11W Recruiting Notebook: Bye Week

By Alex on November 7, 2012 at 4:01p

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another edition of the 11W Recruiting Notebook.

Mystery MitchellWill the Mike Mitchell saga end in him picking OSU?

Apologies for my absence with this feature last week, as I was fighting through Frankenstorm Sandy in the New York/New Jersey area. Luckily all in my family, as well as our property, survived the storm, but we were without power for quite some time, hindering my ability to join all of you in our little community here.

We return this week with the Buckeyes coming off a victory against Illinois and headed into a much-needed bye week. The Bucks have been dinged up all season long and the off-week comes at a great time for the players to heal, right before a tough two-week stretch to end the season at Wisconsin and home against Michigan.

The bye week is also a great time to sit back and reflect, not only on OSU's 10-0 season, but also on the staff's efforts on the recruiting trail. Urban and the rest of the coaches have done an outstanding job recruiting the class of 2013 so far, with 17 verbal commits on board already.

It is starting to look like there will be more room than anticipated for this class and the group could end up numbering 24 or 25 when Signing Day rolls around in February. Because of this, the staff has started to be more aggressive in their pursuit of some of the top prospects in the country.

This week Miles, Derek, and I do some reflecting of our own when it comes to recruiting, as we look at the players remaining on the board and give you our predictions (with commentary) on where they will end up. Join us after the jump to see our predictions, hear our thoughts, and get the scoop on some of the top players in the country still considering Ohio State.

Mike Mitchell, LB, Plano (TX) Prestonwood Christian Academy

Miles: Ohio State

Comments: When he finally visits, I think he falls in love with OSU and gives Urban Meyer his pledge.

Derek: Ohio State

Comments: I think the visit to Columbus seals the deal.

Alex: Ohio State

Comments: The visit has been delayed much longer than everyone would have liked, but everything we are hearing is telling us nothing has changed regarding Mitchell to Ohio State when the visit happens.

Vonn Bell, S, Rossville (GA) Ridgeland

Miles: Ohio State

Comments: Tennessee may be the leader right now, but they won't be when Derek Dooley is fired after the season.

Ringing the BellBell is a top target

Derek: Ohio State

Comments: Derek Dooley's future in Knoxville seems to be in jeopardy.

Alex: Tennessee

Comments: Derek Dooley won't survive this season and that will set the "hometown team" back a bit, even if they bring in a top notch coach. Regardless, I think Knoxville is where Bell has always wanted to go (grew up in Tennessee and lives right on the border now) and is heart will lead him to play for Charlie Strong, Jon Gruden, etc. I hope I'm wrong about this one, but Rocky Top wins out as of today.

Christopher Worley, ATH, Cleveland (OH) Glenville

Miles: Ohio State

Comments: Only a matter of time before he is a Buckeye in my opinion.

Derek: Ohio State

Comments: He only takes visits to Columbus and this could be wrapped up soon with Glenville's season being over.

Alex: Ohio State

Comments: I think Worley is a matter of when not if.

Donovan Munger, DT/OT, Shaker Heights (OH)

Miles: Michigan State

Comments: I think Munger wants to be a Buckeye, but I'm not sure there is room.

Derek: Michigan State

Comments: Munger seems like the kind of person that can leave his home state and have success.

Alex: Ohio State

Comments: If all works out off the field, I think Munger is in this class (and has been unofficially for a while).

Daniel McMillian, LB, Jacksonville (FL) First Coast [Florida Verbal]

Miles: Florida

Comments: I think McMillian sticks with the Gators in the end.

McMillian still chomping?McMillian a Gator?

Derek: Florida

Comments: I think the Gators wrap this one up for good soon and I'm not sure he will even make the trip to Columbus for The Game.

Alex: Florida

Comments: I think Urban Meyer and Ryan Stamper will tempt McMillian to flip to OSU, but in the end he stays home to play for the local team.

Trey Johnson, LB, Lawrenceville (GA) Central Gwinnett [Auburn Verbal]

Miles: Auburn

Comments: Even though Gene Chizik's squad is struggling this season, I think Johnson sticks with the Tigers.

Derek: Auburn

Comments: I can see him committing elsewhere, but I don't think it will be Ohio State.

Alex: Auburn

Comments: Johnson says he is visiting for the Michigan game, but I don't see him coming to Ohio State, even if he somehow decommits from Auburn.

Sebastian LaRue, WR, Santa Monica (CA) [USC Verbal]

Miles: USC

Comments: I don't see LaRue coming cross-country to go to college. I think he's solid to USC.

Derek: USC

Comments: I think Lane Kiffin succeeds in keeping him in USC's class and prevents him from visiting Columbus.

Alex: USC

Comments: I think LaRue is having fun with recruiting, but sticks with Lane Kiffin and the Trojans.

Shelton Gibson, WR, Cleveland (OH) Heights

Miles: Ohio State

Comments: As long as everything off the field checks out, Gibson will be a Buckeye.

in the bag?Gibson loves OSU

Derek: Ohio State

Comments: I don't think Gibson wants to play for anyone else.

Alex: Ohio State

Comments: I have heard Gibson's grades are looking good and he got the test score needed to be a Buckeye. Visits may happen, but I think when a decision is made, Urban Meyer will add another speedster to his class.

Dorian Johnson, OL, Belle Vernon (PA) Area

Miles: Ohio State

Comments: Pitt leads for now, but I think that changes after Johnson visits for The Game and then an official two weeks later.

Derek: Ohio State

Comments: I think the Buckeyes are in great position here and this one could ultimately end after the Michigan game.

Alex: Ohio State

Comments: I think Johnson's recruitment is trending up for OSU and his visit for the Michigan game is a big one. He will be back for an official on December 7, with an announcement coming mid-December, so things may be finalized then.

David Dawson, OL, Detroit (MI) Cass Tech

Miles: Michigan State

Comments: Dawson wants to stay close to home so Sparty is looking good, but don't count the Buckeyes out just yet.

Derek: Ohio State

Comments: Things are trending up for Dawson and Ohio State. I spoke to some people "in the know" and they are feeling good about how this one is moving. I am putting Dawson IN for OSU.

Alex: Michigan State

Comments: Dawson will choose between OSU, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. Florida was the favorite here, but it looks like distance from home could be a factor. Sparty is closest to home and Dawson will have teammate Dennis Finley in East Lansing, so thats a big plus for Mark Dantonio. Don't sleep on Meyer though, as the staff and current commits are pressing Dawson hard. This one can move differently in the coming weeks and is trending towards OSU.

James Quick, WR, Louisville (KY) Trinity

Miles: Ohio State

Comments: If Charlie Strong leaves Louisville, Quick will be a Buckeye. I see this happening.

Derek: Ohio State

Comments: Another situation in which the Michigan game visit could have a big impact.

Alex: Ohio State

Comments: If Charlie Strong stays this one will be tough to win, but I think Strong goes to Arkansas or Tennessee at season's end. Louisville is the hometown school, but I think another good visit, coupled with Strong leaving, could mean Quick comes to Columbus.

Cornelius Elder, ATH, Nashville (TN) Ensworth

Miles: Vanderbilt

Comments: Elder wants to play basketball and football in college and I think Vandy gives him the best chance to shine in both.

Everybody wants a piece of CornIs Elder in?

Derek: Tennessee

Comments: I think Elder stays close to home and the Vols emerge to steal this one.

Alex: UCLA

Comments: Going away from home doesn't seem to be a problem and the Bruins are currently on top with OSU. The chance to play basketball in Westwood is appealing and Jim Mora Jr. is starting to make noise on the gridiron as well.

MarQuez north, WR, Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek

Miles: Tennessee

Comments: The Vols lead now and I don't see that changing.

Derek: North Carolina

Comments: A very talented receiver who I think chooses to stay close to home.

Alex: Florida

Comments: If Derek Dooley were to stay in Tennessee, I would pick the Vols here. I don't think he does and I expect North to stay in the south, leaving me to think he picks the Gators, with UNC being a viable option as well.

Robert Foster, WR, Monaca (PA) Central Valley

Miles: Alabama

Comments: There is no way he ends up at Ohio State. Look for Alabama to win out over Pitt here.

Derek: Pitt

Comments: I have been flip-flopping between Pitt and Alabame, but am going with the Panthers for now.

Alex: Pitt

Comments: Foster recently wanted to commit immediately after visiting Tuscaloosa, but is holding off to take some visits. That leads me to believe the Tide are the leaders here, but then why not commit already? Something is fishy here and this is reminding me alot of the recruitment of Rushel Shell. Like Shell, I think Foster picks the hometown Panthers, but it wouldn't shock me to see Foster at JuCo or a prep school next fall.

Skai Moore, LB, Fort Lauderdale (FL) University School

Miles: Rutgers

Comments: The Buckeyes might be a little late to the party on this one.

Derek: Ohio State

Comments: A sleeper linebacker that many recruiting services like. I think Moore could be a done deal when he comes in for his visit.

Alex: Rutgers 

Comments: Moore's visit for the Illinois game was pushed back to the weekend of the Michigan game. I believe that was a calculated move by OSU to assess where they are in a few weeks. If there is room, Moore is a Buckeye. If not, I think he goes with his current favorite, Rutgers.

Tony Stevens, WR, Orlando (FL) Evans

Miles: Florida State

Comments: I think Stevens re-commits to the Seminoles, though I wouldn't be surprised if he picks Ohio State. 

Big decision ahead for StevensStevens set to visit

Derek: Florida State

Comments: I think OSU is in the game, but Florida State prevails at the end.

Alex: Florida State

Comments: A lot of hoopla about wanting to take visits, but I think FSU wins back Stevens' heart. Right now the Buckeyes are sitting at the top of the list for next man up, but I think time will heal all wounds that may have been opened here and Stevens will stay in the Sunshine State with the Seminoles. Let's see if that Columbus visit actually happens for the Michigan game.

Gareon Conley, CB/WR, Massillon (OH) Washington [Michigan Verbal]

Miles: Ohio State

Comments: Conley is planning a visit to Columbus in the near future. I think he decommits from Michigan and stays in state to play for the Buckeyes.

Derek: Ohio State

Comments: Conley says he is visiting other schools, meaning his commitment to Michigan is likely over. A visit to OSU is supposedly coming soon (after Massillon's season) and I think that will put the Bucks in the lead.

Alex: Ohio State

Comments: Rumors out of Massillon say that half of Conley's circle wants him at Oregon and the other half wants him at Michigan. While things can change and a potential visit is on tap, I'm not sure Ohio State is leading for this one right now (Oregon might be), but the four-star has never made a visit to Columbus and I believe that can be the difference maker. Conley is talking right now like the Wolverines are out and Oregon hasn't even  sent an offer his way. Even if the Ducks come through with a scholarship on the visit, I think Meyer sitting down with the Conleys and Gareon seeing OSU for himself first hand will seal the deal.

How We See it

Miles: OSU finishes with Mitchell, Bell, Worley, Johnson, Gibson, Quick, and Conley from the list of prospects above, with room for one more.

Derek: OSU finishes with Mitchell, Bell, Worley, Johnson, Gibson, Dawson, Quick, Moore, and Conley from the list of prospects above, with one current commit possibly not ending up in the class.

Alex: OSU finishes with Mitchell, Worley, Munger, Johnson, Gibson, Quick, and Conley from the list of prospects above, as well as one surprise commit or Skai Moore if there is room.

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