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 2005. 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
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RECRUITING DOWN THE ROAD
With the Buckeye recruiting class of 2004 mostly still enjoying their second semester of their senior year, it might seem fanciful to project our needs – once again - for the class of 2005. And that's what makes it an appealing challenge for old Mr. Bucknuts. Of course!
Now, you can see the attached explanation of my scientific inquiry into the facts of our needs. But, as any good dedicated scientist will tell you, there are always different methods by which you can test, prove, and provoke.
A secondary litmus test in this premature needs analysis is one I like to call: "Who Will Be Starting Two Years From Now?" In that way, you can see if the talent level at the various positions is good enough and you can tell how much trouble we could be facing as the kids move through their eligibility paces. Just to give myself a little wiggle room, I project the two-deep for most of the positions since that gives us a wider horizon of possibilities.
Follow the bouncing ball with me…
In two years, either Erik Haw or Antonio Pittman project to be our starter and back-up. Maybe Ira Guilford? We need a big back here and some depth.
Schnittker will be returning for his senior year and Dionte Johnson will be in his first full year. We need one coming in, but there's probably not enough room this year.
Justin Zwick will be a junior in eligibility, as will his back-up Troy Smith (unless he's moved to another position by then…). Todd Boeckman could very well be the #2 guy. This position is more one of quality rather than quantity. So we need a guy with "superstar" writ large all over him.
Hamby and Irizarry should be a formidable duo. But they will also be a senior and a junior. Nicol is coming up and I decided that Hoobler will be a linebacker, so we will need one here in the linkage.
For the 2005 season, I see Hall as the go-to stud and Holmes sees himself – unfortunately – in the NFL. We haven't yet seen where Gonzalez or Hiley (or even Troy Smith) ends up, so that leaves second year players Dukes and Lyons in the potential two-deep along with the unproven Devin Jordan. We need more.
Mangold and Sims will be seniors. Datish and Downing will be juniors. That's hard enough to believe! We will be looking at Schafer and Barton and Person and Mitchum and Skinner and Boone in the two-deep. We need two more that can contribute soon after they get to campus.
Kudla and Arden and maybe D'Andrea will be seniors. The yet-to-be unleashed Richardson will be a junior and Frost/Reggie Smith will be sophomores. Not too bad, as there will be other position switches. But we need at least one more.
Pitcock and Patterson will be All-American juniors with Penton challenging for time. Maupin, Cotton and Abdallah will be super sophomores. We are in very good shape here.
This will be the swan song for the linebacking group of the millennium as Hawk and Carpenter and Schlegel and D'Andrea are all in their last year. Back for one more season is Kerr and Stan White. In the wings are Curt Lukens, Marcus Freeman, and Chad Hoobler – at least. We need another one of that quality to extend our dominance (would Burgess and Crable make this team, or not?).
Salley will just be a junior as will Whitner. Brandon Mitchell and Ira Guilford are right behind them. Nick Patterson and a host of incoming freshmen are a step forward. We are awfully solid here.
Our biggest concern here might be the lure of the NFL. We should be loaded. Ginn will be a sophomore. O'Neal will be a freshman. The older guys include two Underwoods, Ashton Youboty and…well, there's a bunch. A very exciting bunch!
By the way, my all-Glenville Buckeye backfield includes Whitner and Freddie Lenix at safeties with Ginn and Jamario as corners. Just in case, we have Superman (Dareus Hiley) as a back up…
That's the look at why we want whom we want. Now, let's look more specifically at the group of guys that will – or won't – make up this next recruiting class.
Recruits That Have Already Come and Gone
Mario Manningham: Our annual thumb-in-the-eye from a Buckeye hotbed town, Manningham committed early to Michigan. Somehow it doesn't hurt as much as losing the "lock", Fred Davis, but any highly rated Ohio player going to Michigan still sucks…
Ray Williams: My plan for Ray was to have him bulk up his academics at Fork Union for a year and then become a Buckeye next season. Ohio State's plans for Ray? Not public. But it turns out that Ray's plans for Ray was to commit to West Virginia where it now seems likely that he will Prop 48 his first year and then try to get eligible with that other Ohio Williams (Pernell) to play ball for the Mountaineers.
Dave McLain: We hardly knew ye…Before we could get too excited about the big OL from Pennsylvania, he committed to Maryland.
RECRUITS WORTH TALKING ABOUT (THE EARLY LINE…)
Here's your monthly round up on the primary candidates that everyone seems to be talking about. The list will ebb and flow as new players emerge and existing listees diminish in either quality or in their viability as Buckeye recruits.
Tyrell Sutton: Another smallish back (from Hoban) that could be a DB, but not in the year of the DB in Ohio. He's still someone to keep your eye on.
Javon Ringer: The class of the class. Dazzling upside. He replaced one of the best backs in Ohio (Pernell Williams) in the middle of the year and rushed for 2000 yards. As a sophomore! He ran for more than that last year in a Dayton Chaminade program that is known for producing great talent. Small like Archie was small with unusual power and exquisite balance. Grades could be a problem here, but he's working on it.
Maurice Wells: The first out-of-stater to make a splash…Only 180 pounds but urban legend has it that Conley was so impressed with his tape that he made an offer without even checking with Tressel. Great stats and an alleged 5-star ranking forthcoming…A bunch of schools have now offered as befits one of the best back prospects in the country.
Gene DelleDonne: Delaware QB that has expressed an interest in the Buckeyes. He is a likely choice for the Elite Eleven quarterback camp this year, which puts him into an elite group, indeed.
Tyler Horner: An up-and-comer from and up-and-coming program (Northmont) that goes to the air a bunch. He might be the best of the class in a so-so year in Ohio quarterbacking. Don't look for too much noise from the local lads this year at quarterback.
Bill Stull: Pennsylvania quarterback that has OSU on a list along with Iowa, Michigan and Purdue. He seems to love the Buckeyes but no one has indicated yet how much we love Bill.
Brian Hartline: With Manningham gone, Hartline is best-in-class and might be better than Mario, anyway! A great receiver and engaging kid out of Canton Glen Oak, he is an OSU lean and would be a, well… great catch. Catch him this week on the Bucknuts Radio Hour.
Rahmir Cottman: Tall and fast New Jersey receiver that lists Ohio State amongst his top schools.
Derrick Williams: Maryland wide out that is purported to have already been offered by the Buckeyes. Also purported to be a Top 20 in the country kind of talent.
AJ Haas: Here's a Haas we need to ride; a potential Top 100 kid out of Copley, Duane describes AJ as a "super athletic big man; lean with a great frame – runs like a player 50 pounds lighter". Nuff said…Should see him at camp in Columbus this year.
Rocco Cirroni: The next great one out of Warren Harding (and not a Michigan guy); he's been improving dramatically.
Curtis Smith: A great one out of Glenville (i.e. OSU's if they want him…), at 6'2" and 235, he has some growing to do to be a DE.
Louis Holmes: Yes, after his brother Sherlock, probably the greatest consistent mystery man around the OSU recruiting circles. Says he still needs to get eligible and says he still wants to be a Buckeye. You have to admire his persistence, if nothing else. Now says his numbers are in order and we are waiting to hear from the NCAA clearinghouse before the coaching staff opines.
Antwon Hight: Already projected by Duane to end up in the NFL if he can just get through high school and make it into college. Has everyone drooling except the various Deans of Admissions.
Todd Denlinger: Probably the best DT potential in Ohio and a possible Top 100 player that has a definite lean to the Buckeyes.
Joe Akers: Defensive lineman from Maryland that attended the OSU junior day. 6'2" and 310…
Jeffrey Owens: Florida DE from Plantation High School (FL) where the OSU coaches recently spent the whole day…
Ekem Udofia: From Arizona with OSU on his Top 5 list, Ekem ran a sub-4.7 40 at 270 pounds with 29 bench press reps and a 4.1 GPA. Now, there's some unusual combinations…Ekem is leading the list of Most Offers The Soonest.
Walker Ashley: Minnesota tackle from an outstanding program, Walker's father played in the NFL. Ohio State is one of many big schools interested at this point.
James McKinney: Could be a DT, could be a TE. Could be a commitment to Michigan (he did that once already…) but could be still looking. The scuttle is that OSU offered him this week and that he will take a look. The 6'4" 255-pounder from Louisville caught 14 passes and played stellar defensive line last year. Projects more as a DE, perhaps…
Terrance Taylor: A national recruit that has already been offered by Michigan. Lists OSU as an early favorite.
Freddie Lenix: Could be the best linebacker in the class or could be the best safety. He's from Glenville and he's one we want.
Jim Ramella: St. Ignatius linebacker and tight end, Ramella is 6'4" and 235 with a 4.7 and a 3.4.
Elijah Hodge: From our friends at Dillard HS in Ft. Lauderdale, Elijah is a small linebacker that might follow in the OSU footsteps of Thomas Matthews and Chris Gamble. Rated #25 in Florida…
Brian Cushing: 6'3" and 225 with a 4.45 forty, this New Jersey LB says OSU is in the hunt.
Adam Myers-White: Already offered by Ohio State. He would add nicely to the all Hamilton/Glenville backfields with Whitner, Hiley, Ginn, O'Neal and the Underwood brothers. Michigan and Michigan State have also offered.
Ray Herring: Florida safety from a small school that is making a big noise. He has a number of elite schools on his list, Ohio State amongst them.
Jayson White: From the same Pennsylvania high school as Kyle Mitchum, you know that Coach Daniels has certainly gotten a look at Jayson.
Brandon Harrison: In a year of major talent at this position, Brandon might be the best
of them all. From the same program that could bring us Javon Ringer…
Ryan Brinson: Just a great athlete who would rather be an RB but might be too small at the next level. Out of Canton McKinley, so he faces big time competition. Duane says, "Ryan is often the fastest player on the field and always the toughest".
Justin King: An alleged OSU offeree out of Pittsburgh. Blinding speed and a possibility that he goes somewhere even as a tailback.
So, that leaves us recruiting down the road. I am on record (you can look it up…) as saying we will have 19 schollies available for the Class of 2005. With two commitments (O'Neal and Boone) and two gray shirts (Bauserman and Pettrey), that leaves about 15 spots left to claim. Even this early in the process, there will be a lot of jockeying ahead for the ultimate disposition of those spots.
Take a look, finally, at some very early season lists of whom we have and whom we might be in on. And I will update everything again in April as more information becomes available and as we talk with more of the kids.
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