Analyzing the Lack of 2015 Football Commitments

By John Brandon on May 20, 2014 at 3:00p
57 Comments

Western Michigan, Texas-San Antonio and Tulane.

What do they have in common? They all have better recruiting classes than Ohio State right now according to 247Sports ratings. As we advance further into 2014 the question needs to continue to be raised, why are the Buckeyes struggling to land commitments and should fans be concerned about the class?

I think there are a few possible explanations for why the Buckeyes do not have more commitments at this stage. At this point last year, Ohio State had eight commits for the 2014 class: Damon Webb, Kyle Trout, Dylan Thompson, Sam Hubbard, Parris Campbell, Kyle Berger, Marcelys Jones and Dante Booker (who committed on 5/23 but we'll include him here for argument's sake). Of the eight, six of them were from Ohio - which leads into my first explanation.

It's a two-fold issue in my mind, Ohio's class is not nearly as strong as it was last year and the Buckeyes have not recruited Ohio as well this year. Last year, Ohio State had already secured four of the top seven players in Ohio by this point. This year they only have one (Eric Glover-Williams). It could be a matter of time before Jerome Baker pulls the trigger, but none of the top eight players in Ohio are sure things to be Buckeyes.

So why hasn't Ohio State had as much success recruiting Ohio? Well, for one thing, they haven't recruited Ohio as hard because it isn't a particularly strong Ohio class. That, combined with Crawford and Froholdt committing elsewhere early, has left Ohio State with fewer than usual Ohio targets. This is contributing to the Buckeyes' low number of commits, because many of the early commitments are local prospects committing to a local school and national targets tend to have longer recruitments.

The other main explanation for why Ohio State hasn't landed as many commits comes down to the fact that there isn't much pressure to commit to Ohio State right now. We have talked about this toward the end of recruiting periods, but as the class fills up there is more pressure to jump on board and secure a spot in the class. Right now, the opposite effect is taking place. Because Ohio State doesn't have many commits there isn't any pressure to secure a spot in the class, so kids are taking more time to explore their options because they can.  Picking a college is a tough choice, and everyone wants to make sure they are making the right decision. With no real pressure to make a decision sooner rather than later, prospects can take their time and make sure they are making the right choice.

Going right along with this, the Buckeyes need to create some positive momentum and a leader needs to step up in the class. If the Buckeyes can string together a couple of commitments and start to form the same kind of bond and class leadership that we saw in last year's class, commitments will start pouring in again.

So should Buckeye fans be concerned about where the class ends? In short, not at all.

There are several prospects that will almost certainly be Buckeyes in the near future, and the staff has positioned themselves well with countless elite players. If you're still in "panic-mode" about this class, check out Birm's most recent offense and defense class predictions, they should be rather comforting.

news and notes

57 Comments

Comments

JDunc686's picture

I'm not worried about the class not ending up as a great class but I yearn for a commitment the same way you want to open up Christmas presents early.  You know that they are still going to be there Christmas morning, but we want them now!

+6 HS
UrbanIAmLegend2012's picture

Personally, I like seeing recruits choose The Ohio State University on national television. 

+2 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I just like recruits choosing Ohio State.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+7 HS
Hovenaut's picture

 

I am not the Last Dragon, therefore I do not possess the power of the Glow.

+8 HS
d1145fresh's picture

I was just thinking this article is almost trolling the 11w's followers.

+3 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Well D114fresh, just look at some of the comments of the 11Wers and you'll understand why this article was necessary. Whether it relieves anxiety for some, is another question.

This is Ohio Fricking State. No need to panic.

 

 

d1145fresh's picture

Ohio State is having a slow recruiting year?!?!? I haven't heard that anywhere yet.

 

I just don't see the need to worry right now. If OSU is still at 2 commits midway through the season then I will be worried some.

+2 HS
Buckeye06's picture

I won't be worried even if OSU finishes with 10 commits.  That just means they can take more next year and kids will want to be Buckeyes because they see more opportunities.

I can spin it anyway I want like pizza dough

+2 HS
Earle's picture

So should Buckeye fans be concerned about where the class ends? In short, not at all.

I respectfully disagree:

 

Italics are for emphasis.

+8 HS
stevebelliseeya's picture
 I've used all my reaction gifs up sadly...

 

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool

+6 HS
Earle's picture

 

Italics are for emphasis.

+6 HS
stevebelliseeya's picture

Not directed at you sir!! I just couldn't find a good reaction gif I hadn't used so I gave up...

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool

BrooklynBuckeye's picture

The leader argument is really interesting. A kid should obviously be allowed to make the biggest decision (yet) in his life in whatever way he chooses. But if he is an elite recruit and wants to compete for a national championship, his odds of doing that improve if he is a member of an elite recruiting class. His odds of being a member of an elite recruiting class improve if he commits early. So now a kid potentially has to choose between what type of team he wants to play for in college, and in what way he wants to make his announcement. The two aren't unrelated.

Even if a kid KNOWS he wants to go to Ohio State, he may also have dreamed of announcing at an All-Star game since he was little (this dream is probably increasingly more common as the hype surrounding recruiting and the all-star games has grown exponentially within their lifetime). There is also the possibility of secret agreements with fellow recruits, which seemed like it was the case with Pryor and the Brew Crew. Could Gibson have similar talks with Kirk and Harris? Possibly. But those agreements don't always hold up. Raekwon talked really early on the process about wanting to play with 10 or so guys that he talked with a lot. I don't think he mentioned many names, but I think one of them was Barker. I would bet he didn't end up at school with most of them. If he had commited to OSU a year earlier than he did, that may have played out differently.

All I'm saying is being a leader of a class is even more pressure to put on a kid, which seems nearly impossible in recruiting.

+1 HS
LouGroza's picture

Want to hear from those that were "worried" mid-May once this class is filled. No reason for it not to be full of great recruits just like Urbans previous classes. Guess some people just like to worry. I definitely know a few that do. Life is too short for all that. Except, of course, for the close football games, in the fourth quarter, now that's when we worry.

+1 HS
Knarcisi's picture

If OH is not as strong, less focus on OH is a good thing.  We're fine.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

It's May.  This is Ohio State and Urban Meyer is the head coach.  Remember when TTUN had the best class going at this time last year?  Did they finish #1?

Deciding where to go to college isn't easy.  Even as a big Buckeye fan growing up, OSU wasn't exactly the no-brainer choice for me from day one.  It really didn't become a no-brainer until my senior year of high school, when I decided that I wanted to major in accounting.  And these prospects not only have to consider what they want to study, but also where they're most comfortable playing football.

Class of 2010.

Groveport Heisman's picture

We will finish in the top 20 off of name of school and coach alone. I will raise my hand and proclaim I will be highly disappointed with just a top 20 class. Not when Ive been spoiled to top 5 classes for the last few years. I know the talent pool isn't as deep this year in Ohio but even some of the Nationally rated kids in our foundation state got slow played. Hopefully lesson will be learned for future endeavors. Not saying there isnt a chance we cant reel them back in but watching top notch Ohio kids commit to our bitter rivals out of spite of us slow playing them absolutely burns me a new asshole.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

+2 HS
toad1204's picture

We have a leader in the wings, he's just slow playing it to crush Tennessee hearts when he commits.  And watching that meltdown is going to be like watching Purdue learn who the real Kenny G is.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+1 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

you know when coke first came out, it was so awesome it made other sodas taste like piss water! It was so great that once you had it, you expected all sodas to taste that good. and when they didn't you wondered why you just can't have a Coke because its the best and every next soda has to be as good or you are disappointed.

yet, its still soda and not piss water. Just because its not as good as Coke, the best ever when if first came out, doesn't mean you are drinking something worst than soda. Regular soda is still better than nothing right?

so just because OSU got the best all around class ever, with multiple early leaders helping the recruiting process, doesn't mean the same thing will happen this year. or next year. Not every class will have Damon Webb or Meechy in it. They are rare recruits that you hope come around every so often. To expect that every year is a mistake. 2015 can't live up to 2014.

My point being, to expect something so great to happen again will just lead to you drinking piss water!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

-1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

you know when coke first came out, it was so awesome it made other sodas taste like piss water! It was so great that once you had it, you expected all sodas to taste that good. and when they didn't you wondered why you just can't have a Coke because its the best and every next soda has to be as good or you are disappointed.

The cocaine probably had a lot to do with that.

+16 HS
D-Day0043's picture

She don't lie!

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

+1 HS
otrain2416's picture

Recruiting is kinda like dating. The confident guys (OSU) go after the best looking girls ( 4 and 5 star national recruits) and put a lot of time and effort to make them feel special and show them why OSU is a great fit for them. While the less confident teams are willing to throw on their beer goggles, lower their standards, and accept commitments from lesser attractive woman. 

+3 HS
D-Day0043's picture

Didn't Old Dirty Bastard say something to the affect of, "If you can't f**k a ten, at least f**k five two's?"

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

+8 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

George Carlin.

It's all bullshit and it's bad for ya.

How many cheeseburgers are you gunna drive into that dirty old cheeseburger locker Brady Hoke?

Poison nuts's picture

MSU's beer goggles worked out pretty good last year though...

 

(by the way - this is really just a joke about beer googles. I think OSU should continue it's hunt for the prettiest girls best players)

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

Eph97's picture

To use an eating analogy the fat and indiscriminate (Hoke) feast on the buffet at Golden Corral while those of taste and refinement take their time at the finer dining establishments.

ArizonaBuckeye's picture

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't just a little worried, considering by this time last year we had 4x the number of recruits. However, I just have too much faith in UFM and Co. for them not to capitalize and bring in another top 10 class.
 

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." -Woody Hayes-

+2 HS
Barnsey69's picture

I agree with your reasoning for the most part, but I definitely think Franklin and others are using the Mitchell situation, and maybe even the alleged confrontation between Meyer/Vrabel and subsequent departure, to create a negative-narrative of for potential recruits that may be working. That being said, this is also a case of feeding the monkey. In that we Buckeye fans are so spoiled by the year-in-year-out recruiting successes of Tressel and Meyer, that a slow start seems inconceivable and must signal something is wrong. I think it is conceivable that we might end up having a down year IF we miss out on some of our high value targets, but until that is a reality...step.away.from.the.edge.

In Meyer we trust! Go Bucks!

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

+1 HS
jedkat's picture

 

“The teams that don’t respect their coaches and don’t trust their coaches are the teams that go .500"
~Zach Boren

+5 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

This is THE Ohio State University. I am never worried. They will come.  'nuff said. 

Go Bucks!

+2 HS
Jeremypreemo81's picture

That's right GO1BUCKS!!  They will come and we will win.  UFM has spoiled us fans with two top classes. He has a plan...we can sit back and watch the magic happen. 

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

3 top 3 classes.

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

+1 HS
Bamabucknut's picture

I would think the number of players we just sent to the NFL would be  powerful recruiting tool.

gbdawg's picture

In Urban I trust

EDUGOON's picture

Will be just fine come mid-season. No worries. I understand the anxiety that most have about not having landed anyone in sometime. But remember slow and steady wins the race!!!

On another note it seems like Auburn,Clemson and Tennessee have gotten committments from next to everyone that is out there. I foresee over a serious numbers issue coming the road for all three of those programs. 

I also wonder how many of those PSU commits stick after the lousy season they have on deck. They seriously have nothing but leftovers and in coming freshmen. I think many will reconsider PSU and that will be music to UFM ears.

"We Don't Believe You, You Need More People"- Hova #GOBUCKS #FreeElGuapo #Famthik

-1 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

On another note it seems like Auburn,Clemson and Tennessee have gotten committments from next to everyone that is out there. I foresee over a serious numbers issue coming the road for all three of those programs.

When will we ever see numbers issues at a school South of the Mason-Dixon Line?

+2 HS
whobdis's picture

Im not as worried about numbers as I am over securing a stud qb. Collier may be a diamond in the rough but he is still a project. Still not sure about our two backups. Kind of amazed really as I thought qb's would be lining up to play for Urban.

+1 HS
OSU_1992_UFM's picture

Dont forget JT Barrett or Danny Clark (2017)

UFM_Renewal

buckguyfan1's picture

Strike up some Bob Marley you crazy bunch of bastards!!!!

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Calm down - I think Urban's record speaks for itself!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Ball-Z-Buck's picture

I think we should be concerned.... very concerned. Alabama the program everyone is chasing isn't having an issue recruiting nationally and they aren't the only program experiencing success. What ever the reason is it need to be corrected and soon.

-1 HS
IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

See "bagmen" and "Bama players getting corvettes" for your answer.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

+1 HS
Eph97's picture

This class needs an Oberyn Martell to stop The Mountain in Happy Valley.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

PSU = Stannis Baratheon

Cold, unfeeling & devoid of a sense of humor; convinced of having the moral authority....while simultaneously committing unspeaking acts of horror.

+2 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

WHY MUST I WAIT ANOTHER WEEK.

How many cheeseburgers are you gunna drive into that dirty old cheeseburger locker Brady Hoke?

Poison nuts's picture

There is one big reason for all the worry about recruiting...It's the off season & there's nothing else to worry about. The fact that this is article number 47,322 telling people not to worry is proof that not much happens in the off season besides recruiting news & people want to hear something. I just can't wait for the thread that happens after the next commit - which I bet it will be the most lively & happy thread around here I a long, long time.

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

+1 HS
cinserious's picture

The Buckeye's 2015 class seems to be kind of a 'tweener. Sandwiched between the phenomenal '13 class/'14 class and the impending '16 class loaded with Ohio talent and Danny Clark's '17 class. The '15 class is projected to be smallish and Oho talent is low this year so Urban has the luxury of being super-selective with putting this class together.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

+1 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

This!! Great classes don't happen by chance! We put a lot a lot of chips into last year's class, and certainly somewhat at the expense of this class.

Often times there is just as much communication between a coach and his senior prospect as his sophomore/junior prospects. It all depends on the talent level + fit.

Look at *ichigan, their last 4 classes have had pretty nice cumulative point totals. Has that translated to any on field production?

No, because they are simply taking the "hot girl" and enjoying their time with her before they inevitably fudge things up. We don't just take the "hot girl" because we consider ourselves lucky. We take the hot girl, break her into submission, and have her making us sandwiches by week 2. And then more hot girls are fighting over us because they see how hot our current girl is.

How many cheeseburgers are you gunna drive into that dirty old cheeseburger locker Brady Hoke?

+2 HS
cinserious's picture

Genius! I wish I learned how to do that 20 years ago.
 

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

RBuck's picture

We built it, they will come.

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

pdan46's picture

I am not concerned about numbers.  I am a little concerned about the fact that the Staff seems to be slow recruiting some very good Ohio players like Conner and Burrow, who play positions of need.  Mostly, I am concerned about the effect on Ohio Coaches and future star players of slow recruiting or not recruiting Ohio players now.

Meyer's recruiting history is one of amazing success.  We will end up with a top 10, and possibly a top 5 class.  I have no doubt about that.  Just worried about the long term impact of not emphasizing Ohio kids.

gobucks96's picture

It's MAY!!!!! Name the glaring weaknesses we will have if we don't sign another person to this team. Could we look for some talent upgrades or depth, yep. But the past two classes have addressed weaknesses the team had. If they grabbed the right commits (QB, TE, DT, DE, &  LB) they would be fine, IMHO. I've got other things to worry about.

Toilrt Paper's picture

Ohio State's embarrassing last 3 games of the year, 2 of which were the biggest games since Urban has arrived, has taken the luster off Urban/Ohio State football. Notre Dame is always a factor in the mid-west with kids from Catholic High school programs. Michigan State/Dantonio is now a preferred destination for top Mid-West defensive players. The failures made it more difficult to compete with SEC schools for top Southern high school players. Florida State is now as big of deal as it was 10-12 years ago. Texas A&M is now just as big of a player in the South-West as Texas and Oklahoma always have been. Penn State is now getting good players from the Mid-West and East again and will continue to get more as their sanctions are.lifted. Stanford and UCLA are once again preferred destinations of West Coast players. Tennessee is turning things around. Kentucky is even getting players that they NEVER would have in the past.

What has happened around the country In the past 2 years has made it MUCH MUCH more difficult to recruit 5 and 4 star players outside of the State of Ohio. Overnight it has become MUCH MUCH more difficult for Urban to get Top Five classes. Nothing here is a flash in the pan, it is the real world

More than ever it is an imperative that Urban and his staff VIGOROUSLY recruit and offer early the Top 20 players in the Mid-West and and Top Ten in Ohio.

Be realistic, the recruiting landscape has changed significantly, maybe forever. At least until Ohio State wins a few Big Ten Titles in a row, wins their Bowl games and makes it to the National Championship Playoffs on a regular basis.. OR must a school regularly get Top 5 Classes to do that? Which comes first, "the chicken or the egg"?

+1 HS
NitroBuck's picture

I can't find much fault in what you've said, but keep in mind that your view is a snapshot of the present.  There are many other factors at play here, none more unavoidable than recruiting being cyclical.  It is a down year in Ohio, but that will change.  Just as it does in other parts of the country.

Several posts have hit on numerous reasons for the current situation.  Some have been overlooked, such as lost recruiting inertia due to half of the defensive coaching staff being replaced.  Another is the fact that after 3 successive top 5 recruiting hauls, Ohio State is loaded (stacked) with a lot of great young talent.  I have no doubts that this will affect the decisions of some recruits.

Most importantly, all is not gloom and doom.  Urban and Company may be a bit behind the usual commitments schedule, but it is still only May.  We are still fairly early in the process, and OSU typically picks up a number of commitments during the Camps in June.  While you make a great point about our recent poor performance on defense seems to lead Sparty into being the prime destination for Mid-Western defensive talent, keep in mind that Urban made some strong moves to correct that problem.  I have every reason to believe we will witness greatly improved performance in the back 7 this coming season, which should reverse that trend of Sparty having an advantage.  Even if OSU does indeed have a soft recruiting class this year, not much is lost.  We will come back strong next year, in what looks to be a stronger year for Ohio talent.  One thing is sure, nothing stays the same when it comes to recruiting.

Ferio.  Tego.

NitroBuck's picture

BTW, I too am irritated with UK's recruiting success, especially in Ohio.  Stoops had a lot of strong contacts here, so it is not surprising he is finding Ohio talent.  It does not affect Ohio State much, as UK is generally getting guys that Urban is not after.  What bothers me is Kentucky is now siphoning off Mid-western talent that would typically go to other B1G schools.  So while it does not have much direct impact on us, it does hurt the Big Ten.  It is the indirect damage of further weakening the B1G that concerns me.

Ferio.  Tego.