Good and Long: Impressions Of OSU's 2004 Class recruiting editor Duane Long shares comments on all of OSU's verbal commitments as well as the handful of players who could still choose Ohio State on national signing day. Enjoy the excitement of signing day as Duane discusses each and every one of these future Buckeyes, including LB Marcus Freeman, and how they fit into OSU's plans.

Good national signing day, everybody! (I borrowed that from WTVN-AM's George Lehner, by the way.)

This is just like Christmas morning … or the first day of the NCAA Tournament … or Opening Day in Cincinnati … or the home opener at the Horseshoe.

Today is the day we find out where all of the nation's best and brightest are going to college. Of course, the suspense today surrounds four key prospects the Buckeyes are still tracking -- wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett of New Jersey, linebackers Javier Estopinan of Florida and James Bryant of Pennsylvania and defensive end Rhyan Anderson.

Stay tuned here to all day and we'll report the developments as they unfold. Estopinan is due to decide at 10:30 a.m., while Bryant will reportedly announce at 4:30 p.m. We will pass along updates when we know when Jarrett and Anderson are due to announce.

If OSU can sway, say, two of the three top-100 players still on the board (Jarrett, Bryant or Anderson), the Buckeyes could end up with a top-five class.

As it stood last night, had Ohio State's class ranked ninth with four national top-100 verbals (Ted Ginn Jr., Rory Nicol, Kyle Mitchum and Marcus Freeman).'s rankings were tightly bunched with LSU on top with six top-100 players, followed by USC (six top-100's), Michigan (6), Florida State (6), Georgia (4), Oklahoma (6), Miami (Fla.) (5), Tennessee (2), Ohio State (4) and Texas (4). The Big Ten had two other schools in the top 25 with Penn State (3) at No. 12 and Michigan State (0) 15th.

As you wait for the letters-of-intent to pour through the fax machine at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, sit back and enjoy the following. We have comments here from recruiting editor Duane Long on all of OSU's verbals, the projected gray shirts and even the guys they may still add today.

By the time you get through this, we may already know where some of those stars listed above have decided to go. Enjoy … and know this -- we are starting in the rest of this week with the most comprehensive coverage of juniors who could get a look for next year!!

Here are Duane Long's comments on players who will or could sign with OSU today:

* Devon Lyons, WR -- "He has good size and athleticism for a receiver, although I think he still might end up on the other side of the ball. He is still growing and is a super athlete. He's huge."

* Curtis Terry, LB -- "A play maker with good speed. He brings a lot of intensity. He has a good frame and he can still get a little bit bigger. He could play linebacker, although he has mostly played defensive end in his career."

* Dennis Kennedy, RB-DB -- "He is another athlete. I don't know if he will be at running back or not. The people in Florida say they may have stolen one here. His coach says he's the best back he's seen in four years there. I would not be surprised if he ends up at cornerback or wide receiver."

* Albert Dukes, WR -- "He is supposed to be better than (former prep teammate) Santonio Holmes as a high school player. He is supposed to have better speed (than Holmes) and is a little bigger. That says a lot."

* Nader Abdallah, DT -- "He is probably the steal of the class for Ohio State. I didn't see a defensive tackle on film any better than Nader Abdallah. He has a great body, he's 300 pounds and he's not fat. He is a high motor player. He plays hard all the time and that is a major issue with big guys."

* Kyle Mitchum, OL -- "He is as talented a big man as I've seen this year. He has the frame to go 300 pounds. The one thing that probably keeps him from starting as a freshman is the fact he needs to add weight and get bigger."

* Nick Patterson, S -- "Athletes define this class and he would be at or near the top of the list. He may be a better receiver than a defensive back. He will come here as a safety, although I keep hearing he may be a corner. He is a great kid, too."

* Vernon Gholston, DE -- "He is my pick as the next Will Smith. He is big and could fill out to 255 or 260 pounds. To have that with a 4.5 40 is very impressive. He really showed some athletic ability at the camps he attended."

* Alex Barrow, DE -- "I was surprised it took them as long as it did to offer him. He played end, but down the line he may be a defensive tackle. He has a big frame and could still fill out. He's already 245 pounds. His best position at Ohio State may be defensive tackle. Ohio State made a good decision to take him. He was dominant at times against some good competition in the OCC and the playoffs."

* Ted Ginn Jr., CB -- "The franchise. He brings speed and explosiveness. I still think he will have an opportunity to play some at wide receiver, too. I know I would try to get the ball in his hands 10 times a game. He is a game changer, a game breaking player. He is a lot like (the Washington Redskins') Champ Bailey. He may see some time on offense at OSU."

* A.J. Trapasso, P -- "He has been a solid kicker and a solid punter, but I like him athletically, too. He rushed for 1,400 yards as a senior. He is an actual football player. Coach Tressel has wanted to move away from a guy who, once he kicks the ball, you're left with 10 guys on the field. You have 11 players on the field with him kicking it."

* Rory Nicol, TE -- "Ben Hartsock with more athleticism and better hands. He is a great blocker. I was real impressed with him on tape."

* Brandon Smith, LB -- "He had a great senior year. He has good size and a good frame. He could still fill out. Plus, he's a model citizen. I think they saw him as a good kid they wanted on the roster"

* Dionte Johnson, FB -- "I have loved this kid. He has a great attitude and he always seems to have a smile on his face. He can run. He can go up to 250 pounds and probably still run a 4.5 40. He weighed in at 233 at Ohio State's camp and ran a 4.43."

* Marcus Freeman, LB -- "A tackling machine. He is a super athlete and a solid citizen. He makes a lot of plays. He is not an inside guy, though. He's an outside guy. Put him on the weak side and let him go."

* Brandon Underwood, CB -- "Brandon is a big, physical corner. He is a good bump-and-run football player. He is really athletic and has better speed than I anticipated. He could grow into a safety at Ohio State."

* Joe Bauserman, QB -- "He is a good athlete at quarterback. Coach Tressel wants quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet, and he can do that."

* Erik Haw, RB -- "That is my man. The one thing everybody knows about him is the speed thing, but that's a misnomer. He is not a scat back. He is 210 pounds and he does his best running between the tackles. Then, when he gets an opening or can cut outside, look out. There aren‘t many who are going to catch him."

* Jon Skinner, OL -- "You have to look at his toughness and his size. He is absolutely huge. He could be the quintessential right tackle. He came back from his injury as a senior, but he still played with a lot of pain. He is a tough kid."

* Steve Rehring, OL -- "The thing that stands out is his size and his work ethic. I never believed he would end up with offers from Ohio State and Michigan. But he is a focused kid with a will of steel. Those kind of kids win football games. The early enrollment should really help him."

* Sirjo Welch, S -- "If you were looking to build a safety, you would end up with Sirjo Welch. He had a reputation as a big hitter already, then he came back as a senior and had six interceptions. He just seems to keep getting better."

* Chad Hoobler, TE-LB -- "To me, Chad is a middle linebacker. I know everyone talks about him as a tight end, and he is a great one. He is a good blocker. But I would put him at middle linebacker, where he makes things happen. He knocks people down."

* Antonio Pittman, RB -- "He had 1,400 yards in a season when he had turf toe. That says a lot right there. He did that with a steal plate in his shoe. He will enroll March 29 and that is huge for him to go through spring ball. He is also a solid 200 pounds now, too."

* Ben Person, OL -- "If he's not starting this fall, Ohio State's line will be better than I think it's going to be. He is a big, mobile kid. He may be a center down the line after Nick Mangold leaves. I think he will start out his college career as a guard, but could move to center late on."

* Shaun Lane, CB -- "Shaun Lane is another kid to watch. He rushed for 1,700 yards. He has toughness. Plus, he is a smart kid with great character. He will probably be a corner, but he could also be in the mix as a return man."

Possible Signees

* Rhyan Anderson, DE -- "If they get him, you would be looking at one of the elite kids in the class. At his size, he could move down to defensive tackle. He played at right around 260 pounds in high school. If he stays around there, he would stay at end. There weren't many guys that had his list of offers, either."

* Dwayne Jarrett, WR -- "I am told he was the best receiver at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio. He looked the best in practice. He is a game breaker and a good athlete. He would bring speed to this receiving corps that may need it. There aren't a lot of great speed guys in that group as it stands."

* James Bryant, LB -- "To me, he is a difference maker. I believe he could be the starting middle linebacker next fall. He is that good. He is a physical specimen who makes a lot of plays."

* Javier Estopinan, LB -- "He's 73-0 right now in wrestling and that says a lot right there. He has a good frame. As he grows, he could probably be a defensive end, but he should be able to maintain his speed."

Look for Duane Long on Ohio News Network's national signing day special at 8 p.m. Wednesday and replayed at 11:30 p.m.

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