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.


Comments Show All Comments

ATXbucknut's picture

What role will the outcome of the Michigan game have for these guys?  If the stadium crowd is deflated because we're playing from behind the whole game (I know, won't happen), I could see some of these recruits who are on the fence deciding to go someplace they deem more exciting.  
How much does one (really significant) game matter in the minds of on-the-fence recruits in attendance?
Great write-up, btw!

Alex's picture

I don't think one game really matters that much...definitely not in a negative way...I think it can really only have impact in a neutral or positive way but one game won't make the decision of any recruit...definitely enhances the hype and excitement and great for prospects to see the team after a big win etc

Toilrt Paper's picture

It is ALWAYS better when THE game is played in Columbus. Michigan is at a disadvantage this year.  MUST take advantage.

JLP36's picture

I have a hard time seeing the atmosphere in Ohio Stadium for the Michigan game being a disadvantage.  There is no way that the Buckeyes are not at least competitive in this game.  That translates into a tremendous atmosphere for 3+ hours plus all the pre-game excitement.
What I see happening is the Buckeye D knocking the hell out of Denard and Braxton and friends hanging 50 + on Michigan, to ADD to the defensive and special teams touchdowns that we are going to score.  The real problem is likely to be that all of these guys and a host of others all try to commit at the same time, forcing the staff to turn away good players. 


M tots's picture

...with one current commit possibly not ending up in the class.

Probably can't name names at this point in time, but are there rumors floating around of a decommitment or is this just speculation? Any idea if he would be attending JuCo/ prep school or simply be committing elsewhere?

Dougger's picture

awesome, great stuff. glad to hear you and family kept clear of Sandy. 
and you were right; Taco being ahead of Mike Mitchell is a joke in those espn rankings.

I like football

Alhan's picture

Is anyone trying to rank schools based on the 2013 class yet? I'm just curious how we're stacking up right now compared to, say, Alabama.

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

buck-I.8's picture

Raw class, Bama sits in the second tier behind USC, followed by a cluster of other other schools including OSU, Michigan, LSU, Florida, and ND, most notably.

Toilrt Paper's picture

Around 9th, Only 17 commits, Michigan has 23.

jackson's picture

Derek, who's the current commit not ending up in this class?

HolyBuckeye1093's picture

IMO I think this is the most important OSU vs scUM game since 2007. Both Hoke and Meyer are in it for the long haul, which wasn't the case with Fickell and Dick Rod, and these two teams will be the kings of the Big Ten for years to come. Seeing the Buckeyes win and go 12-0 in Urban's first year could only help their case to the recruits that want to be a part of something special for years to come. Not just recruiting between OSU and scUM but national recruiting. I think 12-0 seals the deal for a lot of the wavering 2013 kids and sets the foundation for 2014.

farmerbuck's picture

Thanks guys! Great article and information. This is by far the Buckeye site out there. It will be a dam good class if we can land em, and i have faith in UFM.

You have to hate losing more than you love winning! GO BUCKS!!

buckeyeEddie27's picture

What a great write up.  The format was perfect and I appreciate your realistic outlooks on these guys. 
If we land the guys you have penciled in we should have one heck of a class. 
Now to go re-read this and absorb as much as possible.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

biggy84's picture

Great article! Thanks for keeping us in the loop! Is it true that losing a recruiting coordinator damages recruiting more than losing the head coach? 

Alex's picture

no way...losing Pantoni would hurt though...guy has a wealth of knowledge in that brain of his....the thing with recruiting coordinators is they do a lot of day to day communication with prospects via facebook, etc and if they're doing their job right, are the conductor to the orchestra for making sure coaches are staying on top of their guys.....but that said you can have the best coordinator in the business (Pantoni, etc.) but if Urban Meyer leaves and replaced with average joe, you're not going to yield the same results.

biggy84's picture

Thanks for the response! I asked because I have seen new coaches keep the recruiting coordinator from the previous staff to keep a class together. I am ignorant of the situations at Louisville and Tennessee with regards to their staffs and recruiting. 

tennbuckeye19's picture

 and if they're doing their job right, are the conductor to the orchestra for making sure coaches are staying on top of their guys.....


Dublin68's picture

Miles.Derek, Alex agreed on the above players

niblick's picture

As much as I would love to have Von Bell in this class, if you garunteed me those 6 right now today, I'd take that deal in a heartbeat and not think twice.

Ahh Saturday's picture

Love the consensus on D. Johnson, Mitchell, Worley, Quick, Gibson, and Connely. Hope that confidence translates into commitments because just those guys alone would make an outstanding close to this class.  One question though.  During the great Buckeye linebacker panic of 2012, I think everyone assumed we'd be trying to add a few in the class of '13, but if you guys are right in your forecast, Mitchell would be the only llnebacker in this class.  Does the staff see someone else currently in the class playing linebacker, or is the plan just to take one?

bassplayer7770's picture

Tyquan Lewis is supposed to be a Viper, and then guys like Darron Lee and Worley may be flexible.

ATXbucknut's picture

And don't count out getting a JUCO LB or two.

Alex's picture

Lewis is a Viper...Darron Lee and Chris Worley both could potentially play LB as well....I think if there is room they will take Skai Moore as a LB

scrotieMcboogerballs's picture

I really want to root for a Buckeye receiver named 'Quick'...

"Who do you think you are?!?!...I am!!"  -Pete Weber, bowling legend and dominator of the English language

Savage45's picture

Is Pantoni leaving soon?

Alex's picture

Mark Pantoni will be here as long as Meyer is here at the very least...

NW Buckeye's picture

And, this is how rumors start.....  

ATXbucknut's picture

I heard Pantoni is retiring to open a deli in the East Village and try out for some Broadway shows. Apparently the guy is a huge fan of showtunes. As we all are.

gobucks96's picture

Great article! Thanks!

laishley15's picture

Recently Dawson was on Twitter asking most of the high profile OSU recruits to follow back and was having conversations with them.  I think this shows him starting to lean toward OSU.  OSU is still close to home and it gives him the best place that he can develop as a player and to win at a high level.  He retweeted a tweet that OSU will be playing for crystal balls and Rose Bowls compared to MSU playing for Gator Bowls.

Alex's picture

don't read into twitter too much....but I did speak to one member of OSU's class and they are not sure what Dawson will do but think they have a really good shot and are recruiting him hard

1stYrBuckIClub's picture

I would love to see Dawson in this class, our OL needs the depth since we have 4 juniors on the line this year... Plus imagine if we could divert the Cass Tech pipeline to tOSU! They're like the Glenville of Michigan. 

1stYrBuckIClub's picture

This article is why I love 11W (and why me and several coworkers are known to waste at least a half hour daily reading your site, thank you!). When Urban came on, I did my own little 'recruiting list' based on rivals players that had tOSU as 'medium' interest or better. That was thrilling and all (especially after the commits of guys like O'Connor, Decker, Spence, Washington, Dodson, etc.)... But you guys own this. Even if some of the guys I was really hoping for don't become Buckeyes (North, Stevens, Dawson, Trey Johnson), we should have a killer class. I'm rooting for Derek's prediction, but hope would rather not lose a commit... Skai Moore seems to be a wild card.

BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

Great stuff as usual. 

buckeyejonross's picture

I am originally from Center and my cousin goes to Central Valley (is a junior) and Foster is pretty all about Alabama, it would take a visit and a miracle to get him here. Too bad, because I pitched here hard haha.

"You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -William T., Battle of Atlanta, B1G.

Alex's picture

I don't think it's Foster that doesn't want OSU, it's OSU that doesn't want Foster......I think Alabama is Robert's favorite, but I'm not sure he makes it there quite honestly...Rushell Shell did not have Pitt as his first choice either...bank that

Squirrel Master's picture

Alex, Alex, Alex. Again with the surprise commit! Killin us man! Straight Killin us!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Rural Meyer's picture

What are we going to do with all of these DB's?

setman's picture

seems like they want to have a second tank of piranhas on hand.

LouGroza's picture

Get him Squirrel Master.....

willshire58's picture

I know it is wrong to speculate about who will be leaving the program, but if someone has knowledge of who is expected to leave could you tell us which positions will be thin because of departures? I'm not trying to guess who is leaving, just trying to get a sense of which positions we will need to be filled the most by incoming freshmen.

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

I'm with you, Rural Meyer. We have an awesome DB class already and three more on the way (I know, I know, everyone is seeing Worley at LB, but I just don't see it) from this list? I'm guessing we take two (Bell if he wants in and either Conley or Worley). Great writeup, though, and what looks like an amazing class.

Hayze's picture

The names I've heard from some insiders thrown around on who could potentially leave (not for NFL, just transfer out) are:
Chris Fields
Jamie Wood
Antonio Underwood
Tommy Brown
Luke Roberts
Blake Thomas
Now there could be others who leave that we haven't heard about yet but as of right now if anyone does leave it'll probably be from that list.
Again this is all speculation and rumors (mostly from 247) so please don't take it as fact.

Golden Buckeye's picture

So no Ryan Timmons? Aww man, who will break it to Waycraken? :'(

buckeye76BHop's picture

I think Waycraken may be happy...if OSU doesn't get Bell or Quick.  I can bet they'll offer Timmons if one of those two senarios happens.  Not trying to burst the excitement above by Squirrel Master but this Dude feels that possible surprise may be Timmons.  Stranger things have happened...

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

btalbert25's picture

Petrino is a clown but if he ends up at UK he'll get Timmons and Timmons will end up being a GREAT college player in Petrino's offense. 

bucknut8's picture

@ Hayze- prolly not a great idea to be mentioning names like tht even though ur just passing along the info.


otrain2416's picture

Great article guys I'm still curious Derek who you think is not gonna end up in the class. Is someone decommitting or going JUCO?
Also any chance Corey Smith or Timmons come back in the picture?

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

theDuke's picture

timmons...  :(


btalbert25's picture

Great stuff!  I'm also intrigued by the mystery flip. 

buckeye76BHop's picture

I tend to agree with Alex on most recruiting predictions and do here as well.  As I would love to see Bell in Scarlet & Gray, I just don't see him coming North over Tennessee.  I think all those Alex chose are in or are possibly already.  I've always wondered about Munger just based on how quiet things are with him regarding recruiting.  Sure would be nice to see all those Alex chose with Bell.  I'd say that would result in a top 2 if not #1 class.  However it's going to be hard to beat USC IMO.  

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Grayskullsession's picture

Mike Mitchell taking all the visits and still having tOSU on top is a good sign. I think if Dorian Johnson is impressed enough on his two visits we can snatch him up as well. The wild card right now is Vonn Bell. He is not showing his cards at all and is keeping us guessing.

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

MAVBuck's picture

Great article!
What an amazing class this is shaping up to be. Cant imagine the damage Urb would've done with a full year for the last class!

Oakland Buckeye's picture

Curious as to the thought of Dymonte Thomas still decommitting from ttun to bucks as a possibllity, as well as Mccray. Seems if Bell comes, along with Conley - there would be no room for thomas anyways. As for McCray - would still like to see this legacy end up home, sepecially with only 1 LB ( i know worley or lee could go there - but there seems to be some skeptics)

buckeye76BHop's picture

I've seen on another thread that Thomas is 100%  tTUN and McCray is thinking but that's all it is right now.  I believe Alex put it as smoke is starting but no fire as of yet with McCray.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

sathey's picture

What about Timmons? If we have a shot at him we need to get him! Awesome playmaker!

osubuckeye4life's picture

I can't wait to see how this shakes out in the coming months!

WayCraKen's picture

Even with OSU talking to Timmons 2x this week, do you still feel he is not in the plans at all?  All I know is the kid has performed each and every week.  He stays 100% focused on his goals.  I was even told he will not Twitter because he does not want the distraction. He is polite to interviewers that come to his school but feels uncomfortable talking about himself.   Is that rare or common among these type of kids?