Coach Urban Meyer and The Ohio State University have began to build momentum on and off the field, and it’s surely showing in the recruiting world. Part of signing a rock star head coach is getting the attention of recruits without having to show what the on-the-field product might look like. The hiring of Urban Meyer brought in a strong 2012 recruiting class as twelve of the twenty-four 2012 recruits committed after November 28th, 2011, which was when Meyer was hired.
That wasn’t where the momentum stopped as the Buckeyes have rolled to 9 straight wins and an undefeated, 9-0 record on the season. That success has had some impact on Ohio State’s 2013 class as the Buckeyes have already landed seventeen verbal commitments from high school seniors, and it seems as if the Buckeyes are primed to finish very strong in this class.
We are expecting at least 23 commits in this class, and the winter will be open season for Coach Meyer as he attempts to do three things that he seems to do in almost every class.
1) Coach Meyer lands 5* recruits.
In 2012, Coach Meyer landed two 5* DE’s in Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington. This trend of landing a 5* is something that started for Meyer when he was at Florida as he landed the following 5*’s:
2006 – WR Percy Harvin, OL Carl Johnson, LB Brandon Spikes, and QB Tim Tebow
2007 – DT Torrey Davis, DE Carlos Dunlap, QB Cameron Newton, and OL James Wilson
2008 - ATH Will Hill, DT Omar Hunter, WR Carl Moore, and OL Matt Patchan
2009 – DT Gary Brown, WR Andre Debose, and LB Jelani Jenkins
2010 – DT Dominique Easley, DB Matt Elam, DT Sharrif Floyd, and DE Ronald Powell
It’s scary to think that Meyer averaged almost four 5* athletes per class, and this is something that he’ll have to work up to while at Ohio State; but there’s no doubt in my mind that it’ll happen. Getting two in the ’12 class is a great start.
I’m honestly not sure who would fit this category in the 2013 class, but current Buckeye commits DE Joey Bosa, DB Cameron Burrows, and CB Eli Woodard are currently all top 30 prospects^ and could possibly be graded up to 5* status. Buckeye target LB Mike Mitchell ranks #32 and could also be upgraded in the final rankings. We all know rankings aren’t the greatest predictor of on-field production, but Meyer landing a 5* is a trend. My thoughts are that the four guys listed above are the Buckeye’s best chances of landing a 5*, and if it doesn’t happen, Meyer will make it up with a slew of 2014 recruits. One thing is certain, Meyer has momentum going in the right direction at Ohio State.
2) Coach Meyer flips recruits.
When Meyer took the reins just over a year ago, he went to work flipping a handful of commits. Taylor Decker (ND), Kyle Dodson (WISC), Joey O’Connor (PSU), Se’Von Pittman (MSU), Tommy Schutt (PSU), Armani Reeves (PSU), and Camren Williams (PSU) were all flipped by Meyer.
Who will Meyer flip in 2013? Well, he already flipped one guy in S Jayme Thompson, who was once a West Virginia commit, but I don’t think it ends there. Last year, he flipped seven recruits; and part of that was from his hiring late in the process, but he’s going to get a few more this year.
I’m not one who thinks that Dymonte Thomas is still a possible flip for OSU, and I think those wishful thinkers are just about gone. Two key names that the Buckeyes have jumped in on are both former M:ch:gan commits. Both 4* OL David Dawson, out of Cass Tech in Detroit, MI and 3* CB Gareon Conley, out of Massilon, OH, have OSU offers and want to see what OSU has to offer. Both of these names have come up recently and fill an area that the Buckeyes are still recruiting, so they’re legit candidates for future Buckeyes as well as a flipped commitment by Coach Meyer. Stay tuned to these two.
The Buckeyes are in need of LB’s, and there’s a few possible flips in the ‘backer spots. Daniel McMillan (Florida), Trey Johnson (Auburn), and James Hearns (Florida) could all fit this role as they have OSU offers. We’re not exactly confident on any of these three, but both McMillan and Johnson are tentatively scheduled to visit the ‘Shoe for the November 24th showdown with TTUN. Recent rumors also indicate possible program sanctions coming for Auburn as the NCAA is conducting an investigation, so we’ll see if that, along with the pathetic on-field performance, does anything to Johnson’s recruitment.
One last flip to think about is 4* OL Dorian Johnson of Belle Vernon, PA. Johnson was once a PSU commit, but it will be very difficult for OSU to get Johnson out of PA. Johnson should be at the OSU/UM game on 11/24, and that will be a huge date for the Buckeyes to keep an eye on. Meyer could shoot shock waves across Pennsylvania if he were to land Johnson. Even though the Buckeyes have been known to invade the state, this one will be tough.
I guess it’s a good thing that we’re in on a lot of big-name prospects that haven’t committed as we head into the home stretch, which brings me to my last point.
3) Coach Meyer finishes strong.
The fact that Coach Meyer is known for flipping recruits tells us that he is a great finisher. Often referred to as The Closer, Meyer has shown to have one of the greatest finishing kicks in the recruiting race.
Last year, Coach Meyer was hired at Ohio State, and in his three months before National Signing Day, he brought in the same number of prospects that the Buckeyes had before his hiring, which was twelve. Those twlve prospects had a 4.09* average rating, which is pretty solid.
Now, Meyer and staff get to do it all again. The Buckeyes have three games over the next four weeks and cap it all off with a huge recruiting weekend in Columbus when M:ch:gan comes to town. That game will most likely see the Buckeyes wear the best Nike Pro Combat uniforms that Ohio State has worn mostly due to the fact that Meyer knows what recruits want to see. They want shiny uniforms that pop. You know, the ones that will be all over TV and be talked about such as Oregon’s uniforms.
This game will also be honoring the 10 year reunion of the 2002 national championship team. Buckeye Nation will be going nuts when these guys are announced at halftime. Not only will the atmosphere be absolutely insane, but there’s a huge list of big-name recruits that will be in attendance. This will give the Buckeyes a nice burst of momentum as they head into the final stretch of the 2013 recruiting class and look to get the 2014 class off to a great start.
Urban Meyer is a great coach, and part of that reasoning is because he is a great recruiter. I’m going to guess that what he does with his free time after the season’s conclusion will shock you. When you combine these three trends, anything can happen. After watching him turn a 6-7 team into a currently 9-0 team, it’s not hard to see why guys want to come play for him. I guess, at this point, the bigger question is, who does Urban Meyer want?
^=Recruiting rankings are according to Rivals.com