2005 Recruiting Class Grade: A

Jim Tressel hit another home run with the 2005 recruiting class, laying the foundation for two straight national championship appearances. Although the class was small, it had star power extraordinaire.

Even though it was a smaller class than the previous year, Jim Tressel struck gold at Ohio State with his 2005 recruiting class.

Only 18 members, but the class was ranked at number-seven in America, with an average star ranking of 3.72. Many of these players participated in two national championship games.

FIVE-STAR PROSPECTS:

Jamario O'Neal. Glenville. Cornerback. Committed so early it was easy to forget he was the first commit of the class. The nation's number-three ranked cornerback showed flashes at Ohio State, but was never the player many projected him to be as a high school star.

Alex Boone. Lakewood St. Edward. Offensive line. The nation's number-two offensive line prospect, and a player that started a ton of games for the Buckeyes. Probably fell short of the lofty expectations, but he helped the Buckeyes win a lot of football games in his four years. One of the top high school offensive linemen I've seen in Ohio.

Doug Worthington. St. Francis (NY). Defensive end. Another player that probably did not live up to the national reputation, but was a multi-year starter and key contributor over his career. Came in as the nation's number-two defensive end, and was a good teammate over his career.

FOUR-STAR PROSPECTS:

Jim Cordle. Lancaster. Offensive line. Ranked as the number-30 offensive lineman in the country. Cordle started multi years, and was a valuable piece on the offensive line because he was versatile enough to play all over the line. High character guy.

Todd Denlinger. Troy. Defensive tackle. Injuries hampered the career of the number-13 defensive tackle in the country, but when healthy he provided both depth and leadership for the Buckeyes. Was willing to do anything for the team, and was a Tressel favorite for his toughness and attitude.

Brian Hartline. Canton GlenOak. Wide receiver. This was the first player I really pounded the table for at Scout.com, and he deserved the four-star ranking even though he missed his senior season of high school. He was listed as the number-31 wide receiver in America and more than lived up to the ranking in his career. Ended his career with similar receiving stats to Anthony Gonzalez.

Rob Schoenhoft. St. Xavier. Quarterback. This was another player I pushed to be ranked high, and I was dead wrong on this one. He was ranked as the number-17 quarterback in the country, but never made a mark as a Buckeye signal caller.

Andre Amos. Middletown. Wide receiver. Ranked as the number-30 wideout in the country, but provided delth at cornerback for Ohio State. Had great athletic ability and was a great teammate.

Freddie Lenix. Glenville. Linebacker. Grade issues cut short what could have been a productive career at Ohio State. Ranked as the number-27 linebacker in the country, and had a ton of athletic ability.

Maurice Wells. Sandalwood (FL). Tailback. Came in as the number-19 runningback in the country, but never found a role at Ohio State. Was an outside speed guy that was tried to change into a power runner.

Lawrence Wilson. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. Defensive end. Chose the Buckeyes over Notre Dame on National Signing Day, and was the number-29 defensive end in the country. Had an excellent career at Ohio State on and off the field, and was a multi-year starter even though he battled injuries throughout his time in Columbus.

THREE-STAR PROSPECTS:

Ryan Williams. Mission Viejo (CA). Defensive end. The number-62 ranked defensive end never found his niche at Ohio State and transferred out of the program.

Malcolm Jenkins. Piscataway (NJ). Safety. Became arguably the greatest defensive back in the Tressel era, and the nation's number-28 safety grabbed a starting role as a true freshman at cornerback where he stayed throughout his career.

Austin Spitler. Bellbrook. Linebacker. Came in unheralded as the number-87 linebacker prospect in the country, and left as a starter in the national championship game. Another high character individual that ended up being drafted into the NFL by Miami.

Anderson Russell. Atlanta. Runningback. Came into Ohio State as a great athlete, and was listed as the number-84 runningback in the country. Moved to the defensive backfield and was headed to star status before a devastating knee injury. Returned as a starter, but never became the player many expected him to be. Great work ethic and another great teammate, which was the hallmark of this class.

James Laurinaitis. Plymouth (MN). Linebacker. Came in as an unheralded number-45 linebacker in the country, and left as one of the greatest players in the Tressel era. Along with Jenkins, this was the signature recruit of Jim Tressel during this time, and these players keyed back-to-back national championship runs.

Donald Washington. Indianapolis. Wide receiver. One of the more impressive all around athletes in the class, he came in as the number-90 ranked wide receiver in America, and left as an NFL drafted cornerback. Could have reached even greater heights without some personal issues, but he was another player that exceeded expectations.

TWO-STAR PROSPECTS:

Brian Robiskie. Chagrin Falls. Wide receiver. Was totally unknown as a high school player, but prospered at Ohio State and left as a high draft choice by the Cleveland Browns. In what might be a repetitive statement, this was another hard-working, high-character, individual that thrived in Tressel's program.

CLASS OVERVIEW:

In many ways this was THE Jim Tressel classic recruiting class, and in many ways was the Anti-Brew Crew class. No promises. No deals. No corners cut. Just hard-working, tough, high character kids that fought for everything they earned, and overachieved from the day they arrived until the day they left.


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