Peterson Pleased With Recruiting Class

John Peterson is in his first year as Ohio State's recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach. Despite a lot of pessimism from the outside, the Buckeyes finished with a top 10 class and Peterson helped make it happen. caught up with Peterson for his thoughts on the class and the world of recruiting as a whole.

Ohio State recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach John Peterson was as anxious as anyone for signing day.

There was a lot of talk that this might be a down year for OSU in terms of recruiting.

However, the Buckeyes finished strong with a class of 18 prospects, which will be ranked among the top 10 nationally.

This was Peterson's first year on OSU's staff and he seems very pleased with the class.

"Well, it's obviously a great big relief," Peterson said. "It's been a great learning experience. Being on a staff as experienced as the guys we have at Ohio State has been tremendous."

Peterson believes OSU was able to fill most of its needs with this class.

"I think so," he said. "This is a great group of kids and we addressed some things that we needed to address. I don't know if there is an overall strength in this class. I think it's a well-balanced class that has some great speed and some great strength on the offensive and defensive lines. I think it's a balanced class all across the board. I think it's exciting they all want to be Buckeyes."

Peterson didn't spend a lot of time on the road recruiting this year, but that will likely change in the future.

"Well, this first year, I spent most of my time actually spearheading things from the office," he said. "So, I spent most of my time kind of choreographing and working with (head coach Jim) Tressel.

"Recruiting is a group effort. It's been a great year as far as guys working together and we're going to continue to get better every day at recruiting and continue to improve as a group."

In the case of future Buckeye defensive end Doug Worthington, here was a player that verbally committed to OSU months ago, but continued to take other visits.

When asked if the staff was concerned about Worthington, or if they knew he was in the bag, Peterson replied: "Well, he was probably a little bit of a unique situation. (Quarterbacks coach Joe) Daniels did a great job of recruiting him and we felt very confident that he was going to be a Buckeye. He just wanted to go through the whole experience. Kids are allowed five visits and that's what he did."

Peterson was also asked to comment on the lone quarterback in the class – Rob Schoenhoft.

"I think Robbie is an exceptional talent and I was fortunate that I got a chance to watch him in person," Peterson said. "He has a lot of great characteristics as a leader and kind of directs things on the field. I think Robbie had developed in his system and I think he has a bright future in college football."

Tressel mentioned at the press conference that one thing that stands out about the class is its overall speed. Tressel said OSU could field a successful track team using some of these guys. Peterson seemed to concur.

"You can't coach speed," he said. "That's one thing that you have to go out and evaluate. Our camps come into big play when we have kids on campus in the summer and we're able to test them in the 40 and run them and watch them work. That's become a big part in the recruiting process is our camps."

The biggest member of the class is 6-8, 320-pound Alex Boone. Peterson – a former starting offensive lineman at OSU – helps out with the O-line and he is excited about Boone.

"Well, I think Alex has tremendous upside," he said. "He's a very physical player when you watch him play. It's a tough position to come in and contribute, but I know he has the right attitude and he's excited about getting here."

The other offensive lineman in the class is Jim Cordle. He is likely the Buckeyes' center of the future.

"I would say, based on what we have seen, he has a good chance to play that position," Peterson said. "Growing up he played center, but as a senior he played more guard and got out and pulled."

Cordle will participate in spring practice this year and there is a chance that he could win the backup center job behind senior Nick Mangold.

"Jimmy is going to have a chance, but Doug (Datish) is in the mix – he's played football here," Peterson said. "Obviously we are going to have to get somebody ready in the future."

Peterson wasn't a small guy when he played at OSU, he pushed 290, but the linemen coming out of high school now are huge.

"There's no question that there's a trend as far as the size of these kids coming out of high school," Peterson said. "I think that's a credit to the high school coaches and programs that kids are getting so involved with really well-developed weight programs in high school and kids just work year-round in the weight room and by the time they are seniors they're 20 pounds heavier than they used to."

Finally, as politically correct as possible, Peterson gave a comment on kids that seek attention and milk the recruiting process for all it's worth, compared to kids that are all about football.

"You know, you spend so much time recruiting certain kids, and then there's some kids that you may offer and within an hour they call you back and say they want to be a Buckeye," he said. "Some of those kids will just run through a wall to be a Buckeye and there's some of those guys in this class that grew up the way I did. They are diehard Buckeye fans and they can't wait to put on that scarlet and gray."

Buckeye Sports Top Stories