Bank Blog: Recruiting Update

Ohio State hosted over 50 top recruits for Saturday's battle with Michigan, and the early returns are quite positive for the Buckeyes. Where do things stand with the Ohio State 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes?

- Linebacker recruiting is as big a need as any position group for 2013, and there are plenty of big fish on the line. Trey Johnson is first on the hook with his visit this weekend, and according to Buckeye commits his visit was a home run. Looking logically, with his father on this trip but not going with him to USC, it's easy to see that's a pleasure cruise and not business. Johnson won't be going to Auburn, unless they can win him back with their new coach. More than likely, Johnson will choose between Ohio State and Florida, with the Gator trip still on the horizon. Ohio State made a huge leap this weekend, and they have more than a puncher's chance at Trey Johnson.

- James Quick was FAR more comfortable at Ohio State this time around, and he won't be leaving until Monday. The first visit set the table to get Ohio State in the game as a serious player, but this trip is all about Urban sealing the deal. From what I'm being told, Ohio State will be signing James Quick in February, and this official visit was where he felt both the comfort with Ohio State and cemented the relationship with Urban Meyer. Zach Smith has done a great job, but this one turned toward Ohio State a few months ago when Urban took over the recruitment.

- Shelton Gibson and Christopher Worley want to be in this recruiting class, and have made their intentions well known prior to this weekend's unofficial visits. While Worley can be written down in ink as in the 2013 class, there might still be academic hurdles left for Gibson. If he checks out fine academically, Gibson is a Buckeye.

- Corey Smith is another interesting candidate,and his unofficial visit this weekend was all about clarifying his recruiting status and judging how badly Ohio State wants him. Meyer and Smith convinced him they are extremely serious about recruiting him and would take him today, which is what Smith was looking for. He will be back in Columbus on an official visit in January. Without Smith and Meyer reassuring him how much he's wanted, Smith would not be making that return trip. In the end, Smith is an Ohio native and the chance to return home might be too strong of a pull to turn down. Is there room for all three of Gibson, Smith and Quick? Urban loves playmakers, so I say yes.

- Have to think Ryan Timmons is the PLAN-B backup to the three wide receivers. Auston Johnson, De'Niro Laster and Martrell Spaight are PLAN-B linebacker prospects, behind the likes of Trey Johnson, Mike Mitchell, Chris Worley and Skai Moore.

- Starting to get the feeling that Donovan Munger might not be in this class, and UCLA might have taken a big lead for his services.

- Offensive line will probably get the most scrutiny over the next month, especially if David Dawson falls through the cracks. Would have to think Ohio State wants to add another lineman, preferably a tackle, to this class. When looking at Meyer trying to flip someone from another school, this position group is one to pay attention to.

- Vonn Bell is the top safety target on the board, and this one looks like it might be slipping away from Tennessee, and toward Alabama and Ohio State. The next step for Ohio State is securing the official visit, and it could happen after the holiday break.

- Gareon Conley DID attend the game as an Ohio State recruit, but he left early and did not hang around to talk to the Buckeye coaching staff or the players. Not sure what to make of this one right now, and Conley isn't doing much talking. Will look to get things clarified over the next few days.

- Mike Heuerman WAS at the game, but not on the recruiting list. He used his family tickets, not recruiting passes and told everyone he was just in Columbus to see his brother. All indications are he is staying with Notre Dame, and I believe that to be true.

- For 2014, Ohio State is not in great position to land the Big Three in the linebacker group, as Raekwon McMillan, Dante Booker and Clifton Garrett have tagged themselves. Rather, I think that should be changed to the Big FOUR, as I have St. Ignatius linebacker Kyle Berger as a serious candidate to join the other three. Not saying the other three are IN, although I feel Booker definitely is. McMillan sure says all the right things, and I've never felt the Garrett rumblings about Michigan State or any other school. I think Ohio State is in great position to land all four, and they would take all four.

- Ohio State is certainly in the game with several top out of state 2014 prospects, but names like Jalen Hurd, Da'Shawn Hand, Dominique Booth will probably take their time and not get serious about recruiting until this time next year. But there's no reason to not track these big-timers all the way through, because Urban has planted the seeds. He knows Ohio is not as strong at the top for 2014, so out of state recruiting will be key in putting together a great class.

- I do not see a quarterback offered for 2014 in the near future. They were enamored with two that are already committed, Jerrod Heard (Texas) and Deshaun Watson (Clemson), and Urban might be willing to play around with both to see if either might be flipped to Ohio State. Drew Barker is obviously next in line, should Meyer give up on the other two, but I do not see a QB offer going out soon.

- The Glenville Pipeline is back and flowing again, and Worley will just be the start for Meyer and the Buckeyes. I expect Marshon Lattimore and Marcelys Jones to be in the 2014 class, and for the Ted Ginn Sr./Ohio State relationship to carry on as it had in years prior.

- BONUS NFL EARLY DEPARTURE UPDATE:

Bradley Roby will be staying at Ohio State, barring a dramatic change in plans. He has talked it over with his family, and all parties involved believe another year is needed, both from a personal standpoint and a football standpoint. He has only played cornerback extensively since he has been at Ohio State, and all involved feel another year of development is needed. NOW, the family hasn't yet had an agent sitting at the coffee table with a folder explaining annuities and long-term investments, so this might be a tad early to make this call, but my source says it's over and done.


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