With McMillan giving Ohio State the much needed thumper in the middle, how does this class stack up to previous linebacker groups going off of recruiting rankings?
2014 CLASS: Looking back at recruiting rankings all the way to the 2002 class, it's apparent that this is without question one of the highest-rated groups in Buckeye history. But this wouldn't be the absolute highest-rated linebacker class. The lowest rated of the bunch would be Sam Hubbard as the #6 outside linebacker in America. McMillan is #5 at middle linebacker, while Berger is #3 and Booker is #5 on the outside. All are four-star recruits.
2002 CLASS: This legendary class produced so many great players, but falls short of the 2014 linebacker class in pure rankings. Of course, Ohio State can only hope they have two players match the production of three-star A.J. Hawk and four-star Bobby Carpenter. The top linebacker recruit in the country was Mike D'Andrea, who was a five-star but saw injuries destroy his career.
2006 CLASS: SURPRISE SURPRISE!!! Ohio State brought in five linebackers with this class, including four four-stars and one five-star. From a pure ratings standpoint, this was the top group. Five-star JUCO Larry Grant led the way, along with four-stars Thaddeus Gibson, Mark Johnson, Tyler Moeller and Ross Homan. Although Johnson was a washout and transferred, the other four all contributed greatly at Ohio State. Moeller did play a lot at the star position, while Gibson played defensive end for the most part.
2013 CLASS: Will be surpassed by the current class in rankings, but when the two classes are added together, the recent linebacker struggles should be over. Mike Mitchell was a five-star prospect and the #2 middle backer in the country. Trey Johnson was a four-star, while Christopher Worley was a three-star.
2011 CLASS: There was a lot of hope with this class, but five-star Curtis Grant has not lived up to that ranking, but has been a starter. Four-star Ryan Shazier saved this group, as he exceeded his ranking as the #5 outside linebacker in the country and became an All-American. Three-star Conner Crowell transferred after suffering several injuries.
2008 CLASS: As was the case with so many of the "Brew Crew", this position group never lived up to the ranking. Etienne Sabino was a five-star, and the #2 middle linebacker in the country, while Andrew Sweat was a four-star, and the #6 rated middle linebacker. Both were contributors, but neither were stars.
2007 CLASS: Ohio State only brought in two linebacker prospects, and both were rated as four-stars. Brian Rolle and Jermale Hines both lived up to that status, and both were multiple year starters. Hines played the star position, while Rolle manned the middle.
2005 CLASS: This was the year production exceeded the rankings, although the highest-rated prospect was four-star Freddie Lenix. Both James Laurinaitis and Austin Spitler were lower rated three-stars. Lauriniaitis left Ohio State as an all-time great, while Spitler started as a senior.