For class of 2013 prospects, there is a dead period that begins on Monday December 17th and lasts until January 3rd. During this dead period, contact is not allowed between schools and targets anywhere off campus. Coaches will no longer be permitted to stop by schools and talk to recruits and not able to go into the homes of their top targets.
What is allowed during that time period is phone communication and recruits coming onto campus. Recruits will not generally end up on campus during this timeframe because of the holidays, anyways. Contact is very limited, as it will only be one call a week, generally.
Who does this impact the most? I think James Quick and Mike Mitchell. Why? Because they are set to announce at the U.S. Army All-American Game on January 5th. If they are set to announce their choice then, they will have very minimal interaction with the staffs of their finalists until then. Starting Monday, and until two days before the day they announce, will be a dead period. When the dead period ends, Mitchell and Quick will be in the process of traveling to San Antonio.
Mike Mitchell has recently canceled his official visit to Texas A&M for this weekend. Coaches Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel had the in-home visit with Mitchell this week, but Coach Meyer won't be in the Mitchell home until later on in January. Sounds like a done deal to me. Mitchell to Ohio State. Why would Coach Meyer wait and schedule the in-home visit with Mitchell for a date after he announces? Because he is confident that Mitchell will announce his intentions to sign with Ohio State.
James Quick is going through with his official visit this weekend to Louisville. Louisville is Ohio State's only competition for the services of Quick. After his official visit, he will have about 2 weeks to make up his mind on where to attend college. Now, the information on Quick is not as clear as it is on Mitchell. The reports are few and far in between on Quick. By now, the in-home visits between Quick and Meyer and staff have probably already been completed. More than likely, they took place this week. If it is the same situation as Mitchell and Meyer is waiting to meet with Quick for the in-home visit later on in January, Ohio State probably seems plenty confident in their situation with Quick as well.
My hunch is that Urban Meyer has already had his in-home visit with James Quick and his family. It probably happened this week before the Louisville official visit in hopes of sealing the deal. It had to be done with the dead period approaching, and Quick's decision being announced soon after the dead period finishes. One clear detail I have discussed with someone in regards to the recruitment of James Quick, is the choice to announce the decision at the U.S. Army All-American Game, and not before or afterwards inside his high school gymnasium. Why is that relevant? If he was picking the hometown Cardinals, I would think the ceremony would be in a more local venue, rather than a national one.
All of Trey Johnson's in-home visits seem to have been completed and Ohio State and Florida were said to be the schools he is focused on. Florida has 3 linebackers committed already so it seems like OSU is the likely choice. With the dead period approaching, in-home visits finished, and not wanting to drag out the process, I can see Johnson making a decision soon, or waiting to make a decision during the Under Armour All-American Bowl on January 4th.
Vonn Bell has placed his recruitment in the back of his mind recently, and has yet to take an official visit or welcomed any coaches for an in-home visit. Bell's season will end after this weekend as his team plays in the state championship game. No in-home visits will be able to be made unless Bell decides to hold off on a decision, and allow his recruitment to go on into the middle to end of January. If Bell makes his college choice within a week of his season ending, not only will he not take official visits, but no in-home college visits either, which I think could be more important in the case of Ohio State.
Without an in-home or an official visit with the new staff, Tennessee would certainly be out of the race for Vonn Bell, meaning Ohio State and Alabama are the only suitors. It is hard to gauge Vonn Bell's intentions, and I would feel better about the Buckeyes if they at least had gotten an in-home visit with Bell and his family, and they still may, depending on his decision date.
I have been in disagreement with many of the experts out there that still believe Bell dons the Crimson Tide uniforms. I have felt Ohio State because of their lack of scrambling for other safeties and players in the secondary. At offensive line, when it became clear they were out of the picture for Dawson and Johnson, they issued an offer to Kenny Lacy and Jack Keeler. When it became clear they were struggling at linebacker, they tried flipping Daniel McMillan, James Hearns, and Trey Johnson, and also issued out an offer to Skai Moore. None of that type of activity has taken place in the secondary. I'm going to remain stubborn, and pick Vonn Bell to Ohio State for that reason.