11W Recruiting Roundup: Standing Eight Count

By Jeremy Birmingham on July 17, 2013 at 4:00p

202 days left, Buckeye fans. 202 days of unable-to-catch-your-breath recruiting excitement before February 5th, 2014, the day Urban Meyer and his staff ink another national top five recruiting class. 

Who will join Stephen Collier at Ohio State?Stephen Collier committed to OSU in June. Who is next?

After a "slow" spring, the Buckeyes saw a summer boom that resulted in a handful of nationally-ranked players join their midst, and with Friday Night Lights fast approaching, more commitments are realistic. 

While I'm not really one who likes to prognosticate — primarily because today's information is often tomorrow's fodder — we've gathered the gang and decided to put our noggins together to give the best possible list about how the Buckeyes will finish 2014.

Without any more of my rambling, here now is how we — your 11W recruiting squad — sees it unfolding based on a 1-5 confidence scale from each analyst. Everyone selected eight players that they see rounding out the class and gave them a numerical rating, with five being the most confident and one being the least. Five of the players were unanimous across the selections, but after that it gets a bit more tricky. The consensus five include a few players that are the "must gets" for Ohio State based on positional need and star-power.

Let's get it started.


As we gathered our list, there were eight names that appeared on at least two of our final picks, those names make up the list you see below. The first couple are pretty much as expected.

Marshon Lattimore // ATH // Cleveland, OH (Glenville)

Make no mistake, Lattimore is playing the Glenville game. The Glenville game, as you know, is when a top-ranked recruit from Glenville does a very good job hiding what everyone thinks they know, that said player is ultimately going to be a Buckeye. Yes, there's been a few bumps in the road in the last handful of recruiting cycles as Cordale Scott chose Illinois and Aundrey Walker chose USC, and Lattimore has an excellent poker face, but this one should end with him in Scarlet and Gray. Ohio State is recruiting Lattimore at his preferred position, defensive back, although he could be an All-Big Ten performer on either side of the football.

Confidence Rating: 4.75

Erick Smith // DB // Cleveland, OH (Glenville)

Smith is likely to be the third Glenville Tarblooder in Ohio State's 2014 class. A dynamic athlete, Smith holds offers from ten schools including Ohio State and Michigan, each of which recognize that adding Smith would provide substantial leverage in helping to land Lattimore. The nation's 14th-ranked safety according to 247Sports.com composite rankings, Smith will check out a number of schools like all Glenville players do but ultimately this one ends up in Columbus if the Buckeyes have the room. Something tells me they'll make the room.

Confidence Rating: 4.00

Curtis Samuel // ATH // Brooklyn, NY (Erasmus Hall)

If there's one player left that could really make a major impact on the offensive side of the ball for the Buckeyes within the next two years, it's Curtis Samuel. The blazing fast wide receiver from Erasmus Hall in Brooklyn is a player very similar to last year's coup, Dontre Wilson, and is a talent that could see time early for Ohio State at a number of different offensive positions as well as in the return game. Samuel doesn't say much about his recruiting, but Ohio State's offense suits him perfectly and they continue to be discussed as a favorite landing spot for the star New Yorker. While he's yet to visit Columbus, Samuel is planning a visit that could happen at any time, maybe even for Friday Night Lights.

Confidence Rating: 4.00

Raekwon McMillan // LB // Hinesville, GA (Liberty County)

Simply put, Raekwon McMillan is and has been a "must get" for Ohio State since he first named them his leader over a year ago. He's big, he's fast, he's mean and he's smart; a deadly combination at middle linebacker in a defense that needs a solid run-stuffer in the middle. McMillan has long been at the fore of the Buckeye defensive plans and while he's maintained that Ohio State is his leader, the scuttlebutt is that the Crimson Tide of Alabama have really narrowed the gap on Ohio State. When McMillan visits Ohio State next weekend for Friday Night Lights, the Hinesville native will do so with his entire tight-knit family in tow. Could that visit seal the deal for McMillan? All signs still point to the star landing in Columbus.

Confidence Rating: 3.75

Jermaine Eluemunor // OT // Scranton, PA (JUCO)

Eluemunor is one of the most interesting characters in the 2014 recruiting class, and also one of the hardest to truly get a read one. He committed to UCLA on his visit to California and decided to still check out Ohio State, which he did in late June and was shocked by how different Ohio State and UCLA were. He subsequently rescinded his commitment to the Bruins and made it very clear that Ohio State was likely his final destination.


He also wanted to visit Arkansas just to be sure that Ohio State was the place for him, and despite some initial reservations about making the trip because of how Ohio State might perceive it, Eluemunor is making the visit to Fayetteville this weekend, where he'll get his first look at an SEC program up close. Bottom line: Fayetteville is no Columbus and to a guy from London, that will matter. There are some rumblings that Eluemunor still has a planned visit to Florida State, but he's denied it to me every time I've asked, so I'll believe him.

Confidence Rating: 2.75

Mike Gesicki // TE // Manahawkin, NJ (Southern Reg)

After he went to Ohio State on June 21st to earn a scholarship offer — which he did — many people assumed that the talented and versatile Gesicki, a 6-foot-5, 240 pound true tight end, would be a quick commit to the Buckeyes. That has not turned out to be the case, and while most still predict that Gesicki ultimately lands in Columbus, the Buckeyes will be in a dogfight with Penn State and maybe Florida State, where he's visited this week, for his commitment. With Sam Hubbard's athletic ability and the chance he could play tight end, do the Buckeyes need another tight end in a class with tight numbers? The late offer to Gesicki says the Buckeyes do.

Confidence Rating: 2.5

Chad Mavety // OL // Garden City, NY (Sparta)

Mavety has been a Buckeye fan favorite for a while as he's spoken very highly of Ohio State on numerous occasions, an occurrence that has gotten more regular since his recent visit to Columbus to check out Ohio State up close. Still, Mavety has not committed and with the news of Jermaine Eluemunor being ready to pull the trigger, the odds of Mavety joining the Buckeyes seems to have slipped a bit. He was raving about his recent visit to Alabama and Florida State is another school that's been thrown about for the JUCO tackle. If Ohio State were to land three more offensive lineman in this class as our cumulative confidence indicates, it would be a major shock. 

Confidence Rating: 1.75

Damian Prince // OL //  District Heights, MD (Bishop McNamara)

Not many guys remaining on the Ohio State board are as big – literally and figuratively – as the 6-foot-6, 300-pounder from Bishop McNamara High School in Maryland. Prince made his initial visit to Ohio State last month and was blown away by the Buckeyes to the point that he almost committed to the Buckeyes on the spot, but instead left with them in the front of his mind as he heads into the start of his senior season.

Prince is a key recruit left for the Buckeyes

Prince will make a return to Ohio State for an official visit this fall, and while most still have him slated for Florida State despite the fact that he's not yet visited the Seminoles, I personally think this comes down to an Ohio State vs. Maryland battle and the Buckeyes finally beat Maryland for one of their own after losing out on Stefon Diggs and Taivon Jacobs in the last two recruiting cycles.

Confidence Rating: 1.5



Each of us, Jordan, Mike, Miles and myself had players that were exclusive to ourselves, and those players are all definitely still in the mix. As things unfold, you'll see new names pop up and new players become the trending pick to commit to Ohio State, and as always we'll try and give you the scoop for the next 202 days.


If you're interested, here's how we scored things. 

Jeremy Confidence Jordan Confidence MIke Confidence MIles Confidence
Lattimore 5 Lattimore 5 Lattimore 4 Smith 5
McMillan 5 Smith 4 Smith 4 Lattimore 4
Prince 4 McMillan 4 Samuel 4 Samuel 4
Samuel 4 Gesicki 4 McMillan 3 Mavety 4
Eluemunor 3 Knox 4 Mavety 3 Eluemunor 3
Q. Wilson 3 Samuel 4 Gesicki 3 J. Hilliman 3
Smith 3 Eluemunor 3 M. Hooker 3 Gesicki 3
N. Brown 2 Prince 2 Eluemunor 2 McMillan 3




Comments Show All Comments

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Great info, Jeremy. Thanks for keeping us in the loop on the recruiting front.

buckguyfan1's picture

Thanks Guys!  Nice work. 

Buckeye Rocket Sci's picture

My superstitious side is hating me for reading this but the side of me longing for football just won't let me stop! Here's hoping you all prove accurate about even just 2-4 of these guys; they're all studs that I would love to have as Buckeyes!

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence" - Calvin Coolidge

osubuck57's picture

I'll take Jeremys' list. Don't think we have room for a RB, not sold that Gesicki is ALL Buckeye, and Hooker just doesn't sound right. lol


sfgoody's picture

Wait. When I read this is seems like you guys think it's more likely that we whiff on all 3 of Mavety, Eluemunor and Prince than the chance that we land even 1. Possible? I suppose. Likely. I don't think so.


Ahh Saturday's picture

I think the confidence rating is a little confusing, but if a guy is on the list --even if it is with a low-confidence pick-- he is still predicted to be IN the class. 

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Remember the confidence rating is weighted among all four of us, so if a player isn't on one of our lists, that number drops way down.

Hovenaut's picture

Appreciate the rundown fellas....like our chances for another strong finish this recruiting year.

Indiana Buckeye's picture

Samuel is at the top of my want list, kid looks so explosive 

Chief B1G Dump's picture

I feel like E. Smith is one of those throw in guys that will end up being awesome.  Nobody is saying too much about him other than he's coming with Lattimore, wherever that may be.  I just have this hunch he's gonna end up being a dude.

Schwizzle1985's picture

I noticed nobody listed Johnnie Dixon.  Is there room for both Dixon and Samuel?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I think that Noah Brown/Dixon are more likely than Gesicki and yes, there's room for Samuel + 1 more.

sfgoody's picture

Jeremy, do you base this on thinking Gesicki wants to go somewhere other than osu, or, a vibe that while we seem to be high on him scoring a pure WR might be a higher priority? You've been spot on so often...but selfishly I hope you're off on Gesicki. Ha. Kid just screams matchup problem to me.


Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I think Mike has a tough choice to make, but he's got no natural "ties" to Ohio State, so aside from the Buckeyes offering him and being a "better" program than most, I don't know why people are so sure he'll end up at Ohio State. We've spoken a number of times and he's always very level-headed. He likes the Buckeyes but he also really likes Penn State and others.

sfgoody's picture

That's fair. IMO people base it mostly on the fact that he chose to come to camp and earn his offer, all the while apparently looking great doing it. It does seem that if he really wanted to come to OSU he'd commit soon. This is not the year, and he is not the elite talent to 'let the process play itself out'. Thanks!


Ahh Saturday's picture

Didn't see a single DL on any of the lists, but I still say we'll get one more in this class.  One name I don't recognize is M. Hooker from Mike's list.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Not a position of great need but if the Buckeyes can take a guy like Thomas Holley or Matt Elam or Malik McDowell they certainly will.

Poison nuts's picture

If this ends up being the finish that would be great. Of the guys who could still possibly be Buckeyes after those 8, I'd like to see Hilliman end up at OSU...I think he has a ton of potential. Seems unlikely with the RB depth, but I hope it works out that he's in the class.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Buckeye06's picture

Knox only on 1 list, but a 4 confidence level huh?  Interesting

Urban Nation Army's picture

I noticed that too

Bet you can't say "Bert Bielma is a bumbling buffoon" five times fast.

OSUs12-OH's picture

If Knox goes by his word, I could see him committing at the PSU game or after the season.  However, I'm not sold he's going to be a Buckeye based on some things he's said.  "I'll always be a Buckeye no matter where I go."  Or "Whoever goes unbeaten and wins the NC is wherer I'm going to go."  To me that's a nice way of saying I love Ohio State but I'm not 100% sure that's where I want to be (and by putting so many qualifications/emphasis on his #1 college choice seems a bit unrealistic IMHO).  Just my outlook but I tend to think it's kind of along the lines of why the staff at 11W aren't real high on him based on this above (again IMO).  I really think this is a TX part 2 or could end up that way, but I could be wrong.  That's why I warned everyone about all the love floating around when he first arrived on 11W threads (even though it is pretty cool to interact with him on here).  Same thing happened on twitter and TX websites with him.  We'll see...I'd sure love to see him in S&G that for sure.

"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

Gametime's picture

How do you feel about our chances landing Darrell Scott?
Also, I like you, also like Sam Hubbard as a TE - and though I like Gesicki, I almost feel like taking both would be a waste.
Not to knock Sam, but do you see Hubbard cracking the 2-deep at LB or DE with all the more experienced talent we're bring it in at those respective positions, especially when neither is technically a position he's really familiar with & these guys are majorly top 5-10 at these positions coming here?

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

TheBadOwl's picture

I've watched Hubbard's highlights and honestly have no idea where he'll end up playing. But the learning curve for tight end would probably be a lot steeper than keeping him on defense. But his upside might be higher on offense.
Right now, we have 4 tight ends on the roster. Urban's been really high on them since the spring game. Heuerman has the chance to be a star IMO, Vannett is similar but not as explosive, and Baugh has freakish athleticism. Then there's Blake Thomas, who is probably more of a blocker, but made an awesome play in the spring game.
If they take Gesicki, which I think they will, I think Hubbard ends up at OLB. But I'm not an expert and I've been wrong about things before.

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.

Gametime's picture

I hear you bro, and I think it's ironic that when he camped that those were the positions he played OLB and TE.
I love our TEs, and I seriously think Blake Thomas is underrated. He got open, showed nice hands, and he was tough to bring down in the spring game (plus I love that he rocks the neck roll). After this season Heuerman is a SR and Vannett is JR, so my thinking projects Hubbard at TE so he can slide in with Baugh who would be a SO.
It seems to me we would be too stacked at LB, DL, & DB for him to fit in there, but as you said, we could be wrong, but it's fun to speculate the options!

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

pjtobin's picture

Thank you for the info. As always , your a beast Jeremy. 

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

Brutus' Left Nut's picture

Jeremy.  Do you know where Prince almost committed to, but didn't?  I assume it was FSU or Maryland?

Jordan Wagner's picture

I personally believe it was Ohio State. He has never visited FSU. 

Basso Profondo's picture

Very cool compilation, thanks for keeping things fresh!

DenBuck's picture

Excellent Gents. Thank you. No Roberts but I'd like Gesicki.

Buckeye For Life

Schwizzle1985's picture

Jeremy, curious in the disparity of confidence between Lattimore and Smith?

hit_the_couch's picture

You guys do great work on the recruiting front.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

SOF_Buckeye's picture

First time commenting, but have enjoyed reading the insight into tOSU, and in particular recruiting. A couple of thoughts:
     What are the odds of a current commit flipping? (it seems Saban has his sights on a couple)
     If by chance Brandon Harris would commit to tOSU, what commit we're pursuing becomes the most expendable? (OL x 2?)
     Also, I won't narrow it down to just one, but give you two; who are the absolute two 'absolute, gotta have, can't miss on' recruits we're going after (IMO- McMillan & Lattimore).
     Finally, not using any names mentioned on your lists, who could be a possible 'big surprise' of a recruit in this class?
Thanks for a great job!

"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." Woody Hayes

Jordan Wagner's picture

DT Thomas Holley. I think he'll end up at ND, but notice that no one listed any defensive lineman. I wouldn't be surprised if we landed one, but I just don't see one that I like our chances with at the moment. 

I put Lattimore and Knox as the two post important. McMillan would be my third. 

Don't see us getting Brandon Harris. 

Miles has previously said he wouldn't be surprised if one of our commitments didn't end up at OSU, but no names were given.