Bucknuts Recruiting Quick Read: Jan. 23

Another recruiting year is about to wrap up. With just a handful of prospects still on the Ohio State radar and most deciding this week, there won't be many more recruiting updates to be had on this year's class. Check out the who, what, where, and when in this week's recruiting quick read.

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 Uncommitted Prospects (w/OSU interest) Out-Of-State Remaining 
Based on Scout.com Rankings
1. Ray Small, WR*
2. Derrell Johnson, ATH 

Ray Small

1. Larry Grant *
2. Elijah Fields, WR *
3. Kylan Robinson, RB *
4. WR Damon McDaniel *
4. Colin McCarthy, LB *
5. Corey Peters *
6. Ashton Henderson, CB *
7. Wes Lyons, WR *

Larry Grant

Elijah Fields

* - 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 Jason Adjepong, Jake Ballard, Bryant Browning, Kurt Coleman, Ryan Hill, Dexter Larimore, Tyler Moeller, Robert Rose, Ray Small, Joe Thomas, Chris Wells
Dec.  9 Ross Homan, Grant Schwartz
Dec. 16 Andy Miller
Jan. 6 Walter Dublin, Mark Johnson, A.J. Jones, Greg Mathews, Kylan Robinson, Johnnie Troutman, Aram Olson
Jan. 13 Anthony Bowman, Aaron Gant, Thaddeus Gibson, Damon McDaniel, Connor Smith
Jan. 20 Larry Grant, Corey Peters (22-23)
Jan. 27 Elijah Fields (27th or 28th), Antonio Henton


Bucknuts Staff Commentary

Steve Helwagen:

Timing is everything, they say.

It seems that with nine days to go until national signing day, Ohio State and colleges all over the country are now at the mercy of a handful of kids who are waiting until the last moment to make their college decisions. In an effort to try and sort this out, let's look at when some of OSU's top recruits on the board figure to make their announcement:

Yesterday – WR Anthony Bowman (he re-affirmed his verbal to Iowa on Sunday), Johnnie Troutman (picked Penn State over OSU)

Today – LB Thaddeus Gibson (just picked the Buckeyes)

Any Day Now – WR Ray Small, DT Corey Peters (wrapping up OSU visit today, may decide soon after)

Wednesday – RB Kylan Robinson (smart money says Miami)

Thursday – WR Wes Lyons (West Virginia or Ohio State, it seems)

Feb. 1 (national signing day) – WR Greg Mathews (still seems to be Michigan, but you never know), LB Larry Grant (will announce following Oregon visit), DB Elijah Fields (could wait until after OSU visit next weekend), WR Damon McDaniel (the rumor mill just keeps churning)

Who Knows? – LB Colin McCarthy (we haven't been able to get a hold of him, so it's impossible to know when he may make a decision)

Gibson gives OSU 19 verbals in a class that could number 22. Small and Grant seem safe bets for spots as well. That leaves Peters, Lyons, Fields and McDaniel, legitimately, for that last spot.


Gary Housteau:

Who really knows how the last week and half of the recruiting season will play out? At this point, it's time to appreciate what Ohio State already has and only look at the potential remaining prospects as a bonus. While the recruitniks out there fret over who is left to join the fold in the remaining days, it's time to take an inventory of the players already on board and appreciate who's already there.

With Chris Wells and Ross Homan at the very top of the 2006 recruiting class, how could this group be looked at in a negative light no matter who else came after? Wells just might be the best high school running back that the great state of Ohio has ever produced and he's likely to earn significant minutes in the offensive backfield as a freshman while I have a really strong feeling that Ross Homan is destined for A.J. Hawk-type greatness at Ohio State. It just might take Homan a full year to surface where Hawk was almost an instant hit. And the fact that both of these guys, Wells and Homan, will participate in spring ball is something really exciting to anticipate.

Sure it might not have been the greatest haul ever for the Buckeyes in Ohio this year in terms of quantity, but the quality of the ones that Ohio State did reel in is certainly something to feel good about.

Connor Smith and Robert Rose played in the Army All-American game after stellar careers at Colerain and Glenville, respectively. Smith played on a state championship team and only lost two games in two years, to the same team, while Rose only lost three games in the same amount of time. Both players have many strong points to their game but they certainly both have areas they need to work on.

Kurt Coleman was another summer commit like Smith that has all been forgotten about already. Coleman was a solid two-way performer for Northmont High School and he should add much-needed depth to the defensive backfield as early as next season. Jake Ballard will come to Ohio State as a tight end although some people think his future may be as an offensive tackle. That will certainly play itself out as Ballard will continue to physically develop during his days at Ohio State, but for now a sure-handed tight end with great size and versatility is certainly something Ohio State will value a great deal.

Tyler Moeller made Ohio State fans wait a little bit longer than his teammate at Colerain before he pulled the trigger but, with his nose for the football and an ever-running motor, he's the kind of football player that was worth waiting for. Outside linebacker is the position that he dominated at for the past two years and he'll get his first chance to play in the same spot at Ohio State. Thaddeus Gibson adds even greater depth to the linebacking positions after making his commitment official on Monday morning.

And Bryant Browning was one of the two other players from Glenville that Ohio State fans have been expecting a commitment from for the longest time and he finally delivered that commitment just a week ago. He helped sure up the offensive line situation with his versatility to play anywhere along the line after starting the past three years at right tackle for Glenville.

After Ray Small makes his official commitment known some time this week, that should just about do it for the remaining players in Ohio that Jim Tressel and his staff seem to still be tracking.

Obviously a lot of the talented out-of-state kids will complement this group nicely but it's always good to land a quality crew from the home state every year. This year will certainly prove to be no exception.

So no matter how the rest of the class fills out between now and the actual day the seniors sign a letter of intent on Feb. 1, Ohio State fans already have a whole lot to be excited about. Whoever else they land from this point on should be considered merely a bonus.


Duane Long:

With national signing day just around the corner, we are able to get a bird's eye view of the 2006 recruiting class.

We will see what a deep class it was. Look at the schools that took Ohio talent this year. Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Syracuse, Auburn and Notre Dame all came to Ohio in search of talent.

That also shows where Ohio State is in stature. There has been enough national success to ask the question, "Is Ohio State a national recruiting power?"

The fact that the staff could pass on players that drew some of the nation's heavyweights to Ohio answers that question. The other thing that will be remembered, possibly the most important thing, is the impact of more stringent academic standards. This class is surely top 10 and is at least in the discussion for top five. Thaddeus Gibson and Raymond Small are top 100 players. Derrell Johnson is a great player. What does the class look like if all three of them make it?

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


Antonio Henton

Verbals: 1
Needs: 1

  • Antonio Henton, Peach County, Ga. *
    Verbal to OSU -- 6/28/05. Will likely be lone QB in this recruiting class. Helped lead his team to a Class AAA state championship this weekend. Was 8-of-18 for 223 yards passing with one TD and rushed six times for 38 yards with two TDs in the title game. 
  • Commentary: With Henton's commitment, Ohio State is likely done with recruiting the quarterback position this year. 

Running Back

Chris Wells

Verbals: 2
Needs: 0

  • Chris Wells, Akron, Oh.  Garfield*
    Verbal to OSU -- 2//6/05. Visit - 12/2. 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. Was recently named Scout.com's top overall prospect in America. Won MVP of this year's U.S. Army All-American Bowl, rushing for 67 yards and 3 touchdowns on 13 carries.  
  • Aram Olson, Irmo, S.C. * (Fullback)
    Visit - 1/6. Came up to OSU for the Illinois game on an unofficial visit. Took official visit to Ohio State on 1/6. Committed to Ohio State on 1/18. Gives OSU a true fullback to go with Wells. 


  • Kylan Robinson, Tampa, Fla. Chamberlain *
    Visit - 1/6. Enjoyed his trip to Ohio State, but most feel the Miami Hurricanes will eventually win out. Has risen to become one of the nation's best RB prospects since his senior year video has surfaced. Finished up his official visits with a trip to Miami this past weekend. Will announce his decision on Wednesday.  
  • Commentary: Unless Robinson picks Ohio State, the Buckeyes are done at running back this year. 

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. 
  • Anthony Bowman, Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary *
    Visit - 1/13. After a surprise visit to Ohio State, Bowman decided to re-affirm his commitment to Iowa on Sunday night.  
  • Elijah Fields, Duquesne, Pa. *
    Visit - 1/27. our-star prospect who has been consistently listing Ohio State. Also showing interest in Penn State and West Virginia. Fields said OSU will likely get a visit. Academics are an issue. Moved to the wide receiver list after stating that OSU likes him as a WR. Had an unbelievable senior season, scoring 30 TDs and averaging 49 yards per score. Had 704 yards rushing and caught 42 passes for 1,167 yards. With most players, there's usually at least a vibe that people get concerning where the player might be going to college, but Fields does not seem to be one of these players as no one seems to have an idea where he might be leaning. Has visited Pitt, Penn State, and West Virginia, but PSU has reportedly not yet offered. Is scheduled to take a visit to Ohio State this coming weekend after his SAT test on the 27th. Plans to announce shortly after. 
  • 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. There is strong mutual interest. Academics are all that is standing the way of a Buckeye offer. Johnson seems determined to be a Buckeye. 
  • 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. Ohio State has risen on Lyons's list in recent weeks. Could be between the Buckeyes and West Virginia. Brother Devon's move from WR to S may have helped. Will announce Thursday. Final choices seem to be Ohio State, West Virginia and Boston College.  
  • Greg Mathews, Orlando, Fla. Edgewater * 
    Visit - 1/6. Despite visiting OSU and family influence in favor of Ohio State, Mathews has not publicly stated any intentions of switching from his commitment to Michigan. Matthews took a visit to Florida State this past weekend and seemed to enjoy the trip, but told GoBlueWolverine.com of his intentions to stay with Michigan.
  • Damon McDaniel, Virginia Beach, Va. Lordstown *
    Visit - 1/13. Made a surprise official visit to Ohio State despite being committed to Florida. After his visit, sources indicated that it looked likely McDaniel would probably not wind up at Ohio State. No one seems certain, however. 
  • Ray Small, Cleveland Glenville *
    Visit - 12/2. The latest in a long line of electric Glenville football players. Can play WR or CB in college.  Small is expected to announce soon, and most expect the choice to be Ohio State. 


  • Commentary: Ohio State should be getting commitments from at least one of these players. Small is expected to be one of them, while the Buckeyes seem to still be in play the most with Fields and Lyons. 

Tight End

Andy Miller

Verbals: 2
Needs: 0

  • Jake Ballard, Springboro, Oh. *
    Verbal to OSU --6/2/05. Visit - 12/2. 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. 
  • Andy Miller, Washington, Pa. Trinity*
    Visit - 12/16. Committed to Ohio State on 1/13. Kept his intentions well-hidden, so it was a surprise to some he selected against Pitt. Will be coming in as a tight end.  
  • Commentary: Ohio State is likely done at the tight end position.  

Offensive Line

Connor Smith

Verbals: 2
Needs: 1

  • Bryant Browning, Cleveland, Oh. Glenville *
    Visit - 12/2. Verbal to OSU - 1/16/05. Announced for Ohio State over Tennessee, Michigan State, and Northwestern. 
  • 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. Recently played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. 

  • Commentary: Browning and Smith will probably be it for OSU at OL this year. 

Defensive End

Robert Rose

Verbals: 2
Needs: 0-1

  • Walter Dublin, Sarasota, Fla. *
    Visit - 1/6.  Committed to Ohio State on 1/9. Was originally planning to visit Clemson but liked his OSU trip enough to make his choice and cancel the Clemson visit. 
  • Robert Rose, Cleveland, Oh. Glenville *
    Verbal to OSU - 1/7/06. 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.  Selected Ohio State at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and played very well in the game. 


  • 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.  Mathews seems focused on other schools. Ohio State does not seem to be in the picture at this point.  
  • Commentary: The Buckeyes are likely done at defensive end this year.  

Defensive Tackle

Dexter Larimore

Verbals: 1
Needs: 1-2

  • Dexter Larimore, Merrillville, Ind. *
    Verbal to OSU - 12/18. 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 has officially visited both. Rated as the nation's top heavyweight wrestler. Committed to Ohio State in December. Selected the Buckeyes over Michigan.  


  • Corey Peters, Louisville, Ky. Central *
    Visit - 1/22. Was listed as being an official visitor but not much detail has surfaced about his trip. 
  • Johnnie Troutman, Browns Mills, N.J. Pemberton Township *
    Visit - 1/6. Talented DE /DT ended season early due to an ACL injury. Ohio State is among many who have offered. Took an official visit to Penn State on 12/2 and had a good visit. Enjoyed his trip to Ohio State and listed the Buckeyes and Penn State as co-leaders after his visit. Committed to Penn State on 1/22. 
  • Commentary: In most likelihood, Larimore will be the lone DT.    


Mark Johnson

Verbals: 3
Needs: 1

  • Thaddeus Gibson, Euclid, Oh. *
    Verbal to OSU - 1/23/06. Visit - 1/15. Top remaining uncommitted recruit in Ohio. One of the best defensive prospects in the Midwest. Tennessee, Michigan, and Penn State were among his schools of interest. Academic situation could be a concern. 
  • Ross Homan, Coldwater, Oh. *
    Verbal to OSU -- 2//7/05. Visit - 12/9. Solid commitment to Ohio State. Wrapped up his outstanding high school career with a state championship ring as Coldwater defeated Youngstown Mooney this past weekend. Was named Ohio High/ONN state player of the year. Will be enrolling at OSU in January.  
  • Mark Johnson, Los Angeles, Calif.  Dorsey*
    Verbal to OSU - 1/8/06. Visit - 1/6. Committed to Ohio State over LSU, Cal, others. Big-time prospect.  
  • Tyler Moeller, Cincinnati (Oh.) Colerain *
    Verbal to OSU -- 9/14/05. Visit - 12/2. 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.
  • Larry Grant, CC of San Francisco * 
    Visit - 1/20. Originally committed to Florida, Grant did not get accepted as a result of not having taken a math course required by the SEC. Grant now is looking elsewhere, and he is zeroing in on Ohio State. Enjoyed his recent visit to Ohio State enough to say the Buckeyes were the clear leader, but will visit Oregon on 1/27 before making his signing day announcement. 
  • A.J. Jones, Tampa, Fla. Middleton *
    Visit - 1/6. Committed to Florida.  
  • 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. Not much word has come out recently regarding McCarthy, but the vibe seems to be pro-Miami. 


  • Commentary: The Buckeyes have a dynamite linebacker class. Grant would be icing on the cake.  


Chimdi Chekwa

Verbals: 2
Needs: 0-1

  • Chimdi Chekwa, Clermont, Fla. East Ridge * - Verbal to OSU - 12/21. Visit - 12/14. Not many had heard of Chekwa before December as he was looking at other schools besides OSU, but the Buckeyes came on quickly and strongly, getting a verbal commitment a short time after his visit. 
  • Kurt Coleman, Clayton, Oh. Northmont
    Verbal to OSU -- 6/26/05. Visit - 12/2. Outstanding athlete; listed over 40 offers. Plays WR and CB exceptionally well. 
  • Ashton Henderson, Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln
    OSU and Henderson have seemingly been on again, off again in recent weeks. Would most likely take a visit if OSU wanted to bring him in, but things appear uncertain right now. He will remain one to keep an eye on. Ole Miss and UCLA are likely at the top of his list.  


  • Commentary: It's likely that Ohio State is done at cornerback this year. 


Grant Schwartz

Verbals: 1
Needs: 1

  • Aaron Gant, Orchard Lake, Mich. St. Mary's *
    Visit - 1/13. Committed -- 1/24. Under-the-radar prospect who has emerged with several quality offers, including reported offers from Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.  Had a strong visit to Ohio State with his teammate Anthony Bowman.
    Committed to Ohio State shortly after his visit. 
  • Grant Schwartz, Dana Point, Calif.  Dana Hills *
    Verbal to OSU - 10/27. 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.  


  • Commentary: After landing Grant, the Buckeyes are likely done at safety.  
Underclassmen Watch

By Steve Helwagen

Brian Gamble

It was confirmed this past week that Ohio State has offered Cincinnati LaSalle junior defensive end Ben Martin. Duane Long of Ohio High magazine rates Martin as the No. 1 junior in Ohio. (Long's first look at the state's top 100 prospects for 2007 will be published in the May edition of Ohio High.)

Bill Greene of the Bucknuts staff recently had updates on a pair of top juniors from Massillon Washington in RB-DB Brian Gamble and LB-DB Andrew Dailey. These two players helped lead the Tigers to the Division I state championship game this past year and figure to be among the state's top players in the 2007 class.

With Ohio State getting a verbal commitment from DB Aaron Gant from Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary, the Buckeyes are well aware of junior QB Justin Siller. Siller (6-3, 178) is already considered one of Michigan's top junior prospects. Michigan State and Notre Dame are among those fighting for his services. He seems to be a Michael Vick play-a-like, according to one observer. Other schools already casting an eye are Louisville, Michigan, Miami (Fla.), Northwestern, Ohio State and Virginia Tech.

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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