DY And Bank: OSU Recruiting Offense

Although early recruiting has been mostly issuing camp invitation offers and setting the table for spring visits, Ohio State's 2015 class is starting to take shape. Who are the contenders, and who are the pretenders? Derek Young and Bill Greene take look at Ohio State's early recruiting effort.

Ohio State has three early commits in their 2015 recruiting class, and there are several candidates at each position group.

This is absolutely not an attempt to predict the 2015 class, which would be foolishly impossible at this time, but rather a current snapshot at each position group.

Let's take a look at the offensive side of the football in this article:

RECRUITING NUMBER: I see Ohio State signing between 20 and 22 players on National Signing Day. -Young.

I'm going with 21 as my number to keep things more organized. -Greene.

QUARTERBACK: (2) I think they want to bring in two guys, with one being Torrance Gibson late in the game. They're in a tough spot with schools using Gibson against them, especially James Franklin at Penn State with Brandon Wimbush. Lorenzo Nunez wants to decide fairly soon, but I'm not sure Ohio State leads for him. Top quarterbacks want to be the only one in their class, and I think it could still happen with Nunez and Ohio State, but not Wimbush. Nunez wants to commit at the end of spring football, and he could be the start of a quarterback run across the country. Once they start to fall, everyone looks to grab their spot. Maybe they bring in Deondre Francois for a visit, try to get him, and continue pushing for Gibson? -Young.

Agree they are in a tough spot, but not an impossible one at all. Torrance Gibson is their guy, and most everyone in America knows that. Going to be interesting to see how they handle things going forward and if they accept a commitment from a second quarterback soon. I always felt they would have one in the fold before summer, but now I'm not too sure about that. Maybe they bring in a Stephen Collier type, and explain to him that Gibson is the one they're going to chase through Signing Day? Want to see how they play this one over the next few months. -Greene.

RUNNINGBACK: (1) I think it's L.J. Scott right now, and things aren't working out with SoSo Jamabo or Jacques Patrick. Damien Harris is still a good possibility, but maybe not as strong as people thought a few weeks ago. I think Michigan might have this one back on track, but they are trending well with Mike Weber and that might affect Harris. Maybe the national offers get to Harris and he ends up going south? I'm not sure who could be a second back for Ohio State at this point. -Young.

Not so sure Ohio State gets L.J. Scott at this point, but I want to see how the March 22 visit affects him first. Michigan State would be the leader right now, but that could certainly change after the Buckeye visit. Weber could be the wild card, but I think L.J. Scott is the better player to me. Maybe it ends up Weber to Michigan State, Harris to Michigan, and Scott to Ohio State? Darrin Hall could be a fallback option for all three schools if they don't get one of the three mentioned above. -Greene.

WIDE RECEIVER: (3) Ohio State really needs the bigger, outside receivers in this class, and Van Jefferson could be in this class. They can definitely get him, and it will be Ohio State or Penn State. I really like Christian Kirk, but he's an inside guy, although really talented. His recruitment will go on for a while. I think Brian Cole stays in the state of Michigan. Devante Peete is in the mix and seems to favor Ohio State. C.J. Sanders has no offer and would be an Eric Glover-Williams type, and he's already committed. They are chasing DaMarkus Lodge and George Campbell, but I'm not optimistic on either. -Young.

They seem to like Van Jefferson, and I also like Christian Kirk a LOT. Do not see Brian Cole at Ohio State at all. I would pass on Devante Peete, and I've seen him in person enough. They have Eric Glover-Williams in this class, so maybe they look in-state again at David Dowell? This is a very talented athlete, and he could factor in at either wide receiver or cornerback. I would take Dowell over Peete, and not look back, but that's just me. -Greene.

TIGHT END: (2) They are telling recruits they are going to take two tight ends, so I'm going with that number. They have identified their top-two right off the bat, and it's Chris Clark and Hale Hentges for sure. Ohio State will be the only school Hentges visits more than once, other than Missouri, and I think he's down to those two. The competition for Clark will mainly be Notre Dame, and I would think Ohio State would be in better shape for Hentges over Clark, but only slightly. Clark's visit to Ohio State will be huge. Jackson Harris has an "offer", and could be the second tight end if they don't get both Clark and Hentges. -Young.

I think Ohio State can pull one of either Chris Clark or Hale Hentges, and if they get one they might look in-state to C.J. Conrad as the second tight end. There has been little contact with Conrad to this point. I see no scenario where both Hentges and Clark commit to Ohio State, but stranger things have happened in the past. This is a position of NEED for the 2015 class, there is no mistaking that point. -Greene.

OFFENSIVE LINE: (4) I think they are slipping with Sterling Jenkins, and again James Franklin is doing great in Pennsylvania. I feel real good about Drew Richmond, and he will take an official to Ohio State. Would feel better about Richmond if he would visit this summer too, and Ole Miss and Tennessee are the main threats to Ohio State. Steven Gonzalez likes Ohio State a lot, but I'm not sure how high they are on him. I think they're getting James Daniels. Rob Dowdy seems to be rising as well, but Ohio State hasn't shown him a lot of interest at all. Patrick Allen seems to be coming on in their eyes, and he is going to be visiting soon. He likes Ohio State and Florida State the best right now. I like Allen a lot. -Young.

I have Drew Richmond IN the class, and have felt that way for a while. James Daniels "should" be in this class with him being the son of former Buckeye lineman LeShun Daniels, but Iowa is a serious threat. Older brother LeShun Daniels Jr. is a Hawkeye, and they really do well recruiting on the offensive line, so I do not have this as a lock at all. I still think there is work to do in recruiting Daniels. I liked what I saw out of Rob Dowdy at the Best of the Midwest in Indianapolis, and he could be one they chase. Ohio State has reached out to Matt Jones, but he does not want to speak with them or visit without a Buckeye offer. If numbers are tight, they could probably get by with taking three in this class because they brought in five last year. -Greene.

FINAL RECRUITING THOUGHT: The more I look at the Torrance Gibson recruitment from Ohio State's perspective, the more I think they need to turn a negative into a positive. With schools recruiting against Ohio State with other quarterbacks, saying that Gibson is a sure thing to the Buckeyes, I would take a more aggressive stance. I would probably take every quarterback in the country they would accept commitments from, and give them 72 hours to accept or move on.

If you grab one, fine, you still continue to recruit Gibson. If they say NO, you go to Gibson and tell him you have cleared the decks for him. He is the only quarterback with an Ohio State offer and the only one they will take. You tell Gibson to go find another school that will GUARANTEE him he is (A) a quarterback only, not a wide receiver, and (B) the ONLY quarterback they are recruiting in the current class.

Instead of opposing schools using that against Ohio State, Urban Meyer TOTALLY turns the situation around and uses it against 90% of the schools in the country recruiting Gibson.

I would love to see a school that can say their offense fits Gibson perfectly, that he is a quarterback-only to them, and that he is the only quarterback in America they are recruiting. Right now, all the Buckeye quarterback eggs are basically in Gibson's basket anyway. This would take the fight to the competing schools, not sit back and let them pound away at Ohio State, with them in a defensive position. -Bill Greene.


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