Football Recruiting: All-Star Week News and Notes

By Jeremy Birmingham on December 31, 2013 at 2:30p

Good day y'all, welcome to the last day of 2013 and your final recruiting update from yours truly in what was a spectacular year for Ohio State football. Today, we'll briefly take a look at a few rumors making the rounds regarding the Buckeyes' highly-ranked 2014 recruiting class.

Buckeyes Going Three-for-Three in Glenville?Erick Smith, Marcelys Jones and Marshon Lattimore: all Buckeyes?

As today is a quasi-holiday, we'll spend more time with the goodies and less time on the introductions, so let's get to it.


Yesterday afternoon Twitter was abuzz — albeit momentarily — when's Bill Greene recruiting analyst sent a tweet referring to Marshon Lattimore as a "Buckeye commit" as opposed to what he actually is (for the time being,) a Buckeye "target." Greene, without question one of the best in the recruiting business, quickly corrected himself updated his account.

Whether or not Lattimore (and his teammate Erick Smith) are currently Buckeye commitments has been (again, temporarily) cleared up, but both Lattimore and Smith have admitted that they've made their college choice, are comfortable with it and they will announce, as expected, this coming Saturday afternoon live during the US Army All-American Bowl.

It's been assumed for some time that Smith and Lattimore would eventually commit to Ohio State, and all signs still point to that being the case. Each player, when pressed on what has helped them make their choice cited the comfort of the school they'll choose, the familiarity and the feeling like they were "home," and in those instances no school makes more sense than the Buckeyes.

What of their enigmatic teammate Marcelys Jones? The Buckeyes first commitment for 2014 has made some waves in recent weeks after taking visits to Alabama and Georgia Tech with his Tarblooder teammates, but it was his solo trip to Kentucky earlier this month that really had people talking. Jones even went so far as to sign a mid-year financial agreement with Kentucky to preserve his spot in their class if he wanted it and that choice might've helped push a few Kentucky writers/analysts took the plunge and switched their "247 Crystall Ball" from Ohio State to the #BBN, hoping to spur a revolution from the versatile and surprisingly athletic (given his 6-foot-5 and now reported 350-pound frame) lineman.

Jones, who is also in San Antonio with his high school teammates, has reiterated this week that he's heading to Ohio State and will going to Columbus straight from the Lonestar State so that he can enroll in classes on Monday, January 6th. 

If Lattimore and Smith join Jones as expected, don't expect them as early enrollees, for the record.


On Sunday, Rivals analyst Mike Farrell made mention that Buckeyes fan might want to tune in for the Under-Armour All-American game, teasing a potential major "surprise" commitment for the Scarlet and Gray. The player Farrell was referencing, Beaumont (Texas) five-star cornerback Tony Brown, has long been near the very top of the Buckeyes' list — he's a personal favorite of Ohio State assistant Kerry Coombs — but Ohio State has not ever felt particularly positive about their odds of landing the prototype cornerback. 

After the commitment of Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State entrusted the future linebacker with continuing the pursuit of Brown, even though they felt they had a "less than 1-percent chance" of landing him even as recently as three weeks ago. That said, we're talking about Ohio State and Urban Meyer and with even 1-percent chance they will go relentlessly after players they covet; so they've not backed off on Brown at all, nor should they. He's listening, but the Buckeyes are still playing from well behind the leader, LSU, as Brown prepares to make his announcement on Thursday evening.

Of course, Brown will not sign with anyone until February, so it'd be silly to expect the Buckeyes to quit recruiting him this week even if he does announce his intentions to attend LSU this week. 

As for actually getting to see Brown's talents on display, it appears unlikely that he'll participate in the All-American game after injuring his shoulder during the week's practices.

What about BOB?Bill O'Brien's tenure at Penn State could be coming to sudden end.


When 2014 New Jersey tight end Mike Gesicki picked Penn State over the Buckeyes in early October, he cited his relationship with freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg and the role of the tight end in Nittany Lion head coach Bill O'Brien's offense as the primary reasons for heading to Happy Valley instead of Columbus. Now, with rumors of O'Brien's probable potential departure to the NFL, the talk surrounding Gesicki — and a handful of other Penn State commitments — is picking up again. 

While he's made no public comments on the possibility of re-opening his commitment, it stands to reason that if things change at Penn State, things will change with Gesicki, who remains the primary target for the Buckeyes if they were to land a tight end in 2014. Urban Meyer had worked tirelessly on Gesicki and the incredibly athletic tight end had a great time on his visits to Ohio State, and if — again if — things change with Penn State and Gesicki the Buckeyes are in an excellent position to become the benefactors of that flip.

Are there any other players Ohio State could take another look at currently committed to the Nittany Lions? They had offered Delaware wide receiver Chris Godwin and recent Penn State commitment Thomas Holley, a defensive tackle from Brooklyn (N.Y.) but neither of them appear to be players that Meyer and his staff would pursue aggressively in the event of a coaching change. Ironically, the only definitive "news" on O'Brien's future has come via Holley, who told last week that B.O.B. had told him unequivocally that he'd remain the head coach at Penn State and that all NFL rumors were just that, rumors. I guess we're a few days away from finding out if that's true or not.

Have a safe holiday all!


Comments Show All Comments

Killer nuts's picture

Why is this the final recruiting update from you? Please tell me you're not leaving us?!

d5k's picture

Uh read the rest of the sentence?  He only said he isn't posting anything else this year, i.e. today.

Killer nuts's picture

Good day y'all, welcome to the last day of 2013 and your final recruiting update from yours truly in what was a spectacular year for Ohio State football

Feels open to interpretation to me

RedStorm45's picture

Final update of 2013?

Seattle Linga's picture

Killer - I believe that Dr. Birms was referring to the last update for the year. Apparently there is some kind of Party going on tonight at midnight I guess.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

No worries, just the final update from me in 2013. You're stuck with me.

Mercurius's picture

Really hope that M. Jones stays with OSU. I think he has a good chance for early playing time as we have nearly our entire offensive line graduating. We took 0 offensive guards in 2013 and with Gardner transferring out I think M. Jones will definitely be on the two deep depth chart next year with a good chance to compete for a starting spot towards the end of the season. We took two OG's in 2012--but Boren has moved to center; OSU needs him.

CincyBucks's picture

This could end up being one of the best classes ever.....ever


cinserious's picture

 Ever since Urban Meyer has been at Ohio State, every recruiting class has the potential to be 'the best ever'.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Calgarybuck's picture

It's reported that Brown will enroll early to the school of his choice! 

Chris Raiden's picture

That would seem to point toward LSU to me. I'm just not seeing the guy turning around from being a long-time LSU lean from right down the street and saying hey, I'm moving across the country this weekend.
Then again, I'm what you call a recruiting pessimist who winced when Raekwon McMillan played with that Crimson Tide hat.

Posterchild's picture

I think he just meant that this is the last recruiting update before he takes a bottle of bubbly to the face to bring in the new year.

Calgarybuck's picture

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Cornerback Tony Brown, No. 11 in the ESPN 300 and the No. 2 prospect in Texas, suffered an injury to his left shoulder on Tuesday and likely will not play in the Under Armour All-America Game.

Tony Brown
Uncommitted: List
Pos Rk Stars Grade Hometown
90 Beaumont, TX
Brown, of Beaumont Ozen High School, was hurt while reaching to defend a pass in a non-contact coverage drill. He received medical attention at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and was transported from the practice facility by cart, his head buried in his hands and his arm in a sling.
The 6-foot, 196-pound Brown, rated as the No. 4 cornerback nationally, is scheduled to announce his college decision during the 4 p.m. telecast of the Under Armour Game Thursday on ESPN.
Brown made official recruiting visits to Ohio State, Alabama, Texas, USC and LSU.
He graduated from high school early in order to enroll in January at his college of choice. Brown is an elite sprinter and plans to compete in football and track and field in colleg

703Buckeye's picture

That sucks. I hope he's alright.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

BuckeyeRealist13's picture

The thing that stands out to me in all of that is "graduated from high school early in order to entroll in January". That means if he doesn't choose Ohio State on Thursday, they have no chance to work on in into February. 

"You're damn right thats daddy" - Urban Meyer 

Crimson's picture

Unless he Anzalone's it :)

DenBuck's picture

Shefty and/or Mort are really certain BOB to Houston is a done deal...Gesicki yes please. Happy New Years!!! GO BUCKS!

Buckeye For Life

Seattle Linga's picture

Gesicki could easily be a wonderful New Years surprise - just a month late that's all.

CincyBuckeye31's picture

Great stuff, Birm.  I appreciate you aiding my addiction.  Recruiting's one helluva drug.

gumtape's picture

Fwiw pennlive is reporting BOB is as good as gone.

High and tight boo boo

Seattle Linga's picture

Thanks for the link Gum - those comments below on that link are brutal. 

Buck Commander's picture

Bill O'Brien .......HE GONE TO TEXANS!!!!!!

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

cinserious's picture

e gone!


One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.