With Cardale Jones, Braxton Miller and Nick Vannett hearing their names called during the NFL draft last week, we can close the book on the last class of Ohio State recruits signed by Jim Tressel.
How did the class ranked No. 3 in the nation by Scout.com in February of 2011 turn out? Pretty well.
Ultimately nine members of the class were drafted. That is good for No. 3 among Ohio State classes signed since 1988 when Tressel's predecessor, John Cooper, was hired. It is second among Tressel classes, trailing only the 2002 group. (Cooper’s 1998 class had 11 draftees.)
Both the ’11 and ’02 groups were part of a national championship team, too.
Overall, the strong finish arguably pushed Tressel past Cooper when it comes to recruiting talent.
Here is an overview of the class and Tressel’s recruiting results during his 10 years (and 11 recruiting classes) in Columbus.
The 2011 class produced one first-round pick: Ryan Shazier, who went to the Steelers with the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft.
The nine draftees include players from six position groups: two quarterbacks, two receivers, two tight ends, a defensive lineman, a defensive back and a linebacker.
Tressel signed more linebacker draftees than any other position with 12. Eleven of his signees were listed as defensive backs on National Signing Day while four were listed as “WR or DB” and seven were listed as receivers only. The WR-only group ironically included Chris Gamble and Anthony Gonzalez while the DB-only group included Ted Ginn Jr.
The 2011 class produced 14 players who were at least part-time starters. In total starters, that trails only the 2002 class (16) for most starters since 1988.
Tressel signed 15 players who became first-round draft picks in 11 classes.
Northeast Ohio produced 24 of Tressel’s draftees, by far the most among the regions of the state. He found 11 future pros in southwest Ohio with four in central Ohio and two in the northwest corner of the state. The 2011 class followed this pattern nicely with three from the northeast, two from the southwest and one from central.
Twenty-nine percent of Tressel’s Ohio State signees were drafted by NFL teams. While Cooper signed more future draftees (73 to 63), his draft percentage (27) was slightly lower.
One third (or 33 percent) of the 2011 class’ draftees went to high school in Ohio.
Tressel signed 24 players in 2011 and 38 percent were eventually drafted. That percentage ranks third among Tressel OSU classes, trailing 2002 (48 percent) and 2005 (39 percent). While the 2002 class had 25 members, the ’05 group numbered only 18. All three were ranked in the top 10 on National Signing Day.
Tressel signed roughly 60 percent Ohioans, so it should probably not come as a surprise a majority of his future NFL draft picks came from the Buckeye State, too. Of his 63 draft picks, 41 were Ohio high school products.
Tressel also had a bit more success signing future starters than Cooper as 50 percent of Tressel’s signees became starters compared to 47 percent for Cooper, who signed roughly one more player per year than Tressel.