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2008 The Buckeyes' Top Prospects for 2008 - Mid-January Edition

Discussion in 'Football Recruiting' started by osugrad21, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    The Buckeyes' Top Prospects for 2008​

    Mid-January Edition

    Last week, we said, "Of course, other names will pop up before February 6th, seemingly from out of the blue, so make certain to visit BuckeyePlanet frequently during the next month." Well, the Buckeye staff made us look like geniuses by issuing "surprise" offers to Zach Domicone (Beavercreek) and Jermil Martin (Cleveland Glenville) over the weekend. Here's a quick update on several uncommitted prospects who are still considering Ohio State, as well as the two newest Buckeyes.

    Speed

    1. Brandon Harris, Miami Booker T. Washington (5' 10", 180 lbs, 4.45 forty); Ohio State (offered) in top 4 (Miami, Florida, LSU, all offered). Harris is one of the top cornerback prospects in the country, and in his team's opener this year he basically shut down blue chip wide out prospect A.J. Green (Summerville, SC). Brandon has already made official visits to Florida and LSU, and he also wants to visit Miami and Ohio State before deciding. The Florida Division of the Brew Crew have been in contact with Harris. Update 01/05 - Brandon will make an official visit to Ohio State on January 11th. It might be a bit too early to say that the Buckeyes lead, but there is definitely some strong mutual interest here. Update 01/14 - Brandon had a great time on his official visit to Columbus, but he did not commit to Ohio State despite the fact that several Buckeye commitments were on campus (Brewster, Shugarts, Sabino, Howard, Posey) to show him around town. Harris will make an official visit to Miami on January 25th and he might take his final visit the following week. Ohio State is in good shape here, but the lure of the home town school might be too much to pass up.

    2. Steve Gardiner, Dublin Coffman (6' 1", 205 lbs, 4.52 forty); Ohio State (offered) in top 4 (Northwestern, West Virginia, Pitt, all offered). Although Dublin Coffman was known for its offense this season (Mike Adams, Jake Stoneburner, Zach Stoudt, Trey Fairchild), Gardiner was the star of the Shamrocks' defense as he racked up 170 tackles on the year, including 18 in a playoff loss to eventual state champion St. Xavier. Some have pegged Gardiner as a "tweener" - too small for linebacker, too slow for safety - but the kid has the right attitude and good football instincts, so he should succeed on the next level. The Buckeyes have offered Steve as a "grey shirt", meaning that he would enroll at Ohio State in January of 2009 and be part of next year's recruiting class. Gardiner would love to be a Buckeye, but the "grey shirt" offer might be the sticking point. Update 01/08 - Gardiner was originally scheduled to make an official visit to Columbus this weekend, but he might travel to Pitt instead. Steve will decide next week from among Ohio State, Pitt, Northwestern, and West Virginia. The Buckeyes are the clear emotional favorite, but the other three schools are offering "regular" scholarships while Ohio State is still insisting on a "grey shirt". Update 01/14 - Gardiner made an official visit to Pitt last weekend, and left campus stating that all of his four finalists were still equal.

    3. Orhian Johnson, Gulfport (Florida) Boca Ciega (6' 4", 184 lbs, 4.57 forty); Ohio State (offered?) in the mix (South Florida, Florida International, Indiana, Cincinnati, UConn, Kansas, all offered). Johnson plays quarterback in high school, but he will likely switch positions at the next level, with some posibilities being wide receiver or safety. Johnson claims to have an offer from the Buckeyes, and he did make an unofficial visit to Ohio State during the season (10/20), but at the moment he appears to be a "plan B" recruit. But then again, so were Brian Robiskie and Donald Washington a few years ago.... Update 12/28 - Orhian made an official visit to Indiana (12/08), and he would also like to visit Ohio State (01/11), Tennessee (01/18), and South Florida. Update 01/05 - Johnson still appears to be a "Plan B" recruit at this point, but he will apparently still make an official visit to Columbus this weekend. Update 01/14 - Johnson took his official visit to Ohio State last weekend, but we do not yet have any word on how things went.

    4. Aundre Dean, Katy, Texas (6' 1", 200 lbs, 4.48 forty); UCLA soft verbal. Although Dean originally issued a verbal commitment to UCLA way back in April, he recently re-opened his reecruitment after Bruins' head coach Karl Dorrell was fired. As a senior, Aundre rushed for over 2,500 yards as he led his team to a perfect 16-0 record and a state championship. Dean claims to have an official offer from the Buckeyes, and he plans to make an official visit to Ohio State on January 20th; he is also considering Louisville (visit 01/11), Alabama (01/13), Arizona State (01/18), LSU (01/26), and possibly UCLA (no visit scheduled).

    5. Martin Bayless, Chula Vista (California) Castle Park (6' 3", 190 lbs, 4.53 forty); Ohio State (offered?) in the mix (Cal, Northwestern, Washington, all offered). Martin's father (also named Martin) has been involved with the NFL for the past 23 years (14 seasons as a defensive back, 3 in the front office, 6 as a coach). So far, the younger Bayless is following in his father's footsteps, as he has had a successful high school career as a safety, wide receiver, and special teams performer. This summer, the Bayless family are moving from California to Texas (Missouri City Hightower), but Martin's father also has strong ties to Ohio (grew up in Dayton, attended Bowling Green). Right now, Martin's recruitment is just starting to take off, but expect Ohio State to be in the mix for a while. Update 12/28 - Bayless is still interested in Ohio State, but the Buckeyes probably won't have any room for him in this class. Update 01/14 - Bayless took an official visit to Northwestern last weekend, and his has upcoming visits scheduled for Cal (01/18), Ohio State (01/25), and Washington (02/01). Like Orhian Johnson, Bayless seems to be a "plan B" recruit, but if the Buckeyes should lose out on some key prospects down the stretch, then a spot or two might become available.

    Big Speed

    1. Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette, Pennsylvania (6' 6", 220 lbs, 4.4 forty); Ohio State (offered) in top 4 (Michigan, Penn State, Florida, all offered). Pryor, a dual-threat quarterback, is one of the top recruits in the country, regardless of position. As a senior, Terrelle has led his high school team to a perfect 14-0 record, and the Jeannette Jayhawks are currently battling for a state championship. On the season, Pryor has once again posted several monster performances, and he already has amassed 4,024 yards passing and 3,883 yards rushing for his career; as a team, the Jayhawks have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 770 to 110, and they have scored at least 35 points in every game this season. Pryor continues to favor Ohio State (official visit 11/03), but he is also strongly considering West Virginia, Florida, Penn State, Tennessee, and perhaps a few other schools (no official visits scheduled). Update 12/28 - When Rich Rodriguez left West Virginia for Michigan, Terrelle immediately dropped the Mountaineers and added the Wolverines to his list. Michigan is scheduled to get an official visit on January 11th, and the Buckeyes are now in a real battle with that school up north, and the bad guys are gaining momentum; Florida, Oregon, Penn State and perhaps a few other schools are also still in the mix. On the season, Terrelle led his team to a state championship, amassing 1,899 yards rushing and 36 touchdowns to go along with 1,889 yards passing and 23 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions. Update 01/05 - Over the next month, you will be inundated with more information, mis-information, and dis-information about Pryor than you could possibly imagine. Until we have some credible information to the contrary (i.e., something more than wishful thinking from Michigan Man), we'll continue to assert that Ohio State leads for Terrelle's services. At this point, Michigan may not even get an official visit from Pryor, but the nation's top prospect might try to make it to Ann Arbor during the first weekend in February. As far as the Army All American game, Pryor was the starting quarterback for the East squad, and he looked solid both running and throwing, and he was awarded the MVP of the game (77 yards passing, TD; 80 yards rushing, TD). And by the way, if you are truly interested in recruiting minutiae, Terrelle insisted on rooming with Michael Brewster even though he had been assigned another roommate, he spent a lot of time hanging out with the many Buckeye verbals who were also in San Antonio, and he wore a Buckeye leaf sticker on his helmet. Update 01/14 - Pryor's interest in Ohio State has already been a factor in one Buckeye quarterback's decision to transfer (Rob Schoenhoft to Delaware). As his MVP performance at the recent Army All American Bowl demonstrated, Terrelle is ready to earn significant playing time at the college level and he will upset the depth chart the minute that he steps foot on campus, regardless of which school he decides to attend.

    2. Keith Wells, Gainesville, Georgia (6' 5", 225 lbs, 4.8 forty); Ohio State (offered) leads Florida, Miami, Tennessee, Auburn (all offered). Wells is an active, athletic DE/OLB prospect who made a pre-season commitment to Florida State. While Keith never seemed completely satisfied with his early decision, he did not formally re-open his recruitment until a few days ago, when he called the Ohio State coaching staff and asked to schedule an official visit for this weekend. The day after that call, coaches Heacock and Haynes met with Wells for an in-home visit. Keith is also considering Auburn, Tennessee, and North Carolina along with Florida State (no official visits scheduled). Apparently, Wells is looking for a winning program with a stable coaching staff, which explains his increasing interest in Ohio State, and his decreasing interest in Florida State (56-31 record since 2001; head coach Bobby Bowden is now 78 years old and on a one-year contract). Update 12/28 - Wells had great visits to Ohio State (12/08) and Auburn (12/15), and he is still planning on travelling to Florida State, Tennessee, and either Clemson or Notre Dame. The Buckeyes are still very much in the mix, but climate and location may hurt Ohio State's chances in the long run. Update 01/08 - Wells was one of the outstanding performers in the Offense-Defense All Star Game, as he recorded 2-1/2 sacks and about 10 tackles. The longer his recruitment goes on, the more that we feel confident about Ohio State's chances. However, Signing Day is still a month away, and several southern schools (Florida State, Auburn, Miami, Tennessee) will be putting the pressure on Wells to stay "home". Keith has already made official visits to Ohio State and Auburn, and he is planning to visit Florida State, Miami, and Tennessee in the upcoming weeks. Update 01/14 - Wells has officially dropped Florida State, leaving his top five as Ohio State, Auburn, Miami, Florida, and Tennessee. Wells still has some visits scheduled (Tennessee 01/18; Florida 01/25; Miami 02/01), but his offer from Ohio State might be too good to wait on.

    3. Zach Domicone, Beavercreek, Ohio (6' 3", 215 lbs, 4.47 forty); committed to Ohio State on January 13th. Okay, we have to admit that this offer caught us completely by surprise, as we had no advance warning that the Buckeye staff had any interest in Zach. Then again, we were certainly not alone - none of the "insiders" from any other site had any info on Domicone, an under-the-radar recruit whose best early offer was from the Air Force. But suddenly Domicone's recruitment took off like a rocket. Near the end of December, Nebraska was the first major program to become interested, and Zach scheduled an official visit to Lincoln for January 17th; at that time, he anticipated that he would issue a verbal commitment to the Cornhuskers during his trip. Then, on January 11th, Zach received an offer from Oklahoma, who wanted him to visit the school the very next day. While Zach was in the process of scheduling his official visit to Norman, Ohio State came in with an offer. Domicone, a lifelong Buckeye fan, quickly dropped the Sooners and the Huskers and instead took an official visit to Ohio State, where he committed on the spot. In high school, Zach was a dual-threat quarterback (572 yards passing, 5 TD's, 3 INT's; 1111 yards rushing, 9 TD's), but his future appears to be on the defensive side of the ball, either as a safety or more likely linebacker. Zach is a top student with a 3.7 GPA, a 1710 SAT, and a 27 ACT.

    4. Jermil Martin, Cleveland Glenville (6' 1", 230 lbs); committed to Ohio State on January 13th. Last week, the Buckeye staff did its best to confuse and confound recruitniks by making not one but two surprise offers. Like Zach Domicone, Jermil Martin was all set to attend another school (he committed to Iowa in early December) when Ohio State came through with a late offer. Also like Domicone, Martin has been a Buckeye fan all his life, so his ultimate decision was an easy one - on his official visit to Columbus last weekend, Jermil committed to Ohio State. Despite the fact that he was named a first team All Ohio performer at defensive end after registering 17 sacks as a senior, Martin will play fullback (500 yards rushing last year) for the Buckeyes. With Ohio State losing its top three fullbacks from last season (Dionte Johnson, Tyler Whaley, and Trever Robinson), Martin should see some early playing time for the scarlet and grey. Although Martin has a fine 3.8 GPA, he still needs to post a qualifying test score.

    Power

    1. Josh Jenkins, Parkersburg (West Virginia) Vienna (6' 3", 282 lbs, 4.62 shuttle); Ohio State (offered) leads Florida State and West Virginia (both offered). Jenkins is a three-time all state selection, and he led his team to a state championship as a senior; he was also named to the Army All-American team and was selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year in West Virginia. Josh has already made an official visit to Florida (11/03), and he is scheduled to make an official visit to Ohio State this weekend (12/08); he is also considering Florida State, Vanderbilt, and West Virginia (no visits set). Jenkins made an early verbal to West Virginia shortly after receiving an official offer from the Mountaineers, but he has been leaning toward Ohio State for the past few months. It looks like a two-team race with the Buckeyes in the lead, but this one might come down to the wire. Update 12/28 - Jenkins officially de-committed from West Virginia; his finalists are Ohio State, Florida State, and West Wirginia, with the Buckeyes leading the pack. Update 01/08 - Ohio State still leads, but don't expect any formal announcement until Signing Day. Josh will make an official visit to Florida State this weekend, and then he may shut down his recruitment, although West Virginia, Michigan, and Pitt might also get visits. Update 01/14 - Jenkins enjoyed his official visit to Florida State, but he did not leave Tallahassee with the Seminoles as his leader. Josh heads to Pitt this weekend, and he will also likely make an official visit to West Virginia. This Thursday, Jim Tressel and Jim Bollman will travel to Parkersburg to meet with Jenkins. Expect the final decision to be either the Buckeyes or the Mountaineers, with Ohio State gaining momentum as Signing Day approaches.

    2. Brandon Thompson, Thomasville, Georgia (6' 2", 291 lbs, 4.69 shuttle); Ohio State (offered) trails Clemson, LSU, Georgia Tech (all offered). Simply put, Thompson is a beast - he is big, strong, agile, and nasty with an extremely explosive first step that routinely lands him in the opponent's backfield. Brandon is both a disruptive force and a solid tackler - a good combination in an interior lineman. Brandon has long been considered to be a Clemson lock, but with Tommy Bowden constantly being on thin ice, Thompson had been checking out some other schools. Brandon made official visits to LSU (09/07), Georgia Tech (09/29), and Ohio State (11/03), and he is scheduled to visit Clemson next month (although the latest word is that he might move his visit up to this weekend). Coaching turmoil at Thompson's other three favorites had kept Ohio State in the mix for a while, but Clemson just renegotiated and extended Tommy Bowden's contract, so the Tigers are once again the strong favorite. A long shot, but worth shooting for.... Update 12/28 - The conventional wisdom said that Brandon would commit to Clemson on his official visit (12/08), but that did not happen, and now he has scheduled his fifth and final official visit for Tennessee (01/11). Coach Tressel visited Brandon earlier this month, and the Buckeyes are still in the mix despite having commitments from four potential defensive lineman candidates (Williams, Goebel, Mobley, and Rowell). Update 01/05 - For his senior senior, Brandon recorded 102 tackles, 19 TFL's, and 12 sacks. Clemson is the presumptive favorite here, but Thompson's friend, A.J. Harmon, just de-committed from the Tigers in favor of the Georgia Bulldogs (which doesn't necessarily help Ohio State, of course). Update 01/14 - Nothing new to report - the Buckeyes are still a longshot, but Thompson is worth pursuing until the bitter end.

    3. Cory Liuget, Hialeah (Florida) Hialeah (6' 3", 260 lbs, 4.8 forty); Ohio State (offered) trails Illinois (soft verbal) and Florida State (offered). Liuget committed on his official visit to Illinois (10/20), but then quickly backed off of that commitment after taking a subsequent official visit to Florida State (11/16). Apparently, Cory has also scheduled an official visit to Ohio State for some time in December. With two schools solidly out in front, the Buckeyes will have a tough time making up ground with this long shot. Update 12/28 - Liuget will likely make an official visit to Ohio State some time in January, and he may also visit Miami. The Brew Crew have made Cory a top priority for the class of 2008. Update 01/05 - Cory states that Illinois and Miami lead, and that the Hurricanes were his childhood favorite. No mention of Ohio State in recent updates, and the Buckeye staff seems totally focused on adding Keith Wells to fill out this year's defensive line class. However, Cory is apparently still scheduled to make an official visit to Columbus this weekend. Update 01/14 - Cory did not visit Ohio State this weekend; scratch this name off of your list.

    4. Ben Jones, Miami Northwestern (6' 6", 270 lbs); Ohio State (offered) in top 4 (Clemson, LSU, Miami, all offered). As a sophomore at Miami Springs, Jones racked up 60 tackles and 10 sacks. However, after transferring to Miami Northwestern at the end of the year, Ben suffered a knee injury and missed his entire junior season. Despite the forced lay off, Jones is still one of the top defensive tackle prospects in the country. Jones has official visits to Clemson and LSU scheduled for January, and he is also still looking at Ohio State, Tennessee, and Miami (no visits set). Academics are an issue, so don't expect the Buckeyes to pursue Ben too seriously until he can improve his test score (reported 15 ACT). Update 01/14 - Jones's on-again, off-again interest in Ohio State is now back on, sort of.... Ben's top three schools are Clemson (official visit 01/11), LSU (01/18), and Miami (02/01), but he is still scheduled to take an official visit to Columbus on the weekend of January 25th. Academics are an issue ... and it looks like Ben doesn't want to leave the south ... and the Buckeyes are running out of room in this class ... so you do the math.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2008
    jwinslow, stowfan, JCOSU86 and 13 others like this.
  2. Oh8ch

    Oh8ch Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis Staff Member

    You can spend 10 hours a day chasing recruiting info and not get as much as you do from reading these.
     
  3. DaddyBigBucks

    DaddyBigBucks Still Calculating Buckeye DSC... Staff Member Bookie

    Which is why "reading these" is about all I do to follow recruiting.
     
  4. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    Make sure you guys show some appreciation to the main man of these updates...

    LJB [​IMG]
     
  5. shetuck

    shetuck We scored twenty...

    done. good stuff...
     
  6. Oh8ch

    Oh8ch Cognoscente of Omphaloskepsis Staff Member

    Before you show LJB too much love I need to qualify my last post.

    I was over at BN and gathered some info that you can't find anywhere on the Planet. This includes the fact the two recruits we picked up over the weekend do not leave us room for Wells, Jenkins, Pryor and Harris.

    I am disappointed that the coaches have mismanaged recruiting so badly, and even more disappointed that the Recruiting Team was not on top of this.


    just to be safe - [/end sarcasm]
     
    OWUBuckeye51 likes this.
  7. Buck Nasty

    Buck Nasty You'll have nothing and like it


    I would much rather have these Ohio guys than them anyway.:wink2:

    :nerd::nerd::nerd:
     
    BayBuck likes this.
  8. Sportsbuck28

    Sportsbuck28 Here comes the BOOM

    You were kidding, right?

    I obsess over things to no end, so I just wanted to make sure..
     
  9. Buckeye_Mike

    Buckeye_Mike Burny burny cut cut. '13 NFL Keeper Champ

    I still don't get it. [/end sarcasm about sarcasm]

    (Fantastic job on the recruiting updates - thanks for all of the hard work!)

    :osu:
     
  10. jazzman

    jazzman Junior

    terrific update! This was all of BN, etc, etc summarized as the all important page! You guys rock!:biggrin:
     
  11. Zippercat

    Zippercat Senior

    :bow: :bow:
     
  12. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck 2014 National Champions!

    I don't know why you say that. What we need more than anyone else is guys who want to be Buckeyes, whether or not they can actually play football.

    It's a great time to be a Buckeye!:gobucks3::gobucks4:
     
  13. Padraig

    Padraig Jesus loves you, the rest of us think ur an idiot. Former FF Keeper Champ


    They need ME?!?!??? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    :biggrin:


    Awesome updates LJB and the entire BPRT. Thanks as always.

    :osu:
     
    OSUBuckeye4Life likes this.
  14. C-busBuck

    C-busBuck Um... I got nothin

    Per BN expert BK.. Buckeyes have enough wiggle room in schollies to give up to 4 more prospects if they chose to commit.
    Any additions from that group would be a huge bonus to an already awesome class of recruits. Just another great day to be a Buckeye!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
  15. osugrad21

    osugrad21 Capo Regime Staff Member

    The Buckeyes' Top Prospects for 2008​

    Mid-January Addendum

    Forget about the Brew Crew. Forget about Flash, The Gladiator, and Shaq. You can even forget about Terrelle Pryor, because the best recruits for the class of 2008 are named James Laurinaitis, Malcolm Jenkins, Brian Robiskie, Marcus Freeman, and Alex Boone. It's not often that a recruiting class can guarantee a team five instant starters, at least three of whom will be All Big Ten or better, but that's just what the Buckeyes got when the aforementioned quintet all decided to return for their senior seasons at Ohio State. It's always great to get young talent in the pipeline, but it's even better to retain your proven talent, especially when the players in question are all "super blue chippers". Regardless of who signs Letters of Intent with Ohio State on February 6th, the Buckeye staff did it's best recruiting work in early January, when it convinced five juniors to forgo the riches of the NFL to take one final shot at the crystal football.

    While keeping Laurinaitis, Jenkins, et al. on campus for one more season was certainly an unexpected benefit for the team, their decisions to stay did affect the scholarship situation for the incoming class of 2008. At this point, the staff is still trying to sort out the potential transfers (Rob Schoenhoft has already left, and several others are still thinking about it) so that they can determine just how many sholarships will be available this year. Right now, the Buckeyes have 18 verbal commitments, and the staff is strongly pursuing four other prospects (Terrelle Pryor, Josh Jenkins, Keith Wells, and Brandon Harris), for a total of 22 possible members of the Ohio State class of 2008. However, with only 18 scholarships currently available, the Buckeyes would seem to be a bit of a bind, unless some other players decide to transfer within the next two weeks.

    Speed

    1. Brandon Harris, Miami Booker T. Washington (5' 10", 180 lbs, 4.45 forty); Ohio State (offered) in top 4 (Miami, Florida, LSU, all offered). Harris is one of the top cornerback prospects in the country, and in his team's opener this year he basically shut down blue chip wide out prospect A.J. Green (Summerville, SC). Brandon has already made official visits to Florida and LSU, and he also wants to visit Miami and Ohio State before deciding. The Florida Division of the Brew Crew have been in contact with Harris. Update 01/05 - Brandon will make an official visit to Ohio State on January 11th. It might be a bit too early to say that the Buckeyes lead, but there is definitely some strong mutual interest here. Update 01/14 - Brandon had a great time on his official visit to Columbus, but he did not commit to Ohio State despite the fact that several Buckeye commitments were on campus (Brewster, Shugarts, Sabino, Howard, Posey) to show him around town. Harris will make an official visit to Miami on January 25th and he might take his final visit the following week. Ohio State is in good shape here, but the lure of the home town school might be too much to pass up. Update 01/16 - With Malcolm Jenkins returning to Ohio State for his senior season, the Buckeye secondary might be a little too crowded for Brandon's liking; and with top cornerback Patrick Johnson having already verballed to LSU, it looks like Miami would be the logical choice here.

    2. Steve Gardiner, Dublin Coffman (6' 1", 205 lbs, 4.52 forty); Ohio State (offered) in top 4 (Northwestern, West Virginia, Pitt, all offered). Although Dublin Coffman was known for its offense this season (Mike Adams, Jake Stoneburner, Zach Stoudt, Trey Fairchild), Gardiner was the star of the Shamrocks' defense as he racked up 170 tackles on the year, including 18 in a playoff loss to eventual state champion St. Xavier. Some have pegged Gardiner as a "tweener" - too small for linebacker, too slow for safety - but the kid has the right attitude and good football instincts, so he should succeed on the next level. The Buckeyes have offered Steve as a "grey shirt", meaning that he would enroll at Ohio State in January of 2009 and be part of next year's recruiting class. Gardiner would love to be a Buckeye, but the "grey shirt" offer might be the sticking point. Update 01/08 - Gardiner was originally scheduled to make an official visit to Columbus this weekend, but he might travel to Pitt instead. Steve will decide next week from among Ohio State, Pitt, Northwestern, and West Virginia. The Buckeyes are the clear emotional favorite, but the other three schools are offering "regular" scholarships while Ohio State is still insisting on a "grey shirt". Update 01/14 - Gardiner made an official visit to Pitt last weekend, and left campus stating that all of his four finalists were still equal. Steve may be waiting to see whether Ohio State removes the "grey shirt" condition from his offer, but as of today the staff doesn't have room for another player in the class of 2008. However, several current Buckeyes are still contemplating transfers, which could open another spot or two for prospects like Gardiner.

    3. Orhian Johnson, Gulfport (Florida) Boca Ciega (6' 4", 184 lbs, 4.57 forty); Ohio State (offered?) in the mix (South Florida, Florida International, Indiana, Cincinnati, UConn, Kansas, all offered). Johnson plays quarterback in high school, but he will likely switch positions at the next level, with some posibilities being wide receiver or safety. Johnson claims to have an offer from the Buckeyes, and he did make an unofficial visit to Ohio State during the season (10/20), but at the moment he appears to be a "plan B" recruit. But then again, so were Brian Robiskie and Donald Washington a few years ago.... Update 12/28 - Orhian made an official visit to Indiana (12/08), and he would also like to visit Ohio State (01/11), Tennessee (01/18), and South Florida. Update 01/05 - Johnson still appears to be a "Plan B" recruit at this point, but he will apparently still make an official visit to Columbus this weekend. Update 01/18 - Johnson took his official visit to Ohio State last weekend, and he enjoyed his trip. However, after the Zach Domicone commitment, we believe that the Buckeyes dropped Orhian from consideration, as the two prospects were projected to play similar roles (linebacker/safety).

    4. Aundre Dean, Katy, Texas (6' 1", 200 lbs, 4.48 forty); UCLA soft verbal. Although Dean originally issued a verbal commitment to UCLA way back in April, he recently re-opened his reecruitment after Bruins' head coach Karl Dorrell was fired. As a senior, Aundre rushed for over 2,500 yards as he led his team to a perfect 16-0 record and a state championship. Dean claims to have an official offer from the Buckeyes, and he plans to make an official visit to Ohio State on January 20th; he is also considering Louisville (visit 01/11), Alabama (01/13), Arizona State (01/18), LSU (01/26), and possibly UCLA (no visit scheduled). Update 01/17 - Dean has apparently dropped Ohio State - or more likely vice versa; his final five are now UCLA, Louisville, Arkansas, Alabama, and Texas A+M.

    5. Martin Bayless, Chula Vista (California) Castle Park (6' 3", 190 lbs, 4.53 forty); Ohio State (offered?) in the mix (Cal, Southern Cal, UCLA, Stanford, Texas, Texas A+M, Florida, Michigan, none offered). Martin's father (also named Martin) has been involved with the NFL for the past 23 years (14 seasons as a defensive back, 3 in the front office, 6 as a coach). So far, the younger Bayless is following in his father's footsteps, as he has had a successful high school career as a safety, wide receiver, and special teams performer. This summer, the Bayless family are moving from California to Texas (Missouri City Hightower), but Martin's father also has strong ties to Ohio (grew up in Dayton, attended Bowling Green). Right now, Martin's recruitment is just starting to take off, but expect Ohio State to be in the mix for a while. Update 12/28 - Bayless is still interested in Ohio State, but the Buckeyes probably won't have any room for him in this class. Update 01/14 - Bayless took an official visit to Northwestern last weekend, and his has upcoming visits scheduled for Cal (01/18), Ohio State (01/25), and Washington (02/01). Like Orhian Johnson, Bayless seems to be a "plan B" recruit, but if the Buckeyes should lose out on some key prospects down the stretch, then a spot or two might become available. Update 01/17 - Bayless will apparently visit Washington this weekend instead of Cal, and either Cal or North Carolina next weekend instead of Ohio State. Will Ohio State get a visit during the final weekend of the recruiting season? Only if a Buckeye offer opens up in the eleventh hour....

    Big Speed

    1. Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette, Pennsylvania (6' 6", 220 lbs, 4.4 forty); Ohio State (offered) in top 6 (West Virginia, Penn State, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, all offered). Pryor, a dual-threat quarterback, is one of the top recruits in the country, regardless of position. As a senior, Terrelle has led his high school team to a perfect 14-0 record, and the Jeannette Jayhawks are currently battling for a state championship. On the season, Pryor has once again posted several monster performances, and he already has amassed 4,024 yards passing and 3,883 yards rushing for his career; as a team, the Jayhawks have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 770 to 110, and they have scored at least 35 points in every game this season. Pryor continues to favor Ohio State (official visit 11/03), but he is also strongly considering West Virginia, Florida, Penn State, Tennessee, and perhaps a few other schools (no official visits scheduled). Update 12/28 - When Rich Rodriguez left West Virginia for Michigan, Terrelle immediately dropped the Mountaineers and added the Wolverines to his list. Michigan is scheduled to get an official visit on January 11th, and the Buckeyes are now in a real battle with that school up north, and the bad guys are gaining momentum; Florida, Oregon, Penn State and perhaps a few other schools are also still in the mix. On the season, Terrelle led his team to a state championship, amassing 1,899 yards rushing and 36 touchdowns to go along with 1,889 yards passing and 23 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions. Update 01/05 - Over the next month, you will be inundated with more information, mis-information, and dis-information about Pryor than you could possibly imagine. Until we have some credible information to the contrary (i.e., something more than wishful thinking from Michigan Man), we'll continue to assert that Ohio State leads for Terrelle's services. At this point, Michigan may not even get an official visit from Pryor, but the nation's top prospect might try to make it to Ann Arbor during the first weekend in February. As far as the Army All American game, Pryor was the starting quarterback for the East squad, and he looked solid both running and throwing, and he was awarded the MVP of the game (77 yards passing, TD; 80 yards rushing, TD). And by the way, if you are truly interested in recruiting minutiae, Terrelle insisted on rooming with Michael Brewster even though he had been assigned another roommate, he spent a lot of time hanging out with the many Buckeye verbals who were also in San Antonio, and he wore a Buckeye leaf sticker on his helmet. Update 01/14 - Pryor's interest in Ohio State has already been a factor in one Buckeye quarterback's decision to transfer (Rob Schoenhoft to Delaware). As his MVP performance at the recent Army All American Bowl demonstrated, Terrelle is ready to earn significant playing time at the college level and he will upset the depth chart the minute that he steps foot on campus, regardless of which school he decides to attend. Update 01/16 - Terrelle is scheduled to take an official visit to Michigan this weekend, and before Signing Day he might also try to visit LSU (01/25) and Oregon (02/01). Expect a lot of rumors, theories, and innuendoes to emerge over the next three weeks, but remember that Pryor has developed long-term relationships only with the Buckeye coaches and recruits. Will those relationships be enough to secure Terrelle's signature on an Ohio State Letter of Intent? We think so ... but we'll be sweating this one out until February 6th, just like the rest of you.

    2. Keith Wells, Gainesville, Georgia (6' 5", 225 lbs, 4.8 forty); Ohio State (offered) trails Florida State (soft verbal). Wells is an active, athletic DE/OLB prospect who made a pre-season commitment to Florida State. While Keith never seemed completely satisfied with his early decision, he did not formally re-open his recruitment until a few days ago, when he called the Ohio State coaching staff and asked to schedule an official visit for this weekend. The day after that call, coaches Heacock and Haynes met with Wells for an in-home visit. Keith is also considering Auburn, Tennessee, and North Carolina along with Florida State (no official visits scheduled). Apparently, Wells is looking for a winning program with a stable coaching staff, which explains his increasing interest in Ohio State, and his decreasing interest in Florida State (56-31 record since 2001; head coach Bobby Bowden is now 78 years old and on a one-year contract). Update 12/28 - Wells had great visits to Ohio State (12/08) and Auburn (12/15), and he is still planning on travelling to Florida State, Tennessee, and either Clemson or Notre Dame. The Buckeyes are still very much in the mix, but climate and location may hurt Ohio State's chances in the long run. Update 01/08 - Wells was one of the outstanding performers in the Offense-Defense All Star Game, as he recorded 2-1/2 sacks and about 10 tackles. The longer his recruitment goes on, the more that we feel confident about Ohio State's chances. However, Signing Day is still a month away, and several southern schools (Florida State, Auburn, Miami, Tennessee) will be putting the pressure on Wells to stay "home". Keith has already made official visits to Ohio State and Auburn, and he is planning to visit Florida State, Miami, and Tennessee in the upcoming weeks. Update 01/14 - Wells has official dropped Florida State, leaving his top five as Ohio State, Auburn, Miami, Florida, and Tennessee. Wells still has some visits scheduled (Tennessee 01/18; Florida 01/25; Miami 02/01), but his offer from Ohio State might be too good to wait on. Update 01/17 - Yesterday, Coaches Heacock, Haynes, and Fickel made an "in-home" visit with Keith, and all went well. JT is scheduled to visit next week - will that be enough to seal the deal?

    Power

    1. Josh Jenkins, Parkersburg (West Virginia) Vienna (6' 3", 282 lbs, 4.62 shuttle); Ohio State (offered) leads Florida State. Jenkins is a three-time all state selection, and he led his team to a state championship as a senior; he was also named to the Army All-American team and was selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year in West Virginia. Josh has already made an official visit to Florida (11/03), and he is scheduled to make an official visit to Ohio State this weekend (12/08); he is also considering Florida State, Vanderbilt, and West Virginia (no visits set). Jenkins made an early verbal to West Virginia shortly after receiving an official offer from the Mountaineers, but he has been leaning toward Ohio State for the past few months. It looks like a two-team race with the Buckeyes in the lead, but this one might come down to the wire. Update 12/28 - Jenkins officially de-committed from West Virginia; his finalists are Ohio State, Florida State, and West Wirginia, with the Buckeyes leading the pack. Update 01/08 - Ohio State still leads, but don't expect any formal announcement until Signing Day. Josh will make an official visit to Florida State this weekend, and then he may shut down his recruitment, although West Virginia, Michigan, and Pitt might also get visits. Update 01/14 - Jenkins enjoyed his official visit to Florida State, but he did not leave Tallahassee with the Seminoles as his leader. Josh heads to Pitt this weekend, and he will also likely make an official visit to West Virginia. This Thursday, Jim Tressel and Jim Bollman will travel to Parkersburg to meet with Jenkins. Expect the final decision to be either the Buckeyes or the Mountaineers, with Ohio State gaining momentum as Signing Day approaches. Update 01/18 - Jim Tressel and Jim Bollman made an "in home" visit with Jenkins yesterday, and by all accounts everything went very well for the Buckeye coaches. Josh has formally dropped Pitt from consideration, and he will instead make an official visit to West Virginia this weekend. How will the Mountaineers fare in their last-ditch effort? Wait until next week's update to find out....

    2. Brandon Thompson, Thomasville, Georgia (6' 2", 291 lbs, 4.69 shuttle); Ohio State (offered) trails Clemson, LSU, Georgia Tech (all offered). Simply put, Thompson is a beast - he is big, strong, agile, and nasty with an extremely explosive first step that routinely lands him in the opponent's backfield. Brandon is both a disruptive force and a solid tackler - a good combination in an interior lineman. Brandon has long been considered to be a Clemson lock, but with Tommy Bowden constantly being on thin ice, Thompson had been checking out some other schools. Brandon made official visits to LSU (09/07), Georgia Tech (09/29), and Ohio State (11/03), and he is scheduled to visit Clemson next month (although the latest word is that he might move his visit up to this weekend). Coaching turmoil at Thompson's other three favorites had kept Ohio State in the mix for a while, but Clemson just renegotiated and extended Tommy Bowden's contract, so the Tigers are once again the strong favorite. A long shot, but worth shooting for.... Update 12/28 - The conventional wisdom said that Brandon would commit to Clemson on his official visit (12/08), but that did not happen, and now he has scheduled his fifth and final official visit for Tennessee (01/11). Coach Tressel visited Brandon earlier this month, and the Buckeyes are still in the mix despite having commitments from four potential defensive lineman candidates (Williams, Goebel, Mobley, and Rowell). Update 01/05 - For his senior senior, Brandon recorded 102 tackles, 19 TFL's, and 12 sacks. Clemson is the presumptive favorite here, but Thompson's friend, A.J. Harmon, just de-committed from the Tigers in favor of the Georgia Bulldogs (which doesn't necessarily help Ohio State, of course). Update 01/14 - Nothing new to report - the Buckeyes are still a longshot, but Thompson is worth pursuing until the bitter end.

    3. Ben Jones, Miami Northwestern (6' 6", 270 lbs); Ohio State (offered) in top 4 (Clemson, LSU, Miami, all offered). As a sophomore at Miami Springs, Jones racked up 60 tackles and 10 sacks. However, after transferring to Miami Northwestern at the end of the year, Ben suffered a knee injury and missed his entire junior season. Despite the forced lay off, Jones is still one of the top defensive tackle prospects in the country. Jones has official visits to Clemson and LSU scheduled for January, and he is also still looking at Ohio State, Tennessee, and Miami (no visits set). Academics are an issue, so don't expect the Buckeyes to pursue Ben too seriously until he can improve his test score (reported 15 ACT). Update 01/14 - Jones's on-again, off-again interest in Ohio State is now back on, sort of.... Ben's top three schools are Clemson (official visit 01/11), LSU (01/18), and Miami (02/01), but he is still scheduled to take an official visit to Columbus on the weekend of January 25th. Academics are an issue ... and it looks like Ben doesn't want to leave the south ... and the Buckeyes are running out of room in this class ... so you do the math.


    [​IMG] [color=b900000]Ohio State's Verbal Commitments for the Class of 2008[/color] [​IMG]
    Ben Buchanan, P/K, Westerville Central (5' 10", 175 lbs); committed to Ohio State on March 2nd
    Mike Adams, OL, Dublin Coffman (6' 7", 308 lbs); committed to Ohio State on March 10th
    DeVier Posey, WR, Cincinnati Lasalle (6' 3", 190 lbs, 4.5 forty); committed to Ohio State on March 13th
    Devoe Torrence, RB, Massillon Washington (6' 2", 220 lbs, 4.4 forty); committed to Ohio State on March 20th
    Jake Stoneburner, WR, Dublin Coffman (6' 6", 223 lbs, 4.54 forty); committed to Ohio State on March 26th
    Michael Brewster, OL, Orlando Edgewater (6' 6", 305 lbs, 4.63 shuttle); committed to Ohio State on April 23rd
    J.B. Shugarts, OL, Klein, TX (6' 7", 299 lbs, 4.69 shuttle); committed to Ohio State on April 24th
    Nathan Williams, DL, Washington Court House Miami Trace (6' 5", 245 lbs, 4.67 forty); committed to Ohio State on April 24th
    Andrew Sweat, LB, Washington (Pennsylvania) Trinity (6' 2", 225 lbs, 4.55 forty); committed to Ohio State on May 31st
    Garrett Goebel, DL, Lombard (IL) Montini Catholic (6' 5", 270 lbs); committed to Ohio State on July 27th
    Nic DiLillo, TE, Madison, Ohio (6' 5", 225 lbs, 4.6 forty); committed to Ohio State on July 30th
    Lamaar Thomas, WR, Fort Washington (MD) Friendly (5' 10", 166 lbs, 4.36 forty); committed to Ohio State on October 18th
    Travis Howard, CB, Miami Dr. Krop (6' 1", 185 lbs, 4.43 forty); committed to Ohio State on October 26th
    Etienne Sabino, LB, Miami Dr. Krop (6' 3", 228 lbs, 4.74 forty); committed to Ohio State on November 8th
    Willie Mobley, DL, Eden Prairie, MN (6' 2", 264 lbs); committed to Ohio State on November 30th
    Shawntel Rowell, DL, Cleveland Glenville (6' 4", 325 lbs); committed to Ohio State on December 17th
    Zach Domicone, Beavercreek (6' 3", 215 lbs, 4.47 forty); committed to Ohio State on January 13th
    Jermil Martin, Cleveland Glenville (6' 1", 230 lbs); committed to Ohio State on January 13th


    [​IMG] [color=b900000]Ohio State's Verbal Commitments for the Class of 2009[/color] [​IMG]
    Jordan Whiting, LB, Louisville (KY) Trinity (6' 0", 220 lbs, 4.71 forty); committed to Ohio State on September 1st
    Storm Klein, LB, Newark Licking Valley (6' 2", 210 lbs, 4.5 forty); committed to Ohio State on October 14th
    John Simon, DL, Youngstown Mooney (6' 4", 265 lbs, 4.7 forty); committed to Ohio State on December 26th
    Jack Mewhort, OL, Toledo St. John's (6' 6", 283 lbs); committed to Ohio State on December 28th
    Adam Homan, LB, Coldwater (6' 2", 230 lbs); committed to Ohio State on December 29th
     
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