Top Recruits More Prepared For Immediate Playing Time Than Ever Before

February 4, 2014 at 11:33a    by DJ Byrnes    
Joey Bosa

Top recruits are ready to immediately play more than ever, and the Ohio State program is no exception. The Buckeyes redshirted a few more freshman this year  than Urban Meyer would have liked, but that didn't mean the freshmen were devoid of production. (Joey Bosa, for example, was named a freshman All-American and Dontre Wilson showed glimpses of his dazzling speed and play-making ability.) 

It's a bit of a trend in college football, that freshmen are ready to contribute immediately. Sports Illustrated dove into the topic yesterday:

Whether it's a byproduct of the improved preparation of incoming freshmen, or of the enhanced ability of recruiting analysts to evaluate them, there seem to be many more booms than busts among the consensus can't-miss prospects than there were a decade ago. In fact, it doesn't take long to obtain the necessary affirmation.

''That's the way college football is moving," said Mike Farrell,'s national recruiting director. "Maybe we used to wait until the [NFL] draft to see how things panned out -- how many of our five-stars are first rounders. But now we start looking at it closer and earlier because all the freshmen are very good and getting on the field."

There are certain positions at which it is more difficult for a true freshman to make an immediate impact. While redshirt freshman quarterbacks (Manziel and Florida State's Jameis Winston) have won the Heisman Trophy in each of the past two seasons, true freshman starters remain rare at major programs. (Penn State's Hackenberg was a notable exception.) Offensive linemen also seem to take more time to develop, but every receiver, defensive back, linebacker and defensive lineman in the top 25 of last year's rankings saw the field in 2013, as did two of three running backs. Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell emerged as the Rebels' top wideout. Virginia Tech's Kendall Fuller led the Hokies in interceptions.

Only four of Rivals' top 25 recruits were redshirted last year.

Ohio State has another talented class ready to sign tomorrow, and many could contribute immediately, especially along the depleted offensive line.



WOLFofOHIO's picture

of course bosa is ready. his jedi swagger is on point.

there is no greater joy than watching Michigan get slammed. in anything

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The pimp hand is strong with this one.

sivaDavis's picture

This DLine is the best they could have out there IMO. I've always called for it. I wish they would start Spence/Bosa/Bennett/Washington and flip Bosa and Washington in some situations. Bosa is strong enough to play inside but fast enough to play outside. The DLine rotations should be DEEP this year.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

toad1204's picture

I'd be willing to bet the title made Vonn Bell smile. 

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

Killer nuts's picture

That's very impressive that so few of the top 25 guys were redshirted, it offers a little credibility to the recruiting sites ability to identify the top talent

Mortc15's picture

So that was Rivals' list of top 25. I wonder how many of other sites top 25 look similar.


Alpo's picture

Most are actually probably close. I haven't gone back to look cause I'm being lazy but the top 25 are usually the same group of guys throughout the services plus or minus a few here and there. Obviously their numerical rankings amongst the top 25 are not the same, but mostly consist of the same athletes. This is sans the four letter network ranking of course.
like I said I could be way off, but I'm still feeling lazy at this point

Hovenaut's picture

UFM immediately built a d-line, we've all seen what depth and ready-to-go recruits can do.
Time to spread the effect to the linebacking and secondary units, and I can't wait.

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

Can't wait to see the L.O.B.
Legion Of Buckeyes

Hovenaut's picture

...filled with Silver Bullets.

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

+1 HS
RedStorm45's picture

Just because they are prepared to play doesn't mean a lot of them will.  As noted, very few freshmen beyond Bosa, Johnston, and Wilson saw a whole lot of time (and there were games when Wilson disappeared and didn't hit the field at all).  A little bit of Cam Burrows, Vonn Bell on special teams and then the Orange Bowl.  I mean, is that about it?