2006 Recruiting Class Grade: B

In what became an annual event at Ohio State, Jim Tressel landed another fine class in 2006. With Beanie Wells checking in as the top tailback prospect in America, the Buckeyes landed another impressive collection of athletes.

Jim Tressel continued his recruiting roll in 2006, landing another productive class at Ohio State. The number-13 ranked class included 20 members and featured an average star ranking of 3.60.

FIVE-STAR PROSPECTS:

Beanie Wells. Akron Garfield. Runningback. Came in as the most hyped recruit since Maurice Clarett, and certainly lived up to the hype. Ranked as the number-one runningback in the country, and there was no doubt Scout.com nailed that ranking. Had three great years in a Buckeye uniform.

Connor Smith. Colerain. Offensive line. Ranked as the number-four offensive linemen in the country, a ranking I both supported and pushed for. And I was wrong. Next to Alex Boone, this was the best high school offensive linemen I had seen to this point and I have no idea why he did not pan out.

Larry Grant. SFCC. Linebacker. Came in as the top JUCO linebacker in the country and had a very solid career as a Buckeye. Became a starter in his second season at Ohio State. Also played several years in the NFL.

FOUR-STAR PROSPECTS:

Ross Homan. Coldwater. Linebacker. Entered Ohio State as the number-14 linebacker in the country, and had a very productive career as a multi-year starter. Continued the tradition of the term "Tressel-type" recruits.

Jake Ballard. Springboro. Tight end. Was ranked as the number-six tight end in the country, even though he played four years in a non-friendly tight end system. Had a solid career at Ohio State, culminating with a great Rose Bowl performance in the win over Oregon.

Kurt Coleman. Clayton Northmont. Cornerback. Played safety and played it well even though he arrived as the number-14 cornerback in the country. A multi-year starter, and yet another "Tressel-type."

Antonio Henton. Fort Valley (GA). Quarterback. Ranked as the number-13 quarterback in America, and a player that earned an offer with an impressive camp performance. Career never panned out and started downward with a curious arrest.

Tyler Moeller. Colerain. Linebacker. Had a solid career at Ohio State, but injuries prevented Buckeye fans from seeing what Moeller could have been. Started several games after arriving as the number-23 linebacker in the country.

Robert Rose. Glenville. Defensive end. Came in with a lot of promise as the number-five defensive end in the country, but never lived up to the hype. Had his moments as a key contributor, but did not become a star at Ohio State like many predicted he would.

Mark Johnson. Los Angeles Dorsey. Linebacker. Never panned out as either a linebacker, or when moved to defensive end. Came in as the number-12 linebacker in the country, but transferred after a short stint at Ohio State.

Ray Small. Glenville. Cornerback. Never played defensive back at Ohio State, but showed early promise at wide receiver. Spent considerable time in the Tressel doghouse, and never became the player people envisioned when he arrived as the number-11 cornerback in America.

Thaddeus Gibson. Euclid. Linebacker. The number-nine linebacker prospect in the country started slowly at Ohio State. Once the light came on and he matured, Gibson became a multi-year starter and key contributor for the Buckeyes.

THREE-STAR PROSPECTS:

Dexter Larrimore. Merryville (IN). Defensive tackle. Became a multi-year starter after arriving as the number-60 defensive tackle in the country. Was known as a quiet, hard-working, overachiever, and did all the dirty work on the inside of the defense.

Walter Dublin. Sarasota. Defensive end. Was looked at as a raw, unknown prospect, but he never found his niche at Ohio State. Picked the Buckeyes over several high profile programs.

Andy Miller. Washington (PA). Offensive line. Another relative unknown recruit coming in, but left Ohio State as a very valuable contributor. Was able to play a number of positions on the offensive line, and was the line's "sixth man" for a few years. "Tressel-type".

Bryant Browning. Glenville. Offensive line. Was not as highly regarded as his Glenville teammates, but the number-61 ranked offensive lineman had a great career as a multi-year starter and "Tressel-type" recruit.

Aram Olson. Columbia (SC). Runningback. Injuries never let Ohio State fans see the best of this battering ram fullback, and he gave up the game after dressing for two BCS title games.

TWO-STAR PROSPECTS:

Grant Schwartz. Dana Pointe (CA). Safety. The son of former Buckeye safety Brian Schwartz, and a player that earned an offer with an impressive camp performance. Made the decision to switch to wide receiver from safety after one year in the program, and was a positive contributor on special teams throughout his career.

Chimdi Chekwa. Clermont (FLA). Cornerback. One of the greatest sleeper stories of the Tressel era, as Chekwa went from total unknown to multi-year starter at Ohio State. Very productive player and a high NFL draft choice.

Aaron Gant. St. Mary (MI). Safety. Another unknown recruit, and a player that was progressing nicely before a knee injury effectively ended his potential as a starting safety. Contributed as a part-time reserve and special teams player.

CLASS OVERVIEW:

Although not the highest ranked class for Tressel, the Buckeyes got a lot of mileage from several lower-rated prospects. While Wells became the superstar of the group, this class was noteworthy for several multi-year starters and a lot of key contributors.


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