Recruiting Notebook: Branden Bowen Visit Recap, Small Class Size Expectations

By 11W Staff on June 27, 2014 at 3:00p

One month ago, Ohio State received its third commitment of the 2015 class in quarterback Joey Burrow. Today, the Buckeyes have 10 commitments and face a more enviable problem: too many recruits want to commit to OSU.

While everyone waits for Justin Hilliard's decision next Wednesday, let's talk about some other recruiting news.

Three-Star Lineman Bowen Offered?

As mentioned in Monday's recruiting notebook, three-star Utah offensive lineman Branden Bowen was hoping to land an Ohio State offer during a scheduled visit that took place on Wednesday.

Before the visit, offensive line coach Ed Warinner told Bowen that the only holdup on an offer was Urban Meyer seeing him in person. After meeting with Meyer and Warinner on Wednesday, Bowen left unsure whether he had an offer from The Ohio State University.

"[Meyer] told me because of limited scholarships that I wouldn't be able to commit right then and there," Bowen told Eleven Warriors. "But if I wanted to play there he would make that happen."

"So I guess it's kind of an offer," the Utah native said.

Judging by his Twitter, it appears Bowen enjoyed his experience at Ohio State. He flew into Columbus a day before his scheduled visit, which gave him a chance to check out the campus. Bowen also had a chance to visit the facilities, of which he posted a few pictures on his Twitter.

"It was good," he said of his visit to Ohio State. "I loved the campus, the facilities, and especially the coaches!"

Bowen's high school trainer played for Urban Meyer at Utah, meaning the 6-foot-7, 330-pound offensive tackle has heard plenty about the OSU coach. On his visit, Bowen had the opportunity to finally meet the coach he heard so much about.

"He was way more laid back than I expected," he said of Meyer. "But I would guess he's not too intense with recruits."

Bowen holds offers from Boise State, BYU, Colorado, Oregon State, Utah, Utah State and Washington State. He has plans to visit UCLA and USC in July.

While he claims no favorites, Bowen does say Ohio State is "definitely one of my best options."

Bowen hopes to visit Ohio State again for a night game this football season.

Only 14 or 15 Spots

In a recent article from the Columbus Dispatch, there was an interesting note about Ohio State's expected class size for the 2015 recruiting class:

Quality seems to be the name of the game for 2015; Meyer indicated it will be a small class, probably only 14 or 15 players.

You hate to speculate, but every year there are always a few players to transfer or leave early for the NFL draft. Any scholarship players leaving early will increase the available scholarships for the 2015 class.

Still, I wouldn't read too much into this comment. Urban Meyer originally said the 2014 recruiting class would have 20 signees; it ended up with 23, or 24 if you include Alabama transfer Chad Lindsay. Obviously, Meyer is not going to proclaim that the Buckeyes will take more commitments than they have room for.

Based on the current scholarship breakdown, Ohio State has 16 available scholarships for 2015. The Buckeyes will graduate 13 seniors and get three scholarships as NCAA sanctions expire. I would expect Ohio State to sign more than 16 in their next recruiting class, perhaps closer to 20.

At the moment, the Buckeyes are sitting on 10 commitments. Ohio State had to inform Darius Fullwood that they would not accept his commitment because of scholarship limitations.

Five-star linebacker Justin Hilliard, four-star running back Larry Scott and four-star receiver Van Jefferson could all be Buckeyes by the end of July. Ohio State would have a tough time turning away commitments from Damien Harris, Jashon Cornell, Jerome Baker or Matthew Burrell because of a lack of available scholarships.

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