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The Ohio State spring game is upon us and that traditionally marks the start of the "real" recruiting season, as well as giving fans the chance to see their 2017 team for the first time.

- I often talk about the "layup line" in recruiting, and everything we've seen to date for the most part has been recruits getting to the gym and getting in their uniforms. The Ohio State spring game kicks off SERIOUS recruiting for me, and it's time to start honing in on top prospects. But be warned, the game won't start for a while, so just enjoy watching these guys start to get ready for the big show. 

- As for the team in 2017, I'm not backing away from my call of an undefeated season and Kevin Wilson being a huge factor in my optimism. It might stun people and I don't want to appear to be wishy-washy, but the player I'm MOST interested in seeing this weekend and this season is Parris Campbell. Did I like him as a wide receiver? No, not at all, although I thought he was average. What has changed for me? Envisioning him in the Curtis Samuel role in Wilson's more sophisticated offense. Campbell needs used in ways that emphasize his strengths (speed, burst, electric moves), and lessens the pressure on his hands not being the greatest. Getting him off the outside where he's covered by corners is the best for him. Now he gets to work on linebackers and safeties for the most part. Instead of having to make tough catches down the field against great DB's, Campbell now gets swing passes, bubble screens, reverses, handoffs, and shorter routes. He still needs to catch the football, but this role puts him in a position to do more of what he does best. The way he was used last year certainly did not do that. 

- The backup QB is going to be a hot topic, not just because that player is one snap away but because it affects a possible transfer within the position. I have thought the world of Joey Burrow since seeing him as a high school junior, and still do. I would have played him in the game against Clemson when it was apparent OSU was headed to scoring ZERO. I think he wins this battle, even though they love Dwayne Haskins. Should Barrett go down early in the year, could the Buckeyes win it all with Burrow? Yes. 

- I also want to see the progress of Josh Myers far more than any of the other freshman early enrollees. He was hailed as the next O. Pace when he committed, but after a rough Army Game people acted like he was a 2-star project from Mexico. Trust me, this kid can play. It might not be this year, but Josh Myers is going to be a starter at Ohio State. I really like all the early enrolling frosh a lot, but people are sleeping on this kid and they are going to be surprised in a few years when he's an All-Big Ten player.

- As far as recruiting goes, the in-state class of 2018 is definitely special and Urban Meyer is in a battle to land these guys. That's just the way recruiting is these days as the world keeps getting smaller. The practice of recruiting out of state kids so heavily has produced great teams, great records, great talent and great draft day showings. But it might have in-state kids feeling a little slighted. This is not the age of Jim Tressel where he recruited inside first, then went outside. The new way of doing things could hurt Ohio State in this class, but the days of building your class around in-state kids are over. The numbers don't lie, and the state of Ohio is not producing talent as it has in the past. It looks like 2018 is an aberration, and I believe Meyer has it right going national. He would not be 61-6 doing it Tressel's way. I don't think Tressel would have kept the same strategy had he stayed at Ohio State either. Now Ohio State can still sweep the state this year, but it's going to take work, not just a few phone calls. 

- Of the offered in-state guys, I have Jack Carman, Chris Oats, Dallas Gant and Tavion Thomas as guys Ohio State will get in the end, albeit with some drama. I think they are going to have to battle for Tyreke Smith and Aeneas Hawkins, but those are winnable fights. The one guy I do not think they're going to get is Blue Smith, because he is adamant about playing wide receiver and I think he believes Ohio State sees him as a tight end. 

- Who does not hold a Buckeye offer, but could be landing one? The guys I like the most getting offered would be Darian Kinnard, Trenton Gillison, Xavier Henderson, Josh Whyle, Meechi Harris, Xavier Peters and Brian Asamoah. I see none of these guys as projects and think they could all play at Ohio State. Let's see who, if any, get offered down the road. 

- Commitment Watch for this weekend? The one I'm watching for the most would be 2019 defensive end Cade Stover. He's going to commit at some point for sure, and this could be the week. He has a chance to be a great player too. 

- Speaking of 2019 defensive ends, Zach Harrison is the best sophomore defensive end prospect I've ever seen in Ohio since I started doing this a while back. From a pure talent, measurables, look test perspective, Harrison blows away Adolphus Washington, SeVon Pittman, Steve Miller, Ben Martin or Tank Carradine. Will he turn into an NFL high draft pick? We shall see but he has that type of raw skill set. 

- I can already see Jaelen Gill falling into the Josh Myers syndrome. He has been a recruit for so long, and he committed very early, so people will be suffering from Gill-fatigue by National Signing Day. So be it, but trust me this kid has more ability than Curtis Samuel had at this stage of his career. I love Gill playing the "H" in Wilson's offense, and just like Campbell, Jaelen can put up sick numbers at that spot. 

- Do I have any concerns about this Ohio State team heading into the 2017 season? With Wilson running the offense, and thus freeing Meyer up to be head coach only, and Schiano being Schiano, the coaching is the absolute best it has been at Ohio State in maybe ever. This is an AMAZING staff in terms of teaching, game-planning, development and game-day decisions. No coaching worries at all. 

- IF, repeat IF, I have any concerns it will be with the offensive line. I think things are going to be fine, possibly even great. With Price, Prince, Jordan and Jamarco Jones (All-American Jamarco Jones) retiurning, that's a great base to build from. Can they find a fifth starter? Can Studrawa coach at Warinner's level? If those answers are YES, then there are no concerns with this group at all. 

- I'm not concerned about wide receiver talent because the Wilson offense automatically jumps this group up about 25% off the jump. And there are some very talented guys in this room. The defensive backs without Hooker, Lattimore and Conley? No worries with Schiano running the show. Denzel Ward is ready to be All Big Ten. Erick Smith can shock people like Hooker did last year. Kendall Sheffield could be as good as Conley from Day-One. And don't forget Shaun Wade and/or Jeffrey Okudah. 

- I'm sticking with an undefeated regular season, Big Ten title win, and two playoff wins for the national championship. Period. 


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