The Latest on the Candidates to Finish Ohio State's 2015 Recruiting Class

By Jordan Wagner on July 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Damien Harris and Justin Hilliard

Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class, termed "Elite15" by Ohio State director of player personnel Mark Pantoni, currently sits at 12 commitments. The Buckeyes are ranked 15th in 247Sports composite team rankings, which is good for second in the Big Ten behind Penn State. 

Based on the number of graduating seniors and the scholarships Ohio State will regain from expiring sanctions, there are currently 16 available scholarships for the 2015 class. Accounting for transfers, medical hardships and early NFL departures, I'd expect that number to be closer to 20 when all is said and done. I wrote more about the scholarship situation last month

The Buckeyes rode some recruiting momentum into the month of July, prompted by the commitments of Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell. I and a number of observers thought Larry Scott and Jerome Baker would continue the momentum, but Scott decided to commit to Michigan State while Baker pledged to Florida. 

Those misses are temporarily setbacks, but there is plenty of time for Ohio State to recover. Let's take a look at some prospects that could potentially help round out the Buckeyes' recruiting class.

QB Torrance Gibson: The five-star quarterback was once considered to be an Ohio State lean, but a failure to get him on campus for a visit caused them to move near the bottom of his top seven schools list. On Thursday, Gibson announced via Twitter that he is scheduling a visit to Columbus. The likely date for said visit would be July 23, per Jeremy Birmingham. Ohio State is content with taking only Joe Burrow at QB in this class, but Gibson might be too good to turn down. Where the Buckeyes stand will become much clearer after he makes a visit. 

RB Damien Harris: Harris, a five-star prospect, has been a frequent visitor at Ohio State since decommitting from Michigan. While he hasn't named any favorites, OSU and Kentucky are the two schools that appear to be at the top of his list. He will visit Kentucky today. Many of the current commitments, including Justin Hilliard, have already started to recruit Harris to Ohio State

WR Van Jefferson: Jefferson is fresh off an Ohio State visit with family; according to both the trip went well. The four-star receiver will announce his school of choice this summer, potentially as soon as July 26. It's shaping up to be a battle between the Buckeyes and the in-state Tennessee Volunteers, with it being too close to call. Before deciding, though, Jefferson plans to visit Georgia this weekend.

WR Christian Kirk: Could Kirk be this year's Johnnie Dixon? Not many people are giving the Buckeyes much of a shot at landing the four-star receiver, but that hasn't stopped their pursuit. Texas A&M is the clear leader on the crystal ball, but USC has made a run as of late. 

OL Matthew Burrell: Ohio State has recruited Burrell hard for months and it appears to be paying off. The Buckeyes are the current leader and will receive an official visit this fall. The four-star offensive tackle has had a busy summer with visits to Clemson, Florida State and Ohio State. Visits to Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Penn State are still coming this summer. 

OL Drew Richmond: The four-star offensive lineman tends to keep quiet about his recruitment, but it's safe to say Ohio State is one of his top schools. Richmond grew up a fan of the Scarlet and Gray, and the Memphis native will return to Ohio State for a visit for Friday Night Lights. The Vols hold a slight lead over the Buckeyes on the crystal ball

OL James Daniels: The Ohio native holds an Ohio State offer but seems to be a forgotten prospect by most recruitniks. In the past few days, the crystal ball has started to shift from the Buckeyes to Iowa, which Daniels' brother attends. 

OL Isaiah Prince: After visiting for one of OSU's prospect camps on June 21, Prince named a final six of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Maryland, Ohio State and Tennessee. Maryland might be tough to beat, but the Buckeyes will have at least one more shot to sway him as he plans to visit Columbus for a game this fall. 

DL Neville Gallimore: The Canadian prospect burst onto the scene this summer, quickly ascending to a four-star ranking after dominating at Columbus NFTC. He keeps quiet about the recruiting process, but the Buckeyes are one of his top schools following his May 31 visit. Buckeye commit Jashon Cornell roomed with him for The Opening and the pair have a strong relationship. He could be back to visit as soon as for Friday Night Lights at the end of this month. 

DL Christian Wilkins: Wilkins, a four-star defensive lineman from Connecticut, would be a perfect fit for the Buckeyes' interior defensive line. Ohio State sits in a good position to land Wilkins right now, but they definitely need to get him on campus soon. 

DL Josh Sweat: Sweat, the nation's number one overall prospect, has already drawn comparisons to Jadeveon Clowney. He is expected to visit Ohio State for Friday Night Lights, giving Larry Johnson Sr. an opportunity to work some magic. Georgia, Florida State, Ohio State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech all have crystal ball picks for the Virginia native. For now, the Hokies lead the way. 

DB Jordan Whitehead: The Pennsylvania four-star put himself on Ohio State's radar after a strong performance at Friday Night Lights last year. Whitehead, who plans to announce on Oct. 3, recently picked up an offer from Alabama. The Crimson Tide could be the Buckeyes' biggest threat. Penn State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia are also in the mix. 

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