DY And Bank: OSU Recruiting Defense

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.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: 2 I think Tim Settle is going to visit over the summer, and that could set the tone for where things go from there. He's tough to read, and I could see him ending up at Alabama with his boy, De'Shawn Hand. I expect Ohio State to get him on campus, and they definitely have a good shot. Adam McLean is another possibility, and he's a really good player. I also like Christian Wilkins, but he's really tough to read. He's only visited Rutgers and Ohio State. -Young.

I remember when Ohio State clearly led for Tim Settle, and that's hard to forget. Agree that the visit will be huge, and they need to get him on campus before the official visits start. In-state, Elijah Taylor is in the mix for an offer, especially if he would come to camp and explode. -Greene.

DEFENSIVE END: 2 I'm not real optimistic on Jashon Cornell, and he still hasn't been to Ohio State at all. Terry Beckner is a good player, and I'm not real optimistic on him either. Darius Fullwood has a good relationship with Larry Johnson, and it will be interesting to see if they can get him on campus, but I think they can get him. Rashod Berry is an in-state player, and they could definitely get him. Josh Sweat has Ohio State in his top schools, and they have a shot with him. -Young.

First and foremost, Dre'Mont Jones is a Buckeye, so they have one in the fold. Only a matter of time until that's official. That gives them nearly a full year to find the second defensive end. -Greene.

LINEBACKER: 3 The big question here would be is Jerome Baker a linebacker or a runningback in their eyes? He keeps saying they're recruiting him as a runningback. He keeps saying Penn State is the only school recruiting him as a linebacker. I think they can get him, but James Franklin has turned Baker's head for sure. Franklin has improved their chances with Baker, over Bill O'Brien. Ricky DeBerry is a player they will fight the best in the country for, and he needs to reschedule his Ohio State visit. If that happens, they would have a puncher's chance. I think they can get Jeffrey Holland, and his teammate, Ben Edwards, is the key. I can see them getting both kids. I think they can get Justin Hilliard, but it might not be for a while. Notre Dame is doing great with Hilliard though, and he's visiting Michigan. -Young.

In-state, I think Ohio State has a far better shot with Jerome Baker over Justin Hilliard. Agree that James Franklin is a serious threat for Baker, but I think Notre Dame is a stronger foe for Hilliard. Nick Conner would commit on the spot, or soon after he's offered, and he would be a PLAN-B player right now. Jordan Jones is in the mix, and I believe he's worthy of an Ohio State offer, but he is also down the list. As far as out of state prospects, I have Sh'mar Kilby-Lane in this class and have since he visited for Orange Bowl practice back in January. He should be visiting for the spring game, and a commitment that weekend would be how I see that one going. Kilby-Lane is IN to me. -Greene.

CORNERBACK: 2 I think Marcus Lewis is a player they have a great shot to land, and I have him as a strong possibility. I think they have a shot with Minkah Fitzpatrick, and he has said Ohio State recruits him harder than anyone. I think Denzel Ward could be a player they would need to see in camp, but he's pretty good. He could be the next Darron Lee or Terry McLaurin. Kevin Tolliver is probably going to visit Ohio State, even though he's committed to LSU. -Young.

I also think Denzel Ward could be the in-state Cinderella story, and it would take a huge camp to do so. I do not see Minkah Fitzpatrick at Ohio State, and I need to see a visit to campus before I have him as a possibility. An interesting one to watch would be Florida State commit Tyrek Cole, and he really likes Ohio State. I would keep an eye out for him to show up on campus this summer, and at that point it would be game-on. -Greene.

SAFETY: 2 They have Ben Edwards committed, and Jamel Dean could be a safety to them as well. If Dean sticks with the class, he probably is a safety. Shaun Crawford will stick with Michigan, unless Brady Hoke gets fired, so that will be one to watch later in the year. Even though he's committed to West Virginia, I'm not giving up on Kendrell McFadden to Ohio State. Watch for that one. -Young.

Agree 100% on Kendrell McFadden, and that commitment to West Virginia is flimsy to me because he's never visited there yet. He is also one heck of a safety, because he can cover anyone. Shaun Crawford is going to Michigan in my opinion, and there's no need discussing otherwise at this point. Could it reopen with him and Ohio State? I guess it could, but right now it's dead. I do not see both Edwards and Dean signing with Ohio State, so I think there will be others popping up at this position group. -Greene.

FINAL RECRUITING THOUGHT: Ohio State could pull of the impossible, and land the Grand Trifecta of Edwards, Holland and Tolliver, which would be unbelievable. First off, they need to hold onto Edwards, which I think they can. Then, they need Holland to visit one more time, which could be the difference maker for him. If they could land Holland, and I think they can, would that push Tolliver to join his buddies at Ohio State?

I'm certainly not predicting the Grand Trifecta at all, but I could see Urban Meyer pulling this one off, to send shockwaves throughout the state of Florida. That's my final thought. Watch out for the all the dominoes falling right, to see if the Grand Trifecta becomes a reality.

Holding onto Edwards would be the first domino, and I think they're good with him. Watching to see what Holland does with his recruitment would be the next domino, and getting him to commit would be number-two. If those happen, I feel really good that the third domino could fall Ohio State's way. I'm watching closely to see how things progress with the Grand Trifecta. -Young.


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