Players who have given Ohio State their verbal pledge must now considered several things as the Buckeyes football programs undergoes many changes. Can Luke Fickell be looked upon as a long-term head coach? Will the Buckeyes see a ban in scholarship numbers or bowl game appearances once the NCAA finishes their look into the program?
Because of these questions, the following seven players will have to look into a mirror and ask what is in their best interest.
Joshua Perry – OLB (Lewis Center, Ohio) Olentangy HS
The first member of the Buckeyes class may also be the one with the best relationship with new Buckeyes head coach Luke Fickell. One of the questions Perry will look to have answer is who will his position coach be if Fickell remains head coach or is removed from the program after the 2011 season.
However, with Perry being a linebacker, he may have already built a solid relationship with the next man in charge to see he can play a key role in Fickell staying as head coach.
Possible change – 45%
Warren Ball – RB (Columbus, Ohio) St. Francis DeSales HS
The first of two running backs in the class was offered by Notre Dame. A hometown kid, Ball may look to stay home and be part of the new direction the Buckeyes will be forced to take. Like Perry, Ball could see his position coach Dick Tressel also leave the program before he would arrive on campus. Ball knew the Buckeyes under Tressel would run the football, now he'll need to know what direction the offense will head in the future. Do not be surprised if Ball hears from the Irish.
Possible change – 50%
Kyle Kalis – OT (Lakewood, Ohio) St. Edward HS
Kalis is another player who held an offer from the Irish before his pledge to OSU. Over the past couple of weeks there has been some talk of Kalis looking at other options as things looked to be headed in the direction seen on Monday. While there was some talk about a week ago that Kalis could be looking to make a change, Notre Dame was not the school being talked about.
Much like Ball and Perry, Kalis could also be looking at having to build a new relationship with his position coach as many believe Jim Bollman could also be in his last year with the Buckeye.
Look for the Irish to reach out and make contact.
Possible change – 60%
Brionte Dunn – RB (Canton, Ohio) GlenOak HS
A player who has been rumored over the past several weeks to be making plans just in case something happened at Ohio State, Brionte Dunn already showed his hand with a visit to Michigan. While Dunn has said all the right things (Pro-OSU) the Buckeyes should be concerned.
The Irish offered Dunn and there is sure to be some contact to gage his thoughts about making a change and making a visit to South Bend.
Possible change – 90%
Jacoby Boren – OG (Pickerington, Ohio) Central HS
The third of the Boren brothers is not going to even think about a possible change. While listed at 6-foot-2, Jacoby stands closer to 6-foot and while he's a tough hardnosed football player, many felt he was a stretch for the Buckeyes.
Possible change – 0%
Frank Epitropoulos – WR (Upper Arlington, Ohio) Upper Arlington HS
Notre Dame took a hard look and might have extended an offer to Epitropoulos if not for him giving Ohio State his pledge. Frank's father played at Ohio State and unless major punishment from the NCAA comes down we do not see a change.
Possible change – 10%
Blake Thomas – TE (Cleveland, Ohio) St. Ignatius HS
Notre Dame took a look at Thomas and passed on making an offer with others across the country higher on the board. A solid player who fit in the Buckeyes style of play, Thomas is not a player I feel ND would have offered.
Possible change – 10%
At this time Ohio State had built a class made up of all instate talent. This does leave for a chance many will be swayed to stay loyal and help be the building blocks against future possible scholarship reductions. As we have seen with USC, the NCAA is not going to be making hurried judgments against the Buckeyes and any penalties may be a year or two away. However, the possibility of sanctions will allow college coaches a powerful advantage recruiting against the Buckeyes.