Football Recruiting: Updates on Tommy Stevens, C.J. Conrad, Rob Dowdy and More

By Jeremy Birmingham on March 11, 2014 at 5:00p

Good afternoon folks, it's Tuesday night and we're talking Buckeye recruiting. Spring break is upon Ohio State's campus, but that doesn't mean anyone is resting and sipping a pinã colada, so neither than can we. There are a number of small stories happening today before students get back on campus, so let's take a look.


Everyone knows the names Torrance Gibson, Brandon Wimbush, Jarrett Stidham and Lorenzo Nunez. Those four are "the" guys it seems, in Ohio State's search for a top 2015 quarterback. Stidham, who committed to Texas Tech over the weekend, is essentially off the list, so the Buckeyes search has begun expanding. Next week, they'll host Indianapolis Decatur quarterback Tommy Stevens (pictured above,) and he's an interesting player that Ohio State fans should keep an eye on.

Stevens is 6-foot-4, 200 pounds and runs in the 4.6-4.7 range, so he has the physical tools that make him an intriguing prospect. He's recently picked up offers from Michigan State, N.C. State, Iowa, Purdue and more and would like to impress the Buckeyes in person. He's being recruited by Tom Herman, his positional coach recruiting him rather than the regional recruiter for Indiana, so it's possible Ohio State's interest could be increasing. Stevens will visit on March 18th and he'll check out Penn State, Michigan State and Vanderbilt in the next week as well. 



Lagrange (Ohio) tight end C.J. Conrad picked up his 12th offer on Monday, earning a scholarship from Bret Bielema and Arkansas. That offer, Conrad's second from the SEC (Bet you a dollar you can guess the other without looking,) is his "biggest" to date, and one he hopes opens the door for some more elite programs. This past weekend, Conrad visited Michigan for the second time, and while the Wolverines continue to hint at a possible offer, they have not yet extended the scholarship to the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Conrad.

Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State are the schools Conrad says he is hoping to earn offers from, but up until now, no one from that group has made the pitch. As with Nick Conner, the lack of offers from that group might be helping the Buckeyes, providing them with a bit more time for evaluation. Conrad is the nation's 8th-ranked tight end, a position that Ohio State is recruiting hard for 2015, and I think that he'll see a Buckeye offer at some point.

According to Conrad, he's focusing on "what he can control," and working hard to make sure he's ready for his senior season, no matter what happens in recruiting.


In the last week, Westerville South (Columbus) offensive lineman Rob Dowdy picked up offers from Michigan State and the University of Miami, two more major offers for the talented in-state lineman. Ohio State has continued to stay in touch with Dowdy, but at this point no offer has been extended, meaning Warren (Ohio) offensive lineman James Daniels remains the only true offensive lineman in the state with a Buckeye offer.

I've talked a bit with Dowdy recently, and he's nowhere near ready to make a decision so the Buckeyes — as is the usual with in-state prospects — are in no hurry to finalize their evaluations. Dowdy's offer list is impressive, and Ohio State's needs along the offensive line are well documented. With players like Sterling Jenkins looking less and less likely to end up in Columbus, will the Buckeyes make a move on the local kid sometime soon? Ohio State is one school that Dowdy says he'd really like an offer from along with the Georgia Bulldogs.


On Monday, Memphis (Tenn.) star offensive lineman Drew Richmond who has offers from upwards of 10,000 schools, cut his school choices down to 11. As expected, Ohio State made the list for Richmond, and they've been one of the favorites to land the four-star tackle for quite some time. 

What other schools have made the cut? Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Memphis, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee and UCLA. Pretty good group, right? It's nice to be loved, and Richmond's talent, along with his attitude, have made him one of the hottest prospects in the country. Ohio State was his childhood favorite, but the Buckeyes will have their work cut out for them against a host of the nation's best programs. Richmond will announce his college choice on September 9th.


Unlike a number of schools, Ohio State has gone away from one or two designated "junior days," focusing instead of having the nation's key prospects visit when they have time to do so. Occasionally that approach will make off-season recruiting seem "slow," and occasionally, like next weekend, it will bring together a special group of players. 

Who are the Buckeyes expecting next weekend? How about this list: 

DE Darius Fullwood 
Patrick Allen 
DB Jordan Whitehead
TE Chris Clark
RB LJ Scott
OL Simon Stepaniak
OL James Daniels
LB Josh Barajas

Of that list, only Barajas and Stepaniak don't already have a Buckeye offers, but Barajas could be on his way to one. He's an incredibly talented player who has offers from Michigan and Notre Dame already. He's the top player in the state of Indiana for 2015. Ohio State's got their first big weekend of the year, and it's likely more names will be added to that list, so stay tuned.


Comments Show All Comments

osubuck57's picture

So much for smaller groups visiting. Nice read as always Birm. That is a pretty nice group of young men. Fullwood, Allen, Clark, and Daniels


buckeyeradar's picture

Thanks again Birm for keeping us close to the action.  Do you think we would take two tight ends if we should happen to get Clark?

I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box but I'm one of the most colorful.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I think they'd love to take two TEs in the class for 2015.

Ahh Saturday's picture

Saw a couple surprising Crystal Ball picks today for Clark to Texas Tech.  Anything to it?

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

That would be a surprise, they've not been in the group of schools he's ever mentioned when we've talked and there's a few that he does talk about pretty regularly.

bucknut8's picture

Dowdy, Conner & Conrad. 3 of the Ohio kids I want to see in this class. Im all for a small Ohio class for 2015 as long as it has
Hilliard, Baker, EGW, Conner, Conrad, D. Jones, & Dowdy. only 7 guys. I wish Larry Scott would get his grades up so he could be the #8 Ohio player. I honestly wouldnt mind George Brown Jr either.

Im not high on Shaun Crawford at all and the foreign exchange student isnt counted as an Ohio prospect in my book. Im also not as high on the Dowell brothers

Has anyone heard on Isiah Scott from Hubbard? Is he Larry's brother?


BuckeyeSouth's picture

So the Buckeyes are the only northern school in the mix for Richmond?  Birm, does that hurt or help our chances landing him?

Champions.  Undisputed.  

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Ohio State is - for an intents and purposes - an SEC school located in Ohio. Drew grew up a Buckeye fan, he loves Ohio State and they've been in on him for a LONG time. They've done the work, just need to keep impressing upon him how valuable he is to the overall success of their class.

Buckeye Elite's picture

Should we be on GREY BOX watch this weekend!!

"Clear eyes, Full heart, Can't lose!"
                                  - Friday Night Lights

+1 HS
BuckeyeJ's picture

YEP!!! Cause when Combs and LJ talk then Meyer enters the room--------you ask "wheres the wall you want me to go through"!!!

+1 HS
Lawver_5's picture

I really liked watching Tommy Steven's film. He seems like a pretty athletic kid, and I like that he's a QB that plays defense for his team too.

+1 HS
route4buckeye's picture

At this point you would have to say Wimbush is impossible to get. I'll take Stevens over any other prospect for the 2nd quarterback in this class behind Gibson.

I wish we would just offer CJ Conrad...

buckeyebowhunter's picture

I watched Stevens video twice.  I think his video is the most impressive I've seen this year.  Gibson's has the wow factor, but Stevens looks like a complete quarterback.  He appears to be hard nosed, quick for a guy his size, and does a fantastic job in the read option.  Officially impressed. I'd offer him and call it a year at QB if he committed.  

+1 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

Our old 11W friend Alex has Stevens Crystal-balled to MSU.  Hopefully his visit opens his eyes.

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Good chance that MSU will make a hard sell since they will likely not take Jayru Campbell, but it's very early in Stevens' recruitment and he's not seen half of the offers he's going to.

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Birm... I read in Quick Bits the other day that Torrance Gibson has struggled at a few camps recently and has been moved to WR. Does the OSU staff see him as a guy waiting behind Barrett for a few years? 

The reason I am asking is because I feel we should find a more polished QB and not another ATH to play QB. If they plan o. Him sitting behind Barrett then obviously they'll have time to groom him. 

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

7-on-7 camps are not the ideal scenario for Gibson to make plays from the quarterback position. It's a pocket-passer specialty, and Gibson is a few years away solely as a passer. The goal for his team is to win those tournaments, so putting him at WR might make the team a bit better. In a real game, when a QB is able to use his legs as well as his arm, Gibson becomes a totally different - and much more viable - homerun threat on every play.

Squirrel Master's picture

I'm sorry but Stevens throws ducks, isn't an elite runner and his play just looks plain damn ugly!

reminds me of another guy like that who won Nattys for Urban! GET HIM!

seriously he isn't as pretty as the others guys but he seems to have that knack for making plays out of nothing and with nothing. His very first throw was a scramble out of a sack and then this wobbly duck to a streaking receiver! and it was right where it needed to be to make the play. That and the skill at zone read, that is the obvious reason he is on the radar,

he could be very close to "the Tebow Position"...

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
MacG91's picture

Im sold on Tommy Stevens, Looks like a gamer, not afraid of contact and his highlights reminded me of Donavon McNabb. 


DenBuck's picture

We need to latch onto the first QB ASAP and then wait on Gibson. The big question is, who will it be? 

Buckeye For Life

BuckeyeJ's picture

I like Stevens!!! Big, takes hits and is hard to bring down on first contact. Big upside is that he is 6-4 190 and runs a 4.7,

 Birm here is my ?. Has the bus already left on Nunez?? He is Crystal Balled 100% to us. To me i want Gibbson and Stevens.

+1 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Nunez - in my opinion - will absolutely not be a Buckeye.

M Man's picture

How many scholarships in your 2015 class?

+1 HS
John Brandon's picture

looking at taking 22-23 or so

sivaDavis's picture

John what are you doing!? Can't you tell that he's obviously a spy looking to bring information back to those guys on that other blog! Leave here, spy!!!

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
SaudiBuckeye's picture

I like Stevens. His elusiveness, acceleration and throwing on the run really stand out for me, which I would think it is quite hard to defend.  The only thing that made me twinge was his carrying of the ball like a loaf of bread and not tucking it in early enough.

His recruiting being led by Hermann tells me that they see in him a guy that can really open up this offense even more it is now.

JakeStevensIsSwag's picture

When will Hilliard take a visit? Spring game?

Buckeye fan from PA

Shangheyed's picture

Would be nice to get a big name recruit or two to start building around... ideally get at least one on board this weekend!!