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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We seem to be losing players faster than we are picking them up. Remember the good old days when we were worried that Ohio State would only have 16-19 scholarships to offer? At the rate that the rap sheets are building, we might get a full class in, after all…
I am referring, not so obliquely of course, to the allegations that Louis Irizarry and Ira Guilford committed felonies. Since both plead "not guilty" and since there is still a presumption of innocence in this country (that hasn't been repealed, has it?), I am still going with the benefit-of-the-doubt. However, Louis has that one incident of violence for which he is already on probation and Ira is struggling to stay eligible regardless of this incident and…
Well, it's not a pretty picture. For those of you that always seem willing to put a positive spin on All Things Buckeye, you could spin this by saying "Golly, if the two alleged felons are tossed, that gives us two more schollies to give out to worthwhile recruits". Yet, the two players we are discussing were two of the best players in the country two recruiting seasons ago. Are you going to find a better tight end prospect than Irizarry? No. Are there a lot of athlete/safety prospects out there better than Guilford? No. This is like losing players early to the NFL (Clarett, Gamble, etc.) without getting any contributions before they go.
Still, we soldier on…
Since there have been no new commitments from the early-April report on, I can only report on my continuing speculation. I stand by my not-for-attribution call that Adam Myers-White will become a Buckeye and perhaps within the next 30 days or so. If Mr. Bucknuts is right in that call (and my odds of that are hovering right at 50%), we will then have two Top 100 DB's in the class to add to the best "back seven" in the country. That's some good stuff…
Since there are new offers to report, it is only my contrary nature that demands I speculate on the not-yet-offerred before I get to the facts!
I think that Todd Denlinger will get an offer in the next 30 days. If so, he will take his time (maybe a week…) but will commit. I am not as secure in positing that Brian Hartline will get an offer but I think that he will, in the end. If Brian is, indeed, offered, his turnaround time for acceptance will be unusually brief. And I really like this guy. We can moan about Manningham (with moves like Angelo Chattams), but who knows if he can succeed at the next level (think Chattams, again). Or we can take the tall, athletic, smart receivers like Hartline (think Michael Jenkins) and take those chances.
As to the real world:
Travis Beckum: A Wisconsin linebacker that might be that state's premier talent. Travis is 6'5" and 220 and is reputed to have an Ohio State offer, as well as offers from Notre Dame, Tennessee, Miami, Florida State, Minnesota and home-state Wisconsin.
Rico McCoy: Another linebacker, from D.C., Rico is being recruited (and offered, apparently) for Ohio State by Luke Fickell, according to our Insiders' sources. Nebraska and Miami have visited and he has a long offer sheet from eastern schools.
Brian Roche: This 6'5" 280 pound lineman reported that he received a slew of offers after he participated in their regional combine, and now has 23 in all including OSU. The New Jersey prepster received new offers from the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, Miami and Michigan in the past month. Must have been a pretty impressive video! He plans to visit Columbus along with Iowa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Michigan.
[Todd Denlinger]: In brackets just because it is speculated that he will be offered, Todd is a Bucknuts favorite, coming from the league and style that produced Quinn Pitcock. Troy High School is Ohio State country (think "Bob Ferguson") but a few have gotten away (think "Ryan Brewer"). Tennessee is the latest of nearly 15 schools that have offered Todd. He says he is up to 285 pounds after playing out of position last year at linebacker. He also says that he wants to make a school decision before practice starts in August. Ohio State called and visited last week.
[Brian Hartline]: Another bracket baby, Brian has worn his heart on his sleeve for the Buckeyes but it is a position – and a year – in which wide receiver offers might be late in coming. He is running track now but offers are catching up with him, including recent ones from Pitt and Michigan State. A trip to the Ohio State camp in June might get this great prospect over the top with OSU.
News on Other Offer-ees:
Walker Ashley: Minnesota's most highly touted athlete, Walker has split loyalties since Dad played at Penn State and then for the pro Vikings in his home state. He claims a top five of OSU, Penn State, USC, Minnesota and LSU. Just to keep everyone on their toes, he plans to camp at Penn State, USC, Minnesota and Ohio State.
Craig Roark: This big Oklahoma lineman might be 2004's Jeff Byers (i.e. he could go anywhere he wants…). He is 290 with a shuttle of 4.5. With more than a dozen offers from all the top schools (Nebraska, Alabama, Arizona, UCLA, Kansas State and Florida State, amongst others). There is no indication that Ohio State has an edge here with Nebraska as the early leader.
Justin King: The King of the offer sheet, with 35+ in hand and still growing. This is PA's Jamario O'Neal and we will see how feisty he is if he wants to compete with the supremely talented young Ohio State DB slate. Hey, Justin, we're callin' you out, here! (Don't hold your breath…)
Ryan Perrilloux: Even Justin King's list seems skinny compared to Ryan's with over 65 offers! He has so much mail and phone calls that even the biggest schools are getting lost in the shuffle. I don't predict we will make the final five with Ryan…
Maurice Wells: Not much new to report here. This Top 100 listee will be breathing the rarified air of the aforementioned Perrilloux and King. New offers include Florida State and USC. At least he still mentions the Buckeyes prominently in conversations.
Doug Worthington: This NY defensive end (think Will Smith?) has more than a dozen offers and plans to make up his mind by the end of summer, according to our own Allen Wallace. His top three are Penn State, UNC and Tennessee. He includes OSU and Michigan amongst the elite "probables".
James McKinney: Still technically a "soft" commitment to Michigan, this two-way lineman has more new offers than a dumped prom queen. The newest big ones include USC and Miami. That's the kind of company the Buckeyes will run with if they want to compete for Kentucky's top prospect.
Fred Rouse: We probably have more of a chance with Perrilloux and King (see above…). Rouse has been offered and is a teammate of Joe Bauserman but he strongly favors (all) three Florida schools and appears not to be leaving that state.
Derrick Williams: From the first week that coaches could call, the first calls to Williams came from Florida State, Florida, Michigan, Miami, and Oklahoma. Quite a call sheet, there. He professes to have no early favorites.
Adam Myers-White: Picking up popularity quickly, the Buckeyes need to close on Adam to complete their perfecta of Ohio super DB's. Lots of attention and lots of offers can turn even the most faithful of the locals. See Fred Davis for further insight, there…
Unconfirmed offer sightings: We filter a lot of the rumors we hear about offers and – since none of the alleged offers are actually confirmed by OSU – go with the commonly held beliefs of which player has been offered. We like to get confirmations from the players themselves but even then (remember the Kenyon Buford and Frank Morton sagas?), the information is often, well…flawed.
Nevertheless, here are three more names that might be on the offer trail that we have some credible evidence concerning:
Shawn Otis: RB/DB from Chico, CA
Eugene Monroe: OL from New Jersey
Nick Harris: LB from Alexandria, LA
Dan Doering: OL from Illinois
UPDATES ON PLAYERS OF INTEREST
Alex Daniels: If you are looking for the Curtis Terry of this class from Ohio, it probably is Alex Daniels. He is blowing away recruitniks with his tapes and his upside potential. Duane Long is calling him an upgrade to Top 10 talent and says he reminds him of the late Drushawn Humphrey. You will hear a lot more about Alex, particularly if he goes camping in Columbus this June. Duane said he talked with him last night and that an offer is forthcoming.
Bill Stull: Pennsylvania's best QB is still high on the radar screens although Ohio State needs to focus on a very select group (see the comments under "Ty Horner" and "Rob Schoenhoft"). Stull has five offers but they aren't of the "national caliber" type – Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Bowling Green, and Akron.
Brian Cushing: Brian is in the elite linebacker class and has added offers from Miami and Florida State just to prove it. A lot of big name schools are in on this kid but Ohio State has yet to step forward. To reciprocate, he is showing less interest in the Buckeyes, as well. He says he will camp at Boston College.
Jason Forcier: A quarterback that visited Columbus during the Nike camp parade, Jason got a tour of the school and an invitation to spring practice. California quarterbacks always seem more elite – in theory – so this is a name you should hear more on.
Richard Gordon: Our own Scott Kennedy (Insiders) called Richard one of the most impressive big men in the entire country. This Miami DE/TE is 240+ pounds and runs on his team's 4 X 100 meter relay squad. He mentions the Buckeyes as amongst his favorites.
Terrance Taylor: We seem to be slipping off into the horizon with this Michigan defensive tackle as a track meet got in the way of his scheduled Columbus Nike camp visit. Michigan is the home state leader and other offers have come from Miami, Iowa, FSU and LSU. He still says he plans to visit Ohio State. We'll see…
Greg Orton: He could be a numbers victim as far as OSU is concerned, but he is such a compelling athlete from such an Ohio State pipeline (Wayne in Huber Heights) that he is hard to ignore. An athletic 6'4" receiver is still a rarity. He has offers already from a number of MAC schools plus Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa, Pitt and Kentucky.
THOSE IN TRANSITION ON THE LIST
Rocco Cirroni: Hey – what do I know? Only what I hear. And the beat of the drums has it that – after taking the two far-and-away-best O-linemen in Ohio – the Bucks will be very selective about any other offers this year. I think that might eliminate Rocco and
Robert Brewster: Same as Rocco. One camp has it that the big guy has a ton of po-tential. Another camp does not see it that way. Perhaps if he attends the OSU camp, itself, it will give all the powers-to-be a chance to find out.
Louis Holmes: This is almost getting to the point of becoming an inside joke. Or an Insiders' joke, perhaps… But here's my latest thought: Bill Conley was Louis' biggest advocate. Bill is gone. I don't think we will see Louis coming to tOSU.
Ty Horner: Just not enough buzz for the Northmont flame-thrower. Plus, the Bucks are only looking at the top talent in the country, at this point. Bad timing for Ty…
Rob Schoenhoft: Moving the other direction, Rob is now poised as the #1 QB recruit in the state. He was recently offered by Michigan, to go along with offers from such luminaries as Michigan State, Iowa, Florida and Maryland. At 6'6" and 230, he will be a hard recruiting target to miss.
Let's talk some selective theories before we wind up this monthly review. And, for May, I want to address the recruiting situation in Ohio for Ohioans. Ahem…
Based on Ohio High's terrific listing of top talent in the Buckeye state, and based upon updates we are receiving since that list came out, here are the projected Elite Eleven in Ohio right now:
Based upon the above, this is what I think will happen.
We already have O'Neal and Boone in the fold, two Top 100 players nationally. Denlinger will come aboard as will Myers-White. Lenix is from Glenville and the only way out, now, is through Columbus. Cordle is already there. Manningham defected to the enemy and how good could he really be, anyway? (We always say that if he doesn't come to Columbus…) Harrison and Ringer should be Buckeyes if they get offers. Harrison will get one if he goes to camp and Javon just got a 21 on his ACT so his stock will soar. I have already stated that Daniels and Hartline will get offered and will accept.
How about that? You telling me that – in a schollie short year – we will get ten out of the top eleven. I am telling you we could. And should. And that I would always take a Javon Ringer over a Maurice Wells. Let's keep the great talent at home and let's let the kids and high school coaches know that's the way it ought to be!
Mr. Bucknuts has spoken.
For May, at least…
LATEST RECRUITING REPORT CARD
Red Player:He has already committed
Gray Player:Gray shirt from 2004 that will be part of the 2005 class
Blue Player:I absolutely want this kid!
Green Player:Great potential; I might want him