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

By Jordan Wagner on June 27, 2014 at 3:00p
72 Comments

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.

72 Comments

Comments

TicoVersion1's picture

We might be in trouble if dominoes start to fall if Hilliard commits. 

+1 HS
BuckNutzGasMan's picture

There will be dominos!!!

The recruiting situation makes me feel the "3* guys" ( especially Schmidt, Feder, and Green) in this class must have some very effing high ass ceilings!

+2 HS
Soggy_McMuffin's picture

Trouble! No to be honest what we are all banking on is The Domino effect a Hilliard commit would establish in this class!! W/o it we will still wonder how this class will end. And I believe it's the difference between rejoicing or wondering every second of the day what's coming next! After July 2nd we will have a clue! On a Brighter note 2016 is  Ridiculous!! Love, Soggy GoBucks!!

Gooz-fra-bah...

Crimson's picture

Nothing will prevent people from freaking out about recruiting.

+3 HS
BroJim's picture

These are great problems to have. 

I season my simple food with hunger

+5 HS
BuckeyeJ's picture

Great problems to have IMO! This is also why i get so pissed that SEC schools can and will take a kid knowing they may not have room, but the B1G schools have to limit.

+3 HS
ibuck's picture

SEC schools can and will take a kid knowing they may not have room, but the B1G schools have to limit.

That's a good reason to keep SEC schools out of the same division as the B1G, Pac12, ACC, etc. It's astonishing that the NCAA doesn't do something about SEC over-signing.

Put the SEC in it's own semi-pro division, and restore college football to Div 1, where student-athletes play.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+2 HS
swainpm's picture

I'm in no way an SEC fan but are there any links displaying the oversigning? I live down south and people claim that oversigning is a thing of the past. Be nice to read something on it from a good source that is reliable. Thanks if you have it!

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Paging Catch 5, paging Catch 5....Mr. 5 where are you???

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
Catch 5's picture

I'm trying to give it a rest but if you insist, I'll be glad to go through it again.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

+2 HS
swainpm's picture

Don't feel the need to do too much. A simple link or two will do:) Thanks.

Catch 5's picture

The problem is that it is not a simple subject. As Beijing alluded to, it is not agreed upon what it even is. The SEC came out and made a rule banning it, except they didn't - their rule limits how many they sign in a given class where most complaints about it are with respect to the total number. Until a national definition is accepted one person can say they do and another can say they don't and both can be right.
In reality SEC schools are more aggressive in filling out their spots but it is exaggerated by the fact they have more signees who don't qualify, more JuCo signees, and more players leave early for the NFL -all of which allow them to sign larger classes. The have been some good articles written on the subject, but none that have fully explored it in my opinion. Check back next week, I have some bookmarked on my computer - I'll post some links Monday.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

+1 HS
Catch 5's picture

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/archives/53185/   This is a good article that defines the "problem" rather well.  I have a lot of problems with how it is presented, but it illustrates well the problem most people have with oversigning.  Just note that of all the accusations of cutting players and yanking scholarships, no actual names or examples are given - that's one of the big red flags for me in this debate.

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/21733077  Here is a better article that shows the result of oversigning.  I don't have a problem with much of what is written here, though it should be noted after the fact that despite the "severe oversigning" that is depicted and described here, Alabama played that following season under the 85 man limit - and that is with the guy who had agreed to delay his enrollment on the team.

http://www.elevenwarriors.com/buckshot/2013/02/19869/the-oversigning-index-alabama-ncaa#comment-385039   Now, if you have time read the comments here to the previous article - I thought it was a good discussion and I do a decent job here of explaining my view of it.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

BeijingBucks's picture

hahha... we all just knew this was coming.

Oversigning has changed from a numbers game to a study in semantics and wall street worthy calculations of which calendar 'date' do you use to calculate.

short version.. SEC slightly overstocks for the attrition resulting in an end of the year roster which is still full.  Others... tend to have some holes (see OSU Buckeyes 2013)

I leave the marketing and justifications to catch 5

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

Soggy_McMuffin's picture

Up vote to both, like I said previous were banking on the Hilliard Dominioes! But I really like the guys we have: Denzel Ward watch the video over n over tremendous upside especially under the caretaking of mister Mariotti! He could be a stud! Nick Conner with no offer we would be flipping out whether or not he would come Back to Haunt us at M. St.!! Don't have to worry 2016 is Stacked we will have to much fun next year!! 

Gooz-fra-bah...

hetuck's picture

Add Kirk and Sweat to the above-list and compensate with Spence and Grant (yes, I expect the change in philosophy benefitting him that much) turning pro. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

-1 HS
SnooBucki's picture

I believe both Doran and Curtis Grant are going to be seniors this season.

+2 HS
MichaelJ721984's picture

Isn't Doran a senior anyways?

**SnooBuckI didnt see your comment when I posted.

+1 HS
teddyballgame's picture

Have a hard time believing we'd be taking so many 3stars if it meant we were going to lose out on 5stars at the end.  Pretty sure we'll find room for at least 20.

Soggy_McMuffin's picture

Yes , will not turn Down the big boys! No matter what we think the will make room.. That's college football and Urban is the Master at it!!

Gooz-fra-bah...

Soggy_McMuffin's picture

At worst Nick Conner is Chandler Cox!!

Gooz-fra-bah...

MN Buckeye's picture

One month ago, crisis mode. Today, the opposite problem. Never a happy medium in recruiting. I choose to have another beer and enjoy the process.

+8 HS
BuckeyeJ's picture

I'm decomitmenting from beer to commit to vodka

+10 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Just don't do that in one night.

Or else...

 

+5 HS
cinserious's picture

Liquor before beer, have no fear.

Beer before liquor never been sicker.

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

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Yes sir.

Unfortunately, my younger and more dumb-assed self ignored that wisdom on a couple occasions.

Vanna explains the results above.

+1 HS
BuckeyeRick's picture

Beer then Whiskey -- Mighty Risky

Whiskey the Beer -- Never Fear. 

+3 HS
hspbuy1's picture

6'7" 330lbs, WOW these kids are big!

hspbuy1

buckeyeradar's picture

Their so big if they fly in it counts as two visits for two seats.

Buckeye in Texas

+1 HS
Condor's picture

I don't think Urban would take anyone he didn't think had (or had the potential to have) 4+ star talent and character, regardless of what the rating services say.

"Do not fear me gypsy, all I want is your tears."

 -- Borat Sagdiyev

 

+5 HS
brband64's picture

One way or another, Warriner and Meyer will see Bowen's comments and make sure to clarify exactly where he stands.  Overall, I echo others - it's a heckuva problem to have.

Northbrook's picture

You don't have JT Moore in your scholarship breakdown. Is he still on scholarship?

Northbrook's picture

You still have Marcus and Thompson.

Shangheyed's picture

Spence more than likely will go pro as well...

avail31678's picture

Jordan, can you clarify what might be meant by focusing on quality rather than quantity?  Is the staff possibly really confident on a lot of big prospects like Hilliard and Harris etc for 2015?  Or are they trying to bank some schollies for next year's class - i.e. is 2016 just loaded with talent or something?

Kinda related...when/why did Urban decide to not take another QB in this class (and pass on Gibson)?  I know this is old news, but I missed it and can't seem to find it out.  Is Urban just super happy with the QB we got?  Or is it a numbers thing?  What ultimately happened with TG?  I know he kept dropping us becasue we weren't contacting him, but he wasn't making efforts to visit us etc...  Any info from anyone is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

 

Jordan Wagner's picture

I definitely think they are confident with some of the top guys I listed in the story. No banking scholarships for 2016 even though that class is going to be loaded. 

I think they decided to take only one QB when they offered and accepted Joe Burrow's commitment. They picked him over Waller. 

jamesrbrown322's picture

I don't know anything, but if I had to guess, I'd say OSU takes 18 commitments in this class if the cards play out that way.

10 now. If they land Hilliard, Scott, Harris, Burrell, Baker, and Jefferson, that hits Urban's limit of 15. Obviously, they miss on one or two, but in an ideal world, they land those 5. Then you have guys like Cornell, Whitehead, Wilkins, and Peete who may land in Columbus. That's 19. I say there's a prospect to two that we're not anticipating that ends up with the Bucks, and another one or two on which they miss, which lands them around 18 or 19. So I'll play it safe, and say they end up with a class of 18, which still ends up strong enough to finish #1 in the B1G, and #5-7 in the nation.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+2 HS
KansasBuckeye's picture

I like your thoughts.  Mine are similar, but I think we hold out on a couple last minute big-time players.

From here I think we land Hilliard, Harris, Cornell, Scott, Baker, Burrell, Whitehead, Gallimore, and get nice signing day/UAA game surprises from two of the three- Kirk, Settle, and Sweat.  I'd like to say Jefferson as well, but I'm not sold on him for some reason.  I feel like it's SKL all over again, a pretty close to sure thing that just keeps putting it off and putting it off until he chooses a different school.

+1 HS
HilltopHustle's picture

I keep throwing this out there (and my fellow brethren keep downvoting because it doesn't fit the agenda, apparently), but there's no way we finish #1 in the conference with 18 commitments IF Penn State gets the scholarships back and take the full 25. With their current quality of commits, 247's composite won't have us jump them. Just preparing you mentally—and myself—for the "OMG RECRUITING" flood.

+5 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

Our class will improve/ add more star power as it fills. You are probably right, if PSU does get the schollies back. A lot depends on Franklin's on-field product. We are filling needs, PSU is rebuilding.

+2 HS
HilltopHustle's picture

Nice reply. I think we could have better talent, no doubt, but as for overall better numbers for class rankings, it'll be hard to pass them at 25.

jamesrbrown322's picture

I think you're probably right, but I think it will be close enough that it will depend on where you look/who you ask (rivals v. scout v. 247 v. espn).

I think that the staff will close strong though.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+1 HS
HilltopHustle's picture

Yep, agreed man. Our class will be nice regardless. I definitely think we'll have a better class on some of the services, but for the composite as a whole PSU would edge us at the end.

swainpm's picture

HILLTOP you are probably right, but with a small class 2nd is not bad. Better star average than PSU for sure. The only way OSU jumps to 1st is if by some miracle Sweat commits along with Settle. From what I have read it seems commitments are much mmore likely from Hilliard, Harris, Cornell and Kirk. BUT if they landed all 6 along with a Baker or Scott or Jefferson then it might be possible. That said all of the aforementioned are sick athletes anyone would love to have.

+1 HS
HilltopHustle's picture

Hell no, I'd take the #2 B1G class with only 18 or so recruits. That's a no-brainer and speaks to the talent itself. If we get all the names listed, sure, we have a crack at passing them, and star quality is absolutely better. Thanks for the reply man.

+1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Do you honestly believe they will get more scholarships back in addition to the 5 the NCAA has already restored?

Poison nuts's picture

I'll answer that & say hell no. The NCAA was kind enough in doing what they did. I doubt they continue to reverse the punishments in the form of full scholly restorations.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

HilltopHustle's picture

I dunno man. The NCAA seems to want the Penn State punishment back. I think they'll either get the scholarships or bowl ban lifted for this season, and next year (2015) both completely.

http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/22/penn-state-could-see...

HilltopHustle's picture

Honestly man, I think they will—for better or worse. And they seem to think they will, too. The next report is out in a few months.

http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/22/penn-state-could-see...

Poison nuts's picture

Fair enough, you see it that way, and I just don't think it'll happen. In the end, I suspect they'll allow a bowl return a year early, but not restore fully the scholly reductions. There would eventually have to be some outcry that the culture at PSU never changed & they were taught nothing if they punishments are slowly (& quietly) reversed. I could be wrong.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
luckynutz's picture

We have seen it before...with TSUN. Doesnt matter what the rankings say...its dvelopment. Franklin is pressing the right buttons and saying the right things. But until these kids show up, its all subjective anyways. We have seen what meyer and the staff can do with player development. They can find that fringe guy that might not set the world on fire in the rankings. But has the right mental configuration to come in, compete, work their ass off and become more than what some website says they are. There will be that flash in the pan super class for someone else. But Ohio State will continue to find those coachable kids and big time studs and wring every last ounce of talent out of both.

+1 HS
Shangheyed's picture

Gray shirt the long snapper and everyone is in!

buckguyfan1's picture

July 2nd will be HUGE. 

+2 HS
Catch 5's picture

As someone noted above, JT Moore is not listed on the 11W chart - he would give 14 seniors if I'm not mistaken.  Average underclass attrition would yield 4 or 5 more spots opening up and anyone declaring early for the NFL from the JR class would also (I would expect a couple).  If I had to guess, I'd say that OSU takes 21 or 22 LOIs next year.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Ahh Saturday's picture

We will take at least one RB, two if it is LJ Scott and Damien Harris.  We will take two WRs, particularly if those two are Christian Kirk and Van Jefferson.  We'll take two more for the OL, the most likey seeming to be Richmond/Burrell, and James Daniels, and hope/pray we can sign three of the following for the DL: Jashon Cornell, Terry Beckner, Josh Sweat, Tim Settle, Christian Wilkins, Neville Gallimore.  Almost everybody assumes we have two more coming in at LB, Justin Hilliard and Jerome Baker, and I think we take one more at DB with Jordan Whitehead seming the most likely at this point.  That's 12 more guys I think the staff is trying hard to bring into this class.  No way this class ends up smaller than 20.

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

Some rumors floating that Van Jefferson is trending away from OSU to UT. Any thoughts on this Jordan/John/Birm? 

+2 HS
Crimson's picture

I believe Birm's previous statement was that UT isn't a big threat but receiving an offer from LSU would be.

jamesrbrown322's picture

If they don't land Jefferson, I wonder where they might turn. Might they go 0-for WRs (unless you count EGW) and TEs this class?

I noticed that Devante Peete has an OSU lean (according to crystal ball predictions anyway) for a while, but never hear anything about him. So, not sure what's going on there. And IMO, Kirk is a pipe dream.

So, is it possible OSU gets a blank for the WR/TE positions in this class? Or would they just reach out and offer someone that they know will commit?

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

UrbzRenewal's picture

You mean the Crystal Ball movement?

MikeTheBuckeye's picture

Would they consider removing an already verbally committed player to make room for another? Or would they just roll with who they have? And how troublesome would it be if they chose to go over this predicted number?

Crimson's picture

tOSU doesn't drop commits.  Also, going over the predicted number is fine.  Going over the number of spots we have is also fine, but we have to declare to the B1G where the additional losses are coming from and why if we're over on signing day.

Belliott's picture

Another reason to play down the number of commits you'll take is to pressure some kids into committing earlier. If they think the limited amount of spots are being taken, it pushes the timetable. 

I feel like birm or Jordan talked about this working against them in one of the "calm down the massive freakout" posts going on when there were only 2 commits. 

Toilrt Paper's picture

If only 15 scholarships, it is impossible for Ohio State to have a Top !0 class.

+1 HS
Jabba1977's picture

Now everyone knows that the SEC follows the rules,and that is why they never get into trouble,or should I say they never get caught, Ha Ha Ha!!!

SECHATER77

Jabba1977's picture

I do not trust the star rating system at all!! Over the years I have come to the conclusion that sometimes a five star player will not be as good as a three star player!! Other times it is accurate.It depends on the player and the system,the player is in!!

SECHATER77

Crimson's picture

The star system is accurate, not precise.  5*s go to the NFL at a higher rate than 3*s, but some 5*s bust and some 3*s are amazing.  Prediction is very hard, and *s are not the end all be all.

+1 HS
btalbert25's picture

All 5 star means is that by measurable physical attributes those kids are most ready to play in college.  A guy could have a nice frame but is a little heavy so he gets a lower star rating.  Sometimes the guy could be a freak but doesn't hit the camp circuit or play premier competition so they go unnoticed.  

Crimson's picture

Agree on all counts.  Nice to see you back.

Edit: typo corrected

btalbert25's picture

I wonder what our reaction would be if Saban told a kid he couldn't commit now but then followed it up with some bullshit so the kid may still be there as a backup plan .   These non commitable offers are shitty.  That kid has no idea where he stands with ohio state.  

As for the numbers in this class, if the studs want to come you can bet urban will make room for them.  It may look a little different, but over signing is alive in Columbus.  

+1 HS
livinthedream's picture

This story is an interesting take on the laws of supply and demand as well as the balance between wants (quantity) and needs (quality).