Buckeyes Hope Meyer's Name Leads to Florida Recruiting Haul

By Jeremy Birmingham on February 25, 2014 at 5:15p
33 Comments

On Sunday, we took a look at some of Ohio's unheralded 2015 talents; guys that could end up donning the scarlet and gray come next year but that may be flying a bit under the radar at present. The Buckeye State is always well represented in the Ohio State locker room of course, so its not much of a surprise to see unknown names popping up at all points of the recruiting process. 

Recruiting out of state, however, requires patience, diligence and above all else, it requires a few things that Ohio State and Urban Meyer have plenty of: confidence.

Those prerequisites become even more important when recruiting the state of Florida, known as much for its prodigious football talent as its amazing weather. Urban Meyer and his right-hand man Mark Pantoni know full well the ins and outs of the Sunshine State and this year they've employed the help of a fellow swaggernaut, wide receivers coach Zach Smith.

Early returns in Florida have been promising for Meyer and his band of recruiting brothers: two of Ohio State's first three commitments for 2015, Jamel Dean and Ben Edwards, are from Florida and Ohio State finds themselves in an excellent position with a number of the state's other top prospects.

Let's take a look at a handful of those players and where the Buckeyes stand in pursuit of their services. Remember, Florida is big and the Buckeyes have offered dozens of prospects from the state but we'll do our best to adequately sum up where things rest.

We'll start in Fort Lauderdale with a player whom I believe to be the highest player on Ohio State's recruiting board for 2015.

TORRANCE GIBSON / FT. LAUDERDALE / QB

Gibson could be an All-American WR
Gibson can do it all.

It's hard to avoid hyperbole when you're discussing an athlete of Gibson's caliber. High school juniors who are 6-foot-4 and 200-pounds are not supposed to run an almost effortless 4.5 40-yard-dash, but that's what Torrance Gibson does seemingly without breaking a sweat.

Gibson is the type of athlete who many believed would end up at wide receiver in college (and opinions that he would be an All-American/future first-round pick at the position if he chose to play it are everywhere,) but the Buckeyes have been convinced that he can absolutely be a dynamic quarterback in their offense. 

More Terrelle Pryor on the field and Braxton Miller off it, Gibson is where you want to start your offense and the Buckeyes are still right at the front of his mind. Don't expect a decision until the US Army All-American game, but don't be surprised if following his first visit to Ohio State the Buckeyes take a big lead in his recruitment, either.

Will Ohio State's focus on Gibson hurt them with other quarterbacks a lá the Deshaun Watson recruitment in 2014? We'll see.

Bottom line: this is about as close to a "must get" as possible, and Urban Meyer and Zach Smith are on the case. 

HIGHLIGHTS

BEN EDWARDS / JACKSONVILLE/ DB

Yes, Ben Edwards is already a commitment but this is Florida recruiting and an early commitment down there doesn't quite have the same adhesive effect as it does in the Midwest, where players commit to schools they've loved their whole lives and want to avoid the white-hot spotlight of today's internet-focused recruiting bonanza. No, this is Florida where the game is played a bit differently.

Edwards committed to Ohio State on February 11th and told 11W that he was done with other visits and his focus would be turned to helping bring other great players, namely his two high school teammates featured below, with him to Columbus. 

Last weekend, Edwards visited Central Florida and announced he'd take visits to Auburn and North Carolina as well sometime this spring, in addition to a return visit to Columbus — a trip he'll make with his teammates — to check out the school he is now a "soft" commitment to.

As long as Edwards is still waxing poetic about the love he has for the Buckeyes, and as long as he's working hard to bring his All-American teammates with him, I won't worry too much about his visit to Auburn. Make no mistake, however, recruiting any player in this era of football means you recruit until the ink is dry. Edwards is a Buckeye until he's not, and I think that Ohio State keeps him.

HIGHLIGHTS

JEFFERY HOLLAND / JACKSONVILLE / LB

Five-star linebacker Jeffery Holland is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds and about as angry as it gets from the linebacker position. He's everything you want in the middle of your defense and the Buckeyes continue to be in a decent position to land the Trinity Christian star if he decides to leave the south, which is by most accounts going to be unlikely.

For his part, Holland doesn't fuel the talk, he contends he's wide open in his recruitment and the Buckeyes will get a second chance to impress him in person (he visited last April) when he makes a visit this spring with Edwards. Offers from everyone, but only one school will get the signature and like Raekwon McMillan last year, the Buckeyes identified Holland as a big priority early and have continued to impress him at every turn.

Same result? Unlikely, but nothing is out Urban Meyer's reach.

HIGHLIGHTS

KEVIN TOLIVER / JACKSONVILLE / DB

Committed to LSU for over a year already, Kevin Toliver II, is very unlikely to decommit from LSU at any point, just so we're clear. However, the Buckeyes have always found a way to get into the conversation when he's talking, so until he's come and gone, we're still listening.

Toliver will visit Ohio State with Edwards and Holland and Ohio State would love a legitimate crack at showing the nation's top-ranked cornerback and consensus five-star talent how he would fit into the program. Chances? Not, not good.

HIGHLIGHTS

Sh'mar kilby-lane / hallandale / lb

One of the more likely members of the Florida contingent to eventually sign with the Buckeyes, Sh'mar Kilby-Lane is a heavy-hitting linebacker ranked in the top 10 of his position, outside linebacker, nationally.

Offers from Alabama, Florida State, Florida, Miami and a host of others have come recently, but the Buckeyes appear to be near the top of his list and he will visit Columbus sometime soon, a trip that Ohio State wants to happen as soon as possible. Florida State and Alabama are also in his top three schools, and he doesn't appear to be waiting until signing day to make his decision, which bodes well for the Buckeyes, who believe they can help make up his mind soon.

HIGHLIGHTS

GEORGE CAMPBELL / TARPON SPRINGS / WR

When he committed to Michigan last summer, most felt that George Campbell was nowhere near done with his recruitment and most were right: Campbell decommitted from Michigan in December and the Buckeyes are hoping to move their way up his list.

Zach Smith is in charge of his recruitment and Campbell — who burst onto the national scene with a 4.36 40-yard dash at Nike's The Opening last July — is not an easy guy to catch. Ohio State hopes to get him on campus sometime soon but the Buckeyes are definitely looking up at Florida and a few other schools right now.

HIGHLIGHTS

JACQUES PATRICK / ORLANDO / RB

Patrick is fond of Ohio State and Urban Meyer
Jacques Patrick made two visits to OSU in 2013.

Last summer Jacques Patrick was kind enough to share his midwest travels with Eleven Warriors readers, including the details of his first stop to Columbus.

He returned to the Horseshoe in October and checked out Ohio State a bit closer, watching the Buckeyes throttle Penn State from the sideline. Patrick has been personally recruited by Urban Meyer for some time now, and the Buckeyes hope that his relationship is enough to pull him away from the "Florida three" and the rest of Patrick's near 50 scholarship offers.

One positive for the Buckeyes and their two Big Ten counterparts in Michigan? Patrick's cousin is a coach in Detroit and his brother, who had committed to FIU, ended up signing with Western Michigan, giving him some familiar ties to the Midwest. 

HIGHLIGHTS

CALVIN RIDLEY / POMPANO BEACH / WR

When Johnnie Dixon spurned his hometown Hurricanes to come north to Columbus, it was quite a surprise to many who believed that there was "no way" the South Florida star would leave his hometown.

This year, Calvin Ridley could be the guy that departs from expectations, and once again Ohio State would love to find themselves as the landing spot for this incredibly talented Floridian. To leave Florida he'll face much of the same scrutiny and resistance that Dixon felt, but like Dixon he's got Zach Smith in his ear and the Buckeyes hope that's enough to keep him interested.

HIGHLIGHTS

OTHER NAMES TO KNOW

Dwayne Lawson / Tampa / QB / HIGHLIGHTS
Deondre Francois / Orlando / QB / HIGHLIGHTS
Jordan Cronkrite / Miami / RB / HIGHLIGHTS
Ray Ray McCloud / Tampa / RB / HIGHLIGHTS
Dexter Williams / Orlando / RB / HIGHLIGHTS
Devante Peete / Ft. Lauderdale / WR / HIGHLIGHTS
Shawn Burgess-Becker / Pompano Beach / WR / HIGHLIGHTS
Martez Ivey / Orlando / OT / HIGHLIGHTS
Scott Patchan / Tampa / DL / HIGHLIGHTS
Cece Jefferson / Glen St. Mary / DL / HIGHLIGHTS
Garrett Williams / Orlando / LB/TE / HIGHLIGHTS
Tevon Coney / Palm Beach Gardens / LB / HIGHLIGHTS
Dominic Sheppard / Miami / LB / HIGHLIGHTS
Kendrell McFadden / Hollywood / DB / HIGHLIGHTS
Tyrek Cole / Hollywood / DB / HIGHLIGHTS
Tarvarus McFadden / Ft. Lauderdale / DB / HIGHLIGHTS
Deon Cain / Tampa / ATH / HIGHLIGHTS

33 Comments

Comments

buckguyfan1's picture

Be nice to grab a few of these guys off the top shelf to put in the shopping cart.  Will be very interesting to see how this class shakes out.  Enjoy the ride.

Edit:  Birm, guys you no of off the radar from the Naples/Ft Myers area?

+2 HS
SilverState's picture

More Terrelle Pryor on the field and Braxton Miller off it,

 

Bassdropper, you're welcome. 

+10 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

Hey Birm, just trying to figure out if the "other names to know" list are guys that are lower on the staff's board, or guys you think OSU has less of a shot with, or some other distinction.

+1 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

A little from column A, a little from column B and a little because they're guys I've spoken less to or about.

Poison nuts's picture

Thanks for this article - I've been wondering about how it was looking for FL kids coming to OSU in 2015...

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

laishley15's picture

If somehow coach Smith could steal Ridley from South Florida that would be amazing.

MN Buckeye's picture

That is at least 25 offers out to FL guys! While the majority will likely stay close to home in the south, I trust that we will get those Urban wants the most!

Philly White's picture

Thanks for the update.

Simply a personal thought: I don't think Florida has amazing weather. I'd take what they have down there now as opposed to this, yes, but I hid from their heat last summer the same way I hide from our cold. Striding along with your buckeyes stuck to one of your branches is no way to go for a jog.

+10 HS
Run_Fido_Run's picture

Yeah, if we're talking about great weather, San Diego beats the heck out of Florida. Actually, since I like cooler weather, I'll take northern CA weather over Florida any day. Ohio v. Florida weather is a toss up.

Seattle Linga's picture

I'm sorry but Torrance Gibson looks like a grown - A - man

+3 HS
Run_Fido_Run's picture

He also looks like he'd be a superb baseball pitcher, which is a good sign for a QB.

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I like that we are going down into FL and scooping up some kids each year.  The staff is doing a great job of bringing in national championship talent.  Excited to watch the class of 2015 come together. 

-1 HS
BuckeyeB9B82501's picture

I would love to keep who we have and snag a few more but we have to keep the top talent in the state here in Ohio. There is a lot of top level talent here at home; more so than the last couple of years. We keep the kids here at home, snag a few gems in Florida and let LJSr work his magic along the east coast, then this 2015 class could be a top2/3 class nationally. Of course ESecheatPN will have us around 6/7 and have the SeCheat have 7/8 teams in top10 as usual. But the other recruiting sites that aren't SeCheat biased will give us the respect that we do deserve. Until we win it all we won't get any respect from ESPN, SEC people or anyone across the nation. Meyer has brought in top notch players the last 3 years now its time to go win it all. Its up to coaching now b/c the talent is there all across the board. Go get it Urb, get er done!!!!!!! ITS ON LIKE DONKEY KONG BEEEEEEOCH!!!!!! LoL GO BUCKS!!!!!!!

Buckeye Dynasty starts in 2014 baby !!!!!! GO BUCKS !!!!!!!! O - H - I - O

-5 HS
m5987usus's picture

Birm awesome work as always man!

O-H!

laishley15's picture

I am intrigued by Dexter Williams.  He seems to be very interested in OSU from the articles I have read about him and his highlight tape is very impressive.

BuckeyeJ's picture

I also like Williams. I think he is a kid that will blow up during some camps this year. 

MAVBuck's picture

Great stuff Birm! Kilby-Lane the next RDS? Flying all over the field I can't help but be reminded of him. A huge get if he commits to the bucks!

osubuckeye4life's picture

So much talent in FL, I can't wait to see who else tOSU can land. Gibson would be a walk off home run but Gibson, Holland, Lane, &  Ridley would be out of the park game winning grand slam!! 

BuckeyeB9B82501's picture

I really like the intensity that players like Edwards, Kilby-Lane and Holland bring to the table. These kids (and others too) can flat out get to the ball AND lay the lumber too. Would really love to land these 3 and a few more too. Gibson is a str8 up stud and is a perfect fit at QB for Meyers Offense. Meyer has recruited better than I have seen any coach here at TOSU. He is a rock star in recruiting and I believe in him and his staff to get the job done. This really could be the start of something very special. Nobody thought Ohio State would go 24-2 in Meyers 1st 2 years here. We showed CFB that we are back and this will be the year to start THEE OHIO STATE dynasty. I truly believe this will be the year that starts it. 1st step is dominate early. 2nd dominate the B10. 3rd step win the B10 Championship decisively and earn our spot in the play-off. 4th step another decisive victory and an earned spot into the Title game. 5th ....... well we all know what this step is; go out and beat the opposition rite into the ground. Win the Naty !!!!!!!!!! I really think with the staff we have and with Meyer as the crown jewel piece. Then you mix all that with the scary talented players we have brought in and developed. All the pieces of the puzzle are there to win it all. I trust in Meyer to get it done and i think he will. OHIO STATE DYNASTY STARTS RITE NOW. Its a gr8 time to be a BUCKEYE:-D!!!! CFB BEWARE----THEM BUCKEYES ARE COMIN FOR YA!!! LOL 2014 & Beyond is our time. GO BUCKS!!!!!!

Buckeye Dynasty starts in 2014 baby !!!!!! GO BUCKS !!!!!!!! O - H - I - O

+1 HS
Shangheyed's picture

Would be nice to get a flagship player early... hope one of the 5 stars jumps early... then others can catch the wave...

+1 HS
Colerainbuck's picture

How can anyone NOT be excited about the Ben Edwards commitment? The way he attacks the ball and he doesn't tackle, he blows up the ball carrier. Very excited to see him patrolling the backside of our defense daring anyone to go ahead and make the catch!

+1 HS
TMac's picture

Great work Birm!  Hopefully UFM & Co pull a few great kids from FL to join the Buckeyes and win some National Championships! (Of course Plural!!)  GO BUCKS!

buckhead buck's picture

What, no Naples guys?

 

OSUpawn's picture

I hope to land one of these big names soon.  Nothing like having a peer help in the recruiting.

I believe the SEC players put their pants on one leg at a time like we do.

buckeyeradar's picture

Thanks Brim, great article.  To keep updating the kids from Florida has got to be a full time job.  Thanks for your hard work to keep us informed.

Buckeye in Texas

gutterwaste's picture

Sh'mar.  That is all.

BuckeyeJ's picture

My wish list:: Gibson, Edwards, Kilby-Lane, Patrick.

 

chili96's picture

Gibson has ridiculous speed and he was able to find the receiver in the back of the end-zone a couple times while he was scrambling. Seems like he's throwing off his back foot during scrambles. I don't know if this is an issue or not. He gets yardage in BIG chunks with his feet. Birm is right when he says that Gibson is a perfect fit for our offense.

mtrotb's picture

Interesting how this year they are making a huge push in Florida, while the past two years they didn't put forth this kind of effort.  Wonder why? This time last year they were making a big run into Georgia.  You would have thought that this kind of effort would have been from day 1.

mtrotb

luckynutz's picture

Im no expert, but I believe its been said that this is the first cycle that they have had the chance to get in at the ground floor with kids. Meaning they've had the chance to identify, evaluate and build relationships early. Its a big thing for these kids to leave the friendly confines down south. Its even bigger when you have the hometown schools in your ear everyday. And tthe alabamas, lsu's and other sec schools as well. Thats why the last few cycles have been hard...they are coming in late to the party, and have a lot of ground to make up. This year they've been able to get in and build relationships early, which is the biggest part of pulling kids so far from home.

DC-town's picture

Dude hits high though, so will have a nice collection of yellow flags unless he changes his target zone...Had a few helmet 2 helmet flags on his highlights-

The good is obviously the footstep echoes.  Not hatin, I love to see the guys with a mean streak, but I'm sik of watching our D try to make a highlight real hit only to see the guy bounce off and score 

'Piss excellence' -RB

DC-town's picture

Edwards that is

'Piss excellence' -RB

Whoa Nellie's picture

That's it Coach.  You go on down to FL and reel 'em in!

 

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”