Just as Corey ran down the Buckeyes recruiting situation post Montana to Washington, the Ohio State coaching staff is now protecting themselves if Andrew Hendrix picks Notre Dame over OSU with "Plan C" of the recruitment at the quarterback position.
While their are some that think Hendrix will choose to remain in-state to play for the Bucks and re-start the Cincinnati pipeline to Columbus, I personally think he will choose the Irish, just as many of the other players in his area (see: Rudolph, Welch, etc) have done the last few years. If Hendrix and Montana are both off the board in the next month, The Vest has not left himself without options and there will not be another Kenny Guiton situation for the class of 2010.
After the OSU Senior Advanced Camp that took place this weekend the Buckeyes now have a list of about 4-5 players they are looking at as "plan C" if Hendrix does indeed choose to head to South Bend. Leading the list is Wheaton (IL) North QB Taylor Graham. Graham attended the Buckeyes' camp in Columbus this past weekend and impressed many. He is the son of former OSU QB Kent Graham and threw for 950 yards and 6 touchdowns in an injury-shortened season last year. A rising prospect, Graham does not yet have an offer from the Buckeyes, but expect OSU to offer sooner rather than later.
The next few players on the list, all but one from Ohio, are a step below Graham and could be options to supply depth to the position and add a quarterback to the class. Tyler Brause (Bucyrus) has been compared to Tim Tebow in terms of body and make-up and currently holds offers from Maryland, Stanford, Syracuse, Kent State, and Western Michigan. He would be my personal choice if Graham or Hendrix do not end up in Columbus, but it doesn't seem like the staff is too hot on his trail.
Verlon Reed (Columbus Marion Franklin) is a player the staff has looked at as an athlete for a while and the dual-threat QB could be an option behind center for his hometown school. Reed's only offer is from Bowling Green at this point, but expect BCS conference schools to start getting in the mix after they review his film further and see him in action at camps this summer. Reed is certainly not on the top of the recruiting board at this time, but could develop into an option as the process goes on.
Robert Bolden of Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's has been offered by Michigan State and many assume he will commit to Mark Dantonio soon. Bolden has expressed interest in OSU in the past, but may not be patient enough to see if he lands an offer once Hendrix makes a decision. At 6-3, 195, Bolden has a good frame to build upon and will be a solid player at the college level.
Finally, lower-rated Ohioans Willie Ballard (Trotwood Madison), Mitchell Faine (Ada), and Mark Myers (St. Ignatius) would round out the list of viable options on the recruiting board. All three players are upper MAC to lower Big Ten type talents, but like the other players listed, could vault their status up a notch with solid camps this summer. The Buckeyes are not likely to end up with one of these players, but they are certainly desperation options if needed.
Which player would you like to see the Buckeyes get if Hendrix decides to go to Notre Dame? Who is most likely to receive the next offer? Are the Buckeyes in trouble if they don't land a quality QB this season or is the possibility of Braxton Miller in 2011 enough to keep you from worrying?