Mr. Bucknuts Bucket Of Bullets

Plenty has happened since the last football recruiting review. The class has grown to six, and more players are reporting offers. Mr. Bucknuts looks over the latest developments and offers some opinions on where things stand and where he'd like them to go... and lots of lists to go with it.

Along with, well…anyone who just walked in the door that day, I trekked up to the Woody Hayes Center last week to take in one day of the "advanced camp". You know, the drill - where the truly elite players get invited but the school isn't allowed to say it's for recruits. The difference between me and almost everyone else there (in addition to being about the only guy not in shorts…)? I was invited to spend time over lunch with Coach Tressel! That's right. Asked. Not me merely begging, as in the past.

In fact, we stood out on the middle of the practice field and then ate with the campers and schmoozed in his office. To avoid coming off as a clone of Eddie Haskell from "Leave It to Beaver" ("What a lovely housecoat you are wearing, Mrs. Cleaver!"), I asked Tressel some impertinent and inappropriate questions, such as "So, is it true that Kurt Coleman is going to commit tomorrow?" (it was) and "Do you think that Henton will commit this weekend?" (he probably did). Coach T looked at me as if I had asked if it was OK to set his hair on fire, and then we talked about other stuff.

Lots of other stuff.

But that's for my memoirs and this is for my recruiting column. What I saw there that day was 350 kids. Lots of shapes sizes and dreams. I asked JT: why so many when there were but 50 or so on the old "elite" recruiting days? He said that, to be perfectly legit, you have to open it up to any senior-to-be who wants to attend. There were scads of coaches from other colleges and the exposure for the kids was fabulous. And the Ohio State assistant coaches got a very up-close-and-personal workout with the kids they really wanted to study the hardest.

I was the most interested in the quarterbacks and they were all there. And what did old Mr. Bucknuts surmise once the dust had settled and the Gatorade ran out? The Buckeyes really wanted Antonio Henton from Georgia. Remember all the spirited debates over which Ohio quarterback will be offered? Well, the line now says probably "0". That could change, of course. But if any Ohio QB were offered, I would bet on Arvelle Nelson from Glenville who not only stood out but also had a ton of upside potential. I think the order of the remaining QB's would be something like:

1. Demetrius Jones

2. Harry Betsey

3. Arvelle Nelson

4. Mike Hartline

5. Nate Davis

6. Rudy Kirbus

7. Miles Schlichter

Does that mean Hartline won't be offered, no matter what? Maybe not. If Henton comes aboard in the end, maybe they will want a classic drop back guy. Hartline is that guy. He just has to have a great season and then be patient. The great Ohio recruiting class for QB's in '05? Not an Ohio State issue, right now.

Then how about the great recruiting class for offensive linemen this year? Well, Boren defected to Michigan. Connor Smith will go to Ohio State. And everyone is starting to get worn down by Aaron Brown, who seems to be everywhere and nowhere at all. What does Mr. Bucknuts predict for the other offers? They seem to really like Bryant Browning (Glenville again) and Bill Nagy next. Since both of those guys will probably accept if offered, it likely won't go farther down the line. But if it did, the next in line would probably be Ryan Palmer and Joe Thomas.

Here's another name, at another position, to consider that isn't high (yet) on the recruiting radar: Royce Adams. Glenville again…

Welcome to the Buckeyes!

We picked up three commitments since last month, bringing the grand total to five, plus the gray-shirting Lenix. The newbies are:

Jake Ballard: Jacob signed on right after our last column. He is a "big speed athlete" out of Springboro, Ohio who can play tight end, offensive line or defensive end. He comes in first as a TE, though. Jake was just listed in Scout.com's Top 100 players in America (along with OSU signees Chris Wells, Ross Homan and Kurt Coleman).

Antonio Henton: After teasing us all for a few days, Antonio followed up his verbal commitment at the senior advanced camp with a …well, confirmation of his verbal commitment. Henton is a dual threat QB from Georgia that has flown under the radar simply because of lack of reps and lack of stats. The coaches love this kid and think that he can be a "better Troy Smith".

Kurt Coleman: Kurt is a ferocious hitting cornerback from Clayton Northmont – an exceptional athlete with great sub-4.4 speed. He also committed at the advanced camp last week and is also listed by Scout.com as one of the Top 100 players in America.

Josh Chichester: Just this past Friday, Lakota West's 6'8" Chichester surprised many recruitniks by committing to Ohio State for both football and basketball. A Top 120 B-baller, he is also a Top 60 footballer, according to Scout.com. With Ray Small in the wings, what does this do to the prospects of David Ausberry, Wesley Lyons and Jeff Cumberland? One other interesting possibility: if Josh is better at hoops than the gridiron, can we trade Coach Matta Chichester for David Lighty, who would have been the best receiver in Ohio this year?

Top of the List

 

We all get a little bit excited when we find out that the Buckeyes are in the top five on some national recruit's list. Well, it's better than not being in the top five, I suppose. But – hey – the Buckeyes were in the top two on Justin Boren's list (and Rico McCoy's and Jason Gwaltney's and Dwayne Jarrett's and…). Yet, you have to start someplace. And while a top five finish without getting the goods is like being "a little bit pregnant", let's take a look at some of the high school players we elevated to Top Five status since last month:

David Ausberry

Demetrius Jones

Bani Gbdayu

Konrad Reuland

AJ Wallace

Brandon Warren

Brian Whitmore

David Ausberry

Antwine Perez

Konrad Reuland

Vidal Hazelton

Micah Johnson

Jeremiha Hunter

Walter Dublin

As I explain when we get to the particulars, some of the above say "top two" or "top five" or even "top eight", but all of them have us in the thick of the race.

 

The Fantasy Class

As I learned from reading Playboy in the fourth grade, it's never too early to start a good fantasy. Every year, I try to project the "perfect" class at each position and then keep evolving that class as players commit to OSU or elsewhere. Given what we know (insert your own punch line here…), this is the first shot at a truly good fantasy. And one that has a lot better potential than the old Playboy idea.

Running Backs

Chris Wells *

LeSean McCoy

Quarterbacks

Demetrius Jones

Antonio Henton *

Fullback

Chane Moline (haven't offered)

Tight Ends

Jake Ballard *

Konrad Reuland

Jeff Cumberland

Wide Receivers

David Ausberry

Wesley Lyons

Josh Chichester

Offensive Line

Aaron Brown

Connor Smith

Sam Young

JB Walton

Defensive Line

Robert Rose

Branden Warren

Brian Whitmore

Linebackers

Ross Homan *

Thaddeus Gibson

Marcus Ball

Jeremiha Hunter

Safeties

Antwine Perez

AJ Wallace

Cornerbacks

Kurt Coleman *

Ray Small (for purposes of this list)

* = Already a Buckeye commitment

I know that's 26 (and doesn't count super gray shirt Freddie Lenix), but when you are fantasizing, you can also project that a couple of lesser lights give up their schollies. Who knows? The way things are going with grades and arrests and off-the-field incidents, that is not an unlikely scenario. Guys on that particular bubble seem to include Brandon Maupin, RJ Coleman (injury), Redgie Arden (already a senior, though) EJ Underwood (officially gone) and Jonathan Skeete, to get more specific.

 

Who's News and Who's Making Moves

The action starts to heat up as we reach the summer months. Here is what we have heard in the past thirty days concerning recruits that Ohio State might have an interest in:

Brandon Minor lists everyone Buckeye fans hate (Florida schools and Michigan) ahead of Ohio State. The magical mystery Glenville bus tour of summer camps included Robert Rose, Ray Small, Bryant Browning, Arvelle Nelson and Royce Adams, amongst others. OSU wants at least three of those guys, maybe four! David Ausberry did not attend the OSU camp but still asserts that he will visit. Connor Smith says he will announce on August 1. Kentucky LB Micah Johnson claims the Buckeyes are in his "top three", along with Michigan and Georgia. On a larger stage, the Buckeyes have made the cut (the final eight!) for national recruit Antwine Perez. Two other nationals are AJ Wallace and LeSean McCoy, both claiming that the Bucks are in their elite consideration. AJ visited Columbus unofficially while LeSean has not. Jeremiha Hunter also has us on his "short list" of eight.

Another Georgian is Carlos Brown, who mentions Ohio State but not prominently. Brandon Warren, however, indicates the Bucks will get a visit, although his huge list is top-heavy with southern schools. The mysterious Sean Hakes no longer appears to be part of the OSU landscape. Jeremiha Hunter says the Buckeyes are at the top of his long list of schools and Walter Dublin also says we are in his top four. Finally, Cobrani Mixon keeps insisting he has committed to Michigan although it is hard to get an official acknowledgement. That Colerain program needs some serious re-orientation; maybe they will get it from Connor Smith!

Top Ten Lists

Letterman has his (and what does he know about college football, anyway?) and I have mine (same question applies…)

Top 10 Gets (I wanna get) From Ohio

1. Aaron Brown

2. Connor Smith

3. Jeff Cumberland (haven't offered)

4. Robert Rose

5. Ray Small

6. Thaddeus Gibson

7. Mike Hartline (haven't offered)

8. Cobrani Mixon

9. Bryant Browning (haven't offered)

10. Bill Nagy (haven't offered)

Top Ten Gets (I wanna get) From Out-of-State

1. David Ausberry

2. Konrade Reuland

3. Sam Young

4. LeSean McCoy

5. AJ Wallace

6. Maurice Ball

7. Chane Moline (haven't offered…)

8. Antwine Perez

9. Wesley Lyons

10. Louis Holmes

Top Ten Ohio Guys Whom I Think Won't Get Offers From OSU

1. Lee Tilley

2. Bob Gulley

3. Miles Schlichter

4. Nate Davis

5. Troy Pascley/Rob Parris

6. Robert Williams

7. Jovani Chappel

8. Rudy Kirbus

9. Mike Hartline/Arvelle Nelson

10. Ryan Palmer

Top Ten Reasons Why Texas Can't Beat OSU September 10

1. Mack Brown.

2. Cedric Benson doesn't live there anymore.

3. OSU sounds too much like "OU" to the players.

4. It's an 8 PM start and

5. The drinking starts at 6 AM.

6. Mack Brown.

7. We aren't Michigan.

8. The offense can't be forever Young.

9. They will be one time zone behind OSU all night.

10. Mack Brown

Top Ten Recruits I Want Back (that OSU shoulda had on this team…)

1. Stanley McClover

2. Kevin Bemoll

3. Javon Ringer

4. Alex Daniels

5. Fred Davis

6. Louis Irizzary

7. Rico McCoy

8. Dwayne Jarrett

9. Louis Holmes

10. Shawn Crable/Prescott Burgess

Top Ten Rules Bill Gates Gives to High School Kids

1. Life is not fair – get used to it.

2. The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

3. You will not make $40,000 right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for "flipping burgers" – they called it "opportunity".

6. If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault. So don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

7. Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. Some schools have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

8. Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

9. Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

10. Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

I don't know if Gates really said that anymore than I know that Letterman makes up his own lists. But in the Bucknuts Code of Ethics, we state that: "To steal from one source is plagiarism. To steal from multiple sources is research".

 

The Offer Section

Here are the new offers (reported or reputed) since last time

Antonio Henton: As covered elsewhere in this report, OSU has a commitment from Henton and vice versa. A QB flying under the radar (so far), from Fort Valley, Georgia.

Brandon Minor: One of the nation's best mid-sized RB's (from Virginia); he told us he has a Buckeye offer.

Damon McDaniel: A WR from Virginia – not tall and not fast so he must have great hands!

Elijah Fields: Not their first choice as a WR from Pennsylvania; mostly MAC offers

Sean Gottschalk: A jumbo athlete that can play TE or DE, from Virginia…

 

Kiante Tripp: Another Georgian, Kiante is a smaller faster lineman offered in May.

Walter Dublin: A Florida rush DE with great speed stats.

Brian Whitmore: Fast strong side DE from Virginia with a glittering offer sheet, says OSU is right at the top.

Navorro Bowman: A Maryland LB who also plays a pretty good RB. Athletic, if not big and fast…

Bani Gbadyu: From Maryland, a fast and light OLB, Bani loves what Ohio State "did" with AJ Hawk and considers the Bucks on his short list.

Morrice Richardson: A LB primarily from Atlanta, he has also played DE.

AJ Wallace: Big time Maryland corner with 4.4 or better speed and a big time offer list. He has been to OSU unofficially and we are working him hard.

Here's the complete listing:

OSU is amongst the leaders:

Name

POS

School/State

Height

Weight

Forty Time

Ausberry, David

WR

Lemoore HS, Lemoore CA

6'4"

215

4.45

Brown, Aaron

OL

Princeton HS, Cincinnati OH

6'6"

285

5.10

Dublin, Walter

DE

Sarasota HS, Sarasota FL

6'3"

245

4.60

Gbadyu, Bani

LB

Quince Orchard HS, Gaithersburg MD

6'1"

205

4.55

Gibson, Thaddeus

LB

Euclid HS, Euclid OH

6'3"

210

4.50

Hazelton, Vidal

WR

Moore Catholic HS, Staten Island NY

6'2"

195

4.50

Johnson, Micah

LB

Fort Campbell HS, Fort Campbell KY

6'2"

260

4.70

Jones, Demetrius

QB

Morgan Park HS, Chicago IL

6'3"

185

4.55

Hunter, Jeremiha

LB

Mannheim Central HS, Mannheim PA

6'2"

215

4.55

Lyons, Wesley

WR

Woodland Hills HS, Pittsburgh PA

6'5"

185

4.50

Perez, Antwine

DB

Woodrow Wilson HS, Camden NJ

6'2"

200

4.50

Reuland, Konrad

TE

Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo CA

6'6"

240

4.70

Rose, Robert

DL

Glenville HS, Cleveland OH

6'4"

240

4.70

Small, Ray

WR

Glenville HS, Cleveland OH

6'0"

190

4.40

Smith, Connor

OL

Colerain HS, Cincinnati OH

6'6"

300

5.10

Wallace, AJ

DB

McDonough HS, Pomfret MD

6'1"

195

4.40

Warren, Branden

DE

Alcoa HS, Alcoa TN

6'3"

230

4.60

Whitmore, Brian

DE

Oscar F. Smith HS, Chesapeake VA

6'3"

240

4.65

OSU is just one of many

Name

POS

School/State

Height

Weight

Forty

Adams, Josh

RB

Cary HS, Cary NC

5'11"

170

4.50

Allen, Asher

DB

Tucker HS, Tucker GA

5'10"

185

4.40

Ball, Marcus

LB

Stephenson HS, Stone Mountain GA

6'2"

200

4.50

Betsey, Harry

QB

East Gadsden HS, Havana FL

6'1"

195

4.60

Bradford, Allen

LB

Colton HS, Colton CA

6'0"

225

4.55

Brown, Carlos

RB

Heard County HS, Franklin GA

6'0"

195

4.55

Gloster, Drew

TE

Good Counsel HS, Wheaton MD

6'4"

225

4.60

Gottschalk, Sean

DE

Deep Run HS, Glen Allen VA

6'5"

250

4.85

James, Javarris

RB

Immokalee HS, Immokalee FL

6'1"

205

4.40

Hebron, Akeem

LB

Good Counsel HS, Wheaton MD

6'2"

195

4.45

Hornsby, Jamar

WR

Sandalwood HS, Jacksonville FL

6'4"

195

4.45

Johnson, Mark

LB

Dorsey HS, Los Angeles CA

6'3"

230

4.55

Johnson, Stafon

RB

Dorsey HS, Los Angeles CA

6'0"

190

4.40

Spiller, CJ

RB

Union County HS, Lake Butler FL

5'11"

185

4.40

Rolle, Myron

DB

The Hun HS, Princeton NJ

6'2

210

4.50

Richardson, Morrice

LB

Westlake HS, Atlanta GA

6'2"

230

4.55

Tripp, Kiante

OL

Westlake HS, Atlanta GA

6'5"

250

5.00

Walls, Darrin

DB

Woodland Hills HS, Pittsburgh PA

6'1"

175

4.40

Walton, JB

OL

Lackey HS, Indian Head MD

6'3"

270

5.10

Welsh, Stefan

WR

Woodside HS, Newport News VA

6'3"

180

4.60

Young, Sam

OL

St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Ft. Lauderdale FL

6'8"

280

4.90

 

OSU is rumored to have offered

Name

POS

School/State

Height

Weight

Forty

Bowman, Navorro

LB

Suitland HS, Suitland MD

6'0"

220

4.70

Brown, Steve

RB

East HS, Columbus IN

6'1"

200

4.55

Byham, Nate

TE

Franklin Area HS, Franklin PA

6'4"

225

4.65

Dekle, Alex

DT

Statesboro HS, Statesboro GA

6'2"

270

4.90

Dublin, Walter

DE

Sarasota HS, Sarasota FL

6'3"

235

4.60

Fields, Elijah

WR

Duquesne HS, Duquesne PA

6'2"

190

4.50

James, Chris

WR

Morgan Park HS, Chicago IL

6'0"

185

4.55

Jones, Rashad

DB

Booker T. Washington HS, Atlanta GA

6'2"

185

4.40

Matthews, Greg

WR

Edgewater HS, Orlando FL

6'4"

190

4.50

McDaniel, Damon

WR

Landstown HS, Virginia Beach VA

5'11"

195

4.50

Minor, Brandon

RB

Varina HS, Richmond VA

6'1"

210

4.50

Tebow, Tim

QB

Nease HS, St. Augustine FL

6'3"

220

4.60

Committed Somewhere

Name

POS

School/State

Committed School

Aldridge, James

RB

Merrillville HS, Merrillville IN

Notre Dame

Ballard, Jake

TE

Springboro HS, Springboro OH

Ohio State

Boren, Justin

OL

Pickerington North HS, Pickerington OH

Michigan

Chichester, Josh

WR

Lakota West HS, West Chester OH

Ohio State

Coleman, Kurt

DB

Northmont HS, Clayton OH

Ohio State

Dickerson, Dorin

WR

West Allegheny HS, Imperial PA

Pitt

Henton, Antonio

QB

Peach County HS, Fort Valley GA

Ohio State

Homan, Ross

LB

Coldwater HS, Coldwater OH

Ohio State

Logan-El, Antonio

OL

Forestville HS, Forestville MD

Maryland

Mixon, Cobrani

LB

Colerain HS, Cincinnati OH

Michigan??

Pinkston, Jason

DL

Baldwin SHS, Pittsburgh PA

Pitt

Wells, Chris

RB

Akron Garfield HS, Akron OH

Ohio State

Williams, Isiah

QB

Chicago Vocational HS, Chicago IL

Illinois

 

The Big Chart

Changes in the chart? Here they are:

Eliminations include Miles Schlichter, Sean Hakes, Nate Davis and Tim Tebow at the QB position and we added Antonio Henton to replace them all. Also eliminated: Lee Tilley, Jason Pinkston, and Nate Byham

Added to the overall list were AJ Wallace, Micah Johnson, Arvelle Nelson, Branden Warren, Walter Dublin, Brian Whitmore

New commitments since last month included Jake Ballard, Antonio Henton, Josh Chichester and Kurt Coleman.

We moved Ray Small from DB to WR, because that's where he worked out at the OSU camp.

PLAYER POSITION

NUMBER NEEDED

COMMITMENTS

NUMBER STILL NEEDED

PLAYERS I WANT

GRADES SO FAR (BASED ON NEED)

TAILBACK

2

Chris Wells

1

Stafon Johnson, CJ Spiller, LeSean McCoy

A-

FULLBACK

1

 

1

Chane Moline

 

QUARTERBACK

1

Antonio Henton

0

Arvelle Nelson, Mike Hartline, Demetrius Jones, Harry Betsey

A-

TIGHT END

2

Jake Ballard

1

Jeff Cumberland, Konrad Reuland, Drew Gloster,

B

WIDE RECEIVER

2

Josh Chichester

1

Jamar Hornsby, Wesley Lyons, David Ausberry, Ray Small

B

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

4

 

4

Aaron Brown, JB Walton, Connor Smith, Sam Young, Ryan Palmer, Bryant Browning, Bill Nagy

 

DEFENSIVE END

1

 

1

Robert Rose, Branden Warren, Walter Dublin, Brian Whitmore

 

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

2

 

2

Micah Johnson

 

LINEBACKER

3

Ross Homan, Freddie Lenix

2

Akeem Hebron, Marcus Ball, Thaddeus Gibson, Jeremiha Hunter

B

SAFETY

1

 

1

Myron Rolle, AJ Wallace

 

CORNERBACK

2

Kurt Coleman

1

Darrin Walls, Antwine Perez, Asher Allen

B

KICKER/PUNTER

0

 

0

   

TOTAL

21

6

15

 

Not quite yet…

LEGEND

Red Player: He has already committed

Gray Player: Gray shirt from 2005 that will be part of the 2006 class

Blue Player: I absolutely want this kid!

Green Player: Great potential

 

E-mail Mr. Bucknuts at mrbucknuts@yahoo.com

 


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