Who are the candidates to become a part of the 2011 recruiting class, and are any juniors proving themselves worthy of offers?
2011 DEFENSIVE BACKS
Doran Grant Been in the Ohio State recruiting picture so long there's almost nothing left to write about, but his eventual commitment. Grant will take five visits, but this one is down to two, assuming there is truly a second team in the picture. It will be Ohio State or Michigan State, and the Spartans haven't hurt themselves by having a great season so far. Grant's father played at Michigan State, so that puts them in the conversation, but I see Ohio State as the winner in this battle. Anything else would be a shock.
Jabari Gorman A few weeks ago I felt Gorman was starting to turn toward the Canes, but Miami is in the process of imploding, and their 2011 recruiting class is in big trouble. Eli Rogers has officially de-committed, and that means Teddy Bridgewater is looking around as well, because they are best friends. How does this impact Gorman? In a big way, because Bridgewater and Rogers were pushing him hard to join them at Miami, and I need to emphasize "were." His family is still a big part of the equation, but they are also witnessing the "Miami Meltdown" and the firing of Randy Shannon would be the cherry on top of that meltdown. Ohio State just might be the beneficiary of Miami going in reverse, on and off the field.
Conner Crowell Crowell announces on November 5th at his high school, and he is down to two schools, Penn State and Ohio State. I feel the Nittany Lions are in the lead, but Crowell has played his cards close to the vest, so Ohio State could certainly be his pick. Of course, so did James Vaughters, so I'm not real optimistic about the Buckeye chances.
Ejuan Price Price is without question, the toughest player to read of all of the prospects left on the Ohio State board. Has made numerous trips to Ohio State, and there could be one more left, but this one still appears to be a battle. Price is close with Dorian Bell, although that might just make him more aware of all the young linebackers in front of him. Tough call, but the Buckeyes have been recruiting him the hardest, for the longest. That could make the difference.
Anthony Wallace Another tough call, because not much of his recruitment has made sense. This should be a player that is considering Texas and Oklahoma, with nobody else in the picture, but that is not the case. Ohio State, Penn State and Oregon are all looked at as viable possibilities, and all three entered this game late in the process. That's very surprising and hard to understand. Wallace's decision will come down to the official visits, which gives Ohio State a fighting chance.
THE GLENVILLE "FOUR"
Shane Wynn Wynn is probably going to be the final wide receiver in this class, and anything else would be an upset. His skill set is unlike any other player they're recruiting, and unless Phil Dorsett opens up his recruitment, Wynn will be the only slot receiver in this class. He's Glenville, with a written offer, and that usually means Buckeye.
Aundrey Walker Walker will be signing with Ohio State on National Signing Day. Enjoy your visits Big Fella, because you've earned them.
Cardale Jones No written offer and no verbal offer, but I still see Jones in this class. There is room to sign upwards of 23, maybe more, so room will not be a factor. The upside for Jones is huge, and he is from a very pro-Buckeye high school. In the end, I see Jones being a part of this class. This should all go down very late in the process, per usual for Glenville, probably on or near signing day.
Andre Sturdivant Another one to watch out for, especially if they see him as a 300-pound defensive tackle prospect. Sturdivant wants the offer and would commit on the spot, but there could be a test score to raise, and some things to prove on the field. This could be a player they could turn to late in the process, after seeing how things fare with others. Odds are probably 50-50 on Sturdivant being a part of this class.
Jadeveon Clowney Has never visited Ohio State, and only recently has he even mentioned the Buckeyes. SURE, he's coming to Ohio State.............NOT. No chance. Maybe a small chance if he visits officially, but I'm not at all optimistic on landing this guy. There are a million guys committed at the position, and a million more coming behind him, but he's going to leave the state to come to Ohio?
DeAnthony Thomas "Black Mamba" not coming to Ohio State, either to play college football or to take in a game. He spoke of wanting to visit, but that all fizzled out.
Frank Clark Would have to be at linebacker, and Crowell, Price and Wallace would all have to say NO. Clark is a Glenville player, and one that would love a Buckeye offer. Is he talented enough to play for Ohio State? Maybe not, but he fits the profile of a late offer guy.
Steven Daniels Daniels is from a winning program, Cincinnati St. Xavier, and he has been extremely productive against a challenging schedule. Would Ohio State reach out to Daniels? Maybe they see him as another Brian Rolle? Daniels could fill the gap created by missing on a lot of higher-rated players.
Antonio Poole Poole is one that I thought his recruitment would just take off, but that hasn't happened at all. Nice offer list, but not an elite offer list. Has great measurables, even though the on-field production might be lacking a little. Poole would be an outside linebacker for Ohio State, where they need a run-stopper in the middle.
Cornelius Carradine Kind of surprising they offered "Tank" but the feeling might be that he can step in and play right away, while Hayes and Miller develop. The skill level is unquestionable, but there were major issues coming out of high school. Hopefully, the two years of maturity have helped him. Have to believe he would be in the rotation next year if he comes aboard.
THE SOFT VERBAL
Jeremy Cash As stated here previously, over and over, Jeremy Cash is all-Buckeye. The Scout system automatically lists a player as a soft verbal when he starts taking official visits. Cash took one to Arizona State. There will be no more, no not to Nebraska. He is as solid as a recruit can be, but I'm not sure when we can change his recruiting status. No worries here.
ANYTHING HAPPENING WITH 2012?
Se'Von Pittman My prediction as the next junior offered, probably in the next two weeks. He might be the best of all the great defensive end prospects in Ohio when all is said and done.
Chris Wormley I still see him playing at Michigan, and after seeing him for the second time, it might be at defensive tackle. Wormley is a big-bodied kid and he might not be anywhere near done filling out. I could see him playing in college at near 300-pounds, and filling a Cameron Heyward role.
Taylor Decker Does Ohio State see him getting bigger and stronger, to be able to hold down the left tackle spot? Because the skill set is there, and the need for an athletic offensive tackle is glaring.
Ricardo Louis Wide receiver prospect out of Miami Beach. Has initiated contact with Ohio State and said he will be coming for the spring game. Always a good sign.
Angelo Jean-Louis Another Florida wide receiver that has sought out Ohio State. One to watch because they offered him not long after he reached out to Ohio State.