11W Recruiting Notebook: The Home Stretch

By Alex on January 16, 2013 at 1:30p

National Signing Day on February 6 is just three weeks away and with 22 commits already in the bag, Urban Meyer and his staff are putting the finishing touches on an already outstanding class.

Urban is all smiles when it comes to recruitingMeyer is working towards another top five finish

The final number of recruits in the 2013 class is expected to be 24 or 25, meaning that there are just a few spots remaining to fill before prospects sign on the dotted line.

The Buckeyes took the first step towards finishing off the class this past weekend as they hosted a number of uncommitted prospects for official visits.

Those trips helped the staff evaluate where they are with certain players, as well as get a better feel of what they may want to do with limited space in the group.

A few prospects that have been on the radar for quite some time will be traveling to Columbus to check out what OSU has to offer, and there are also some new names emerging that could make for a Signing Day surprise.

In this edition of the 11W Recruiting Notebook, we take a look back at last weekend's visits, look ahead to what the coming weekend will bring, and review some of the newer names that are appearing on the class of 2013 radar.

The Weekend That Was

Ohio State brought in a number of uncommitted 2013 prospects last weekend including Chris Worley, Vonn Bell, Shelton Gibson, Cornelius Elder, Corey Smith, and Cameron Hunt.

Looking good bro, but your brother really needs to stop tweetingVonn Bell got the royal treatment at OSU

Worley started the weekend right, committing to the Buckeyes prior to starting his official visit. The staff was really high on the Glenville product and once he got his ACT scores up, it was only a matter of time before he committed to the Buckeyes.

We initially got some great feedback on Vonn Bell's visit, hearing that his family fell in love with the coaching staff and really liked what the university had to offer. We then got tipped off by two separate sources, one more intense then the other, that the trip may have had a bit more of a negative feeling compared to what we had thought.

Turns out what we heard initially was more on the correct path, his brother's tweets aside, and that Vonn left Columbus very high on Ohio State, possibly giving the Buckeyes a slight edge in his recruitment. We know he continued to forge a great relationship with some of the commits he met at the Under Armour game and really holds his relationship with both Meyer and Everett Withers above that of the other coaches recruiting him.

We're still not sure which way Bell is leaning, but you have to feel good knowing the Bucks are giving everything they have. A visit to Alabama is on tap for Bell this weekend, followed by a trip to Tennessee, and then a decision coming at 9:00 a.m. on National Signing Day.

Gibson was someone to keep an eye on this weekend, as many felt if he left without committing to Meyer that his chances of being in this class would diminish. Unless a silent verbal was given, it appears the ship may have sailed on the Cleveland Heights product for whatever reasons.

We don't know exactly what is going on in Gibson's odd recruitment, but we do know that if he was qualified and given the green light, he would definitely choose the Buckeyes. We also know that Ohio State extended multiple offers to receivers this week, so they clearly want another one in this class, which would not be the case if they had locked down Gibson.

Elder had a good visit, but it appears he may be plan B should either Bell not select OSU or if an offensive lineman spurns the Bucks as well. I think Elder intrigues the staff with his athleticism and I think he would be a nice addition if there was room, but he doesn't appear to be a priority at this time.

Smith had a great visit and it appears the Bucks are in good shape to flip him from Mississippi State if a procedural thing on the academic side checks out. Scout's Bill Greene said on the radio this week that both parties just need to "Cross some t's and dot some i's," so it could be a matter of when rather than if with Smith.

This would be a big pickup for Ohio State, as Smith is rated as a four-star prospect and because he is coming from the junior college ranks, he is more seasoned and can contribute right away for the Buckeyes.

Offensive tackle Cameron Hunt (Corona, CA) surprised many when he ventured down from his official visit in Ann Arbor to Columbus on Sunday to see the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines in basketball.

Hunt stayed through Tuesday afternoon on his unofficial visit before flying home before visiting Oregon and Cal in the coming weeks ahead of his decision.

We'll have to see where things stand with Hunt following his OSU trip, but early returns are that he enjoyed his stay in Columbus and is seriously considering the Buckeyes. One other thing possibly working in Ohio State's favor is the fact that Hunt and OSU commit Marcus Baugh are friends and the two hung out some on Sunday.

The Weekend Ahead

If there are three spots remaining it is clear that the staff would prefer them to go to Corey Smith, Vonn Bell, and an offensive lineman.

One big SkipperSkipper will be at Ohio State this weekend

Things may not work out exactly in that way depending on Bell's decision and how things shake out with Smith's transcripts, but wide receiver and offensive line are clearly priorities in finishing the 2013 group.

Cameron Hunt was the first offensive lineman to get the OSU pitch, but the Bucks will bring in another player at the position this coming weekend in Arvada (CO) Ralston Valley's Dan Skipper.

The 6-10/290 Skipper will make the trip to Columbus from January 19 to January 21, following his visit to Arkansas from Friday to Sunday morning.

Skipper was committed to Derek Dooley and Tennessee, but has opened things up a bit and now is considering Michigan and Ole Miss in addition to the Vols, Buckeyes, and Razorbacks. He has already been to Knoxville and Ann Arbor, so after this weekend the only visit remaining will be to Oxford to see the Rebels next week.

It will be interesting to see if Skipper actually makes it to Columbus and if he does, what happens. If the staff gets the answer they want on Bell or Hunt, there may not be room for him in this class. Stay tuned on this one.

New Names Emerging

There always seems to be a late surprise each recruiting season for Ohio State. Last year it was Jamal Marcus who ended up being a last-minute addition to the class, but this year everything seems to have already fallen into place, right?

Is there room for Priester?Priester could be a late surprise for OSU

Wrong, apparently, as the staff continues to scour the nation for the top players still willing to listen to their pitch. Just this week Urban Meyer extended scholarships to New Smyrna Beach (FL) WR James Clark and Snellville (GA) WR Kyrin Priester.

Clark already had visits scheduled before the Buckeyes entered the picture, but he considered visiting Columbus this weekend instead of Clemson. That pipe dream ended yesterday as Clark will keep his visit to the Tigers as planned, yet he still says OSU remains in the picture for his services.

After this week he will have one visit remaining and that is scheduled to Florida as of now. I don't expect that to change and think that trip may not even happen, since it's very possible he takes Clemson's last wide receiver spot in their class.

Priester is a North Carolina State commit at the moment, but offers from Clemson and Ohio State have caused him to rethink some things in the past week. The three-star prospect will take an official to Clemson this weekend, followed by a trip to Columbus on January 25–27.

He will think things over and make a decision either right after that or on National Signing Day, but the good news for Buckeye fans is that if the staff decides they want him, it appears he is open to a flip.

As mentioned before, Ohio State has had some late surprises in recruiting and Kyrin Priester was certainly not a name on anyone's radar as recently as last week.

21 days to go. Are you having fun yet?


Comments Show All Comments

Orlando Pancakes's picture

Vonn Bell sure knows how to build the suspense; and NSD is still 3 weeks away!

KeithMC33's picture

Thanks for the update Alex! If you had to venture a guess, who do you think we end up with when all is said and done? I can't wait to see who your mystery flip is/was, and i hope he ends up in Scarlet and Gray!

buckeye76BHop's picture

Alex any word on Dontre Wilson?  I'm sure everyone has noticed Chip Kelly went to Philly.  What are OSU's chances to land him now?   

"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 

JasonBuck's picture

Alex, I know I won't be the first to ask, BUT what about Dontre Wilson now that Chip has flipped?  Where do you see him fitting in this class IF what we hear (that OSU will be his favorite) is true?

otrain2416's picture

Good stuff guys thanks!

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

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Looking forward to NSD...  Already got my day off approved and I will be in front of a TV by 9am.  Pretty excited about what Urban is building in Columbus.

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

FORGET DONTRE WILSON!!!  Can we please flip the Robinson twins?  2: 6-4 athletes to finish out this class would be amazing!!!! 

JColeman1's picture

I would like for the staff to take a look at Darren Carrington..

OSUBias's picture

This article may have been overcome by events in a shorter timeframe than any other article ever.
With the offers out to at least 3 Oregon WR's (are both of the Robinson twins WR's?), Smith, Clark, Bell, Hunt/Skipper...we have to be getting to the point where we may have to turn kids away if several of them want to commit? Are we just taking the first 1-2 WR's, Bell whenever he commits, and maybe 1 OL? Then we'll be counting on more attrition? We are bordering on becoming our oversigning evil twin.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing

RBuck's picture

One twin is a LB and the other is considered an ATH.

Long live the southend.

tennbuckeye19's picture

FWIW: ESPN has one listed as a WR and the other as an ATH, Rivals has them both listed as ATH, 247 has one listed as an ATH/Safety and the other as an OLB.

Squirrel Master's picture

I think one Robinson is listed as athlete/safety. Which is good because he could either fill the WR role that OSU needs or a safety need. That kid would meet 2 of the needs and then his brother at LB and an OL will finish off the class very nicely.

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

Dublin68's picture

Thank you Alex, but it lookes like you need to update your article quickly:)

johnny11's picture

I love how Urban see's blood and like a shark starts stalking ready to attack... lol within an hour of Chip Kelly news going out we start offering prospects.... Guy is relentless. Gotta love it. Of the robinson twins which one is the better get?

Smanpoint10's picture

probably won't get one without the other

Buckeyeneer's picture

What have you done today to beat Bama, indeed!!!!!!

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

Squirrel Master's picture

I'm sure communication has been going back and forth with all 3 Oregon recruits before the announcement today, so I wouldn't say he pounced on them. The offers probably went out after confirmation that they are interested. Urban didn't jump on the PSU recruits after what happened. I think he has a bit more respect and just flips guys he believes are truly interested.
with that said, I also love that he is looking high and low to finish off this class and there is no stone unturned.
As the other guy said, I think both Robinson twins are a package deal, which is by far not a problem because they both are supposedly bad ass.

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

Red Shirt Ensign's picture

"Captain, over here, I've found someth... AHHHH!!!!!!"


Jake in Cali's picture

Interesting. Their tweets in ESPN's article about Oregon's commitments' reactions said they were solid to the ducks with or without Kelly. I hope your article is correct though as they both have tremendous value on both sides of the ball.
Edit; Found the quote: "With Chip leaving, it's [tough], but I think the program will be fine as long as the players want to win, and there's no doubt that they do," ESPN 300 WR Tyree Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln) said. "I'm not going to switch up. I'm a Duck and can't wait for next year."

tennbuckeye19's picture

The Robinsons are 2 sport athletes, excelling in football and basketball. Hmm. And OSU just happens to have excellent football and basketball programs...Sorry. Just thinking aloud...

OldColumbusTown's picture

You beat me to it, Tenn.
The only thing with these twins is both are projected as more of the OLB/Safety types.  Ohio State already has LB taken care of with Mitchell/Johnson, S taken care of with Thompson and still possibly Bell, and OLB/S (Star) taken care of with Worley and Darron Lee. 
I don't really see them fitting with the class, unless they possibly want more of an opportunity on offense.  With their size as compared to what Oregon usually utilizes on the offensive end, they probably weren't going to get a chance to do that there.  Maybe that is an enticement for them?

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Apparently Urban and the staff could see them in this class because they offered them.  If we miss on Bell 1 of the brothers could play safety and the other could play WR.  That would meet 2 needs.  I see 4 more commits max, more likely 3 tho.  Bring on the twins.  I say let these other recruits battle it out to see who gets the remaining spots.  Only spot that is held 100% is Bell.  The others are first come, first serve.  Who wants to be a Buckeye the most?

TheHannimal's picture

Hmmmmm perhaps the Robinson twins accept basketball scholarships and also play football allowing Urban 3 more spots still...what a coo that would be.

avail31678's picture

Nope, the schollies have to get charged to football.  Higher revenue sport gets the scholly.

OldColumbusTown's picture

Apparently, the Robinson twins are both also high-level basketball recruits.

stanton6's picture

Wow..... Like sand through an hour glass, so are the days of our lives! This could get very interesting!


tampa buckeye's picture

Just give me Bell.  We have plenty of playmakers.  Wilson is visiting this weekend per his highschool coach.  

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Whoa now!  You can never have too many playmakers.  Give me 10 WR's who run 4.4's and 5 RB's that are either 4.4's or 4.5's with power.  Sign them all up.  It takes speed to make Urban's offense work and these guys have it.

Denny's picture

Give me eleven punters and I'll show you Jim Tressel's fantasy world.


dean7647's picture

A few more playmakers wouldn't have hurt at times this year.  It looks like with Urban we're not going to have to worry too much about quality either.  At the end of the day, Chip Kelly to the Eagles may have the most impact for my teams, and that's coming from a Browns fan. 

costinjr's picture

If Bell's brother's tweets are real, and he actually is close with his brother, I don't mind him passing on us.

Alex's picture

Chip Kelly is on my list today...haha

Things have certainly changed a little and options are expanded. Dontre Wilson will be target numero dos, behind Vonn Bell and you can expect the staff to push hard for a visit.

This also helps with Cameron Hunt as some thought Oregon was the favorite.

Other players like the Robinsons are now on the table.

Next week's notebook is going to be big time.

cinserious's picture

Oh mister wiiiiilson. your Ohio State scholarship is waiting for you.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

dbit's picture

Pretty sure that was dennis the menace... kudos!

Et_Tu_OSU's picture

I just got goose-bumps...

"The revolution will be televised."

Buckeyes125's picture

If we could squeeze the Robinson Twins, Wilson, and Hunt I would be sooooo happy! In my opinion Bell is going to Bama

Citrus's picture

Urbz knows far more about recruiting than I do but it seems like we gotten to option z on WRs. Do we need a WR that badly? Is Priester comparable to someone like Quick?


Buckeyeneer's picture

I actually hope that Kiffen doesn't get fired until next year. We only need one football power imploding per year to maximize our advantage.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

Citrus's picture

Haha their pain is our gain.

2012 Penn State
2013 Oregon
2014 USC
2015 TTUN (when Hoke is canned, although their pain is always our gain)

Joe4's picture

It's interesting, given that the NFL seems to have gained interest in hiring college coaches, there could be some strategic value to saving a spot or two till the last minute and then trying to poach kids whose coaches make the jump.  Whether it was intentional or not, I'm glad that the Bucks have room for Wilson.

Squirrel Master's picture

exactly, hence why it was so funny when UM was filling out their class so fast early on. Now with some players bowing out on them recently, they still have room, but for a while there they would have had no chance at any of these recruits.
Stil blows my mind with TAMU at 35 verbals!

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

Smanpoint10's picture

i play with them in my dynasty in ncaa 13 and i believe in my first season i only have like 70 scholarship guys and 4 senior wide recievers

Squirrel Master's picture

Any chance Dan Skipper is interested in playing basketball? Dude is 6'10'' and 290! That would be a good size for a center. Probably not skilled enough but a big body can be tought enough to be effective in the post.
I think the twins should be numero uno! true one is listed as LB but doesn't mean he has to play that position. He could be a STAR and let Lee play offense or he could end up at TE or FB with his size. Those two are so diverse they could meet so many needs and maybe even any future concerns at some positions.
If things stay status quo, wouldn't complain one bit either! Good times, good times!

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

NJ_BUCKEYE's picture

Well Urban has as good an idea of anyone at OSU about the chances on Bell so my guess is if he can land the Robinson twins Bell is a no go.  Wilson and Bell yes, but not the twins and Bell.  It doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  Unless UFM can convince Matta to let a scholarship go for one of the twins and use a FB scholarship on the other.  I know Matta probably never goes with that even if he has a scholarship open, but it depends on how good of Bball players they actually are.  It would be like buy 1 get one free for both sports..haha.

Buckeyes125's picture

Shelton Gibson is out and isn't an option at Ohio State anymore per Rivals. Next person who wants to be a Buckeye, step up! 

Buckeyeneer's picture

Just commited to WV

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

chitown buckeye's picture

Its just nice to know we have a coach who would pull the trigger and go after these kids or at least feel them out. Feels good to know that most top recruits are interested in OSU and Urban and when something like this happens we are back ini the mix.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

TheHannimal's picture

I have a feeling we are going to land at least 1 stud that is a total surprise...

onetwentyeight's picture

Has anyone seen this Manti Te'o stuff??!!!
The photographs identified as Kekua—in online tributes and on TV news reports—are pictures from the social-media accounts of a 22-year-old California woman who is not named Lennay Kekua. She is not a Stanford graduate; she has not been in a severe car accident; and she does not have leukemia. And she has never met Manti Te'o.

b_pbucksfans's picture

If this is for real, people are just sick...

stanton6's picture

If he was in on that, and it looks like he was, that's just plain wrong!


stanton6's picture



btalbert25's picture

Certainly one way to generate a Heisman Campaign.  Could you imagine if he won????

GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

Yep, the perpetrators are twisted but Teo is FOS

Alex's picture

Looks like OSU gave the no to Gibson...really like him as a player, but obviously other factors involved...not sure if grades or other players squeezed him out, but either way OSU is getting players they think are better than Shelton or he will not qualify

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

What other WR are we going to put in his place? Gibson was a true WR, Wilson is a slot guy. I don't care if all of our WR's are 6 feet tall as long as they're fast but it seemed like the staff wanted more of a true WR. 

d5k's picture

Who was more important at Florida, Riley Cooper or Percy Harvin?  Too much emphasis on this "true" WR stuff.  Hybrid players have way more value in Urban's philosophy.  If you can bring personnel that looks like 5 wide receivers but turns out to be 2 RB, 3 WR, what personnel does the defense come out in?  
Urban will likely err on the side of getting the best players available I also hope.

Bucksnut13's picture

Great post. Been thinking the same thing every time it comes up. At Florida Meyer once had harvin, Rainey, demps, deonte Thompson and Brandon James. None of which were big but they all had speed, quickness and sick moves. Those guys made the offense unstoppable just for how many yards they gained off of missed tackles. Urban is building the same thing here. Marshall, zeke, Jacobs, Jordan hall and hopefully dontre Wilson 

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog

Crimson's picture

It's hard to argue with best player available.  However, I still think you need a true WR when you can get one.  At the very least, the bigger guys can block better, but they also create a mismatch of their own.

LouGroza's picture

Saw that Cameron Hunt was told by ttun that they were done recruiting OL for 2013.

bassplayer7770's picture

Not surprising since scUM flipped a former Nebraska OL commit over the weekend.

okiebuck's picture

Would love to have the WIlson kid join Mike Mitchell for a Texas two-fer; Thunder and Lightning!

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

TheBadOwl's picture

Also, JT Barrett.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.