- Derek Young @Derek11W #OhioState commit Jayme Thompson who is not playing in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl today due to injury. Taivon Jacobs is though.
- Miles Joseph @Miles11W 2014 WR Demarre Kitt told me that #OhioState has been the most talked about school among recruits at Georgia's Rising Seniors Bowl.
- Miles Joseph @Miles11W Major #Buckeye targets at the game include Kitt, LB Raekwon McMillan, QB Deshaun Watson, RB Myles Autry, DT Elisha Shaw, S Nick Glass
- Marc Givler @MarcGivlerBG I have more than a hunch at this point that #OhioState is going to finish very, very strong between now and NSD. Big week coming. #buckeyes
- Dallas Jackson @RivalsDallas Mike Mitchell at #ArmyBowl says, "I am not going to redshirt; I am picking a school I think I can compete right away."
- Marc Givler@MarcGivlerBG Just spoke with 4* WR James Quick. Not a shock but he will def. announce on Saturday and told me its #Louisville #OhioState and #Oregon
- JC Shurburtt@jcshurburtt #Louisville is the heavy favorite to land James Quick. Surprised if he went elsewhere. Strange things happen during all-star week, though.
- Bill Greene@BillBankGreene After talking to people at Under Armour I'm ready to put Ohio State as the favorite to land five-star safety Vonn Bell.
- @BuckeyeEmpireZC 4* DT Elisha Shaw tells me he's "strongly considering" the #Buckeyes.
- @MarcGivlerBG Evan Lisle told me this evening he's up to 290-pounds. All very good weight, questions about his ability to gain good weight are answered.
- @Derek11W Just talked to two people I trust. From that I got WR James Quick to Ohio State on January 5th. Expect it to go on beyond that date.
- @Derek11W Had a 3rd source reach out and say as of now it's Quick to Ohio State.
BN$--4-Star Says Best Yet To Come At OSU '14 FL LB Dillon Bates
- Dillon wants to visit Ohio State, Tennessee, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Florida this spring. He says this year's 12-0 team is not going to end up as Coach Meyer's best squad and he is intrigued by that.
ESPN $ - Buckeyes, Tide or Vols for DB Vonn Bell '13 GA DB Vonn Bell
- Will take his officials and then make a decision. Says he's looking forward to seeing the atmosphere at Ohio State again and being around the players & coaches. Says he has an in-home visit planned with Nick Saban on the 14th, just before his Alabama official.
ESPN $ - Under Armour Spotlight: Marcus Baugh '13 CA TE Marcus Baugh
- Looking forward to the level of competition at the UA Game. Looking forward to meeting Joey Bosa.
ESPN $ - Max Redfield reveals final trio '13 CA S Max Redfield
- USC, Notre Dame & Ohio State.
Rivals$--Ohio State tops Gibson's list .. '13 OH WR Shelton Gibson
- Shelton is focused on Ohio State, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee with the Buckeyes leading. However, WVU has closed the gap somewhat and he will also visit Tennessee in January.
Rivals$--Stevens says it's down to three schools '13 FL WR Tony Stevens
- Tony will announce between Ohio State, Florida State and Texas A&M at the Army AA Game.
Rivals$--Mitchell ready to end the process '13 TX LB Mike Mitchell
- Oregon, tOSU, and Texas A&M hats will be on the table.
- Different articles but he only mentions tOSU as a slight leader while deferring to name a leader in the other article. He will definitely announce Saturday after having a final conference with his parents.
- So much for that recruiting dead period -- the Buckeyes finally picked up their first 2014 pledge on Christmas morning with Cleveland Glenville OT Marcelys Jones.
- Jones, as the first pledge to the class, knows that means he's now a recruiter as well.
- 2014 QB DeShaun Watson says Ohio State is giving Clemson a big push in his recruitment.
- And perhaps no name is bigger than LB Raekwon McMillan, who maintains that Ohio State is his leader, with Clemson second.
- A safety from Texas collected an OSU offer, and safety Nick Glass, a soft Georgia commit for 2014, has plenty of Ohio State interest.
- WR DeMarre Kitt and RB Nick Chubb both have Ohio State on top as the Georgia juniors all are talking about the Buckeyes at an all-star game.
- Brad Bournival answers questions in this week's mailbag, leading off with the Buckeyes' 2014 strategy.
- Reid Fragel turned himself into a dominant run-blocker, and now the Buckeyes must replace him.
- The Buckeyes aren't rushing when it comes to offensive linemen in 2013 recruiting.
- Ohio State will lose one cornerback for sure in senior Travis Howard. Austin Ward also took a look at how the Buckeyes will try to replace linebackers Etienne Sabino and Justin Boren and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.
- OL Cameron Hunt of California is working on a visit just before signing day.
- The Buckeyes are being careful at linebacker, but have them high on their wish list. Their lack of an LB in the 2013 class is likely to change this week.
- And ESPN 300 athlete Ryan Timmons could figure in somewhere in this class as well.
- Ohio State got an A-plus on its report card from Big Ten blogger Brian Bennett. Hard to argue with 12-0.
- And we'll all see Meyer during ESPN's coverage of the title game, as he'll be on the set for analysis.
- A homemade video of Buckeyes assistant Kerry Coombs talking to 2013 RB pledge Ezekiel Elliott and other recruits on campus could go viral. (YouTube)
- Ohio State freshman linebacker Noah Spence is one of nine sons who were home for Christmas. (Dispatch)
- The Buckeyes could be getting a transfer lineman if former Florida OL Matt Patchan comes to Columbus. (Gainesville Sun)
- Braxton Miller is working on that Heisman candidacy. (Plain Dealer)
- Doug Lesmerises counted down his top six Urban Meyer moments of 2012. (Plain Dealer)
- Eleven Warriors counted down their worst 11 moments, and the top 11 plays. (Eleven Warriors)
- Zach Boren said Meyer's practices fueled the perfect season. (Dispatch)
- And Terrelle Pryor will make his first start since the 2011 Sugar Bowl today. (Dispatch)
- The Buckeyes improved to 10-2 with a rout of Chicago State.
- Ohio State replaced its playing floor, and it looks somewhat familiar. (Eleven Warriors)
The Gang's All Here
- With the NHL labor standoff still going, more than 10,000 hockey-starved fans watched a tournament the Buckeyes participated in. (OSU)
While many of his teammates and classmates will be celebrating New Year’s in the typical fashion high school kids do, John Burroughs football star Ezekiel Elliott will be ringing in 2013 in a way very few ever get to do.
The JBS senior, who starred as a running back/kick returner for a Bombers teams that made three straight trips to the Missouri Class 3 state championhip game, and amassed more than 3,000 all-purpose yards and scored 50 touchdowns this past season alone, has been invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 5 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which is widely considered the nation's premier high school football all-star game, will feature 90 of the best schoolboy players in the country, in a classic East vs. West matchup that will be broadcast live on NBC.
"It's just an honor to be selected, and to be considered one of the best players in the nation," Elliott said from the visitor's locker room at Chaminade College Prep in Creve Coeur, where he and his Bomber basketball teammates spent the week competing in the Chaminade Christmas Tournament.
"I'm really excited. I can't wait to get down there. I think it's just going to be a lot of fun," Elliott, ranked by Rivals.com as the 9th best running back in the class of 2013, and the 77th best overall, said.
In April, he gave a verbal pledge to play for Urban Meyer at Ohio State University
Elliott, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Offensive Player of the Year this season, and likely choice for Missouri state Player of the Year, received the news that he had been named to the U.S. Army All-American squad back in the fall, before JBS' 2012 season had even ended.
'Zeke', as he's called by family and friends, has known for some time that he would be playing in the game this year.
He'll be a member of the West squad and will wear jersey No. 24.
The only hard part for Zeke so far, has been just waiting for the game date to actually get here.
"I'm leaving on Sunday, and they told me that I'll used kind of in as an all-purpose back," Elliott said. "I'll play running back. I'll play in the slot. I'll get to return kicks. They said they're going to use me a lot. I just can't wait to get down there to see how it goes."
Kickoff for this year's game is scheduled for noon local time, and will be televised live on KSDK-Newschannel 5. The game itself has been billed as "an unforgettable look at the future of college and professional football."
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl website states that more than 200 NFL players have played in the game in the past, including current stars like Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts, Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs, Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings, and Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals.
The state of Missouri saw two players in the game last year, De Smet Jesuit's Durron Neal and Dorial Green-Beckham, the Springfield-Hillcrest phenom now at Missouri.
The game annually also serves as a platform for players who have not made a college choice to do so live on national television. Any pledge prior to signing a letter of intent starting in February is non-binding. For his part, Elliott has by all public appearances been solid on sticking with going to Ohio State. One needs only to follow his Twitter account to see that.
That didn't stop his father Stacy, a University of Missouri linebacker during the Bob Stull era, from at least keeping the door open until February during a November KSDK TV interview.
While the recruiting element to the week has the focus of college football fans come actual gametime Saturday, the 90 U.S. Army All-Americans will be quite busy all week.
The players will practice everyday until Friday, with the game obviously scheduled for Saturday.
But beginning on Wednesday night, the U.S. Army All-Americans will begin a series of goodwill events and fan-friendly showcases, starting with the Soldier-Hero Challenge, where the players will meet and get to hang out with members of the military for a night of "laughter, stories, and kindred spirits".
On Thursday, the city of San Antonio will host a Welcome BBQ at the Alamodome for the players, but will also allow fans to purchase tickets for the chance to hang out and have a meal with the 90 All-Americans.
Later that night, the players will then attend the week's gala event, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Kick-Off Party, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Friday night will feature the U.S. Army All-American Awards dinner, where the national Player of the Year award will be announced.
"We just want Zeke to have a real good time down there," Burroughs basketball coach Steve Wilcutt said. "He's such a fine young man, and we all know what a great player he is. He really deserves all the accolades he's been getting."
Ohio State recruits to watch in the 2013 Offense-Defense, Under Armour, US Army, and Semper Fidelis All-American Games
Beginning this evening, a week of high school All-American games kick off. See which future Buckeyes (and prospective) ones will suit up and where.
As college football's bowl season rages on, Ohio State fans are stuck dreaming of what the future will have in store. It's only appropriate that the only Buckeyes still to play in postseason contests will be those comprising the future of Ohio State football. A cadre of verbally committed Ohio State prospects and a pack of ones still trying to make up their minds will begin to play in postseason games tonight and next weekend, some of which will include announcements of where these players will spend the next 4-5 five years of their football playing lives.
Offense-Defense All-American Bowl
Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 8 pm ET
Comcast Sports Network - Time Warner Columbus/Delaware Not Available, WOW! Not Available, DirecTV 665, DISH 429
The least known of the four major high school all-star games has actually been around since 2007. While it once aired on ESPNU, it's since fallen to the not carried in the Columbus area (outside of satellites with the sports package) Comcast Sports Net. The game takes place in Houston's Reliant Stadium, home of the Texans. While the Texans are flying back from Indianapolis either having clinched the #1 seed in the AFC or licking their wounds and wondering what the postseason will have in store for them, a pair of exciting future Buckeyes will be suiting up.
Jayme Thompson's been an Ohio State commit since last April, but brings depth to a secondary that will be losing Travis Howard. Thompson projects to a safety at the next level and is a 4-star in the 247Composite rankings. He had a couple of big games in the Ohio State playoffs as he helped Central Catholic defeat Trotwood-Madison to win it all.
Taivon Jacobs, a Maryland product, is one of but a few likely future wide receivers currently in this class for Urban Meyer and Zach Smith. Jacobs is a bit of an underrated prospect at just 3-stars in the 247Composite rankings, but is said by those who coached against him in the Washington DC metro area to be a total sleeper and one of the most explosive athletes in the class.
James Hearns, a 4-star out of Tallahassee committed to Florida, was expected to play in this one but will miss the game due to a quad injury. He was thought earlier this fall to be a possible flip for Ohio State. And while an Ohio State visit January 11th is still in the cards for Hearns, he tweeted as recently as yesterday that he's still looking forward to being a Gator. We'll have to see what Kerry Coombs has to say about those plans.
Other players of interest: DE Lewis Neal (LSU commit, former OSU commit), and OL Jackson Keeler (Wisconsin commit who received an Ohio State offer earlier in the month).
Under Armour All-America Game
Friday, January 4, 2013 at 5 pm ET
ESPN - Time Warner Columbus/Delaware 1301 HD/31 SD, WOW! 211 HD/33 SD, DirecTV 206, DISH 140
The Under Armour All-America Game was one thought as sort of a copy cat game when it debuted back in 2008. Now it manages to draw much of the best talent in the country and is considered by some to be an even better event than the more storied US Army All-America Game.
The game is rich with Buckeyes this year and includes 5-star defensive end Joey Bosa, 4-star cornerback Cam Burrows, 4-star WR/ATH Jalin Marshall, 4-star TE Marcus Baugh, and 4-star DB Gareon Conley all suiting up for the game. Even more awesome, the quintet of future Buckeyes will all be playing with one another on Team Nitro, the white uniformed team, which is going to be coached by former Lions/Niners coach Steve Mariucci.
Also worth keeping an eye on in this one is S Vonn Bell. Bell will play for the opposing team and is thought to be a strong Alabama lean, but still has plans for a January 11th to Columbus.
Perhaps most excitingly of all, former Auburn commit, 4-star ILB Trey Johnson is expected to announce his commitment during the game. It's believed Johnson is an Ohio State lean, but Luke Fickell, Urban Meyer, and co. still have Florida close on their tails. Johnson could contribute as early as year one if he elects to head to Columbus.
Other players of interest: QB Shane Morris (Michigan commit), OL Logan Tuley-Tillman (famed Ohio State letter burner and Michigan commit), OL David Dawson (Michigan commit who decommitted and briefly flirted with Ohio State before recommitting), S Max Redfield (USC/ND lean with Ohio State interest), LB Alex Anzalone (former Ohio State commit who decommitted, because, well, you know, who later committed to Notre Dame), DE Robert Nkemdiche (the #1 player in the country thought to be bound for Ole Miss).
Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl
Friday, January 4, 2013 at 9 pm ET
NFL Network - Time Warner Columbus/Delaware 1346 HD/346 SD, WOW! Not Available, DirecTV 212, DISH 154
The after party for the Under Armour game is the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl. The game returns for a second year and takes place in the home of the LA Galaxy, the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, California.
There are no present Ohio State commits taking part in the game though 4-star QB J.T. Barrett was originally selected to participate. Barrett is out with a severe knee injury but is expected to enroll in Columbus next weekend early to begin his rehabilitation with Ohio State's medical staff before a likely redshirt freshman season.
RB Corn Elder, a 4-star out of Tennessee, is also playing in the game. He'll be suiting up for the East squad in the game and is still considering UCLA in addition to the Buckeyes. Like a few other high profile recruits playing in these postseason contests, he'll be in Columbus January 11th. That weekend is certainly shaking out to be one Mark Pantoni and co. will need to have the #Juice cranked to 11.
Other players of interest: OL Kyle Bosch (Michigan commit), DB Ross Douglas (Michigan commit from Avon, OH), WR Levonte "Kermit" Whitfield (former Miami commit now committed to Florida State who continues to flirt with Ohio State), QB Malik Zaire (ND commit who supposedly called OSU after learning about the Barrett injury to see if they were still interested).
US Army All-American Bowl
Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 1pm ET
NBC - Time Warner Columbus/Delaware 1004 HD/4 SD, WOW! 203 HD/4 SD, DirecTV 4, DISH 4
The grandaddy of high school All-American games, the San Antonio, Texas based US Army All-American Bowl caps off a week of exciting high school all-star action with another large group of future Buckeyes suiting up. Playing for the East team will be 4-star DB Eli Apple, 4-star OL Evan Lisle, 4-star DT Michael Hill, and P Johnny Townsend. On the opposing side of the field will be the electric 4-star RB Ezekiel Elliott, the target of Kerry Coombs' now legendary inspired pitch to come to Columbus.
In addition to taking in these stud athletes showcasing what they've got on the field, the most intrigue will probably come down to the in-game commits. Louisville area WR James Quick will announce his decision. While it's widely expected he'll succumb to familial and local pressures to stay home and play for Charlie Strong and the Cardinals, Urban Meyer's taken over his recruiting personally and could ultimately sway the 4-star
4-star LB Mike Mitchell, long thought to be a solid lean for Ohio State, may or may not announce where he'll be playing his college football during this one. In spite of their large class of linebackers, Mitchell is still considering Texas A&M, and in general is thought to not care for the recruiting process. He may buck custom and continue doing things his way by keeping fans of both schools waiting while he decides what's right for him.
Other players of interest: TE Jake Butt (Pickerington,OH product committed to Michigan), S Dymonte Thomas (Michigan commit from Alliance, OH), RB Derrick Green (former Ohio State target still in play for Michigan).
WOODBRIDGE, Virginia - Just about anyone that follows college football recruiting knows the name Da'Shawn Hand. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound junior defensive end out of Woodbridge (Va.) High School is arguably the top junior football prospect in America. While his exploits on the football field give him a five-star rating by Rivals.com, what many may not know about Hand is that football isn't the only sport where this explosive athlete excels. Hand is also a standout wrestler at Woodbridge Senior High School.
On Friday afternoon, Hand took part in his high school's holiday wrestling tournament. After suffering a close defeat the previous day to one of the area's top heavyweights, Hand finished the event strong, winning all three of his matches on the second day, pinning two of his opponents.
Hand got the day off to a fast start, taking just 15 seconds to pin his first opponent. After winning a tough battle against one of his teammates in his second match, Hand finished his day as he started it, by pinning his third opponent.
We caught up with Hand between his second and third matches to get all of his thoughts on what wrestling means to him, how both football and wrestling have helped him to become a better athlete, and of course, the latest on his recruiting situation
Urban Meyer is one of the best recruiters in college football, and Ohio State is one of the most prestigious and well known programs in college football. That makes for a good combination if you're a fan of Buckeyes' recruiting.
Meyer had a fantastic first year with the Buckeyes, but now it's all about sustaining a high level of play and winning when it counts. Much of Ohio State's potential success in the next few years will be a direct result of its success on the recruiting trail.
Ohio State's 2013 class is very strong, and there's a lot to look forward to in Columbus.
The Under Armour All-America Game is a chance for the best of the best to compete head to head not only in the game itself but also in the week of practices leading up to the game. It is also a chance to many players to answer some lingering questions and prove why they should move up in the player rankings. Here are some players, in alphabetical order, who could really help themselves with a good showing in Orlando:
Gareon Conley, CB
Conley was a virtual unknown when we first evaluated him and invited him to be an Under Armour All-American last spring. The Ohio prospect was a Michigan commit back then, but he has since switched and committed to Ohio State. The bottom line is he's been a good prospect all along. We place value in tall, long corners who are only going to add bulk. He can match up with big receivers but has the fluidity and hips to transition and hold up in man-to-man coverage. We look forward to seeing how he holds up against speed and shiftiness on the perimeter. We would expect him to prove he belongs as his film has indicated he has been worthy all along.
The state of Georgia has another strong crop of football prospects for next year.
Around 100 high school juniors will be on display for the RisingSeniors.com Bowl, which will be played at 1 p.m. Monday at Grady High School. Tickets are $20 for the all-star game that will also be broadcasted on ESPN3.com.
Here’s a look at the top five prospects in the game:
- Deshaun Watson, quarterback, Gainesville: The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder has looked like the state’s No. 1 prospect in practices. Watson has prototypical size, he possesses outstanding composure, he’s a running threat, and he can throw on the run with velocity. Watson has been just about perfect on short to intermediate throws in the cold and rainy weather. “He’s as gifted as anybody I’ve seen,” said Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin, the East team’s offensive coordinator. Watson nearly holds all of the state’s major passing records, and he led Gainesville to its first state championship earlier this month. Watson committed to Clemson on last year’s signing day but he’s still looking around at Ohio State, Auburn and Tennessee. He also wouldn’t mind an offer from Georgia, which he thought he was going to get last summer.
- Raekwon McMillan, linebacker, Liberty County: The 6-2, 249-pounder is the early frontrunner as the state’s top prospect for 2014. He has more than 50 scholarship offers, and he’s ranked as a 5-star by 247sports. McMillan has been slowed in practices by an ankle injury but he’s still made some bone-crushing hits. “Being ranked high doesn’t go to my head because it can all be gone in one day,” McMillan said. “You’ve got to keep your head on a swivel because someone is always looking for your spot.” McMillan has five favorites in Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia, Alabama and USC, with the Buckeyes as his leader. “Even though Ohio State is far away, they still make me feel like home,” McMillan said.
- Nick Chubb, running back, Cedartown: Perhaps no one has benefitted more from this week than the 5-11, 210-pounder. Everybody wondered if Chubb was the “real deal” or another small-town superstar who posted Nintendo-like numbers against inferior competition. Chubb may be better than advertised, dominating the practice sessions more than the other high-profile running backs. “He reminds you of an Alabama tailback; he’s got big legs, he’s hard to tackle, he runs hard and he runs behind his pads,” said Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker, the West team’s head coach. Chubb has early offers from Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Purdue and Ohio State but his life is likely to radically change after this week. Chubb will probably be rated as the state’s No. 1 running back for 2014 and appear in the national rankings. He is a childhood fan of Georgia.
- Demarre Kitt, wide receiver, Sandy Creek: The 6-1, 195-pounder has put some distance between him and the rest of the field as the state’s top prospect at wide receiver. Kitt has nice size, he isn’t afraid to go over the middle, and he has an extra gear to get past the safeties. “He just makes plays,” Walker said. “He’s smooth. He catches everything thrown to him. He’s got better speed than people think he does. He’s a complete wideout.” Kitt is listed as questionable for the game after suffering a hamstring injury on Saturday. Kitt was formerly committed to Georgia but reopened his recruitment. He now has Ohio State and Clemson as his leaders.
- Christian Harris, offensive lineman, Collins Hill: The 6-5, 266-pounder was “discovered” this week. He got an early scholarship offer from Ohio but will likely have 20 or more by the spring. Harris has ideal size and athleticism at left tackle, he gets off the ball well, and he is very physical. Harris said he would commit to Georgia if he gets an early offer. “I’ve been raised to be a Georgia boy and my family loves them to death,” Harris said. “It’s close to home, so I would have to consider committing.”
As you might know if you read our Recruiting Rundown each and every Sunday on The-Ozone, our recruiting guru Michael Chung was taking this week off to spend some much-needed time with family and friends down in Texas.
Michael will also be gearing up for his coverage of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl down in San Antonio, where Ohio State will be represented by a number of committed players. That group includes safety Eli Apple (formerly Woodard), running back Ezekiel Elliott, defensive tackle Michael Hill, offensive lineman Evan Lisle and punter Johnny Townsend.
They aren’t the only all-stars Ohio State could walk away with this week. Highly-coveted linebackers Mike Mitchell and Trey Johnson are both expected to announce their verbal commitments this week, along with Louisville WR James Quick, who is down in San Antonio with Mitchell and the four OSU commits.
Michael might have the week off, but he wanted to share a few thoughts, so we put together a few things we are hearing this week as we head into a huge recruiting stretch for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.