Ohio State Football - Class Of 2005

Finally, Signing Day is here. The letters of intent are being sent in, and the OSU verbal commitments are officially becoming Buckeyes. Follow along with this page as we add names to the list as they fax their letters of intent in to the OSU staff.

Ohio State got off to a hot start to this year's recruiting class, perhaps more so than any team in America. But the month of January saw its ups and downs for Ohio State recruiting as some players committed, some didn't, and one -- OL Kevin Bemoll of Mission Viejo, California -- decided he wanted to stay on the West Coast and switched his commitment from OSU to Cal.

This class, however, brings in a very talented group of players to Ohio State. Follow along with us as we post their profiles throughout the day as they fax their binding letters of intent to OSU, officially becoming members of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Amos, Andre -- Wide Receiver, Middletown, Ohio  (6-2, 175, 4.6)
Scout.com Rating: No. 30 WR,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 9 senior Ohio prospect
OSU Class of 2005 - Ninth Commitment
Committed 8/25/2004

Amos was a bit of an unknown early on in the season. When news surfaced that this mysterious prospect from Middletown had received a scholarship offer from Michigan, everyone was quick to wonder who he was.

A coaching change between Amos' junior and senior season may have had something to do with a lack of publicity, but the local schools knew about him as Notre Dame, Purdue, and Ohio State eventually anted up with offers. Amos took unofficial trips during the summer and was originally looking hard at the Boilermakers, but a trip to Ohio State won him over, and Amos decided to announce his final choice before his season got underway.

Amos could wind up at either wide receiver or cornerback at Ohio State, and he seems to be open to either. He had 32 catches for 502 yards during his senior season. He may prove to be one of the more underrated members of this class.

Photo courtesy of the Middletown Journal

Links of interest:

Boone, Alex -- Offensive Tackle, Lakewood, Ohio  St. Edward  (6-8, 300, 5.1)
Scout.com Rating: No. 2 OL,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 1 senior Ohio prospect
U.S. Army All-American
Parade All-American
USA Today All-American
OSU Class of 2005 - Second Commitment
Committed 7/31/2003

Alex Boone has won just about all the accolades a high school offensive lineman can receive. He is truly an all-everything prospect as he is one of the top overall recruits in America, regardless of position. Boone may also be the best offensive line prospect to come out of Ohio since Orlando Pace.

Boone was offered a scholarship before his junior season as he showed up at Ohio State camp and dazzled coaches with his ability. Boone announced his decision to commit to Ohio State weeks later, although he later stated it took him "about thirty seconds" to decide that he wanted to go to OSU after receiving his offer. 

Boone did take a look around at some other campuses before the season as the offers came pouring in from all over the country, but his trips just helped reaffirm his commitment to the Buckeyes. The lineman then focused on his senior season, during which his team went through some turmoil due to an OHSAA suspension for use of an ineligible player, but he continued to get better week in and week out and prove to be the state's most elite prospect.

Many feel Boone may have more upside than any offensive lineman in the country. He is expected to see significant playing time as a freshman.

Links of interest:

Jim Cordle not signing a national letter of intent today because he is enrolling in the spring:

Cordle, Jim -- Offensive Line, Lancaster, Ohio  (6-5, 285, 5.1)
Scout.com Rating: No. 30 OL,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 6 senior Ohio prospect
OSU Class of 2005 - Third Commitment
Committed 4/6/2004

Jim Cordle is the antithesis of the hype and publicity surrounding recruiting and national signing day. Whereas some prospects love the spotlight and want to get as much recruiting attention on them as possible, Cordle seemed to want nothing to do with it.

Cordle was starting to receive big-time attention from schools across the country when he was offered by Ohio State at the end of March 2004. He committed to the Buckeyes about a week later, saying he just wanted to "get it over with." The quiet All-Ohio lineman has never wavered and had a fine senior season, proving he will be a big part of the OSU offensive line picture in the future.

Cordle admitted before his senior season that he needed to work on his pass blocking as he played in a run-dominated offense at Lancaster, but this lineman is right up there with the top offensive line prospects to come out of Ohio in the past few years. Cordle played high school ball for ex-NFL player Rob Carpenter, father of current Buckeye linebacker Bobby Carpenter.

Denlinger, Todd -- Defensive Tackle, Troy, Ohio  (6-3, 265, 4.8)
Scout.com Rating: No. 13 DT,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 5 senior Ohio prospect
OSU Class of 2005 - Fifth Commitment
Committed 6/2/2004

If you are looking for the most underrated player in this class, Todd Denlinger might be the guy. Denlinger is rated highly nationally as it is, but this is a player who may prove he deserved to be rated as an elite defensive tackle prospect. 

Denlinger originally played linebacker and was quite good, racking up 125 tackles as a junior. This season, he moved to his projected position of defensive tackle and finished with 60 tackles, seven sacks, 12 forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

Denlinger made an early commitment to Ohio State, officially selecting the Buckeyes in June of 2004. The offers were really starting to pour in for Denlinger as in addition to OSU, he had offers in hand from Tennessee, Oklahoma, Penn State, Wisconsin, and many others. Expect big things from this fast, athletic defensive tackle once he gets to Ohio State.

Links of interest:

Hartline, Brian -- Wide Receiver, Canton, Ohio  GlenOak  (6-3, 175, 4.5)
Scout.com Rating: No. 31 WR,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 11 senior Ohio prospect
OSU Class of 2005 - Sixth Commitment
Committed 6/29/2004

Brian Hartline had his eye on the Buckeyes all along. Other schools were all over him, but when Hartline got an offer from Ohio State after his showing at camp in late June, he turned right back around and made a commitment. 

Hartline got the offer he dreamed of and had his recruitment out of the way by July, but the start of his senior season two months later was like something out of a nightmare as he broke his leg during the first game of the season. Hartline would not play again as a senior, but his rehabilitation is proceeding and he expects to run track (Hartline is one of the state's top hurdlers) and play in the football all-star games this summer.

An outstanding athlete and an electrifying playmaker, Hartline may be another guy who proves he was underrated. He could play on either side of the ball, but receiver will be his position in most likelihood. Hartline could also contribute as a return man on special teams. He is also a high-character person with a tremendous work ethic.

Links of interest:

Jenkins, Malcolm -- Defensive Back, Piscataway, N.J.  (6-0, 185, 4.5)
Scout.com Rating: No. 28 S,  
OSU Class of 2005 - Eighth Commitment
Committed 8/4/04

It's become a yearly tradition -- a player not many people know much about comes to OSU camp, the player puts on a show at camp, the player gets offered by OSU, and the player commits. This year, one of those players is Malcom Jenkins.

Jenkins, who could play cornerback, safety or even wide receiver, came to OSU's four-day session in June and caught the eye of defensive backs coach Mel Tucker. Jenkins, who came to camp with the goal of getting an OSU offer, impressed the coach during drills and received his scholarship offer shortly after the session.  

Jenkins did not immediately accept the offer as he also considered offers from Virginia Tech and hometown school Rutgers, but after about a month of consideration, he selected the Buckeyes. Look for cornerback to be Jenkins' primary position at Ohio State.

Links of interest:

Laurinaitis, James -- Linebacker, Plymouth, Minn. Wayzata  (6-3, 235, 4.6)
Scout.com Rating: No. 45 LB,  
2004 Minnesota Mr. Football
OSU Class of 2005 - Thirteenth Commitment
Committed 12/13/2004
A tackling machine, Laurinaitis was originally an early commitment to the home-state Minnesota Golden Gophers. Other options became open to Laurinaitis, however, and he decided to look into them.

One of those options was a scholarship offer from Ohio State. Laurinaitis visited the OSU campus in December and decided he had seen the place he wanted to go to college. He committed to the Buckeyes on his visit, and even though shortly after his OSU commitment he was thinking of giving Minnesota one last look, Laurinaitis has stuck with Ohio State.

The numbers are impressive -- 193 tackles in 14 games in 2004 and 128 in 2003. His senior year performance gained him the Mr. Football award for the state of Minnesota. Laurinaitis comes from an athletic family as his father Joe was the well-known professional wrestler Animal of the tag team Legion of Doom, while his mother was an all-state track athlete in high school. Laurinaitis is also an outstanding hockey player and is friends with current OSU freshman hockey player Johann Kroll.

In addition to Ohio State and Minnesota, Laurinaitis was also offered a scholarship by the new coaching staff at Notre Dame. He is an excellent student, carrying a 3.6 GPA and a 25 on the ACT.

Links of interest:

Lenix, Fred -- Linebacker/ATH, Cleveland, Ohio  Glenville (5-11, 195, 4.4)
Scout.com Rating: No. 27 LB,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 14 senior Ohio prospect
OSU Class of 2005 - Fourteenth Commitment
Committed 1/9/2005

Fred Lenix was one of the best -- if not the best -- football players in the state of Ohio his senior season. His size prevented him from being rated higher as a recruit, but this is a kid who can flat-out play. In the 2004 regular season, Lenix had 86 tackles (51 solo), seven sacks, nine pressures, five fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles. 

The question of what position Fred will play at Ohio State still remains, even to the OSU coaching staff. Lenix could get a look at three positions at Ohio State -- linebacker, safety and running back. He brings great speed as he is one of the state's top track runners and tremendous instincts and hitting ability. 

Lenix became the latest Glenville player to join the Buckeyes after his official visit in early January. Lenix also considered offers from Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.

Links of interest:

O'Neal, Jamario -- Defensive Back, Cleveland, Ohio  Glenville (6-1, 205, 4.45)
Scout.com Rating: No. 3 CB,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 4 senior Ohio prospect
U.S. Army All-American
OSU Class of 2005 - First Commitment
Committed Feb. 22, 2003

One of Ohio State's earliest commitments ever, Jamario O'Neal gave a verbal declaration to Ohio State while he was still a sophomore in high school and has stuck with it ever since. O'Neal has seen plenty of ups and downs since then, but he has stayed the course with Ohio State and now officially becomes a Buckeye.

An outstanding athlete, O'Neal is versatile enough to play corner, safety, or even wide receiver or running back, but cornerback may be in his future at OSU. O'Neal has not lined up much at corner and will need reps, but he has All-American ability wherever he plays.

O'Neal was a first-team All-Ohio performer this season. He played safety much of the season and was a key player in Cleveland Glenville's run to the state semifinals. He had 80 tackles and three interceptions as a senior.

Links of interest:

Robiskie, Brian -- Wide Receiver, Chagrin Falls, Ohio  (6-4, 190, 4.5)
Scout.com Rating: NR WR,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 27 senior Ohio prospect
OSU Class of 2005 - Seventeenth Commitment
Committed Jan. 31, 2005

It's probably safe to assume that it has been a year Brian Robiskie will never forget. If being a major football recruit isn't enough, Robiskie's father Terry was called upon to become interim head coach of the Cleveland Browns after the firing of head coach Butch Davis. Then, Brian's future changed completely when Ohio State presented him with a late scholarship offer earlier in January. 

Robiskie was a player that generated a lot of talk on Bucknuts.com earlier in 2004, but as the season progressed, the chances of OSU being a factor seemed to decline. Robiskie seemed to be destined to choose between Miami (Fla.) and Stanford, but the Buckeyes had in fact been keeping in touch the whole way, and their late scholarship offer opened things up a bit. He took an official visit to Ohio State this past weekend and announced the decision to become a Buckeye the next day.  

A big-bodied receiver with excellent hands and great football intelligence, Robiskie could prove to be a steal for Ohio State. It's unknown why Robiskie was not highly rated on a national scale, but anyone who saw him play came away impressed with his ability. Robiskie had 38 catches for 643 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2004, along with a punt return for a touchdown. 

Russell, Anderson -- Defensive Back/Running Back, Atlanta, Ga. Marist  (6-0, 205, 4.45)
Scout.com Rating: No. 84 RB,  
OSU Class of 2005 - Twelfth Commitment
Committed Dec. 12, 2004

Another player who could become a steal, Anderson Russell is making the move to Columbus all the way from Atlanta, Georgia. Many like Russell as a running back, but in most likelihood, he will start his Buckeye career as a safety. 

Russell was given exposure to Ohio State by his team's offensive line coach, Doc Spurgeon, who was affiliated with Jim Tressel for several years when Tressel was at Youngstown State. Russell came up to camp at Ohio State and caught the eye of the coaching staff when he put up a tremendous performance, running a 4.44, posting a 34-inch vertical leap and putting up 19 bench press reps at 185. The staff kept in touch and issued an offer during the season.

Russell took his official visit to Ohio State in December and saw all he needed to see as he chose the Buckeyes that weekend over Duke. An outstanding all-around athlete, Russell also runs track and is an excellent student, carrying a 3.0 GPA and a 1130 SAT.

Links of interest:

Schoenhoft, Rob -- Quarterback, Cincinnati, Ohio  St. Xavier  (6-5, 235, 4.8)
Scout.com Rating: No. 17 QB,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 13 senior Ohio prospect
Elite 11 Passing Camp Participant
OSU Class of 2005 - Seventh Commitment
Committed July 22, 2004

Rob Schoenhoft is a perfect fit for the Ohio State program. He has a great blend of size and arm strength and also may have better speed than many believe. By many accounts, Schoenhoft still needs some time to develop before becoming a college starter, and at Ohio State, he will be in a good situation, being in no rush to contribute early and having the chance to learn from experienced quarterbacks. 

Schoenhoft first played as a varsity quarterback last year for St. Xavier and has shown great strides. He has a fine work ethic and good leadership to go with his already outstanding raw tools. During his senior season, Schoenhoft had 1,268 yards passing on 88 of 182 with 14 TDs and six interceptions.

Schoenhoft ended his recruitment before his senior season. The quarterback was being hotly pursued by Michigan, Notre Dame, and many other schools, but he chose the Buckeyes in July. Schoenhoft has not wavered on his verbal and has even been a recruit who has talked to others about possibly coming to Ohio State. 

Links of interest:

Spitler, Austin -- Linebacker, Bellbrook, Ohio  (6-3, 235, 4.6)
Scout.com Rating: No. 87 LB,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 20 senior Ohio prospect
OSU Class of 2005 - Eleventh Commitment
Committed November 29, 2004

Despite being not very highly rated by national analysts, Spitler's play drew considerable buzz in Southwest Ohio this year. Spitler seemed to be looking hard at Wisconsin, who had been hot on his trail for months, but when Ohio State offered in November, it proved to be the one he was waiting for.

Spitler is a player who is known for making plays. He put up 135 tackles and two interceptions for Bellbrook's 7-3 team and was named Division III District Defensive Player of the Year. On film, Spitler is an active player who is around the ball and truly makes an impact on the game. Spitler also shows great strength as he has posted 21 bench press reps at 225 pounds and put up 29 reps at 185 at the Nike Combine. 

Links of interest:

Washington, Donald -- Safety/Wide Receiver, Indianapolis, Ind. Franklin Central  (6-2, 185, 4.45)
Scout.com Rating: No. 86 WR,  
OSU Class of 2005 - Sixteenth Commitment
Committed Jan. 30, 2005

Every year, there are cases of players who wait too long to commit, but there are also cases of players whose patience pays off in the end. Donald Washington is a player who saw the offer he was waiting for unexpectedly come his way as the clock was approaching midnight on this recruiting season. 

Washington had always been a fan of Ohio State, the school which his coach called Donald's dream school. He attended camp at OSU and reportedly put on a very good showing. But as time progressed, it became less likely that an offer was coming from Ohio State. In January, Washington seemed set to select from Illinois and Indiana.

The Buckeyes, who had been keeping contact in previous months, stepped back in about a week before signing day. Washington did not keep his intentions much of a secret, stating that he would likely commit to OSU on his official visit. On Jan. 30, Washington made his commitment official.

Washington is best known for his ability as a wide receiver, but Ohio State is bringing him in as a safety. In 2004, Washington caught 45 passes for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns with four interceptions on defense. 

Links of interest:

Wells, Maurice -- Running Back, Jacksonville, Fla. Sandalwood (5-9, 185, 4.4)
Scout.com Rating: No. 19 RB,  
Bill Buchhalter No. 8 Florida Prospect
OSU Class of 2005 - Fifteenth Commitment
Committed Jan. 15, 2005

The buzz started early on Maurice Wells. After a 3,000+-yard performance in his junior season, some anointed him the top running back in Florida and a five-star running back nationally. Wells unfortunately did not receive rankings as high at the end of his senior season, but this is still a tremendous pickup for Ohio State.

Wells had offers from the best programs in college football, including USC. In the end, Wells picked Ohio State, a school he had followed for quite some time, over Georgia Tech. Wells has family roots in Columbus, which will help make the transition from Florida to Ohio much easier. 

Most think of Ohio State and think of big, bruising, between-the-tackles running backs, but Wells is more of an elusive scat-back. He brings tremendous speed and elusiveness to the backfield and should provide exciting options for the OSU offense. Wells rushed for over 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns during his senior season.

Links of interest:

Williams, Ryan -- Defensive End, Mission Viejo, Calif.  (6-5, 230, 4.7)
Scout.com Rating: No. 61 DE,  
OSU Class of 2005 - Fourth Commitment
Committed May 27, 2004

Williams is making the longest move out of all the OSU commitments, coming from the West Coast all the way out to Columbus. But in a sense, Williams is just coming home. 

Williams' family has Buckeye roots as he was born in Washington Court House and attended school there before moving to California. Williams had originally not thought that he would wind up at Ohio State, but more schools further from Mission Viejo began to take interest. Schools like Oklahoma and Colorado came in with offers, but once Ohio State extended an offer, Williams turned around quickly and made his decision. 

Williams is a big defensive end with a frame reminiscent of tall Buckeye ends of past years like Simon Fraser and Mike Vrabel. He is just the second player from California to sign with Ohio State since 1997.

Links of interest:

Wilson, Lawrence -- Defensive End, Akron, OH  St. Vincent-St. Mary (6-5, 235, 4.6)
Scout.com Rating: No. 29 DE,  
Ohio High Magazine No. 12 senior Ohio prospect
OSU Class of 2005 -  Eighteenth Commitment
Committed Feb. 2, 2005

Lawrence Wilson was this year's OSU camp phenom. Largely unknown before making his trip to OSU Senior Advanced Camp, Wilson dazzled by running a 4.6 40 and posting a 36-inch vertical leap. Ohio State offered Wilson a scholarship after camp, and to prove it wasn't a fluke, Wilson went to Notre Dame camp right after that and also ran a 4.6 40 and received an offer from the Fighting Irish.

Wilson seemed to be as surprised as anyone by the sudden attention. He had transferred from Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit to St. V-St. M before his junior season, but a coaching change after his junior year may have hurt his chance for exposure. His secret was out after getting offered by OSU and Notre Dame, and as fate would have it, the Buckeyes and the Fighting Irish battled it out until the end.

Wilson originally committed to Notre Dame, but the firing of head coach Tyrone Willingham prompted him to look elsewhere. The Irish did not stop recruiting him though and kept Wilson -- and everyone else -- guessing until signing day. Ohio State was the school able to reel in Wilson's signature though as he announced his decision to become a Buckeye earlier in the day. 

Wilson had 11 sacks and 77 tackles as a senior and 15 sacks as a junior. He is also a fine basketball player who may give hoops a shot in college. 

Links of interest:

Worthington, Doug -- Defensive End, Athol Springs, N.Y.  St. Francis (6-7, 257, 4.7)
Scout.com Rating: No. 3 DE,  
Parade All-American
OSU Class of 2005 - Eighth Commitment
Committed Sept. 15, 2004

Ohio State landed a major out-of-state coup by securing the signature of five-star defensive end Doug Worthington. Worthington committed early in the season and still took a good look around the country as he took official visits to Alabama, Florida, Wisconsin, and Boston College, but none were able to make him change his mind.

Worthington took a set of unofficial visits to college campuses in the summertime, but his trip to OSU stood out from the rest. Worthington made his announcement at a banquet in September. 

A huge-bodied player and unique athlete, Worthington had 74 tackles, seven sacks and 27 quarterback pressures as a senior. He is also a standout basketball player. With Ohio State in need of defensive ends, look for Worthington to possibly be an early contributor for the Buckeyes.  

Links of interest:

Buckeye Sports Top Stories