Rivals $ - James names some early leaders '14 FL RB Tony James
- Early leaders are Ohio State, Florida and Florida State and says Oregon would join that group is they offered.
Rivals $ - Garrett schedules another Buckeye trip '14 IL LB Clifton Garrett
- Says he has no idea where the rumor started that things went poorly when he visited for FNL and says he has always had OSU high on his list...returning with his parents to see more of the school outside of the football program.
Scout $ - Under Armour Recap: Ohio State
- By The Bank.....Breakdown of how each commit performed during the week and what The Bank expects of them at the next level.
ESPN $ - Dante Sawyer talks package deal '14 GA DE Dante Sawyer
- Hearing from Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, UCLA, Alabama & Florida. Plans on visiting Columbus in February with Demarre Kitt & Nick Glass.
ESPN $ - Filling out OSU's 2013 recruiting class '13 CO OT Dan Skipper
- Will be in Columbus on the 19th for an Official Visit
A weekend to remember for Ohio State fans was topped off with the commitments of two top linebackers in the class of 2013. While that moment was the highlight of the weekend, there's plenty of other recruits to target for the finish of this class.
After a much-anticipated weekend, the Buckeyes class of 2013 shines even brighter, securing itself as a top five class after the commitments of '13 4-star LB Trey Johnson and '13 4-star LB Mike Mitchell. As you already know, '13 4-star WR James Quick committed to Louisville and stayed in his home state, picking the Cardinals over Ohio State. Now that Coach Meyer has a bit more room to work with in this class, the Buckeyes may be targeting some more high-profile athletes.
Quick seemed virtually a Buckeye lean earlier in the week, but in the end, was persuaded by the lure of staying home. The real dagger came later that day, when Quick said if he was committing on Wednesday, he would have been a Buckeye. Thursday night was when the Sugar Bowl took place, allowing the Cardinals to upset the No. 3 ranked Gators, which ultimately pushed Louisville to Quick's top spot:
The commitments weren't the only stories at the Under Armour and Army All-American Games, however. In fact, several future Buckeyes who had already committed to Ohio State were showing off their skills in the all-star contests. One commit, '13 DB Cam Burrows, made a huge statement that he could, in fact, play at the cornerback position. I can only imagine the look on Coach Kerry Coombs' face when he was checking around to see how his future players were doing:
Cam Burrows keeps insisting he's a cornerback to all. After seeing him every day for a week, he just might know more than anyone. Talented— Bill Greene (@BillBankGreene) January 5, 2013
More good news comes in the form of the early enrollees, as the future Buckeyes prepare to attend class at Ohio State. '13 QB JT Barrett was one of those who decided to enroll early, and he posted a photo (you can see above as well) of his signing of his National Letter of Intent (LOI):
Barrett, who's enrolling early to begin rehab on the season ending knee injury he suffered playing high school football (and is expected to redshirt), is joined by 3-star DE Tracy Sprinkle, 3-star DE/LB Tyquan Lewis, 4-star DB Eli Apple, and 4-star DB Cam Burrows. All five start class today, and Barrett aside, should make their presence known in this coming April's Spring Game in Cincinnati.
Shifting gears to the future, '14 WR Josh Malone might be a name you want to keep tabs on, as the 4-star receiver recently named Ohio State in his top five. Malone is rated by 247Sports as the No. 3 player in Tennessee, the nation's No. 11 wide receiver in the land and the country's No. 79 overall recruit. The talented receiver is looking forward to taking more visits in the south and west when he gets back on the trail, so it's up to Coach Meyer and his staff to keep Malone interested. Malone has reportedly clocked a 4.60 in the forty-yard dash, a 4.1 in the pro-shuttle and has a 31.5-inch vertical.
'13 4-star WR Shelton Gibson recently told the media that he got a 20 on his ACT, which puts the Cleveland-Glenville product in a pretty nice spot to come to Ohio State. Speaking of the Buckeyes, Gibson currently says that Coach Meyer's team is tied with West Virginia as his favorites, but Marc Givler clearly isn't buying it. We tend to agree with Givler, especially when it comes to Gibson, who has been clear-cut about having Ohio State as his leader.
Finally, '14 LB Clifton Garrett will be heading back to Columbus for an overnight visit according to Core 6 Athletes. This only means good things for Ohio State, as this is another big visit for the linebacking core.
Ohio State football was banned from the postseason, but you can’t say the Buckeyes didn’t make progress during college football’s bowl season.
OSU grabbed two coveted recruits at the linebacker position during weekend all-star games to add to a 2013 recruiting class ranked No. 3 in America by Rivals.com. The two commits fill an area of need for coach Urban Meyer’s 2013 class, which lost linebacker Alex Anzalone to Notre Dame in May.
Starting linebackers Zach Boren and Etienne Sabino will be lost to graduation, leaving sophomore Ryan Shazier as the only returning starter at the position.
OSU gobbled up four-star linebacker recruit Mike Mitchell of Plano, Texas, late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Mitchell, of Prestonwood Christian Academy, boasts a 6-foot-4, 216-pound frame and was ranked the third-best player in talent-rich Texas, according to Rivals.com.
The weekend’s first piece of good recruiting news for OSU came Friday during the Under Armour All-American Game when four-star linebacker Trey Johnson of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Central Gwinnett High School donned an OSU ball cap to announce his decision to join Meyer’s 2013 recruiting class. Johnson stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs in at 221 pounds, according to Rivals.com.
The verbal commitments from Mitchell and Johnson bring the total number of four-star players in the Buckeyes’ 2013 class to 14, according to Rivals.com. Only Notre Dame and Alabama, respectively, have classes ranked higher than OSU’s.
Verbal commitments are something of an appetizer in the world of college football, with the main course coming on National Signing Day, which falls on Feb. 6. Recruits are able to put pen to paper on that day and make their commitment to a given program binding.
Vonn Bell, the 5-star safety from Ridgeland, nearly committed after the completion of his senior season. One of the main reasons he waited was to give a fair shake to his childhood favorite, Tennessee.
His other two finalists are Ohio State and rumored frontrunner Alabama.
“I waited because I wanted to go visit the campuses again, and give Tennessee a chance because they lost their coach at the end of the year,” Bell said. “I want to give everybody an equal and fair shot.”
How does Bell feel about the Volunteers? “They’re in a slump right now but I think Butch Davis … I mean, Butch Jones, is the guy that will bring them out of that slump.”
Bell had a lot of nice things to say about Urban Meyer and his national championship at Florida. But he may have saved his highest praise for Nick Saban.
“Alabama … it just speaks for itself,” Bell said. They are in the national championship again. Coach Nick Saban, he’s a DB coach, and he’s going to be coaching me. So Coach Saban has got guys into the NFL, so his name speaks for himself.”
Add another title to the resume of Orlando Boon punter Johnny Townsend.
He is a U.S. Army All-American, a future Ohio State Buckeye, 2012 Florida Class 8A All-State, 2012 Central Florida All-Star, an Eagle Scout, the 2012 Boone High homecoming king, and now he's the winner of the 2013 Doc Blanchard Award.
Friday night, when Townsend and the rest of the athletes performing in Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, sat down for dinner at the annual awards banquet, he had no idea he was an award finalist.
About an hour later, Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen was presenting the award to Townsend as the Felix "Doc" Blanchard Award winner.
"It was pretty unexpected," said Townsend. "I didn’t even know I was up for any award when I first got there, but I was flipping through the program and I saw my name. That’s how I knew.
"At least we didn't have to give any speeches."
For sure, because Townsend would have been quite unprepared.
"They brought us back and I had known for only about 15-20 minutes before the presentation," Townsend said. "I hadn’t really read up on the reward until later and so that only made it that much more meaningful."
The Doc Blanchard Award and the Glenn Davis Award are given annually to the two players at the U.S. Army Bowl, a representative from both the East and West squads, who best exemplify the U.S. Army’s high standard of excellence in community service, education and athletic distinction.
Wide receiver Corey Robinson from San Antonio Christian School, won the Glenn Davis Award.
In Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Townsend, who averaged 43.4 yards per punt his senior season at Boone, boomed a 50-yard punt inside the 5-yard line on his first attempt of the game at the Alamodome. He punted two other times in the game, with one attempt getting partially blocked.
"It was awesome," Townsend said. "I was nervous before the game me and my roommate we didn’t even sleep hardley. We were just too excited. It was the biggest crowd I had ever played before. There were so many people."
FOX Sports Next's No. 2 middle linebacker Mike Mitchell (6'3/220) of Prestonwood Christian High School in Plano, Texas recently committed to Ohio State. Here is a look at him in action from his senior season
Mike Mitchell of Prestonwood Christian High School in Plano Texas is the nation's No. 2 ranked middle linebacker. He announced his commitment to Ohio State on Saturday at the Army All-America Bowl.
Mitchell had a strong week of practice at the Army Bowl and was probably looking forward to playing against a higher level of competition than what he faced week in and week out at Prestonwood Christian.
While his level of competition in high school may have been questionable, there was no questioning Mitchell's ability to dominate it. At 6'3 and 220 pounds with a 4.4 forty, Mitchell is one of the most physically gifted players in the nation. He doesn't play down to his level of competition, he dominates it.
Mitchell is physical at the point of attack, he can scrape across the line of scrimmage to evade blockers, or he can take them head on before dispatching them to get to the ball carrier. Mitchell has the burst and quickness to make an inordinate amount of plays in the backfield and will force his share of fumbles in his career. He's also fast enough to undercut an angle on a play going wide. Meaning, he doesn't run parallel to the line of scrimmage or angle away from it; he actually cuts behind the line of scrimmage to chase down a back from the angle typically reserved for defensive ends.
Mitchell is a 5-Star middle linebacker and in any other year not having Reuben Foster, he'd more than likely be ranked No. 1. Mitchell has helped lead Ohio State to the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation (link), and the Buckeyes have their eyes set on the top spot.
Here is a look at him in action from his senior season, including a link to HD/IPad friendly video.
Ohio State missed on ESPN 150 wide receiver James Quick (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) over the weekend when the senior chose Louisville. What the Buckeyes did from a defensive standpoint, however, solidified an already strong unit.
With headliners on the front line and in the secondary, all that was missing were some linebackers.
What Ohio State got in Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) and Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) could impact the team earlier than many expect.