Diamonds in the Rough and Big-Time Busts: A Look at Ohio State Recruiting Classes from 2004-2010

By Alex on March 6, 2013 at 3:00p
103 Comments

Oftentimes in recruiting conversations, especially in Ohio State circles, fans like to bring up the prospects that were rated lower coming out of high school that went on to flourish at the college level.

From three-stars to three millMalcolm Jenkins and James Laurinaitis were gems

Buckeye fans often like to throw out the names of AJ Hawk, Troy Smith, Malcolm Jenkins, James Laurinaitis, and others. Year in and year out they look at their new recruiting hauls to see who could be the next three-star prospect turned stud in the group.

But what many of these fans fail to realize is that for every two and three-star prospect their team brings in and turns into NFL talent, there are plenty of four and five-star recruits that end up never reaching their potential for one reason or another.

This thought got me curious and led me to do some digging. After some brief research, I found that in each recruiting class there's a pretty solid balance overall of players that were rated high and reached their potential, players that were rated high and ended up being busts, players that were rated low and went above and beyond expectations, and players that were rated low and were career backups.

Case in point, each year this balance is going to be pretty consistent across the country, as well as at Ohio State and it's certainly interesting to take a look at the last six or seven years that you can evaluate at this time to see it for yourself.

In this segment we'll do the work for you, and take a look at those Ohio State recruiting classes from 2004-2010 to see which prospects turned out to be "diamonds in the rough" and which turned out to be "big-time busts".

Diamonds In The Rough

For the "diamonds in the rough" criteria I looked mainly at three-star recruits and below, according to the Scout.com rankings. When you get a three-star recruit, on paper you are basically saying there is a 50/50 chance he will end up being an impact player, so those that do go on to live that fate are nice finds.

The Henne SlayerVernon Gholston went from three-star to All-Big Ten

In 2004 these players included P AJ Trapasso, RB Antonio Pittman, DE Vernon Gholston, DT Nader Abdallah, FB Dionte Johnson, and LB Curtis Terry.

Of note here would be Pittman, who went on to star as a two-year starter at OSU before leaving early for the NFL, as well as Gholston who was the 39th-ranked defensive end in the country and ended up as a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft.

Nader Abdallah, as the 44th-ranked defensive tackle, and Curtis Terry, as a two-star linebacker, also contributed above expectations in Columbus.

The 2005 list features CB Malcolm Jenkins, LB James Laurinaitis, S Anderson Russell, LB Austin Spitler, CB Donald Washington, and WR Brian Robiskie. All of these players were starters during their career at Ohio State and while Jenkins and Laurinaitis stand out, the other players mentioned certainly exceeded expectations based on their rankings.

Jenkins was the 28th-ranked safety, Laurinaitis the 45th-ranked linebacker, Russell the 84th-ranked running back, Spitler the 87th-ranked linebacker, Washington the 90th-rated wide receiver, and Robiskie didn't even get nationally ranked at wide receiver. All of these players went on to the NFL, so that says a little something about talent evaluation in this class.

In 2006 the diamonds were DT Dexter Larimore, OL Bryant Browning, and CB Chimdi Chekwa. Larimore and Browning were three-star prospects and Chekwa was a two-star prospect, but all three were impact players and starters for at least one year during their tenure in Columbus.

2007 brought in no diamonds (but six busts mentioned below, unfortunately). Definitely not a proud year for Jim Tressel on the recruiting trail, but there were many four and five-star players who did pan out, such as Cam Heyward, Brian Rolle, Jermale Hines, Boom Herron, and Dane Sanzenbacher.

2008 was like 2007 in that many prospects performed as they were predicted to, but gems included P Ben Buchanan, CB Travis Howard, and S Orhian Johnson. All three were three-star prospects that ended up being starters during their time in Columbus and played integral roles in last year's undefeated season.

The 2009 players included RB Jordan Hall, FB/LB Zach Boren, and QB Kenny Guiton.

Hall is returning for his fifth season this year after being granted a medical hardship. Many thought he was brought to Columbus because of his relationship with Terrelle Pryor, but it turned out Hall has been a big-time playmaker for the Buckeyes, even earning captain honors last season.

You all know the story on Boren by now and it is certainly a good one. "Justin's younger brother" turned into much more than that, not only emerging as one of the nation's top fullbacks, but also becoming the Buckeyes' starting middle linebacker halfway through last season.

Guiton was brought in as a last-minute, emergency option at quarterback in the 2009 class, but he has emerged as an outstanding backup option to Braxton Miller. If nothing else, Guiton was worth his performance and late-game heroics in OSU's 29-22 overtime victory over Purdue.

Finally, the 2010 group is tough to judge in whole at this point, but the players standing out right now that were not highly rated are K Drew Basil, CB Bradley Roby, DT Johnathan Hankins, and CB Adam Griffin.

Basil is set to enter his third season as the Buckeyes' starter at kicker, and will also handle punting duties this coming season.

Roby was rated as the country's 44th-best cornerback coming out of high school, which is ironic, because some have him as the first at the position off the board in the 2014 NFL Draft. There was no questioning Roby was a great athlete coming out of high school, but he really flourished once the Bucks decided he was a corner not a receiver and he is rewarding them big time.

Hankins was probably too heavy as a high school senior, but his will to work and athleticism for his size brought him from the 48th-ranked defensive tackle to early entree for the NFL Draft. Hankins' stock is dipping a bit right now, but he is still expected to be, at worst, a late first-round or early second-round selection.

Griffin was a post-Signing Day addition to the class when there was a spot open and many thought Archie's son was given the spot as a favor to pops. In fact, there have been rumors swirling since he signed that Adam would eventually give up his scholarship to free up space for an elite talent and allow the benefit of having a father employed by the university kick in. Neither of those turned out to be true and the younger Griffin is carving out his own legacy as an important member of Ohio State's special teams units. 

Griffin will compete for a cornerback spot this spring, although he's unlikely to win the job, but nonetheless he has gone above and beyond most's expectations for his impact in Columbus. Adam's contributions remind me of Shaun Lane's from a few years back and as long as he continues the solid work on special units, there will be a place for him on Urban Meyer's roster.

Big-Time Busts

While diamonds in the rough consisted of three-star players and below that turned out to contribute during their time in Columbus, busts are four and five-star prospects that did not meet expectations, whether that be because of on-field performance or injury.

At least he had sweet dreadsMo Wells: hated by fans, loved by opposing defenses

In 2004 the busts included LB Chad Hoobler, OL Kyle Mitchum, S Sirjo Welch, OL Ben Person, and WR Albert Dukes. Hoobler was rated as the nation's fourth-best tight end coming out of high school, yet flamed out once moved to the defensive side of the field. Mitchum and Person were 7th and 17th in the country, respectively, on the offensive line and neither made a big impact at OSU. Finally, Dukes was pegged as "the next Santonio Holmes", but never amounted to much more than a few flashy plays during spring practice.

2005 brought four busts to the table in QB Rob Schoenhoft, RB Maurice Wells, CB Jamario O'Neal, and LB Freddie Lenix. Lenix never made it to campus, but the other three certainly did. Schoenhoft ended up transferring to Delaware, Maurice Wells, not completely to his own fault, was never the change-of-pace speed back the Bucks hoped for, and O'Neal went from nation's third-ranked corner to ultimately a career backup.

In 2006 the Bucks brought in QB Antonio Henton, OL Connor Smith, LB Mark Johnson, and DL Robert Rose, and all four never panned out. Henton was the country's 13th-best signal caller, but couldn't stay focused off the field, leading to his eventual departure. Smith, a high school All-American, never started for the Buckeyes and ended up being one big colossal bust. Johnson quickly transferred out of the program and was never heard of again. Finally, Rose played the most in the group and was a contributor during his time in Columbus, but also had off-field issues and never lived up to his billing as the nation's fifth-ranked defensive end and Army All-American honor.

2007 was a big year for busts and the list includes S Eugene Clifford, RB Brandon Saine, S Nate Oliver, CB James Scott, and WR Taurian Washington. Clifford, who got into trouble off the field, and Scott, who transferred to Ole Miss, barely played for the Buckeyes. Oliver and Washington, known as a spring game star, contributed while in Columbus, but were career backups. Finally, many wouldn't consider Saine a bust, but I am putting him on this list as he was the 11th-ranked running back in the country, yet only ran for 1,408 yards and 9 touchdowns in his career. Injuries certainly contributed to that and I am happy to see his finally sort of reaching his potential in the NFL.

2008 was a better year and the group that didn't work out was made up of WR Lamaar "Flash" Thomas, DT Willie Mobley, and DE Keith Wells. The most disappointing in the group was Thomas, who many thought would bring the Buckeyes speed they were missing since Ted Ginn Jr., but he had trouble with the transition to wide receiver and transferred to New Mexico. Mobley was lost on the depth chart and went to Arizona, while Wells couldn't get it together in the classroom and was last seen at Ohio Dominican last season, before getting the boot there due to grades.

In 2009 the list features LB Dorian Bell, DE Melvin Fellows, RB Jaamal Berry, S Jamie Wood, WR Duron Carter, LB Storm Klein, CB Dominic Clarke, WR James Jackson, and DE Jonathan Newsome. It is certainly a long list and includes players that didn't work out for multiple reasons.

Fellows and Wood fall into the category of medical reasons. Fellows was the #3 defensive end in the country, but never was healthy during his time in Columbus. Wood was the #9 safety and an Army All-American, but has been battling a shoulder ailment and is giving football one more go this spring.

Bell (#2 WLB), Berry (#8 RB), Carter (#10 WR), and Clarke (#26 CB), all left Columbus due to off-field issues. Bell wasn't getting it done in the classroom and is trying to revive his career and attitude at Duquesne. Berry had some non-physical health issues going on and is trying to bounce back at Murray State. Carter couldn't stay off X-Box, and thus couldn't get a good grade, and his journey took him from Columbus to JuCo to Alabama to Florida Atlantic and now to the NFL Draft, after playing in just his freshman season. Finally, Clarke got in trouble due to a air-soft gun incident and clashed with Meyer upon his hiring, ultimately showing him the door.

Jackson could never seem to get going and left the program on his own merit, despite being a four-star wide receiver. Klein, the #10 SLB, started a bit while at Ohio State, but never reached his potential and had off-field issues last season.

Finally, in 2010, busts were #3 MLB Scott McVey, #29 WR James Louis, and #32 WR Tyrone/T.Y./Ty Williams. McVey never got to see the field due to a chronic shoulder injury that put him on medical hardship. Louis transferred closer to home at Florida International, but left us with many great Twitter memories and earned the nickname "Keyboard James". Williams was supposed to be the big receiving red zone threat the Buckeyes needed, but was a knucklehead, for lack of a better term, and left the program for Ohio Dominican.

103 Comments

Comments

dubjayfootball90's picture

Once you mentioned 'Saine', I quickly disagreed, but then thought about it a little more, read what you wrote, and I do agree with that assessment. Just hope he turns it on for the better in the NFL, I liked him a lot, though. Loved cheering for him.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

kevinfrenchfry's picture

I quickly disagreed and read on, and continued to disagree, he ended up coming up big at the end of his career, also he was a speed back in a tressel offense just like mo wells was.  Unfortunately guys like that had to really work for their success and I think Brandon Saine was just as good of a receiver as anyone on the team in 2009.  OSU's best backs in the Tressel Era are Wells, Clarett, Pittman, and Herron; all of those guys were between tackle runners that fit into the scheme alot better IMO.  Pittman had speed to burn, but he was still a between the tackles guy

dubjayfootball90's picture

I know where you are coming from, and I am not saying he was not good, but a lot of issues hindered his development or 'what could have been'. That was the main reasoning for me to 'agree' with Alex on that. But he was a good back and had a lot of upside, just had some bad luck in the health department.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Ya, but that sometimes contributes to that nasty "B" word. By some accounts, Greg Oden might be one of the biggest busts in NBA history and almost all of the reasons for that were no fault of his own. A bust is a guy who comes in and doesn't live up to the expectations they brought-simple as that...Saine was a bust.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

dubjayfootball90's picture

Oden is a prime example. Dude was an absolute beast, and then injuries outside of his control ruined him. Hope he gets back though, but that is a good example for sure

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

Whosisbrew's picture

I'll have to disagree there, as I believe we simply have different definitions of what a "bust" entails. I define "bust" as a prospect with considerable expectations, and does nearly the opposite. I.E., playing exceedingly poor, or very little, or not at all. Brandon Saine certainly didn't live up to expectations, but I can't label him a bust because he did contribute to the team, and at times in very meaningful ways. He scored the first touchdown against Oregon in the Rose Bowl. He ripped some huge runs against Iowa in the game that sent them there. Even chipped in with five receiving touchdowns in his final year. And while this is certainly not what we were expecting, he was still a valued member of the team in some way. In that regard, I can't consider him a bust. Just a guy with lofty expectations that wound up having a decent Buckeye career.

BrewstersMillions's picture

That's kind of what I am saying though. The last sentence sums it up for me just fine. He wasn't an embarrassment by any stretch of the imagination. He isn't even in the 'Worst Buckeye Flops Ever" team picture but when you come into the school as the 50th rated player in the nation (Per Rivals), its fair to expect more than he provided. Mo Wells he is not but a guy with his pedigree should have done more than what he did at OSU. He had some nice moments in important games so that puts him ahead of some other players that have come and gone but for 4 years he left OSU fans waiting for what could have been. To me (and that doesn't mean its right or that you're wrong) that's a bust. I don't need another word for it.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

cplunk's picture

To me, Saine is a prime example of a recruit done in by the system. Outside of the occasional wheel route, Tressel had no idea what to do with him, other than hope he beat out Boom Heron.
Now imagine Saine in the Jordan Hall role at OSU. Or at Oregon. 
Saine had amazing talent, but his skills were a poor fit for OSU's offense.

fear_the_nut70's picture

Too bad Bollman didn't have him for his wildcat option offense he employed two years ago. 

yrro's picture

Saine would not do well at the Jordan Hall role, in my opinion. His entire problem was that he had speed, but no cutting ability. He could run past people, and occasionally over them in his better games... but he couldn't make anyone miss.

741's picture

This. (With respect.)

cplunk's picture

A fair point, for sure. I can't help but think that his speed would have been better utilized by an Urban Meyer or Chip Kelly offense. Or even (I shudder to say it) a Rich Rodriguez offense.

Chise47's picture

"..Tressel had no idea..."
Tressel, and the words,'had no idea', don't even fit in the same sentence in my book!

cplunk's picture

Oh, I loves me some Tress. I don't think he gets enough credit, which seems crazy to say, but I think is true. That said, though, innovation was not his thing. He won by being very, very good at the specific things on which he chose to compete. Nothing wrong with that, as obviously proven by results, but like anybody els he had his weak spots.

Charlotte Buckeye Chip's picture

Eugene Clifford and Jamario O'Neal jump off the page right away.  I thought these two would be studs.  I always get excited about DB's and I can only hope this doesn't happen to the likes of Vonn Bell, Eli Apple, or Cam Burrows.  Time will tell, but I'm very excited about this years DB Class.  Go Bucks!!!

~Charlotte Buckeye Chip

ATXbucknut's picture

FYI, Eugene Clifford actually had a semi-decent collegiate career at Tennessee State after he left OSU and then signed an UFA contract with the Ravens in 2011.  
He's playing here in Texas in the Indoor Football League now with another former Buckeye DB, E.J. Underwood (from the 2002 NC team).

Devin1024's picture

I blame Bollman for what went down with Mo Wells.  He didn't seem to understand that you cannot run the same kind of offense with a back that is 50lbs lighter than Beanie.  He probably couldn't get passed the 'Wells' on the jersey and just assumed they were the same guy.  

kevinfrenchfry's picture

I blame Bollman as wel for Mo AND Saine's careers, but I don't understand your comment as Mo Wells arrived a year earlier than Beanie Wells

Dougger's picture

exactly

I like football

Devin1024's picture

True, but Beanie was the starter so the "Dave right, Dave Left" package was made for him; Mo Wells was expected to run the same Dave plays with equal results, just not possible.  

yrro's picture

I think there's some truth to this... but even when Wells *did* run outside, I don't have a single memory of him making a guy miss.

gumtape's picture

But we all have memories of him fumbling that kickoff return. Ugh.

just another psycho, irrational, delusional Ohio St fan

cinserious's picture

Bollman did have a tried and true play for Maurice Wells: 'Shoestring-off-tackle-right'!

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

SPreston2001's picture

Yeah the same could be said for Maurice Hall. OSU didnt seem to understand that not all RB's are meant to be rammed up the middle. Speedy backs need open space to be effective lol.

Poe McKnoe's picture

Tressel's approach to the offense, the power run game, didn't work for these guys.  It was predicated on putting the RB into a situation with a single defender.  The weakness was, these guys couldn't make the play, or the blocking was shit and that single defender was more often multiple defenders than singular.
Mo C is a big believer in going to a college program where you fit the system.

RunEddieRun1983's picture

Man, I started reading this, and as soon as I read the name Maurice Wells, I felt fire just rise in my belly.  I actually sent a message to a buddy at work who is a buckeye fan that read MAURICE F'ING WELLS!  It was a funny moment.

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

Buck_Michigan's picture

Completely agree with your statement...i had thankfully forgot about Mo Wells and then saw that picture and my blood pressure rise...grrrr!  I know Walrus didn't help the situation but the guys just wouldn't go away...I keep thinking when does this guy graduate???  It seemed this guy was in Columbus for 6 years! 

2012 Beat Michigan Tail gate:  UFM:  "Let’s beat the sh*t out of Michigan, have a good night."

Qujo's picture

I blame Bollman for all of them being busts :) why not? 

"Tough times don't last, tough people do" - Gregory Peck

Dougger's picture

Alex, really loved this, thanks for doing the research.
You're right - I did hate seeing Mo Wells play (but I chuckled when I scrolled over and "at least he had sweet dreads" popped up. Definitely have nothing against him as a person though FYI).
One of Saine's touchdown was a glorious along-the-sideline run in the Rose Bowl to get Jimmy T back in the bowl game win column, so he can put that feather in his hat.
Was Henton the QB who reportedly tried to pick up a hooker for $20 downtown, then when he got caught he tried to say it was a joke with his friends? that was funny.
Haven't heard of Keyboard James, but I'll do some research and hopefully wind up with some laughs. Good stuff!!!!

I like football

Alex's picture

Yes, Henton got busted trying to pick up a hooker....he had many other issues not reported haha

Buckeyeneer's picture

I expected so much of Henton. His arrest was a dark day for me. I realized at that moment the kid was an idiot and would never start. Any OSU QB without the last name Bauserman should be rolling in women and not need to bring in a professional.
And the moron tried to pick her up in the middle of the afternoon if I remember correctly.

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

THE Ohio State University

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Great write-up... Think some of these busts had to do with lack of coaching in certain positions? 

Alex's picture

I honestly believe any prospect a program like Ohio State recruits has the potential to be a future NFL player, but it is all on them:

  • Are they taking care of the stuff off the field (grades, staying out of trouble, etc.)?
  • Are they working hard in the weight room?
  • Are they putting in the effort in the film room?
  • Are they putting in the work/extra work on the practice field?

All of these things are in control of the player, not anyone else. Yes, the coaches can motivate, and Meyer does a better job of that than any, but it's ultimately on the player to do these things.

Guys like Connor Smith did not, and thus were busts. Guys like Zach Boren did, and thus are looked at as OSU heroes.

northcampus's picture

You mention mostly intangibles (which I completely agree with).  However, I think you also have to consider physical developmental levels (which sometimes I think recruiting services don't consider enough).  Someone like Jamario O'Neal was topped out physically by the time he got to OSU, so his window of improvement was extremely limited.  I saw some other recruits come into the program looking the same on day one and by the time they were done, there were extreme physical differences among guys that were in the same recruiting classes (some due to nutrition/strength conditioning, some due to simply genetic/developmental stage differences).
Also, I think it's unfair to judge some of these kids as busts purely because of factors outside of their control. Those who changed positions for the good of the team and/or had injury issues (which shouldn't be held against them).  Skill-position players like Mo Wells and Saine (and many others in the Tressel era) were used improperly/infrequently, which is out of their control as well.  Jake Ballard and/or any other TE of the Tressel era cannot change the fact that they were not provided with opportunities other than 1-2 passes their way (maybe) per game.  These guys were all team-first players and that is something that should not be discounted.
Connor Smith is an interesting example.  He was a legacy player who was a big-time recruit, yet he played in a high school offense that ran the ball probably 95-98% of the game.  His inability to develop at the college level could have been due to his lack of exposure as a pass blocker coming up in the Colerain system. If Smith had gone onto play at Georgia Tech or Navy, he may have ended up as an All-American in college.  (The same could be said for Mo Wells, Saine, or any skill player that had a chance to play in a more aggressive/liberal offensive scheme in college).

LouGroza's picture

When you look at the rosters for NFL teams you do not always see names that are familiar to college fans. You see a lot of unheralded players from all over the country that dedicated themselves in every way to play the game. That is what makes the difference in these guys from 2 stars to 5 stars. Like anything else in life, it takes hard work and focus. They either get it or they don't.

JYBUCKEYE's picture

Thanks Alex!!  Your gonna be the reason I get fired from my job.  It's really interesting to see how many lower rated guys JT seen potential in. 

DaiTheFlu's picture

Actually, I suspect there might be other issues at work...:P
 
Sorry, couldn't resist!

We can't stop here; this is bat country...

Seth4Bucks's picture

I  disagree with placing 3 star kickers/punters as gems. Yes they contributed and were key members of the team. I'm not trying to take away their accomplishments while at OSU. But, you never see punters/kickers rated higher than a 3*. In fact, a 3* rating is more akin to a 4* ranking for the rest of the position groups.

Alex's picture

that's true and something I thought about....but any time you get a K/P on scholarship they better work out :)

11thAveBuckeye's picture

I still say they shouldn't be gems unless they are walk ons IMO
That's a true diamond in the rough K/P lol

rjsmitty's picture

Hey Alex, I remember watching Freddie Linix in the State Title game his senior year and saying to myself..."man, even though this kid is a little undersized to play LB in college he has a GREAT nose for the ball and flat out makes plays". What ever happened with him as I never heard of him again?

Alex's picture

I think he didn't have the grades and ended up at UC for a little...not sure what happened after that but I think he would have played STAR to start at OSU

Statutoryglory's picture

Star may as well be called Glenville.  Especially given that Bogard is a front runner for it even now.

buckeye4life050233's picture

it's going to be awesome to go after michigan state recruits and just give them tape and stats on how bad bollman coached players have been and then say look at warriner and drayton and come to ohio state.......i read an article on the nfl site that talked to line coaches and coordinators in the nfl about ohio state linemen and running backs during bollman's era and how they basically had to re-teach the players because all of the things they were taught were completely out of date and wrong......the walrus sucks at coaching and was just JT's errand boy to get coffee and suck on cigars

fear_the_nut70's picture

Yep.  In the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, comments from the Steelers' staff regarding Adams were that he had all the physical tools but his technique was terrible.  I know there are Bollman defenders out there after yesterday (this was very surprising to me), but some coaches, like people in every profession, simply aren't good at what they do.   The walrus is one of those people.

Nick's picture

Hopefully we aren't competing with MSU for many recruits 

sir rickithda3rd's picture

two guys i remember the most were; aj of course for the diamond. justin zwick for the bust. i blame any and all lineman failures on the walrus

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

rgarrett22's picture

seriously how did Zwick not make the list?

Knarcisi's picture

Zwick was 2002. And yes, would have been on this list. 

Chise47's picture

Zwick would've been at the TOP of the list, ANY YEAR:
.

Alex's picture

2004-2010 classes

dubjayfootball90's picture

I think you forgot bauserman under the 'Gem' category. Threw it in the stands like nobody's business.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

Bam_Childress's picture

What about me?

5 ft 9 in - 185 lbs - ALL HEART

osu07asu10's picture

Funny storry about Sirjo Welch. I knew a bunch of the football players and we were alll taking a History of Rock and Roll (yes...it is AS easy as it sounds). It was a mix of highly recruited players and some lesser knowns, I was close friends with one of the lesser knowns.

The week before the midterm, the lesser known asks if him and another player could you know, look off my test. I was flabbergasted and said sure, whatever works (HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL!!!!).

Day of the midterm, I am flanked to my left by a 6'2 230lb linebacker and one of the biggest QBs (size wise) to play at tOSU in recent memory. (Note: I am 6'1" 175lbs..dripping wet), to my right is a girl about 5'2 110lbs.
About 90 seconds before the midterm starts, Sirjo Welch comes busting in the side door, scans the room, sees the football players and yells..YO YO YO ____ WHERES YOUR BOY AT?....walks up to the three of us sitting there (thinking you gotta be shitting me), looks at the girl sitting next to me and goes...MOVE B*TCH, YOU KNOW FOOTBALL PLAYERS GOTTA SIT TOGETHER, MOVE!!!!
Good thing the professor planned for these things, there was an A and B test, I'm not sure Sirj knew that though...
No wonder he didn't make it very long at tOSU

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

dubjayfootball90's picture

that is so sad..... (not talking about you, referring to sirjo.)

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

Alex's picture

That's a great story

One of the players I listed in this article was in my "Sports for the Spectator" class....another one as easy as it sounds.

He cheated off the person next to him who always got good grades, yet still managed a 50 on the midterm.

It's one thing to suck at academics, it's another to suck at cheating. There was no A/B test btw.

BrewstersMillions's picture

HA! One of the players on that list was in my SFS class as well. He showed up to it thrice. It was the easiest thing I did at OSU and I was an English major...always cracked me up when he didn't show.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

dubjayfootball90's picture

Now that is an avatar!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Smokin Jay Cutler does not approve of Smokin Aaron Rodgers.

 

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Buckeyeneer's picture

As a palate cleanser, before we start judging our football playing Buckeyes too harshly, I had a class with Craig Krenzel who was one of the smartest people in the class.

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

THE Ohio State University

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

One of the players I listed in this article was in my "Sports for the Spectator" class....another one as easy as it sounds.

Don't tell me it was Lamar Thomas.  We would've been in the same class.  TP was also in that class.

Class of 2010.

Alex's picture

nope...his name rhymed with Smamario Smoneal

BrewstersMillions's picture

You took a class with the highly touted young man from Chillicothe, OH-Flamario O'Keele?
 

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Buckeyeneer's picture

My roommate took the "Sports for the Spectator" class. I would have given him crap if not for the fact that I was taking "Social Leisure" that quarter. Basically we learned to play card games like cribbage, bridge, and Euchre.

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

THE Ohio State University

BrewstersMillions's picture

We had to read "Friday Night Lights" in my "Sport for the Spectator" class. That may sound easy but that was the same year that the movie came out and it made you realize just how bastardized the story was on film. It was heart breaking, really...

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

Buckeyeneer's picture

. . . . Which leads me to another screw off class I took, "Film As A Narrative" Basically we read books and then watched the related movie and compared and contrasted them. My favorite was reading "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" and then watching "Blade Runner"
I laugh at the classes and then pause and then cry when I realize that it took me a decade to pay off the loan on my degree.

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

THE Ohio State University

BrewstersMillions's picture

HAHA but you can't because that degree comprised of all of those classes. I took one BS class, maybe 2 more depending on how I feel about them on any given day. I'm sure you are in the same boat.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

osu07asu10's picture

It's one thing to suck at academics, it's another to suck at cheating.

 
Isn't that the truth! Outside of Sirjo and that little hiccup, mostly any other time I had class with a buckeye they were at the very least, somewhat attentive and respectful. Also had coaches checking in on them, in some cases even taking attendance when larger groups of players were in the class.  This was all during the Tressel era, but I am sure he didn't re-invent the wheel and it is probably a common practice under the Urban regime (checking on players, keeping their noses in their books, etc)...some players just can't be helped...you can't fix stupid.

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

William's picture

Sports for the spectator is possibly the easiest class one can take at OSU, couldn't believe that I was actually getting a grade for discussing sports. 

xrox's picture

Had a class in Hitchcock...one of those 200 student large lectures. Malcolm Jenkins and a few other players were in there. I know because they were there for EVERY lecture. It wasn't a hard class, though it was pretty informative. Definitely not a class you needed to attend every lecture, but they were there. This was before he really started to stand out on the field. Not surprised he did end up doing so well after reading this article and other comments. A good attitude towards academics seems like it leads to good things on the field.

cinserious's picture

@ osu07asu10: This story would've been awesome-er had Sirjo Welch ever amounted to anything lol! What H.S. did that cat come from anyway? I'm never sending my kid there!

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

ODEEZ330's picture

I was a soph in his at mckinley and i played only special teams. We played gville in the state semi game and won 10-7. Def slug fest. Freddie lennix was scary out there and jamario o'neal returned a punt 90 yds for their only score. Juked me out my shoes on the play. We ended up losing in a blow out to coleraine in the st game but no one expected us to beat glenville.

O'Deez330
stark county football

bedheadjc's picture

Freddie Lenix had one of my favorite highlight reels ever. He brought the wood. I really wish he would have made it at OSU. Could have been a great one.

niblick's picture

In 2009 the list features LB Dorian Bell, DE Melvin Fellows, RB Jaamal Berry, S Jamie Wood, WR Duron Carter, LB Storm Klein, CB Dominic Clarke, WR James Jackson, and DE Jonathan Newsome.
 
That is just unbelievable.  I don't know what the mathematical odds are of having that many studs in one class all flop, but I'd say we'll (hopefully) never see it again.

thatlillefty's picture

Terrible leadership... looking at you TPryor and the Tat 5

Hovenaut's picture

You got that right.....a damn shame.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Huh?
Now I have seen some really interesting things lobbed at Pryor but this is by far the worst. Players failing to live up to their own potential falls on him?
Awful. Just awful.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

kevinfrenchfry's picture

I would be inclined to agree with that comment had many of the 2009 players not been stupid and boneheaded, rather than simply "not getting there" on the field.  Some of the 09 guys were straight up idiotic individuals.  If things were different then maybe the older guys could be held more accountable.

phxbuck's picture

Brandon Castel ‏@BCastOZone
Ohio State commit Marcelys Jones. RT @mjones__65 How can you say No to the S.E.C?
Well this is not good. 

Alex's picture

Marcelys Jones = loves attention

Bottom line is this kid shouldn't have committed to OSU until next fall some time. He LOVES the attention he's getting from these schools, yet HATES the fact that Lattimore and Smith can take visits or talk to these schools without being criticized because they are not committed to Ohio State.

I don't think he'll ever "decommit", but I do think he'll take all five official visits, as well as whatever unofficial trips he can. He'll say he's "still committed to Ohio State, but looking seriously at other schools" just to stir up some NSD drama and then at a press conference at Glenville re-affirm to OSU.

Sound familiar? Been done every year by some big prospect at some big time program lol.

buckeyepastor's picture

I will always remember the effort of Saine in the Rose Bowl win over Oregon.   He was so clutch in that game, and others.   Looking at him purely as a rusher, he was under-whelming.  but looking at how he was willing to transition in the middle of his college years from taking hand-offs to being a receiver out of the backfield, he really impressed me and showed us a lot. I understand that he was highly-rated in high school and all that, but to fight through his injuries and then do what was asked of him to be a key part of our offense in his junior and senior year, I can't bring myself to call him a bust.    
MoC is one that will I guess have to be considered a big disappointment, but at the same time one of the most important and productive Buckeyes of his decade, mostly because of the NC that he had such a huge role in.    
Given the depth we presently have on our defensive front, even with SeVon Pittman leaving, chances are that at least one 4-star player might be looked on in the future as a bust, but it may have more to do with the wealth of talent in front of him than any deficit on his part.    

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

thatlillefty's picture

SeVon Pittman leaving?

crusher's picture

Great article!

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men

Toilrt Paper's picture

Urban says 1 out of every 3 recruits never make it and end up leaving for one reason or another. 1 out of ever 3 end up being average, stick it out, never reach their full potential, but contribute some. 1 out of every 3 reach their full potential start at least 2 years and get drafted. Urban says that is UNACCEPTABLE and the 2 out of 3 that don't reach their full potential is the fault of the coaching staff. He and the other coaches, starting this year, are going to grade themselves daily and meet weekly in hopes of getting more than 1 out 3 to reach their potential both on the field and the classroom. After starting the daily grading process among the coaches, each position coach will do the same with their players. 

buckeye76BHop's picture

I agree on all accounts of good and bad...except Brandon Saine.  I was living in Urbana at the time (boy what an experience that was) and got to see him play first hand while he was at Piqua.  I'm glad you mentioned his stint in the NFL as well as his injury bug that bit him damn near every year at OSU.  He wasn't a bust IMO and should be off that list, but whatevs.  It's all good as long as you pointed out the 2008 and 2009 classes, which you did;-)  Go Bucks!

"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 

Adam21's picture

Just think of how many of these players Saban would have forced out of the program to open up more scholarships!

Buckeye Chuck's picture

I don't like the casual use of the term "bust," in part because in many cases, it puts the blame on the player for the fact that other people overrated him. Did Jamario O'Neal "not live up to his potential" as many have said, or did people have an unrealistic expectation of his potential to begin with?
But while it's not always clear where the line of "bust" should be drawn, I'm pretty Brandon Saine has to fall on the other side of the line. What were realistic expectations for the guy? He was the #11 running back in the country, so he wasn't expected to be an All-American or anything (not like Joe McKnight, who was a good player but never that good). Saine finished his college career with about 1400 rushing yards. That's not amazing, but I would bet that's closer to the mean performance for highly-rated running back recruits than most believe. 
The 2009 class was just a hot mess. A good part of the blame for 6-7 falls on this crowd, along with the tattoo crowd.
 

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

syphon2677's picture

i still remember when these kids signed, where did the time go

cplunk's picture

Haha, well I remember when Keith Byars became a Buck, so tell me about it

BigBuck623's picture

What happened to T.Y. this past year?

Ashtabula's picture

Three different kinds of busts:
First, not reaching your full potential due to lack of effort and discipline.
Second, unable to contribute due to injury.
Third, 3 star talent with a 5 star rating.
By the way, as the spring practices begin and our search for linebackers continue, I can't help but wonder/worry that Curtis Grant will be on this bust list in the future.

Tony's picture

Man, I remember Saine running track in high school. He made everyone else look so slow.
Also remember watching Delone Carter (Copley -> Syracuse -> Indianapolis Colts) run against my good friend in the 110M hurdles. My friend was our conference champion in the hurdles... and he got absolutely smoked.
Nothing too relevant about my contribution, but it feels like just the other day.

cinserious's picture

I wouldn't call Travis Howard a 'gem' in 2008. This four star was a top 5 CB in the country per Rivals (although as long as it took him to develop, it would seem he was lower rated) just sayin'.
Jordan Hall was another four star rb/athelete in 2009 who took awhile to develop because he was undersized and miscast in a power running offense (think Maurice Wells with more skills).

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

Alex's picture

Went off scout rankings....mentioned that in the content 

harleymanjax's picture

This got me thinking............Who is your ALL-TIME bust?
Growing up in a certain era in Cincy mine would have to be Carlos Snow, when he was at C.A.P.E. he was considered to be a future hall of famer!

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

cplunk's picture

Carlos Snow was an absolute beast for CAPE when I was growing up. Just ridiculous.

bucktooth's picture

How does Shugarts get left off the bust list?  He was a drive killing penalty machine, and a top 5 rated recruit at his position.  Bust.
 
Bucktooooooooth, heeyaw.

bucktooth's picture

I still think Duron "Son of Former Buckeye Great Cris Carter" Carter could be outstanding at whatever community college he's at now. 
I kid.
 
Bucktoooooooth, heeyaw.

wolfman's picture

I thought I saw something about him at Alabama not too long ago? 

acBuckeye's picture

Interesting list. I agree with just about every single "Bust" on your list; however your "Diamonds" left a lot to be desired. About a half dozen of the players on the "Diamonds" list were flat out awful for most of their careers, and were only getting playing time due to necessity.
I loved Tressel, but there were times where he left the cupboard pretty bare at certain positions.