The recruiting push is now up to full bore. The Buckeyes have picked up some recent huge verbals, cutting the number of available scholarships. Hard decisions have to be made now. I see the Buckeyes with 20 in this class, and as it stands right now, there are 13 verbals with a monster weekend scheduled for January 10th. I can see a couple of verbals coming out of this weekend.
I am going to do this 2 ways. First, I am going to pick my 7 dream picks -- the players I would love to see in scarlet and gray. Then I am going to come back down to earth and pick the players I think the Buckeyes end up with. All the players on these two lists will be players I know to be interested enough to visit.
1 – Michael Bush – His performance in the Kentucky state championship game sold me on Bush as a quarterback. He showed a Big 10 caliber arm and surprising accuracy. Even with that performance at QB, I could not help but notice how well he runs the ball. He told me Ohio State had been recruiting him as an RB, and I can see why. As fine of a QB prospect as he is, he is an even better RB prospect. I saw him play WR as a sophomore and he was the best player on the field. His versatility makes him a must-have for this class.
2 – Wesley Jefferson – Had the biggest hit of the night in the national All-Star game. He could make Buckeye fans forget about Burgess. Superstar athlete and player.
3 – Shawn Crable – He has just been on a tear since late in the regular season. He looked great during practices at the National All-Star game. He can run, and again the word "unblockable" has come up. Especially now that Burgess chose Michigan, Crable becomes a much higher priority recruit.
4 – Turk McBride – Great edge rusher that is so important in the game these days. I can't get out of my head how impressed he was with Ohio State a full 10 days to 2 weeks after his visit. Most times, it wears off after that length of time. I think the Buckeyes could land a big-time player here that could step in immediately and help. With the chances high that both Smith and Scott leave, replacing them is a high priority.
5 – Aaron Sears, OL, 6-6, 280, Ala. I include his stat line because the name has not come up in a while. This is the last big-time OL out there that the Buckeyes have a shot at. He looked great in All-Star game practices… better than Jorrie Adams by one observer who saw every practice.
6 – Moe Dampeer – Looked like the best DT in America with his performance in the National All-Star game. I am told he struck up a friendship with Crable. He runs great, showed instincts and hustle. He's thick, but not fat, and is physically ready to play now.
7 – Stanley McClover – Another great pass rusher. He is not ideal height but has the long arms that you want in a defensive end and has a great body.
1 – Michael Bush
2 – Shawn Crable
3 – Sian Cotton – Cotton had a fine senior year and was another player from the Ohio contingent that looked great in practices down in Texas. He looked really good in the game. He was especially adept at holding the point of attack. The fact that he could end up being a better OL is in the back of my mind.
4 – Turk McBride or Stanley McClover. I wouldn't be surprised if the Buckeyes get one of them at least.
5 – Ira Guilford – Big-hitting safety prospect that has favored the Buckeyes for some time. If safety were more of a need position, I would have him on my dream team. He is that good.
6 – Jesse Holley – Since he announced he would visit, I have been hearing a lot about what a steal he would be. He's tall with a good forty time and a great leaper.
7 – Jamesley Jean – Super athlete but very raw. Ran a 4.53 at 6-6 225.
I know fans are going to ask me where are the offensive linemen. There just aren't any looking at the Buckeyes who are worth offering. Sears is clearly the best. I am trying to confirm a 1/17 visit. I like James Lee a lot. We are hearing about Kyle Thornton and Sam Baker, but I can't get excited about those players. Baker would be okay, but he is a guard, and this is a guard-heavy team. That is why we are seeing a less-than-dominating line, especially against the pass -- we have