11W Recruiting Roundup: Filling Up

By Jeremy Birmingham on July 31, 2013 at 4:00p
80 Comments

The end is near, Buckeye fans. The Buckeye 2014 recruiting class added two more commitments this past week as Demetrius Knox and Malik Hooker each added their names on the 2014Bucks.com website. As the numbers get tighter, the decisions will get tougher for Urban Meyer and his assistant coaches. Ohio State now has 16 commitments in a class that could range anywhere from 20-23. 

What can Brown do for Ohio State?What can Brown do for the Buckeyes? A lot if he commits soon.

There are a number of players left on the Buckeyes' recruiting board with plans to make their final decisions soon, and each of them would fill a different need in the 2014 class. There is rampant speculation that a handful of these players will have a spot no matter when they decide to say "I'm in," and from a star-rating and impact standpoint, it's easy to understand why.

Let's take a new, refreshed look at how the Buckeyes hope to finish out the "Dream '14."

IN NO MATTER WHAT OR WHEN OR HOW

There are some players too talented for Ohio State to pass up, no matter how squeezed the numbers are. Players that the Buckeyes will find a way for, even in a class with tightening numbers. It's the decision of these players that keeps the class in the top five nationally when all is said and done. 

Raekwon McMillian // ILB // Liberty County High School (Hinesville, Ga.)

McMillan is the biggest fish remaining for Ohio State, and not just because of his immense talent. He's a natural leader on and off the field, and receiving his signature on Signing Day would give the Buckeyes an important head-to-head recruiting victory against Nick Saban and other southern foes for a top player from SEC country. McMillan and his family took an extended visit to Columbus last week, an important visit as the Buckeyes continue their pursuit of the nation's top linebacker. Ohio State would wait until after Signing Day if they had to for a player like McMillan, but he plans to make his announcement at the Under-Armour All-American game in January and then enroll at the school of his choice immediately. You don't like to use the words "must get," but McMillan is as close to it as there is in 2014.

Curtis Samuel // WR // Erasmus Hall High School (Brooklyn, N.Y)

Recently bumped to five-star status by 247Sports.com, Samuel has become a major piece of the Buckeyes' 2014 puzzle. He's an explosive, game-breaking player — a homerun threat every time he touches the ball — and fits the now famous "Percy Harvin" role better than any recruit in the class could. At 6-foot and 185 pounds, Samuel is big enough to take a hit and strong enough to deliver one, but it's his ability to get to — and maintain through cuts and changes of direction — 4.36-40 yard dash top speed that separates him from the back. Urban Meyer has personally handled Samuel's recruitment, an unmistakable sign that the Buckeyes view his commitment with the utmost importance. Samuel made his second trip to Columbus this past weekend and the scuttlebutt regarding an imminent commitment has been overwhelming since he returned home. With an upcoming weekend visit to his home-state Rutgers looming, Ohio State could know by next week if they've reeled in this speedster. Will Samuel pull a Stefon Diggs and decide to stay home? Watch this one closely, because the answers should come this weekend.

Marshon Lattimore // DB // Glenville High School (Cleveland, Ohio)

Marshon Lattimore is one of the best athletes in the entire country. Marshon Lattimore goes to Cleveland Glenville. Marshon Lattimore will go to Ohio State. Right?

That's the line of thinking held by most who think about that sort of stuff, and it makes sense. Lattimore is a player who could be a five-star player at wide receiver or defensive back, and he fits perfectly into the mold of cornerbacks sought by Urban Meyer and Ohio State's defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs. He's big, he's physical and he's fast. Lattimore has been all over the country and holds offers from the likes of Alabama, Oregon, Michigan and numerous other nationally-ranked programs and he insists that despite Glenville's Buckeye pipeline, he's considering every school equally. As with most of the biggest names from the 'Ville, Lattimore will make a late decision, and as with most you should expect it to be Ohio State, despite his assertion to the contrary. Michigan and Kentucky continue to make their play for the Tarblooder star however, and that will keep the Buckeyes on their toes until February.

Meyer is recruiting Samuel personally.Can Urban Meyer secure Curtis Samuel soon? Signs point to yes.

Damian Prince // OL // Bishop McNamara (District Heights, Md.)

Ohio State's need for help along the offensive line has been documented here and there and everywhere, and repeatedly so. With commitments from Knox, Jamarco and Marcelys Jones and Kyle Trout, the Buckeyes have answered that call admirably so far. To land Prince, the nation's second-ranked offensive tackle according to 247Sports.com Composite, would be a 6-foot-6, 300-pound cherry on top. Following a June visit to Ohio State, Prince — previously thought to be leaning towards Florida State — nearly committed to the Buckeyes but held off, and will hold off for the foreseeable future. Expect this one to come to the wire and be a Signing Day special between the Buckeyes, Florida State and the hometown Terps.

BUT DON'T FORGET THESE GUYS

If the Buckeyes were able to secure commitments from those four players as they hope to, then things become even more interesting as they finish the class off. Most expect that Lattimore's Glenville teammate, defensive back Erick Smith, will be in scarlet and gray next year, almost to the point that he could be in the "In No Matter What" group above. Ohio State won't want to risk losing Smith — who has talked about being a "package deal" with Lattimore — to a school like Michigan, potentially opening the door for more Wolverine presence at the Buckeye stronghold in Cleveland. When Smith wants to make his commitment, he'll be able to. When Hooker committed this week, there was some concern that Smith's spot would be gone, but that's not the case.

Noah Brown is a name that Buckeye fans should expect to hear a lot of more of, and soon. He's a big-time player being recruited by the Buckeyes as a pure wide receiver, and it appears that his commitment could happen at any time. Brown visited the Buckeyes last week and told Eleven Warriors that Ohio State was his favorite school, but he needed to make a follow-up visit to Vanderbilt before he could get closer to a decision. Following his Vanderbilt visit he confirmed that the Buckeyes were still on top, and that a decision would happen within weeks. Could he be the next commitment for Ohio State? He'll have to choose the Buckeyes over the regional favorite Rutgers and the lure of the SEC with Vanderbilt, but it seems to be trending that way.

With Smith and Brown and the "fantastic four" listed above, I still expect one more player to round out the Buckeyes' class. The question of who that is however, is anyone's guess. With players like New York five-star defensive tackle Thomas Holley, New Jersey freak tight end Mike Gesicki, Nassau Community College star offensive tackle Chad Mavety, Texas star Solomon Thomas and North Carolina running back Derrell Scott all still considering the Buckeyes, things will certainly get interesting if any of them call up Ohio State and want to commit. 

Even with the 2014 class nearly complete, the next few months are going to be a lot of fun. Stay tuned. 

80 Comments

Comments

jayt's picture

good stuff....thanks birm.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thanks for reading. 

jvd253's picture

Giddy.  You know what I'm also giddy about?   Tomorrow will be August 1.  And tomorrow, we'll be able to look forward to buckeye football THIS MONTH

"A guy from Ohio can make it in life if he works hard enough." - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

I feel ya Jasonr, I was speechless too.

JasonR's picture

Ha, guess my gif disappeared. I assure you it was really funny.

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Thanks, Birm. The 11W staff have been doing amazing work on the recruiting front. Is Urban as involved in the recruiting of any of the others as he is with Samuel?

allbucksallthetime's picture

Not much to add except my personal "thank you" for the great work you and the entire staff at 11W do for us. It is greatly appreciated!
You'd certainly have to believe that Coach Meyer's personal involvement has to weigh pretty heavily on a recruit, the clearest of signs as to the skill set that young man's brings to OSU.  Are there others?  Go Bucks!

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Not to the degree that he is with Curtis, but he plays an instrumental role with McMillan as well. He's personally handling Jacques Patrick, the 2015 tailback from Florida, though.

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Thank you, good sir.

allbucksallthetime's picture

Thank you again for your relentless work on the recruiting front.  Go Bucks!

oregonianbuckeye's picture

Awesome overview, Jeremy. Thanks for the constant updates!

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

You're welcome, appreciate you reading.

BierStube's picture

Jeremy,
With an offer out to Braxton Berrios, what if he commits?  Although slightly different position than Brown or Samuel, room will be pretty tight on signing day.  Thoughts?

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

nfischer's picture

My question exactly. Are these offers simply nice gestures? 

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

The Buckeyes really like Braxton and would love for him to be in this class, but they are low on numbers. He'll have to decide soon if he wants in.

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

If we miss on two of the above, does that open the door for Braxton Berrios?

DeepSouthBuckeye's picture

Jeremy, your timing is impeccable. I literally spent my lunch hour with a pen and a napkin, writing out names, trying to do the math on who still has a spot, who is in, who is out. Although my napkin knowledge is above average, I much prefer reading an article from you. This class has me on the edge of my seat. It will certainly come down to the last second for some of these guys. A lot of numbers crunching ahead for tOSU coaching staff, but I trust their judgment.

Loving all things Buckeye from SEC country in Alabama.
"How firm thy friendship....O-HI-O"

BTBuckeye's picture

Just watched C. Samuel film for the first time...that kid has some wheels.
 

Hovenaut's picture

Love where this class is, and where it looks to be going.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Urban Meyer is pretty good at this stuff, huh?

Hovenaut's picture

Not too bad.

He's about as good at recruiting as a certain staff is at covering it.....

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

JYBUCKEYE's picture

Thank you for this Birm.  
Jason, give this man a raise!!  He's killing it.

MN Buckeye's picture

Thanks for the perspective, Birm! Just like DeepSouth, I have been doing the calculations and wondering how we finish. Also, props on being first with the Meechy commitment.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thanks, that was all Demetrius' idea  - he wanted 11W readers to have the story.

TBDBITL0509's picture

I love hearing that - he's Buckeye through and through!

Ethan's picture

This might be the most awesome thing about this site. You have to know you're doing a great job when the recruits are reaching out to YOU to let you break a story. So cool! Great work Jeremy, and the entire 11W recruiting team!

1967Buck's picture

  Thanks Jeremy, great write up. Peace.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

You're welcome, thank you for reading it.

brobbins's picture

So you feel that the class ends up being the first sixteen then McMillian, Smith, Samuel, Lattimore, Prince, Brown, and who is your last guy right now? Also are we still in the running for Thompson? John Smith? Johnnie Dixon? Would love to see Holley commit to the scarlet and grey as well...

All I do is win

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Feet to the fire my last guy, today, is Thomas Holley.

TeddyHeisman's picture

Thanks Jeremy.
 
Love you!

-2 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Be still my heart. 

cajunbuckeye's picture

Absolutely fantastic work. I love the predictions to close out this class.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

kholmes's picture

Great summary Jeremy. I'm a Michigan fan here but enjoy following all B1G recruiting so enjoy your work. You guys also do a great job giving impartial Michigan recruiting info so I like coming here to avoid the overly optimistic view on Michigan sites. I was worried the recruiting coverage might slip when Alex and Derek left but you have clearly taken it up a notch or two.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thank you, that's an incredible compliment. I appreciate it very much.

Hovenaut's picture

(Engage sarcastic font)

I can't believe I just upvoted a M*chigan fan....

(Disengage SF....)

Well put, KH.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

wolfman's picture

My official sarcasm font is Comic Sans.  I am trying to get everyone at work to use it where appropriate.

nfischer's picture

It was truly a challenge.  

tampa buckeye's picture

Fwiw I downvoted Go Bucks.

Joe4's picture

I was also worried about what would happen to us without Alex, but Jeremy has kept the heat coming. We're lucky to have you!!

MN Buckeye's picture

And Jeremy, you are second to no one. You are your own man and bringing it in your own way. Your unique relationship with recruits and grounded comments are helpful for us all.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thank you very much, we pretty hard to keep you guys on the front lines of all recruiting news.

SOF_Buckeye's picture

What are your thoughts on Quincy Wilson?

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

Crimson's picture

The comments from 11W staff imply (to me) that Wilson was their top choice for that spot, and news of Hooker committing means that Wilson is out.

SOF_Buckeye's picture

I figured as much. While Wilson is a very solid recruit, I feel Hooker won't allow any regrets.

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

rider1's picture

Would love to land Solomon Thomas. Oh to have those 3 schollies we forfeited. Thanks for your hard work!

route4buckeye's picture

Prince nearly committed? Did I miss something?

ODEEZ330's picture

If we land those 6 plus a holley/thomas that has to be a top 3 class for sure.
Saw alex switched his crystal ball for holley to the bucks.
And I agree w/ the comment above that jeremy has turned it up a notch. Love ur work man

O'Deez330
stark county football

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thanks, I appreciate the support you guys give us.

DenBuck's picture

Birms you are the t*ts! Thank you. 

Buckeye For Life

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

That's nice of you to say, I think. :)

USMC11917's picture

Tots....everybody loves tots! I got a pocket full of them!!

BABuckeye's picture

Jeremy, is the scholarship for the Kicker contingent upon having a scholarship on NSD in Feb? Could we see something similar to last year with Meyer taking a top rated player (like a Holley, Thomas, Scott or big time flip) and losing the Kicker because the K could get a scholarship at another school?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Ohio State needs a kicker, and I would hope that last year's issue with Townsend does not get repeated. 

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I'll probably get a 1000 down votes for this but can we please drop the 'Percy Harvin' references now?  We all know the position we're talking about and we all know what type of player Urban is looking for!  Just a thought!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

BABuckeye's picture

On the other hand, I have enjoyed the "Samuel could be the next Ted Ginn" references.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

That's what the players refer to it as, so that's what I refer to it as.

nfischer's picture

I'm hoping we are able to refer to it as the Dontre Wilson position going forward...Harvin who?

SOF_Buckeye's picture

I'm all for getting past this 'position' reference, unless we're referring to headaches or missing games...

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

BABuckeye's picture

Jeremy, does Meyer leave a spot open for a last minute, yet-to-be-determined, top 100 flip?  There are coaching changes every year, which leads to recruits reconsidering their choice in January.  For example, what if The OC left Clemson and Watson wanted in, as a package deal with his WR Kitt?  

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

You don't want to deal with what "might happen," in my opinion. The Buckeyes know who they want, like who they have and will always be prepared to adjust if things change on any number of fronts. This is an incredibly prepared and informed coaching staff, there's nothing that will surprise them.

Joe4's picture

Jeremy, I have a vague recollection that when Kitt committed to Clemson you suggested that we might hear his name again. Do you think he's still in play?

OSUnathen's picture

It sounds like things have trended our way for Prince. The fact that he almost committed on his official and now he is being pursued by current verbal commits makes this look like a reality. What percentage do you give our chances of landing this kid?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I'm not really the guy to give percentages, but things are definitely looking up. Buckeyes will have to recruit him to the end and are up against schools that will sell "Ohio State has four OL commits already" stories despite the need at the position. It's up to Prince to read between the lines and see what's real and what's not.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Outstanding work again Jeremy.  Love getting these recruiting updates!  They are always full of great information.
Go Bucks!

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thanks for reading it. 

cinserious's picture

In the near future, the OSU offense is going to morph into 'disgustingly sick' mode. The defense will already be there and so will special teams. Can't wait.

Gone ham, be back soon...

bull1214's picture

raekwon mcmillian and trey johnson seem very similar. just wondering if the staff can see them playing on the field together or are they competing for one spot? i think that plays into his recruitment

Crimson's picture

it's more likely that Mitchell and McMillan are competing for a spot, as they are both being looked at as MLBs.

ChazBuckeye's picture

@ Birm:  I was surprised with Malik Hooker committing to the good guys.  Do you think there will be any other surprises? 
FWIW:  My final group is the following with 24 total.  I know, I know....that's a big final number but as J-Birm stated above, there's some that OSU can't say no to.  The asterisks indicate must gets IMO.
17. Noah Brown
18. Curtis Samuel*
19. Chad Mavety
20. Mike Gesicki*
21. Damien Prince*
22. Marshon Lattimore*
23. Erick Smith
24. Raekwon McMillian*

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

Edincostarica's picture

As always, thanks for the update and the insight Jeremy.  This should definitely be a top 5 class. Looking forward to your thoughts and comments concerning 2 a days.

weimerad's picture

What if Mavety wants to commit in the near future?  Will they accept his commitment?  And if he does commit, where does that leave prince? 

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

I don't know.  Lately, I've thought that Mavety and Brown might be backup plans.  My reasoning is because we currently sit at 16 commits and it's logical to think that we are holding at least 5 spots, maybe 6:
1. McMillan
2. Samuel
3. Prince
4. Lattimore
5/6. Gesicki / Smith
This would put us at 21/22 and leave 2-3 spots left.  Then it comes down to best available players vs. positional needs.  This is possibly where Brown could get in the class, but Mavety could be left out.  Despite the experience he might bring, we've signed 5 OL already and may have repositioned others currently on the roster.  Also remember that there are a few other players still out there that are interested in us, and while we don't know how serious they are, they're players that we wouldn't say no to.

Crimson's picture

I know that Mavety and Prince are OTs, but with Meecy committing to tOSU early, they might be less worred about getting both OTs, just because one less OT would need to switch to OG.  With as concerned as they are and the size of the line class last year, I wouldn't be surprised with 6.

MichiganBuckeye222's picture

How close are we to our limit of recruits....we should be getting close, here....right?

Representing the Buckeyes in the Mitten State since 1987.

www.septemberheisman.com

 

pjtobin's picture

I never followed recruiting until this year. Jeremy you make it so easy to follow. Thank you very much. I enjoy following it now. All because of you. Reading your insightful article a song came to my head. 
The movie "Little Rascals" had a scene where Alfalfa was on a boat, serenading his love. The song went like this (Alfalfa voice): " You are so beautiful to me. Can't you see ? Your everything I hoped for. Your everything I need. Jeremy, you are so beautiful to meeeeeeee. Sorry my voice cracked hitting that last me. 

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

MAVBuck's picture

excellent write up, birmingham. this is the cream of the crop on 11W in my opinion.