Consistently recruiting top talent can be a challenge for powerhouse football schools. Coaches can recruit players from junior colleges or stash prospects at prep academies for a year, but there's no more reliable way for teams to gather talent than to develop recruiting pipelines.
The idea of a recruiting pipeline is this: coaches all over the country spend extra time recruiting players from a certain high school to make their presence felt. Once the coaches are well known and get a few commitments from the school, highly-rated players from that high school are more likely to commit to the college in the future.
Traditionally, Ohio State's recruiting pipelines have all been within Ohio. Under Urban Meyer, though, the Buckeyes have developed a couple pipelines into other states. Today, we dive into Ohio State's biggest recruiting pipeline in Ohio and two nascent national pipelines.
Glenville High School (Cleveland, Ohio)
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Probably the most famous and longest lasting pipeline for Ohio State has been Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio. Glenville has the most prestigious football program for a public school in Northeast Ohio, and it has long been one of the top talent producers in the state.
Coached by the legendary Ted Ginn Sr., the Tarblooders have sent many players to Ohio State over the years. Ginn is one of the most respected and well-regarded high school coaches not only in Ohio but the entire country.
Not only have Tarblooders arrived to Ohio State in great numbers, but more than a few of them have become stars wearing the Scarlet and Gray.
Troy Smith, the first Glenville product to commit to Ohio State, went on to win the Heisman playing quarterback for the Buckeyes in 2006. Smith's career started with bumps, but by the time he graduated, his name littered the Ohio State record books and the Glenville pipeline was thriving.
Ted Ginn Jr. was one of the nation's most electrifying players at Ohio State, a threat to score no matter when, where or how he got the ball. He set punt return records as a freshman, developed as a receiver and was selected in the first round of the 2007 draft. Donte Whitner was an All-Big Ten selection at safety for the Buckeyes in 2005 before going in the first round of the 2006 draft. The list goes on...
It's been a while since Glenville produced a true star for Ohio State (though they did give us this), but the pipeline is still alive and well. Ohio State signed Chris Worley from the 2013 class and brought on three more Tarblooders – defensive back Marshon Lattimore, defensive back Erick Smith and offensive lineman Marcelys Jones – in the 2014 class.
Cass Tech (Detroit, Michigan)
In years past, it would have been unthinkable for Ohio State to have a recruiting pipelines in Michigan, let alone one like Cass Tech. If the last few years are an indication, though, that may be changing.
Located in Detroit, Cass Tech is known for producing some of Michigan's top talent. Ohio State's main recruiter in Michigan is the energetic, charismatic cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs; thanks to him, the Buckeyes have made inroads in a traditional Michigan stomping ground.
In 2014, Ohio State signed defensive back Damon Webb out of Cass Tech, the first Cass Tech player to sign with the Buckeyes in decades. The Buckeyes have another commitment in 2015 defensive lineman Joshua Alabi, and are looking at prospects in future years. Ohio State's gain is Michigan and
Brady Hoke's the next Wolverines head coach's loss.
It's hard to emphasize enough how useful establishing a pipeline in a rival's state is. Michigan produces some of the top talent and Coombs is the right guy to recruit that area. If Ohio State can start making inroads in all of Michigan, look out.
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
One of the top programs in the country is St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Although it is not traditionally associated with Ohio State, it has produced more Buckeyes than one would think. One of Ohio State's biggest alumni is also heavily involved in the program, Cris Carter.
Cris' son, Duron, signed with the Buckeyes in 2009. He did not have much success, but he has gone on to a decent career in the CFL. The Buckeyes have also signed running back Keith Wilkerson (1993) and defensive back Nate Salley (2002) out of St. Thomas Aquinas, but the most notable recruit would have to be Joey Bosa.
The most notable recruit from St. Thomas Aquinas, however, would have to be Joey Bosa. Since signing with the Buckeyes in 2013, the shrugger and occasional defensive end has been one of the best players in the country and dominated for the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes stand a good chance of signing his little brother Nick Bosa in 2016, and they are in good position with St. Thomas Aquinas as long as Meyer can use his Florida connections at OSU.
The Buckeyes recruit elsewhere, of course; three schools alone are not sufficient to stock a college football team. Glenville, Cass Tech and St. Thomas Aquinas represent the diversity and increasingly national recruiting efforts of the Buckeyes as they try to remain a national power.