With roughly six spots left in Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class, we here at Eleven Warriors have decided to turn our attention to the future, specifically the Buckeyes 2015 class and how it could shake out. We realize that we're forecasting something that is virtually impossible to forecast, but it's fun to think what could be coming Ohio State's way next February, ain't it?
In the last two weeks, we've done our best to provide a quick glance at the offensive talent Ohio State is pursuing (Part I, Part II) and today we'll flip the field and start looking at the defense. Today we'll start at the defensive line and linebackers, two positions with a lot of depth nationally in 2015. The Buckeyes could look to bring in as many as 8 players between the two positions in 2015, so ignoring the importance of the two spots is hard to do.
In 2014, the Buckeyes have landed (so far) only two defensive lineman in Illinois product Dylan Thompson, and Virginia star defensive end Jalyn Holmes, but remain heavily in the hunt for Coppell (Texas) defensive end Solomon Thomas, but with no seniors along the line as it is currently constituted, the chase for Thomas is more about a want than a need. Interestingly, last week Ohio State offered Terrell Clinkscale, the nation's second-ranked JUCO defensive tackle, in what appears to be an attempt at defensive tackle insurance in the event that Michael Bennett were to test NFL waters. Clinkscale is more prepared to play right away at Ohio State than the defensive tackle prospects they've offered from the high school ranks (Matt Elam, Thomas Holley,) and his recruitment is worth watching if Bennett decides to move on to the NFL.
As for linebackers, the Buckeyes have pledges from St. Ignatius' Kyle Berger, Cincinnati Moeller's Sam Hubbard and Akron St. Vincent-St.Mary's Dante Booker; but are hoping to finish out an important haul at linebacker with the country's top-ranked inside linebacker, Raekwon McMillan, who could be announcing his college choice within the next few weeks. The Buckeyes are expecting the loss of Ryan Shazier to the NFL, but he should be the only departure from the position, but the general thinness at linebacker is an issue that requires attention in 2014 and in 2015.
Let's move on to 2015.