Bucknuts Recruiting Quick Read: Nov. 28

December is always a big recruiting month, so get up-to-date on the list of Buckeye recruits with our quick read feature. This week, we have an update on WR Wes Lyons from Gary Housteau as well as the usual rundown of recruits and commentary. Check out this free feature for more.

Welcome to the Bucknuts OSU football recruiting Quick Read. This is a one-stop reference where you can come to get the latest summary on Ohio State football recruiting and where the Buckeyes stand with various in- and out-of-state prospects. In this feature, we will list the top ten remaining uncommitted prospects from both inside and outside of the state of Ohio, as well as a summary of each position and the latest on the players who currently stand as recruiting possibilities for the Buckeyes. Also included will be staff commentary from Steve Helwagen, Gary Housteau and Duane Long as they give their current thoughts on the state of OSU football recruiting. 

This feature will be updated every two weeks and more as needed as the recruiting season starts to heat up. Read on for the latest summaries and developments concerning OSU football recruiting.   


The following is a compilation of the opinions of the Bucknuts staff and does not represent the Ohio State football program.

Ohio Top 10 Uncommitted Prospects (w/OSU interest) Out-Of-State Top 10 
Based on Scout.com Rankings
1. Thaddeus Gibson, LB *
2. Ray Small, WR*
3. Jeff Cumberland, WR
4. Robert Rose, DL*
5. Bryant Browning, OL *
6. Mark Jackson, OL, Col. Brookhaven
7. Jahmal Brown, RB
8. Derrell Johnson, ATH 
9. Bill Nagy, OL
10. Robert Williams, CB


Jeff Cumberland

1. Ryan Hill, CB *
2. David Ausberry, WR*
3. A.J. Wallace, CB*
4. Mark Johnson, LB*
5. Elijah Fields, S
6. Navorro Bowman, LB*
7. Bryant Miller, DE*
8. Brian Whitmore, DE*
9. Colin McCarthy, LB * 
10. Mister Alexander, S


Elijah Fields


Derrell Johnson


David Ausberry

* - denotes a reported OSU offer

Ohio State Official Visit Weekends

Sept. 9-11 (Texas): Aaron Brown, A.J. Wallace, Steven Wesley
Sept. 23-25 (Iowa): David Ausberry, Colin McCarthy
Oct. 14 (MSU): Navorro Bowman, Wes Lyons, McKenzie Matthews
Dec. 2 Ryan Hill, Dexter Larimore
Dec. 9 Bryant Browning, Dominique Douglas, Jamil Paris, Robert Rose, Ray Small

 

Bucknuts Staff Commentary

Steve Helwagen:

It was not too long ago that Ohio State used the first two weekends of December as huge weekends when it comes to official visits.

However, as we scour the lists of players set to make visits over the next two weekends, they seem kind of light. At my last look, OSU had visits set this upcoming weekend (Dec. 2) with Indiana DL Dexter Larimore and Florida DB Ryan Hill. Most seem to believe that Larimore could verbal after the visit.

The list for Dec. 9 is a little deeper with Florida DL Jamil Paris and Michigan WR Dominique Douglas each scheduled, although neither seems to have an OSU offer to date. Also due in that weekend are the Cleveland Glenville trio of DE Robert Rose (expected to announce his college choice at the Jan. 7 U.S. Army All-American Bowl), WR Ray Small and OL Bryant Browning. The Buckeyes seem to be counting on that Glenville trio joining the fold at some point.

The important thing is that the OSU staff can now hit the road and devote some serious time to recruiting and setting up visits. Perhaps they will be looking to make more hay in January. It just seems there are a number of viable recruits that they are waiting to schedule visits with.

 

Gary Housteau:

Even with Santonio Holmes' imminent departure to the NFL, there is still a lot of depth in the ranks at the wide receiver position for Ohio State.

Already the Buckeyes have received a verbal commitment from Josh Chichester but some believe he will eventually end up at tight end.

Ray Small is another player is likely to become a Buckeye and he can eventually fill the role of his former Glenville teammate, Ted Ginn Jr.

Another wide receiver prospect who continues to dangle out there is Woodland Hills Wolverine, Wes Lyons Jr. Lyons still gets his weekly call from either Joe Daniels, Darrell Hazell or Jim Tressel so the interest in him is still ongoing.

"They're still in it. They're still calling me," Lyons said. "I really like the people there and my brother's there and I would already have a lot of friends if I went there so that would be cool."

Lyons unofficially attended the "Backyard Brawl" between Pittsburgh and West Virginia at WVU last week, with his brother Devon and OSU's Dionte Johnson, as well as a few of his high school teammates. He continues to express an interest in West Virginia.

Boston College, along with West Virginia, was one of the first schools to offer and he really likes their offense. They could be the sleeper pick for Lyons, who has always claimed an interest in early playing time. BC could be the perfect fit for him.

Lyons will decide between Miami (Fla.), Louisville and Minnesota for his other two official visits and then make his decision afterwards.

Wide receiver is not a position of great need at OSU but there's always room for a talented player like Wesley Lyons.

 

Duane Long:

Once again this week the numbers are standing out to me. But I am looking at it from a different angle. What is the problem with having a small number of recruits? The biggest problem with small numbers is the need to land a high percentage of that small pool.

I was lamenting the small pool when it hit me how the Buckeyes stand with that small pool. There are three great linebacker recruits, a great need position, that the Buckeyes likely lead for. National top 10 linebacker Mark Johnson has Ohio State and LSU at the top of his list. Some say the Buckeyes lead. I believe outstanding Florida linebacker Colin McCarthy has the Buckeyes at the top of his list.

Euclid's Thaddeus Gibson seems to have found his way back into the recruiting mix. I do not know the details but there is no question he has resurfaced. The Buckeyes lead for him. This is just one position I am talking about.

There is a huge advantage to coaches recruiting small numbers. They really get to know these kids and the kids get to know the coaches. With the new academic accountability about to become a major issue, OSU could be validated in its desire to keep the pool small. Getting to know these kids better could be crucial. Landing a high percentage of players is the key.


Click here for the latest recruiting features from Bucknuts and Scout.com network

Position-by-Position Rundown
(Commitments and Possibilities, listed in alphabetical order)

Red text indicates updated info since last quick read

Quarterback


Antonio Henton

Verbals: 1
Needs: 0

  • Antonio Henton, Peach County, Ga. *
    Verbal to OSU -- 6/28/05. Will likely be lone QB in this recruiting class. Has helped his team run off 11 straight wins after starting 0-3. Will be playing this weekend for the state championship. Has 1,934 yards and 27 touchdowns so far. 
  • Arvell Nelson, Cleveland Glenville
    Ohio's top QB prospect. Has stated OSU would be at the top if they offered. 
  • Commentary: With Henton's commitment, Ohio State is likely done with recruiting the quarterback position this year. 

Running Back


Chris Wells

Verbals: 1
Needs: 1

  • Chris Wells, Akron, Oh.  Garfield*
    Verbal to OSU -- 2//6/05. Scout.com No. 1 RB prospect.  Had a dynamite final game on 10/28, logging (unofficially) 370 yards on 37 carries to finish the season with over 2,000 yards. Garfield missed the playoffs so Wells's high school career is done. Visited USC on 11/4 and seemed to love the trip, but stated his desire to play at Ohio State. Originally was scheduled to visit Michigan on 11/18 but reports are conflicting as to whether or not he'll take the trip. 
  • Jahmal Brown, Cleveland Benedictine
    May be Ohio's top remaining uncommitted running back but OSU interest does not seem high. Schools of interest include West Virginia, Toledo, Bowling Green, Illinois, and Pitt. 
  • Travis McBride, McKeesport, Pa.
    Running back has had consistent interest in Ohio State throughout the recruiting process. Latest update from PackPride.com has Ohio State in his top five along with Iowa, NC State, West Virginia, and Penn State. Has been talking about a visit to OSU. 
  • Aram Olsen, Irmo, S.C.
    Came up to OSU for the Illinois game on an unofficial visit. Could be one to watch if the Buckeyes decide to take a fullback.  
  • Norman Whitley, Rockingham, N.C. Richmond Senior
    Three-star RB/DB showing consistent interest in OSU. 
  • Commentary: Some felt the Buckeyes might try to land two running backs this season, but Wells will likely be the only one.

Wide Receiver


Josh Chichester

Verbals: 1
Needs: 2

  • Josh Chichester, West Chester, Oh. *
    Verbal to OSU -- 7/1/05.  Big receiver is having a solid season. 
  • David Ausberry, Leemore, Calif. *
    OSU Visit -- 9/23/05 (Iowa game). Top 100 receiver. Has also visited Nebraska; Huskers and Buckeyes are in his top four along with USC and Georgia.  Most recent scout.com update states Ausberry will most likely decide from USC, Georgia and Ohio State.  
  • Jeff Cumberland, Columbus, Oh. Brookhaven
    Big, athletic receiver/ATH reportedly needs a boost academically for OSU. Has shown heavy interest in Miami, Minnesota and others.  Updated academic info makes it look like Cumberland might be a long shot for Ohio State. 
  • (NEW) Dominique Douglas, Detroit (Mich.) Murray Wright
    OSU Visit -- 12/9. New name on the scene. Aa season of whopping stats (86 catches, 25 TDs) has caught the attention of several area colleges. Douglas was in attendance at Michigan for OSU-UM. 
  • Derrell Johnson, Youngstown, Oh. Mooney
    Excellent athlete who is listed here as a receiver but could play several positions. Prime in-state candidate for a Buckeye offer.  Offers from Penn State, Iowa, North Carolina, others. Buckeyes remain solidly interested but academic issues could play a role. 
  • Wes Lyons, Pittsburgh, Pa. Woodland Hills*
    Visit - 10/14. Brother of OSU WR Devon Lyons. Also considering Miami (Fla.), West Virginia, Louisville, and Boston College. Visited Ohio State for MSU game and had positive things to say about the trip. See Gary Housteau's comments at the top of the Quick Read for an update. 
  • Damon McDaniel, Virginia Beach, Va. Landstown *
    Did not list Ohio State in most recent Scout.com update. Is focused on Virginia Tech, Florida, LSU, and Miami.  
  • Greg Mathews, Orlando, Fla. Edgewater
    Committed to Michigan after official visit on 11/18. 
  • Tamarcus Porter, Pahokee, Fla.
    WR/DB prospect to keep an eye on. Considering Ohio State and says the Buckeyes may be in his top five. Will probably visit. Also likes BC, Iowa, Maryland, Pitt, and Florida. Has officially visited BC and Pitt already. 
  • Devin Parrish, Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep
    Has consistently listed Ohio State near the top of his list. Conflicting reports as to whether or not the Buckeyes have offered. Cousin of NFL player and ex-Miami Hurricane Roscoe Parrish. 

 

  • Commentary: A solid group of wide receivers showing strong interest in Ohio State. The Buckeyes will likely try to add at least one more receiver.  

Tight End


Jake Ballard

Verbals: 1
Needs: 1

  • Jake Ballard, Springboro, Oh. *
    Verbal to OSU --6/2/05. Scout.com No. 5 TE prospect. Picked OSU over Michigan, several others. Team is having excellent season, one of the top teams in Division II. 
  • Kyle Sheehan, Grayson, Ga. *
    Recent report from Chris Pool states this Purdue commit may take one last look at Ohio State. Hopes to enroll early; visit to OSU may come before then. Can play DE or  OL but listed here as a TE because Sheehan told Pool OSU is recruiting him as a TE. 
  • Commentary: Based on Pool report, Ohio State seems ready to take Sheehan if he wants to come. Both Ballard and Sheehan are versatile players that OSU has talked about bringing in at TE but could play multiple positions.  

Offensive Line


Connor Smith

Verbals: 1
Needs: 2

  • Connor Smith, Cincinnati, Oh. Colerain *
    Verbal to OSU -- 7/31/05. Scout.com No. 5 OL prospect. Five-star prospect, rated by Scout.com as tops in the Midwest. 
  • Bryant Browning, Cleveland, Oh. Glenville *
    Was recently offered by Ohio State, making the Buckeyes the favorites to land his signature. Also interested in Indiana, Northwestern, others.  
  • Bill Nagy, Hudson, Oh.
    Two-way lineman is a candidate for a Buckeye offer in the coming weeks.  
  • Joe Thomas, OL, Lakewood, Oh. St. Edward*
    High school teammate of OSU lineman Alex Boone. Committed to Pittsburgh in the summer but was offered by Ohio State after his commitment. Has checked out an OSU football game but told Bucknuts reporter Gary Housteau  that he was 100 percent committed to Pittsburgh. 
  • Commentary: Buckeyes would like to take more than one OL this year, but lack of interest from out-of-state prospects does not help. Two of top three in-state prospects, Aaron Brown and Justin Boren, have committed elsewhere. 

Defensive End


Steven Wesley

Verbals: 0
Needs: 1-2

  • Jason Adjepong, Cartaret, N.J. *
    Recently began speaking with reporters again after shutting down interviews during the season. Most recent scout.com update has Ohio State on a list of eight schools under consideration. Has taken one official so far (Michigan). 
  • Walter Dublin, Sarasota, Fla. *
    Ohio State has been solidly in his top five for some time. Will likely visit. Most recent update from RutgersInsider.com has OSU in the top five with Ole Miss, Florida, Minnesota, and Iowa.  
  • McKenzie Mathews, Syracuse, N.Y. Christian Brothers Academy *
    Lists Ohio State, Michigan, others. Visited Ohio State 10/14-10/16 and enjoyed the trip. Has said he will wait until signing day to decide. 
  • Bryant Miller, Miami (Fla.) Central *
    Lists Buckeyes as one of his favorites along with Miami, Florida State, Ole Miss, and Auburn. Interested in visiting OSU but may be tough to get out of the south. 
  • Jamil Paris, Sebastian, Fla.  Sebastian River
    Visit - 12/9. Tall (6-7, 225) DE prospect did not play much football as a junior due to hurricanes and injuries. Has solid interest in OSU but Florida might be tough to beat.  
  • Robert Rose, Cleveland, Oh. Glenville *
    One of Ohio's top line prospects and a U.S. Army All-American selection. Has officially visited USC and will visit Ohio State. Other schools of interest include LSU, Florida and North Carolina. 
  • Steven Wesley, Bartow, Fla. *
    Visit - 9/9/05 (Texas).  Still mentioned Ohio State in most recent update along with Miami (Fla.), Florida, Ole Miss, and Alabama. Still has yet to visit UF and Miami. Liked visit to OSU but could be tough to get out of the south. 
  • Brian Whitmore, Chesapeake, Va.  Oscar K. Smith
    Scout.com No. 22 DE. Has shown solid interest in Ohio State, but the Buckeyes could be facing an uphill battle behind Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech. 
  • Commentary: Several talented ends are interested in the Buckeyes. Many expect Rose to eventually pick Ohio State, and the Buckeyes should be able to get at least one more out of the above group.

Defensive Tackle


Dexter Larimore

Verbals: 0
Needs: 1-2

  • Dexter Larimore, Merrillville, Ind. *
    Visit 12/2. Offered by Ohio State in September and a Michigan offer came quickly after. Has been to games at OSU and UM and will likely officially visit both. Rated as the nation's top heavyweight wrestler. Larimore will be visiting this coming weekend and will likely decide between OSU and Michigan shortly after.  
  • Alex Dekle, Statesboro, Ga. *
    Lists offer from OSU and consistently mentions the Buckeyes among his favorites. Also likes Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State.
  • Johnnie Troutman, Browns Mills, N.J. Pemberton Township *
    Talented DE /DT who is out for the season due to an ACL injury. Ohio State is among many who have offered. Will likely visit Ohio State. Most recent update from FightOnState.com has OSU in the top five with Penn State, Virginia, Michigan State, and Maryland and said he will announce on signing day.  
  • Commentary: Buckeyes could use some defensive tackles in this class but the list is short, especially with a very thin year for DTs in Ohio. 

Linebacker


Tyler Moeller

Verbals: 2
Needs: 1

  • Ross Homan, Coldwater, Oh. *
    Verbal to OSU -- 2//7/05. Solid commitment to Ohio State. Is having a strong senior season and is a Mr. Football candidate. 
  • Tyler Moeller, Cincinnati (Oh.) Colerain *
    Verbal to OSU -- 9/14/05. Having a fine year as Colerain is in position to defend its Division I state title. Had several big plays in nationally televised win over Tyler (Texas) Lee.
     
  • Navorro Bowman, Forestville (Md.) Suitland *
     Visited 10/14. Has also visited Penn State and is very high on the Nittany Lions. 
  • Thaddeus Gibson, Euclid, Oh. *
    Top remaining uncommitted recruit in Ohio. One of the best defensive prospects in the Midwest. Ohio State, Tennessee, Michigan, and Penn State are among his schools of interest. Academic situation could be a concern. Will likely officially visit Ohio State. Has visited Michigan and is slated to visit Tennessee 12/2. 
  • A.J. Jones, Tampa, Fla. Middleton * Four-star linebacker lists offer from Ohio State and has shown interest. Visited Florida on 11/25 and now says the Gators lead. Update by GatorCountry quotes Jones as saying USC, LSU and Alabama are the other teams he is interested in.  
  • Mark Johnson, Los Angeles, Calif.  Dorsey*
    West Coast standout who has consistently shown interest in OSU.  Has already visited LSU and has one set up to Cal. Florida and Ohio State are also remaining on his list of schools he'd like to visit. 
  • Colin McCarthy, Clearwater, Fla. Central Catholic *
    Visit - 9/24. Outstanding athlete who visited for Iowa weekend. Has roots in Pa. Plans to take all visits before deciding. Recently told GoJackets.com that his choice is likely between Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Miami (Fla.), and Nebraska. 
  • Eric Schwartz, Clyde, Oh.
    Linebacker who is high on Ohio State; Buckeyes are remaining in contact. Seems to be on a short list of Ohio players still under consideration by OSU. 
    Recently told Chris Pool that OSU is still calling, along with Northwestern and several MAC schools.

 

  • Commentary: With a need for linebacker, Ohio State has several possibilities to go with their current commitments, but they will be in a fight for each. 

Cornerback


Kurt Coleman

Verbals: 1
Needs: 1 or more

  • Kurt Coleman, Clayton, Oh. Northmont
    Verbal to OSU -- 6/26/05. Outstanding athlete; listed over 40 offers. Plays WR and CB exceptionally well. 
  • Ryan Hill, Tallahassee, Fla. Rickards *
    Most recent update states Hill will visit on 12/2 and has Ohio State along with Miami (Fla.), Alabama and USC as his schools of consideration, but Miami remains a big frontrunner.  
  • Taylor Price, Hilliard, Oh. Darby
    Super-fast prospect who emerged out of nowhere by running blistering 40 times during camps. OSU is said to be keeping an eye on him this season. 
  • Ray Small, Cleveland Glenville *
    The latest in a long line of electric Glenville football players. Can play WR or CB in college. Plans to announce in January. Could be between OSU and USC. 
  • A.J. Wallace, Pomfret, Md. McDonough *
    Visit - 9/9. Recently told CanesTime.com that he was focused on Ohio State, Florida State, Nebraska, USC, Penn State, and Miami. USC is a new addition to his list as the Trojans are starting to show interest.  
  • Robert Williams, Cincinnati, Oh. Withrow
    An underrated prospect who should see his offer list increase with qualifying academic scores. Has always liked OSU, but recent information suggests that the Buckeyes may be looking elsewhere. 
  • Commentary: With Coleman already on board and most of the above prospects very interested, there's a very strong chance that the Buckeyes could come away with the talent they are looking for at CB this year. 

Safety


Grant Schwartz

Verbals: 1
Needs: 1 or more

  • Grant Schwartz, Dana Point, Calif.  Dana Hills *
    Fine athlete and the son of ex-Buckeye Brian Schwartz. Committed to Ohio State on 10/27, not long after receiving an offer. Chose the Buckeyes over Oregon and others.  
  • Mister Alexander, Houston, Tex. Eisenhower
    Big  (6-3, 188) safety prospect, rated No. 39 at his position by Scout.com. Most recent Scout.com update listed Ohio State in his top four with Florida State, Iowa, 
  • Elijah Fields, Duquesne, Pa.
    Four-star prospect who has been consistently listing Ohio State. Also showing interest in Penn State and West Virginia. Scout.com's Bob Lichtenfels reports Ohio State is among the list of schools still interested. Fields said OSU will likely get a visit. Academics are an issue. In a recent chat, Lichtenfels listed Fields as a good possibility to commit to Pittsburgh. 
  • Nick Prochak, Spartanburg, S.C.
    Under-the-radar QB/DB prospect who is just starting to get his name out more. Took unofficial to Ohio State for the Illinois game. Grew up in Ohio and was an Ohio State fan. Was recently offered by Clemson, his biggest offer to date. Some of the bigger programs are taking notice. 
  • Bryan Thomas, Zephyrhills, Fla. *
    Moved on our list from WR to DB as he says Ohio State is recruiting him as a DB. Latest update has Ohio State in the top three along with Florida and Tennessee, and he still plans on visiting. No leader listed. Committed to Florida after 11/25 visit. 
  • Commentary: What Donte Whitner decides to do regarding the NFL may play a role in how many safeties Ohio State would like to take. 
Underclassmen Watch

By Steve Helwagen

I hope you had a chance to watch the Massillon Washington-Lakewood St. Edward state semifinal game on Ohio News Network on Saturday.

Massillon pulled out a 21-17 win and is now in position to play Cincinnati St. Xavier for its first state playoff title.

But in the semifinal, there were a number of key underclassmen on both sides of the field. They included Massillon RB-DB Brian Gamble (14 carries, 62 yards; five catches, 98 yards; 2 key TDs; six tackles), Massillon's Andrew Dailey (seven tackles, one sack, one forced fumble), St. Ed's RB-DB Nate Oliver (72 yards rushing, one TD, three tackles on defense) and St. Ed's WR Kyle Hubbard (six catches, 60 yards with a TD).

These are guys that schools are going to come from all over to get a look at.

As we noted, you can check out the Massillon juniors in this Saturday's Division I state championship game against St. X at 7 p.m. on ONN.



Full List Of Ohio Recruits

Big Ten Recruiting Classes
Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Michigan | Michigan State | Minnesota | Northwestern | Ohio State | Penn State | Purdue | Wisconsin


Check back soon for the next Bucknuts recruiting Quick Read!

 


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