Bank Blog: Recruiting Update

There is no better description of this week at Ohio State than what you see on the schedule. The bye-week listed refers to what the assistant coaches will be telling their families, as it's time to hit the road and recruit like champions. Word to the Buckeye assistants: Urban enjoys sees you recruit hard.

- BYE-Week at Ohio State could mean a lot of things to different people, but to the Ohio State assistant coaches it means it's time to show your head coach why he hired you to be on this staff. Want to impress your boss? Surprise him with gifts. Like getting a five-star player to agree to visit for the Michigan game.

- This is the week to look for new names popping up on the Ohio State recruiting radar, and that could definitely include those committed elsewhere. Starting Monday, and continuing all week, look for the assistants to be out on the road firming up current commits, and looking for new candidates to fill out this recruiting class.

- Ohio State has 17 commits, and that hasn't changed in a while, nor do I expect it to change anytime soon. This time of year is for planting seeds, and accurately determining where you are. Both from a numbers standpoint, and from the standpoint of who do you realistically have a shot at landing. The numbers look good, and there is probably more room than people might think. Need to be at 82 by next August, which probably means unlimited to Urban Meyer. I wouldn't worry about having too many candidates for too little spots, as that will work itself out.

- Mike Mitchell is THE key linebacker recruit, and while his recruitment has been a tough one to follow, there's no doubting Ohio State is squarely in the mix. He says all the right things, and is supposed to be visiting soon. Luke Fickell has Mitchell as PRIORITY-ONE, and will be in his school shortly. Tough one to call here, and I will wait to see how the visits transpire.

- Christopher Worley will be in this class. I'm not nearly as certain on Donovan Munger, although it would not surprise me to see him sign with the Buckeyes. He is looking to check out a few other schools, and I think he still could be wooed by someone else at this point. There is no "wink-wink" agreement between Ohio State and Munger. (There might be with Worley). Would Ohio State take Munger today? Yes.

- A lot of people see similarities between the recruitments of James Quick and Vonn Bell. I'm not one of them. Does the potential coaching change at Louisville impact Quick? I certainly believe it does, and Charlie Strong moving on would definitely be a good thing for Ohio State's pursuit of Quick. The hometown draw would still be there for the stud wideout, but this one appears to be trending toward Ohio State, and Strong changing his address could be the tipping point. On the other hand, Bell seems like the Tennessee attraction is not at all tied to the future of Derek Dooley, but rather his fondness for the school itself. Nothing has changed much at Tennessee lately on the field, and the rumored coaching change could be a positive for the Vols in landing Bell. I would have Quick FAR more likely to be a Buckeye than Bell, and I might have Ohio State as the leader for the former. Can Ohio State still land Vonn Bell? Yes, they certainly could.

- What about the pursuit of the Michigan commits? I do not see any chance with Dymonte Thomas at all, and I've never heard anything at all regarding a possible flip in the past nine months. I have this one at ZERO. Michael McCray is a name there is plenty of "buzz" on, and that "buzz" is increasing weekly. The Trotwood kids are on the traditional media boycott for their playoff run, but this one bears watching going forward. I have never believed the McCray to Ohio State rumors at all, and there might be absolutely nothing to it, but it's definitely out there.

- Two players that put their spots in Michigan's 2013 class in jeopardy are David Dawson, who is on the outside, and Gareon Conley, who insists he will take visits.

- For Conley, until a visit is actually scheduled and nothing yet, everything remains status quo. I believe he will visit Oregon and Ohio State, and that will put the ball in Brady Hoke's court. If Conley follows through with his plan and Michigan drops him, there is no doubt that Oregon would be the favorite. Conley has admitted as much. But, he has never been to Oregon, and right now the attraction is all about the offense, the glitz, the hype, Nike, the uniforms, etc. etc. If he takes no visits, he stays with Michigan. If he takes visits and gets dropped by the Wolverines, everything will rest on the Oregon visit. If it goes good, and they offer him, Conley will commit to Oregon on the spot. Another key is the fact that Oregon HAS NOT offered Conley to this point. This one is going to play out for a while, because Conley's team is in the playoffs and he could be tied up for the next four Saturdays.

- The Dawson situation is FAR more weird and crazy. He's committed to Michigan since childbirth, and this a Cass Tech kid. For Ohio residents, think of Cass as Glenville North. Glenville kids go to Ohio State, and Cass Tech kids go to Michigan. But, David Dawson has been: silently committed/infatuated with/promised to Florida since last June, or possibly earlier. He visited the Gators a few weeks ago, and the deal was supposed to be sealed and announced within 24 hours of leaving Gainesville. And that never happened. Why? Supposedly, David's mom is concerned about the distance from home, and with David's father being deceased, this changed things. It now looks like Michigan will not take him back, and rumors are out there he tried to reconnect with the Wolverines, so this leaves Ohio State and Michigan State. Dawson wants to visit Ohio State for the Michigan game, but he also could be tied up the next few weeks with games. Have to think Ohio State is a solid player for Dawson.

- Dorian Johnson's recruitment is also kind of unclear at the moment, and this appears to be an Ohio State vs. Pittsburgh battle. There is always a strong pull for these kids to Pitt, even though Ohio State fans never think they could lose a recruiting battle to the Panthers. A plus here is the fact that he was committed to Penn State before the roof fell in, so Pitt wasn't the first choice. I believe Johnson will be back to Ohio State at least once, and possibly twice, before Signing Day. I like Ohio State's chances with Dorian Johnson, but there is much work to be done.

- I believe Shelton Gibson wants to be a Buckeye, and this is all about him qualifying academically. I would guess this WILL work out in the end, and Gibson will sign with Ohio State on Signing Day.

- Skai Moore will visit for the Michigan game, but the rumors of teammate wide receiver Jordan Cunningham joining him are false. Ohio State has no interest in Cunningham, but MAJOR interest in Moore. If Moore is comfortable with the surroundings and the coaching staff at Ohio State, look for a commitment to the Buckeyes soon after returning home. This isn't a kid that will play the game, then sign with someone close to home. I really like the Buckeye chances with Moore.

- With the Florida-born kids, you are talking about the greatest game-players in the recruiting world, and you need to have the best of sources and great instincts to read these kids. Something about the Tony Stevens recruitment seems odd, and although it might look very promising for Ohio State, I don't like the looks of this one. Has the feel of a "look-at-me" recruitment, but I could be wrong. He might visit for Michigan, but even a no-show wouldn't surprise me at all. Color me skeptical on Tony Stevens.

- The JUCO situation is usually another opportunity for fool's gold, and the only one I'm remotely buying at this point is Corey Smith. Keep hearing conflicting reports on his academic situation, so until he visits officially I'm in the cautiously optimistic camp. Would Ohio State take him if things are good-to-go academically? That one is a tricky one, and I'm guessing they would, but that's a guess.

- What is truly etched in stone regarding Ohio State's recruiting under Urban Meyer? You can absolutely see how exciting things are in the latter stages of recruiting under Meyer. Under Jim Tressel, the snoozing started after the Michigan game, as the class pretty much was decided and the prospects were identified. Better not snooze over the next three months or you might miss a lot of fun. Take That To The Bank.


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