Looking Ahead: Projecting the Rest of the 2014 Class

By Miles Joseph on June 11, 2013 at 4:00p
36 Comments

We're eight months out from National Signing Day 2014 and Ohio State's class is about half full, meaning there are anywhere from nine to 11 spots left in a class that is expected to sign 18-20 recruits.

Will Knox be a member of the class?

The nine 2014 players who have already verbally colmitted to OSU include the likes of Kyle Berger, Dante Booker Jr., Parris Campbell, Sam Hubbard, Lonnie Johnson, Marcelys Jones, Dylan Thompson, Kyle Trout, and Damon Webb. While that's a very good start to the class, the best has yet to come.

There are still many talented players on Ohio State's recruiting board and there are still a few holes are need to be filled before national signing day.

The biggest hole yet to be filled is along the offensive line, where I expect the Buckeyes to take two or three more blockers. It's also important for them to add another playmaker and linebacker to this already very good class.

I will incorporate the 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball into these projections in order to display the opinions of others who specialize in recruiting.

Join me after the jump to find out who I think will complete the Buckeyes' 2014 recruiting class.

QUARTERBACK

The Ohio State coaching staff wants to take a quarterback in this class and I am pretty sure they will end up with one, but I'm not in the position to predict who it will be.

Brandon Harris has become the Buckeyes' clear-cut top target for the quarterback spot in this class after Kyle Allen committed to Texas A&M a few weeks ago. While I certainly think they have a shot at landing him, I think he will stay in the south when it's all said and done.

So while I feel there will be a quarterback in this class, consider this spot a placeholder until the quarterback picture becomes more clear in the coming days, weeks, and months leading up to national signing day.

RUNNING BACK

The Bucks are in good shape to land Hilliman

Jonathan Hilliman, Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter's Prep, 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball: 100% Ohio State

Hilliman would join Parris Campbell as the second 2014 recruit with the ability to play running back at some point in college. Unlike Campbell, who could play wide receiver or cornerback, Hilliman is a prospect who can only play running back. He's pretty fast, a hard runner, and has the right size to fit into the OSU offense.

He took an unofficial visit to Ohio State this past weekend where he got to see the Ohio State campus for the first time. The Bucks led for his commitment going into the visit and have lengthened their lead due to a great visit. He wants to take a few more visits to make sure Ohio State is the right school for him, but I think he'll be Buckeye no later than September.

WIDE RECEIVER

Derek Kief, Cincinnati (OH) La Salle, 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball: 81% Ohio State

The 6-5 wide receiver would be a very good addition to the receivers that have pledged to play their college ball in Columbus. Kief already has the size to be a potential number one target at the college level, but needs to develop his skills a little more. Most high school football teams don't pass a lot so it's hard for receivers to get good game experience.

If Kief wanted to commit to Ohio State, I'm pretty sure the staff would accept his commitment, though I must say, I'm not 100% sure. Nevertheless, Ohio State's top competition to land the big wide receiver will come from the likes of Alabama, Kentucky, Northwestern, and Notre Dame, which are the other four schools he put in his top five. I think he might wait until fall to make a final decision, but when he does, I think he'll decide to play his college ball in Columbus for his home-state team.

TIGHT END

The Ohio State coaching staff wanted to take a tight end in this class, but I don't see that happening. If my prediction is correct and they aren't able to secure the commitment of a tight end in this class, it will be a top priority in 2015.

Names to watch in this class include Garrett Dickerson, Austin Roberts, Tyler Luatua, Bryce Dixon, Ravian Pierce, DeAndre Goolsby, and Marvin Saunders. The Buckeyes have offered all of these players, but outside of Austin Roberts, who is the tight end the Buckeyes have the best chance of landing, their interest in the Buckeyes is mostly unknown. 

Another possibility is to have Sam Hubbard shift from defense to offense when he arrives in Columbus. There's a real chance we could see this conversion especially if my prediction holds true and the Buckeyes don't take a pure tight end in this class.

OFFENSIVE LINE 

Jamarco Jones, Chicago (IL) De La Salle Institute, 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball: 100% Ohio State

The Buckeyes have already secured commitments from two offensive linemen in this class. They scored a commitment from Marcelys Jones on Christmas day and Kyle Trout in February, but they would love to add two or three more to the mix. Jamarco Jones could play anywhere on the line at Ohio State. He'd probably be the most useful at tackle, but could easily move inside to guard or play center.

He's taking three more visits prior to his June 27th college decision ceremony which will take place at his high school at 2:00 eastern time. These visits will take place this coming Saturday, Sunday, and Monday where he will visit Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State in that order. While both U of M and MSU are legitimate competitors for Jones' commitment, I'm pretty sure he'll end up committing to Ohio State on June 27th.

Demetrius Knox, Fort Worth (TX) All Saints Episcopal, 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball: 88% Ohio State

The Buckeyes would love to add former Texas commit and Ohio native Demetrius Knox to their recruiting class. The Buckeyes were running second for Knox before he committed to Texas and figure to be his top school or at least one of his top school choices now that he de-committed from the Longhorns. While he figures to be a guard at the college level, he should be a dominant one. I talked to a coach who attended the Rivals 100 Challenge and he named Knox as one of the most impressive players he saw at the camp.

I think Knox will take things slow after de-committing from Texas, but in time I think he will decide Ohio State is the best place for him to spend his college football playing days. I think UCLA will be Urban Meyer's top competition in landing the star offensive linemen from the state of Texas.

Chad Mavety, East Garden City (NJ) Nassau C.C.., 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball: 100% Ohio State

Mavety would be able to come to Ohio State and play right away as he has already had plenty of time to develop. If he can't come in and earn immediate playing time there will be a problem because he will only have three years to play two seasons of football for the college he chooses. He has the frame to dominate at the tackle position in college and I expect him to excel wherever he decides to play.

Mavety is planning on making his first trip to Columbus on June 15th. He wanted to visit in the spring, but couldn't due to an NCAA rule. Alabama, Florida State, and many others will serve as stiff competition for Mavety's services, but in the end I think he'll end up committing to the Buckeyes later this summer or in the early portion of the fall.

DEFENSIVE LINE

I don't see anymore defensive linemen in this class. Dylan Thompson is the lone defensive line commit, while both Sam Hubbard and Dante Booker Jr. could move to defensive end if it becomes a bigger need.

LINEBACKERS

Raekwon McMillan Hinesville (GA) Liberty County, 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball: 84% Ohio State

Almost everyone considers Raekwon McMillan to be one of the best linebackers in the 2014 class as a whole. Standing at 6-2/245 he already has the frame to succeed at the next level of his football career. The Buckeyes have already secured commitments from three players who could play linebacker at the college level including Kyle Berger, Dante Booker Jr., and Sam Hubbard, who could also play on the defensive line, safety, or tight end.

He has had the Buckeyes has his leader for quite some time, but Alabama and Clemson are making a push. He's visiting Ohio State again this summer which will give Urban Meyer and his staff a chance to extend their lead for this standout linebacker. He isn't making his decision public until Under Armour All-American game. I think the Bucks will be able to hold on and he'll announce his commitment to Ohio State in early January. He'll also be enrolling in his school of choice soon after his decision, also in January of next year.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Erick Smith, Cleveland (OH) Glenville, 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball: 100% Ohio State

The most talented players from the Glenville High School have almost always went to Ohio State and that's not expected to change with safety Erick Smith. I think Smith will be the first and only "pure" safety in the 2014 class.

Smith has been extremely quiet about his recruitment, just like his former teammate Christopher Worley who signed with Ohio State in the 2013 class. I'm pretty confident in saying Smith will be a member of this class, but I'm not sure when. If I had to guess, he'll make a late commitment just as many of his teammates have done over the years. Marcelys Jones is an exception to that rule. The Buckeyes' top competition will come from Michigan, Penn State, and others.

Quincy Wilson, Fort Lauderdale (FL) University School, 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball: 100% Ohio State

Wilson isn't highly rated by recruiting services, but he has an impressive offer sheet and is an extremely talented football player, who will be a corner or safety in college. Ohio State is looking at him to play cornerback. 

Wilson is planning on making an unofficial visit to Ohio State June 15th to check out the campus. While he hasn't come out and said it, I get the vibe from talking to Quincy and others close to his recruitment that the Buckeyes lead this race. It will be a tough road to victory, with a lot of schools down south competing for his commitment, I think the Buckeyes will come out on top this fall or winter.

ATHLETES

Marshon Lattimore, Cleveland (OH) Glenville, 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball: 100% Ohio State

Lattimore is the top player in the state of Ohio for the 2014 class. He could excel on offense, where he would play in the slot or defensive, where he would be a cornerback. While he's probably better on offensive right now, I think he end up on defense in college as he continues to develop his skills in the defensive backfield.

The Buckeyes have led for Lattimore ever since they offered him a scholarship early in the fall. He has taken multiple trips to Ohio State in the last year and hasn't taken a look at many other schools. I'm pretty confident the Buckeyes will end up landing Lattimore, but the race might not be over until close to national signing day because the Glenville players tend to make late decisions. I think Alabama will be Ohio State's top competition for Marshon's commitment.

Curtis Samuel, Brooklyn (NY) Erasmus Hall, 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball: 100% Ohio State

The Buckeyes don't often recruit players from New York, a state that rarely has elite high school football talent, but Samuel is an exception. He could be a running back, slot receiver, or safety in college. I think the Buckeyes would put him on offense if they're able to get his commitment.

Samuel wants to make it to Ohio State for a visit sometime soon and has indicated in the past that Ohio State his one of his favorites. Alabama, Miami, Notre Dame, Rutgers, and others will provide stiff competition for his commitment, but I think OSU will pull this one out by the end of the summer or the early part of fall.

36 Comments

Comments

ATXbucknut's picture

"...include the likes of Kyle Berger, Dante Booker Jr., Parris Campbell, Sam Hubbard, Lonnie Johnson, Marcelys Jones, Dylan Thompson, Kyle Trout, and Damon Webb."

...and K Sean Nuernberger yo.
Great article. Love reading this stuff.

kdizzleduzit's picture

I tend to rate prospects based on their offer sheets as opposed to the actual rating.  I think it is more telling as coaches are probably better evaluators of talent than people from Rivals or ESPN. I believe this is the case with Hilliman

d1145fresh's picture

Same thing with Wilson. 3* 247 and low 4* composite but a DB with offers from Florida, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, USC, ND is a big time player. 

FROMTHE18's picture

also have to consider these rankings are still relatively early...with loads of summer camps on tap, and their HS seasons still to be played, these rankings will fluctuate... as of now, I would definitely stick to offer lists and wait until the early-mid fall for any kind of solid set of rankings to be produced by any of the services

d1145fresh's picture

I am with you 99% on this list. I know Hubbard/Booker might end up on the defensive line but I just can't imagine Urban not bringing in another DL particularly a DT. I also didn't have Quincy Wilson because we are so loaded on DB but I would not be upset with him by any means. The QB situation will be interesting. I feel like it might come down to a late flip to fill this position but even if we don't pull in a QB this year I would be ok with the stable we will have in 2014 season. 

buckeye85's picture

Im with you on the Dline, I have to think they are going to try really hard to get a big DT and maybe another WSDE.

sfgoody's picture

Yep. It's possible, but I think unlikely, that holmes, holley, thomas, elam, barnett and maybe brown visit and we miss on all of them. I wouldn't be unhappy if we were done at DL for this class, but I think we are in better shape for another 1-2 than we may realize.

sfgoods

AndyVance's picture

I like seeing all those 100% Crystal Ball predictions (and 80%+ ain't too shabby, either) for the good guys. Good stuff, keep it coming.

Hovenaut's picture

Like the talent being targeted, and the forecasts on these young men becoming Buckeyes.

Smaller class this year, but no shortage of talent.

I am not the Last Dragon, therefore I do not possess the power of the Glow.

FROMTHE18's picture

One observation: kids from a lot of different places...even though Knox is originally from Ohio...couple of NJ kids, a FL kid, Illinois, New York represented, and more importantly IMO, a GA kid, and snapping up the Glenville boys is also a good thing for the bucks...

oregonianbuckeye's picture

What's the latest on T. Thompson? With Kitt to Clemson, do we have a better shot at landing him?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Visiting next week and it's a HUGE visit. Buckeyes need to get out in front for a WR like that at this point.

jedkat's picture

well look who decided to stop playing roller coaster!
 
Thanks for all the great work you guys do!

“The teams that don’t respect their coaches and don’t trust their coaches are the teams that go .500"
~Zach Boren

Evansvillebuckeye's picture

Not that it matters, but let's say you're right about these commits - where does the class land as far as national rankings?

Poison nuts's picture

Definitely strong to quite strong.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Maestro's picture

I am 100% certain of one thing.  Until the LOI is signed there is no such thing as 100%.  February is light years away in the life of a 17-year-old.

vacuuming sucks

bostonbuckeye's picture

I think it's more 100% they verbally commit within the next 8 months.  I think everyone knows after two years with Urban that no one is a lock to anybody until NSD.

hcazualcc's picture

are u sure youre not 99.9% sure?

tdible2132's picture

Agreed Maestro.  If things play out the way Miles has predicted, then I think that would be a solid class right on the fringe of a top 10 class.  Honestly, it may be disappointing to some, but I think this class will be a perfect fit after the class we reeled in last year.  Thanks for the insight Miles!

d1145fresh's picture

If this all pans out as Miles listed this would be a top 5 maybe top 3 class. It won't be as flashy because it is more lineman than the skill players we got last year but it will be very impressive. 247 composite would look like this: 
3--5* (with Prince just missing out) 
15--4* 
3-- 3* (Including Hilliman who will likely be a 4* and Dylan who will be a 4* and Lonnie who could end up as a 4*) 
1-- Not Rated (Nuernberger Kicker) 
To compare that with Alabama (The #1 class last year): 
3--5*, 16--4*, and 8--3*. 

tdible2132's picture

Um, not to burst your bubble or anything, but if it pans out the way Miles has predicted then there wouldn't be any 5 stars actually. 

tdible2132's picture

 I guess McMillan would be a 5 star so I stand corrected my apologies.  So it would likely be 1 five star in this class, unless Damon Webb gets a 5th star which is certainly possible for a site or two.

Royball's picture

I think he's looking at Lattimore for the 3rd?  We'll see on that one, he's certainly close.  I agree that Webb could move up to a 5, I've yet to hear a negative comment about him this recruiting cycle, especially from the Rivals guys.

4-6 seconds of relentless effort

d1145fresh's picture

Yea I was looking at the 247 Composite which currently has McMillan and Lattimore as 5* and OL targets David Sharpe and Damian Prince as 5* (although I think we don't land either) and Jones is the highest rated 4* who is likely to make a jump up along with possible others--Webb/Booker/etc. 

Jordan Wagner's picture

I tend to think that TE/H-Back Austin Roberts will be a Buckeye. 

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I agree... He's visiting again soon and I think he'll commit to the good guys on that trip. 
 
I also think we land 1 more d-line commit. Either Poona Ford or Jalyn Holmes. Urban and Co. Knows that national titles are won in the trenches. They'll reload on both lines every year. 

ODEEZ330's picture

Give me big meech raekwon the chef and marshon and i would be happy with who ever else the staff took

O'Deez330
stark county football

lippertini's picture

Quick edit: "Dylan Thompson is the lone DEFENSIVE line commit" :)

jestertcf's picture

Thanks always Miles, your work is impeccable.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

osubuck57's picture

Would be very happy if this list plays out. Only exception, really want Trevion Thompson as WR. Would like to get Austin Roberts as well.

SCOTTC.

Northbrook's picture

So we're at 10 with 4 more to give as things stand. Okay, maybe 5 more if Munger isn't going to make it. With 5 more you take a QB, 3 OLmen and McMillian.
Without knowing how much or where attrition will happen I'd try to get...
Lattimore, and Quincy Wilson as DBs.
I'd keep Campbell at RB. I like Austin Roberts to get a 'ship. If the transfer from GaTech looks worth it I'd save one for him otherwise I might sign another WR but I'd try Campbell at WR before I decide.
I'd take one more DL. Probably a DE because Thompson looks a bit slow for DE. If Hubbard or Booker is slated for DE I'd get another OLB instead. I wonder if Hubbard is another Mad Stork.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Good Stuff!  Man, the recruiting class is really coming along.  Lovin' it!!
 
 

Rapping Bum's picture

Just get the two Glenville kids.

Help is on the way.

Firmthyfriendship's picture

Like it! I hope Raekwon becomes a Buckeye. Something about the guy seems like he would make a great buckeye in a long line of great linebackers at tOSU, and that something is more than just talent, but we'll see!

pjtobin's picture

I have never followed the recruiting trail until this year. I'm getting kinda anxious with all of the great players who might be buckeyes. I want to thank 11 w staff, and all of the members for keeping me informed. I am so glad I found this site. First it was basketball I started to follow more closely. Now it's the fresh blood coming in. I can't wait till the first kickoff this year. Thank you all for deepening my buckeye roots! 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

OSUs12-OH's picture

Nice article as well as the predictions.  Funny and coincidental that you guys go off 24/7 too;-)
 

"I want a hungry team. I want a team that can't wait to get out there. I want an angry team! You're the Ohio State Buckeyes. You're an angry football team. You're a hungry football team and I'm proud to be your coach." UFM