Division I college football programs are allowed 85 players on athletic scholarship. Recruiting is more than just a "go out and get the best talent" trade, as coaches (sans the SEC) have to strategically plan how many players to offer scholarships to each year based on the current roster, who's available to get in that particular class, and the talent pool of the classes in years ahead.
The Ohio State roster stood at 82 players on scholarship before last week. 17 of those will depart the program through graduation and end of eligibility, bringing the number down to 65. The Buckeyes, with the edition of Ejuan Price last week, have 21 players committed to the class of 2011, bringing that number up to 86. We also learned last week that Sam Longo will be leaving the program, satisfying the 85 player limit once again. The Buckeyes should close out their offers and end there right?
Unfortunately that's wrong. The Buckeyes seem to be on the way to bringing Keith Wells back into the fold and are still going after some top-level prospects in Ja'Juan Story, Aundrey Walker, Darius Jennings, and Curtis Grant, as well as kicking some tires around with the rest of the Glenville crew and UCF commit Kion Williams. Story just returned from his visit to Columbus this past weekend and apparently had a blast, saying it would be OSU or Florida on Signing Day. Walker, Jennings, and Grant also visited officially already and it's a real possibility that the Buckeyes can land three of the four top-notch players left on their board. Put into consideration that one or all of Williams, Shane Wynn, Andre Sturdivant, and Cardale Jones could sneak into this class at the last minute, and the scholarship number can go up to 89 or 90 players.
What does this all mean you ask? Well, it means that somehow the Buckeyes are going to have to make some room on their roster for Keith Wells and any of the available recruits that are still in the fold. It also means it's time for us to break down some scenarios that can lead to those spots coming open, as well as some other options for Jim Tressel to set his roster up for opening kick-off to the 2011 football season.