A Look at 2013: Offense

By Alex on February 9, 2012 at 1:00p
Not a bad starter for 2013Jalin Marshall is a good start for 2013 to say the least

Now that the Ohio State recruiting class of 2012 is basically signed, sealed, and delivered (sans one Stefon Diggs), it is time to shift focus onto the next crop of stars, the recruiting class of 2013.

Like 2012's bunch, the 2013 group is very talented and Urban Meyer and the staff have wasted no time in going after not only the best players in Ohio, but also the entire nation.

Things will definitely be done a little bit differently under Urban, as at this point the Tressel regime was a bit more conservative in handing out offers, while Meyer has already dished out over 50 offers for a class that will number somewhere between 15-20 players.

Regardless of how they go about it, Ohio State is in line to land a recruiting class that will challenge for the top spot in the nation come next Signing Day. In this first segment of "A Look at 2013", we take a glance at some of the offensive players the Buckeyes are targeting in the early going, how they can fill needs based on the current roster outlook, what the latest buzz is and much more.

Join us after the jump to take a look at some of the recruiting class of 2013's rising stars on Ohio State's big board. We will be back next week with a look at the defensive stars in the class.


Heading into the 2012 season, the Buckeyes appear set at quarterback with Braxton Miller, Kenny Guiton, and Cardale Jones behind center. Miller will be a second year quarterback and likely has two years left after this one, Guiton will be a redshirt junior with a year left, and Cardale Jones will either be a true freshman, but more likely will redshirt, giving him four years of eligibility remaining.

Will Zaire be Braxton's successor?Zaire is first in line to be a Buckeye

Jones is a talented player, but it is unknown if he will be able to take his raw ability displayed at Glenville and then Fork Union Military Academy and translate it to the BCS level. That, coupled with a natural need for depth, leaves Urban Meyer on the prowl for at least one, but more likely two quarterbacks in the class of 2013.

The top target as of today and the most likely to be a Buckeye in my opinion, is Malik Zaire of Kettering Alter. Zaire was offered by the old staff, but is still not completely sure his offer has been confirmed by the new regime despite a lot of contact already. Because Zaire plays in a triple option offense, I think the staff may want to see him throw in person before confirming that offer, but at the end of the day I expect Malik to be a Buckeye and that could happen by the end of this coming summer.

Other players in the mix include two others offered by the old staff and one by the new staff in Ellenwood (GA) Cedar Grove's Jonathan McCrary, Seffner (FL) Armwood's Darryl Richardson, and the recently offered Georgia commit, Brice Ramsey of Kingsland (GA) Camden County. Meyer and Mark Pantoni should be familiar with McCrary and Richardson from their days in Florida, but there has been very little chatter if Ohio State remains in the mix to sign these star signal callers. Ramsey is likely a long shot with his current pledge to Mark Richt, but OSU is just getting into this one and could make it interesting.

Finally, the next group of players are on the radar, but evaluation is still needed and you can expect a lot of buzz about these names over the next few months. Toledo St. John's Brogan Roback and Bolingbrook's (IL) Aaron Bailey are both set to visit Columbus this weekend and we should know more after those trips, while Kent Roosevelt's Tra'Von Chapman, Whitewright's (TX) Tyrone Swoopes, and Virginia Beach (VA) Salem's Bucky Hodges have also garnered Ohio State interest.

If I had to guess at this point, I would say Malik Zaire will be a Buckeye and then either Chapman or one of the national quarterbacks will come to Columbus as well. I think there will be almost double the names on the quarterback list in about a month or so, as Mark Pantoni continues his evaluations and sets Urban and Tom Herman on the trail to find Braxton Miller's successor.


The Buckeyes brought in Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball in the 2012 class, but that won't stop them from pursuing another back or two from an extremely talented group in the 2013 class.

Isaac's got skillsTy Isaac is one of the nation's best backs

Ty Isaac is probably ranked as the highest player on Ohio State's board right now. The Joilet (IL) Catholic Academy star can do it all, including catching passes out of the backfield, something Urban Meyer and Stan Drayton love employing in this offense. Isaac has offers from some of the top programs in the country, including Michigan, Notre Dame, Arkansas, and USC, among others and will definitely be tough to win over. The good thing for OSU is that Isaac is planning what will be his third trip to Columbus in the near future and with Urban Meyer, you always have a shot with a player of his caliber.

The other players with offers that are definitely in the mix are longtime Buckeye fan Derrick Green of Richmond (VA) Hermitage, Howland's DeVeon Smith, McDonough (GA) Eagles Landing's Keyante Green, St. Petersburg (FL) Catholic's Ryan Green, Greensboro (NC) Northern Guilford's TJ Logan, and Delray Beach (FL) American Heritage's Greg Bryant. Two other players visiting this weekend are Kendrick Foster of Peoria (IL) Richwood and Ezekial Elliott of of St. Louis (MO) John Burroughs.

I think the Buckeyes end up with two backs in this class and I think they will come from the group of Isaac, Green, Smith, and Logan. Obviously things can change as it is very early in the process, and as the summer draws near things should begin to get less cloudy on the running back front.


The Buckeyes added a good group of players at receiver this past year, but Urban Meyer is always looking for play makers and it looks like in 2013 he will grab a couple of those from the wide receiver position.

Gibson could join Kyle Dodson as a BuckeyeThere is a good chance Gibson is a Buckeye

Jalin Marshall is already in the bag and will be playing receiver at Ohio State, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for two to three other big time pass catchers in this offense.

The consensus top target on the radar is Monaca (PA) Central Valley's Robert Foster. At 6-2/190, Foster has good size to go along with excellent speed and ability to change direction, making him the shift yet strong play maker this offense has been lacking. Foster is garnering interest from the top programs in the country, but visited Columbus a few weeks back, really enjoying his time and hitting it off with current quarterback Braxton Miller, as well as potential future quarterback, Malik Zaire.

Joining Foster with offers at this time are Cleveland Heights' Shelton Gibson, Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek's Marquez North, Matthews (NC) Butler's Uriah LeMay, Fort Lauderdale (FL) University School's Jordan Cunningham, Tampa (FL) Jesuit's Travis Johnson, Jacksonville (FL) Bishop Kenny's Ahmad Fulwood, Crete (IL) Monee's Laquon Treadwell, Dallas (TX) Jesuit's Jake Oliver, Nokesville (VA) Kettle Run's Michael Parker, and Tampa (FL) Middleton's Richard Benjamin. Other players of interest, but without reported offers include Shaker Heights' De'Niro Laster and South Bend (IN) Clay's Wesley Thomas.

This crop is hard to predict right now, but if I had to call it, I would say Foster and Gibson will be Buckeyes, with maybe one other player joining the class.


When the 2013 class are freshman, Ohio State will have Jeff Heuerman as a junior, Nick Vannett as a redshirt sophomore, and Blake Thomas as either a sophomore or redshirt freshman. The need for tight end in this class really isn't great, but there will likely be at least one brought in, if not two.

Two Heuermans are better than oneMike Heuerman is hoping for an Ohio State offer

Most recruitniks are aware of Camp Hill (PA) Cedar Cliff's Adam Breneman, regarded as the nation's top tight end in the class. Breneman has offers from Michigan, Penn State, Alabama, Florida State, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee, and many others in addition to the Buckeyes, so winning over his services will not be easy. While he grew up a Penn State fan, he has said that will not play a huge factor in his decision, and the good news for Ohio State is that he will visit some time in the near future.

The other player at tight end that OSU has offered is Wyatt Shallman of Detroit Catholic High School in Novi, Michigan. Shallman is being looked at by many schools as a defensive lineman, but Urban Meyer has told Shallman he wants him at the "H-back" position and will utilize his athleticism on the offensive side of the ball. Many think Shallman will end up at Michigan, but a visit to Columbus on January 29 turned his head and he will definitely keep the Buckeyes close to mind while he deliberates his decision.

After Breneman and Shallman, no other tight ends have been offered, but the list of potential targets include Naples (FL) Barron Collier's Mike Heuerman (brother of Jeff), Bishop Hartley's Jacob Matuska, Riverside (CA) John W. North's Marcus Baugh, and Millersburg West Holmes's Brock MacCaulay.

It is too early to tell how things will play out here, but I think OSU has a very good chance to land Breneman, a solid chance with Shallman, and a very good chance with Heuerman if he ends up receiving an offer.


Last, but certainly not least is the offensive line. The Buckeyes reloaded a bit in 2012 with Taylor Decker, Kyle Dodson, Pat Elflein, Jacoby Boren, and Joey O'Connor, but the need for more linemen is still great in 2013, especially at the tackle position.

OSU is very familiar with Evan LisleAn offer to Lisle may be coming at any moment

Ohio State has offered six tackles already and they are some of the nation's best. The lucky bunch includes Peoria (IL) Manual's Logan Tuley-Tillman, Parker (CO) Ponderosa's Chris Fox, Lemont's (IL) Ethan Pocic, Washington DC Dunbar's Derwin Gray, Owensboro's (KY) Hunter Bivin, and Lake City (FL) Columbia's Laremy Tunsil. Landing any of these players would be an absolute home run for Ohio State, but until things develop further I wouldn't hold your breath on any of them committing anytime soon.

The next group of players who could be in line for an offer include Centerville's Evan Lisle, Huber Heights Wayne's Lovell Peterson, Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller's Alex Gall, Springboro's Sean Welsh, Canton GlenOak's Steve Mathie, Lakota West's Kyle Meadows, Hamilton's Ben Flick, Thornville Sheridan's Tate Leavitt, Cincinnati Walnut Hills' Isaiah Johnson, Wexford (PA) North Allegheny's Patrick Kugler, Wheaton (IL) St. Francis's Kyle Bosch, and South Bend (IN) Clay's Shakir Carr

Once again, it is too early to tell how things will play out here, but if I was a betting man, I would put good money down on Lisle and Peterson to be Buckeyes if offered, which I think will eventually happen down the road. There is a good chance the Buckeyes will land a couple of other names from this list, or some new names that may emerge, but right now there is no real clarity in the offensive line situation and probably won't be until after summer camps.



Maestro's picture

Wow, you are on it Alex.  I know it's time to move on in regards to recruiting, but my head is still spinning from the past 2 months of 2012 recruiting.  Go on with your bad self.

vacuuming sucks

bucki5's picture

I'm starting to think he should contact Urban about being added to the recruting staff.

BTwrestle04's picture

I really hope we go hard after Swoopes. Kid is a stud. Much better throwing motion than Zaire too. 

Alex's picture

Yeah if he is offered I expect OSU to push hard

immort9888's picture

Swoopes would be awesome!!  Is it possible to beat Texas in his recruitment?

BTwrestle04's picture

Texas hasn't even offered him yet. Urban also has a history of getting a few recruits out of Texas.

DMcDougal24's picture

This is awesome, Alex. Great work. Of those names I'm hoping for Breneman most, but mainly just because of the loss of Stoneburner and the ability for Urban to get the ball to the speedy TEs. Obviously bringing in a shifty RB seems to be a need as well.

BuddhaBuck's picture

Pizza for lunch. 11W recruiting for dessert. Nap time.

Don't text while driving.

Abe Froman's picture

Alex is like that friend you have that always seems to have the dish on recruiting. This is an extremely important position to hold down so that drunk philosophical talk. Is averted.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

buckeyechad's picture

I watched one of Malik Zaire's games, while it was only one game I was completely unimpressed. Don't remember his stats but if he sniffed 50% on completions I'd be surprised. Always room for improvement I guess (especially since he's only a junior)

Jdadams01's picture

I also saw him play and came away with the same feel. I guess that's why the staff most likely wants to get him in to camp first.

notoriouswojo's picture

As the resident West Florida Buckeye honk. I have seen Seffner-Armwood's Darryl Richardson in person twice. He is legit and and has the BCS type arm to play in Urban's offense. If Urban can put the hard sell on him coming to Columbus doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility. 

Alex's picture

thanks for the insight...great to know he is for real...saw him on TV last year and agree with you....I know he likes Florida but feel that was because of Urban

immort9888's picture

If Coach Meyer lands Jalin Marshall, Ty Isaac, Robert Foster, and Adam Breneman in the 2013 class, I would applaud those recruiting efforts at the non-QB offensive skill positions.  Alex, what do you think the chances are at this point that OSU could also land Isaac, Foster and Breneman?

Alex's picture

I think OSU has as good a chance as anyone individually with all 3 of those players...do I think they land ALL 3? No, but it is possible. Out of those 3, I think Foster is the most likely, followed by Breneman, and then Isaac. I just don't get the right vibe from Isaac re: OSU interest, especially because of the RB depth we have...could be wrong though

immort9888's picture

With all due respect Alex, I hope you are wrong about Isaac.  He has great hands to go along with great vision as a RB.  I definitely understand your point about how OSU's depth at RB could be a turn off. 

Matt's picture

Alex -- do you pretty much consider Derrick Green in the bag?  Having him and Issac would be a killer combination of size and speed.

Alex's picture

If OSU does indeed want him as bad as he claims they do, I think Green is all Buckeye.....I am nervous the new stuff isn't as fond of him as the old staff/system was....I still have him as a Buckeye though

BTwrestle04's picture

I would love to be a fly on the wall in an OSU coaches recruiting meeting.

TNBuckeye1421's picture

Where is the donation link... did you guys take it down? You guys do such a great job I feel like if I dont pay for it Im robbing from you!

Alex's picture

Thanks for the kind words....the link is here https://www.wepay.com/donations/124731


you can locate it just above the poll.....

TNBuckeye1421's picture

Sure enough you are right... It popped up after I voted on the poll. Weird? Any way Donation in Thanks for all of your hard work Alex!

Alex's picture

thank you again

Milk Steak To Go's picture

About how many Ohio kids will be taken in 2013?  Many of the offers seem to be to out of state kids.

Alex's picture

I still think a good chunk of the 20 or so kids will be from Ohio...at least 12?

Jdadams01's picture

Alex, have you had a chance to speak to Derwin Gray in regards to his feel on OSU? That kid does not look like an O-Lineman, more like a DE or big linebacker. I love the athleticism he brings to the position.

Alex's picture

I am set to speak to him in the near future

yankeescum's picture

Why isn't Darron Lee being looked at as a QB prospect?  

Alex's picture

I think Lee is definitely an athlete and a good player but won't be a QB at least at OSU

RecruitBuck's picture

Lee got beat out my a 5'6 senior for the starting QB job last year. He was mistake prone in an Wing-T offense, which you can't have. Lee could be phenomenal this year, but he's a runner first and foremost. 

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Anyone out there hear of a TE from Pickerington named Jake Butt? The Detroit News' resident scUM shill has glorified him into near sainthood for the Weasels from Up North. Is the that good? The scUM shill thinks he's a lock for going up there to eat a lot of burgers and malts with Hoke.

Alex's picture

OSU is looking at Jake as a DE if anything I believe....I interviewed him a little while ago. You can read it here: http://www.elevenwarriors.com/2011/12/catching-up-with-jake-butt

Michigan is definitely WAY over hyping this kid...I do not think OSU will offer

toledobuckeyefanjim's picture

Thanks, Alex. I've read other stuff from him. That guy always overhypes all the scUM recruits.

DefendOhio's picture

Is Jake Butt not playing TE I assume? DE?

Buckman's picture

Alex, do you Meyer will go after the number one prospect Robert Nkemdiche?

I like to believe that my best hits border on felonious assault.


Alex's picture

I hope so....think he will stay in the south though

William's picture

He's going to Alabama I think. His coach played at Alabama, and I believe his coach is his foster father?

DMcDougal24's picture

Alex, whatever happened with Moreau, the small speedy back that surfaced a week or two before signing day?