It is my opinion that, although OSU has the opportunity to take as many as 25 or more, I see the Buckeyes taking only 20-22 this year.
The reasons? First, OSU coach Jim Tressel has always said 20-22. Secondly, last year we saw the mess that was created by John Cooper who used every available scholarship he had every year and we ended up with classes out of whack like last years with such a low number and this year when if allowed we could offer as many as 28. We need to see that evened out and I think we will see that done. 20-22 every year leaves you with balance but it also gives you room to add a couple of players every year if the need is there or if a real special player wants to come onboard.
Based on those numbers, 20-22, with 13 already committed, I am going to project who I think would be an ideal class for this year. The criteria is very simple. The Buckeyes must have a reasonable chance to land the player.
1. Ted Ginn, Cleveland Glenville. WR/CB -- One of the 5 best players I have seen in Ohio. Simply spectacular. His speed numbers are verified but the most important one is speed with the pads on. So many speed players don't have that. Ginn does. Named Gatorade Player of the Year in football and in track. If that has been done before I can't recall it. I have every reason to believe that if the needs at corner are met and the staff has the option to make a choice Ginn will be a WR. He will be a Buckeye.
2. Fred Davis, Toledo Rogers. WR -- Simply the best pure WR prospect I have seen in Ohio. Another player who carries his speed onto the football foeld. There may be players with better forty times but on a football field they will not catch Fred Davis. Very physical player. Looks like a clone of Texas WR Roy Williams if you want to get a picture of Fred Davis.
3. Leon Hart, S.Carolina, OL -- More specifically a LT which is something the Buckeyes desperately need. This is as good a year for OL nationally as I have ever seen and this is the top tackle in the country. Playing early is important to him and if he doesn't go to South Carolina I think he ends up in Columbus.
4. Kyle Mitchum, McDowell, Pa, OL/DT -- Great player and a great athlete. Though most project him as an OL, he could be a DT. But because of need and because I just think he is better at it I say he ends up on the offensive line.
5. Jeremy Zuttah, Edison, NJ, OL -- This is one I haven't seen yet but he is a top 20 OL in the Insiders database and this year that means something. Top 20 nationally is something to crow about with this class of offensive linemen.
6. James Bryant, Reading PA, LB/FB/DE -- I didn't realize that I had a tape of James Bryant until Sunday night. What a late season treat. What a special player he is. The complete package. Huge frame, runs great and very physical. I can't decide of he is a better LB or a FB and he is so big he could grow into a DE. I still want him in scarlet and gray no matter what position.
7. Bobby Reid, Galena Park TX, QB -- I have not seen Reid but he is rated higher than Xavier Lee, who I have seen. I think QB – even with Todd Boeckman and Joe Bauserman in the fold -- is such a need in this class. He is a soft commitment to Oklahoma State and will enroll in January so that late December visit to Ohio State could be a recruiting coup for the Buckeyes.
8. David Lonie, Queensland, Australia, Punter -- We talk about the needs at OL, QB, CB and RB but there may be no greater need in this class than a punter. Lonie is currently at an Iowa JUCO and has only been there one year but was offered on a tape he sent out that showed him getting 4.5-5.0 second hang times on 50-yard punts.
I am going to cheat a bit here at No. 9. I am going to say best athlete available. The talent level and the depth at WR and TE on offense and at every position on defense except corner allows for the Buckeyes to try and land a major talent at this spot if we fill the needs I have detailed here at spots 1-8.
OL is such a need that while I am taking 3 here and there are 3 already committed, I could see taking 7. The number for Buckeye fans to keep in mind is 9. There are only 9 scholarship Ols on this roster coming back for next year and that includes a walk-on offered a scholarship. I would not think twice about taking 6 here and I think 7 is not unreasonable under the circumstances. I would love to see the Buckeyes get back involved with Gerald Cadogan and/or Chauncey Incarnato. I have seen both and they are outstanding offensive linemen. If they are good enough for Penn State and Notre Dame respectively I don't see why they are not good enough for Ohio State.
I would very much like to add another corner but we are not seeing any top players looking at the Buckeyes outside of Ginn, and who we already have committed. I think Gamble is not coming back. I have given Dustin Fox a hard time but he is playing out of position. It would be nice to be able to move him to his natural position of safety.
I think we are not a very good team at RB and had to move a natural safety to RB just to have the "pair and a spare" that is needed. We have 2 outstanding ones already committed but I would not mind adding Gary Russell here at #9. We could see a safety here. There are some outstanding ones still looking at the Buckeyes. Devon Lyons, SirDarean Adams and Nick Patterson are all big time safeties and while it is not a need position safeties tend to be versatile players. Most are good receivers too and some can play corner while others grow into linebackers. That versatility is something highly prized by Coach Tressel.