Buckeyes Establishing New Ground: Texas

Ohio State recruiting under Urban Meyer is quite different than it was with Jim Tressel at the helm, and seeing the Buckeyes establish the state of Texas as a recruiting area came as a surprise last year.

Since Urban Meyer took the reins as the Buckeyes' head coach, the recruiting approach and philosophy has been altered. Ohio State will always focus a large portion of their recruiting efforts in their home state that is traditionally fertile with talent. The change is the aggression in which they place on other areas of the country.

While still paying a very watchful eye in Ohio, the Buckeyes' staff is now combing every area in the search of the next player to put on the Ohio State jersey. The proof of that strategy can be seen with the many offers they have handed out. Prospects in states from out west in California, to the south in Texas, up north in Michigan, to the southeast in Florida, and all the way to the northeast states of New Jersey and New York are receiving heavy attention from the coaching staff.

The first segment of the series focuses on the efforts in Texas. The Buckeyes have not traditionally placed an emphasis on the state that churns out massive top talent year in and year out. The first step taken by Urban Meyer to speed the process along was his hiring of offensive coordinator Tom Herman. The former Iowa State and Rice assistant is very familiar with that part of the country and had a history of diving into Texas and hauling in athletes to join his particular school. Now he's doing the same for Urban Meyer's Buckeyes.

The surge in Texas actually began in the 2012 class with a name that may be have forgotten. Linebacker Dalton Santos was in Ohio State's crosshairs towards the end of the cycle and was strongly considering the Buckeyes for a brief time before committing to the Longhorns. Ohio State instead nabbed linebackers Camren Williams and David Perkins at the end to add to Luke Roberts and Josh Perry.

The 2013 class saw the Buckeyes put the plan into motion on their presence in Texas. Ohio State was able to sign three natives from the state in quarterback J.T. Barrett, athlete Dontre Wilson, and five-star linebacker Mike Mitchell. The Buckeyes fended off Florida State and Oklahoma for Mitchell's signature, flipped Wilson from Oregon, and held off LSU and Baylor for Barrett. Over 10 prospects in the lone-star state were offered by Ohio State in the 2013 class.

The table has been set to continue the invasion of Texas. A plethora of offers have been sent out over the state to top-flight talent that includes Solomon Thomas, Jamal Adams, Tony Brown, Corey Avery, Demetrius Knox, Mavin Saunders, Edwin Freeman, Cameron Hampton, Edward Paris, and Chris Hardeman.

So whom can the Buckeyes cherry-pick out of Texas in this year's class? The best chance may reside in the former Ohioan and current Fort Worth native Demetrius Knox. The four-star offensive lineman has already visited the Buckeyes, and followed it up by de-committing from the Longhorns. Other possibilities, although minute, are five-star prospects that produce their highlights in the secondary, Tony Brown and Jamal Adams. Both have mentioned a possible visit to check out the Ohio State campus.

And if the fall doesn't show signs of a re-emergence of Texas football, things could snowball in Austin. A tumultuous season for the Longhorns could prove to be beneficial for Ohio State, and their recruiting presence in the state could open doors to prospects that may become available late in the process.

If Texas becomes a prime spot for the taking, the Buckeyes are in a spot to swoop in.

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