Future Buckeyes on Big Stage at Army All-American Game.

By Jeremy Birmingham on January 4, 2014 at 3:34p
San Antonio had a decidedly Buckeye flavor.

As Ohio State's football season came to an end last night, the focus turns to the future and it was on full display in San Antonio this afternoon at the US Army All-American Bowl.

Seven future Buckeyes headed into the game, but nine exited it as Cleveland Glenville teammates Erick Smith and Marshon Lattimore became the 20th and 21st commitments in Ohio State's highly-ranked 2014 recruiting class. They join another Tarblooder and East teammate, two-way lineman Marcelys Jones as Ohio State commitments. 

While the commitments and declarations are what draws the TV viewers and webpage hits, the game itself is an excellent exhibition that highlights the nation's best players and gives them an opportunity to shine on a stage unlike any other in their careers up to this point.

Today it was the West team, adorned in highlighter yellow and led by two quarterbacks very familiar to Buckeye recruitniks, Arizona's Kyle Allen and Kentucky star Drew Barker, that stood tall. The East was unable to find any offensive continuity in their week of practices and the West relied on the dynamic running of future Oregon Duck Royce Freeman (three scores) and new Oklahoma commitment Joe Mixon (one score) to take home the victory, 28-6.

While seven of the nine Buckeye commitments on-hand were on the losing side, they were undoubtedly the brightest talents on the East side, especially Smith, who showed not only that he was capable in pass coverage but also excels in run support, constantly sticking his nose into the fray and collecting tackle after tackle.

On the other side of the East defense was Lattimore, and while the East came up short, the defensive back play by Lattimore, Smith and another future Buckeye, Curtis Samuel, was excellent all day, holding the nation's best quarterback to no touchdowns. Norfolk (Va.) defensive end Jalyn Holmes stood out for the East as well, he collected a sack and forced a fumble in the first half and disrupted Allen and Barker much of the afternoon.

In the second half, Holmes scooped up an Allen fumble and showed elite speed for a defensive end, racing 60 yards down the field and into the endzone, putting the East team on the scoreboard, but an excessive celebration penalty negated the score. Georgia commitment Sony Michel benefited scoring the East's first touchdown early in the fourth quarter. 

Although there were nine Ohio State commitments in the game, the Buckeyes are still hoping to add a few more from a handful of talented players, including Coppell (Texas) defensive end Solomon Thomas, who dominated much of the day in a starring role for the victorious West team.

Here the final list of all commitments made during the game.

Brian Wallace, OT, St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers College - Arkansas
Jamil Kamara, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan Catholic - Virginia
Dwight Williams, LB, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra - UCLA
Erick Smith, S, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville - Ohio State
Frank Iheanacho, WR, Houston (Texas) Westside - Texas A&M
Bryce Dixon, TE, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure - USC
Nyles Morgan, LB, Crete (Ill.) Monee - Notre Dame
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville - Ohio State
Joe Mixon, RB, Oakley (Calif.) Freedom - Oklahoma


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st pete bch buckeye's picture

Number one class last year, number #2 this year....get it done.

UrbanCulture's picture

How did Marcelys, Knox, booker and Dixon show?

bucknasty13's picture

I know Dixon played well, not sure about the other three.  They didn't really talk about the offensive linemen to much.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Dixon looked fast and was able to beat his man numerous times, but the east QBs didn't have much time to throw and/or missed opportunities to throw the ball. Dixon did have a nice one-toe-down catch on the sideline to set east's only score.  

buckguyfan1's picture

It's hard for me too...  Buckeye fans need to enjoy the RIDE of being a Buckeye.  There is good and there will always be some bad.  
I watched this Army All-American game and was again very thankful that I am  Buckeye Fan through and through.  It was a very different feeling than the one I had last night walking out of Sun Rise Stadium with my family, but even then I was thankful for being part of Buckeye Nation.  
Just look into the eyes of those kids verbally committed to the Buckeyes and played in the Army All-American game today.  They believe they can make a positive difference in our Team. I do too, and I'm thankful for that.  Good luck to all of them as God knows they are entering the Kingdom of Great Expectations.

CentralFLBuckeye's picture

I can away impressed by the amount of playing time each of them saw so that is a plus. Knox was on the field for many of the offensive plays and Lattimore/Smith looked solid.  Holmes was praised by the telecast team for his play.

FROMTHE18's picture

Webb and Smith were very solid in coverage. Didnt see Lattimore much, so not sure how performed. Dixon had a decent game and a great catch. The East QBs were pretty off all day so he didnt benefit much from good QB play. Didnt see Booker too much either. Overall, seemed like the commits played well.

luckynutz's picture

Was it just me, or did park the qb commit for georgia just look bad? One hopping passes, bad interception and just looked totally lost. Was quite impressed with what I saw of our future buckeyes. They talked up smith and his toughness in run support. Another solid db haul this year. To go with last year, and also a good start to 2015 as well. Seems obvious this staff has identified the weakness I the secondary and is hell bent to improve it going forward.

CentralFLBuckeye's picture

He did not look good.

BUCK-I-FAN's picture

My main concern on Defensive recruits is if they have proper tackling technique. we seem to have a major problem the last few years of piss poor tackling. 

dja.ohio's picture

Future looks bright.  2 recruiting classes worth of 5 and 4 star secondary recruits will improve the defense.

Codeezy's picture

Not to mention linebackers. Mitchell Johnson lee Worley Kwon booker Berger. :))) 

theshoe's picture

Not bad Erick, not bad.

Bucks777's picture

I will say this:
With the amount of talent we have recruited to the Defensive side of the ball, there is NO excuse for this Defense not to reach the heights of the 2002 buckeyes D and beyond for that matter.
we are stacked Defensively!!!
Now let's set back and watch the coaching or the lack thereof.
I am hoping that our defense should be stout over the next 3 years and beyond.
Next year we return a lot of players that got a whole lot of experience, so I don't want to hear the whole " we are young argument" Great coaches make strides with young players to prepare them to play in year 1.
Simple: Get it done!

BKshepherd's picture

I thought that Erick played the best of all of our recruits, except for Jaylon Holmes.  He had an outstanding day.  Smith was solid all around. 
Marshon had some good play as well, but no highlight stuff.  I feel bad for him as Erick completely stole his thunder and let it out that they would both be playing together in college...
Dame had a solid game but got beat late in the game, fortunately, the QB overthrew the receiver in the end-zone. 
I didn't see Dante make many plays, but Meechy did some solid work down on the goal line getting his running back into the end-zone. 
I didn't see Marcelys Jones play at all. 
Dixon looked great and had an awesome catch.  It looked out of bounds to me, but he made an awesome effort. 
I was disappointed that Curtis Samuel only played defense.  I didn't really see him make any plays.
It was awesome to see that the Buckeyes we the most represented, by far.  Three Bama and four NC and maybe three Notre Dame commits.  We stood at nine by the end of the day!

2002osubuck's picture

With the LBs and DBs from last years class, and the Lbs and DBs this year, we are making up for all the players we lost at those 2 positions from Tressel's last few classes. We basically lost all the guys (bell, newsome, turner, hagan, wood, clarke, cash, gambrell) that would be playing the last few years, just look at Jeremy cash all-ACC safety this year, we sure could've used him. Its nice to see we'll be set for a few years just a matter of who will step up out of all the talent. 

Urban Nation Army's picture

Meech needs to open his eyes lol

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


My son and I really enjoyed taking in the game.    Like Bkshep mentioned Holmes and Smith had the best performances, with Lattimore and Webb being involved as well.   Dixon had 2 catches.   Our highlight was when Jalyn Holmes had the fumble recovery run back even though it resulted in the celebration penalty.   He threw the ball into our section of stands and went to someone about 4 rows behind us.    
The whole event was very family friendly although the stands were not as full as I would have thought.  Attendance was just over 40000.   After the game all the players stick around for autographs and pIctures down on the field.   Ben got all but 3  of the OSU recruit who we couldn't find.    I think they cut out early because as we were looking for them by number,  We were approached by a couple in OSU gear saying that they were looking for #2 Marshon Lattimore as well and introduced themselves as his parents.    Very nice folks.    All the OSU guys were very friendly and excited when there were OSU fans around.     


Sorry for the mess with pictures.    My first attempt at posting with pics on here and on my new kindle as well 

gravey's picture

Now, let's hope we can coach these guys up.  I'm hoping that isn't the real problem behind our lack tackling and exectution in the back 7.  We've had quite a few 4-5 star guys not develop as planned...and few of those 2-3 star guys surprise us.

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

Joe Mixon to OU is huge for them. That kid is electric.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

Bucks777's picture

we can get all the talent in the world but bad coaching will kill you in the end!!!
Please prove me to be wrong!
Get it done, get these kids in here and make it happen, work, work and work!!!

irishfury's picture

Tired about hearing about coaching.  This same coaching staff took a 6-7 team to 12-0 and 11-2 
Its more scheme to me then anything.  Plus a little of being to loyal to the older players.