2004 Recruiting Class Grade: B+

Even though the previous recruiting class was pretty much a disaster, Jim Tressel righted the ship with the 2004 class and produced a winner once again. Ted Ginn highlighted a stellar group of talent.

In Jim Tressel's first two recruiting classes, he hit a grand slam with the 2002 group and struck out in 2003. In 2004, Tressel produced the type of class Ohio State fans grew accustomed to seeing every February.

Although injuries curtailed several promising careers, Ohio State signed several multi-year starters, including two first round draft picks.

The 2003 class ended up ranked at number-11, with an average star rating of 3.08. Although the 2002 class still dominated the star power on the roster, the 2004 class contributed depth and flash.

FIVE-STAR PROSPECTS:

Ted Ginn. Glenville. Cornerback. WOW. Not a bad way to have the highest-rated member of the class become one of the school's more electrifying talents. The nation's number-one ranked cornerback never played the position, and with good reason. Although a lot of people think he could have had a far better NFL career at defensive back, he took the Big Ten by storm as a kick returner and receiver.

FOUR-STAR PROSPECTS:

Ben Person. Xenia. Offensive line. A multi-year starter at guard, Person came in as the number-17 ranked offensive lineman in the country. He gave great effort and was a solid contributor throughout his career.

Chad Hoobler. Carrollton. Tight end. The nation's number-four ranked tight end had a world of potential, but never realized it at Ohio State. Left school before making his mark on the field for the Buckeyes.

Sirjo Welch. Beechcroft. Safety. The nation's number-seven ranked safety was a special teams demon as a freshman, before transferring to Cincinnati.

Marcus Freeman. Huber Heights Wayne. Linebacker. Came into Ohio State as the number-11 ranked linebacker in the country, and started multiple years for the Buckeyes. Always known as a smart player, Freeman earned All Big Ten honors, and is now coaching at Purdue.

Rory Nicol. Beaver Area (PA). Tight end. The nation's number-two ranked tight end had a solid career at Ohio State, and was a multi-year starter. Never lived up to the high ranking, but was a key contributor.

Kyle Mitchum. Erie McDowell (PA). Offensive line. Was part of a potentially great offensive line haul, and was ranked as the number-seven offensive lineman in the country. Injuries cut short a promising career.

Albert Dukes. Belle Glade. Wide receiver. The number-24 ranked wideout in the country was called more talented than Santonio Holmes by his high school coach. Sadly, that never transferred to the field at Ohio State.

THREE-STAR PROSPECTS:

Shaun Lane. Hubbard. Cornerback. Although he never played regularly in the defensive backfield, the nation's number-32 cornerback was loved by Buckeye fans for his special teams excellence.

Antonio Pittman. Akron Buchtel. Tailback. The number-31 ranked tailback in America far exceeded that ranking, and had a fine career at Ohio State. Was a fine inside runner, with the speed to break long runs.

Steve Rehring. Lakota West. Offensive line. The number-48 ranked offensive lineman in the country, Rehring started multi years at Ohio State and was a solid contributor in his career.

Jon Skinner. Mount Carmel (PA). Offensive line. Injuries also ruined the career of the number-94 ranked offensive lineman.

Eric Haw. Columbus Independence. Tailback. Personal issues never let Ohio State fans see the talent of the nation's number-58 ranked tailback. He had skills and could have been a contributor backing up Pittman had he survived.

Brandon Underwood. Hamilton. Cornerback. Much like his brother E.J., Brandon Underwood had talent, as evidenced by his number-14 cornerback rating. But, like his brother, that potential was never realized in Columbus.

A.J. Trapasso. Pickerington Central. Punter. It was rare to see a specialist receive a three-star rating, but Trapasso lived up to it and had a fine career as a punter for the Buckeyes.

Vernon Gholston. Cass Tech (MI). Defensive end. The nation's number-39 ranked defensive end far exceeded that ranking, and parlayed a great Buckeye career into a first round draft pick of the New York Jets. One of the top pass-rushers of the Tressel era.

Alex Barrow. Dublin Coffman. Defensive end. Ranked as the number-59 defensive end prospect in the country, Barrow never made much of a splash for the Buckeyes.

Nick Patterson. Hazelwood Central (MO). Safety. Had a crazy career at Ohio State, starting the first game of his sophomore season and never getting meaningful playing time the rest of his career. Ranked as the number-41 safety in the country.

Nadar Abdallah. Archbishop Rummel (LA). The number-44 defensive tackle in the country did nothing for Ohio State until dedicating himself to get in great shape prior to his senior season. Ended up being a key contributor that year at defensive tackle.

Devon Lyons. Woodland Hills (PA). Safety. A talented athlete on both sides of the football, the nation's number-17 ranked safety never did much at Ohio State before transferring to West Virginia.

TWO-STAR PROSPECTS:

Joe Bauserman. Tallahasse Lincoln. Quarterback. Played professional baseball a few years before reporting to Ohio State. The number-55 ranked quarterback drew the ire of Buckeye fans in 2012 as the poster child for all that went wrong during Ohio State's losing season.

Dionte Johnson. Columbus Eastmoor. Runningback. Although not rated, Johnson had an excellent career as a lead-blocking fullback for the Buckeyes. His importance was realized the year he left when the two players listed after him tried to play the position, with zero success.

Brandon Smith. Euclid. Linebacker. Didn't have much success at linebacker, so was shifted to tight end and fullback later in his career. A non-rated recruit.

Curtis Terry. Glenville. Linebacker. A non-rated prospect, Terry was moved to several positions throughout his career and contributed on special teams.

Dennis Kennedy. Fort Lauderdale. Cornerback. One of the first internet recruiting legends, Kennedy never suited up for Ohio State and transferred to Akron.

UNRANKED PROSPECTS:

Aaron Pettrey. Raceland (KY). Kicker. Although he delayed his entry to Ohio State until room opened up, Pettrey had an excellent career as a kicker and was a clutch performer.

CLASS OVERVIEW:

This class was the signature class for Jim Tressel, and a lot of these types of classes followed at Ohio State. The players that stayed contributed to a lot of wins at Ohio State in their careers.


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