Both Jeannette, Pa., quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Parkersburg, W.Va. offensive lineman Josh Jenkins did not become part of the Buckeye flock on signing day. Jenkins issued a verbal commitment to West Virginia while Pryor is still considering the Buckeyes and three other schools.
At his yearly press conference, OSU head coach Jim Tressel introduced two members of his class of 2008 that were already enrolled in school: offensive linemen Michael Brewster and J.B. Shugarts. Brewster is the self-appointed unofficial recruiter for the class, having forged relationships with nearly every incoming Buckeye.
Those relationships have included both Pryor and Jenkins. Although Pryor opted to wait to decide, Brewster said the two will continue their friendship during the coming weeks.
"I'm good friends with Terrelle," Brewster said. "I really don't cross that line in recruiting with him. We really don't talk about it. We talk a little, maybe once a month about it. He's just a good friend of mine."
Both Brewster and Shugarts made a trip to se Pryor play a recent basketball game, and Shugarts said he came away even more impressed by the future quarterback's athletic skills.
"Going to Terrelle's game was a lot of fun," he said. "It was really crowded. It was a really small gym. Terrelle's a phenomenal basketball player, so it was fun to see him go out there and dunk on some kids."
Shugarts and Brewster are rooming together, but they also have two other non-football roommates. One player that had been discussed as potential future roommate was Jenkins, but that is a bridge that has now been burned.
The five-star offensive lineman was reportedly down to WVU and OSU as his final three schools but said Florida State had passed the Buckeyes and finished second on his list.
During his press conference, Jenkins said he did not want to be part of the "Brew Crew" – the nickname given to OSU's class of 2008 – and instead wanted to be his own player.
His comments did not sit well with Brewster.
"It's probably more of a letdown that someone tells you stuff that you think you have a good shot and then they kind of cut you down by saying you were third in the running, not even second," Brewster said. "I guess it doesn't matter what number we were because we weren't first, but you just want guys that want to be Buckeyes. You don't want guys that want to act like it and then come here and be a cancer to the team.
"Good luck to him, but I plan on winning without him."
Pryor Affecting Henton? After an up-and-down year that saw him endure a suspension from the team before being reinstated and eventually moving his way up to No. 2 on the depth chart. Antonio Henton's role with the team appeared uncertain heading into his sophomore season.
With a potential commitment looming from Pryor, rumors began to circulate that Henton was looking into transferring out of the program. But according to quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels, those rumors were just that.
"No, I don't believe it would," he said when asked if Pryor committing would have an effect on Henton.
The Young Wide Receivers Last season, OSU had to replace two first-round NFL draft picks in Anthony Gonzalez and Ted Ginn Jr. as well as departed senior Roy Hall. This year, the Buckeyes were not due to graduate any seniors, although wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell confirmed that juniors Albert Dukes and Devon Lyons will graduate this spring and not return to the team.
That leaves a young core of wide receivers who all stand to make significant strides from last season.
"I really look forward to helping those guys take another step in their performance," he said. "I felt they took a huge step last year and I think we can get a whole lot better. I think the bottom half of the group – Dane Sanzenbacher, Taurian Washington and Ray Small and Devon Torrence – we can bring that half of the group up and we've got a chance to be pretty good."
Of the aforementioned four players, only Small is not a sophomore. Leading receivers Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline will be a senior and a junior, respectively, and they will welcome three members of the class of 2008 into their fold.
Of the group, though, Hazell said this offseason is a big one for Small, a junior who showed flashes of being a big-time player during his sophomore season.
"It has to be," he said. "He has to make some tremendous strides in a lot of areas. I think he needs to be more consistent in everything that he does. I think that's probably the key for him is just making sure that you're doing the same thing over and over and over again the correct way."
DeVier Posey, Jake Stoneburner and Lamaar Thomas will all be joining that young receiver corps. Stoneburner, whose size has led some to speculate that he will be moved to tight end in college, will apparently remain as a wideout.
At least, as long as Hazell has anything to say about it.
"The one place we won't put him at is tight end," he said with a smile. "We will not play him at tight end."