11W Recruiting Notebook: New Year's Edition

By Alex on December 26, 2012 at 1:30p

Hopefully everyone had a good ChristmaHanuKwanzakah and now is gearing up for New Year's Eve, as 2013 is just around the corner.

Do they make a bow that big for this Christmas gift?Marcelys Jones was Urban's favorite Christmas gift

I know Urban Meyer certainly enjoyed his Christmas, because not only did he get to spend time with his family down in Florida, away from all the snow, but he also got an unexpected present when Cleveland Glenville OL Marcelys Jones became the first member of OSU's recruiting class of 2014.

While Urban is looking to add to the '14 group, he is more focused right now on closing out the 2013 class. With the new year comes high school all-star games during the first week in January, including the US Army All-American Bowl, Under Armour All-American Game, Semper Fidelis Bowl, and Offense-Defense Bowl. 

The Bucks have a number of targets participating in those events and will look to pick up a few more commitments as they announce throughout the contests. To make it easy for all of you, we have organized a list of participating players, as well as game times and locations, so that you can easily find who to look out for while each of these games take place.

In the latest edition of the 11W Recruiting Notebook, we take a look at some prospects who will be announcing at all-star games, check in on the latest shuffling of the wide receiver board, and look ahead to some big weekends the staff has planned once the new year is brought in.

Join us after the jump to hear the latest on the Ohio State recruiting trail, with the New Year's edition of the 11W Recruiting Notebook.

Linebackers Are Coming to Town

Ohio State has Tyquan Lewis set to arrive on campus January 5 and he is going to start his Buckeye career at the Viper position, which is a linebacker who puts his hand down at the line of scrimmage and rushes the passer.

January 4 can't come soon enoughTrey Johnson could be #20 for Ohio State

Outside of Lewis, the Buckeyes do not have any other verbal pledges at the linebacker position, a group in need of talent as soon as next season. That is about to change, though, as two big-time prospects are making their announcements at their respective high school all-star games.

Lawrenceville (GA) Central Gwinnett's Trey Johnson will be playing in the Under Armour All-America Game on Friday, January 4 as a part of Team Nitro. His teammates for the game will include Buckeye commits Cam Burrows, Joey Bosa, Jalin Marshall, Marcus Baugh, and Gareon Conley, who will be showing him some extra OSU love prior to him announcing his decision during the broadcast.

When that announcement happens, I am very confident Trey will be putting on a hat with a block O, and will become the 20th member of the Buckeyes' 2013 class. Johnson will be a big pickup for Meyer, as he is a very talented player who can step in and contribute immediately at one of the two open linebacker positions.

A day later at the US Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, I expect the Bucks to snag their second linebacker commitment in as many days. Mike Mitchell, who is playing as a member of the West team in the game, is expected to make an announcement during the broadcast, and all signs point to his destination being Columbus.

Mitchell had a great visit to campus earlier this month and will not take any other visits before deciding. He has said the Bucks lead for his services all along, and fans will be pleased when he announces his intentions at the game, in front of future teammates Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Hill, Evan Lisle, Eli Apple, and Johnny Townsend, as well as our very own Kyle Rowland, who will be on hand for coverage all of next week.

Speed Kills

The gap at linebacker looks like it will be filled soon, so the focus will shift to wide receiver, where Urban and his staff are looking for playmakers to step in and be a factor next season.

Staying home or getting Urbanized?James Quick's decision is rapidly approaching

The first word of how things will play out will come at the Army Bowl, where Louisville (KY) Trinity WR James Quick is expected to make his college decision.

Quick has said for some time now that Louisville is his leader, so many expect the Cardinals to get the call, but he has very high interest in the Buckeyes after his official visit to Columbus for The Game back in November.

I have asked around to many sources and have heard everything about this recruitment. Many are adamant he will stay home and play for Charlie Strong, while others have called Quick a lock to the Buckeyes. I personally think nobody knows for sure what is going on with Quick's pending choice, and we should all find out soon enough if he is indeed ready to announce in San Antonio.

The next man up at receiver is Cleveland Heights' Shelton Gibson. Gibson will make an official visit to OSU on January 11 and is expected to sit down with the staff to see if he'll be able to qualify in time for the 2013 football season. If he will make the grades, Gibson will definitely be in the Buckeyes' class, so stay tuned for news coming out of that trip.

Other players the staff will be continuing to recruit include Cornelius Elder, Ryan Timmons, and Corey Smith.

I think if given the green light, both Elder and Timmons would commit to the Bucks on the spot. Right now both are scheduled to come in the weekend of January 11 so we will know what the situations for both players are coming out of their visits.

Smith is currently committed to Mississippi State, but would be intrigued with the opportunity to come home to Ohio and is listed as a tentative visit on January 18. If he makes that visit, you know things are real there, but if he doesn't, it is a telling sign the Bucks are likely filled at receiver for the current class.

Finally, one other player to look out for is Dontre Wilson of DeSoto, Texas. Wilson chose Oregon over the Buckeyes and Texas A&M back in the summer, but with the Ducks in hot water and Chip Kelly possibly leaving for the NFL, Wilson could be looking around again.

Tom Herman was at DeSoto High School a few times over the last month, so obviously this isn't just a one-sided romance. I do think the Bucks would bring in Wilson if he is open to it and he could be a dynamic last-minute grab at the running back/slot receiver position.

Big Recruiting Weekends Planned

As you can probably infer from some of the notes above, the Buckeyes have some big recruiting weekends planned after the new year.

Bell's visit is a big oneThe Buckeyes are going all-in for Vonn Bell

The first of those big weekends will be from January 11-13, when the staff is expected to host a growing list of top players in the 2013 and 2014 classes. The date of the weekend is no random selection, as the basketball Buckeyes will be in action against Michigan on that Sunday, setting up an electric environment for the visitors to take in.

Included in the list of players being hosted are Gibson, Elder, and Timmons as mentioned above, as well as 2013 targets in DB Vonn Bell, OL Dylan Wiesman, and LB James Hearns. The staff will also bring in 2013 commits TE Marcus Baugh and ATH Jalin Marshall to help recruit the aforementioned to Columbus, especially Bell who is deciding between OSU, Alabama, and Tennessee at the end of January.

2014 prospects on hand will include recent commit OL Marcelys Jones, his teammate ATH Marshon Lattimore, LB Kyle Berger, and DB Damon Webb. There are sure to be many other names added, but those are some big-time prospects to kick off the list.

In addition to the middle of January, there is another big recruiting weekend set up for the weekend of February 8-10. Not coincidentally, Thad Matta's team plays another big game that Sunday, as they host the Indiana Hoosiers in what should be the biggest home game of the season.

There are no players confirmed yet for a visit, but you can see how Urban Meyer is being methodical in planning out the best possible weekends to impress members of the recruiting class of 2014.


Comments Show All Comments

BSTP DeCon's picture

I have to admit, I did have a dream last night where Gibson and Quick opted their commitments not towards Ohio State. I hope that was just a fluke!

buck-I.8's picture

There's a junior day the weekend of the 11th as well, correct?

Hayze's picture

Great article Alex, as usual.
Something which I think is of note regarding Quick. Should he announce at the AA game, I think that bodes well for the Bucks then if he would announce in his hometown, say at his high school. There is no way he would pick the Buckeyes if he was announcing in his high school gym, whereas, if he's announcing at a nuetral site 

Ashtabula's picture

They NEED Johnson and Mitchell to commit at linebacker or this recruiting class will be a slight letdown.

buck-I.8's picture

Johnson looks slightly more sure than Mitchell, but I expect to see both of them in this class

Alex's picture

Other way around, but they'll both be Buckeyes from what I hear

Ashtabula's picture

I hope you are right.  If one of them go the other way, is there a last minute replacement/flip at the LB spot that you would start looking at?  JUCO?

buck-I.8's picture

There's this Anzalone kid that I've heard about a few times. I don't know much about him

buckeye76BHop's picture

That's not happening...that ship has sailed...with his daddy as the captain of said ship;-)

"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 

avail31678's picture

I think, I THINK...BuckI8 was being a sarcastic guy there...referring to the exhaustive threads and comments about him back when he decommitted from OSU.

buckeye76BHop's picture

I was too;-)

"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 

buckeye76BHop's picture

Good stuff...especially like the stuff about Elder and Timmons.  I hate to say this, but it seems that Quick may go with Louisville to me.  I mean look at it like this, if Strong would have left...then there's only a slight chance he chooses L-ville or follows Strong to an out of state school (which might as well go with OSU then).  With Strong staying put, it makes me think (even with UFM on the hunt) that the home town kid stays put (Braxton is good, no doubt.  But that #5 Teddy Bridgewater for Louisville isn't too bad either).  I hope I'm wrong, but don't think I am.  Elder and Timmons bc I'm sure the staff have learned their lesson on waiting for top prospects like Steffon Diggs last year.  Timmons isn't as fast as many, but he did win the WR/sprint championship at FNL...not to bad.  Elder is just flat out fast...can't go wrong there either... 

"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 

sir rickithda3rd's picture

i think there are better all around receivers. however, if your talking about straight line speed i dont think anyone is faster than timmons

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

buckeye76BHop's picture

Not trying to blow up this thread...but does Marcelys look like a young Big Hank.  Not trying to be funny either...just looked at Big Hanks mock draft status and it hit me...they look alot alike.  Sorry I couldn't put Big Hanks pic up higher...

"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 

aboynamedtracy's picture

Since you asked, I'd say "no, he does not." But I'm curious if others see the resemblance. Now if you meant below the neck, then yes...

johnblairgobucks's picture

more Bernie Mac than Big Hank, collar bone up.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Hopefully, James Quick will get the entire state of Kentucky to act like Landon Collins's jilted mom:

okiebuck's picture

Good info guys. Interesting that you say the Johnson kid, if he comes our way could contribute right away at LB; I've felt that way about Mitchell for a while after I saw him play before his team was knocked out of the playoffs. And your note about Tom Herman visting Dontre Wilson of Desoto is no small thing; it's a real possibility that if he de-commits from Oregon he would be a HUGE get for the Buckeyes. A&M already has way too many commits (30+) so landing him would be a real coup; IF, IF he bolts from the Ducks.

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

buck-I.8's picture

I think Mitchell is too raw to play right away. A bit like Curtis Grant, he has all the athleticism, but not yet the fundamentals and mental aspects of MLB yet. 
Wilson keeps saying that he's firmly committed. Obviously there must be some mutual interest or the staff wouldn't keep contacting him. That said, the coach he said he will stay committed for at OU isn't Kelly, so allegedly, his leaving for the NFL would make no different. If he were to leave however, I'd think he'd be all buckeye.

okiebuck's picture

You may be right about Mitchell my friend; he may need some seasoning and coaching up from Vrabel and company but there is alot of talent in that young man and he has that nose for the ball.  

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

NJ_BUCKEYE's picture

Isn't Johnson an ILB and Mitchell an OLB, because ILB is where we need help now or rather yesterday.

Alex's picture

Mitchell is projecting at the MIKE...Johnson could potentially play inside, but OSU likes him outside a la Sabino (could play both as well)

Troy0782's picture

Thanks for the info, Alex! I know we shouldn't get too excited about potential recruits but I would love to see both Mitchell and Johnson in scarlet and grey and will be highly dissapointed if one or both go elsewhere.

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Love the Dontre Wilson and long-awaited Alex mystery flip updates, but pretty confident we end with Mitchell, Johson, and Gibson, plus one of Quick, Elder, or Timmons (or two of these guys?) and then figure out Worley situation based on Bell, giving us 25, one way or another. Is anybody seeing anything different than that?

danavh4's picture

I have been a big Corn Elder fan since I saw him play on ESPN.  With Mitchell's speed...let Mariotti develp him physically and he will be a flat out animal!
I love the smell of January during recruiting season!!!!

Michigan Fan: "We lose a long snapper and the whole team goes to shit!"