11W Recruiting Roundup: Offensive Line Continues To Challenge

By Jeremy Birmingham on June 12, 2013 at 4:00p
49 Comments

Two top five recruiting classes and one undefeated season in less than two years at Ohio State.

A career dotted with unparalleled successes on and off the field; national championships, conference titles, Heisman winners, number one overall picks (from Utah!!!), and the list goes on and on.

Urban Meyer is a man who usually gets what he wants.

Damian Prince is a primary target for Ohio State

So why are the Buckeyes struggling to capture what he needs the most in the 2014 recruiting class? Why are so many offensive lineman, a position where the Buckeyes hope to land up to five players this cycle, choosing other schools? The Buckeyes failed to land a number of high-profile OL targets a year ago, and this year has seen an Ohio product, Jimmy Byrne from Ohio State stronghold St. Ignatius in Cleveland, commit to Notre Dame over the Buckeyes. Where's the disconnect? What will the Buckeyes do?

If you've followed recruiting or Urban Meyer for a while, you know there are two definitive outcomes of this frustrating situation. The first outcome is that Urban Meyer will recruit the best players for his football program, and he doesn't care (nor should he) if they are from Ohio or Lithuania, if they are committed to another school or if they don't want to even talk to the Buckeyes right now. He will keep fighting to get them on campus, he will fight to get audience with them and their parents and he will impress upon them their value to Ohio State collectively and to himself personally.

Secondarily, Urban Meyer will sign players that Urban Meyer wants. There are no reaches, there are no desperation scholarship offers. Urban Meyer would rather have 7 offensive lineman on his team that are good enough to play for — and win championships for — Ohio State than 12 offensive lineman that don't possess the attitude and abilities that he needs his offensive lineman to have.

These are the young men he's looking for to fill the positions that are soon to be vacated by outgoing seniors Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley, Marcus Hall and Andrew Norwell. These are the guys that Ohio State is hoping will lead the way through the next five years of Buckeye football opponents. These are the best candidates to fill out the 2014 offensive line recruiting class alongside current verbal pledges Kyle Trout and Marcelys Jones.

JAMARCO JONES - CHICAGO (iL) - dE LA SALLE INSTITUTE

As far as outcomes go, this is the big one that Ohio State is going to "find out" about sooner rather than later. Jones, 6-foot-5 and 290-pounds, is scheduled to announce his commitment on June 27th. Down to a final group that includes Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State (and to a lesser extent Notre Dame), the Chicago product has been very close to the vest about his recruitment, but he's been a long perceived "Buckeye lean," and most people in the know still seem to think the Buckeyes — who will receive his final visit — are the lead for his services. Jones would be a huge win for the Buckeyes head-to-head against Michigan and a personal notch in the belt for assistant coach Mike Vrabel, who has been at the fore of Jones' recruitment almost since day one. Prediction: Buckeye... but it's very close.

DEMETRIUS KNOX - FORT WORTH (TX) - ALL SAINTS EPISCOPAL SCHOOL

Knox, the former Texas commit, makes no bones about his love for Ohio State. He's a Buckeye fan, through and through, born and bred in the Dayton area before moving to Texas a few years ago. That does not, however, mean that he's a Buckeye "lock," but they must be considered a favorite for his signature as it stands today. He's a dominating force at guard, standing 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds and possesses great hands to go along with a nasty attitude. As much as "Meechy" is a fan of Ohio State, he may an even bigger fan of the recruiting "game," and is doing everything he can to keep people guessing about his final destination. Until recently, my gut on this one was all UCLA come February, but as of today I've got this one swinging back around to scarlet and gray; but no time soon. Prediction: Buckeye, maybe around the time of his official visit for Penn State game.

Knox has his eye on Ohio State11W Readers See You Meechy

CHAD MAVETY - GARDEN CITY (NY) - nassau community college

The second-rated JUCO lineman in the country, Mavety has prototypical size for a B1G tackle at nearly 6-foot-7 and 320 pounds, and he's become one of the most sought after players at his position because of it. With offers from a who's who of elite college football programs, Mavety will start his recruiting process in earnest this weekend when he arrives at Ohio State. While he says there's "absolutely no chance" for a commitment this weekend, the visit will go a long way towards establishing the Buckeyes as the favorite to land the New Yorker. Florida State and Alabama poise the biggest threats currently to Ohio State, but the 247Sports.com Crystal Ball on Mavety is unanimous currently. Prediction: Buckeye

alex bookser - PITTSBURGH (PA) - MT. LEBANON HIGH SCHOOL

Bookser has been an incredibly difficult player to get a read on since he, like a number of offensive lineman, don't do much talking about their recruitment. He's much rather let his game talk and for Bookser, its been speaking volumes. With offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and more, Bookser will have a tough choice to make, especially as a western Pennsylvania product; do you spurn the hometown Panthers and take a leap to "bigger" football? I think ultimately that will be the case. Where Bookser ends up is another story, but he's a priority for Ohio State and a player they've liked for a while, and with every list "cutdown" he makes the Buckeyes are still involved. Prediction: Buckeye

There are a number of other high-profile players that the Buckeyes are pursuing along the offensive line, including Maryland's Damian Prince (who could very well choose Ohio State when it's all said and done), California product Damien Mama (who wants to find a way to make an Ohio State visit) and the aforementioned Eluemunor. The recent UCLA commitment reiterated to me that he's 100-percent still camping at and visiting Ohio State on the weekend of June 21st, so don't expect the Buckeyes to bow out of that one. 

Of course, the Ohio State staff is constantly looking for and evaluating other players, so don't expect this list to stay this way for long.

 

49 Comments

Comments

SilverBulletNYC's picture

I would love this haul. Would prefer Prince or Bookser but I would not complain. It would definitely be one of, if not THE, best o-line class this year.

The South will NOT rise again!

DallasTheologian's picture

I would cry tears of joy if OSU gets an OL haul of Trout, Jones, Jones, Knox, Mavety, and Bookser/Prince.

ab42beerman's picture

Two or three of those guys would be a great haul when you add in the talent / potential of Jones and Trout. 

fear_the_nut70's picture

11 Warriors has done an excellent job of predicting where recruits will end up.  Still, 4-4 on these fairly elite o lineman?  I like it but wonder if that's just a bit optimistic.

pcuzz1's picture

This jones suspense is absolutely intense! Really like that we get the last visit, hopefully the staff can just reiterate why we should be his leader

pat cozzens

Meechy77's picture

Great article!

Angry staff, Angry team. The Ohio State

ATXbucknut's picture

BuckeyeNation here in TX can't wait for you to pull the trigger for OSU, Meechy.  I hope you're talking to Coach Bates about how fantastic it is to attend THE Ohio State University.  Good luck to you and ASES this year!
Jeremy, great article. You are killing it here at 11W.

Joe4's picture

Yeah, we don't need a recruiting service to tell us what a stud he is: 5* all the way!!

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Much appreciated!

Citrus's picture

Meechy,

What current commits/players are reaching out to you?  Is there someone that is in your ear to join the scarlet and gray?

zenshade's picture

Of course, we all hope you wind up a Buckeye, but good luck wherever you go.  This time will never come again.  Enjoy it to the fullest!  In the end, trust your gut, no matter where it leads you.

tennbuckeye19's picture

The recent UCLA commitment reiterated to me that he's 100-percent still camping at and visiting Ohio State on the weekend of June 21st, so don't expect the Buckeyes to bow out of that one. 

Nice to see OSU isn't completely out of the running for Eluemunor.
I would definitely LOVE to get each of these guys in Scarlet & Gray.
Sidenote: 11W is doing some great work on the recruiting front with Jeremy, Miles, Mike, and Jordan. Kudos to you all. 

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thank you, we're trying and we're always looking to get better! If you guys have anything you'd like to see us do, let us know and we'll work towards accommodation.

Brutus' Left Nut's picture

Would like to see you tie a stick to Hoke's back with a string dangling a Twinkie in front of him (just out of his pudgy arms' reach) and video tape it.  We could then take a poll on how long he could run before he pukes/passes out/quits.  I'm going with 20 yards.
Other than that, you and the staff are doing everything perfectly as far as I'm concerned!

osubuck57's picture

Nice article.We would absolutely hit it out of the park if we snagged 4 out of the 6 mentioned.Do I believe we get them all, no. But one can always hope.

SCOTTC.

ODEEZ330's picture

Meechy is my #1 priority on the OL and not bec he recently joined 11w but bec he's the top ol in country imo

O'Deez330
stark county football

Meechy77's picture

Means a lot 

Angry staff, Angry team. The Ohio State

Jugdish's picture

I made this comment last year about Meechy. There is no doubt that he will have a great career at the Ohio State University and bring the pancake back to the Buckeyes.

Jugdish on 24 Jul 2012 - 8:59pm #

This kid is the closest I have seen that compares to Orlando Pace. He is down field blocking and looking for the next player to deck. What a perfect fit for UFM's offense.
 

Remember to get your wolverine spade or neutered. TBDBITL

DallasTheologian's picture

Doesn't hurt that he is dominating in the camp circuit right now.

Buckabroad's picture

Agreed ODEEZ330. Knox is my favorite in a great bunch of elite OLs, too. His power, size, agility and confidence are immensely impressive (as demonstrated at camp) and he would fit the OSU tradition of great OLs like Orlando Pace quite well.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

buck-I.8's picture

Agreed, because even when he was committed to his home school, he still showed his love as a buckeye fan, and that's what really matters. 

mh277907's picture

I feel like Urban is putting together at least 2 elite positional classes (i.e.- Dline, Oline, Skill positions, DBs, or LBs) each year and then adding pieces to to the other three positional classes as well (does that make sense?). Last year was skill players and DBs with very good pieces added to the LBs, and both lines. This year seems to be the year for OLine and LBs. Obviously, it is not rocket science to figure out that he is recruiting based on needs but the level of talent and number of kids he brings in to fulfill those needs each year is quite impressive.

buckeyebobcat

Edincostarica's picture

Don't forget "Special Teams".  Now we have a true punter and a kicker.

Hovenaut's picture

Definitely the four I'm hoping to see in the S&G....what a group.

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

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Thanks for another nice piece of work.
I'm going with Knox as my top pick because I always want the "Ohio guys", the guys that already get  what OSU is all about.  He gets it, he knows what it's about and he's one helluva player.  He'll do great wherever he chooses, but I do think it would mean more doing it as a Buckeye.

Read my entire screen name....

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thank you, as always I absolutely appreciate you reading it.

Brutus' Left Nut's picture

I notice that Prince isn't really projected to end up at OSU, but I saw a video where he named us one of his top schools (and didn't name a favorite).  Where do you project him ending up?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Feet to the fire I think Prince ends up at Florida State right now, but that's just a feeling.

Brutus' Left Nut's picture

Well he won't win anything if he goes there, but the girls are unbelievably hot and easy (ask Brett Favre). Too bad they have horrible coaching.  I feel like FSU is the best example of recruiting class rankings not translating into on the field success (I think FSU's schedule is easier than TX so I give FSU the edge re: underperformance).  As long as we get Knox and JJ we should be good to go.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Ha, last week I was too pessimistic and this week I am too optimistic. :)

Buckeyes also just offered 2014 OL Brock Ruble from DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville (Md.) He's 6-foot-8 and 325 pounds. Big ol' kid. Not sure that I'd want to read much into that as far as Jamarco goes, but I know people will.

MN Buckeye's picture

Thanks for another great article, Jeremy!  I have every confidence that we will get the right group of guys for our system.  O-linemen are a unique breed, and I love the attitude.  Whether Meechy77 joins us or not, it is great having him along for the ride!  But I think we have a chance to have the best O-line recruiting class in a long time.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

You're welcome! Thanks so much for reading it. Urban will put a quality class together, make no mistake about it.

m5987usus's picture

Jeremy, really thank you for all that you guys do!  You guys really are the best, the whole staff!  Jeremy, you are one of my favorite recruiting analyst buddy, thanks for everything man!

O-H!

villagebuckeye's picture

Jeremy, I see Decker winning the rt job this year.  Do you think Farris will remain a tackle or slide inside next year?
 

WezBuck28's picture

I agree with the above statements, I think Knox is a freak of an athlete for a big dude, he is a MUST get, and I also think that if he commits others will soon fallow..

Poison nuts's picture

I believe D. Knox may hold an 11W record for fastest to 100 stickers! Anyways good stuff again Jeremy. Be great if it all works out the way you have it...
 

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

Grayskullsession's picture

The way Knox handled Brown during the Rivals challenge sold me on him. He and Jones along with Prince would make a sick O-Line.

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

Buckeyeneer's picture

Can you imagine? An o-line haul full of studs and the Walrus is nowhere to be found! Give me chills!

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

THE Ohio State University

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great article Jeremy!  Anyone who really knows about football knows that the big men who play in the trenches are what determines who wins and loses.  We've got two great ones already with Kyle Trout and Marcelys Jones.  You've provided some great details on some of the best O-linemen out there.  It would be great to get any of these guys. 
Jamarco Jones and Demetrius Knox are two great ones that stand out to me from watching videos on youtube.  They both are very athletic and really get after it. 
Chad Mavety as a JUCO player would be an excellent addition too.  He's very fast for his size and he's got a lot of size.  He could help solidify one of the tackle spots when Mewhort is off to the NFL. 
Most of the video I could find on Alex Bookser shows him playing DT, which it looks like he's got a heck of a motor. 
Overall looks like some really outstanding players and Buckeye Nation would be fortunate to have any of them join the class!  Here's hoping they all do to create the best O-line recruiting class of the year!!
Go Bucks!
 

d1145fresh's picture

Knox, Prince, and Trout will all be at The Opening. Hopefully they can get some reps together and we as fans can get a preview of the Bucks line for the next 4 years. Add in two more of Jones/Bookster/Mavety and you are looking at one of the best offensive line classes I have ever seen. 

Meechy77's picture

Thanks for the love buckeyes

Angry staff, Angry team. The Ohio State

+1 HS
tdible2132's picture

Great Article Jeremy!  I have to think with the limited numbers that we will only sign 3 more O-Lineman in this class.  I agree with you predictions, but Jamarco Jones is the one I think may end up elsewhere.  My man Meechy's recruitment should be interesting too, but in the end I think he picks OSU.  California is nice, but with me being a student at OSU and having been to LA, there is nothing like the atmosphere and tradition at OSU.  You don't hear about many former athletes staying in their college town to live after they graduate, but Columbus is the exception to that! Go Bucks!

danman9450's picture

Let's get this guy 1000 helmet stickers ASAP!

Buckeyeneer's picture

OK. As long as all the perks that comes with premium access to the site isn't considered a impermissible benefit by the NCAA.

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

THE Ohio State University

Psychranger's picture

Am really hoping to land young Mr Knox. Even though OSU may be leading, it's never a lock until the names on the line. Have watched his films and listened to his interviews, and he has that extra special element that is so crucial for the OL. He'd really look great in the Scarlet and Grey, mowing down defensive linemen while the absolute studs Coach Meyer has brought in at the skill positions fly down the field behind him. We need smart young men like DK to make everything work.

JB3

zebiraross's picture

Great article, glad your now predicting DK to OSU. He is so crucial to this year's class with the talent he brings. Give me DK, Jones, and Prince please.

Zeb

zbd's picture

Great update. I never get too much recruiting news.

gobucks96's picture

Grabbing, at minimum, two of these great prospects is important. Interior line is very thin at the moment and impact of anyone of these guys committing is huge to the program. The stars with the ball are here, but they need guys to plow the road who will become the ultimate stars of the future for the team..

Buckeye06's picture

So when do we get Mr. Meechy in for a sit down interview about his favorite new website?