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 defensive side of the football in this article:

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: 2 Tim Settle will be at the Nike Camp at Ohio State, then supposed to visit a few days before. This one could be back on, and bears watching. Christian Wilkins is a tough one to read, but he has family in Ohio and visited last summer, so it bears watching. I don't see anything happening with Adam McLean. Not real positive on Elijah Taylor coming to Ohio State, per someone I spoke to that's close to him. - Young

I'm also not at all optimistic on Elijah Taylor, but think Ohio State has a fighting chance with him. Kraig Howe is in the picture, but I think he's PLAN-C, and it would take others saying NO. Still think Tim Settle is in the game for Ohio State. - Greene

DEFENSIVE END: 2 I'm not real flush with good info at this position right now, to be honest. Dre'Mont Jones should be IN, which leaves one more. Jashon Cornell has been visiting Ohio State forever, but never shows up. Terry Beckner is visiting before the Nike Camp, and Ohio State is in the mix for sure. Darius Fullwood visited two weeks ago, and he's taken a ton of visits. I think he's Larry Johnson's guy, but Josh Sweat is another one of his guys, so you never know.- Young

I have Dre'Mont Jones in the class. Period. Darius Fullwood seems like a likely candidate to join him and they would close the book at that point on defensive end recruiting. It's so early, that they could take Jones and chase five-star talents a while.- Greene

LINEBACKER: 3 I feel good about Jerome Baker and Sh'mar Kilby-Lane, so that really leaves one more spot. Not so optimistic on Justin Hilliard at all. I also feel less optimistic about Jeffery Holland and Ricky DeBerry, although they're still chasing them. Let's see if DeBerry visits. Nick Conner is still lurking, and I think Anthony McKee is not in the picture anymore. Maybe Malik Jefferson takes an official, and gets into the mix.- Young

I have Sh'mar Kilby-Lane in the class, with Jerome Baker not too far behind. I see both in this class, and then it's wide open after that. I'm not optimistic on any of the other highly-rated guys, and then it drops to Nick Conner and/or Anthony McKee in-state. I would have Conner ahead of McKee, and I think Ohio State would too.- Greene

SAFETY: 2 I feel pretty good about Ben Edwards, and Jamel Dean could also be a safety. Kendrell McFadden seems to be high on Ohio State, and I'm not seeing him 100% sold on West Virginia at all.- Young

If they keep Ben Edwards, they would never turn down Kendrell McFadden, even if they see Jamel Dean as a safety and not a cornerback. Not really seeing anyone in-state, unless they see David Dowell as a safety and not a cornerback. Other names could pop up here.- Greene

CORNERBACK: 2 I'm not as optimistic on Kevin Tolliver as I once was, and I see him sticking with LSU. If Michigan falls apart, that could put Shaun Crawford in Ohio State's lap. I don't think they're getting Minkah Fitzpatrick, but Jordan Whitehead would be a better shot, but neither would be favorites. Marcus Lewis transferring to IMG in Florida seems worrisome, but he liked Ohio State.- Young

I still think Marcus Lewis could be a Buckeye, and there are a few in-state options in Dowell and Denzel Ward. Tyrek Cole is committed to Florida State, but he talked up Ohio State this past winter, so you never know. Shaun Crawford might look at Notre Dame and Ohio State if things fall apart at Michigan, and the Irish could be his number-two really.- Greene

FINAL THOUGHTS: My final thought would be that it's still really, really early in the recruiting process, and this current class will not be a bunch of early commits like last year was.

There's nothing wrong with that either, especially when they're chasing so many out of state prospects rather than Ohio players.

Summer visits are still a great indicator across the country of real interest, and Ohio State would be no exception.

The evaluation period begins next week, with camp season not far behind. Things will heat up over the next few months, although I see Jones and Kilby-Lane in the hopper real soon.

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