dr. Krop; Rivals 4*, #19 CB; Scout 3*, #24 CB); 96 tackles, 8 INT's, 13 PBU's, pick six, blocked punt
    3.0* C.J. Barnett (S; Class of 2009; Clayton Northmont; Rivals 4*, #13 CB, #145 overall; Scout 4*, #14 CB, #136 overall); 224 tackles, 8 interceptions, 12 PBU's
    2.5* Shaun Lane (Class of 2004; Hubbard; Rivals 3*, #14 CB; Scout 3*, #32 CB); 50 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 PBU
    2.5* Jamario O'Neal (Class of 2005; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #3 CB, #31 overall; Scout 5*, #3CB, #17 overall); 49 tackles, 1 interception
    2.5* Aaron Gant (Class of 2006; Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's; Rivals 3*, #17 FB; Scout 2*, NR); 46 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 PBU
    2.5* Nate Oliver (S; Class of 2007; Lakewood St. Edwards; Rivals 4*, #12 S; Scout 4*, #11 S); 29 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery
    2.5* Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown (DB; Class of 2009; Pittsburgh Gateway; Rivals 5*, #6 CB, #31 overall; Scout 4*, #9 CB, #74 overall); 81 tackles, 1 interception
    2.0* E.J. Underwood (Class of 2002; Hamilton; Rivals 4*, #19 CB; Scout 4*, #13 CB); 54 tackles, 4 PBU's
    2.0* Nick Patterson (Class of 2004; St. Louis Hazelwood Central; Rivals 3*, #30 ATH; Scout 3*, #41 S); 18 tackles, 1 interception
    2.0* Andre Amos (Class of 2005; Middletown; Rivals 4*, #25 WR; Scout 4*, #30 WR); 24 tackles, 1 interception
    2.0* Zach Domincone (DB; Class of 2008; Beavercreek; Rivals 3*, #74 ATH; Scout 3*, #71 S); 23 tackles
    1.0* Mike Roberts (Class of 2002; Toronto Central Teck; Rivals 3*, #49 CB; Scout NR); 2 tackles
    1.0* Curt Lukens (Class of 2003; North Canton Hoover; Rivals 3*, #35 S; Scout 3*, #44 S); 1 tackle
    1.0* Donnie Evege (Class of 2007; Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #16 CB; Scout 3*, #59 CB); 14 tackles
    1.0* Chad Hagan (DB; Class of 2010; Canonsburg (PA) Canon McMillan; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #84 S); 2 tackles
    1.0* Jamie Wood (S; Class of 2009; Pickerington Central; Rivals 4*, #4 S, #74 overall; Scout 4*, #9 S, #131 overall); 17 tackles
    0.0* LeAndre Boone (Class of 2001; Herndon, Virginia); no stats
    0.0* Ira Guilford (Class of 2003; Hoboken, New Jersey; Rivals 4*, #8 S; Scout 3*, #19 CB); 28 rushes, 64 yards
    0.0* Dareus Hiley (Class of 2003; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #14 CB; Scout 4*, #6 CB); no stats
    0.0* Sirjo Welch (Class of 2004; Columbus Beechcroft; Rivals 3*, #17 safety; Scout 4*, #7 S); 20 tackles
    0.0* Brandon Underwood (Class of 2004; Hamilton; Rivals 3*, #16 CB; Scout 3*, #14 CB); 3 tackles
    0.0* Eugene Clifford (Class of 2007; Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 4*, #4 S, #60 overall; Scout 5*, #2 S, #25 overall); 8 tackles
    0.0* James Scott (Class of 2007; Daytona Beach (FL) Seabreeze; Rivals 4*, #10 CB; Scout 4*, #12 CB); 6 tackles
    0.0* Rocco Pentello (Class of 2007; Westerville South; Rivals 3*, #58 S; Scout 2*, NR); no stats
    0.0* Dominic Clarke (Class of 2009; Frederick (MD) Tuscarora; Rivals 4*, #19 CB, #177 overall; Scout 4*, #26 CB, #262 overall); 26 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PBU's
    0.0* Jeremy Cash (Class of 2011; Plantation, Florida; Rivals 3*, #25 S; Scout 3*, #30 S); 3 tackles
    0.0* DerJuan Gambrell (Class of 2011; Toledo Rogers; Rivals 3*, #35 CB; Scout 4*, #22 CB); no stats
    INC* Doran Grant (DB; Class of 2011; Akron St.Vincent-St. Mary; Rivals 4*, #7 CB, #102 overall; Scout 4*, #5 CB, #70 overall); 6 tackles
    INC* Ron Tanner (DB; Class of 2011; Columbus Eastmoor; Rivals 3*, #26 S; Scout 4*, #11 S); redshirt freshman

    Athlete (9 signees, 2.43*)
    5.0* Theodore Ginn, Jr. (Class of 2004; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 5*, #1 CB, #2 overall; Scout 5*, #1 CB); 4,068 all-purpose yards, 27 total touchdowns (15 receiving, 3 rushing, 8 returning, 1 passing)
    4.5* Chris Gamble (Class of 2001; Fort Lauderdale Dillard; Rivals 2*, #89 WR; Scout NR); 1,568 all-purpose yards; 65 tackles, 7 interceptions, 21 PBU's; 43-yard TD run; 40-yard pick six
    3.5* Zach Boren (FB; Class of 2009; Pickerington Central; Rivals 3*, #78 ATH; Scout 3*, #45 MLB); 235 all-purpose yards, 3 touchdowns; 50 tackles, sack, FF, FR
    3.5* Jordan Hall (ATH; Class of 2009; Jeannette, Pennsylvania; Rivals 4*, #27 ATH; Scout 3*, #38 RB); 3,498 all-purpose yards; 20 total touchdowns
    3.0* Maurice Hall (Class of 2001; Columbus Brookhaven); 2,616 all-purpose yards, 6 total touchdowns
    2.5* Ray Small (Class of 2006; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #7 WR, #88 overall; Scout 4*, #11 CB, #98 overall); 2,252 all-purpose yards, 5 total touchdowns
    2.0* Grant Schwartz (Class of 2006; Dana Point (CA) Dana Hills; Rivals 3*, #40 S; Scout 2*, NR); 4 tackles; 5 receptions, 39 yards
    0.0* Lamaar Thomas (Class of 2008; Fort Washington (MD) Friendly; Rivals 4*, #4 ATH, #33 overall; Scout 4*, #10 RB, #107 overall); 766 all-purpose yards
    0.0* Jaamal Berry (Class of 2009; Miami Palmetto; Rivals 4*, #5 RB, #56 overall; Scout 4*, #8 RB, #69 overall); 970 all-purpose yards, 1 touchdown

    Specialists (6 signees, 2.67*)
    5.0* Mike Nugent (Class of 2001; Centerville); 356 points, .818 FG percentage
    4.0* Drew Basil (PK; Class of 2010; Chillicothe; Rivals 2*, #12 PK; Scout 3*, #6 PK); 33 for 40 field goals, .825 percentage
    3.0* A.J. Trapasso (Class of 2004; Pickerington; Rivals 2*, #25 PK; Scout 3*, NR); 41 yards per punt
    2.0* Ben Buchanan (P; Class of 2008; Westerville Central; Rivals 3*, #3 PK; Scout 3*, #4 PK); 41.1 yards per punt, 32.8% inside opponent's 20-yard line, 6 blocked
    0.0* Jonathan Skeete (Class of 2004; Gahanna Lincoln; Rivals NR; Scout NR); no stats
    INC* Bryce Haynes (LS; Class of 2011; Cumming (GA) Pinecrest Academy; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*); redshirt freshman
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  15. LordJeffBuck

    LordJeffBuck Illuminatus Emeritus Staff Member

    Tressel Era Recruits By Star Rating

    Five Star Signees
    5.0* Troy Smith (QB; Class of 2002; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #12 dual-threat QB; Scout 4*, #15 QB); 420/670 (.627), 5,720 yards, 54 touchdowns, 13 interceptions; 1,168 yards rushing, 14 touchdowns
    5.0* A.J. Hawk (LB; Class of 2002; Rivals 3*, #30 OLB; Scout 3*, #32 LB); 394 tackles, 41 TFL's, 15.5 sacks, 7 interceptions, 2 touchdowns (interception return, blocked punt)
    5.0* James Laurinaitis (LB; Class of 2005; Plymouth (MN) Wayzata; Rivals 3*, #28 MLB; Scout 3*, #45 LB); 375 tackles, 24.5 TFL's, 13 sacks, 9 interceptions, 7 passes broken up, 4 forced fumbles
    5.0* Malcolm Jenkins (CB; Class of 2005; Piscataway, New Jersey; Rivals 3*, #61 CB; Scout 3*, #28 S); 196 tackles, 13.5 TFL's, 11 INT's, 17 PBU's, 4 forced fumbles, 2 blocked kicks, 2 pick sixes
    5.0* Theodore Ginn, Jr. (ATH; Class of 2004; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 5*, #1 CB, #2 overall; Scout 5*, #1 CB); 4,068 all-purpose yards, 27 total touchdowns (15 receiving, 3 rushing, 8 returning, 1 passing)
    5.0* Mike Nugent (PK; Class of 2001; Centerville; Rivals 2*, #8 PK; Scout NR); 356 points, .818 FG percentage

    Four-and-a-Half Star Signees
    4.5* Chris "Beanie" Wells (RB; Class of 2006; Akron Garfield; Rivals 5*, #1 RB, #3 overall; Scout 5*, #1 RB, #1 overall); 3,382 yards, 5.78 average, 30 touchdowns, 93.9 yards per game
    4.5* Santonio Holmes (WR; Class of 2002; Belle Glades (FL) Central; Rivals 3*, #38 WR; Scout 4*, #13 WR); 140 receptions, 2,295 yards, 16.4 average, 25 touchdowns; punt return for touchdown
    4.5* Nick Mangold (OC; Class of 2002; Kettering Alter; Rivals 4*, #3 OC; Scout NR); 33 starts
    4.5* Michael Brewster (OC; Class of 2008; Orlando Edgewater; Rivals 5*, #4 OT, #12 overall; Scout 5*, #1 OC, #23 overall); 49 starts
    4.5* Vernon Gholston (DE; Class of 2004; Detroit Cass Tech; Rivals 4*, #11 WDE; Scout 3*, #39 DE); 86 tackles, 30.5 TFL's, 22.5 sacks, fumble recovery for a touchdown
    4.5* Bradley Roby (CB; Class of 2010; Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #44 CB); 179 tackles, 7.5 TFL's, 8 INT's, 36 PBU's, 3 blocks, 5 touchdowns
    4.5* Chris Gamble (ATH; Class of 2001; Fort Lauderdale Dillard); 1,568 all-purpose yards; 65 tackles, 7 interceptions, 21 passes broken up; 43-yard TD run; 40-yard pick six

    Four Star Signees
    4.0* Terrelle Pryor (QB; Class of 2008; Jeannette, Pennsylvania; Rivals 5*, #1 dual-threat QB, #1 overall; Scout 5*, #1 QB, #1 overall);
    4.0* Antonio Pittman (RB; Class of 2004; Akron Buchtel; Rivals 4*, #13 RB; Scout 3*, #31 RB); 2,945 yards, 5.29 average, 22 touchdowns
    4.0* Carlos Hyde (RB; Class of 2010 Naples, Florida; Rivals 4*, #2 FB; Scout 4*, #1 FB); 3,202 yards, 6.12 average, 37 touchdowns, 78.1 yards per game
    4.0* Brian Robiskie (WR; Class of 2005; Chagrin Falls; Rivals 3*, #61 WR; Scout 2*, NR); 127 receptions, 1,866 yards, 24 touchdowns
    4.0* Dane Sanzenbacher (WR; Class of 2007; Toledo Central Catholic; Rivals 3*, #71 WR; Scout 4*, #58 WR); 124 receptions, 1,879 yards, 19 touchdowns
    4.0* Rob Sims (OL; Class of 2002; Nordonia; Rivals 4*, #20 OG; Scout 3*, #38 OL); 40 starts
    4.0* Kirk Barton (OT; Class of 2003; Massillon Perry; Rivals 3*, #60 OT; Scout 3*, #101 OL)
    4.0* Andrew Norwell (OL; Class of 2010; Cincinnati Anderson; Rivals 4*, #9 OT, #59 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OT, #8 overall)
    4.0* Jack Mewhort (OL; Class of 2009; Toledo St. Johns; Rivals 4*, #2 OC, #212 overall; Scout 4*, #11 OT, #146 overall)
    4.0* Corey Linsley (OL; Class of 2009; Boardman; Rivals 4*, #6 OG, #174 overall; Scout 4*, #8 OG, #181 overall)
    4.0* Quinn Pitcock (DT; Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #5 DT, #72 overall; Scout 4*, #7 DT, #46 overall); 133 tackles, 27.5 TFL's, 14 sacks, 1 interception
    4.0* Cameron Heyward (DL; Class of 2007; Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge; Rivals 4*, #13 DT; Scout 4*, #20 DT); 163 tackles, 37.5 TFL's, 15.5 sacks, 5 deflected passes, 1 touchdown (fumble recovery), safety
    4.0* John Simon (DL; Class of 2009; Youngstown Cardinal Mooney; Rivals 3*, #36 DT; Scout 5*, #5 DT, #27 overall); 154 tackles, 43.0 TFL's, 20.5 sacks, 9 pass deflections, 1 interception
    4.0* Johnathan Hankins (DT; Class of 2010; Detroit Southeastern; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #48 DT); 138 tackles, 16.5 TFL's, 5 sacks, blocked kick
    4.0* Bobby Carpenter (LB; Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #13 OLB; Scout 4*, #22 LB); 191 tackles, 23.5 TFL's, 14.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 7 deflected passes
    4.0* Ryan Shazier (LB; Class of 2011; Plantation, Florida; Rivals 4*, #14 OLB; Scout 4*, #5 OLB, #81 overall); 315 tackles, 44.5 TFL's, 9 forced fumbles, 2 blocks, pick six
    4.0* Donte Whitner (S; Class of 2003; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #3CB, #27 overall; Scout 5*, #1 CB); 164 tackles, 13 TFL's, 5 sacks, 5 INT's, 9 PBU's, and 2 TD's (blocked punt, pick six)
    4.0* Kurt Coleman (S; Class of 2006; Clayton Northmont; Rvals 4*, #13 CB; Scout 4*, #14 CB); 219 tackles, 10.5 TFL's, 3 sacks, 9 INT's, 13 PBU's, 5 forced fumbles, 1 blocked kick
    4.0* Chimdi Chekwa (CB; Class of 2006; Clermont (FL) East Ridge; Rivals 3*, #45 CB; Scout 2*, NR); 145 tackles, 5 INT's, 29 PBU's
    4.0* Drew Basil (PK; Class of 2010; Chillicothe; Rivals 2*, #12 PK; Scout 3*, #6 PK); 33 for 40 field goals, .825 percentage

    Three-and-a-Half Star Signees
    3.5* Anthony Gonzalez (WR; Class of 2003; Cleveland St. Ignatius; Rivals 4*, #16 CB; Scout 4*, #8 CB); 87 receptions, 1,286 yards, 13 touchdowns
    3.5* Brian Hartline (WR; Class of 2005; Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 3*, #36 WR; Scout 4*, #31 WR); 90 receptions, 1,429 yards, 12 touchdowns; school record 90-yard punt return for touchdown
    3.5* DeVier Posey (WR; Class of 2008; Cincinnati LaSalle; Rivals 5*, #3 WR, #21 overall; Scout 5*, #4 WR, #15 overall); 136 receptions, 1,955 yards, 18 touchdowns
    3.5* Corey "Philly" Brown (WR; Class of 2010; Springfield (PA) Cardinal O'Hara; Rivals 4*, #10 ATH, #118 overall; Scout 4*, #25 WR); 145 receptions, 1,750 yards, 15 touchdowns; 2 punt return TD's
    3.5* Jake Stoneburner (TE; Class of 2008; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 4*, #3 TE, #120 overall; Scout 4*, #4 TE, #65 overall); 53 receptions, 714 yards, 13 touchdowns
    3.5* Zach Boren (FB; Class of 2009; Pickerington Central; Rivals 3*, #78 ATH; Scout 3*, #45 MLB); 235 all-purpose yards, 3 touchdowns; 50 tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF, 1 FR
    3.5* Doug Datish (OL; Class of 2002; Warren Howland; Rivals 4*, #6 OT; Scout 3*, #43 OL); 35 starts
    3.5* Alex Boone (OT; Class of 2005; Lakewood St. Edwards; Rivals 5*, #3 OT, #20 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OL, #15 overall); 36 starts
    3.5* Bryant Browning (OG; Class of 2006; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #20 OG; Scout 3*, #61 OL); 39 starts
    3.5* Mike Adams (OT; Class of 2008; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 5*, #1 OT, #3 overall; Scout 5*, #2 OT, #11 overall); 25 starts
    3.5* J.B. Shugarts (OT; Class of 2008; Klein, Texas; Rivals 4*, #11 OT, #87 overall; Scout 5*, #7 OT, #34 overall); 35 starts
    3.5* Marcus Hall (OL; Class of 2009; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #6 OT, #52 overall; Scout 4*, #5 OT, #65 overall)
    3.5* Simon Fraser (DE; Class of 2001; Upper Arlington; Rivals 4*, #7 DE, #75 overall); 62 tackles, 17 TFL's, 7 sacks, 10 deflected passes
    3.5* Mike Kudla (DE; Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #18 SDE; Scout 5*, #2 DE, #49 overall); 90 tackles, 20 TFL's, 14.5 sacks, fumble recovery for a touchdown
    3.5* Doug Worthington (DL; Class of 2005; Athol Springs (NY) St. Francis; Rival 4*, #5 SDE, #80 nationally; Scout 5*, #3 DE, #42 overall); 104 tackles, 12 TFL's, 4.5 sacks, 1 interception
    3.5* Dexter Larimore (DT; Class of 2006; Merrillville, Indiana; Rivals 3*, #39 DT; Scout 3*, #60 DT); 91 tackles, 16.5 TFL's, 8 sacks
    3.5* Thaddeus Gibson (DE; Class of 2006; Euclid; Rivals 4*, #9 OLB; Scout 4*, #9 LB); 82 tackles, 25 TFL's, 10 sacks, 1 interception, 1 touchdown (fumble recovery)
    3.5* Nathan Williams (DE; Class of 2008; Washington Court House Miami Trace; Rivals 4*, #5 WDE, #156 overall; Scout 4*, #24 DE, #243 overall); 132 tackles, 25 TFL's, 12 sacks, 1 interception
    3.5* Marcus Freeman (LB; Class of 2004; Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #4 MLB, #31 overall; Scout 4*, #11 LB); 268 tackles, 21 TFL's, 6 sacks, 2 INT's, 15 PBU's
    3.5* Ross Homan (LB; Class of 2006; Coldwater; Rivals 4*, #11 OLB; Scout 4*, #14 LB); 275 tackles, 15 TFL's, 5 sacks, 7 interceptions, 11 PBU's
    3.5* Brian Rolle (LB; Class of 2007; Immokalee, Florida; Rivals 4*, #17 QB; Scout 4*, #6 WLB); 210 tackles, 21.5 TFL's, 3.5 sacks, 4 interceptions
    3.5* Dustin Fox (CB; Class of 2001; Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 4*, #5 S, #82 overall); 217 tackles, 7 INT's, 30 PBU's
    3.5* Nate Salley (S; Class of 2002; Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas; Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #7 S; Scout 4*, #19 S); 181 tackles, 3 INT's, 15 PBU's, 1 blocked kick
    3.5* Ashton Youboty (CB; Class of 2003; Klein, Texas; Rivals 4*, #14 S; Scout 3*, #24 CB); 131 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, 5 INT's, 23 PBU's, 1 TD (blocked field goal)
    3.5* Anderson Russell (S; Class of 2005; Atlanta Marist; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 3*, #84 RB); 195 tackles, 10 TFL's, 3 sacks, 6 INT's, 11 PBU's, 5 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries
    3.5* Christian Bryant (S; Class of 2010; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #10 CB, #114 overall; Scout 4*, #8 CB, #84 overall); 171 tackles, 2 INT's, 23 PBU's, 3 FF's
    3.5* Jordan Hall (ATH; Class of 2009; Jeannette, Pennsylvania; Rivals 4*, #27 ATH; Scout 3*, #38 RB); 3,498 all-purpose yards; 20 total touchdowns

    Three Star Signees
    3.0* Todd Boeckman (QB; Class of 2004; Rivals 3*, #19 Pro-style QB; Scout 3*, #28 QB); 255/402 (.634), 3,085 yards, 31 touchdowns, 16 interceptions
    3.0* Kenny Guiton (QB; Class of 2009; Houston Eisenhower; Rivals 3*, #35 dual-threat QB; Scout 3*, #53 QB); 89/134 (.664), 893 yards, 16 TD, 4 INT; 383 yards rushing, 6 TD
    3.0* Lydell Ross (RB; Class of 2001; Tampa Gaither; Rivals 4*, #26 RB; Scout NR); 2,339 yards, 3.92 average, 26 touchdowns
    3.0* Brandon Saine (RB; Class of 2007; Piqua; Rivals 4*, #5 RB, #50 overall; Scout 4*, #11 RB, #88 overall); 1,408 yards, 4.68 average; 55 receptions, 616 yards; 17 total touchdowns
    3.0* Daniel "Boom" Herron (RB; Class of 2007; Warren Harding; Rivals 4*, #18 RB; Scout 4*, #27 RB); 2,869 yards, 4.85 average, 32 touchdowns
    3.0* Chris Vance (WR; Class of 2001; Fort Meyers, Florida; Fort Scott Community College; Rivals 4* JUCO; Scout NR); 47 receptions, 783 yards, 16.7 average, 7 touchdowns
    3.0* Ryan Hamby (TE; Class of 2001; Cincinnati Moeller; Rivals 2*, #45 TE; Scout NR); 45 receptions; 482 yards, 5 touchdowns; 3 solo tackles
    3.0* Rory Nicol (TE; Class of 2004; Beaver, Pennsylvania; Rivals 4*, #4 TE; Scout 4*, #2 TE); 38 receptions, 329 yards, 6 touchdowns
    3.0* Jake Ballard (TE; Class of 2006; Springboro; Rivals 4*, #8 TE; Scout 4*, #6 TE); 34 receptions, 377 yards, 3 touchdowns
    3.0* T.J. Downing (OG; Class of 2002; Canton Glen Oak; Rivals 3*, #35 OG; Scout 2*, #121 OL); 24 starts
    3.0* Ben Person (OG; Class of 2004; Xenia; Rivals 4*, #10 OG; Scout 4*, #17 OL); 22 starts
    3.0* Steve Rehring (OG; Class of 2004; Lakota West; Rivals 3*, #29 OT; Scout 3*, #48 OL); 23 starts
    3.0* Jim Cordle (OL; Class of 2005; Lancaster; Rivals 4*, #7 OG; Scout 4*, #30 OL); 33 starts
    3.0* Reid Fragel (OL; Class of 2009; Grosse (MI) Pointe South; Rivals 3*, #11 TE; Scout 4*, #12 TE, #294 overall); 14 receptions, 185 yards, 1 touchdown; 12 starts at RT
    3.0* Marcus Green (DT; Class of 2001; Louisville (KY) Male; Rivals 3*, #85 OL; Scout NR); 86 tackles, 7.5 TFL's, 3 sacks
    3.0* Jay Richardson (DE; Class of 2002; Rivals 3*, #32 SDE; Scout NR); 52 tackles, 12.5 TFL's, 7 sacks, 9 pass deflections
    3.0* Joel Penton (DT; Class of 2002; Rivals 3*, #41 SDE; Scout 3*, #37 DE); 46 tackles, 7 TFL's, 2 sacks, fumble recovery
    3.0* David Patterson (DT; Class of 2003; Warrensville Heights; Rivals 4*, #7 DT, #83 overall; Scout 4*, #4 DT); 72 tackles, 17 TFL's, 8 sacks
    3.0* Nader Abdallah (DT; Class of 2004; Metairie, Louisiana; Rivals 3*, #30 DT; Scout 3*, #44 DT); 54 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, 4 deflected passes
    3.0* Lawrence Wilson (DE; Class of 2005; Akron St. Vinent-St. Mary; Rivals 4*, #12 WDE; Scout 4*, #29 DE); 59 tackles, 12 TFL's, 7 sacks, 2 interceptions, 6 pass deflections
    3.0* Garrett Goebel (DT; Class of 2008; Lombard (IL) Montini; Rivals 4*, #6 DT, #64 overall; Scout 4*, #4 DT, #51 overall); 86 tackles, 9 TFL's, 2 sacks, blocked kick
    3.0* Larry Grant (LB; Class of 2006; City College of San Francisco; Rivals 4* JUCO; Scout 5* JUCO); 69 tackles, 10 TFL's, 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 passes broken up, 3 blocked kicks
    3.0* Andrew Sweat (LB; Class of 2008; Washington (PA) Trinity; Rivals 4*, #17 MLB; Scout 4*, #6 MLB, #98 overall); 133 tackles, 9 TFL's, 3 interceptions
    3.0* Etienne Sabino (LB; Class of 2008; Miami Dr. Krop; Rivals 4*, #1 MLB, #46 overall; Scout 5*, #2 MLB, #39 overall); 119 tackles, 10.5 TFL's, 4.5 sacks, interception, touchdown (blocked punt)
    3.0* Tyler Everett (DB; Class of 2002; Canton McKinley; Rivals 3*, #23 S; Scout 4*, #16 S); 101 tackles, 3 INT's, 11 PBU's, 1 blocked kick, pick six
    3.0* Brandon Mitchell (S; Class of 2002; Atlanta Mays; Rivals 3*, #35 S; Scout 4*, #26 S); 106 tackles, 5 TFL's, 5 INT's, 9 PBU's, 2 pick sixes
    3.0* Donald Washington III (CB; Class of 2005; Indianapolis Franklin Central; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 3*, #90 WR); 102 tackles, 3 INT's, 4 PBU's, 3 fumble recoveries
    3.0* Tyler Moeller (S; Class of 2006; Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 3*, #50 OLB; Scout 4*, #23 LB); 90 tackles, 9.5 TFL's, 1 sack, 2 INT's, 1 blocked kick
    3.0* Devon Torrence (CB; Class of 2007; Canton South; Rivals 4*, #24 ATH; Scout 4*, #12 S); 98 tackles, 4 INT's, 10 PBU's, 4 forced fumbles, 1 blocked kick, 1 pick six; 4 receptions, 31 yards
    3.0* Jermale Hines (S; Class of 2007; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #10 OLB; Scout 4*; #16 SLB); 157 tackles; 3 INT's, 2 TD's (fumble recovery, pick six)
    3.0* Orhian Johnson (S; Class of 2008; Gulfport (FL) Boca Ciega; Rivals 3*, #35 ATH; Scout 3*, #30 QB); 131 tackles, 6 INT's, 10 PBU's, 2 FF's, blocked punt
    3.0* Travis Howard (CB; Class of 2008; Miami Dr. Krop; Rivals 4*, #19 CB; Scout 3*, #24 CB); 96 tackles, 8 INT's, 13 PBU's, blocked punt, pick six
    3.0* C.J. Barnett (S; Class of 2009; Clayton Northmont; Rivals 4*, #13 CB, #145 overall; Scout 4*, #14 CB, #136 overall); 224 tackles, 8 interceptions, 12 PBU's
    3.0* Maurice Hall (ATH; Class of 2001; Columbus Brookhaven; Rivals 4*, #10 RB, #59 overall; Scout NR); 2,616 all-purpose yards, 6 total touchdowns
    3.0* A.J. Trapasso (P; Class of 2004; Pickerington; Rivals 2*, #25 PK; Scout 3*); 41 yards per punt

    Two-and-a-Half Star Signees
    2.5* Justin Zwick (QB; Class of 2002; Massillon Washington; Rivals 4*, #3 pro-style QB, #40 overall; Scout 4*, #14 QB); 158/276 (.572), 1,779 yards, 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
    2.5* Maurice Clarett (RB; Class of 2002; Warren Harding; Rivals 5*, #1 FB, #37 overall; Scout 5*, #5 RB, #26 overall); 221 rushes, 1,237 yards, 5.60 average, 18 touchdowns
    2.5* Maurice Wells (RB; Class of 2005; Jacksonville Sandalwood; Rivals 4*, #4 all-purpose back; Scout 4*, #19 RB); 1,271 yards rushing, 4.14 average, 145 yards receiving, 12 total touchdowns
    2.5* Brandon Schnittker (FB; Class of 2001; Sandusky Perkins; Rivals NR; Scout NR); 23 carries, 60 yards, 2 touchdowns
    2.5* Stan White, Jr. (FB; Class of 2002; Baltimore Gilman; Rivals 4*, # 18 OLB; Scout 4*, #9 TE); 11 receptions, 78 yards
    2.5* Dionte Johnson (FB; Class of 2004; Columbus Eastmoor; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 14 total yards
    2.5* Brandon Smith (FB; Class of 2004; Euclid; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 16 receptions, 139 yards
    2.5* Roy Hall (WR; Class of 2002; Lyndhurst Brush; Rivals 4*, #19 WR; Scout 4*, #24 WR); 52 receptions, 580 yards, 3 touchdowns
    2.5* Chris Fields (WR; Class of 2009; Painesville Harvey; Rivals 4*, #19 WR, #129 overall; 3*, #46 WR); 31 receptions, 384 yards, 7 touchdowns; 69-yard punt return for TD
    2.5* Tim Schafer (OL; Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #12 SDE; Scout #21 DE)
    2.5* Andy Miller (OT; Class of 2006; Washington (PA) Trinity; Rivals 3*, #41 TE; Scout 3*, NR); 4 starts
    2.5* Todd Denlinger (DT; Class of 2005; Troy; Rivals 4*, #14 DT; Scout 4*, #13 DT); 40 tackles, 9.5 TFL's, 3 sacks, 1 interception
    2.5* Austin Spitler (LB; Class of 2005; Bellbrook; Rivals 3*, #48 MLB; Scout 3*, #87 LB); 82 tackles, 8 TFL's, 2 sacks, 1 interception
    2.5* Storm Klein (LB; Class of 2009; Newark Licking Valley; Rivals 4*, #11 OLB, #214 overall; Scout 4*, #10 SLB, #230 overall); 91 tackles, 3 TFL's, 2 sack, 2 interceptions
    2.5* Shaun Lane (DB; Class of 2004; Hubbard; Rivals 3*, #14 CB; Scout 3*, #32 CB); 50 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 PBU
    2.5* Jamario O'Neal (S; Class of 2005; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #3 CB, #31 overall; Scout 5*, #3CB, #17 overall); 49 tackles, 1 interception
    2.5* Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown (DB; Class of 2009; Pittsburgh Gateway; Rivals 5*, #6 CB, #31 overall; Scout 4*, #9 CB, #74 overall); 81 tackles, 1 interception
    2.5* Aaron Gant (S; Class of 2006; Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's; Rivals 3*, #17 FB; Scout 2*, NR); 46 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 PBU
    2.5* Nate Oliver (S; Class of 2007; Lakewood St. Edwards; Rivals 4*, #12 S; Scout 4*, #11 S); 29 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery
    2.5* Ray Small (ATH; Class of 2006; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #7 WR, #88 overall; Scout 4*, #11 CB, #98 overall); 2,252 all-purpose yards, 5 total touchdowns

    Two Star Signees
    2.0* Taurian Washington (WR; Class of 2007; Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's; Rivals 4*, NR; Scout 4*, #40 WR); 8 receptions, 107 yards, 1 touchdown
    2.0* Adam Homan (FB; Class of 2009; Coldwater; Rivals 3*, #10 FB; Scout 3*, #10 FB); 3 receptions, 18 yards
    2.0* Andree Tyree (OL; Class of 2001; London; Rivals 2*, #58 TE; Scout NR)
    2.0* Kyle Mitchum (OL; Class of 2004; Erie (PA) McDowell; Rivals 4*, #6 OT, #56 overall; Scout 4*, #7 OL)
    2.0* Jon Skinner (OL; Class of 2004, Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania; Rivals 3*, #39 OG; Scout 3*, #94 OL)
    2.0* Connor Smith (OL; Class of 2006; Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 4*, #4 OG, #55 overall; Scout 5*, #4 OL, #30 overall)
    2.0* Evan Blankenship (OL; Class of 2007; Monaca (PA) Center; Rivals 3*, #27 OG; Scout 3*, #50 OG)
    2.0* Alex Barrow (DL; Class of 2004; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 3*, #31 DT; Scout 3*, #59 DE); 16 tackles, 1 sack
    2.0* Robert Rose (DL; Class of 2006; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 5*, #1 SDE, #17 overall; Scout 4*, #5 DE, #52 overall); 31 tackles, 11 TFL's, 7.5 sacks, 5 pass deflections
    2.0* Solomon Thomas (DL; Class of 2007; West Chester Lakota West; Rivals 4*, #17 WDE; Scout 3*, #43 DE); 27 tackles, 1 interception
    2.0* Adam Bellamy (DL; Class of 2009; Aurora; Rivals 3*, #40 DT; Scout 3*, #42 DT; 36 tackles, 3.5 TFL's, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections
    2.0* Mike D'Andrea (LB; Class of 2002; Rivals 5*, #2 ILB, #29 overall; Scout 5*, #2 LB, #12 overall); 44 tackles, 6.5 TFL's, 1 sack
    2.0* Curtis Terry (LB; Class of 2004; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 25 tackles, 5.5 sacks
    2.0* E.J. Underwood (DB; Class of 2002; Hamilton; Rivals 4*, #19 CB; Scout 4*, #13 CB); 54 tackles, 4 PBU's
    2.0* Nick Patterson (S; Class of 2004; St. Louis Hazelwood Central; Rivals 3*, #30 ATH; Scout 3*, #41 S); 18 tackles, 1 interception
    2.0* Andre Amos (CB; Class of 2005; Middletown; Rivals 4*, #25 WR; Scout 4*, #30 WR); 24 tackles, 1 interception
    2.0* Zach Domincone (DB; Class of 2008; Beavercreek; Rivals 3*, #74 ATH; Scout 3*, #71 S); 23 tackles
    2.0* Grant Schwartz (ATH; Class of 2006; Dana Point (CA) Dana Hills; Rivals 3*, #40 S; Scout 2*, NR); 4 tackles; 5 receptions, 39 yards
    2.0* Ben Buchanan (P; Class of 2008; Westerville Central; Rivals 3*, #3 PK; Scout 3*, #4 PK); 41.1 yards per punt, 32.8% inside opponents' 20-yard line, 6 punts blocked


    One Star Signees
    1.0* Aram Olson (FB; Class of 2006; Columbia (SC) Irmo; Rivals 3*, #6 FB; Scout 3*, NR); no stats
    1.0* Angelo Chattams (WR; Class of 2001; Dayton Chaminade Julienne; Rivals 4*, #9 WR, #67 overall; Scout NR); 2 pass receptions, 26 yards; forced fumble, fumble recovery
    1.0* Devin Jordan (WR; Class of 2003; Massillon Washington; Rivals 3*, #29 WR; Scout 3*, #51 WR); injured and did not play
    1.0* Albert Dukes (WR; Class of 2004; Belle Glades (FL) Central; Rivals 4*, #14 WR; Scout 4*, #24 WR); 4 receptions for 39 yards
    1.0* Devon Lyons (WR; Class of 2004; Pittsburgh Woodland Hills; Rivals 4*, #5 safety; Scout 3*, #17 S); 2 receptions for 15 yards
    1.0* Verlon Reed (Class of 2010; WR; Columbus Marion Franklin; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 3*, #37 S); 9 receptions, 132 yards
    1.0* Adam Olds (OL; Class of 2001; Dublin Coffman; Rivals 4*, #27 OL; Scout NR)
    1.0* R.J. Coleman (OL; Class of 2002; Rivals 4*, #6 TE; Scout 4*, #7 TE)
    1.0* Melvin Fellows (DE; Class of 2009; Garfield Heights; Rivals 4*, #10 WDE, #216 overall; Scout 5*, #3 DE, #22 overall); no stats
    1.0* Scott McVey (LB; Class of 2010; Cleveland St. Ignatius; Rivals 3*, #69 OLB; Scout 4*, #3 MLB, #123 overall); no stats
    1.0* Conner Crowell (LB; Class of 2011; Waldorf (MD) North Point; Rivals 3*, #24 OLB; Scout 3*, #24 MLB); 1 tackle
    1.0* Mike Roberts (CB; Class of 2002; Toronto Central Teck; Rivals 3*, #49 CB; Scout NR); 2 tackles
    1.0* Curt Lukens (DB; Class of 2003; North Canton Hoover; Rivals 3*, #35 S; Scout 3*, #44 S); 1 tackle
    1.0* Donnie Evege (DB; Class of 2007; Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #16 CB; Scout 3*, #59 CB); 14 tackles
    1.0* Chad Hagan (DB; Class of 2010; Canonsburg (PA) Canon McMillan; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #84 S); 2 tackles
    1.0* Jamie Wood (S; Class of 2009; Pickerington Central; Rivals 4*, #4 S, #74 overall; Scout 4*, #9 S, #131 overall); 17 tackles
    1.0* Adam Griffin (RB; Class of 2010; [Columbus DeSales; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout NR); no rushes

    Zero Star Signees
    0.0* Rob Schoenhoft (QB; Class of 2005; Cincinnati St. Xavier' Rivals 4*, #6 pro-style QB; Scout 4*, #17 QB); 18/26 (.692), 134 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
    0.0* Antonio Henton (QB; Class of 2006; Fort Valley (GA) Peach County; Rivals 3*, #9 dual-threat QB; Scout 4*, #13 QB); 3/6 (.500), 57 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions
    0.0* Taylor Graham (QB; Class of 2010; Wheaton (IL) North; Rivals 4*, #14 pro-style QB, #236 overall; Scout 3*, #51 QB); no stats
    0.0* JaJa Riley (RB; Class of 2001; San Diego Mission Bay; Rivals 3*, #68 RB; Scout NR); 44 yards on 12 carries
    0.0* Erik Haw (RB; Class of 2004; Columbus Independence; Rivals 3*, #23 RB; Scout 3*, #58 RB); 14 rushes, 61 yards, 1 touchdown
    0.0* Dennis Kennedy (RB; Class of 2004; Ft. Lauderdale Stranahan; Rivals 2*, NR; Scout 2*, #62 CB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* Jermil Martin (RB; Class of 2008; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 2*, NR); 11 rushes, 88 yards, 1 touchdown
    0.0* David Durham (FB; Class of 2010; Charlotte (NC) Christian; Rivals 3*; NR; Scout 3*, #100 OLB); no stats
    0.0* Duron Carter (WR; Class of 2009; Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas; Rivals 4*, #11 WR, #90 overall; Scout 4*, #10 WR, #93 overall); 13 receptions, 176 yards, 1 touchdown
    0.0* James Jackson (WR; Class of 2009; Grand Ledge, Michigan; Rivals 4*, #32 WR, #225 overall; Scout 4*, #32 WR); no stats
    0.0* James Louis (WR; Class of 2010; Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic; Rivals 4*, #33 WR, #232 overall; Scout 4*, #29 WR); no stats
    0.0* Louis Irizarry (TE; Class of 2003; Youngstown Ursuline; Rivals 4*, #3 TE, #38 overall; Scout 4*, #4 TE); no stats
    0.0* Tyrone Williams (WR; Class of 2010; East Cleveland Shaw; Rivals 3*, #49 WR; Scout 4*, #32 WR); 5 receptions, 74 yards
    0.0* Marcel Frost (TE; Class of 2003; Lyndhurst Brush; Rivals 3* #31 TE; Scout 4*, #11 TE); 7 receptions, 70 yards
    0.0* Nic DiLillo (TE; Class of 2008; Madison; Rivals 3*, #28 TE; Scout 3*, #39 TE); no stats
    0.0* Chad Hoobler (TE; Class of 2004; Carrollton; Rivals 4*, #3 TE; Scout 4*, #4 TE)
    0.0* Ryan Cook (OL; Class of 2001; Martinsville, Indiana; Rivals 2*, #87 OL; Scout NR)
    0.0* Derek Morris (OL; Class of 2002; Rivals 5*, #2 OT, #24 overall; Scout 5*, #6 OL); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* Brian Bobek (OC; Class of 2011; Palatine (IL) Fremd; Rivals 4*, #3 OC, #250 overall; Scout 4*, #1 OC, #98 overall)
    0.0* Sam Longo (OL; Class of 2009; Bellbrook; Rivals 3*, #26 OT; Scout 3*, #23 OT)
    0.0* Redgie Arden (DE; Class of 2001; Ironton; Rivals 5*, #7 LB, #54 overall); 4 receptions, 50 yards; 3 tackles
    0.0* Quinton Thomas (DL; Class of 2001; Fort Lauderdale Dillard; Rivals 2*, #90 DE; Scout NR); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* Sian Cotton (DT; Class of 2003; Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary; Rivals 3*, #48 DT; Scout 3*, #24 DT); 6 tackles, 1 sack
    0.0* Brandon Maupin (DT; Class of 2003; West Chester Lakota West; Rivals 3*, #21 SDE; Scout 4*, #10 DT); 1 tackle
    0.0* Ryan Williams (DE; Class of 2005; Mission Viejo, California; Rivals 4*, #12 SDE; Scout 3*, #62 DE); no stats
    0.0* Walter Dublin (DE; Class of 2006; Sarasota; Rivals 3*, #28 WDE; Scout 3*, NR); no stats
    0.0* Keith Wells (DE; Class of 2008; Gainesville; Rivals 3*, #15 WDE; Scout 4*, #16 DE, #199 overall); no stats
    0.0* Willie Mobley (DL; Class of 2008; Eden Prairie; Rivals 4*, #9 DT, #174 overall; Scout 4*, #13 DT, #201 overall); no stats
    0.0* Shawntel "Shaq" Rowell (DT; Class of 2008; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #66 DT; Scout 3*, #60 DT)
    0.0* Jonathan Newsome (DE; Class of 2009; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #25 WDE; Scout 4*, #27 DE, #264 overall); 20 tackles, blocked punt
    0.0* Jamel Turner (DE; Class of 2010; Youngstown Ursuline; Rivals 4*, #22 WDE; Scout 4*, #6 OLB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* Kenny Hayes (DL; Class of 2011; Toledo Whitmer; Rivals 4*, #7 SDE, #68 overall; Scout 4*, #14 DE, #87 overall); no stats
    0.0* Reggie Smith (LB; Class of 2003; East Cleveland Shaw; Rivals 3*, #27 OLB; Scout 3*, #23 LB); no stats
    0.0* Freddie Lenix (LB; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 3*, #22 ATH; Scout 4*, #27 LB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* Mark Johnson (LB; Class of 2006; Los Angeles Dorsey; Rivals 4*, #6 MLB; Scout 4*, #12 LB); 3 tackles
    0.0* Dorian Bell (LB; Class of 2009; Pittsburgh Gateway; Rivals 5*, #3 OLB, #33 overall; Scout 5*, #2 WLB, #19 overall); 9 tackles
    0.0* Jordan Whiting (LB; Class of 2009; Louisville (KY) Trinity; Rivals 4*, #15 MLB; Scout 3*, #16 MLB); 1 tackle
    0.0* Ejuan Price (LB; Class of 2011; Pittsburgh (PA) Woodland Hills; Rivals 3*, NR; Scout 4*, #14 MLB); never enrolled at Ohio State
    0.0* LeAndre Boone (DB; Class of 2001; Herndon, Virginia; Rivals NR; Scout NR); no stats
    0.0* Ira Guilford (DB; Class of 2003; Hoboken, New Jersey; Rivals 4*, #8 S; Scout 3*, #19 CB); 28 rushes, 64 yards
    0.0* Dareus Hiley (DB; Class of 2003; Cleveland Glenville; Rivals 4*, #14 CB; Scout 4*, #6 CB); no stats
    0.0* Sirjo Welch (DB; Class of 2004; Columbus Beechcroft; Rivals 3*, #17 safety; Scout 4*, #7 S); 20 tackles
    0.0* Brandon Underwood (CB; Class of 2004; Hamilton; Rivals 3*, #16 CB; Scout 3*, #14 CB); 3 tackles
    0.0* Eugene Clifford (S; Class of 2007; Cincinnati Colerain; Rivals 4*, #4 S, #60 overall; Scout 5*, #2 S, #25 overall); 8 tackles
    0.0* James Scott (S; Class of 2007; Daytona Beach (FL) Seabreeze; Rivals 4*, #10 CB; Scout 4*, #12 CB); 6 tackles
    0.0* Rocco Pentello (DB; Class of 2007; Westerville South; Rivals 3*, #58 S; Scout 2*, NR); no stats
    0.0* Dominic Clarke (CB; Class of 2009; Frederick (MD) Tuscarora; Rivals 4*, #19 CB, #177 overall; Scout 4*, #26 CB, #262 overall); 26 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PBU's
    0.0* Jeremy Cash (S; Class of 2011; Plantation, Florida; Rivals 3*, #25 S; Scout 3*, #30 S); 3 tackles
    0.0* DerJuan Gambrell (DB; Class of 2011; Toledo Rogers; Rivals 3*, #35 CB; Scout 4*, #22 CB); no stats
    0.0* Lamaar Thomas (ATH; Class of 2008; Fort Washington (MD) Friendly; Rivals 4*, #4 ATH, #33 overall; Scout 4*, #10 RB, #107 overall); 766 all-purpose yards
    0.0* Jaamal Berry (ATH; Class of 2009; Miami Palmetto; Rivals 4*, #5 RB, #56 overall; Scout 4*, #8 RB, #69 overall); 970 all-purpose yards, 1 touchdown
    0.0* Jonathan Skeete (P/K; Class of 2004; Gahanna Lincoln; Rivals NR; Scout NR); no stats

    Incomplete Grades
    INC* Braxton Miller (QB; Class of 2011; Huber Heights Wayne; Rivals 4*, #1 dual-threat QB, #34 overall; Scout 5*, #2 QB, #36 overall); 1,871 total yards, 20 total touchdowns
    INC* Roderick Smith (RB; Class of 2010; Fort Wayne (IN) Harding; Rivals 4*, #6 RB, #65 overall; Scout 4*, #8 RB, #51 overall); 116 yards, 1 touchdown
    INC* Devin Smith (WR; Class of 2011; Massillon Washington; Rivals 3*, #58 WR; Scout 4*, #29 WR); 14 receptions, 294 yards, 4 touchdowns
    INC* Evan Spencer (WR; Class of 2011; Vernon Hills, Illinois; Rivals 3*, #51 WR; Scout 4*, #19 WR, #139 overall); 3 receptions, 78 yards, 1 touchdown
    INC* Nick Vannett (TE; Class of 2011; Westerville Central; Rivals 4*, #13 TE, #192 overall; Scout 4*, #14 TE); redshirt freshman
    INC* Jeff Heuerman (TE; Class of 2011; Naples (FL) Barron Collier; Rivals 3*, #18 TE; Scout 3*, #24 TE); 1 reception, 25 yards
    INC* Tommy Brown (OL; Class of 2011; Akron Firestone; Rivals 3*, #42 OG; Scout 3*, #83 OT); redshirt freshman
    INC* Chris Carter, Jr. (OL; Class of 2011; Cleveland JFK; Rivals 3*, #24 OG; Scout 3*, #27 OG); redshirt freshman
    INC* Antonio Underwood (OL: Class of 2011; Shaker Heights; Rivals 3*; Scout 3*, #22 OG); redshirt freshman
    INC* Steve Miller (DL; Class of 2011; Canton McKinley; Rivals 4*, #7 WDE, #167 overall; Scout 5*, #9 DE, #42 overall); 1 tackle
    INC* Chase Farris (DL; Class of 2011; Elyria; Rivals 4*, #11 SDE, #142 overall; Scout 4*, #10 DT, #107 overall); redshirt freshman
    INC* Darryl Baldwin (DL; Class of 2010; Solon; Rivals 3*, #22 SDE; Scout 3*, #44 DE); 3 tackles
    INC* Michael Bennett (DL; Class of 2011; Centerville; Rivals 4*, #3 DT, #41 overall; Scout 4*, #8 DT, #57 overall); 17 tackles, 5 TFL's, 3 sacks
    INC* J.T. Moore (DE; Class of 2010; Boardman; Rivals 3*, #39 WDE; Scout 4*, #36 DE); 9 tackles, 1 sack
    INC* Joel Hale (DT; Class of 2011; Greenwood (IN) Center Grove; Rivals 3*, #35 DT; Scout 3*, #30 DT); 4 tackles
    INC* Curtis Grant (LB; Class of 2011; Richmond (VA) Hermitage; Rivals 5*, #1 MLB, #2 overall*; Scout 5*, #1 OLB, #19 overall); 2 tackles
    INC* Doran Grant (DB; Class of 2011; Akron St.Vincent-St. Mary; Rivals 4*, #7 CB, #102 overall; Scout 4*, #5 CB, #70 overall); 6 tackles
    INC* Ron Tanner (DB; Class of 2011; Columbus Eastmoor; Rivals 3*, #26 S; Scout 4*, #11 S); redshirt freshman
    INC* Bryce Haynes (LS; Class of 2011; Cumming (GA) Pinecrest Academy; Rivals 2*; Scout 2*); redshirt freshman
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
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