Recruiting Updates: Alabama Rolls, Burrell, Clark, DeBerry, Edwards and More

By Jeremy Birmingham on April 20, 2014 at 12:00p
58 Comments

Welcome to the holiday edition, folks. I am sure you're all busy today doing family stuff so I won't bore you with introductions, because we all know one another, right? Here's what you need to know about this weekend's happenings in alphabetical order.

ALABAMA AND AUBURN annihilate

I've seen good recruiting days. Ohio State has had good recruiting days, I mean, just a little over a year ago Kyle Trout, Parris Campbell and eventual decommit Lawrence Marshall all committed to Ohio State within ten minutes of each other. That said, what Alabama did yesterday borders on the absurd. 

Nick Saban collected commitments from two five-star players (CB Minkah Fitzpatrick and WR Calvin Ridley,) two four-star players (DB Shawn Burgess-Becker and LB Leo Lewis) and will likely add another commitment from wide receiver Jovon Durante, who is currently committed to West Virginia. Not bad for a Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Oh yeah, huge Buckeye target Damien Harris was on hand for this commit-fest as well, but as of now he's fought off the urge to commit to O.J. Simpson (joke explanation here.) The Tide now have 13 commitments for 2015.

Down the dusty road from Tuscaloosa, Auburn had themselves a day as well. The Tigers made a big impression on 2016 Buckeye wide receiver target Nate Craig, in fact the potential 2016 five-star left claiming Auburn had moved into the lead for his recruitment. Oh yeah, Auburn also flipped Ben Edwards from Ohio State

BURRELL BEGINS BUCKEYE BANTER

A late addition to Ohio State's recruiting weekend, things couldn't have gone better with Matthew Burrell than they did. The Buckeyes made a major impression on Burrell and Ricky DeBerry, Jr., who he made the trip north with. 

A source close to the recruitment told Eleven Warriors that the "Crystal Ball" needs to be trending towards Ohio State for Burrell, and subsequently, it's started to. Burrell has been effusive with his praise for the visit, requesting immediate conversations with fellow Buckeye targets Chris Clark and Torrance Gibson, each of whom obliged. 

Whether or not Ohio State gets a commitment anytime soon from Burrell, I can't say. I know he's got a visit planned to Alabama soon, but the Buckeyes definitely moved themselves way up on his list.

CLARK'S COLUMBUS CRUSADE

It finally happened, Chris Clark visited the Buckeyes. The 6-foot-6, 247 pound tight end from Connecticut, formerly a North Carolina commit, had been discussing a trip to Buckeye country for some time and he — along with his father — finally made the visit. It came a day after the Clarks visited Michigan in Ann Arbor, another key visit as the nation's fifth-ranked tight end tries to situate his recruitment.

So what next? 

The visit went very well. The Buckeyes are likely to get another visit from Clark, and his mother, in the next month or so. The bad news? So will Brady Hoke and Michigan. He and his family will want to make return trips to each place before making a decision, which he hopes happens in June.

Stay tuned.

DEBERRY'S DAD DISCUSSES DECISION

As eluded to, Ricky DeBerry made his own long anticipated visit to Columbus on Thursday and Friday as well. While he's not near a decision at this point, DeBerry's father told 11W that this trip went better than they had hoped.

"It was very impressive," the elder DeBerry said. "More than we thought."

What stood out to him and his family?

"Meeting with Urban Meyer, the guy is so down-to-earth," he said of the Buckeyes head man. "His staff, the campus and the winning tradition there. Larry Johnson, Sr. is a great man."

DeBerry says he and his son will definitely be back to Ohio State, potentially for an official visit.

"We're going back for a game," DeBerry said of a possible return. "We're discussing whether or not it will be an official right now."

58 Comments

Comments

Buck Commander's picture

Nick Saban and everything about Alabama makes me wanna puke.........Saban is a puke face!

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

+6 HS
BuckRock's picture

No One ever truly wants to admit it but loosing to Clemson (who got demolished by FSU) and to not be the best team in the BIG 10. These are what the competition is telling the RECRUITS, you want to play in a weaker conference for a team that is not even the best in that weaker conference!  This is what Saban and others are using, along with the decommits of a 5 star LB from TX.  Recruits (18 yr old) kids eat this stuff up!   Sad but true. Only one thing matters; WIN WIN WIN, and you will get the Creme of the Crop!

bethesdabuck's picture

I believe you mean transfer of a 5 star LB. As for your logic of losing our last two games, so did Bama. 

+5 HS
BuckRock's picture

yes, but they have National Championships in there!

-1 HS
Larrinator's picture

Go Buckeyes

Larson

-9 HS
buckeyeradar's picture

If you have so little faith in Urban then go ahead and jump.

Buckeye in Texas

+1 HS
chicagobuckeye's picture

You need to put an edit here as to why people DV'd you. 

buckguyfan1's picture

It will be glorious when it's our time, just glorious. 

+4 HS
RunEddieRun1983's picture

It's definitely frustrating to watch the rich get richer.  Who knows where we go from here but by god we need a commit soon or The faith is going to be nearly impossible to restore.  We just need to remember we have one of the best staffs in the game as evidence by the haul the last two years

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

+1 HS
jonping67's picture

RunEddieRun - You need to either stop following recruiting, especially Urban style of recruiting, or take a chill pill. The 2015 class will be in the top 5 and more than likely in the top 3. Go to landgrantholyland.com and look at their 2015 class prediction, it will bring you some comfort my BuckeyeNation friend.

GO BUCKS!

+2 HS
RunEddieRun1983's picture

Jonping you need to keep up with the concept of opinions and how they differ from person to person.  Not that an explanation is necessary but when you read my post the underlying theme is that right now it's looking rather bleak but the idea is to remember that we have one of the best recruiting coaches of all time under the helm and we need to be patient.  Telling someone they need to "stop following recruiting" is a pretty ridiculous notion.  I didn't know you were the opinion police this week my friend.

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

+4 HS
cw823's picture

You're the one freaking out about no commits this week.  Take his advice, relax.

+1 HS
cinserious's picture

Speaking of the rich getting richer, how about we organize an Occupy Alabama in the middle of Tuscaloosa. Forrest Gump can be our keynote speaker. Just make sure Saban's cronies don't pull the plugs on our audio equipment.

Gone ham, be back soon...

+2 HS
703Buckeye's picture

You want to go down and spend time in Tuscaloosa? Be my guest. I'm staying in the safety of civilization.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

Braxton2Devin's picture

OSU might be Burrell's leader now, but expect Bama to be the clear front runner after he makes the visit down to Tuscaloosa

-10 HS
bodast67's picture

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is enamoured by Alabama. This young man was truly excited to visit here.

 

 

 

     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

+14 HS
bucknasty13's picture

I'm a Tampa bay rays fan and they scored sixteen runs within a 10 game stretch... The last two games 27 runs... Things can turn around very quickly

+2 HS
d1145fresh's picture

Tampa Bay Rays actually have fans not named Dickey V?  Wait.... Are you Dickey V?

+1 HS
m5987usus's picture

Lol the rays, the team that plays 162 road games a season! Lol

O-H!

+2 HS
Buckinthemiddle's picture

As Buckeye fans, optimism about recruiting is something we need. That being said, not every year is going to be a homerun in terms of recruiting. There is a huge discrepancy between optimism and reality. The team currently has the talent to play with and beat anyone in the country, but when it comes down to executing in big games they haven't stepped up. Out-recruiting Alabama is going to be nearly impossible for the foreseeable future considering what they've accomplished. That's not something we can/should worry about. The truth is Alabama got beat last year by two teams last year, who on paper have much less talent. Plain and simple, the Buckeyes MUST win big games for recruiting to step up to an elite level.

"I'm in favor of it" - John McKay, on the execution of his team.

+5 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Great comment about winning big games. Props to you for saying it. Truth is our track record in big games these past few years hasn't been great.

+2 HS
sivaDavis's picture

I love recruiting but I'm just excited to see the team this year. That's where my focus is.

"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

+2 HS
WhySoSerious's picture

Elite level? That's a little bit of a reach you think? Since being named the coach of OSU Urban has had top 3 recruiting classes. Limited numbers has the staff in selective mode, we will get ours and they will be elite. 

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

+6 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Agreed we need a commitment but we need the right commitment. 

+1 HS
PoKeY21's picture

Again I said it in a previous post: It's all about the OVERSIGNING down South. That's why Bama had 5 QBs going at their spring game and another QB transfer from FSU on the way this summer. Hopefully Urban doesn't stoop to that level recruits will figure it out sooner or later. They have just as much chance at getting cut cause of injury at Bama as they do at playing for a ship.

When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass - Robert Knight

-1 HS
Catch 5's picture

That sounds good and all for you, but Meyer has reportedly used medical scholarships 7 times since his arrival at OSU. Saban has used it 2 or 3 times in that same frame.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

cw823's picture

Meyer also reportedly poops the same way that Saban does.  reportedly.

-2 HS
Danify's picture

Hit an nerve with that comment Catch 5? I guess the truth hurts when you can't accept SEC's recruiting methods are less than moral.

Catch 5's picture

You guys keep repeating that till it makes you feel better.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

-4 HS
PoKeY21's picture

Catch 5 you are ignorantly just making things up! Saban had 6 medical hardships in 2010 and 2011 alone. Also on top of the 6 medicals he had 16 players that either transferred, quit, or was ineligible. That's 22 players from just 2 recruiting classes that was oversigned! It ridiculous, he offers these 17-18 year old kids knowing full well they would be better off elsewhere but still signs them out of spite. Saban goes into every summer looking for ways to make cuts to the roster. Just because he uses different terminology doesn't mean they aren't being forced out. Saban is depriving these kids of growth and development for his own self interest and it is disgusting. But go ahead Catch keep living in that fantasy world with your eyes wide shut!

When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass - Robert Knight

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Saban also has former players speaking out about how the medical hardships went down.  Some of those players feel they were healthy enough to continue playing.  

allinosu's picture

I would imagine the talk on the recruiting trail goes like this; If you go to Ohio State there is good chance you will get red shirted. Hell they had 19 last year with some being 4* so don't believe it when Urban says at OSU we don't look to red shirt. If you come here you will probably play early. With PSU situation with depth I imagine that's being said a lot and they are biting. That would be a smart pitch.

+4 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

I agree, in part. Urban kinda put his foot in his mouth so to speak on the redshirting.

+3 HS
Unky Buck's picture

I wouldn't say he put his foot in his mouth. It's all a matter of interpretation. He said they don't look to redshirt and if you're ready to play, you will play. That's not giving them a clear path to playing time without earning it. If they don't earn it, maybe a redshirt year is necessary. Last year quite a few redshirts were necessary. Not to say that isn't being used against him, but he never said he wouldn't redshirt anyone.

...

plastic punisher's picture

Patience, this year will be the year that the silver bullets return and the offense will be as good as last year with more weapons. With better coaching and better play calling on both sides of the ball will lead us to a big ten title then the justice we have dreamed of against the SEC and whoever might be in our way in the playoffs.This will be the actual beginning of our dynasty and the beginning of the end for Mr. Saban. Our recruiting will be like Alabama then it will snowball. We owe Mr. Saban for 1998 and the loss of a championship. Urban has only just begun. Never lose faith in his hunger. He is a born and bred buckeye. GO BUCKS!!!!!!!

+2 HS
jonping67's picture

From your lips to Gods ear Plastic Punisher!  This will be the year we click on all cylinders and not only win a B1G championship, but also knock off the top SEC school in the playoff.

Let's play some football - Shit, August can't come soon enough.

cw823's picture

Wrong.  We owe that to John Cooper's famous requirement of "establishing the run".  Saban just happened to be the coach that watched OSU beat themselves that day.  Giving Saban any credit is absurd

-2 HS
RBuck's picture

So what if we don't get many of the 5 stars. Look at all of them who were busts. We've got great coaches who can develop players. We'll get a few big names eventually.

Go Bucks.

 

 

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

cdub4's picture

I would like to get as many 5 stars as we can. 4 stars and 3 stars bust at a higher rate.

-1 HS
nm_buck's picture

It ain't how you recruit in terms of the ratings... it's who you recruit, and what you do with them once they're onboard.  Awful lot of 3 stars we've recruited who ended up All Americans over the last 10-15 years.  There's also a few 5 stars that for whatever reason never quite worked out.  

Too early to panic.

+2 HS
Larrinator's picture

Can you name any off the top of your head? I'm just curious who were the ones that went from 3 star to All Americans. I didn't start following recruiting very closely till the past couple years. 

Larson

Buckeye5000's picture

A.J. Hawk

Go Bucks!

+1 HS
chitown buckeye's picture

James Lauriniatis, Malcolm Jenkins, John Simon, Big Hankins, to name a few. I also think AJ Hawk was a 3* as well. 

"I'm having a heart attack!"

+6 HS
Eph97's picture

A kid from NJ going all the way to Alabama is something you just have to SMH. Not to be too sour grapes about it, but the first thing that came to mind hearing about Fitzpatrick and Edwards decommiting was that article about how SEC boosters operate. 

+2 HS
NYCBuckeye's picture

And when a kid from the South goes all the way to Ohio? (Vonn Bell, Raekwon, Dixon).

Yeah, SMH. OSU boosters must operating

As Urban said when he was hired, the SEC is hot right now. Great campuses, stadiums, facilities, traditions, rivalries, etc. People here who cant give Saban/Malzhan/Franklin credit without accusing kids of accepting money is reminiscent of petulant, envious Big 10 fans who get upset when OSU flips a recruit or gets one previously thought to be a long shot.

+6 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Fitzpatrick has a lot of close family living in Alabama.

HotSauceCommittee's picture

Saban has an outstanding track record for success at Bama and for putting players in the league. Easy to bash the SEC and their tactics. Sometimes it ain't the ride its simply the destination.

+3 HS
Larrinator's picture

There have only been 3 NFL Pro Bowlers to come from Alabama in the past 6 years. They might get to the NFL but they aren't very successful there. 

Larson

nikolajz1's picture

OSU hasn't had any Pro Bowlers of late though...

+5 HS
sivaDavis's picture

Nick Mangold this past year, 2014.. and Donte Whitner in 2013

"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

HotSauceCommittee's picture

Hyde getting selected early, Shazier and Mewhort getting drafted will help.

+1 HS
Hayze's picture

Burrell is supposedly supposed to be visiting with Tim Settle for some Columbus football camp sometime in late May.

I also think if we get Craig on campus this summer before he decides (like he said he would), we'd be the team to beat. Kid loves Meyer.

Osurrt's picture

Get Burrell here ASAP......he may be the "coordinator" that we are missing at this time like DWebb was last year. Sounds like he has the ears of some other top-notched recruits. And we just need one of the LB recruits to pull the trigger soon and I believe another one or two will join ASAP.

+2 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

Alabama is creative at creating cap space for top free agents recruits. Ditto Auburn

-5 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

Meh, we ended up with a top 1-2 recruiting class last year, not worried. We just need to win on the field and all will be settled. I'd rather have a kid decommit or flip now than on or near NSD. 

Barnsey69's picture

Alabama and Auburn are hot with recruits because they are winning titles, and the $EC gets a ton of media coverage. OSU can and does compete with them any day on the recruiting trail, but we need to win some titles. Winning titles garners the most attention, so no better time than the present!

Go Bucks!

I am a modern-art masterpiece.

+1 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

2 years under Urban with no B1G title and no bowl win.  I'm not complaining at all because we have seen a lot of success on the field and on the recruiting trail, but kids are looking at the programs that are going to get them rings.