Bank Blog: Recruiting Update

With less than two weeks until National Signing Day, Ohio State is all but assured of a Top-Five class in 2013. With two official visitors on campus this weekend, and one of the top recruits taking a visit, there are big things happening in Buckeye Land.

- As recruiting analysts, we make our living trying to figure out the puzzle on a daily basis and hopefully bring the story to the readers day after day. Because this class is nearly finished, and so many of the recruits they're chasing are committed elsewhere, putting that puzzle together is far more difficult than people might imagine.

- When we feel we have the information nailed tight, there are usually "====", and "Take it to the Bank" proclamations delivered in a boastful manner. This is simply not going to be that type of article, and will be more a summary of how I "think" things are happening, but certainly not a report on how I "know" they're happening. At this point in time I doubt Urban Meyer "knows" how his class is going to finish, so this report is more thinking out loud.

- The Dontre Wilson situation went well for Ohio State, and the goal in trying to flip a high-profile recruit is to get the purchase order instantly. While it doesn't appear Wilson has switched to Ohio State, I would not say things are dead at all, and in reality a public commitment to Ohio State was probably never in the plans for the player. I would guess that Wilson will take a visit next weekend and announce his final choice on or near National Signing Day. Has Ohio State and Urban Meyer given him reason to make a change?

- Ohio State is fighting the opposite battle with Ezekiel Elliott, and there is concern about the four-star tailback following a visit to Missouri. While a statement from Elliott proclaiming his commitment to Ohio State would have been comforting today, it's hard for me to believe that 48 hours on the Missouri campus would be enough to sway Elliott to the Tigers. rules dictate that Elliott must be kept as a "soft verbal" until he makes a public statement and reaffirms to the Buckeyes. I would guess we will see that statement from Elliott in the next 24 hours.

- Although the situation might seem similar to Wilson, I see the James Clark recruitment in a far different light. I believe Ohio State needed the cancellation of the Florida trip scheduled for next week in order to land this speedster. He has announced he will take that visit to Florida next week, his sixth to Gainesville, and I'm expecting a commitment to the Gators will follow.

- We are going to know real soon where Corey Smith fits into the Buckeye equation, and I mean within the next few days. Another trip to Mississippi by the Buckeye staff would be telling, and signify that the full court press is on. To date, it has been token pressure, but once the heat gets turned up I see Smith flipping to the Buckeyes. Without Ohio State making their presence felt soon, there will probably be an official visit to Tennessee coming next weekend. If Ohio State decides to GO on Corey Smith, I see a commitment forthcoming.

- Where does Ryan Timmons fit into the equation? I do not believe he was given a commitable offer last week by the Buckeyes, and he still hasn't taken an official visit to the school. If they feel Clark is gone, would Ohio State push Timmons to cancel on Florida next week and take a visit to Columbus? Will Florida have room for Timmons if they do indeed land Clark? Is Kentucky a player? Does Timmons NEED to take an official to Ohio State, since he has been there several times already? In so many ways Timmons is actually a key player in this drama, and how both Ohio State and Florida approach him in the next 24-48 hours will be telling.

- Is Cornelius Elder still the game for Ohio state? Simply because his name never gets mentioned, and he rarely talks to the media, you almost have to assume he's still in the picture. I know I have not written him out of this class yet. After all, Elder has taken an official visit. Timmons has not.

- Ohio State needs another offensive lineman, simply put. I would have Dan Skipper as a more viable option than Cameron Hunt at this time, and I don't think things are dead for either player. Could Ohio State shake things up and bring in a surprise next weekend on the offensive line? I know nothing about such a plan, but having followed Urban Meyer over the years it would not be a shocker.

- Vonn Bell has had a plan in place to announce on National Signing Day and I do not see anything changing there. What that means is all statements made by Bell or his coach over the next two weeks should be ignored, unless they start with "Vonn has committed to.......". Word out of Knoxville is that Tennessee made up a ton of ground this weekend and has put themselves squarely in the mix for Bell. If that is truly the case, it puts to rest the rumor that Bell is and has been a done-deal for Alabama. This will probably come down to whoever gets the fax wins the prize, and I do not see this one leaking out ahead of time. Can Ohio State sign Vonn Bell? Why not?

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