We know one player left Columbus with an offer, and like Thursday, it was a 2009 recruit. Storm Klein was the first player from the junior class to receive a Buckeye offer and on Friday John Simon, of Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, became the second. Both kids put up spectacular numbers. For Simon it was a 4.4 pro agility. For a lineman that is a special time. Simon plays both sides of the ball for Mooney and it's not clear where Ohio State is recruiting him, but I really like him as a defensive player. Simon clearly passes the look test and I was told by more than one coach that he was a monster at Ohio State and nobody was surprised to hear he was offered.
Speaking of Mooney, as of early Friday evening Brandon Beachum had not received an offer and it appears this just might not happen at Ohio State. Beachum is one of my favorite kids in this class and he WILL be a success wherever he plays college football. He has offers from all across the land, but I see Beachum playing in the Big-10. Brandon has attended so many camps and combines that I've lost track. He dances every dance. He is so competitive and he loves testing himself against other great players. I have as much respect for this kid as any in this class and this class is loaded with high character people.
Many fans were eagerly awaiting the results of the Isaiah Pead, Johnny Adams and D. J. Woods duel for a Buckeye offer. Most observers feel these three are competing for the same offer, and I believe that as well. Woods had a blow-up day today and while he was not offered, he remains my choice to eventually receive a Buckeye offer. I'm hearing he is still very much in Ohio State's plans and I think the final chapter has not been written on" Man on Fire" and his quest for an Ohio State offer. A coach told me that he would have paid money to watch "Man on Fire" go head to head with Devier Posey. By his account the match was a draw but both players acquitted themselves as future stars. Possibly future teammates?
D. J. Woods' father, Derrick, couldn't have been happier with his son's play.
"D. J. did extremely well and I couldn't be prouder of my son," the elder Woods said. "The Ohio State camp was unbelievable with the amount of talent that was there. This was the first time D. J. worked out strictly as a defensive back. Seeing him go against Posey was something to see. Posey is a great player but I think D. J. did really well, but of course, I'm his dad and I'm not real objective. We've been to a lot of camps but this one was special. It was great being here. I'd let you talk with D. J. but he's in the back seat and he's out like a light."
Sleep well "Man on Fire." You earned your rest. Most of the coaches I spoke with thought Woods was easily the best defensive back there and proved he is "OSU worthy."
One of the top players in the class is Jake Stoneburner, from Dublin Coffman. Stoneburner has committed to Ohio State and while he couldn't work out because of an injury, he was there to do some recruiting for Ohio State and see some of his fellow Buckeye commits. Listen to his words to see what Jim Tressel is building at Ohio State.
"I wasn't here to work out because of an injury suffered in track," Stoneburner began. "It was just great to be here with guys like Mike Brewster, J. B. Shugarts and DeVoe Torrence. We are becoming like family. These are the guys I'm going to be rooming with and these are friends for life. The more time we spend together, the closer we are all becoming. Andrew Sweat is meeting us tonight too. This is the first time I've really been able to spend time with DeVoe Torrence. He's a great guy. He fits in with the rest of us. I think when other recruits are around us they can see we have something going on here that's pretty special. I spent a lot of time with Kevin Koger today and I think he is feeling pretty good about what we're trying to do here as a team.'
"Being around Terrelle Pryor was really cool. I've already called him on the way home and we will be in touch a lot. It was good for him to come and meet all the guys. Now he knows who will be protecting him and who he'll be throwing the ball to. We had a great time together and he liked being around Brewster and Shugarts and the rest of us. I threw the ball around with him and it was neat just throwing to each other. To see him in person and see just how special he is was cool. He is an unbelievable talent. I would love to have him here with us at Ohio State. He knows what we all can accomplish if he comes to Ohio State."
If you think Jake Stoneburner is a special person, you are correct. He's also a tremendous player and will have a great career at Ohio State. As one of my D-I college coaching friends describes Stoney: He's that big, tall blankety-blank, that nobody can cover. I concur, even though I had to make it a G-rated comment.
Columbus Linden-McKinley linebacker Doug Rippy was outstanding today and had his name mentioned by more than one coach. Rippy is always impressive because he has a high skill level and he plays so hard. Devier Posey told people that Rippy is one of his favorite players in the state. Is a Buckeye offer forthcoming for Rippy? Not sure, but someone is going to be very happy to have him some day.
I've only spoken with OSU-commit Nathan Williams on one occasion but he seems like a great person. I know he's a great physical specimen. Williams put on a show today and spent a lot of time with defensive coordinator Jim Heacock. He gets overlooked in this class by the bigger names, but don't forget about this kid. Nathan Williams has a chance to be a star at Ohio State. Not just a starter. A star.
I cannot quote coaches directly but it was apparent that this group of young men made a fine impression today. Zack Stoudt continues to be a quarterback that is rising up the charts. He picked up 2 offers this week, Pitt and Eastern Michigan. The past few Ohio quarterback classes were dramatically over-rated by certain recruiting experts. This particular class is not getting the credit it deserves and in the end will be remembered as a fine class, producing more D-I commits than the previous few. Stoudt might end up being the best of the bunch. I like Ada's Zac Dysert as the top QB recruit in this class but Stoudt is right on his heels. I need to see more of Fairview's Ryan Radcliff. The film I've seen is impressive and he looked good in Cleveland at the Elite Skills camp. I'm hoping to be able to see Radcliff in person, but he has offers already and is someone I'm hearing great things about. Are any of these guys Ohio State material? Not this year, I don't believe. I think its Terrelle Pryor or nobody. I see the Buckeyes chasing Pryor all the way until February if need be. I've got a warm and fuzzy feeling that Pryor selects the Buckeyes and solidifies the QB spot for years to come.
Do not underestimate the effect Brewster, Stoneburner, Shugarts, Mike Adams and the rest of the Ohio State recruits are having on this recruiting effort. We may never see this type of activity again for a long, long time. The combination of great talent and the ability to sell Ohio State has been fascinating to watch. They aren't done yet either. It will be interesting to see the final list of Buckeye commits in February. This class has a chance to exceed the great class of Clarett, Zwick, Hawk and the rest, even with low numbers. I'll be looking forward to hearing how much influence the Brew Crew had in securing a remarkable class of recruits. I suspect it will be staggering how much credit these kids receive for putting together a top rated class for Ohio State. As I said earlier, they aren't done yet.
In the end I see Terrelle Pryor realizing the possibility of winning national championships with this group. Championships. Plural. I'm very hopeful Kevin Koger sees how well he fits in at Ohio State and pulls the trigger on his Buckeye offer. I feel good about the Buckeyes landing Garrett Goebel, the much-needed defensive tackle out of Illinois. I have no reason to think Cordale Scott goes anywhere but Ohio State. And finally, I'm going out on the limb and predicting that the "Man on Fire" gets his offer and becomes a Buckeye. I see D. J. Woods being the only cornerback the Bucks take this year. I've been high on Woods since early spring and I think he proved today that he's not about to let the flame burn out. As always, you can TAKE IT TO THE BANK.