Urban Meyer and Ohio State received a 6-5/325 present under the tree on Christmas Day, when Cleveland (OH) Glenville OL Marcelys Jones became the first verbal commitment for the Buckeyes' 2014 recruiting class.
Jones was a bit of a surprise to be the first pledge in the class for a few reasons. The first of those reasons is that Glenville players typically wait throughout the recruiting cycle to announce their college choice.
Another reason the news came as a shock to some was that it was believed that Meyer wanted all 2014 prospects to wait until after National Signing Day for the 2013 class to announce their intentions to come to Columbus.
Finally, many believed that Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary star LB Dante Booker would be the first junior prospect to pledge to OSU.
Offensive line is expected to be a position of emphasis in the 2014 class, maybe a reason why Jones was the first domino to fall, and with him now in the fold, Ohio State will look to add three or four more to the group.
Possible targets that could claim those spots are Jamarco Jones, KC McDermott, Damian Prince, Nick Richardson, Kyle Trout, and Nathaniel Devers, although others are sure to enter the picture as the staff evaluates more film of the past season.
Jones was in Atlanta for the holidays, but woke up Christmas morning and knew it was the right time to make the decision. He made the call to Urban shortly after talking to his family, and the Ohio State coaches welcomed him into the family and told him to kick-start the class on a strong note.
Join us after the jump to find out what the draw to OSU was for Jones, as well as why he decided now was the time to become the first member of the Ohio State 2014 recruiting class.
What made you decide to commit to Ohio State?
I just love the Buckeyes and felt it was where I needed to be. It is a special school and it felt like the right fit for me. I knew it was where I wanted to be.
What was Coach Meyer's reaction to the news you brought him on Christmas morning?
He was super excited, but surprised. He thought I would wait it out. Coach Meyer said it was one of his best Christmas presents.
Was there any reasoning behind your choice to be the first commit of the class?
I am real excited to go and play for Ohio State. I didn't want to wait any longer. The honor of being the first commit is amazing. Making this the best class possible is a responsibility I wanted. I'm going to work hard to recruit others, and I think we will have a few more commits soon. I know that when I come back to Ohio I am going to work on [my teammate] Marshon Lattimore to follow me to OSU.
How does it feel to now know you're going to play for Ohio State?
It's awesome. I'm very excited to be committed to Ohio State. I want to bring home a national championship for Coach Meyer and the Buckeyes.
Has the coaching staff mentioned what position you'll likely play for the Buckeyes?
We both have said that we'll let that take care of itself when I get to Ohio State. They just want me to continue to become a better person on and off the field. At this point I expect to play offensive tackle or guard, though.
Do you have any plans to visit Ohio State in the near future?
I am sure I will make it to Columbus in the spring. For right now it is time to work and get better in the offseason. I am focused on hitting the weight room and becoming a better player.