Ohio State Football Recruiting: Who's Next?

By Jordan Wagner on August 22, 2013 at 7:00p
Will Gesicki fit the puzzle?Will Mike Gesicki complete the Buckeye puzzle?

It has been almost a week since Ohio State landed Curtis Samuel as commitment number 17 in the class of 2014. It did not take Ohio State fans long to start asking "Who's next?" 

Speculation and questions were thrown around as everyone made their best guess of who will be next prospect to commit to Ohio State. 

"Noah Brown! He is supposed to decide soon, right?" followed by "I don't think Meyer wants him." The first part is true. Brown has said he will decide by September 12th. The second part is not that clear, but Brown does hold a written scholarship offer from Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. 

The answer to "Who's next?" is not an easy one, by any means. Is recruiting ever that easy to predict or understand? Many of the top Buckeye targets plan to take official visits before committing.

With that said, recruiting is a fluid situation and things can change in a hurry. It doesn't appear the Buckeyes will land a commitment any time soon, but it's not unusual for a prospect to commit ahead of his planned timeframe. 

Where are the Buckeyes' top targets leaning and when can we expect their decisions?

Noah Brown // Sparta (N.J.) Pope John XXIII // WR, ATH

Just a few weeks ago, many Buckeye fans were expecting a commitment from the 6-foot-2, 212-pound wide receiver, after he publicly named Ohio State his leader. The buzz has quieted down lately, leaving many wondering if Brown has a committable offer from the Buckeyes. The New Jersey product recently took a visit to in-state Rutgers, a school that could be the leader for his services. According to a New Jersey newspaper, Noah Brown was close to ending his recruitment by committing to the Scarlet Knights. However, a few members of his support system feel Ohio State is the better fit. 

Expect a decision from Brown at any moment. According to his twitter, a decision will be made before his football season starts, Sept. 12. Last week, Eleven Warriors' Jeremy Birmingham reported that Noah Brown did receive his official offer in the mail from Ohio State. Rutgers could be in line to continue their hot streak on the recruiting trail with a commitment from Brown. 

Could Thomas Holley be the next Buckeye commitment?Ohio State is in a good position to land Holley. 

Thomas Holley // Brooklyn (N.Y.) Abraham Lincoln // DT

The five-star defensive tackle is trending towards Ohio State on the crystal ball, after it previously favored Notre Dame. Thomas Holley (6-4/285) is one of Ohio State's top remaining targets, especially after the move of defensive linemen J.T. Moore and Billy Price to the offensive side of the ball. 

A timetable for a decision is not clear. There was some talk that a decision could be made by Holley before football season, but it appears things have changed. The New York Post is now reporting that Holley will take official visits during the season with a decision to follow in December. Holley is not a Buckeye "lock", but Ohio State is sitting in a good position to ultimately land his commitment. Notre Dame and Penn State are two other schools heavily pursing the five-star Brooklyn product. 

Mike Gesicki // Manahawkin (N.J.) Southern // TE, H-back

Gesicki (6-5/238) impressed Urban Meyer enough to earn an offer at Ohio State's prospect camp in June. Tight end wasn't a position of need until Blake Thomas' career was halted due to a back injury. With scholarships running tight, the staff is challenged with many difficult decisions regarding whose commitment to accept. The staff apparently wants Gesicki to complete the puzzle

Ohio State has plenty of competition for the four-star tight end's commitment. Florida State, Penn State and Wisconsin are the Buckeyes top foes. The Badgers are not talked about much in his recruitment, but they could be Ohio State's biggest challenger to land the New Jersey product. Don't expect a decision anytime soon, as Gesicki plans to take his official visits before giving his commitment to a school. The Buckeyes will be a major player for his commitment. 

Chad Mavety // Garden City (N.Y.) Nassau Community College // OT

Chad Mavety (6-6/320) is clearly a priority after Urban Meyer took over as his main recruiter. The crystal ball shows Ohio State as the clear favorite for the four-star JUCO lineman. The offensive line situation could get interesting with five-star Damian Prince in the mix as well. The Buckeyes could take six offensive lineman, but scholarship numbers are getting tight. Going all in for Prince and passing on Mavety seems unlikely. 

The JUCO lineman took an official visit to Florida State recently and they remain Ohio State's main competition. The Seminoles blew him away on his official visit and are definitely in the mix to land his commitment. Ohio State is not scheduled to receive an official visit from Mavety until Nov. 22, but they've been working to get that date moved up.

At one point he was expected to decide by early August, it appears we shouldn't be expecting a decision until late fall to early winter. He will have three years to play two seasons for whichever school lands the highly-rated tackle. 

Will Urban Meyer be able to land another Georgia stud?Ohio State continues to lead for McMillan. 

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

The five-star linebacker from Georgia has long named Ohio State his leader. Raekwon McMillan (6-2/242) definitely has a spot reserved in this class by the staff. McMillan plans to officially visit for the Penn State game in October, while also officially visiting Florida, Alabama, Clemson and Georgia this fall. 

A decision is expected during the Under Armour All-American game in January. The Buckeyes are the current favorite for the five-star linebacker, but the lure of the SEC will be tempting for McMillan. The Georgia product would be expected to contribute as a freshman for Ohio State. If he goes elsewhere, the Buckeyes will more than likely not take another linebacker in this class. 

Marshon Lattimore // Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville // CB, ATH

Marshon Lattimore (6-0/175) will be a Buckeye. Some fans are worried about losing Lattimore since he has not yet committed. The talk of Lattimore going to Michigan is laughable. There is no reason to worry since it is typical for Glenville recruits to wait until late in the process to make a commitment. 

Expect Lattimore to take his official visits and continue the recruiting process. A decision shouldn't be expected until this winter, perhaps at the Army All-American game. When a decision is made, Buckeye fans should be pleased. The four-star athlete will start off his Ohio State career at corner and could be an instant impact player for the Buckeyes. 

Erick Smith // Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville // S

Smith is another example of a Glenville recruit allowing the recruiting process to play out until late in the year. Many expect Smith to be a part of Ohio State's class since he is from Glenville and no one foresees Meyer turning away a recruit from the in-state pipeline. Erick Smith (6-1/185) turned in a solid performance at Ohio State's Friday Night Lights camp last month, showing everyone he was more than just a piece of a package deal. 

A decision from Smith could come sooner than Lattimore, but don't expect to hear anything quite this early. It's probably a safe bet to pencil him in Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class. 

Damian Prince // District Heights (MD) Bishop McNamara // OT

Damian Prince (6-6/300) almost committed to the Buckeyes while on a visit this summer, but he was able to resist the urge. The crystal ball still shows Florida State as the clear leader, but I think this will come down to an Ohio State-Maryland battle for the five-star offensive lineman. Prince was recently spotted in a picture wearing Ohio State socks, which only helps fuel the Buckeye buzz. 

The five-star offensive tackle plans to wait until National Signing Day to make his college choice. Can the Terps beat out the Bucks for another five-star, after landing Stefon Diggs in 2012? The Terrapins are definitely a major player for the Maryland native. Prince will have a scholarship from Ohio State if he decides he wants to be a part of "#Dream14." Urban Meyer would not stop a five-star offensive lineman from committing to the Buckeyes. The massive tackle will be in the mix to start at the college he chooses on signing day. 

Who will be Ohio State's next commitment? It is hard to predict since most of the Buckeyes' remaining targets aren't expected to decide until after their official visits. A recruiting lull could be beginning for the Buckeyes after the recent commitment of Samuel. Here is more information on when other Ohio State targets plan to announce their decisions. 


Comments Show All Comments

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great article Jordan!  I love how this class is shaping up.  We've still got a shot to get some really great players.  I think we will.  I can't wait to see the gray box again!  Hope it is soon!
Go Bucks!!

Killer nuts's picture

What's a reasonable estimate on how many spots we have left in this class?

InHartWeTrust's picture

I read yesterday from a staff member here that Urban said 4 spots left (I believe this is correct).  Attrition will clear up throughout the season, and I assume we will have more spots open up.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

At this point I will be SHOCKED if they don't end up at least taking 23 and maybe 25.

DenBuck's picture

Great read...thank you. Birm...give us your final 7....

Buckeye For Life

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I think the Buckeyes finish with:

Raekwon McMillan (although I am admittedly losing some confidence here)
Marshon Lattimore
Erick Smith
Johnnie Dixon
Damian Prince
Mike Gesicki

36buck's picture

Prince?  Love it.
What about Holley?  What are you hearing there?
And I know we beat up the numbers game a lot, but if you expect at least 23 to 25, that means we get 6 to 8 more.  I have 18 available now and we have 17, so that is room for 1 more.  I expect 2 to leave early, so that makes 3 more.  So that means at least 3 to 5 more move on to get to 6-8 spots left.  Wow.

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

What do you chalk the loss of confidence in for Kwon up to, Birm? Is it the visits? In your line of biz, I'm sure you have to trust a certain gut feeling, but can you expound?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Just reading some tea leaves and some conversations with people close to Raekwon have me wavering a bit.

InHartWeTrust's picture

Hopefully you will find some comforting news to sway you back a bit soon.  I really was Kwon in this class.  He and Booker (and the others) would be awesome for our LB depth, to add to Grant, Perry, Mitchell, Johnson, and Cam.

Ahh Saturday's picture

With Price moved to OL and Munger's health concerns, I'm more convinced than ever that Urban will work relentlessly to bring another DL into this class. Hopefully Holly, or Solomon Thomas, but if not maybe he'll make a late run at someone not yet on the radar.

awlinBrutus's picture

My wish list to cap off a 24 man class:  Lattimor,Mavety,Holley,McMillan,Gesicki,Smith, Prince if he wants in, could we turn down an athletic 6' 7" left tackle? We don't have to be @ 82 till the fall i believe. 2014 being the last year of reduced scholarships will he bank a few for 2015? The rest of this class will be interesting.Its filling up with quite a few big targets left.


Jordan Wagner's picture

Meyer reportedly told a class of students that there are four open scholarships left. I am not reporting this but take it for what it is worth.  I was thinking more like six left to take a total of 23. 

GV9's picture

If I may say so... It has also recently been reported that Meyer "is personally taking over the recruitment of Chad Mavety" which is a solid signal that Mavety is a good bet to be in this next class, imo.   

3technique's picture

Great read as always. If are able to get these late commits like last year the 14 class will definitely be a top 3 class. I am almost as excited for this class as I am for the season to start!

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I just realized why the jersey number on this is 18.  If someone else commits before Gesicki, will they send him an updated card with a jersey number 19?

Class of 2010.

InHartWeTrust's picture

He wears #18 in HS.

awarren84's picture

Actually I think it's because his highschool number is 18. Pretty sure that's what all the guys do. 

"Anything less than flagrant is just playing grab ass!"

Hovenaut's picture

The overzealousness in me wins out....I'm hoping this list soon reads as the last set of commits for the '14 class.

That'd be 25, if I counted that right, an awesome group.

nfischer's picture

This is my first year following recruiting closely (thank you 11W).  I do have a question someone with more knowledge than me can answer. Lets use Prince as an example. Say we have one spot left that we're holding for him. For illustrative purposes, assume at the last second he decides not to commit to OSU and its national signing day. What does Urban do with that slot? I would think that all the desirables are already off the table at that point. Is that a safe assumption? Do they just decide to save that slot for the 2015 class?  I'm just trying to understand this process.  Thanks.

otrain2416's picture

Many times when situations come up like this there are other players waiting until signing day for the "committable" buckeye offer as well. So using your example if Prince stays in state there's another kid behind him on the staffs board who gets the green light. Sometimes the guys who are announcing on signing day will call the coaches a few days before and make a "silent" commitment like James Clark did. I think for the most part the staff has a good enough idea of where the kids heads at to make the call to offer someone else. If for some reason there is an extra scholarship at the end of signing day the staff can do one of two things: they can find someone late like they did Cameron Johnston and offer or they could give it to a walk on like Greene, Rock, or Frazier who deserve it. Hope this helps

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

nfischer's picture

Thanks Otrain, that does help. 

pcuzz1's picture

Maybe it is mean to be!? Hahah 18 hs number 18th commit of the dream 14??

pat cozzens

Squirrel Master's picture

Take em all! Brown, Gesicki and Samuel is a nice finish on the skill positions. Holley, Prince and Mavety are all stud linemen! Lattimore and Smith just add to another stellar secondary. 
and Kwon is just a must no matter what! I keep forgetting that there is already Booker, Berger and Hubbard as possible linebackers already. 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

pjtobin's picture

I hope your right with your predictions. That is a list of studs! I really want Raekwon McMillon to choose s&g. No real reason. Other than I have friends that are bulldog fans. Thank you as always Jeremy for keeping us posted. 

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

BME_Buckeye's picture

Mike or Jeremy, what are your thoughts on Ohio State potentially landing Solomon Thompson. He has us in his top 8 and their has been a lot of buzz over on Bucknuts about him and OSU. 

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.


Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thomas is a player that the Buckeyes have made a bigger impact on than most would have thought, but they are still trailing Texas and Stanford and it's unlikely that will change without some serious changes at both of those places.

BuckeyePride's picture

I Really hope that Kwon is in this class. 

How Firm Thy Friendship....

BuckeyesMJ's picture

I agree with you Birm about Dixon. I stated awhile back that he's the "James Clark" of this class. Come out of nowhere and commit to the good guys. I think he really enjoyed himself here. Of course we could also say that Malik Hooker is also the "Clark" of this class. Not many seen that coming.

jaxbuckeye's picture

Statements like, "Marshon Lattimore (6-0/175) will be a Buckeye" always make me uneasy.  We are talking about teenagers after all. 

36buck's picture

Birm, holley or another d-lineman in this class?

Jordan Wagner's picture

I think it's important since defensive tackle is a need, in my opinion. With that said, I don't think the staff needs to reach. Holley (or another top guy) or bust. 

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I agree with this. Holley is 1A - if that doesn't pan out, don't be surprised if the Buckeyes make a late run at Cincinnati's Daniel Cage.

zbd's picture

Thanks for the update. Looking forward for some of these east coast guys making their way to Columbus. Rutgers is a big draw to play close by and a program on the rise. 

brobbins's picture

Birm and jordan. Excellent read. Always good to hear your latest thoughts. Jordan how do you see the class finishing. And Birm who do you think has commitable offers right now?


Jeremy Birmingham's picture

That's tough to say. I think we have a pretty good handle on who Ohio State wants to finish out this class of the uncommitted dudes out there, though.

Jordan Wagner's picture

My final six right now:

CB Marshon Lattimore

S Erick Smith

LB Raekwon McMillan

OT Damian Prince

DT Thomas Holley

TE Mike Gesicki

36buck's picture

My 6 exactly.  That would be a great finish. Really want prince. Think we really need him too. 

buckskin's picture

Birm, clear something up for me; I am fairly new to recruiting. I always hear we can sign more players due to potential attrition, does this mean the staff will sign more guys, banking on players leaving in the future?  How exactly is this different from the classic SEC style oversigning, where a player does not get his schollie renewed because either he doesn't perform as expected or an incoming freshman is better?  

Jordan Wagner's picture

I'm not Birm, but I'll offer up my opinion. 

We will be at 82 on Signing Day. SEC schools will oversign and then force kids out after they see how many recruits they sign. Meyer is just recruiting as if we are going to lose a few guys to transfer or the NFL, which is normal. It's really nothing different from the Tressel era. 

HighBallAce's picture

Not to mention we don't oversign 10 to 20 players over the limit like the SEC does too!

lvccacamcrca's picture

With Najee Murray's transfer do we have room for them all?

RedStorm45's picture

Re: Open Spots - class is at 17.  Scholarship Players as of now = 76.  So that's 6 built in on the 82.  I believe only 13 (maybe 14) of the 76 are seniors.  Roby is gone so that's 14/15 leaving.  Simple math gets you to 20 or 21 and that's without addressing Shazier (or even Braxton) potentially leaving early.  Further attrition would obviously open up more spots.  But I think that's how Urban reportedly got to four.  I'd expect the class to end up around 23-25 if they anticipate more guys leaving.

NYBUCKEYE's picture

Dont forget that if a coach leaves maybe certain players will reconsider their recruitment ala Dontre Wilson...