In mid-June there isn’t much going on in the world of college football. Those of us who have no interest in the NBA or MLB are left with only one thing to follow – recruiting. Every year, fans of average college football programs boast about having a top recruiting class in the spring. This time of year gives Michigan and Tennessee fans a reason to be excited, until fall, when reality sinks in and they realize that the Capital One Bowl is a best-case scenario. Michigan has enough June recruiting crowns to fill the Big House. Despite a 2-10 record against Ohio State this century, fans of the maize and blue are eager to let every Buckeye know that Michigan’s recruiting class is ranked higher right now. As ridiculous as this is, my Twitter timeline is consistently filled with Ohio State fans who feel the need to defend the Bucks. Every year, fans become concerned and worry that “Meyer can’t recruit Ohio” or “the Ohio State coaching staff is getting beat by Michigan’s”. When are fans going to take a step back and recognize that Urban Meyer is a C-L-O-S-E-R? Yes, he will grab several top prospects prior to the fall but the majority of his blue-chip commitments are made from December-February. Tommy Schutt was a prime example in 2011.
While in high school, Schutt was named to the all-state team three consecutive years. In his senior season he recorded 72 tackles, 24 tackles-for-loss and 15 sacks while being named to the U.S. Army All American Team.
Schutt committed to the Penn State Nittany Lions in August of 2011. As a five-star prospect and the number one player in the state of Illinois, Schutt was considered the gem of Penn State’s recruiting class. It appeared that the Buckeyes would lose a tremendous defensive player to another Big Ten school until Urban Meyer accepted the position as the Ohio State coach in November of 2011.
In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Meyer persuaded Schutt to take a visit to Columbus. There were rumors that Schutt enjoyed his visit so much that he could potentially commit to the Buckeyes before he headed back to Illinois. These rumors proved to be true on December 12, 2011, when Tommy Schutt became Urban Meyer’s first commitment at The Ohio State University. Schutt was the first of several players that Urban Meyer was able to flip from December 2011-February 2012.
Schutt’s play was instrumental in the Buckeyes’ finishing the 2012 season with an unblemished record. Although he didn’t have great stats, the coaches trusted him enough to rotate him in when the starters came out for a breather. He was one of the first freshmen to see the field on defense early in the season and started in week two against Central Florida. He continued to impress the coaching staff and was the first player off the bench to replace Johnathan Hankins and Garrett Goebel throughout the season. Last year, Schutt played in ten games and recorded four tackles.
Tommy Schutt will start this season for the Ohio State Buckeyes and continue to improve as his career progresses. Ohio State’s success in 2013 may come down to the progress of the defensive line. With four new faces along the defensive front it is an absolute must that these players have a great off-season and enter the 2013 season with the same chips on their shoulders as the 2012 squad.