Who are the top candidates to fill out this class? Tough to say, especially with two important events coming up on the calendar. First is the spring evaluation period, where college coaches can hit the road and see prospects in person. That starts at the end of April. Next, is the individual camp sessions, that have led to offers in the past. See prospects like Taylor Graham, Devin Smith, Jeremy Cash, etc.
Let's take a look at finding 15 more prospects, joining the five commits and coming up with the final number of 20. This will be done by position group.
QUARTERBACK: Assuming Cardale Jones is good to go, there probably won't be a quarterback taken in this class. If they see Jones is failing, or if they want to add one, there are prospects available. Shane Dillon holds an offer, and the California signal-caller is a good one. In-state, Austin Appleby fits the mold of a Buckeye passer. Number: 0.
TAILBACK: This one seemed over and a dead issue a few weeks ago, but now there is a crack in the foundation. Is Brionte Dunn committed or not? Personally, I think he's a Buckeye, but the Michigan visit is concerning. I think they stick with him unless he de-commits, then they would look elsewhere, or possibly just go with Warren Ball. Rushel Shell and William Mahone are two legitimate options should Dunn depart, but for now I'm sticking with Dunn in this class. NUMBER: 2.
FULLBACK: There are no candidates that I'm aware of, but I see this as a position of need. Go watch the tape and compare Zach Boren playing the position to the people who stumbled around before him. It ain't pretty. NUMBER: 0.
WIDE RECEIVER: A position of uncertainty because a few of the younger ones are not stepping up to the level that Ohio State has had in the past. I previously thought two would be the number here, but I'm adjusting that to three. I see Frank Epitropoulos as IN. I also believe Dwayne Stanford (pictured) finds his way into this class as well. That leaves one more, from Jaquay Williams, Ricardo Louis, Aaron Burbridge and Cyrus Jones. A new name they are high on is Amari Cooper (Miami Northwestern), who sat out last season with an injury. Cooper will be evaluated by Ohio State this spring in person, and he can play with those mentioned above. NUMBER: 3
OFFENSIVE LINE: I'm going with four, but if the right people want to commit, I could see going to five. Already two in the hopper with Kyle Kalis and Jacoby Boren. They are chasing Jonah Pirsag, Jordan Diamond, Evan Goodman and Jordan Simmons. They could land any of that group, but I don't see them as the favorite for one at this time. Others in the mix, and more likely, would be Kyle Dodson (pictured), Abraham Garcia and possibly a guard, like Benny McGowan or Zach Higgins. If they grab two tackles first, they might go after a guard and move the number to five. They probably need five after recent misses in consecutive years. NUMBER: 4.
TIGHT END: After grabbing two last year in Nick Vannett and Jeff Heuerman, they could be in a position to pass on tight end for 2012. Heuerman's early reviews are great and Vannett is thought to have star-quality. The rumor is that they turned down Taylor McNamara's commitment, and if true, that's telling. Other options are Pharaoh Brown, Tanner Kearns or Sam Grant. NUMBER: 0.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Still think five is the right number for this spot, and there are several top-flight candidates. Most likely to become Buckeyes are the fivesome of Tom Strobel, Se'Von Pittman, Adolphus Washington, Greg McMullen (pictured) and LaTroy Lewis. Others in the mix are Chris Wormley, Tommy Schutt and possibly Trae Clark out of Colerain. NUMBER: 5
LINEBACKER: After grabbing four good ones in the last go-round, there isn't the need for quantity, but I still see Ohio State taking two in this class. Most likely candidate is Ifeadi Odenigbo joining Josh Perry at the linebacker spot. I think they would like an inside backer, but Kaleb Ringer had no interest, and Joe Bolden could be off the board before camp begins. An interesting sidelight could be Michigan taking four linebackers early and having no room for James Ross, with Ringer, Bolden, Royce Jenkins-Stone and Deaysean Rippy possibly headed to Ann Arbor. Ohio State would take Ross in a heartbeat. Stay tuned. NUMBER: 2.
DEFENSIVE BACK: Similar to linebacker, last year's haul eliminates the need for quantity, and I see three more being added. The player they want the most is also a player they're going to get: Devan Bogard. Write him IN. The other two could be tricky, but I think Ohio State has a great shot with Jordan Diggs (pictured), and I would rank him as the likeliest Floridian to be in this class. I do not see them getting Terry Richardson, Travis Blanks or Deon Bush. The third defensive back could also be a Glenville player, V'Angelo Bentley, who could be the most underrated player in Ohio. Jarrod Wilson and Bam Bradley are both out there and could still be offered by Ohio State. NUMBER: 3.
SPECIALIST: There is a definite need for a punter, but Epitropoulos just might be able to fill that role, which opens up another spot. If they think Drew Basil is the answer that would probably eliminate Ross Martin, but the Walsh Jesuit product just might be the best kicker in America. Martin has offers from Iowa State and Pitt, and Florida is inches from offering. NUMBER: 1.
Want a ridiculous guess at the final class? Knowing full well it won't be correct? Why not?
Perry. Ball. Kalis. Boren. Dunn. Stanford. Epitropoulos. Cooper. Pirsag. Dodson. McMullen. Lewis. Pittman. Strobel. Washington. Odenigbo. Bogard. Diggs. Bentley. Martin.
That's ALL folks.