The 2009 recruiting class is off to a great start for Ohio State. They already have seven commitments and are poised to award 25 scholarships. Many Ohio players are talented enough to receive Buckeye offers, and I'm taking a look at ten prospects who could end up with Buckeye offers. I've seen nearly every top prospect at a camp, a combine, a practice, a game or on film. When I give odds on a Buckeye offer, I'm doing so without knowledge of anyone's academic situation. I'm going strictly on talent level.
Jeff Walker-Coventry. Jeff is a 6-foot-4, 195-pound, wide receiver. He is physically imposing and ran a 4.58 forty-yard dash at the Cleveland Combine. Jeff is drawing comparisons to current Buckeye Brian Robiskie. Walker has the ability to go over defensive backs and catch the football. Walker plays against suspect competition, but proved his athleticism at the Cleveland Combine. He shows good ball skills and has the ability to get open. He needs to be more consistent, but he is a player the Buckeyes have to be impressed with. I see Walker as a Top-30 player in the Ohio 2009 class. I place his odds on getting a Buckeye offer at 50%.
Cornelius Carradine-Cincinnati Taft. "Tank" Carradine is the fastest rising prospect in Ohio right now, and deservedly so. Scout.com's Dave Berk told me about Carradine a few weeks ago, and he was correct. Carradine is listed at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, and runs a 4.65 forty-yard dash. On film, he just explodes off the ball at defensive end. He reminds people of Will Smith at the same stage of his career. Carradine is the definition of a speed-rusher off the edge. He also has the strength to play the run. Carradine is a Top-10 player in the Ohio 2009 class. I place his odds at receiving a Buckeye offer at 90%.
D.J. Hunter-Middletown. Hunter is a highly-skilled defensive back with good size, 6-foot, and 190 pounds. He can play corner or safety. He has great footwork and supports the run. He is a top cover man, and fits the mold of the Buckeye-type cornerback. He has the same skill set as Buckeye Andre Amos, maybe higher. Hunter has great closing speed on the football. He is a Top-30 player in the Ohio 2009 class. I place his odds on getting a Buckeye offer at 75%.
Isaiah Bell-Youngstown Liberty. Bell is a combination linebacker-safety at Liberty. He also is a good receiver, but I feel his future is at weak-side linebacker at the next level. He is listed at 6-foot-2, and 205-pounds, and can EXPLODE to the football. He shows a great burst. When he hits you, it's over. He reminds me of current Buckeye Jermale Hines. Julius Ferrell and Fitzgerald Toussaint get more ink at Liberty, but Bell just might be the best prospect on his team. Bell is a Top-30 player in the Ohio 2009 class. I place his odds on getting a Buckeye offer at 50%.
Fitzgerald Toussaint-Youngstown Liberty. Another explosive player with the football in his hands. Listed at 5-foot-10, and 185-pounds. Has more wiggle than a dancer in a strip club. Has been timed at 10.59 electronically in the hundred meters. That is FLYING. Not sure if he has the ideal size for an Ohio State tailback, but he could be effective in a situational role. He would seem to be a player who would thrive in the role many Buckeye fans wish Mo Wells would fill. Getting Toussaint the ball in space is a premium. Toussaint is a Top-25 player in the Ohio 2009 class. I place his odds on getting a Buckeye offer at 50%.
Mike Edwards-Glenville. Edwards looks the part of a Buckeye defensive back. He is smooth and is listed at 6-foot, and 180-pounds. He reportedly is a 4.55 forty-yard dash man. Coach Ted Ginn is quite high on Edwards and I can see why. He has good footwork and has the hip turn necessary to play on the corner at Ohio State. Edwards has visited Ohio State unofficially. Edwards is a Top-40 player in the Ohio 2009 class. I place his odds on getting a Buckeye offer at 50%.
Patrick White-Pickerington Central. Another impressive two-way athlete. I can see him playing defensive back or wide receiver at the next level. Patrick is listed at 6-foot, and 180-pounds. He might have the best hands of any receiver in the state. He catches everything, some of them spectacularly. His father, Terry, played at Ohio State. Patrick is someone who impressed at the Ohio State camp last summer. He will probably have to shine there again to receive an offer. White has the skill set necessary to compete at Ohio State. White is a Top-25 player in the Ohio 2009 class. I place his odds at receiving a Buckeye offer at 50%.
Adam Bellamy-Aurora. Bellamy put on a show at the Cleveland Combine. He measured in at 6-foot-4, and weighed 275-pounds. He looked like he weighed around 250-pounds. He can move, as evidenced by his awesome junior film. I think Bellamy is on par with current Buckeyes Todd Denlinger and Dexter Larimore. Bellamy appears to fit the mold of what Ohio State calls "big speed." He has a chance to be an impact player at the next level. His frame can handle carrying 300-pounds, and he will be a heavily recruited player. He is the next best thing to Johnny Simon in the 2009 class. Bellamy is a Top-20 player in the Ohio 2009 class. I place his odds at receiving a Buckeye offer at 75%.
It is very early in the evaluation process of the 2009 prospects. It will be interesting to see how the recruiting journey twists and turns for the ten players mentioned above. We will continue to track the developments of the 2009 Ohio recruiting class.