Bank Blog: Ohio State News And Notes

Ohio State is battling Alabama for the number one class once again, and there could be some good Buckeye news coming out real soon regarding their next commitment. What else is happening in Buckeye Land?

- This year's summer camps at Ohio State are going to be pretty quiet for the most part regarding the 2017 class. There will be very few players working out in front of the Buckeye coaches that have a chance to be in this class at the end. There will be big time visitors, including guys like Tate Martell and Marvin Wilson, but those types don't work out. They hang out and get schmoozed. In terms of on-field work, that will be mostly underclassmen.

- This class is going to be different than those past because the top targets were identified early and the relationships have been built for the most part. The numbers situation is a big problem for sure, and that is forcing the coaches to laser their focus to a smaller, select group of recruits. This is going to be a great class, and I was told that 20 is the current number they're working off.

- They DO want to add another linebacker, and they want one of Anthony Hines and Baron Browning. Would they take both if they wanted to commit? Yes. They want another O-lineman, and I'm not sure Joel Honigford is thought of the same by Ed Warinner, Greg Studrawa and Urban Meyer. Until there is a positive consensus, there won't be an offer. Honigford is the one guy that NEEDS to work out in camp and blow them away. They want another D-tackle, but only if it's an elite player like a Marvin Wilson who is visiting next weekend. They have reached a little here in the past, but won't do so again.

- Had someone I trust tell me they are preparing for another possible NFL draft exodus similar to last year, and if it happens that could allow for a few more spots to open up closer to National Signing Day. Names like Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, Curtis Samuel, Billy Price and Gareon Conley have talked about looking at their options. Marcus Baugh and Raekwon McMillan are GONE. 

- I was at five satellite camps the past week rubbing elbows with college coaches, and that allows for some pretty candid dialogue. I had a coach from a Big Ten school tell me a year ago that I was seriously over-rating the 2017 class in the state of Ohio, and I argued back about a lot of the players. Fast forward one year, and it's clear he was right and I was wrong. There are very few players I'm looking to raise up at this point, but there are several that probably need to be dropped a little in the Scout rankings. There really aren't as many "Ohio State" types as I originally thought one year ago. 

- Spoke with a coach that may or may not still be on the staff at Ohio State, and I can't say either way, about next year's team. This coach said the biggest loss was Ezekiel Elliott, and it's not even close. He said there was no dropoff from Carlos Hyde to Zeke, because Elliott was a far superior player. This coach told me Zeke was one of the best all around football players to ever suit up for the Buckeyes, and had he stayed four years like the past greats used to the numbers would have been staggering. And this is a person that does not throw praise around much at all. 

- The same person said Mike Weber has all the talent in the world, although not a Zeke Elliott. He told me Weber's burst and vision are A+, and he thinks he will make a huge impact this year. He did not think Weber could come close to Zeke as a blocker or receiver, so he expects Ohio State to use Curtis Samuel in the backfield on third down and in passing situations. This coach said in an ideal world, Weber would have been healthy last year and gotten playing time to prepare him for this season. 

- The consensus among rival coaches is that Ohio State might take a few games to find themselves early in the year, but would be a handful from the mid-season point on. Nobody is shedding tears for Ohio State being so inexperienced at all, because they know the type of talent on the roster. One coach pointed out that they are strong up the middle with J.T. Barrett, Pat Elflein and Raekwon McMillan, and those three need to play at All-American levels to raise up the newbies early on. 

- I had someone close to Ohio State tell me they are more concerned defensively this season than they are about the offense. This person thinks there could be some shootouts early in the year, and the hope is that they can be on the right side of some 38-35 games. There is real and genuine concern about the secondary, where only Gareon Conley is a proven player. People are going to try to spread Ohio State out, and attack them in their nickel look, similar to how the Buckeyes got attacked in Urban's first two years. 

- There is concern at linebacker, but not in the middle at all. The hope is that Dante Booker finds a way to match his production to his obvious physical gifts to replace Josh Perry. Chris Worley has the edge right now to replace Darron Lee, but Jerome Baker is pushing him. Baker is the more physically gifted athlete, but Worley knows the system and deserves the first shot. 

- Had someone tell me they brought Corey Smith back for a reason, and that is to be the starter and be the leading receiver. They need him to play well, because of his experience. Torrance Gibson can do all the freaky things on the field that you've all heard about. He is struggling to be consistent. He drops balls he shouldn't, runs wrong routes and does things that make coaches crazy. Then he runs past the defense and leaps over the safety to make a spectacular one-hand touchdown grab. This is due to being a part-time receiver last year, and not playing the position in high school. Noah Brown catches everything, and they need him at 100% by fall. His injury was awful, and the road back has been slow. 

- Not going to name names, but at the end of the year there are probably going to be multiple coaching changes. Not going into specifics, but be aware it's likely coming. Also be aware that Urban Meyer goes about three-deep at every position on the staff, and that's how you lose Chris Ash and replace him with Greg Schiano. 


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