Who are the leading candidates to be in this class come National Signing Day of 2011?
Doran Grant: There are now some rumblings from Grant's friends that the star defensive back is torn between Ohio State and Michigan State, and that he is favoring the Spartans. Michigan State is the only official visit he has taken so far, and his father played for the Spartans. RESULT: Truly favoring the Spartans, or creating recruiting drama to hype the announcement? I'm not buying it, but I am listening. I still see Grant as a Buckeye, but I am paying more attention to the Spartan rumors.
Ryan Shazier: A big thank you note to Urban Meyer for the retirement announcement from Ohio State. Shazier is now "in the game." Some even think the Buckeyes are the favorite, and I would be inclined to agree. Getting the home visit was big, and it went "really, really great" according to a friend of Shazier. Ohio State had three coaches in the home for over two hours, and the family was impressed. RESULT: I believe LSU is now out of it, and this is a Buckeye-Gator battle. Ohio State fires their big gun this week, with the official visit. Can Will Muschamp respond?
Aundrey Walker: The suspense and drama will have to be created, and it's going to be tough. The former Glenville players on the Ohio State roster have spoken, loud and clear: Aundrey Walker is a Buckeye. RESULT: With respect to the late, great Don Meredith: "Turn out the lights. The party's over."
Ejuan Price: Official visit to Iowa was last week. Official to Ohio State comes up this week. Can Pittsburgh sneak back into the mix? RESULT: Tough one to call, but I'm guessing Ohio State can land this linebacker out of Pennsylvania.
Jabari Gorman: Time to crank up Don Meredith-II, because I believe this party is over as well. I see Gorman heading to the Gators, and last week's official visit was a homerun. Ohio State will fight this one to the bitter end, and they have done a great recruiting job, but distance from home wins out. RESULT: Gators grab a good one.
Jadeveon Clowney: Odds of Clowney taking the visit to Ohio State? Probably 50-50. Odds of Clowney signing with Ohio State on National Signing Day? Look up the title of the movie that starred Jami Gertz. Robert Downey Jr. and Andrew McCarthy from 1987. RESULT: The movie title says it all.
Tank Carradine: A crazy, crazy story floating around that Carradine used the Buckeyes official visit offer just to get a flight to Cincinnati to see his mother. Canceled on the Buckeyes, but got to visit mom. RESULT: Hard to see this player at Ohio State. This one always had a "Southern Flavor" to it.
Bryce Haynes: Great person, and the top long-snapper in America. But, Shazier could do that job, even though there's no guarantee he comes to Ohio State. Haynes has an official visit scheduled this weekend with Ohio State. RESULT: Got his dream offer last week: Notre Dame. Hail to the Irish.
Byron Moore: The JUCO defensive back will visit Ohio State this coming weekend, and he will see Ohio for all its natural glory and splendor. If he can leave the West coast, the Buckeyes have a great shot. The depth chart is appealing, and that's a huge factor to a JC player. RESULT: Wow him on his visit, sell him on playing time, and take your best shot.
Akise Teague: Committed to Cincinnati. Had a great playoff run, and he fits that offense like a glove. Could Ohio State jump back in on him? Don't see that happening. RESULT: Should have a great career as a Bearcat.
Chris Bryant: Clearly a PLAN-B recruit, but Ohio State has stayed in contact, in person and by phone. Would they take both Bryant and Walker? Doubtful, and they are getting Walker. RESULT: Not a Buckeye, and doesn't get offered.
Darius Jennings: I've heard nothing to make me think Jennings is going to be a Buckeye. RESULT: Nothing to recommend at this point.
Phillip Dorsett: Can the hiring of Al Golden keep Dorsett at home? Dorsett is looking around, and will take a visit to North Carolina. There has been contact with Ohio State. RESULT: Not out of the realm of possibility, but not likely.
Cardale Jones. Shane Wynn. Andre Sturdivant No offers for any of the Glenville players, and no official visits set up with Ohio State. That's the death blow in recruiting. RESULT: Not going to happen for any of these guys, unless it happens very, very late in the process.
Keith Wells: I think the odds are high that Wells is back in a Buckeye uniform for spring football. He has said the reinstatement process is on-going, and he expects to be back. RESULT: Should be back, if all goes well with the reinstatement process.
Duron Carter: DO NOT cue Don Meredith-III just yet, because this party ain't over yet. He has other offers, and he has taken visits, but Ohio State is in his heart, and he's having a tough time walking away from the Buckeye program. I think he knows the road will be tougher at Ohio State, but that's truly where he wants to be. There has been dialogue, and there is a path for Carter to return. Will he take it? RESULT: Classic struggle between head and heart. Returning to Ohio State might not be the most sensible decision, and the chance for failure is far greater, but that is clearly where Carter wants to be. Stay tuned.
If I have to name five guys that will be in this recruiting class, and we include Carter and Wells in that number, this gets really, really tough to predict. On Monday, December 13, I'm going to go with Doran Grant, Aundrey Walker, Ryan Shazier, Ejuan Price, Keith Wells...........................................and...............Dur..............nope, can't do that just yet. Let's stick with five, and save one for a wild card.