Bucknuts' Recruiting Report Card
This report is Mr. Bucknuts' unique attempt to coordinate and grade the recruiting process on a dynamic basis between now and the end of recruiting season for the Class of 2004. As players commit - or emerge on the scene - the report will change to reflect that. Your comments are welcome! The report is the opinion of Mr. Bucknuts and not OSU. Send all broadsides to MrBucknuts@yahoo.com
more info on these players, check
out theInsiders.com recruiting database
Despite my well-publicized penchant for going out on a limb, I refuse
to hide away and hibernate until spring football. And so much has
happened since my last report on Tuesday of last week that I thought I
would do a quick update prior to Commitment Day this Wednesday.
So here we go…
THINGS I THINK I WAS WRONG ABOUT
THINGS I THINK I'M RIGHT ABOUT
Usually this is a much shorter list than the one above…
SOMEBODY DONE SOMEBODY WRONG DEPARTMENT
And that brings us to the special case of DaJuan Morgan. One school
of thought has it that we offered Morgan, screwed up his academic
transcripts and reports, dropped Morgan and then realized we had jumped
the gun so we tried to make it right. If that school is correct, then
OSU was wrong and should just admit it and move on. If – as another
school of thought has it – that DaJuan didn't pass the admissions
screening twice, then the rest of you should get off the
staff's back and let them move along. If, as a third – and a
very cynical school - presents it, that we shoved Morgan aside because
we were going to get two "better" guys (Lyons and Jarrett,
perhaps?), then shame on us. We have made an already scurrilous process
But here's the bottom line: Morgan is not coming and the next time
we see him is when we play at NC State in September. Hey – maybe he
will be sitting next to Derek Morris! So that's no different than
Richard Washington switching his decision on Signing Day (yes, he plays
at NC State, too, if you are looking for conspiracies or trends). DaJuan
is a delightful young man that has had a horrendous run of bad luck and
we wish him well.
Now, all of us, let's move along…
GUYS THAT COMMITTED TO THE BUCKEYES
Albert Dukes: Just like Santonio Holmes was two years ago (a
teammate at Belle Glades), Dukes could be the steal of this class. He
caught 54 balls for a million yards this year and when his coach was
told that he was the 24th rated receiver at Insiders, he
said, "Then I would like to see the other 23". Coaches and analysts
who know the players are very high on Albert.
Nader Abdallah: The exception that proves the rule…it came
down to Florida and OSU for this blue chipper from Louisiana and he
chose…OSU! The Termi-Nader has a great motor, great size and great
desire. Expect to see him playing soon on a defensive line near you;
that is, if you live in Columbus.
Dennis Kennedy: See above apology. We didn't think he would
be offered and – if so – not as a running back. Then his coach said,
"This is the best running back in the county". And that is quite a
Florida county. To use the coach's summary of the situation; "You
Curtis Terry: Just announced today, this speedy LB/DE has
qualified academically and will be joining teammate Ted Ginn, Jr. in
signing for the Buckeyes.
GUYS THAT COMMITTED ELSEWHERE
Dajuan Morgan: I think that's been covered elsewhere. Ad
nauseum…I can't add anything else.
Chris Zellner: Chris said he was trying to decide between
Clemson and Ohio State, so he took the weekend and visited Miami. He
then committed to the Hurricanes.
NEWS ON THE ONES WE'RE STILL IN ON
Gartrell Shavers: With the commitment of Kennedy as a running
back, it is a consensus assumption that we are no longer pursuing
Andrew Johnson: We don't need RB's and we don't need
DB's, so Johnson looks to be SOL.
Ray Williams: We are speculating here, as well, but the group
speculation runs that 1) Williams really wants to be a Buckeye 2) The
Bucks are still interested in Williams 3) Williams is still short
academically, so 4) After a year at prep school, everyone can get what
they want! Hey – it worked with Eddie George…
Anthony Morelli: All signs point to Anthony staying in
Pennsylvania, either with original commitment Pitt or with new interest
PSU. Although Iowa is a late entry into the new Morelli sweepstakes…
Devon Lyons: Devon wouldn't go out on a limb to predict if
he would commit to either OSU, Michigan or Miami. I went out on that
limb (it's a lot easier for me…) and predicted that he will
be a Buckeye come 7 PM Monday evening.
Dwayne Jarret: he told the first interviewer on Friday that
"USC is too far away. It's down to Virginia and OSU." He told the
USC guru (same day) that "It's down to USC and OSU". So, he's
telling everyone what they want to hear. I will tell you this: Dukes and
Lyons might be as good as Fred Davis. Jarrett might be better! And if we
want to get past the DaJuan Morgan fiasco (and I'm being selfish
here…), signing Jarrett on Commitment Day would be a great way to do
Javier Estopinian: Still Florida and OSU. Still waiting until
Wednesday. If we don't get Bryant, I would love to land Javier. If we
do (and might I then say, "Yee ha!"), we don't have room for
Rhyan Anderson: Of the three defensive end signing
possibilities (along with Olu Hall and Willie Young), Rhyan is the one
guy that can elevate this whole class a notch or two by himself.
That's saying something special. He's not saying anything at
all, but indicates we are in his top 3 (?!). There have been stories
that we are in his top two and he's struggling with Miami. But those
are just more stories.
Olu Hall: Virginia. Or Virginia Tech. Or OSU. That seems to be
the betting order. We will find out in the next 72 hours.
Willie Young: You have to lust over the upside on this "young" DE, and we are hoping we get to watch him develop up close and personal in Columbus. He visited Florida over the weekend and he includes them in his final group along with OSU and NC State (yeah, them again…).
Could there be a surprise before this is all over? It would be a
surprise if there weren't! The biggest surprise – to me – is if we
actually won the Derrick Harvey sweepstakes, a contest we were hardly
And how many spots do we have open, anyway? Well, the way I
understand it, the "over-signing rule" says you can take up to 28 in
a year; but you have to get that down to 25 by the time the class is
eligible. If – to push the boundaries of propriety, we took the full
28, that would leave us with maybe five more positions we could fill.
There are certain guys that you take no matter what, even if you wait
until after signing day. In this class, those guys are James
Bryant, Derrick Harvey, Rhyan Anderson and Dwayne Jarrett. We would take
any – or all – of that group regardless of whom we signed before
And the rest? That includes Devon Lyons, Olu Hall, Willie Young, and
I would be very satisfied with Lyons and one of the Big Four
must-takes. Throw in one other out of the secondary group and I would be
ecstatic. If we get two of the Big Four, we have a Top Three class in
the country. In any event, we should finish in the Top Five. And with a
group of kids that fills the needs we had as well as fulfilling the
"quality kids" need that every school should have!
Finally, we have insured against the Commitment Day Massacre that we
saw last year, simply because the staff has already closed the deal on
enough players this year that we don't have that kind of finishing
possibility. And that's a good thing. For those of you with strong
stomachs and weak memories, here is a part of my column last year, 5
days after that massacre occurred:
Bucknuts from February
It was like standing up against the
wall and having someone shoot at you. Luckily, I was wearing my
scarlet-and-gray bulletproof vest. But the slugs nearly knocked me down,
"Did we get James
"No, he went to Georgia"
"Well, how about Devin
"Huh uh. He committed to Cal."
"I know the coaches really really
McBride. Did we get him?"
"No, he went to Tennessee."
"Gosh, I'm scared to ask, but
with Spielman on our side, I felt pretty good that we would get Shawn
"No can do, Bucky. He opted
"All right, at least we
kept all the verbals. After all, it was a great class, no matter what
the other …"
That's it. I'm asking no more
questions. The news just got worse and worse as the day went on last
Wednesday. A number of us had used the unfortunate phrase "Even if we
don't get a single other commitment…", but we didn't actually
believe that would happen. It was like Michael
Jordan missing seven straight free throws. It was like Matt Zahn
passing up a smorgasbord. It was like LeBron
James resisting temptation. I mean, what are the odds?
Now, back to the future…
We have a terrific class and there
will be a bunch of stories to tell when it's all over. Let's enjoy
the final few days. Yes, that's possible – it is sports we
are talking about here, people.
And I will chime in again next
weekend with a summary and my final grades.
LATEST RECRUITING REPORT CARD
Red Player:He has already committed
Gray Player:Gray shirt that will be part of the 2004 class
Blue Player:I absolutely want this kid!
Green Player:Great potential
Black player: Good potential
Mr. Bucknuts Bucket of Bullets
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