BEST RECRUITING WIN: Raekwon McMillan
This award goes to the toughest battle that Ohio State won. The Buckeyes were arguably the favorite for McMillan the whole way but they had to fend off the best programs in the country for nearly two entire years. Schools like Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, and Auburn gave it all their best shot but Ohio State pulled one of the best linebackers in the nation out of SEC country.
HONORABLE MENTION: Johnnie Dixon
HIGHEST POTENTIAL: Sam Hubbard
Picking the prospect out of the class that could become the top contributor is the toughest task of all. That is why ranking players can be so difficult. It may look like I'm taking the easy way out by selecting the lone five-star recruit out of the class but Hubbard is a fantastic player now and still has a ton of room to grow his game. You won't find many, if any, 6-foot-6 high school players that can excel at the safety position in the strongest division of football in Ohio but Hubbard did just that. He's got exceptional range, is a playmaker, and has showed no signs of shying away from contact. Hubbard can be a terrific linebacker in Columbus.
HONORABLE MENTION: Malik Hooker
MOST NEEDED: Jamarco Jones
It is no secret that Ohio State emphasized the offensive line in this class. Only one offensive lineman remains from the 2013 class in Evan Lisle, and the depth at the position is a bit of a concern moving forward, especially at offensive tackle. Cue the arrival of Jamarco Jones. He isn't the only offensive tackle in the class but should step foot on campus being more college-ready than either Brady Taylor or Kyle Trout. It was a big coup by the Buckeyes to hold off Michigan State for his signature.
HONORABLE MENTION: Raekwon McMillan
IMMEDIATE CONTRIBUTOR: Johnnie Dixon
The standout from Dwyer High School in Florida has the body to compete at the college level right away. He isn't overly tall but he has the build to match the physicality that he will see from cornerbacks in the upcoming season. The speed is there as well from Dixon. It also helps that he is in the program as an early enrollee and will be acquainted with the offensive system.
HONORABLE MENTION: Erick Smith
HOME RUN HITTER: Curtis Samuel
Ohio State was drawn to Samuel because of his speed and athleticism, plain and simple. You can turn on any film of the Brooklyn playmaker and you will see his tendency to make the big play. He's electric with the ball in his hands and Urban Meyer re-iterated today during his Signing Day press conference. The competition will be raised for him but he was appealing due to his elusiveness and penchant to out-run all of his adversaries.
HONORABLE MENTION: Parris Campbell
SURPRISER: Kyle Trout
The Lancaster native won't be a player that comes in and contributes right away but Trout's presence in the class should not be ignored. After seeing him several times in the past year, Trout will be someone that leaves it all on the field. He doesn't take places off, he doesn't have a lot of bad weight, if any, and shows a lot of nastiness that you look for in a lineman. He'll have a learning curve as he transitions into a tackle and pass blocking will be a part of that but his upside is very evident as well.
Trout is someone that comes without a lot of fanfare because of signees like Demetrius Knox and Jamarco Jones, but he has what it takes to leave his name on the program.
HONORABLE MENTION: Terry McLaurin
Ohio State Class Superlatives
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