What should Ohio State fans be looking for in the coming weeks, and who are the candidates to be in this class at the end?
Mike Thomas: Fork Union. Wide receiver. Will visit Ohio State at the end of October, and even though he is all over the board with different schools, this one looks very promising. There are rumblings that Thomas has silently committed to Ohio State, and the visit is a mere formality. Do I believe that? Yes, I do.
Adolphus Washington: Cincinnati Taft. Defensive end. The top prospect on Ohio State's recruiting board, and a huge get. Washington will be announcing on November 9th, and barring anything out of the ordinary, it will be for the Buckeyes.
Dwayne Stanford: Cincinnati Taft. Wide receiver. Will announce with his teammate, Washington, and it sure appears the two of them will be attending the same school. With two receivers committed, Lewis and Frank Epitropoulos, and Thomas possibly done, it's hard to see Ohio State taking four receivers, but that just might be how it shakes out.
Alex Kozan: Valor Christian (CO). Guard. This name has been floating around for a while, and his recruitment is still alive, BANK that. Kozan is not listing Ohio State because the Buckeyes have not offered to date, but he is still in the mix. He is supposed to hear from Jim Bollman this week whether he receives the Buckeye offer or not. If he gets that offer, look for Ohio State to be the favorite to land this offensive lineman.
Se'Von Pittman: Canton McKinley. Defensive end. There were some eyebrows raised a few weeks ago when Pittman showed up on the visit list for the Colorado game, and with good reason. It appears Michigan State has this one back under control, and Pittman is saying all the right things about being a Spartan. A key indicator could be if he takes an official visit to Ohio State, and if that happens, look for a switch to the Buckeyes. Still a long way to go with this prospect I believe.
Ifeadi Odenigbo: Centerville. Linebacker. This is a player that keeps hanging around and saying he is in no hurry to choose a school, and I believe him 100%. I think the higher academic schools are in better shape to land Odenigbo, but he is from Centerville and close friends with Michael Bennett, so you never give up hope. As long as he will take an official visit, Ohio State has a chance at landing this talented athlete.
Brionte Dunn: Canton GlenOak. Tailback. I do see a Michigan official visit in his future, and at that point all bets are off. Dunn is probably a 50-50 proposition right now between Ohio State and Michigan, and this could easily go either way. Although he is listed as an Ohio State commit, realistically this is a prospect that is up for grabs. Ohio State needs to recruit him like he is uncommitted, and go after him hard. I guarantee the other side certainly is.
Jordan Diamond: Chicago Simeon. Offensive tackle. No big deal here, right? Not like Ohio State needs tackles, and it's not like Diamond is one of the best in the country. Wait. Yes, they do, and Yes, he is. This recruitment has certainly not gone the way most expected. Michigan's recruiting success on the offensive line may have actually hurt them here, and they are still in the game for some big-time prospects on the West Coast. I would keep recruiting Diamond as hard as possible, and try to get him on an official visit with his mom. He lists about ten different schools all the time, and I would recruit this kid as hard as I did Adolphus Washington. He is the same type of impact player, and he just might be available to Ohio State.
Jordan Washington: North Gwinnett (GA). Defensive tackle. He is now down to two schools, Mississippi State and Ohio State. Washington will visit Ohio State at the end of October, and he has already been to Mississippi State on a few occasions and is close to that staff. The official visit to Ohio State will be the best, and probably the only shot to land this defensive tackle. Have to like the chances when the player is down to two schools.
Mason Monheim: Orrville. Linebacker. The Buckeyes are supposed to give him a final answer very soon on an offer. Should they offer I see Monheim as a Buckeye, possibly in the same phone call. Stay tuned.
Joe Burger: Cincinnati La Salle. Linebacker. See above. Same deal. I do not see Ohio State taking both linebackers.
Jordan Diggs: Island Coast (FLA). Safety. At one time Ohio State was the clear leader, but that now seems years ago, not months ago. They need to get Diggs on an official visit, to see if they can recapture the magic of the spring game visit. If he visits, all bets are off.
Demetrious Cox: Jeanette (PA). Safety. You wouldn't think he would want the scrutiny that would come with an Ohio State decision, but Cox will visit in November. Ohio State was probably in decent shape before all the Terrelle Pryor stuff, so you never know where this could end up. Have to see where things stand after the visit.
Bam Bradley: Trotwood-Madison. Safety. This recruitment has never gotten off the ground for Ohio State from the very beginning when Bradley cancelled an early visit to meet with Luke Fickell. Things have never gotten started to this point, so it's hard to see Bam in this class. Pittsburgh is probably the leader at this point, especially with his brother, Nicholas Grigsby, playing there. However, if he would visit, you never know.
Nick Davidson: Eden Prairie (MN). Offensive tackle. This is a player that simply hates the interview process, and that is not a problem for me at all. Davidson will visit officially, and that's all you can ask for. Would have liked to have seen him come to camp last summer, but that's not a big deal. Have to think Ohio State is in the game for this one, considering his family legacy with the Buckeyes.
All things considered, this class could end up better than what things looked like a few months ago. This will not be the top-five class everyone was hoping for last winter, but it should be a class that could end up ranked in the mid-teens when everything is signed and sealed. That's not too bad when considering all Ohio State has been through.
AND, there is potentially a top-five class coming in 2013. BANK That.