Bank Blog: Buckeye Recruiting Upswing?

The past week has been huge for Ohio State football in general with the two-year winning streak still intact and the team playing its best football since Urban Meyer took over. From a recruiting standpoint, things have been an A+ since the day Meyer was hired. Are things actually on the uptick? Can it get even better?

Ohio State recruiting was basically rescued the day Urban Meyer was hired, and it's been one four and five star prospect added to the program since the hiring.

Meyer saved the 2012 class with an eight-week blitz unlike anything Buckeye fans had seen previously. He followed that up with the nation's number-two ranked class in 2013. The 2014 class is already poised to be one of the nation's best.

With all that is positive with Meyer and Ohio State recruiting, is at actually possible that things could be still trending even higher? Recent happenings seem to suggest that Buckeye recruiting could be heading to an even higher level of excellence.

The class of 2015 is starting to look like a potential number-one class, a shocking thought considering the only commit is Eric Glover-Williams. The few in-state prospects Ohio State seemed to be struggling with are now trending toward the Buckeyes, while out of state recruiting is positioned for more highly-rated players to choose Ohio State.

Two of the state's top linebacker prospects, Jerome Baker and Justin Hilliard would seem to be moving in Ohio State's favor. Baker always had the Buckeyes at or near the top of his list, but it seems that one could be over and done for Ohio State and a decision could be coming soon. For Hilliard, Ohio State appeared to be on the outside looking in not too long ago, but they just might be the favorite as of today.

The Buckeyes are going slowly in-state with the juniors, but they recently offered Lakewood St. Edward defensive back Shaun Crawford and he admitted he is talking with Urban Meyer. I'm not at all ready to call the Michigan commit to the Buckeyes at this point, but things are in a position I never thought could be possible. The key is the potential visit. If it never occurs, I see Crawford sticking with the Wolverines, but if it happens it will be telling. It's hard to believe Ohio State would extend an offer at this point in time, unless Meyer felt pretty confident of his chances. This is one to watch going forward.

Not sure if Ohio State will offer the Hubbard four-star duo of Matt Jones and L.J. Scott, but the Buckeyes would be the favorites to land both juniors should they move on both. Tight end C.J. Conrad would probably commit on the spot if offered, and he is another four-star prospect.

Other top-rated juniors in Ohio under consideration for a Buckeye offer would be linebackers Anthony McKee and Nick Conner, and both would be considered strong Buckeye leans. David Dowell, Andrew Dowell, Darrin Hall, Reggie Rogers are all players in the mix right now, and they would also considered candidates to choose Ohio State. The only highly-rated, in-state junior off the radar would be Michigan commit Tyree Kinnel and it's not known how highly he was thought of by the Ohio State staff.

Out of state recruiting for 2015 is in even better shape than it was for the 2014 class at this point in time, as hard as that is to believe. Ohio State should have a top-rated quarterback shortly after National Signing Day, and I do not envision them holding QB tryouts at camp next summer. The odds-on favorite seems to be Brandon Wimbush, but there are other top players in the mix as well. Superstar Torrance Gibson might be the top overall athlete in the South, and don't discount Ohio State's chances with him even if Wimbush is on board.

Top offensive lineman Drew Richmond appears to be Ohio State's to lose, and he would be a great starting point at that position. Offensive line was a position of need for the 2014 class and there is still work to be done in this area.

There has been a "buzz" to Ohio State recruiting since the day Urban Meyer was hired, and the two year run of success on the field has only increased the Buckeye brand. Recruits can see the chances of playing in the NFL are only enhanced by playing at Ohio State, and the negative cloud of the Terrelle Pryor era has been replaced by players like Ryan Shazier and Braxton Miller. Parents and recruits alike have commented on the family atmosphere at Ohio State, and this is a tribute to Meyer and his staff, as well as the players themselves.

Meyer's assistants have not only enhanced the Ohio State brand, and their blend of enthusiasm and on-field excellence only keeps things trending upward. Keeping this staff together will be one of Meyer's toughest chores this off-season, as other schools will want to hire the best, but staff continuity aids recruiting like no other factor. Remember, "comfort and relationships" usually starts and ends with the recruit's own position coach/recruiter.

Any look at 2015 recruiting in November of 2013 is only a guess, but my educated guess is that this class will challenge for the top spot in the country, and be aided by the return of the three scholarships lost due to NCAA sanctions.

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