Mr. Bucknuts' Bucket Of Bullets

Another year, another exhausting month of January for those who follow OSU recruiting (and even moreso for those who actually participate in it). The talk has already started about next year's recruits, but Mr. Bucknuts has one last look back at the recruiting report card and the class of 2005.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Yes, we have another recruiting season behind us. And - as I heard the pilot on my US Air flight to Charlotte say under his breath - we've walked away from another one. The world didn't end in Babylon, New York. The Bucknuts message boards didn't implode. And some of us were able to keep our heads while others around us were losing theirs.

We've analyzed this recruiting class from every possible angle. All that's left are blood types, DNA analysis and some chromosome checks. But before we get quite that exhaustive, let's exhaust the bigger issues. In our final look at the Class of 2005, we take a view from 25,000 feet at the following criteria:

1) How good is this class (and compared to what?)

2) How well did OSU fill their needs - really?

3) What happened – exactly?

 

How good is this class?

That's the most obvious question. And the best way to answer it might be to examine how well the Buckeyes did given the variables with which they had to contend. Some years, it's easy pickins – all you have to do is bend over and pick up the gold that's lying on the floor of the gold mine. Other years, you have to dig hard. You have to contend with the elements and unexpected competition. Those environmental challenges can determine how well the staff did – not just in the vacuum of the quality of those players coming to Columbus.

As an example, the Class of 2002 was an outstanding class by anyone's measure. Possibly the best class in the nation. But it was also a great year in Ohio for talent, and OSU had a lot of open scholarships available. So, I would say that we did "great in a very good time". This year – the Class of 2005 – was not a bumper crop in Ohio. Plus, they were restricted in the total number of schollies, so they couldn't go for pure numbers during the year. Plus – as some of you might remember – we had the harshest public relations climate in anyone's memory. That probably cost OSU some looks. That probably cost OSU some players.

So, you might say that we had a "very good year in a very bad time". And that might be even tougher than what was accomplished in 2002.

Let's take a quick look at the 2002 super class and contrast it with this year's group…

2002 Class 2005 Class

Bobby Carpenter Andre Amos

Maurice Clarett Jim Cordle

RJ Coleman Todd Denlinger

Mike D'Andrea Brian Hartline

Doug Datish Malcolm Jenkins

TJ Downing James Laurinaitis

Tyler Everett Freddie Lenix

Roy Hall Jamario O'Neal

AJ Hawk Brian Robiskie

Santonio Holmes Anderson Russell

Mike Kudla Rob Schoenhoft

Nick Mangold Austin Spitler

Brandon Mitchell Donald Washington

Derek Morris Maurice Wells

Joel Penton Ryan Williams

Quinn Pitcock Doug Worthington

Jay Richardson Alex Boone

Michael Roberts Lawrence Wilson

Nate Salley

Tim Schafer

Rob Sims

Troy Smith

EJ Underwood

Stan White

Justin Zwick

The 2002 class had three 5-star players, fourteen 4-star guys and eight at 3 stars for an average of 3.80. This year, according to Scout.com, we have three 5-star commits, eight 4-star guys, six with three stars and a radically underestimated Brian Robiskie with 2 stars. That average is 3.72.

Now, if you take out the late lamented Derek Morris (who never actually enrolled back in 2002), the comparison comes down to an average of 3.75 versus 3.72 this year. Hardly worth fighting over which class has a big advantage, eh?

So, then, it really comes down to:

How well did OSU fill their needs?

Very well, thank you. They needed offensive line help and they got two guys (Cordle and Boone) that will be starters one day. OSU needed depth at WR and they attracted three (Amos, Hartline and Robiskie). Defensive line? They killed it. Two Top 100 players in Worthington and Denlinger and two rush ends in Wilson and Williams. They got a quarterback. They got one of the top two DB's in the nation (plus Jenkins). They got two inside linebackers in Spitler and Laurinaitis. And we have super athletes that flew under the radar in Lenix, Russell and Washington.

Oh, yeah, OSU also got a guy that was – at one time – rated the No. 1 running back in the country, in Maurice Wells.

For those of you whose Buckeye glasses are half empty (and isn't that usually the case with the beer drinkers amongst us…), there were areas that we didn't fill, of course. OSU didn't get a fullback (maybe Spitler?) or a tight end (maybe Wilson?). They didn't get a marquis receiver and they were short on O-line depth. And we probably needed two more linebackers.

So, OSU will get them next year. It's a great year for offensive linemen in Ohio. Expect 3-4. It's a good year for linebackers. Expect Ross Homan. You want a big great back? Beanie Wells from right here in Ohio.

OSU got a "B+" for overall talent, IMHO, but nearly an "A" in the filling-the-needs category. There. I have spoken.

 

What happened – exactly?

For those of you keeping score at home, I predicted (five days before LOID) that the Buckeyes would sign four more kids. Since three more did sign, I guess I was 75% right. Right. I felt pretty comfortable with Washington and Robiskie – although Brian injected a little adrenaline into the process before he succumbed to good taste. And I thought that two of the three of Gwaltney/Ashley/Wilson would be coming to Columbus. Honestly. I'm not sure that Gwaltney has made up his mind yet. And – in the end – the Hollywood lure for Walker Ashley simply proved too strong. Here's a kid whose coach was connected to the Vikings (think "Minnesota", right?), whose father starred at Penn State (think the Nits, right?), and who said that he wanted to go to Ohio State.

He picked USC. Because he will get playing time there amongst all the returning stars in the nouveau dynasty. Right.

The biggest surprise on signing day:

Ryan Perrilloux seemed to be locked down to Texas all year as a commit but refused to say anything about it at the Army All-Star game. On LOID, he then de-committed and out on an LSU cap. My thinking? He was scared to death of Ohio State next September 10. This helps him dodge a bullet next year and the year after in Austin!

Biggest disappointments:

Probably not getting Rico McCoy because OSU had already lost a bunch of headliners (Hodge, Mathis, etc.) and Rico looked like he was a Buckeye. Plus, this was a "position of need". Losing Bemoll hurt but Kevin wasn't at a needed spot…

Biggest disappointment to his mother:

That would have to be Antone Smith, who wouldn't tell her where he was going. She wanted him to go to Miami so that she could see him play. He chose Florida State. Classie Smith (his mother) commented, "He never told me. I wish he had told me." Antone's (classy, he's not…) rejoinder was, "It was my decision. I've been having people tell me what to do and what not to do, but it was my decision".

The biggest mouth on signing day:

James McKinney, who Hollywood-ed it as long as he could. After de-committing to Michigan and making a mockery out of many of his recruiting trips, he was asked to leave his official at Louisville because he was talking up the Wolverines. He then announced, in front of a full high school crowd in Louisville that he was going to…Michigan. But he couldn't stop there. He then scolded the local team saying that Louisville was the front-runner until they sent him packing. Sure. There's a talented player that isn't talented enough to want him on your team no matter how badly you might need him.

Biggest classes:

Nebraska had 31 commits at last count and Alabama was hot on their heels with 30. All the SEC teams had 25-30. All of that is interesting only in relation to the fact that the signing limit is 25. These schools know already that some of the incoming group isn't going to qualify or else they over-sign and figure they will work it out later. Ohio State took 18 and plans to enroll them all.

Biggest bold Ohio statement:

Lawrence Wilson who had committed elsewhere and considered many out of state schools: "There's no place like home". You can say that again Dorothy. Runner-up for this award would go to Freddie Lenix saying, "Mel Tucker has been recruiting me since the eighth grade. That's why I feel so close to them".

On to 2006!

Forget the Class of 2005. That's old news, now. Heck, we have already made offers to a bunch of Ohio juniors! You want to know about filling needs? Take a look at the junior offer list, most of whom were in Columbus for "Junior Day" over the weekend:

Chris Wells – RB

Justin Boren – OL

Aaron Brown – OL

Conner Smith – OL

Robert Rose – DE

Ray Small – DE

Ross Homan – LB

Thaddeus Gibson - LB

 

Wells should cure the need for that "big back" Boren, Brown and Smith will take care of the depth-at-offensive-line problem. Rose and Small will satiate our obsession for players from Glenville. Then, there's Ross Homan, who will be the next great outside linebacker. And out-of-state kids already on the radar? Some of those alleged offers include:

Tim Tebow – Florida QB

Jamar Hornsby – Florida WR

Jeremiah Hunter – Pennsylvania RB

Antwine Perez – New Jersey DB

Myron Rolle – New Jersey DB

And the next great California running back hopeful to get your adrenaline going before he commits to Miami or USC;

Stafon Johnson

Gentlemen, start your engines…

Well, you can see this past recruiting class and glass as half-empty. I think we are full to the brim. And the Class of 2006 will further fill 2005 – The Year of the Buckeye!

 

 

The Final Chart and Grades

The 2005 chart is taking one last run across the page. In two weeks, we will begin our Chart for 2006. Hey – Aaron Pettrey might make it for three years in a row! As to the rest of the guys – and the final grades – take a look:

Running backs: Maurice Wells got us a B+ by himself; one more back and we were an A. We are still looking for a fullback so call that Incomplete.

Quarterback: One big guy, loaded with po-tential. That's a B.

Receivers: Wilson might be a tight end but there is no grade there. All three of the other wide-outs could be good ones but they seem more in line with Devin Jordan expectations rather than a Holmes or a Ginn. Thus, a B.

Offensive Linemen: Two great ones in Boone and Cordle. Lack of depth kept us from an A- or an A.

Defensive ends: The Dubya Brothers are some of the best in the country. I might be quibbling with "only" an A- here…

Defensive Tackle: Denlinger's a great one. It's a quantity issue, not quality in this B.

Linebacker: We needed 3-4. We got two good ones, both probably for the inside. That's a B.

Safeties: There's security in numbers here as we project Lenix as a safety and Russell as well. Washington has the coaches excited, too, but with no headliners (only headhunters…), I stopped at B+.

Cornerbacks: Jamario O'Neal is all you have to say. But Malcolm Jenkins will have something to say as well. All in all, that's an A effort, particularly noting that Amos and others could play here.

PLAYER POSITION

NUMBER NEEDED

COMMITMENTS

NUMBER STILL NEEDED

 

PLAYERS I WANT

GRADES SO FAR (BASED ON NEED)

TAILBACK

2

Maurice Wells

1

 

B+

FULLBACK

0

 

0

   

QUARTERBACK

1

Rob Schoenhoft

0

 

B

TIGHT END

1

 

1

 

 

WIDE RECEIVER

2

Brian Hartline, Andre Amos, Brian Robiskie

0

 

B

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

3

Alex Boone, Jim Cordle

1

 

B+

DEFENSIVE END

2

Ryan Williams, Doug Worthington, Lawrence Wilson

0

 

A-

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

2

Todd Denlinger

1

 

B

LINEBACKER

4

Austin Spitler, James Laurinaitis

2

 

B

SAFETY

2

Anderson Russell, Freddie Lenix, Donald Washington

0

 

B+

CORNERBACK

2

Jamario O'Neal, Malcolm Jenkins

0

 

A

KICKER/PUNTER

1

Aaron Pettrey

0

 

B

TOTAL

22

19

3

 

B+

 

LEGEND

Red Player: He has already committed

Gray Player: Gray shirt from 2004 that will be part of the 2005 class

Blue Player: We absolutely want this kid!

Green Player: Great potential; we might take him

 

Final Offer Sheet

We have continued to track all the kids we think were extended offers in 2004-2005. Here's a final look at that list and where they ended up:

   

Committed Somewhere

 

Name

POS

School/State

Committed School

Adkins, Spencer

LB

Naples HS, Naples FL

Miami

Alaeze, Melvin

DL

Randallstown HS, Randallstown, MD

Maryland

Amos, Andre

WR

Middletown High School, Middletown OH

Ohio State

Ashley, Walker

DT

Eden Prairie SHS, Eden Prairie MN

USC

Barney, Chris

OL

Northwestern HS, Miami FL

Miami

Beckum, Travis

LB

Oak Creek HS, Oak Creek WI

Wisconsin

Bemoll, Kevin

OL

Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo CA

Cal

Boateng, Nyan

DB

Abraham Lincoln HS, Brooklyn NY

Florida

Boone, Alex

OL

Lakewood St. Ed, Lakewood OH

Ohio State

Bright, Callahan

DL

Hariton SHS, Bryn Mawr PA

Florida State

Brown, Aaron

WR

Northeast HS, Zachary LA

South Carolina

Byrd, CJ

WR

North Augusta HS, North Augusta SC

Georgia

Collins, Conredge

RB

Monsignor Pace HS, Miami FL

Pitt

Cordle, Jim

OL

Lancaster HS, Lancaster OH

Ohio State

Cushing, Brian

LB

Bergen Catholic HS, Oradell NJ

USC

Daniels, Alex

LB

Brookhaven HS, Columbus OH

Minnesota

Davis, Mike

RB

Columbia HS, Columbia SC

South Carolina

Denlinger, Todd

DL

Troy HS, Troy OH

Ohio State

Dixon, Antonio

DT

Milford Academy, New Berlin NY

Miami

Doering, Dan

OL

Barrington HS, Barrington Il

Iowa

Eaton, Byron

ATH

Lincoln HS, Dallas TX

 

Ellis, Brian

TE

Mainland HS, Daytona Beach FL

Florida

Felder, Anthony

LB

O'Dea HS, Seattle WA

Cal

Gordon, Richard

TE

Norland HS, Miami FL

Florida

Gowland, Stephen

TE

Parkview HS, Lilburn GA

Walkon

Gwaltney, Jason

RB

N. Babylon HS, N. Babylon NY

West Virginia

Harris, Courtney

DE

Jupiter HS, Jupiter FL

Miami

Harris, Nic

LB

Alexandria SHS, Alexandria LA

Oklahoma

Hartline, Brian

WR

GlenOak HS, Canton OH

Ohio State

Henderson, Ray

DL

Oak Creek HS, Oak Creek WI

Tennessee

Jackson, Carlton

QB

Blanche Ely HS, Pompano FL

Akron

Jackson, DeSean

WR

Polytechnic HS, Long Beach CA

Cal

Jackson, RaShawn

RB

St. Peter's Prep, Jersey City NJ

Virginia

Jenkins, Malcolm

CB

Piscataway HS, Piscataway NJ

Ohio State

Kearney, Tavares

LB

Tucker HS, Tucker GA

Georgia

King, Justin

DB

Gateway HS, Pittsburgh PA

Penn State

Laurinaitis, James

LB

Wayzata HS, Plymouth MN

Ohio State

Lewis, Elan

RB

Phoebus HS, Hampton VA

Virginia Tech

Lymon, Selwyn

WR

Paul Harding HS, Ft Wayne IN

Purdue

Manningham, M

WR

Warren Harding HS, Warren OH

Michigan

Mathis, Andre

LB

Cathedral Prep HS, Erie PA

Tennessee

McCoy, Rico

LB

St. John's College HS, Washington DC

Tennessee

McKinney, James

DL

Central HS, Louisville KY

Michigan

Moeaki, Anthony

TE

Wheaton HS, Wheaton IL

Iowa

Moffett, Neefy

LB

Palm Bay Sr. HS, Melbourne FL

Florida State

Monroe, Eugene

OL

Plainfield HS, Plainfield NJ

Virginia

Morley, Demitrice

DB

Killian HS, Miami FL

Tennessee

Murdock, OJ

WR

Middleton HS, Tampa FL

South Carolina

Oatis, Shawn

S

Chino HS, Chino CA

UCLA

O'Neal, Jamario

DB

Glenville HS, Cleveland OH

Ohio State

Owens, Jeff

DT

Plantation HS, Plantation FL

Georgia

Perrilloux, Ryan

QB

East St. John HS, Reserve LA

LSU

Phillips, Randy

DB

Glades Central HS, Belle Glade FL

Miami

Robinson, Duke

OL

Booker T. Washington HS, Atlanta GA

Oklahoma

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

Oklahoma

Rouse, Fred

WR

Lincoln HS, Tallahassee FL

Florida State

Rowell, Chris

DB

Warrensville Heights HS, Warrensville OH

Iowa

Russell, Anderson

DB

Marist HS, Atlanta GA

Ohio State

Rutland, Tray

QB

Tri-Cities HS, East Point GA

Mississippi St.

Sanchez, Mark

QB

Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo CA

USC

Schoenhoft, Rob

QB

St. Xavier HS, Cincinnati OH

Ohio State

Simpson, Mikell

RB

Harrisburg HS, Harrisburg PA

Virginia

Sledge, Eric

DB

Apopka HS, Apopka FL

Florida

Smalls, Sean

DB

Huguenot HS, Richmond VA

UMass

Spitler, Austin

LB

Bellbrook HS, Bellbrook OH

Ohio State

Stewart, Jonathan

RB

Timberline HS, Lacey WA

Oregon

Taylor, Terrance

DT

Muskegon HS, Muskegon MI

Michigan

Thomas, Carlos

WR

Banneker HS, College Park GA

South Carolina

Tucker, Taalib

LB

Westlake HS, Eastpoint GA

Georgia tech

Wells, Maurice

RB

Sandalwood HS, Jacksonville FL

Ohio State

Williams, Derrick

WR

Eleanor Roosevelt HS, Greenbelt MD

Penn State

Williams, Gerald

DE

Boyd Anderson HS, Lauderdale Lakes FL

Florida

Williams, Ryan

DL

Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo CA

Ohio State

Wilson, Lawrence

DE

Akron SVSM HS, Akron OH

Ohio State

Wilson, Marcus

WR

Camden Catholic HS, Cherry Hill NJ

Iowa

Wilson, Ronnie

OL

Ely HS, Pompano Beach FL

Florida

Worthington, Doug

DE

St. Francis HS, Athol Springs NY

Ohio State

       

 

 

It's been fun, keeping score along with you during this recruiting season. I feel OSU made a good case for a Top Ten class after all was said and done and faxed in. But the real test is the season. And how the kids play once they get out there and start running into one another.

I can hardly wait until September 3. What will we talk about until then?

 

For things to talk about, feel free to contact Mr. Bucknuts at MrBucknuts@yahoo.com


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