Ohio State Football Recruiting Roundup: Pick Six

By Jeremy Birmingham on August 27, 2013 at 7:00p

Recruiting, it's been said, is the gift that never stops giving. Wait. Nobody ever said that. Okay...let me try again. 

Recruiting is the gift that never stops giving, or never stops taking away, I said once to myself alone, banging my head against a wall.

Jalyne Holmes was a surpriseJalyn Holmes was a surprise commitment for Ohio State - who's next?

As I came to, I realized how quickly and how thoroughly things can change in the world of recruiting, I decided to take a gander at the 11W recruiting team's projections for the 2014 finish that we gave you six weeks ago. Since then, we've seen commitments from Curtis Samuel, Demetrius Knox and Malik Hooker, (kudos to Mike Young, our basketball guy for calling that one) while waiting for movement on a number of other excellent players that remain on Ohio State's board. 

Some, players like Raekwon McMillan, Damian Prince, the Glenville duo, etc. we know we'll be waiting for a while to hear anything concrete from. Others, like Arkansas commit Jermaine Eluemunor surprised many with his flipping and flopping but ultimately spurned Ohio State for the greener pastures of Fayetteville, and went from high probability to no chance faster than a Razorbacks fan could embarrass themselves on the internet or faster than a Razorbacks fan could embarrass themselves on the internet.

Now, with the college football season upon us, we enter into a whole new realm of recruiting. We turn our focus a bit more to 2015 and beyond as most of the 2014 crop has been harvested, or at least is widely recognized and targeted. As football teams across America start hitting each other, the players are hitting the books and will get lost in their senior seasons and fans across the country will find themselves in football induced comas. Occurring every Friday night and blissfully fading into Sunday evenings, these trips into football nirvana will last through December, and it's a glorious time to be alive.

With recruiting's ebbs and flows comes our own changes, and here's where we see things as we move into the season.


Who are the final names that Buckeye fans should think about when February comes around? Here's our look at a final six, which would put the Buckeyes at 23 players in the 2014 recruiting class, the number we feel most comfortable projecting. As before, Miles, Jordan and myself see things a bit differently towards the bottom, but the gist is this: there's some guys we all feel pretty darn good about.

11W Class Projection
Marshon Lattimore 5 Lattimore 5 Lattimore 5
Erick Smith 5 Smith 5 Smith 5
Raekwon McMillan 4 Holley 4 Gesicki 4
Damian Prince 3 McMillan 4 McMillan 3
Johnnie Dixon 3 Prince 3 Chad Mavety 3
Thomas Holley 3 Mike Gesicki 3 Holley 2

Marshon Lattimore // ATH // Cleveland, OH (Glenville) and Erick Smith // DB // Cleveland, OH (Glenville)

Jordan Wagner  - I've seen some Ohio State fans worrying about Marshon Lattimore going to Michigan, but it's pretty much the same situation every year. Glenville kids typically wait until late in the recruiting cycle to announce their decisions and I'm very confident that Lattimore will be a Buckeye. It seems like he could announce at the All-American game in January. The Glenville product has the potential to be a lockdown corner for the Buckeyes. 

Miles Joseph  - These two are in the same boat. They're Glenville kids who usually wait on their decision but Ohio State is the clear leader for both. I would be shocked if either of these guys went elsewhere.

Confidence Rating: 5.00

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

Jeremy Birmingham  -  McMillan has been the guy with which the 2014 Ohio State class was perceived to live or die with, but the recent commitments of players like Curtis Samuel, Jalyn Holmes should provide some respite for Buckeye fans if McMillan were to choose elsewhere. He's been clear that the Buckeyes have been at or near the top of his list for the majority of his recruitment but Alabama continues to chip away at Ohio State's comfort zone, especially the relationship the Georgia native has with Kirby Smart, the Tide's defensive coordinator. McMillan is the centerpiece of the 2014 defensive class and is especially important now as reports of a possible torn ACL for St. Ignatius' Kyle Berger. The Buckeyes want more help at linebacker and McMillan is the player that fits the mold, the need, and the defense the best. 

Miles Joseph - I think this will be a hard fought battle between Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, and Clemson, but I think Urban Meyer and the Bucks will win out when he announces at the Under Armour All-American Bowl in January.

Confidence Rating: 3.66

Thomas Holley // DL // Brooklyn, NY (Abraham Lincoln)

Jordan Wagner -Thomas Holley is a prospect that a few months ago I didn't think we would land. Mike Vrabel and staff have done a great job at getting him to visit and really recruit him hard. I think a defensive tackle is a need in this class, but only if we can land a top guy. If it comes down to Ohio State and Penn State, I like our chances.

Jeremy Birmingham - Back in June, Ohio State had a few key visitors along the defensive line that included Holley, South Carolina native (and now Louisville commit) Poona Ford, and Kentucky hoss Matt Elam. After those visits, the Buckeyes made a choice to really keep recruiting only two of them and Holley is the guy that the Buckeyes see as the best fit for their defensive approach. The commitment of fellow Brooklyn native Samuel can't hurt the Buckeyes' chances here either. Look for Ohio State, Notre Dame and Syracuse — yes Syracuse — to be involved here until the end.

Confidence Rating: 3.00

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

Miles Joseph - I think Urban really wants Gesicki to be a part of this class. I definitely think Ohio State is leading right now.

Jordan Wagner - You really don't hear too much about Gesicki, but he did well enough at camp to earn an offer from Urban Meyer. Tight end/H-Back is somewhat of a need, but scholarship numbers are pretty tight. Wisconsin could be a team to watch for Gesicki. They have quietly put themselves near the top of his list. Florida State and Penn State are also possibilities. I think he will be a Buckeye, but I wouldn't be surprised if he went elsewhere.

Confidence Rating: 2.33

As you notice we've got only five guys listed there, the five with the highest combined confidence ratings. Each of us, as was the case before, sees a different final piece or two in the 2014 class. Miles likes Nassau (N.Y.) C.C. lineman Chad Mavety to round out the offensive line haul while Jordan and myself still see the Buckeyes reeling in Maryland's Damian Prince against the odds. 

Deck the line with boughs of Holley?Will Thomas Holley finish out the defensive line for 2014? 

My final piece, Johnnie Dixon, is not a common projection at this point but Ohio State has been relentless in their pursuit of the Florida wide receiver and while he's not the "big" wide receiver most expect the Buckeyes to finish with, he's so highly regarded by the Ohio State staff that it doesn't matter. 

There's also the case of Noah Brown, another megatalent from the Northeast that the Buckeyes continue to chase. At 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds, Brown does fit the need for a bigger, outside "x" receiver that Ohio State covets. He's down to the Buckeyes, Rutgers and Vanderbilt but it seems to be a two-horse race between the homestate Scarlet Knights and Ohio State. He will make a decision by September 12th, and it could happen literally any day. For Brown it comes down to relationships, and he's recently spent a lot of time at Rutgers, which is where I think he lands. If Brown were to surprise and choose Ohio State, that could eliminate Dixon as a possibility.





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Jonnferrell's picture

Speaking of a Razorbacks fan embarrassing herself. . . she's been around Bert too long.  Starting to look like him.

"I miss Brady Hoke."

hit_the_couch's picture

Take away that hog nose and she's not that bad. Either Bielema has mad game, or it's his paycheck that pulled her. She's a decade younger than him too and he's like 42 or something.

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

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

I'm not sayin' she's a gold digger, but....


^ I almost posted about this today when I saw it in the Tampa Tribune sports section. What made me laugh out loud at work wasnt this pic it was the tidbit about Bert saying he met his wife in a Las Vegas casino. I could make an inappropriate comment about the types of women you meet in a Vegas casino here but I won't. Instead, I'll just make fun of Bert.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

otrain2416's picture

Girl look at that body...I workout! I'm sexy and I know it!

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

jkrk's picture

Mad props for the ability to simultaneously have an innie and an outie.

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

Great stuff Birm. Also nice to have Miles and Jordan's opinion, to give us fans a little more info. I enjoyed the intro, gave me quite a few laughs.
I love reading about how this staff operates, the guys are relentless and when a player falls off the board they immediately target another quality player and keep the ball rolling. It's amazing how much talent seems to go unnoticed on the East Coast. NY, NJ and MD have some really good football players, and OSU has recruited well in these states for a long time. I'm really high on Holley right now and I think we get him. Ill be keeping a close eye on Brown too. 
The main guy is obviously Kwon. I've been thinking, once he makes his visit to OSU this fall he will reaffirm us as his leader. He just seemed to love it up here so much and I bet once he gets a taste of game day he will be sold. It does worry me that Kirby Smart is recruiting him though, that guy is an awesome recruiter and DC. 

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

cswig's picture

Thank you fellas for keeping us in the loop!

KingKosar's picture

Nice Profile pic!  (From a fellow Buckeye in Oregon...)

buckguyfan1's picture

I want all of them!... Just say'n...

weimerad's picture

Ok my turn to say a few things. First while I don't think either will be a part of the class, Noah Brown is more likely than Dixon at WR so Jeremy I don't know why you think Dixon will be part of the class. I don't think he's being targeted as hard as you say he is its highly unlikely. 
Miles, still can't believe you don't have Prince on your list. And even Mavety not very high confidence level. Come on man you really think Maryland will beat out Urban for Prince? 
Finally the class will end up at 24 there's just too much talent to say no to. It will end up being Lattimore, Smith, McMillan, Mavety, Prince, Holley and Gesicki. I'm pretty confident about that. If they don't get either Holley or Gesicki then it will end up at 23

brobbins's picture

I completely agree some of the best insight i have seen in a while! I feel we signed to many guys early for example Lonnie Johnson and Dylan T


awarren84's picture

We haven't signed anybody yet...and Dylan T and Lonnie are very valuable pickups and the fact the UFM and company would allow these guys to verbally commit as early as they did...I have full confidence in them! And they seem like great men as well as athletes. 

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

MotownBuck's picture

Out of curiosity, do you have insights with the recruits or recruiters? Not being a d*ck ... I really would like to know for my own clarity. There are a TON of people on here and I get confused on who has true insider info and who's just making wild 8-ball guesses.
All things being equal especially without a compelling argument, I'll choose the staffs predictions all day every day

Trotwood-Madison. Once a Ram, Always a Ram.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I believe Dixon will be a part of the class because he's highly coveted by the Buckeye staff...

N'ah, just playing!! I am COMPLETELY guessing, but you called my bluff.

SOF_Buckeye's picture

I'm not sure how the final positions will play out, though my hope is that McMillan, Lattimore, Smith and Prince are part of it. I also have a feeling that 24 is a more likely number to end up with. As for the others I would like to see as members of the class: Holley/Thomas/Elam (pick 1), Gesicki, and Berrios (or another surprise). I'm not convinced they will push for two more OL signees, after moving the players from the DL, and Urban's recent statements on his comfort level with the OL right now. Berrios just seems like a playmaker, but could be substituted for Brown/Dixon (or unexpected player to be named later)....

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

jaxbuckeye's picture

No offense but I'll take Jordan's list please.

johnblairgobucks's picture

winning is a big draw.   hopefully the product that Meyer and the OSU football team displays on the field the next 4 months helps sway the final recruits.
Thanks for the article.

holtzy's picture

You really have to wonder if some people realize that everyone can see what you post on the Internet.

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

All those Kids are consensus four stars or higher. I'm excited to see how this class turns out.

Jordan Wagner's picture

Recruiting is not as easy, or set in stone, as some people make it out to be. These kids haven't committed and some of these guys aren't locked in on one school. While I believe in my predictions based on information I have, I almost expect for none of us (the three predictors) to be right. Things change and they change quickly. 

How many people had Malik Hooker in their projected class? Besides Mike Young, I don't know of anyone from any site. I know our staff knew of him, but we were equally surprised as everyone else. 

TNBuckeye1421's picture

with your statement that you do not expect anyone to be 100% correct who would you say the first 3 or 4 out would be? Berrios still in play? 

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Unfortunately no, Berrios is not really in play.

buckskin's picture

Would love to get as many of these guys that we can, but I have the feeling that we will have one "James Clark" style surprise commitment on signing day.