Mr. Bucknuts Bucket Of Bullets

It's been a while since we've focused much on Buckeye recruiting. Today, Mr. Bucknuts is back with his monthly look at Buckeye recruiting, including some thoughts on who's coming, who might be coming, and who won't be coming to OSU.

October, November, December, January…whoa! We are closing in on the end of another fun-filled and fruitful recruiting season!

Each month, I take a highly prejudicial and fact-based speculative look at Ohio State football recruiting. This month is no different. But let's focus on what is different for this month on the field of recruiting.

The main focus is: OSU gained a new Top 100 recruit and "lost" a Top 100 recruit. Well, kinda. The recruit they gained is absolute. He is Doug Worthington and he is an absolute stud. The recruit they lost, they never really had; that is Adam Myers-White who vacillated, who hemmed and hawed, who toyed, and was ultimately told that Ohio State was no longer interested.

First, as to Worthington, this is a four-star rush DE whose recruiting situation feels a lot like that of recent superstar Will Smith. Both are from upper New York State. Both are national recruits blessed with great speed, size and athleticism. If Doug is another Will Smith, then we are blessed, indeed. This gives OSU Dubya Bookends" for speed rushers in this class as they already have a commitment from budding Mission Viejo star, Ryan Williams. Another DE with a super first step. Williams on one side, Worthington on the other. Put the big round guys in between and we should have WoW !

Second, as to Adam Myers-White…While this situation doesn't exactly invite comparison with the Miles Williams or DaJuan Morgan fiascos of yesteryear (after all, they accepted and were told "Upon further review…"), it does beg an explanation. Here is mine, which might be truthful or fanciful. I think that AMW was recruited based on his junior year and some fabulously athletic exhibitions that he put on at camps. The coaches offered; AMW demurred. Then, the new season started and two things happened: 1) Adam didn't look as good on the field (plus he had a little negative attitude) and 2) Safety was no longer a position of need and the Buckeyes were recruiting other big names that the staff liked better.

Simple stuff. And maybe it keeps AMW from becoming another Harlen Jacobs. That is, a kid with great talent that never gets the payoff on the field.

Meanwhile, back at the Recruiting Farm. How are the Buckeyes set this year? Who else are they going after? How do they fill the remaining needs? How should I know?

Well, I know a little. And I am willing to guess the rest. And here's how I see it:

Running Backs: The Buckeyes need two. Hall and Lydell are gone which leaves just Pittman and Haw. Two more fill the pipeline, nicely. It doesn't seem as if they are in on any fullbacks so we will deal with Schnittker, Stan White and Dionte Johnson coming back.

Quarterbacks: They have the one they need. They might pick up a Carlton Jackson, someone that can play multiple positions but that hasn't worked out recently in cases like Troy Smith or Dareus Hiley…

Tight Ends: Seems like they need one but the pickings are slim. We will bring back Hamby, and the untested duo of Marcel Frost and Rory Nicol. Seems like they need one…

Wide Receivers: The interesting thing here (well, at least to me…) is that both of OSU's two recruits (Hartline and Amos) could just as easily end up at DB. Thus, they need to take a showstopper, if possible. It might not be Fred Rouse but it could be Selwyn Lymon. If not, look for Brian Robiskie if the coaches do, indeed, plan to move either Amos or Hartline.

Offensive Line: OSU doesn't really need anyone. After three good-to-greats last year and three greats this year, we finally have depth. The Bucks would certainly make room for a Dan Doering or a Corby Zirbel – and maybe even Ronnie Wilson – but don't look for a "project".

Defensive Line: Two potentially great ends and a budding star in the middle (or end) in Denlinger. If a great one comes by, like Melvin Alaeze or Raymond Henderson, then you just gotta take him. We'll take Lawrence Wilson or Walker Ashley, as well, cause they could be great.

Linebackers: They need two. It would be great to get one for the outside and one on the inside. It would be great to get Alex Daniels and worry later where he plays. I think OSU has a good shot at high-potential guys like Rico McCoy or Andre Mathis.

Defensive Backs: OSU is young and set at CB with Malcolm Jenkins, Jamario and the possibility of receivers switching. Since they un-offered Myers-White, I am pleasantly suspicious that a Florida guy or Oatis might be coming aboard at safety. And you always make room for the special talents like a Justin King.

Face it – and it's a nice thing to face – we are loading up with the right people at the right positions at the right time. The rest of this class will consist taking the cream of the cream. You can hardly go wrong with what they already have and what they're already in on.

Offers

For those of you following this sort of thing at home, let's get caught up on the most recent version of the Offer Sheet. The following is my official listing (well, really an informed guess…) of the offers OSU has made this recruiting season. The probabilities are high that the balance of the commitments will come from the offer sheet! (That is a tautology, by the way, much like "water is wet").

Here are the changes to the offer sheet from the past month:

1. Adam Myers-White has been told that the program is going in another direction. Technically, then, he is not being offered.

2. Doug Worthington has committed to the Bucks.

3. Sean Smalls has moved up from being a rumor.

4. Aaron Brown has moved up from the rumors.

5. As has Jeff Owens.

6. As has Demitri Stewart.

7. Elan Lewis committed to Virginia Tech.

8. RaShaun Jackson committed to Virginia

 

 

OSU is amongst the leaders:

 

 

 

Name

POS

School/State

Height

Weight

40

Alaeze, Melvin

DE

Randallstown HS, Randallstown MD

6'3"

275

4.70

Ashley, Walker

DT

Eden Prairie SHS, Eden Prairie MN

6'5"

285

4.90

Cushing, Brian

LB

Bergen Catholic HS, Oradell NJ

6'3"

225

4.45

Daniels, Alex

ATH

Marion Franklin HS, Columbus OH

6'3"

225

4.52

Harris, Nick

LB

Alexandria SHS, Alexandria LA

6'3"

200

4.50

Henderson, Ray

DE

Oak Creek HS, Oak Creek WI

6'5"

245

4.65

Gowland, Stephen

TE

Parkview HS, Lilburn GA

6'4"

220

4.70

Jackson, Carlton

QB

Blanche Ely HS, Pompano Beach FL

6'3"

190

4.50

Lymon, Selwyn

WR

Paul Harding HS, Ft. Wayne IN

6"4"

190

4.40

Mathis, Andre

LB

Cathedral Prep HS, Erie PA

6'1"

225

4.70

McCoy, Rico

LB

St. John's College, Washington DC

6'2"

210

4.55

Oatis, Shawn

S

Chino HS, Chino CA

6'0"

205

4.60

Sledge, Eric

S

Apopka HS, Apopka FL

6'3"

190

4.40

Smalls, Sean

DB

Huguenot HS, Richmond VA

6'1"

180

4.50

Thomas, Carlos

WR

Banneker HS, College Park GA

6'1"

180

4.40

Wells, Maurice

RB

Sandalwood HS, Jacksonville FL

5'10"

185

4.40

Wilson, Lawrence

DL

Akron SVSM, Akron OH

6'6"

230

4.60

Wilson, Ronnie

OL

Ely HS, Pompano Beach, FL

6'4"

330

5.40

 

 

 

OSU is just one of many

 

 

 

Name

POS

School/State

Height

Weight

40

Adkins, Spencer

LB

Naples HS, Naples FL

6'1"

225

4.50

Beckum, Travis

LB

Oak Creek HS, Oak Creek WI

6'5"

220

4.50

Boateng, Nyan

DB

Abraham Lincoln HS, Brooklyn NY

6'3"

190

4.45

Bright, Callahan

DL

Hariton SHS, Bryn Mawr PA

6'2"

315

4.90

Brown, Aaron

WR

Northeast HS, Zachary LA

6'2"

200

4.50

Collins, Conredge

RB

Monsignor Pace HS, Miami FL

5'11"

220

4.60

Doering, Dan

OL

Barrington HS, Barrington IL

6'6"

280

5.00

Eaton, Byron

ATH

Lincoln HS, Dallas TX

5'11"

210

4.40

Felder, Anthony

LB

O'Dea HS, Seattle WA

6'3"

225

4.55

Gordon, Richard

TE/DE

Norland HS, Miami FL

6'4"

245

4.80

Harris, Courtney

DE

Jupiter HS, Jupiter FL

6'4"

230

4.70

Herring, Ray

WR/S

Holy Trinity Academy, Melbourne FL

5'10"

185

4.50

Jackson, DeSean

WR

Polytechnic HS, Long Beach CA

5'11"

170

4.40

King, Justin

CB

Gateway HS, Pittsburgh PA

6'0"

180

4.30

McKinney, James

DT

Central HS, Louisville KY

6'4"

255

4.90

Moffett, Neefy

LB

Palm Bay Sr. HS, Melbourne FL

6'1"

215

4.50

Owens, Jeff

DT

Plantation HS, Plantation FL

6'2"

265

4.85

Rouse, Fred

WR

Lincoln HS, Tallahassee FL

6'4"

185

4.40

Rutland, Tray

QB

Tri-Cities HS, East Point GA

6'2"

180

4.60

Simpson, Mikell

RB

Harrisburg HS, Harrisburg PA

6'1"

200

4.40

Stewart, Demitri

LB

Northeast HS, Oakland Park FL

6'4"

220

4.50

Taylor, Terrance

DT

Muskegon HS, Muskegon MI

6'1"

285

4.80

Weston, Kade

DT

Red Bank Reg. HS, Little Silver NJ

6"6"

310

5.00

Williams, Derrick

WR

Eleanor Roosevelt HS, Greenbelt MD

6'0"

190

4.40

 

 

 

OSU is rumored to have offered

 

 

 

Name

POS

School/State

Height

Weight

40

Barney, Chris

OL

Northwestern HS, Miami FL

6'6"

330

5.60

Byrd, CJ

WR

North Augusta HS, N. Augusta SC

6'3"

190

4.50

Davis, Mike

RB

Columbia HS, Columbia SC

5'11"

208

4.45

Ellis, Brian

TE

Mainland HS, Daytona Beach FL

6'3"

235

4.60

Selmon, Paul

OL

Lee HS, Montgomery AL

6'6"

290

5.00

   

Committed Somewhere

 

Name

POS

School/State

Committed School

Amos, Andre

WR

Middletown High School, Middletown OH

Ohio State

Bemoll, Kevin

OL

Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo CA

Ohio State

Boone, Alex

OL

Lakewood St. Ed, Lakewood OH

Ohio State

Cordle, Jim

OL

Lancaster HS, Lancaster OH

Ohio State

Denlinger, Todd

DL

Troy HS, Troy OH

Ohio State

Gwaltney, Jason

RB

N. Babylon HS, N. Babylon NY

West Virginia

Hartline, Brian

WR

GlenOak HS, Canton OH

Ohio State

Jackson, RaShawn

RB

St. Peter's Prep, Jersey City NJ

Virginia

Jenkins, Malcolm

CB

Piscataway HS, Piscataway NJ

Ohio State

Lewis, Elan

RB

Phoebus HS, Hampton VA

Virginia Tech

Manningham, Mario

WR

Warren Harding HS, Warren OH

Michigan

Monroe, Eugene

OL

Plainfield HS, Plainfield NJ

Virginia

O'Neal, Jamario

DB

Glenville HS, Cleveland OH

Ohio State

Perrilloux, Ryan

QB

East St. John HS, Reserve LA

Texas

Phillips, Randy

DB

Glades Central HS, Belle Glade FL

Miami

Roche, Brian

OL

Don Bosco Prep HS, Ramsey NJ

Rutgers

Roark, Craig

OL

Ada HS, Ada OK

Nebraska

Robinson, Lamont

LB

Salem HS, Salem NJ

Virginia

Sanchez, Mark

QB

Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo CA

USC

Schoenhoft, Rob

QB

St. Xavier HS, Cincinnati OH

Ohio State

Williams, Gerald

DE

Boyd Anderson Lauderdale Lakes FL

Florida

Williams, Ryan

DL

Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo CA

Ohio State

Wilson, Marcus

WR

Camden Catholic HS, Cherry Hill NJ

Iowa

Worthington, Doug

DE

St. Francis HS, Athol Springs NY

Ohio State

       

· New name or change in position on the chart from last time.

Meanwhile, back at Real Life…

There's always the hoped-for/fantasy listings in recruiting. That's one extreme. And then there's the skeptical-bordering-on-cynical approach that we swing through emotionally at least once during the recruiting season.

Since we are looking at about ten more schollies to be distributed, I am taking a two-prong approach this month in my assessment of where this distribution will ultimately lead us. My first Top Ten list is the list that details my thoughts on the "probable". That's where I think we will be come mid-February. And it looks like a great list! My second Top Ten list displays the names of guys "we are still in on" but that are unlikely to land in Columbus. Here's the key to matching one list with the other: any of the guys on the "fantasy" list are allowed to move to the "plausible" list.

No questions asked.

The Likely Top Ten 2005 Recruit List

1. Maurice Wells

2. Javon Ringer

3. Lawrence Wilson

4. Selwyn Lymon

5. Alex Daniels

6. Rico McCoy

7. Shawn Oatis

8. Andre Mathis

9. Walker Ashley

10. Freddie Lenix

Contenders: Sean Smalls, Ronnie Wilson, Stephen Gowland, Mikell Simpson, Carlton Jackson

The Wistful/Wishful Top Ten Recruit List

1. Fred Rouse

2. Justin King

3. Derrick Williams

4. Brian Cushing

5. Dan Doering

6. Jonathan Stewart

7. James McKinney

8. Richard Gordon

9. Melvin Alaeze

10. Travis Beckum

Contenders: Ray Henderson, Eric Sledge, Nyan Boateng, Neefy Moffett, Cory Zirbel, Jason Gwaltney

ONE BY ONE, STEP BY STEP

So, let's see where the Buckeyes are with all the guys on these two lists:

Maurice Wells: Our man on the ground in Florida says that Maurice is "still OSU's to lose". Lots of noise from Georgia Tech but I think that Wells will become a Buck.

Javon Ringer: This kid is rated high and should be rated higher. The only thing you could ask of him is to be patient. And he is. I also think Javon will be a Buckeye, in the end.

Lawrence Wilson: He says its down to Notre Dame, Pitt and OSU. But given those choices, who would want to go to Pitt? Between the Irish and the Buckeyes, I like OSU's chances.

Selwyn Lymon: Supposedly, Selwyn will choose between Purdue and Ohio State. We just gave the Boilermakers Greg Orton (Orton to Orton?) so maybe Indiana can give OSU Lymon…

Alex Daniels: Oklahoma or Ohio? His mom says she wants him far away (I know that feeling with kids…) but this particular kid sounds like he will end up in nearby Columbus.

Rico McCoy: Rico wants to be done with visits by the end of November. Those visits will be to OSU (maybe the Michigan game…), Michigan, Tennessee, Miami and Pittsburgh. This kid is OSU's to lose, IMO.

Shawn Oatis: Going to Notre Dame on October 8 and Ohio State on October 22. He is also thinking of Arizona, Oregon and Oregon State. I think he makes up his mind after the Buckeye visit.

Andre Mathis: First visit goes to Penn State. Says he also wants to visit Ohio State, Tennessee and Nebraska. Duane Long says he would be a "Mike" and that the Buckeyes have got a good shot.

Walker Ashley: Walker says OSU is at the top of his list. Close behind, he likes Minnesota, USC, Penn State and Tennessee. The Buckeyes are 50-50 or better with Walker Ashley.

Freddie Lenix: Freddie is a small linebacker or a normal-sized safety that loves to run and hit. He also is a running back but isn't being used in the high—powered Glenville attack. Here's a guy that might be a Buckeye if he's patient enough to let the process play out (see: "Javon Ringer"). It's hard to turn down a quality Tarblooder.

Sean Smalls: He says that Ohio State and Michigan are his faves and our people say that he is getting a lot of Buckeye attention. With the de-emphasis on safeties, perhaps we should be paying attention here…

Ronnie Wilson: Visited NC State and wasn't overwhelmed. He seems to like Ohio State but also seems to like the attention (not quite a Buster Davis here, but you get the idea…). We should know a lot more in the next thirty days.

Stephen Gowland: Each year, there is a mystery recruit. Stephen will serve so far as this year's. He says he likes the Buckeyes but doesn't really want to "go that far from home". Then all of the other possibilities that he mentions, he admits that they haven't offered! So, it's difficult to determine here who's interested in whom and where this non-love affair might end up.

Mikell Simpson: Of the dozens of purported offers, Ohio State's is the only one that's just a "verbal", according to Mikell. He has four officials planned to UCLA, Virginia, Nebraska and Alabama. He says the last trip will probably come down to the Buckeyes and Michigan State. If the offer is still verbal by then, don't look for a visit!

Carlton Jackson: Carlton visited and loved his trip ("I could see myself being a Buckeye"). Spent his time with Troy Smith (?!?) so that's a tough read. A great "flexibility recruit" as he could be a QB or a DB. Great athlete with lots of upside. Could go with or without teammate Ronnie Wilson…

Fred Rouse: We keep saying Fred isn't really interested but Fred keeps OSU on his Top Ten list (every major recruiting school in the nation), so who are we to argue?

Justin King: Justin says "it's a five-way tie" but the street says that Michigan has a sizeable lead. Fortunately, he has already been to Ann Arbor so that lead can only diminish with subsequent visits elsewhere. The elsewhere visits are to include Florida and USC in October as well as home-state Penn State in November. The Buckeyes look to be a good possible to get the last official visit.

Derrick Williams: Everyone loves Derrick. He keeps including the Buckeyes on his list of top seven schools so we don't want to give up on him before he gives up on OSU! Odds don't favor them being there at the end, however.

Brian Cushing: OSU didn't make his Top Eight. Hey – but there's always hope, right?

Dan Doering: Visits are scheduled to Iowa and Notre Dame. The national scuttlebutt says he favors Miami, Nebraska and Tennessee but keeps Ohio State on the short list. OSU should finish somewhere between second and sixth!

Jonathan Stewart: He says he likes the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes aren't saying they like him. Yet, Jonathan is considered by some to be the best RB in the country? Is there something else to consider? When that question gets answered, we will put Stewart up for consideration.

James McKinney: The one-time "commit" to Michigan is now "being shown a lot of love" from home state Kentucky. This is the kind of kid who will keep everyone guessing (even himself) as the process plays out. The Buckeyes are still mentioned to be part of that process along with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Richard Gordon: The fierce-looking Gordon seems to favor Miami. He says that he is also looking (fiercely) at Florida State, South Florida (?), Oklahoma, Nebraska and the Buckeyes. The betting here is that it won't be South Florida…

Melvin Alaeze: Melvin avers that he doesn't have a favorite although hometown Maryland probably tops the list. The Buckeyes are somewhere on that same list along with the three Florida schools and Virginia Tech.

Travis Beckum: Beckum has a bunch, listing the Buckeyes, Florida State, Miami, Michigan and Oklahoma amongst them. Duane feels better about OSU's possibilities here than I do; but, so far, you can't even get Travis to winnow down the list. We will be serious once he gets serious…

Ray Henderson: Ray has visited LSU and plans to see Tennessee in October. The last three officials will come from a group that includes the Buckeyes amongst most of the Big Ten, Notre Dame, Nebraska and the Florida schools. Ho hum…

Eric Sledge: Eric says that Louisville and OSU are definitely going to get visits so maybe he should be higher on the probabilities here. Yet, this Florida standout lists "all the Florida schools" and my experience tells me that he won't venture far from home based on that particular criteria.

Nyan Boateng: We're not sure he was offered and not sure Nyan won't end up as a Terp. He does seem destined to land somewhere on the East Coast…

Neefy Moffett: Neefy is a national recruit with much love from all the Florida schools, a state in which he will probably stay once all is said and done.

Cory Zirbel: Cory visited Oklahoma over the weekend but – due to the fact that he has visited Michigan five times – the odds still favor those Wolverines. Ohio State is still listed but seems to be an after-thought.

Jason Gwaltney: An early offer by Ohio State and an early commit to West Virginia, Jason told a local paper that he plans to take more visits, including one to Columbus on December 3. This is a "big back" that could offer OSU some alternatives.

Changes in the Chart:

Just the basics, most of which we have already covered:

1. Adam Myers-White has been withdrawn

2. Doug Worthington moves to the "Commitment List"

3. Conredge Collins has disappeared

4. Alex Daniels moved to linebackers

5. Elijah Hodge and Brian Cushing have left "linebackers" for points unknown

6. Andre Amos is now a commitment

7. Carlos Thomas has gone away

8. Brian Roche left us

9. Antwon Hight is someone else's mystery

10. Callahan Bright has dimmed for OSU (as has Kade Weston)

11. Sean Smalls was added because he says he likes us a lot.

12. Jason Gwaltney was added back because he says he plans to visit (December 3).

What else changed? I decoded that OSU will only take one QB and they have him (Schoenhoft). I think they need another receiver because Hartline and/or Amos could also be used as DB's. They will take more defensive linemen but don't need them. And safety has been reduced from needing two to needing one, with a thought that Super Jamario will end up there.

 

PLAYER POSITION

NUMBER NEEDED

COMMITMENTS

NUMBER STILL NEEDED

PLAYERS I WANT

GRADES SO FAR (BASED ON NEED)

TAILBACK

2

 

2

Javon Ringer, Maurice Wells, Jason Gwaltney, Mikell Simpson

 

FULLBACK

0

 

0

   

QUARTERBACK

1

Rob Schoenhoft

0

 

B

TIGHT END

1

 

1

Richard Gordon, Stephen Gowland

 

WIDE RECEIVER

3

Brian Hartline, Andre Amos

1

Derrick Williams, Selwyn Lymon

B-

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

4

Alex Boone, Jim Cordle, Kevin Bemoll

1

Ronnie Wilson, Cory Zirbel, Dan Doering, Chris Barney

A-

DEFENSIVE END

2

Ryan Williams, Doug Worthington

0

Ray Henderson, Melvin Alaeze, Curtis Smith

B+

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

2

Todd Denlinger

1

James McKinney, Walker Ashley,

B

LINEBACKER

2

 

2

Nick Harris, Rico McCoy, Travis Beckum, Alex Daniels

 

SAFETY

1

 

1

Eric Sledge, Freddie Lenix

 

CORNERBACK

2

Jamario O'Neal, Malcolm Jenkins

0

Nyan Boateng, Justin King, Sean Smalls

A-

KICKER/PUNTER

1

Aaron Pettrey

0

 

B

TOTAL

21

12

9

 

Too early…

 

LEGEND

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

Does is seem like it's been awful quiet on the recruiting front? Well, they are playing a season full of games (and, yes, that always gets in the way of recruiting…). And Ohio State does have a dozen commitments. I think that the last ten or so will come slowly with one every three weeks or so, then a passel in January and – hopefully – a mini-flurry of 4-star or 5-star types at the end. Tressel-type recruiting has not borne a lot of fruit the day of signing so it's good to see that they are well stocked and not depending on those last minute Stanley McClover or Richard Washington types.

While we bemoan some of the losses on the field, I think OSU will have a Top Ten class for 2005, with a good shot at a Top 5 class. Don't forget that the Florida schools come on late, dangling that warm hurricane weather in front of gullible kids that don't read the newspaper. To be in the loftier pantheon of the Top 5, they will have to pull out a couple of surprises off my second list (Justin King? Jason Gwaltney?) plus most of the first list.

Hey – it can happen! As Northwestern proved Saturday night, anything's possible…

To criticize or comment on Mr. Bucknuts' efforts to sort out recruiting, feel free to contact him at MrBucknuts@yahoo.com. And if you've got a hot recruiting tip, let him know!


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