Danny Clark: It's understandable that this pledge was the least acclaimed of the three, but should it be? It's pretty tough to get excited over a commitment from a player with three years of high school remaining, but consider this fact: Clark is the FIRST Ohio quarterback offered by Urban Meyer since he has been the head coach at Ohio State. Mitch Trubisky had a phony-baloney offer, and Malik Zaire was offered by the previous staff, so Danny Clark is the first in-state quarterback Meyer has been sold on. And he went through six classes of players to find his guy. When looked at from that perspective, the offer and subsequent commitment of Clark is pretty big. With the importance of the quarterback position in college football today, I guarantee this was a big deal to Meyer.
Raekwon McMillan: The 2014 Buckeye linebacker class was special without McMillan, but the need to add a true middle linebacker makes his commitment more important than Kyle Berger, Dante Booker and/or Sam Hubbard. The middle linebacking spot has been underwhelming for several years in a row, and while not saying McMillan solves that problem next year, the fact remains that Ohio State needed a MIKE backer desperately. By reporting early, McMillan will get his shot to prove he belongs on the field in 2014, and spring practice will give us the first look at whether that can actually happen.
Johnnie Dixon: Another huge need was filled by adding Dixon, because he can play the outside receiving spot. The departure of Philly Brown opens up a hole, and Dixon has a shot to be the guy that fills it. While the slot receivers are pretty impressive, the outside receivers have not shown much outside of Devin Smith and Brown. It's a given that Corey Smith will be a starter next year, but if Devin Smith bolts for the NFL (not expected though), look for Johnnie Dixon to press for playing time as the number-three receiver. I hate projecting true freshmen as starters, but Dixon is going to give people a run for their money. He is polished enough to contribute next season.
THE NEXT THREE: There are three main targets Ohio State is waiting on, and two will make their intentions known before the dead period ends. Both Erick Smith and Marshon Lattimore will announce on January 6th in San Antonio, and both will be Buckeyes. The third player is Solomon Thomas, who will announce on National Signing Day. He will visit Ohio State officially in late January, and the Buckeyes are battling Stanford for his signature.
ANOTHER O-LINEMAN? I wouldn't be surprised to see Ohio State test the waters on several highly-rated linemen, just to judge possible interest. They would take a fifth, and I could see them shooting big. If that does not materialize, there are PLAN-B projects out there in Frank Ragnow and Brady Taylor, and an offer to one of them could happen.
SIGNING DAY SURPRISE? This is strictly a guess, and a wild one at that. As much as I hate gut-feelings and crazy thoughts, I have both on a player most people don't see ending up in a Buckeye uniform. Malik McDowell. He does have an official scheduled late in the process, and although he would never want to hear it, I think he could be an All-conference type offensive tackle. I would much prefer McDowell over Ragnow and Taylor, even if he stayed at defensive end. Regardless, I think Ohio State can land this one, and I won't be shocked to see his fax rolling into Ohio State on Signing Day.