The 12th installment of this year's Better Know a Buckeye series transitions from the class' lone quarterback to another unheralded prospect who could make waves early into his career. Terry McLaurin, a wide receiver from Indianapolis, was a camp offer and one of the better stories of this entire recruiting class. Barely recruited after his junior year, McLaurin held offers from just Bowling Green, Purdue, and Toledo. That is just two MAC offers and a program that might as well be. He later acquired offers from Boston College, Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri before committing to the Buckeyes.
Ohio State appeared on his radar late in the process. The story devolved into McLaurin wanting an offer from Ohio State and going to a couple Ohio State camps until he earned it. He earned it on June 21st of last year and committed two days later.
I retell this story below, mostly focusing on the story as it pertains to Ohio State. Thereafter, I provide a discussion of strengths and areas for improvement before conjecturing about a redshirt in 2014. I provide highlights and conclude with miscellaneous things about Terry McLaurin you may find interesting.
High School: Cathedral High School; Indianapolis, IN
Cathedral is not an unknown program in Indiana. It won the last four 5A state championships. It sends players locally to programs like Ball State and the service academies. In 2012, the program placed one alumnus at Notre Dame (John Turner) and another at Indiana (Jacob Bailey). Further, I contend Indiana is a prep football state on the collective rise. I like a lot of the talent that state is producing of late.
With that in mind, it is any wonder McLaurin was a MAC prospect by the end of his junior year. He later acquired offers from programs like Boston College, Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri before Ohio State took serious notice of him, but he flew well under the radar. He had just those offers from Bowling Green, Purdue, and Toledo to his credit.
This is another Kerry Coombs find. Coombs' addition to the coaching staff has given Ohio State a different regional flavor of late. His areas of interest lay in Indiana and Michigan, two states from which Ohio State has recruited before (e.g. Joel Hale, Vernon Gholston), but infrequently. Coombs visited his high school at the end of April pitching Ohio State's summer camp to McLaurin. This is a common tactic for coaches who are interested in a prospect but feel the need to coach him in a camp to get a better sense of his college potential.
McLaurin attended his first Ohio State camp on the weekend of June 8-9 and performed well. This was Ohio State's first camp of the summer and the coaches were impressed but not convinced. The coaches invited him to the senior advanced camp two weeks later. Here, he convinced Urban Meyer that he was worth the scholarship offer. He committed shortly thereafter.
On June 23, Terry McLaurin jumped on his camp offer and became the 12th member of Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class. He told Eleven Warriors what led to his decision.
"Honestly, it feels great because I know I earned this," McLaurin told Eleven Warriors. "I feel a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I went out and earned the scholarship, it feels great."
"It was really the challenge and to chance to achieve greatness academically and on the field," he continued. "I feel like the football staff and the administration at the Ohio State University will help me reach my full potential. I want to play for a team that will win championships and compete at a high level and also play for a staff that will make me the best player possible. The competition is great and Urban Meyer's offense will fits me perfectly. After my second visit to Ohio State that became pretty clear to me. It's a great fit for me and my family."
Ohio State's primary competition for McLaurin's verbal commitment was, of all programs, Purdue. This is unfortunate for Darrell Hazell. A QB-WR combo of David Blough and Terry McLaurin would have been a nice coup for him in 2014. Missouri appeared to be the other finalist.
Where He Excels
References to the primacy of "speed" in Ohio State's recruiting efforts can be overused to the point of losing any real meaning. Thus, believe me when I say McLaurin likely is the fastest player in this recruiting class on a straight line. That may have been what got Ohio State's attention first and foremost. We can qualify the 4.41 40-yard dash time from The Opening, but McLaurin is just fast. Real fast.
I reiterate that it is any wonder McLaurin was a MAC prospect by the end of his junior year (and not just junior football season). It is one thing that McLaurin is fast. He plays fast too. McLaurin plays with a level of confidence that makes his "fast" seem that much faster.
More than just fast, McLaurin demonstrated his wares at The Opening a week after committing to Ohio State. He posted one of the top 40 times (the aforementioned 4.41 time) and demonstrated his athleticism with an eye-opening 44.8-inch vertical leap. If not for Ohio State pouncing on McLaurin at the end of April, his recruitment may have exploded nationally in July and August.
Must Work On
I think McLaurin projects to a role similar to the departed Philly Brown. He can do some spot H receiver work, but I think he is wanted as an outside receiving option.
To that end, McLaurin will need to work on route-running. Every wide receiver moving from high school to college needs to do this because the high school passing game is simple to the point of simplistic at the high school level. This is fine for high school, but not everything McLaurin will be asked to do will be a simple curl or a tunnel screen.
McLaurin is a "body catcher" too. I would like to see him use his hands, extended, to catch passes as he matures at the college level.
Listed at 6-0 and 190 pounds, he will need to fill out his frame and increase upper body strength.
I think this is another redshirt in 2014. Ohio State has a lot of B-plus options at wide receiver in 2014. No As, but some solid B-pluses. The door is open for McLaurin to play immediately, but he would need to present himself as more of a sure thing than what we already have returning and coming off redshirts (e.g. Jalin Marshall). I think McLaurin redshirts in 2014 and logs some important scout team work while filling out his frame.
Senior year film is here. Junior year film is below.
- 11W Community Interview.
- Named Indiana's "Mr. Football" as a senior.
- When on a visit to Purdue, he met with Purdue president (and former Indiana governor) Mitch Daniels. Daniels and Purdue coach Darrell Hazell gave him a tour of a forensic science building because McLaurin has expressed an interest in majoring in biology.
- He had 58 receptions for 953 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior. He rushed for another 744 yards and six more touchdowns.
- Cathedral won state championships for all McLaurin's four years in the program. He concluded his high school career with a three-touchdown game. You can watch that here.