Welcome to the first installment of our weekly Ohio State recruiting mailbag. Every Sunday at 6 we will answer any questions that Buckeye fans want an answer to. Today, I (Bret) will answer some questions with some input from Jarrid as well, but in the future, all 3 of our opinions and insight will be given especially when we get more basketball questions. Make sure you send your questions in via Twitter, and we’ll do our best to get all of them answered in each week’s Mailbag.
Some interesting and entertaining questions for our first edition. Lets open some mail.
Any update on when Mike Mitchell will be visiting?
BF: Reports earlier in the week were that he has visits lined up for Oregon and Ohio State. The thought right now is that his visit will be for the Nebraska (10/6) or Michigan (11/24) game. Perfect situation for Ohio State. Nebraska under the lights or “The Game”, tough for any school to compete with that and having 2013 commits to help recruit him wont hurt either.
JM: At this point, Mitchell has cooled on committing; and he’s going to take his time with the process. Either game that Bret mentioned is a possibility, and both are obviously great games for a recruit to attend; but I wonder how full this class will be by The Game. The number of scholarships might be limited, so even though he’s a crazy good athlete; we’d have to make a decision about if we want to hold a spot for him. With a guy like Vonn Bell, it’s a no-brainer because we need that elite level player at safety. It’s something we haven’t had for awhile. We have a nice group of young LB’s, and we only lose one (Etienne Sabino) this year; so I’m getting less confident on Mitchell landing at OSU the longer this drags on. This is a guy that is hard to find a lot of information on, but we’ll do our best to keep digging and see if we can’t get a better feel for what direction his recruitment is heading.
Next 2013 Buckeye? When?
BF: So many targets still on the board, so you never really know. Safe bet would be Chris Worley or Shelton Gibson. With all of the confusion going on with Gibson’s recruitment and the recent news of a possible Worley commitment coming from Bill Greene. I will put my money on Chris Worley and hope for the best.
JM: Yeah, like Bret said; the strong feeling right now is that Chris Worley could be the next guy on board with the Buckeyes. His commitment wouldn’t push Vonn Bell out because, like I said, you HAVE to take Vonn Bell. Many people were wondering about that. Shelton Gibson is the other guy that’s being talked about right now. Keep reading…
Shelton Gibson committing soon?
BF: Like I said (above), nothing but confusion all around with this one. He set his first decision date about 3-4 months ago and of course that didn’t go as planned. Gibson told ESPN’s Jared Shanker in August that he still had 5 teams in mind with one obviously being Ohio State. He said the Buckeyes were his top school and I think it ultimately stays that way. Shelton Gibson will be a Buckeye, but who knows how long this one could hold off.
JM: The Nebraska (10/6) game will be a huge recruiting opportunity for the Buckeyes. Not only will they be playing under the lights in a great game with a team that can score points, but the visitor’s list is loaded with talent and Buckeye commits. The list is growing, but right now Shelton Gibson, Vonn Bell, and Dorian Johnson are three big time uncommitted prospects that’ll be visiting for that game; and they’ll be accompanied by six current Buckeye commits. I think that the company and atmosphere could give the Buckeyes that final push that they need to get the commit from Gibson. Now, whether the actual commit happens at the game or weeks after is another story; but I do think it’s a possibility that this visit gives Gibson confidence in making up his mind on picking the Buckeyes. His coach did say that he expected him to commit in the next month, but Gibson’s been very clear about wanting to focus on the season and state championship. His team is currently 5-0, so a state championship definitely isn’t out of the picture. I really think the signs point to a commitment around the time of the Nebraska game, but I don’t want to say I expect it. I’m a guy that would rather be surprised than let down, so with Gibson, I’m simply leaving it at ‘I like our shot’.
Who might be the first 2014 commit from what you’re hearing? When could we see them commit?
BF: This will be fun. I say as of now, there is only a handful of people I would think it would be. Jimmy Byrne, Dante Booker Jr., Marcelys Jones (offered recently), Marshon Lattimore, or Thaddeus Snodgrass. This is strictly based on them all being in-state prospects who seem to have major interest in the Buckeyes. Keep in mind, I have no idea who has “committable” or “non-committable” offers out of these 5. My prediction, which would also be the best case scenario for Ohio State is Dante Booker Jr. Big-time LB and could help recruit other elite players to join the 2014 class.
JM: Like Bret said, this is such a toss-up at this point. You have to look at what we will need and what we’re trying to do. We are going to need LB’s, and we want athletes. Bret’s pick of Dante Booker Jr. is a good one. It fits the need at LB and could be the first of “The Big 3″ (Booker Jr., Clifton Garrett, and Raekwon McMillan) to commit. Those three are close and have good relationships with many other top ’14 prospects, so a commit from Booker Jr. would be great. The Glenville guys always wait to make their decisions, so even though I really like Lattimore; I don’t think he’ll pull the trigger until he’s weighed all of his options. I think Booker Jr. is a solid pick to commit first, and I think McMillan, also of “The Big 3″ could be a very early commit. He’s a guy that wants to play a big role in his class, and the way you do that is by committing early. The Ohio State ’14 class should be a great one, and the first commit is always very exciting. At this point, we can take educated guesses. Make sure to keep checking back, and we’ll keep you updated as we hear more about the ’14 class and when the first commit will come.
Update on Nigel Hayes?
BF: Latest on Nigel Hayes is he has released a top 4. Wisconsin, Stanford, Minnesota and Ohio State are the 4 schools. I think in the end, this will be an Ohio State and Wisconsin battle. Charles says watch out for Minnesota as well. Hayes is currently scheduled to visit Ohio State on October 6th, when the Buckeyes face Nebraska under the lights in the ‘shoe. As always, that could change.
What WR or ATH would you like to see in this class?
BF: Shelton Gibson, James Quick and Ryan Timmons are the ones I like most. I feel Gibson is already in and that it is only a matter of time until it becomes official. Not so confident on Timmons and Quick as of today. I know Buckeye fans will hate to hear this, but I think Quick ends up staying in Louisville to play for the Cardinals. As for Timmons, No offer from the Buckeyes as far as we know and he looks to be very interested in the Razorbacks who have offered him. Even if he does end up committing to Arkansas and Ohio State does not end up with 2 of Shelton Gibson, James Quick, Marquez North, Devon Allen, Robert Foster or Sebastian LaRue than who knows, maybe Urban Meyer could work some magic like we have seen plenty of times before.
JM: I think Gibson is almost a lock, so I’m not going to use him for this one even though I really want him in the class. We are going after athletes and speedy receivers, and I think it’d be beneficial to have a bigger receiver that can make plays. It was the mold that we though DeVier Posey was going to fill, but I think there’s two big receivers that the Buckeyes are long shots for that I would love to get in this class. Those two are Robert Foster, who just announced a top 3 that includes OSU, and Marquez North, who said he will take an official visit to OSU. I think both are long shots, but I want a bigger receiver that can make plays down field and be a solid possession receiver. It adds a dimension to the offense, and in the current state of college football, you have to be able to do it all.
What position do you feel Darron Lee will be used at next year?
BF: Most people say he will play the “Star” position at Ohio State, which is what Jermale Hines played a few years ago and I agree. He is an Athlete at New Albany as he plays on offense (QB) and defense (DB) but once he puts on the Scarlet and Gray he will be apart of the defensive unit.
JM: I’m going to basically agree with Bret on this one. I think he’ll play the “Star” position. It makes sense that we have a bigger DB to play this role especially in the B1G where teams do everything from the spread to power running.
Who are ’14 OL we have our eye on?
BF: We have our eye on many OL for the 2014 class. Orlando Brown, Jimmy Byrne, Mason Cole, Marcelys Jones, Jamarco Jones, Demetrius Knox, KC McDermott, Sam Mustipher, Damian Prince, Braden Smith and Donell Stanley all have Ohio State offers as of now. Think the 4 to pay attention to so far are Brown, Byrne, Marcelys Jones and Knox. Also, watch out for Andy Bauer (Missouri commit), friend of Ezekiel Elliott and Elliott has let it be known on Twitter that he is trying to get him to come to Ohio State.
Thanks for the questions. If you want to ask a question for next weeks mailbag just tweet any of the Empire Recruiting staff (Twitter names below) and we will be sure to answer.