Bucknuts Recruiting Quick Read

We have returned with the Bucknuts Recruiting Quick Read, a free one-stop feature that lists OSU's recruiting targets and summarizes their status with each. We will be updating this feature throughout the season up to signing day. Check out our first edition, with commentary from Steve Helwagen, Gary Housteau and Duane Long.

We are back with a second year of the Bucknuts recruiting quick read. This is a free, one-stop feature 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. Ben Martin, DE*
2. Antonio Jeremiah, DT
3. C.J. Peake, DB
4. Jermale Hines, DB
5. Kyle Hubbard, WR/TE
6. Solomon Thomas, DE*
7. Morgan Williams, RB
8. Charlie Hatcher, DE
9. Brian Gamble, RB
10. Clay Belton, QB 

Ben Martin

1. Anthony Davis, OL*
2. Eric Berry, CB*
3. Ronald Johnson, CB*
4. John Clay, RB*
5. Martez Wilson, DE*
6. Kristofer O'Dowd, C*
7. Donovan Warren, CB*
8. Rob Gronkowski, TE*
9. Robert Hughes, RB*
10. Josh Brent, DT*

Anthony Davis

Martez Wilson

* - denotes a reported OSU offer

Ohio State Official Visit Weekends

Sept. 22 (Penn St.): ATH Greg Little, DE Derrick Morgan, DB James Scott, DL Devon Still
Nov. 17 (Mich.): DT Joseph Barksdale, WR Leonard Hankerson, OL Kris O'Dowd, LB Brian Rolle, ATH Demarcus Van Dyke, CB Donovan Warren, QB Latravis Washington, DB Major Wright
Dec. 8: DT Josh Brent, RB Robert Hughes, DE Martez Wilson
Bucknuts Staff Commentary

Steve Helwagen:

In my Buckeye Grove column this past week, I noted how OSU has the capability to take roughly 20 signees in its 2007 class. But with numbers for the 2008 class so low – right now, the Buckeyes have just nine scholarship juniors – I expect OSU to cap this class around 17 or 18 and bank the remaining spots for next year.

With nine verbals already in the fold, that means that OSU is roughly at the halfway point in its push for 2008. That means they only have about nine more spots to fill.

By my unofficial count, OSU has offers pending to roughly 27 players – approximately three times as many as the Buckeyes need to fill the remaining spots in this class. Accordingly, I think Ohio State is perfectly positioned to close out this class. (And OSU's 9-0 record and No. 1 ranking certainly don't hurt, either.)

People ask me all the time how I would fill the class. To me, the biggest need remains at defensive tackle. Yes, OSU could move some guys like Lawrence Wilson or Doug Worthington in there to fill the void. But signing some guys like Joseph Barksdale and Josh Brent – who each have OSU at or near the top of their list – will certainly help. OSU could also go the junior college route to find somebody who could fit in right away at this key spot.

Obviously, Ben Martin at DE would have to be considered at or near the top of OSU's wish list this year.

Beyond those three spots, my mind is open to getting the best player available at a wide range of positions. They could nail down another WR, a TE (Rob Gronkowski, maybe?), maybe one more OL (Kris O'Dowd and/or Anthony Davis), one LB, one safety and one corner.

The Glenville duo of QB-LB Jermale Hines and WR Kyle Jefferson have been at nearly every game, missing that past week to take college entrance tests. I was reminded over the weekend how Ted Ginn Sr. is usually able to slide a guy or two in when needed. Neither have OSU offers yet, but their continued presence at OSU games makes you wonder whether one or both of these talented athletes makes the final cut.


Gary Housteau:

Although it's not exactly a position of dire need for the Ohio State Buckeyes' 2008 recruiting class, the state of Ohio has quite a few top-flight junior linebacker prospects around the state.

Just this past Saturday, Nathan Williams of Miami Trace, Justin Staples of Lakewood St. Edward, Nick Schneider of Cincinnati St. Xavier and Jamiihr Williams of Lima Senior were all in attendance for the Ohio State vs. Minnesota game.

When you add the other highly-regarded prospects to the mix like DeVoe Torrence of Canton South, Mike Spooner of St. Edward, Michael Zordich, Taylor Hill and Brandon Beachum of Cardinal Mooney and Fred Craig of St. Xavier, you can see what all the early fuss at the position is about.

I've seen every one of these guys but Williams perform in person and I've seen him in person work out in a combine setting previously and I think the overall quality of this group is exceptional.

I'm looking forward to learning more about some of the other top linebackers in the state as well. Hopefully I'll see a few more that I like in the playoffs this year


Duane Long:

What a bad year to be in a low scholarship cycle. It is going to be an interesting final push for the Buckeyes with recruiting.

The Michigan game visit list is an all-star lineup. It shows where the program is right now being able to go out of state and get players of that caliber in here.

I think the troubles at Miami (Fla.) and Florida State offer a unique opportunity. Both programs are looking at coaching changes. If the Buckeyes had more scholarships to offer, this could be a memorable year for OSU in Florida.

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

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


LaTravis Washington

Verbals: 0
Needed: 0-1

  • Latravis Washington, Bradenton, Fla. Bayshore *
    Visit - 11/17.  Has been showing interest in Ohio State for some time. Visit scheduled for OSU-Michigan weekend. Is also high on Nebraska.
  • Commentary: With three underclassman quarterbacks on the roster, it would not be a surprise to see Ohio State not include one in this class. Washington seems to be the only possibility at this time.

Running Back

Dan Herron

Verbals: 2
Needed: 0-1

  • Daniel "Boom" Herron, Warren (Oh.) Harding*
    Verbal to OSU -- 7/10. Was offered after a fine performance at Ohio State's Senior Advanced Camp. No. 24 rated running back by Scout.com.  Fifth commitment in recruiting class.
  • Brandon Saine, Piqua (Oh.) *
    Verbal to OSU - 5/3. Committed to Ohio State before the end of his junior year, surprising some by selecting the Buckeyes instead of Michigan. No. 13 rated player by Scout.com. Had 1483 yards on 182 carries and 25 touchdowns with 10 catches for 218 yards and three touchdowns through nine games. 


  • John Clay,  Racine (Wis.) Park*
    Camped at Ohio State and has shown consistent interest. Also showing interest in Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee, and Nebraska. U.S. Army All-American selection. Scout.com No. 5 running back.
  • Broderick Green, Little Rock (Ark.) Pulaski Academy *
    USC verbal has decided to take some official visits and has been moved to soft verbal status. Will visit Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, and USC.
  • Robert Hughes, Chicago (Ill.) Hubbard * Visit: Dec. 1. Scout.com No. 11 running back. U.S. Army All-American selection. No leader between Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, and Ohio State.
  • Commentary: The Buckeyes appear prepared to add a third back to this class if Hughes or Clay wanted to accept their offer. All three Ohio State running backs are underclassmen, but the time is now for OSU to restock. 

Wide Receiver

Taurian Washington

Verbals: 2
Needed: 1

  • Dane Sanzenbacher, Toledo (Oh.) Central Cathlolic *
    Verbal to OSU -- 7/9. Earned an OSU offer with a fine summer camp performance. Has led his team to a 9-1 regular season and has been needed to help some at quarterback as a senior.
  • Taurian Washington, Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary *
    Verbal to OSU -- 8/14.  Scout.com No. 34 receiver. Second player to commit to OSU from Orchard Lake St. Mary in two seasons.


  • Leonard Hankerson, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas *
    Visit - 11/17. Rated as Scout.com's No. 22 receiver. Offers from Miami (Fla.), Michigan, and NC State in addition to Ohio State, and has recently listed Miami and Ohio State as his two favorites. Scheduled to visit OSU for UM weekend.  
  • Kyle Jefferson, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
    Has not been offered by Ohio State but is a regular visitor at OSU home games. Offers include Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Indiana.
  • Aaron Johnson, Baton Rouge (La.) Southern University Lab School
    Was thought to be off the recruiting radar after a series of confusing summer reports that had conflicting info regarding his offer status, but he appeared at OSU's home game against Minnesota. Is talking about the possibility of setting up an official visit to OSU for UM weekend.
  • Greg Little, Durham (N.C.)  Hillside *
    Visit - 9/22. WR/LB took an official visit to OSU in September but recently stated he had narrowed his decision down to North Carolina and Notre Dame.
  • Deonte Thompson, Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central *
    Blue-chip receiver from the same high school as Albert Dukes and Santonio Holmes has been a well-known prospect for some time but has shown varying degrees of interest in Ohio State. Has already officially visited LSU and also has a visit set up to USC. Is considering OSU for one of his other visits. Has been slowed this season by a broken foot. Also considering Miami, Florida, and South Carolina.


  • Commentary: OSU seems to be in the best standing with Hankerson out of this group. The guess is they would accept commitments from Hankerson and/or Thompson, but if neither decided to accept, we would have to wait and see as to whether or not another receiver got a serious look.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski

Verbals: 0
Needed: 1

  • Rob Gronkowski, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Woodland Hills *
    Rated as a top 100 national prospect and the No. 3 tight end by Scout.com. Has narrowed his choices to Arizona, Clemson, Ohio State, and Syracuse. Has already taken an official to Syracuse. Has had OSU on his interest list for some time. Had six catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns through his first eight games.


  • Commentary: Ohio State could use a tight end in this class, and right now it seems like Gronkowski is the only possibility on the board.   

Offensive Line

Evan Blankenship

Verbals: 1
Needed: 1-2

  • Evan Blankenship, Monaca (Pa.) Center Area *
    Verbal to OSU - 7/18/06. Interior line prospect has carried an OSU offer for quite some time and finally picked the Buckeyes over Pittsburgh in the summertime. Rated as Scout.com's No. 57 guard.


  • Anthony Davis, Piscataway, N.J. *
    Blue-chip prospect. Five-star lineman rated as Scout.com No. 2 tackle and top 50 nationally. U.S. Army All-American selection. Offers from all over the country but considering Florida, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Rutgers, and USC. Same high school as current Buckeye Malcolm Jenkins.
  • Mark Jackson, Cincinnati (Oh.) Harmony Prep
    A name to keep an eye on. Was in attendance for recent OSU-Minnesota home game. Was a senior at Columbus Brookhaven last year but did not sign and is playing this year at Harmony. Will enroll in college in January. Is also interested in Illinois, Michigan, and Oklahoma. 
  • Kris O'Dowd, Tuscon (Az.) Salpointe Catholic *
    Visit -- 11/17. Has been on the recruiting scene since last winter. Rated as Scout.com's No. 1 center prospect and a five-star and top 50 overall prospect. Has visited Tennessee and will also visit USC and UCLA. Also considering Arizona and Miami (Fla.) with offers from all listed schools. Lists no leader.  

  • Commentary: The Buckeyes have already offered four junior offensive linemen. Jackson is apparently the only candidate from inside the state of Ohio to become a part of this class. Landing Davis or O'Dowd would be major coups but the Buckeyes seem to have at least a chance with each.

Defensive End

Solomon Thomas

Verbals: 0
Needed: 2

  • Antoine Carter, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard *
    Reported offer. Also offered by Auburn and Minnesota and is showing interest in Florida State, Miami and Notre Dame. Same high school as ex-Buckeyes Chris Gamble and Thomas Matthews.
  • Ben Martin, Cincinnati (Oh.) La Salle *
    Rated by Ohio High Magazine as Ohio's top overall prospect. Five-star prospect rated as the No. 7 DE in America by Scout.com. Top 50 overall prospect nationally. Martin's recruitment has been closely scrutinized for months by Ohio State fans. He has been primarily focused on Ohio State and Notre Dame for some time. Has not declared a leader and is also interested in Florida and Tennessee.
  • Derrick Morgan, Coatesville (Pa.) Area *
    Visit -- 9/23. No. 13 DE prospect at Scout.com. Unlike most recruits, Morgan is almost done with his official visits. He has taken officials to Ohio State, Penn State, Miami (Fla.), and Georgia Tech, with his last one being to Boston College this weekend. No word on a leader.
  • Eric Thomas, Cleveland Glenville
    Frequent visitor at Ohio State games. Is receiving interest from several solid programs.
  • Solomon Thomas, West Chester (Oh.) Lakota West *
    No. 36 DE prospect. Said early in the season that Ohio State was a big leader and that a decision could come soon, but no news as of late. Expected by many to eventually select OSU. 
  • Martez Wilson, Chicago (Ill.) Simeon Vocational *
    Visit -- 12/8. Extremely gifted prospect. Five-stars, No. 2 DE nationally. U.S. Army All-American selection. Will visit Illinois, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and USC. Plays both receiver and DE.


  • Commentary: Expect the Buckeyes to land at least a couple defensive ends this year. Many feel as if both Thomas and Martin will eventually join the fold.  

Defensive Tackle

Joseph Barksdale

Verbals: 0
Needed: 2

  • Joseph Barksdale, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech*
    Visit -- 11/17. A much-talked about recruit who has been interested in Ohio State for some time. Has visited Notre Dame and also has visits set up to LSU and USC. Also considering Florida State, Miami and Tennessee.
  • Josh Brent, Bloomington (Ill.) Central Catholic *
    Visit -- 12/8. The Buckeyes currently seem to hold a solid lead for Brent. Visited Michigan unofficially recently and came away saying OSU still leads. Has visit to UM set up for 12/1. Will not wait until signing day to announce. Also considering Wisconsin and Arizona State. Is interested in both track and football.
  • Cameron Heyward, Atlanta (Ga.) Whitefield Academy *
    Massive DT has offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee. Is showing interest in all three but has not given much insight as to a leader.
  • Antonio Jeremiah, Hilliard (Oh.) Darby
    No. 13 DT prospect. Academic scores may be all that is holding back OSU from offering. Very talented prospect is very interested in OSU and also has offers from several colleges, including Boston College, Syracuse, and West Virginia.
  • Devon Still, Wilmington (Del.) Howard *
    Visit -- 9/22. No. 11 DT, four star prospect. Came away from OSU visit saying the Buckeyes were the leader. Buckeyes are current favorites to land Still although he plans on visiting Michigan, Miami and Penn State.
  • Commentary: DT is a position of need for Ohio State this year. They have three candidates -- Barksdale, Brent and Still -- heavily interested, with Jeremiah also very interested if an offer comes. It appears as if OSU has a good chance of filling their need at DT with some talented possibilities.


Brandon Lindsey

Verbals: 0
Needs: 0-1

  • Lebron Daniel, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
    Glenville product has been frequent visitor at OSU games.
  • Jermale Hines, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
    Rated highly among Ohio players and has been a regular visitor at OSU games but has not received an offer. Also very interested in Michigan, Purdue and West Virginia (all reported offers).
  • Pat Lazear, Bethesda (Md.) Walt Whitman
    Previously listed OSU as a leader with an offer, but status is in doubt due to pending criminal charges.
  • Brandon Lindsey, Alquippa (Pa.) *
    Lists offer from OSU but recently said he will be waiting until after the season to focus on recruiting. Also holds offers from Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and UConn. Scout.com No. 10 SLB.
  • Brian Rolle, Immokalee (Fla.) *
    Visit -- 11/17. Versatile player could play DB, LB or RB. Has already visited Wisconsin. Also holds offers from Clemson, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, and Nebraska.
  • Commentary: With several fine young linebackers on the team, this position is not a pressing need but the Buckeyes may still take one.


Donnie Evege

Verbals: 2
Needs: 0-1

  • Donnie Evege, Huber Heights (Oh.) Wayne *
    Verbal -- 6/13. Speedy corner prospect rated as a top 20 player in Ohio.  Scout.com No. 50 cornerback.
  • Devon Torrence, Canton (Oh.) South *
    Verbal -- 9/1. Offered in the summertime and accepted shortly after the start of the season. Outstanding athlete; listed here at corner but ranked by Scout.com as the No. 7 safety nationally. Also an exceptional baseball player.  
  • Eric Berry, Fairburn (Ga.) Creekside *
    Nation's top CB prospect. U.S. Army All-American selection. Has already visited Auburn. Also plans on visiting Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee, and USC before making a decision. 
  • Ronald Johnson, Muskegon (Mich.) *
    Five-star prospect, rated No. 2 corner nationally. Likely the top prospect in Michigan. Brother committed to Michigan State, but Ronald plans on visiting Michigan, Florida, Texas, USC, and Ohio State.
  • James Scott, Daytona Beach (Fla.) Seabreeze*
    Visit -- 9/22. Enjoyed trip to Ohio State and is still considering the Buckeyes. Also has scheduled visits to Alabama, Florida and LSU.
  • Donovan Warren, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly *
    Visit -- 11/17. Nation's No. 4 CB. Interest in and offers from USC, UCLA, Cal, Arizona, Oregon, Michigan, and Ohio State. Plans on taking unofficial visits to USC and UCLA with officials to the rest.
  • Jamire Williams, Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast *
    Reported OSU offer. Plans on visiting Ohio State. Also interested in South Carolina, NC State and South Florida.
  • Demarcus Van Dyke, Miami (Fla.) Pace *
    Visit -- 11/17. Commitment to Miami has decided to consider opening things up a bit as he has scheduled visits to Florida and Ohio State. Also plans on visiting Miami but said he could change his mind if convinced while on a visit.
  • Commentary: Evege and Torrence are already in the fold and an extremely impressive list of cornerback prospects are looking at Ohio State, but the Buckeyes may face an uphill battle for many of them.


Nate Oliver

Verbals: 2
Needs: 0-1

  • Eugene Clifford, Cincinnati (Oh.) Colerain *
    Verbal -- 9/21. Elite safety prospect. Five-star player and top 50 overall prospect by Scout.com. Chose Ohio State over Michigan and several others. Third Colerain player to select OSU in two years (Tyler Moeller, Connor Smith). 
  • Nate Oliver, Lakewood (Oh.) St. Edward *
    Verbal to OSU - 2/1. Committed to Ohio State on signing day 2006, making him the first commitment to this class. Rated as the No. 6 safety nationally by Scout.com. Stock fell somewhat during camps but has risen again due to strong performance.


  • Michael McNeil, Mobile (Ala.) Davidson *
    No. 9 rated safety prospect. Offers and interest from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, and OSU. Has said he will definitely visit OSU.
  • Major Wright, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas *
    Visit -- 11/17. No. 13 safety prospect. U.S. Army All-American selection. Final five schools are Florida, Georgia, Miami, Ohio State, and USC. Will visit with teammate Leonard Hankerson.


  • Commentary: The Buckeyes have two outstanding safety commitments in Clifford and Oliver, and Torrence could play safety as well. McNeil and Wright are the caliber of player that OSU might find room for regardless, but other than that the Buckeyes may be done at safety.  


Underclassmen Watch

By Steve Helwagen

It has been a different scene at Ohio State games this year. With so few spots remaining in the 2007 class, OSU has welcomed a ton of juniors to games this fall.

Obviously, this includes guys they have offered like Dublin Coffman OL Mike Adams (a gigantic prospect who blocks out the sun, practically) and out-of-state linemen Kyle Long and Michael Brewster. All are expected to attend the OSU-Michigan game on Nov. 18.

Other key juniors on OSU's radar appear to be Cleveland Glenville DT Shawntel Rowell (that position will still be a need next year, too), Miami Trace LB Nathan Williams, Cincinnati Elder TE Kyle Rudolph (already offered), Troy OL Jake Current, Clayton Northmont OL Zebrie Sanders, Canton South LB DeVoe Torrence and others.

Newark Licking Valley FB-LB Storm Klein has also been a fixture at OSU games this fall.

It will be interesting to take inventory at the OSU-Michigan game to see which underclassmen appear. With demand high for that game, that will be a telltale sign to see which players the Buckeyes are high on.

Full List Of Ohio Recruits


Check back soon for the next Bucknuts recruiting Quick Read!


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