Good and Long: Comments On OSU's 2005 Class

Bucknuts.com recruiting editor Duane Long provides his insight on how the Class of 2005, led by prep All-American Alex Boone, will fit in at Ohio State. Plus, we have detailed bios (stats, awards, rankings and academics) on all of OSU's projected signees.

As the letters of intent begin to rain in for Ohio State's 2005 football recruiting class, we asked Bucknuts.com recruiting editor Duane Long to provide his comments on OSU's 17 commitments and two other possible signees.

As one of the Scout.com recruiting experts, Long has spent an inordinate amount of time watching videotape of all of these prospects and also interviewed a number of them as well as their coaches from the beginning of this process over a year ago.

Below we have bios on each of these players. We also have Long's honest assessments on how the 17 verbals and two possible signees fit into the picture for Ohio State:

Verbal Commitments

Andre Amos, Wide Receiver, Middletown, Ohio, 6-2, 175 pounds

* Bio: Amos had 32 catches for 502 yards as a senior for the Middies. Also excelled as a defensive back and could play on defense as well for the Buckeyes. He caught 26 passes for 351 yards (13.5 average) and scored eight touchdowns as a junior. He is ranked as the No. 9 prospect overall in Ohio by Ohio High. He is rated No. 44 overall in the Midwest and No. 18 in Ohio by SuperPrep. Also rated as the nation's 29th-best wide receiver by Scout.com. Will play in the Ohio All-Star Classic. Committed Sept. 25 over Michigan, Notre Dame and Purdue. Holds a 3.0 GPA.

* Long On Amos: "I think they are looking at him as a receiver coming in. But the way things have fallen, he could also play there at cornerback. He is the kind of big kid everybody is looking at who can play cornerback. He was recruited by Ohio State, Michigan and Purdue and was given the option to play whichever. He is a 6-2 kid who can play corner. That's a good thing. He is a great looking athlete."

Alex Boone, Offensive Line, Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward, 6-8, 300

* Bio: Boone is considered as one of the nation's top offensive line prospects. He was a starter at tackle the last two years at St. Ed, helping the Eagles go 11-4 and reach the Division I title game as a junior and then go 10-2 (6-6 after forfeits) in his senior season. He blocked at 90 percent as a senior and had over 50 pancake blocks. Boone was a first-team All-Ohio pick in Division I and was also The Associated Press state co-offensive player of the year in that division. Boone was also a USA Today All-USA first team pick. He is ranked as the No. 1 college prospect in Ohio by Ohio High. He is rated No. 2 in Ohio and No. 2 in the Midwest overall by SuperPrep. He was also a SuperPrep All-American, ranking as the nation's No. 2 offensive lineman. Ranked as the nation's second-best offensive lineman and as the nation's No. 15 prospect overall by Scout.com. Played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and will play in the Ohio All-Star Classic. Committed to OSU on July 31, 2003, picking the Buckeyes over Notre Dame and Oklahoma. Holds a 3.0 GPA and scored a 24 on the ACT.

* Long On Boone: "The Franchise. He is the best looking offensive lineman I have seen in Ohio since Orlando Pace. The thing I love about Alex is if you watched each of his games in succession, you would see that he gets better with each game. Anybody who can dominate against (Warren Harding junior DL) Tony Reed is a great player. He is a left tackle all the way, no question. He moves his feet really well and is very competitive. He finishes blocks and goes to the whistle. Ohio State is better than it has been on the offensive line in recent years, but I think Boone still plays somehow some way this year anyway."

Jimmy Cordle, Offensive Line, Lancaster, Ohio, 6-5, 285

* Bio:Cordle transferred from Lancaster Fisher Catholic after his sophomore year and became a key part of Lancaster's run-oriented offense. Helped the Golden Gales, coached by Rob Carpenter (father of OSU linebacker Bobby Carpenter), to an 8-3 record and a Division I playoff berth as a senior. Earned first-team All-Ohio honors in Division I. Graded out at over 90 percent on blocking assignments. Ranked as the No. 6 college prospect in the state by Ohio High. Also ranked as the No. 31 prospect in the Midwest and No. 13 overall in Ohio by SuperPrep. Rated as the nation's 30th-best offensive lineman by Scout.com. Committed to Ohio State on April 6, picking the Buckeyes over Boston College, Notre Dame and West Virginia. Holds a 3.1 GPA and scored a 1080 on the SAT.

* Long On Cordle: "He is a road grader. That is probably the best way to put it. He comes off the ball and looks like he is offsides. He comes off with that kind of explosion. Because of the depth they have at Ohio State, he probably will redshirt. But he is a decent enough player that he would play immediately at a lot of other places. He's a guard. I don't usually like to see them recruit guards, but I would definitely recruit Jimmy Cordle."

Todd Denlinger, Defensive Lineman, Troy, Ohio, 6-3, 275

* Bio: As a senior, Denlinger had 60 tackles, 13 tackles-for-loss, seven sacks, 15 quarterback hurries and caused 12 fumbles, recovering three of them. Earned first-team All-Ohio honors in Division I. He played defensive tackle as a senior after starring at middle linebacker as a junior. In 2003, he had 125 tackles, 17 tackles-for-loss, five sacks, one interception and one punt block. Denlinger bench presses 350 pounds, squats 475 and has a 26-inch vertical jump. He is ranked as the fifth-best college prospect in Ohio by Ohio High. SuperPrep rates him as the No. 8 overall prospect in Ohio and No. 22 in the Midwest. He is ranked as the nation's 13th-best defensive tackle prospect by Scout.com. Committed to Ohio State June 2, picking the Buckeyes over Boston College, Maryland, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Holds a 3.85 GPA and scored a 23 on the ACT.

* Long On Denlinger: "He is another kid he is highly underrated. That's a combination of committing early and him being such a quiet kid. He is a big, mobile and athletic defensive tackle. He may get his first shot at end, but he probably settles in as a defensive tackle. He will probably redshirt because of the depth they have, but just about anyplace else he would be on the field immediately."

Brian Hartline, Wide Receiver, Canton (Ohio) GlenOak, 6-3, 175

* Bio: Hartline started his junior year as the quarterback at GlenOak. After four games, he moved to receiver so his brother, Mike, then a sophomore, could start at quarterback. Over the seven games he played at receiver, Hartline had 32 catches for 400 yards. The duo was set to reprise their late season success this past fall, but Brian Hartline suffered a broken leg in the team's first game and was lost for the year. Prior to the injury, he boasted 4.4-second speed in the 40 and was a placer in two hurdling events at the Division I state track meet. He is expected to make a full recovery. He is rated as the 11th-best college prospect in Ohio by Ohio High. He was ranked as Ohio's 22nd-best prospect and No. 51 in the Midwest by SuperPrep. He was rated as the 30th-best receiver nationally by Scout.com. Committed to Ohio State June 29, picking the Buckeyes over Cincinnati, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Stanford and Vanderbilt. Holds a 3.8 GPA and scored a 21 on the ACT.

* Long On Hartline: "Brian Hartline may be the most underrated player in this class. He is a big play guy and a game breaker. People look and see a big, white kid and think he is a possession receiver. But he is the kind of open field guy everybody is looking for. He is an outstanding hurdler. Ted Ginn Sr. says hurdlers make the best corners. Don't be surprised if he goes to corner."

Malcolm Jenkins, Defensive Back, Piscataway (N.J.) Township, 6-1, 190

* Bio: Ohio State discovered this two-way standout at its summer camp. He has been timed at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash. As a senior, he helped his team go 12-0 and win the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2 Group 4 championship. He had 28 catches for 500 yards and seven touchdowns. He also had one interception as a corner on defense. In the title game (a 27-26 thriller over Phillipsburg), he had two catches for 43 yards and three tackles. As a junior, Jenkins recorded 26 solo tackles and eight interceptions. He is rated as the 18th-best college prospect in New Jersey by SuperPrep. Scout.com ranks him as the nation's No. 29 safety prospect. He committed OSU on Aug. 4, picking the Buckeyes over Indiana, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Jenkins holds a 3.0 GPA and scored a 980 on the SAT.

* Long On Jenkins: "He is a kid people are projecting as a safety. They may bring him in as a cornerback. They went all the way to New Jersey to take him and they passed on some smaller corners like Brandon Harrison here in Ohio and a few others, so they must like something about him. Obviously, he's got size. I think he's got the feet and hips to play cornerback."

James Laurinaitis, Linebacker, Plymouth (Minn.) Wayzata, 6-2, 230

* Bio: Laurinaitis was named Mr. Football in Minnesota this year. He had 193 tackles, 23 tackles-for-loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Boasts 4.7-second speed in the 40. Besides being named Mr. Football in Minnesota, Laurinaitis was named all-state, all-metro and all-conference. Had 128 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss and four interceptions as a junior. Interestingly, he is the son of Road Warrior Animal, one half of one of the biggest attractions (the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom) in the history of professional wrestling. Ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect in Minnesota and as the nation's 45th-best linebacker by Scout.com. Also a member of the ice hockey team at his school. He committed to Ohio State Dec. 13, picking the Buckeyes over Minnesota. Holds a 3.3 GPA.

* Long On Laurinaitis: "I think he could be a good middle linebacker at Ohio State. He is very active. He plays faster than his times on the track. He has good instincts and is a very intelligent player and a winner. He could be a Sam (strongside linebacker), but he is probably a Will (weakside linebacker)."

Freddie Lenix, Linebacker/Defensive Back, Cleveland Glenville, 5-11, 195

* Bio: Lenix helped Glenville become the first Cleveland Senate League (public schools) team reach the state semifinals. The Tarblooders posted a 12-2 record and advanced to the Division I final four. As a senior, Lenix had 147 tackles,12 sacks, two interceptions (both returned for TDs), two fumbles caused and two fumbles recovered (one for a score). He earned first-team All-Ohio honors in Division I. He could play either linebacker or defensive back at the college level. Boasts 4.45-second speed in the 40 and placed in the Division I 100-meter track final last spring. He is ranked as the 12th-best college prospect in Ohio by Ohio High. SuperPrep ranks him as the No. 11 player in Ohio and No. 27 in the Midwest. Also a SuperPrep All-American as the nation's 40th-best linebacker. Scout.com listed him as the nation's 27th-best linebacker. Will play in the Ohio All-Star Classic. He committed to Ohio State Jan. 9, picking the Buckeyes over Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Has a 3.4 GPA and scored a 17 on the ACT.

* Long On Lenix: "Freddie Lenix is just a super play maker at linebacker. If he was bigger, he would be a top-10 national linebacker. He has everything but the size. I think he will be a linebacker. I think it is just too difficult to get a player to learn coverage skills. You have to learn it at the high school level. But I see him playing immediately on special teams. He's like Sirjo Welch – he just has a nose for the ball. Then, as he grows and develops, he could become a regular on defense."

Jamario O'Neal, Defensive Back, Cleveland Glenville, 6-1, 205

* Bio: O'Neal was also a big part of Glenville's success. He transferred from Mansfield Senior after his sophomore year and lived with his mentor and Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr., father of current Buckeye Ted Ginn Jr., the last two years. In fact, he considers the younger Ginn to be like a brother. This versatile athlete is considered one of the nation's best prospects. He had 80 tackles and three interceptions as a senior, helping Glenville go 12-2. He only played four games as a junior after the transfer, but was still a force on both sides of the ball down the stretch. Played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, where he forced a fumble, and will play in the Ohio All-Star Classic. Could play any of the four secondary positions at the college level. He boasts 4.45-second speed in the 40 and placed in the Division I state track meet in the 100-meter dash. He was honorable mention All-Ohio as a freshman and second-team All-Ohio as a sophomore at Mansfield Senior. Was first-team All-Ohio this past year. Vertical jumps 37 inches. Rated as the No. 4 college prospect in Ohio by Ohio High. Rated No. 1 in Ohio and No. 1 in the Midwest by SuperPrep, which also named him the Midwest defensive player of the year. Also a SuperPrep All-American, ranking as the nation's No. 3 defensive back. Ranked as the nation's No. 3 cornerback prospect and No. 17 overall by Scout.com. Holds a 3.0 GPA.

* Long On O'Neal: "The Franchise defensive player in this class. He is a big corner. I've said he's the best in Ohio since Charles Woodson at the cornerback position. Can he hold onto his weight and maintain his speed and quickness? That will be a key. That may dictate a move to safety. But he has corner skills and I like his hitting ability. You like that in a corner, but it is essential in a safety. If he is not an All-American corner, he will be an All-American safety. He has great speed for his size."

Brian Robiskie, Wide Receiver, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, 6-4, 195

* Bio: Robiskie, son of Browns interim head coach Terry Robiskie, had 38 catches for 643 yards (16.9 average) and 10 touchdowns during the regular season for Chagrin Falls. Earned first-team All-Ohio honors in Division IV. His team finished the year 9-3 after a loss to eventual state champion Youngstown Mooney in the second round of the Division IV playoffs. He also had three interceptions on defense. Robiskie caught nine touchdowns in only seven games as a sophomore and caught 50 balls for 743 yards as a junior. He is ranked as the No. 33 senior in Ohio by Ohio High. SuperPrep ranked him as the No. 31 prospect in Ohio and as the No. 78 prospect in the Midwest. Will play in the Ohio All-Star Classic. He picked Ohio State over Miami (Fla.) and Stanford. Holds a 3.6 GPA and scored an 1100 on the SAT.

* Long On Robiskie: "Brian Robiskie is a big bodied wide receiver. He is not a possession guy. He runs great routes and uses his body well to fend off defenders. He has those little intangibles. He fights for the ball. He is going to get bigger and stronger. He has surprising speed. I would regard getting him this late in the process as a coup."

Anderson Russell, Defensive Back, Atlanta Marist, 6-0, 205

* Bio: Russell was a two-way standout at Marist. On offense, he had 610 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns as a senior. He projects as a safety at the college level. He is ranked as the No. 47 player in Georgia by SuperPrep. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 57 prospect in Georgia and as the nation's 84th-best running back prospect. He boasts 4.6-second speed in the 40. Russell committed to Ohio State on Dec. 12, picking the Buckeyes over Duke. Holds a 3.1 GPA and scored an 1130 on the SAT.

* Long On Russell: "He is coming here as a safety. But from what I saw he could also be a pretty good running back at the college level. He has good size. You might see him at running back, especially since Jason Gwaltney went to West Virginia. He impressed me more than Ira Guilford on his high school tape and Ira Guilford ended up being a back here."

Rob Schoenhoft, Quarterback, Cincinnati St. Xavier, 6-5, 235

* Bio: Schoenhoft was considered one of the nation's top quarterback prospects. He was invited to the prestigious Elite 11 camp in California before his senior year. As a senior, he helped lead St. Xavier to an 11-1 record and a berth in the Division I playoffs. He was 88 of 182 passing (48.4 percent), for 1,268 yards, with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. He missed 2-1/2 games due to injury. He also had 42 carries for 31 yards and 4 TDs. Schoenhoft was rated as the No. 13 overall prospect in Ohio by Ohio High. SuperPrep tabbed him as the No. 15 prospect overall in Ohio and No. 34 in the Midwest. Scout.com listed him as the nation's 17th-best quarterback prospect. Comes from the same school as former OSU quarterback Greg Frey. Will play in the Ohio All-Star Classic. He committed to OSU on July 22, picking the Buckeyes over Florida, LSU, Michigan and Michigan State. Holds a 2.7 GPA and scored a 24 on the ACT and 1100 on the SAT.

* Long On Schoenhoft: "He has physical tools that you just can not ignore. He is a big kid who is mobile. That arm is something you need to see to believe. When he cuts loose with the ball, he can throw it through a car wash and not get it wet. He needs a lot of work, but he knows that. He is a hard worker and he knows his shortcomings."

Austin Spitler, Linebacker, Bellbrook, Ohio, 6-3, 235

* Bio: As a senior, Spitler earned first-team All-Ohio honors and was also the Division III district defensive player of the year. He tallied 135 tackles and two interceptions for Bellbrook's 7-3 team. He averaged 12 tackles a game as a junior. He has run as fast as 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He projects as a middle linebacker at the college level. Spitler is great in the weight room, benching 225 21 times and put up 29 reps of 185 at the Nike Camp. Spitler is ranked as the 20th-best college prospect in Ohio by Ohio High. SuperPrep ranks him as the 24th-best prospect in Ohio and No. 61 in the Midwest. Scout.com has him as the nation's 88th-best linebacker prospect. Will play in the Ohio All-Star Classic. He committed to Ohio State on Nov. 30, picking the Buckeyes over Wisconsin and Stanford. Holds a 3.5 GPA and scored a 22 on the ACT and 1000 on the SAT.

* Long On Spitler: "He had a great senior year. He is the kind of middle linebacker I like. He knocks people down. When he hits you, you get up looking for the number of the guy that just knocked you down. He is a great hole plugger and has a little better range than you might think. With the depth they have at linebacker, he should not have to play right away. Coming from his level to Ohio State is not an easy jump. He will need some time to get acclimated. But he has the right people in front of him to help him do that."

Donald Washington III, Wide Receiver/Defensive Back, Indianapolis Franklin Central, 6-2, 185

* Bio: Washington likely projects as a safety at the college level. He was a fine two-way player at Franklin Central. As a senior, he had 45 catches for 800 yds and 10 touchdowns. He also had four interceptions (two for touchdowns) and two fumble recoveries on defense. He boasts 4.45-second speed in the 40. As a junior, he recorded over 40 receptions for 800 yards and 13 touchdowns while playing the entire season with a broken foot. The year before, heecame the first sophomore in Indiana high school history to win the state long jump. He is ranked as the No. 122 prospect in the Midwest by SuperPrep. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 7 player in Indiana and as the 88th-best wide receiver in the country. He committed to Ohio State on Jan. 30, picking the Buckeyes over Indiana and Illinois. Holds a 3.2 GPA and scored a 19 on the ACT.

* Long On Washington: "How other schools did not come in on him, I don't know. A school like Notre Dame that needs athletes like this should have been all over a kid like this in their home state. He is 6-0 or better and has run under a 4.5. I like him as a wide receiver. I don't know if I would bring him in as a safety. He will probably be given a look at wide receiver. He has good hands and adjusts well to the ball. Then, after the catch, he is hard to corral."

Maurice Wells, Running Back, Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood, 5-9, 185

* Bio: Wells made headlines when he committed to Ohio State during NBC's live broadcast of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 14. He picked OSU over Georgia Tech and USC. He tallied a northeast Florida state record 3,075 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior. A hip pointer slowed him down to 1,836 yards and 20 touchdowns in nine games as a senior. He was still named the Florida Times-Union Super 24 player of the year. For his career he had 5,985 yards rushing and 55 touchdowns. As a junior, Wells led the state of Florida in rushing with 3076 yds and 31 TDs. Wells is rated as the nation's 19th-best running back and Florida's No. 15 overall prospect by Scout.com. He is also ranked as the No. 8 prospect in Florida by SuperPrep. He was also a SuperPrep All-American, ranking as the nation's seventh-best running back. Holds a 3.3 GPA and scored an 890 on the SAT.

* Long On Wells: "In the open field, he is absolute magic. If he is used correctly, he could be a dynamite player. In the offense we saw the last three games of the year, he could fit in nicely there."

Ryan Williams, Defensive End, Mission Viejo, Calif., 6-5, 245

* Bio: Williams helped lead Mission Viejo to a 14-0 record and the CIF South Section Division II championship. He was a two-year starter for the Diablos. He is ranked as the No. 58 prospect in California by SuperPrep. Scout.com ranks him as the 71st-best prospect in California and as the nation's No. 61 defensive end. He committed to OSU on May 27, picking the Buckeyes over Oklahoma and Colorado. Holds a 3.2 GPA and scored a 23 on the ACT and 1120 on the SAT.

* Long On Williams: "He is another kid who didn't get the attention he probably deserved and it's probably because he committed early. He was on a loaded team. He reminds me of Justin Smith, who was a star on the defensive line at Missouri and a first-round draft pick by the Bengals. Smith was a phenomenal talent who had an explosive first step. I see some of those things here. Williams uses his hands well and doesn't let blockers get in on him."

Doug Worthington, Defensive End, Athol Springs (N.Y.) St. Francis, 6-7, 257

* Bio: Worthington is considered one of the nation's best defensive end prospects. As a senior, he had 74 tackles, 27 hurries and seven sacks for the Red Raiders, who ended up 7-2 and won the Buffalo area parochial school championship. As a junior, he had 72 tackles, 12 pressures and seven sacks. He is ranked as the No. 3 prospect in New York by SuperPrep. He is also a SuperPrep All-American, ranking as the nation's 12th-best defensive line prospect. Scout.com pegs Worthington as the nation's No. 3 end prospect, the No. 3 overall prospect in New York and the No. 42 prospect overall. He committed to Ohio State on Sept. 15, picking the Buckeyes over Alabama, Florida and Boston College. Scored a 980 on the SAT.

* Long On Worthington: "He is a super player, but I don't think Ohio State fans should get too excited about him as an end. He may grow out of that position. He is one of the three jewels of this class. I think he plays there immediately, especially at end where they need some help this year. If he stays at end, he could be an impact player immediately. If he moves to tackle, he may wait. With that frame, he should be able to handle some of the weight he will naturally add. If he's able to get up around 280 and can still run like that, he will be a terror."

Possible Signees

Walker Ashley, Defensive Tackle, Eden Prairie, Minn., 6-4, 290

* Bio: Ashley was a three-year starter at Eden Prairie, helping his team win a state title as a sophomore in 2002. As a junior, he had 74 tackles, 10 sacks and four caused fumbles. This year, his team went 11-1. Ashley finished up with 89 tackles, 14 sacks, 24 tackles-for-loss and six fumbles caused. He also had a touchdown catch on offense. He was named the Minneapolis Star-Tribune metro player of the year. His father, Walker Lee Ashley, was a defensive end/linebacker for the Nittany Lions from 1979-82. He helped PSU claim its first national championship in 1982 before going on to a seven-year career with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. Ashley is rated as the No. 19 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by Scout.com and as Minnesota's No. 3 overall prospect. SuperPrep ranks him as the No. 1 player in Minnesota, the No. 17 player in the Midwest. He is also a SuperPrep All-American, ranking as the No. 23 defensive lineman in the country. He holds a 2.6 GPA and scored a 19 on the ACT. He was debating between Ohio State, USC, Minnesota and Penn State.

* Long On Ashley: "I think wherever he goes he is going in as a defensive tackle. But, if he would allow the move, the position he should embrace is maybe on the offensive line. He may play on Sundays as a defensive tackle, but I think he would probably play on Sundays as an offensive tackle, if that makes any sense. He is a big, athletic kid. He can run and move and slide. I think he'd be a good pass protector."

Lawrence Wilson, Defensive End, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 6-5, 240

* Bio: Wilson tallied 77 tackles and 11 sacks as a senior at SVSM. He earned first-team All-Ohio honors in Division IV as a senior. He is ranked as Ohio's eighth-best prospect by Ohio High. He is also ranked as the nation's 29th-best defensive end by Scout.com. SuperPrep ranks Wilson as Ohio's 21st-best prospect and as the No. 50 prospect in the Midwest. Boasts 4.6-second speed in the 40. He also plays basketball for SVSM. He originally committed to Notre Dame at midseason. But he decommitted when Tyrone Willingham was fired. He was still trying to decide between OSU, Notre Dame and Florida. He holds a 3.6 GPA and scored a 19 on the ACT.

* Long On Wilson: "The thing that stands out the most is not that he is 6-5, 240. But it's that at every camp he went to, he ran a 4.6 40. There was no variation in speed. He is big and fast and is just going to get bigger. Some schools are recruiting him as a tight end. I like him as well as a defensive end. His best position in basketball may be on the wing, and that says something when he is 6-5, 240. He is a pretty special athlete. He is a great kid and wherever he goes he will work hard."


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