2013 OSU Positional Talent w/r/t Recruiting Rankings

themostbrian's picture
February 9, 2013 at 7:36p
57 Comments

*EDITED* I removed the list of potential transfers and just listed positions where we may see transfers. Hope that clears up the controversy.

A couple of days ago I posted a comparision of the last two recruiting classes for Ohio State and Michigan using the 24/7 Composite Ratings as the sole metric.

This comparison allowed for us to see how each school's potential strengths/weaknesses both in a vacuum and in direct relation to the other as well as give a little preview for what areas each school might be looking to address in 2014 and 2015.

Piggybacking off of that post, I wanted to see how these last two Ohio State recruiting classes (2012 & 2013) stack up talent-wise with the recruiting rankings of the rest of the roster right now. Thus, using the same 24/7 Composite Ratings, I was able to create this new document that breaks down the talent position by position.

After reviewing the data, I have several non-sequential observations:

1. Urban Meyer has seriously upgraded the talent level of this team with just 1.5 classes of his own recruits, particularly at Running Back, All-Purpose, Defensive Line, Linebacker and Cornerback. He has brought in key people at every other position as well - Barrett at QB, Clark/Smith at WR, Baugh at TE, Lisle/Decker/Dodson at OL and Vonn Bell at Safety.

2. Three of the most highly-regarded recruits brought in during the Tressel/Fickell era have not developed as expected - Rod Smith, Steve Miller and Curtis Grant.

3. Brad Roby, Devin Smith and Carlos Hyde have significantly outperformed their rating as a recruit. Roby, in particular, should be added immediately to the Hawk/Jenkins/Laurinaitis canon of '3-stars who devleoped into 5-star 1st Round Draft Picks'.

4. Meyer has been superlative at bringing in dynamic all-purpose offensive weapons (Marshall/Wilson/Elliott) but has been surprisingly average with his WR commits, missing out on James Quick and Stefon Diggs, among others. I'm sure that Corey Smith and James Clark can develop into big-time talents but neither are the can't miss prospects that Meyer is bringing in at other positions.

5. This defensive-line has a chance to go down as the best in the history of Ohio State football over the next 2 years. And that still might be underplaying their potential because of how YOUNG they are - Not a single senior among the bunch and only 4 juniors (Steve Miller, JT Moore, Michael Bennett, Joel Hale). And considering some of the 2014 talent that Meyer is already in on, we should expect for these riches to continue growing.

6. The linebackers are the most underrated unit on the team right now - The 4 sophomores from last season (Perry, Perkins, Williams, Marcus) are all VERY talented and I expect them to develop a lot coming into this season. Add to that Mike Mitchell and Trey Johnson, who are comparable to Grant/Shazier in terms of how recruiting services see them. Oh, and we still have Shazier and Grant. And we're likely to add Raekwon McMillian, Dante Booker and Kyle Berger next year. So if opponents manage to slow down the elite D-Line, they run into a fearsome crew of LBs.

7. Without Vonn Bell, here's our 2014 Safeties: Devan Bogard, Jayme Thompson, Ron Tanner, Darron Lee and Tyvis Powell. That's all of them. With Vonn Bell this unit goes from a HUGE question mark to a promising but unproven group. Expect Bell, Bogard, Thompson and Lee to be on the field a lot (defense AND special teams) this fall as coaches try and figure out what 2014 will look like.

8. The 2014 offensive line is potentially a hot mess. ASSUMING that Taylor Decker, Kyle Dodson, Jacoby Boren and Chase Farris come good and can be counted on as 4 out of 5 starters that leaves Evan Lisle, Antonio Underwood, Tommy Brown, Tim Gardner, Pat Elfien and Daryl Baldwin as the ONLY scholarship depth. OL is THE priority for the 2014 class and I expect a big-time class to come in and challenge for immediate playing time.

9. Here's some potential postions where transfers may happen SOLELY based on depth and no other information: RB, DL, LB and Corner.

Interested to hear some other thoughts!

Comments

tampa buckeye's picture

I have to take major exception with Rod Smith being on your list of players that haven't developed. The guy is a beast.  He had big runs last year.  If he gets carries this year he will be a force.  

themostbrian's picture

Fair enough. I guess my point is that he hasn't developed to his rating yet - He's the highest rated OSU RB since Chris Wells but he hasn't performed to that level and he's going to be a junior this year.

Nutbuck1959's picture

I too thought he showed glimpes of what could be.....He just has to hang on to the ball better!

themostbrian's picture

I don't think he's untalented. I think he's not lived up to his recruiting rating. Those are different things.

cajunbuckeye's picture

I take exception with you putting any players name on that list. Mr. Thomas, for one, doesn't take kindly to people speculating about his son's future at tOSU.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

themostbrian's picture

Well, I'll let the site moderaters deal with that question. As I said in the post: The transfer list is based solely on depth. Presumably, all those kids came to OSU with the intention of starting at their given positions and without a clear path to that goal they may change their mind about being at OSU. I don't understand why it would be so controversial for a non-affiliated private-citizen to suggest as much in a blog post.
Perhaps if an 11w staff member did so in a public post then it would be controversial. But I'm not them and this is not that.

cajunbuckeye's picture

I don't think your post is controversial, for me it's in poor taste to speculate on the transfer of players who have earned scholarships at tOSU. I think if I was a player it would strike a nerve, and I've already seen the reaction of a parent on this site. However, I'm not them and this is what it is.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

themostbrian's picture

I just edited the post and took off the names. Hopefully, we can all discuss the other topics that I wrote about now.

GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

I'm sure Mr. Thomas is a good guy and he raised a kid who is a great athlete, and by all appearances a great kid.
That said, and respecting that you find speculation to be unbecoming, this is a site for Ohio State football fans who swap speculations and opinions. 
The next level of censure will involve who we would like to start or play more, right?  Because that will hurt somebody's feelings that we did not list. 
The 2-deep is not a referendum on a kid's worth as a human being, and I don't think it's anyone's place to muzzle any speculation or opinion
 

DbuckiMcG's picture

I had thought that there were positive rumblings about Blake Thomas and Najee Murray at throughout the year. Didn't Najee suffer a season ending injury?

themostbrian's picture

I heard positives about Najee and then, yes, he suffered an injury. I'm not saying that they're not talented players - this is just a comment on the depth and talent coming in.
At TE, Heuerman and Vannett are young and entrenched while the very highly considered Marcus Baugh will arrive this fall.
At cornerback, we just brought in Apple, Burrows and Conley and still have Roby, Doran Grant and Armani Reeves. That's a lot of talent and youth.

Statutoryglory's picture

Yup, it all depends on whether some of these guys are content with being a career special teams contributor and occassional contributor like a Domicone while losing one to two more times in their college careers, having a blast in Cbus, and dominating the vulvarines.  

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Your analysis in the post is quite good, but listing names of possible transfers is always going to be a touchy matter.
As you know, less heralded recruits/underclassmen sometimes rise up through hard work and other unforeseen factors - e.g., maybe they're "late bloomers" while other guys peaked early. Or, they do what they have to do get on the field in other ways, on special teams, or primarily as a blocker, etc. Also, not all players that slip down to third or fourth string will want to transfer. One of the guys you mentioned has said that he wants to go to dental school.    

themostbrian's picture

I appreciate your thoughtful post, Fido.
Perhaps I should just delete that section - I really wasn't intending to cause a stir and it frustrates me that I spent so much time on this post and that's the only thing people have wanted to discuss. Thanks again for the comment.

DbuckiMcG's picture

Just to be clear, I had no problem with possible transfer names. I always think that this is an interesting, if difficult, topic to discuss. I guess I just think it is silly to assume that the people who are coming in will live up to their stars while the people who are in the program for a year already wasted their potential. You made a really good point about the linebacker talent on board, one which I think is surprisingly overlooked, but in the same hand as you give the lb's credit you take away from the db's. Roby is most likely gone after next year which means in 2 years both corner positions will have to be filled. I have not heard any reports that Armani is outperforming Najee and Cam is most likely going to be a safety. I love speculating on players futures and for some reason I think Najee will be a major contributor. I really did enjoy your post though.

Statutoryglory's picture

I agree with you that we will lose Dunn or Ball after this season to transfer.  

themostbrian's picture

I'm not saying that this is GOING to happen - but I do think that one or both of them will have to lower their ambitions to stay at OSU just based on the RB/Slot-back talent.

RedStorm45's picture

If all the LB's were so talented last year, why did only Perry see time at SLB and we had use to our fullback at mike?

themostbrian's picture

Because they were true freshmen and had only been on campus since June (Perry came in the Spring)?
LB is a difficult position and not everyone can be Shazier or Katzenmoyer. I expect we'll see great improvement from them this year and I think we should temper our enthusiasm for Mitchell and Trey Johnson to show up and be studs.

Statutoryglory's picture

There's a definite correlation between enrolling early and seeing more playing time than equally talented classmates.  Spending this semester at Ohio State is why I think Cam Burrows has a strong shot at being our Star by the end of the season.

themostbrian's picture

This is also why I like Eli Apple's chances of contributing early.

kevinfrenchfry's picture

just star? i think burrows or apple could be the starter, grant is the top dog for that starting spot, but youd have to be crazy to think burrows or apple wouldnt at least compete for it.

Statutoryglory's picture

It's a hard hard thing for a true freshman to start on a very good team.  At most there will likely be one to two max by the end of the season.  I would put my money on one being a Star and the other being a Slot WR.  LB is also in the mix.  I really think Doran will bring it.  He looked good when he had to start for Roby but had a couple of shaky games late in the season.  If a true freshman ends up starting at CB for us, I believe it will be the result of injury to Roby or Doran.

GoldenBearBuckeye's picture

True thermo,
And to take it one step further, Shazier was no Katzenmoyer

KateUptonsLowerBack's picture

Damn, I need to get myself on that Pantoni program.

WildBear Buckeye's picture

Wow. I mean, wow. 6 months. Is OSU's strength training really THAT much better than what he could get in high school?

ScarletGrayFire's picture

You mean Mickey Marotti  : )
I hope Marcus, Perkins, and Williams are going through similar transformations right now!
 

DbuckiMcG's picture

Perkins looked like a manchild even when he was being recruited. http://www.elevenwarriors.com/2011/12/catching-up-with-david-perkins for evidence

WildBear Buckeye's picture

Did Grant RS in 2011, or has he already spent 2 years of eligibility? If he still has 3 left, I think there's no reason to write him off yet. If he's already burned two years, that's worse. There's still time, but you'd expect the #2 overall recruit to contribute quite a bit in his 2nd year of playing. Not sure how much of a gap there was supposed to be between him and Clowney, but we all know what Clowney's been up to.
I have to wonder if elite WRs (true WRs) want to catch passes from accurate pocket passers with strong arms (i.e. pro-style QBs). I don't remember any huge names at WR (not sure if Harvin counts) on any of Meyer's teams. On the other hand, Julio Jones comes to mind at Bama, and that was a really run-heavy offense until this year. And of course during Palmer/Leinart years there were seemingly 2-3 elite WRs on USC's team every year. Diggs went to Maryland, and who knows who their QB is, but he became their #1 threat the day he walked on campus, which is also an advantage. Recruiting elite hybrids/ATHs (Marshall/Wilson/Elliott) is the flip side of that coin. I know you removed this from your post, but it would be really sad if last year's MGoBlog butthurt about Dunn ("Hope he enjoys never getting close to 1000 yards/season in Meyer's system!") came to fruition with him transferring.

Knarcisi's picture

He has 2 down, 2 to go. 

WildBear Buckeye's picture

He better be a starter holding his own, if not more next year, or it really will be time to write him off as a big bust.

kevinfrenchfry's picture

i would like to see a freshman and and a sophomore playing with shazier, so its still a mostly young lb corp, with veteran leadership and freak athletic ability.  if i could pick any 3 it would have to be mike mitchell, ryan SHAAYYYY ZEEER (lol) and jamal marcus

WildBear Buckeye's picture

The thing that I find so worrisome about OL is that senior 2013 starters are looking to be replaced in 2014 by a true junior (Decker) + an RS sophomore (Dodson ... RS this year, right?) of, on paper, slightly inferior talent on average, a blue chip true sophomore, and RS juniors/seniors/RS seniors of substantially inferior talent on average. The on average part is very important. While 94-95 vs 92-93 is probably a meaningless distinction in a head-to-head comparison of two players, and even 95 vs 88 might not be that much of story, replacing a full line of ~94 average with a full line of ~91 average could be noticeable. Add to that the fact that 4 senior starters are replaced entirely by junior/sophomore starters, and it could be a very serious step down in performance for a unit that's already expected to be one of the weaker units on the team in 2013. I didn't realize until seeing this post (thanks, it's awesome btw!) how disproportionately problematic the OL is, given Meyer's overall badass recruiting. 4 OL in two years with only one truly elite blue chip, given the lack of depth behind 2013 seniors to start out with, is, frankly, pretty bad. Now we have a possible talent issue and a guaranteed depth problem. Next year we must get multiple elite recruits who will be able to contribute as freshmen. Otherwise, should Lisle/Decker/Dodson (history of injury) get hurt, we might be looking at a line mostly made up of inexperienced 3* or lower. Again, probably not a problem for any one guy, but likely a problem for a whole unit. Especially if we want to compete for an NC in 2014.

themostbrian's picture

I think you're right on point, Wildbear.
Personally, I don't fault Meyer - he obviously worked very hard to try and get a number of O-line recruits in this class but couldn't make it happen. With Marcelys Jones already in the fold for 2014 and the real possibility of Jamarco Jones joining the class sooner rather than later I think we're well on our way to a monster OL haul. But you're right than they will have to be ready to contribute as true freshmen and very few O-linemen are strong enough to do this.

WildBear Buckeye's picture

This why I think it's important to get both quality and quantity next year. Quantity is necessary to have a decent chance of at least one or two contributors. I don't know if Norwell/M. Hall/Mewhort/Linsley all came in the same year, but we basically have to replace them all next year. Just getting 4 OL recruits with exactly the ratings of those 4 would equal or surpass this year's haul for Mich I believe? In any case, it will have to be one of the best OL classes in the country.
Btw, link to the google doc you posted a few days ago appears to be dead, which is too bad, because I was hoping to look at it again.

Statutoryglory's picture

Wouldn't be shocked to see a JUCO OL addition this year either just to add a competitor with game experience to that 14 group of new starters.  

WildBear Buckeye's picture

You beat me to it. Really, youth and inexperience is the much bigger problem. I might feel pretty good about the 2014 OL if we got, in addition to Lisle+Gardner, Tunsil and one or two more top-100 OL, but even if we had two-three more non-top-100 4* this year, I'd think we have an experience problem for 2014. As it is, we'll have a serious experience problem. College playing experience will be more valuable than stars.

kevinfrenchfry's picture

i think meyer himself must be comfortable with the o line, i dont buy he couldnt at least have REALLY pushed and gotten one more guy, did he push it to the limit this year, depth wise? maybe, but are we forgetting we were referring the the oline as RAG TAG last year? they weren't even supposed to be good and now were freaking out over how we're going to replace them, and you know why? ed warinner
 

themostbrian's picture

Actually all the evidence suggests that Meyer was working very hard to land one more OL all the way until the end - particularly with Dan Skipper (who committed to Arkansas) and Cameron Hunt (who went to Cal, I believe). And while you're right in saying that the coaching staff has brought the OL a long way, the issue is BOTH quantity and quality for 2014. Underwood, Brown, Baldwin & Elfien are not really starting material at OSU. But they're basically the only upperclassmen substitutes we will have. That's very concerning - all it takes is one expected starter who can't figure things out (e.g. Curtis Grant) or one injury and you're throwing a very sub-par guy in as a starter.

sir rickithda3rd's picture

the lack of offensive line recruits has surprised me, i must admit.... however, i think meyer and co will be able to pull some elite talent this yr... hopefully warriner stays around bcuz the work he did on last yrs line was nothing short of phenomenal. i mean he took a te and made him into a stud, although i think mariotti had something to do with that as well

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

Buckeye06's picture

OSU may be hoping 2-3 OL guys step in and come in early next winter for conditioning.  No reason to think a guy who has 8 months in conditioning etc. can't get some snaps at guard (not saying tackle since that obviously takes a ton of time)
 
Have already brought in a stud OG who hopefully enrolls early; just need 1 more who will want to come in and be told that he can compete from day 1 if he does so
 
Still need some tackles.  Would love to bring in 6 guys, but this class is going to be small

Statutoryglory's picture

Don't sleep on Gardner.  I think he's a guy who flew under the radar because he didn't hit the camp circuit or pretend like he was still open to flipping after committing.  

J.Mo's picture

If Gardner didn't have the potential, I don't think he would have been extended an offer.
He's a future 1st Team All-B1G Guard in my opinion. My premature guess (gut-feeling) is he replaces Norwell at left guard in 2014.

Lon_Paul's picture

Really love the write-up, man!  It's nice to have something like this laid out in an appealing format for quick reference.  Props!

themostbrian's picture

Glad that you find it useful!

3technique's picture

I really like Lisle,Dodson,Decker, AND Gardner.. The Boren kid has to be tough(he's a boren) so hopefully a couple of the 2014 kids can help. If Warriner stays around, we should be good. After last season I think he is a miracle worker. Last year's Oline was way better than the way Block O played as seniors..

themostbrian's picture

Agreed. But O-Linemen take longer to develop on average than skill position or defensive players. Interior linemen, in particular, are the most difficult. So the 2014 line has some great tackle options (Decker, Dodson, Lisle) and a promising Center option (Boren) and a promising Guard option (Farris). But whither the depth? Gardner seems like a promising prospect but will likely take at least 2 years to develop, which means he won't be ready for primetime until 2015. That leaves Underwood, Brown and Baldwin as our sole options for depth and possibly the last starting position. That's pretty rough, in my opinion.

buck-I.8's picture

Not sure you can just stamp Gardner with "at least two years" of development like that. OL is arguably the hardest position to predict success at the next level. If he gets in shape in a single red shirt year, it seems like he's got the mental ability and speed for his size to pick up the schemes fairly quickly. That said, he could also be a guy we forget about in a year, but so could anyone else.

gobucks96's picture

I disagree that have to have 2 years to get these kids ready. 
-Brewster started in year one.
-Hall and Linsley were startin inside in '11 as soph's.
-Cordle started at center as a soph
I totally agree that 2 years is preferred, but kids can come in and play right away. With 6 quality kids in the last two years, that definitely helps. Getting a interior spot from Farris, Brown, or underwood is not out of the question, nor is asking for quality depth to begin the year from them either.
Adding 4 good lineman this year, and hopefully getting two to enroll early, will be the taskof the staff for the future of the line....
 
 
 

Defend Youngstown's picture

I still feel that Billy Price will wind up playing OG or C. He already has the body for it.

themostbrian's picture

Well there's no question that the need is greater on the O-Line at this point. Wouldn't be surprised to see this shift myself.

OldColumbusTown's picture

It's been discussed before, but I suspect Donovan Munger is in the same position.
Neither is an early enrollee, so you have to think there will be an honest assessment made at the end of spring practice on the overall ability/talent/cohesion/mental fortitude of the backup offensive linemen. 
If Warinner and the rest of the offensive staff believe they have the depth issue resolved (or at least somewhat handled), then maybe Price and Munger both are given the chance to begin their careers on the defensive side of the ball.  If they believe they need one more athlete, maybe one or both of Price/Munger begins fall practice on the O-line.
Having two guys with versatility like Price and Munger is huge.  Based on current depth, that flexibility is a nice thing to have.

RedStorm45's picture

Luke Roberts was a LB recruit last year, making 5 not 4.  Just fyi.

themostbrian's picture

I know. But he was neither highly considered by recruiting sites nor a Meyer recruit, so I did not include him as one of the potential sophomore starters.