Ohio State has 13 commitments on the books for 2010 and I believe they might be able to fit seven, possibly eight, more players into this class.
OFFENSE: I believe the Buckeyes would like to add three linemen, but only the RIGHT three, and one more running back. There are some great prospects still in the mix.
Seantrelle Henderson: No equal signs yet, but I'm hearing things have been trending upward for the Buckeyes in recent weeks. He reportedly had a great visit for the USC game, and his parents were extremely impressed. Distance might figure into the picture and Ohio State might get the nod over USC because of that factor. RATING: Very hopeful.
Matt James: This three-way battle between Ohio State, Cincinnati and Notre Dame might roll on for a while. James has given no indication he's anywhere near ready to make the call yet. Too tough to call a favorite in this race. RATING: Hopeful.
Brandon Linder: This one appears to be a done-deal for Miami, but Linder has consistently stated he plans on visiting Ohio State. People close to Linder feel he is a good fit, personality-wise, for Ohio State. The key is getting him on campus and letting him see what the Buckeyes have to offer, up-close and personal. RATING: Longshot.
Skyler Schofner: I think the Buckeyes want to add three linemen, and Schofner is clearly the fourth option. He has no offer from Ohio State, but is waiting on one right now. Not attending Ohio State's camp was a mistake. Should Ohio State not grab two of the above-listed linemen, there might be a chance, but I think his odds are falling fast. He accepts an offer on the spot, but I'm not optimistic one is coming his way. RATING: Doubtful.
Erick Howard: Was given a set of hurdles to clear to receive an Ohio State offer, and I'm hearing this did not occur. Will be an academic question mark right up to National Signing Day. I'm of the opinion that Ohio State will not wait that long to see if Howard can get it together. Do I think he's Buckeye material on the field? Absolutely. RATING: Longshot.
Carlos Hyde: The exact opposite situation of Howard's. Reportedly, Hyde is doing everything he needs to do to be admitted to Ohio State, after failing to do so last fall. This one looks to be all but a done deal for Ohio State: RATING: Buckeye.
DEFENSE: I think the Buckeyes need to add at least one defensive tackle, but will take two if it's the RIGHT two. Linebacker situation is deep, but you never turn away a Jordan Hicks. The defensive back situation is where it gets complicated, and the most exciting group to watch. They would probably try to find room for four, and I think they will get to that number.
Sharrif Floyd: Not looking to go overboard on Floyd, but I'm hearing this one looks really good for the Buckeyes. His official visit was a TEN, and why you can never discount Ohio State's chances with a prospect if a visit takes place. This would be my number two priority recruit, slightly behind Lamarcus "Six-Star" Joyner. RATING: Extremely hopeful.
Johnathon Hankins: Another player with academic hurdles to clear, and it seems he is succeeding in that area. Has had a good senior season on the field as well, and is drawing a lot of recruiting interest. My feeling is Ohio State has dangled a conditional offer, and once he's cleared academically, he will be a Buckeye. RATING: Buckeye [fingers crossed].
Deon Rogers: Georgia commit who remains a Bulldog. I would think there is lukewarm interest between both parties at this point in time. His visit to Ohio State was made to reaffirm his commitment to Georgia. RATING: No chance.
Jordan Hicks: Another three-team race. Texas, Florida and Ohio State are all fighting for the services of this great prospect. Hicks did not grow up as a Buckeye fan, and he says he has no problem going far away to school. I believe him. This one goes for a while and I think the Buckeyes are in the mix, but certainly not the favorite. RATING: Hopeful.
Lamarcus Joyner: Has had an amazing senior season at St. Thomas Aquinas. Has been the best player on the field, playing against the best competition in south Florida and beyond. Will be able to change games at the college level. Ohio State remains in great shape with Joyner. Not much has changed with his recruitment, and his decision might already be made. RATING: Very hopeful.
Christian Bryant: A true rarity in recruiting circles, in that he's a Glenville recruit that is actually UNDERRATED. He might be the best prospect in Ohio, and would be my choice for Mr. Football in Ohio. He will have a great career at Ohio State. RATING: Buckeye.
Latwan Anderson: Another player with academic hurdles to clear, and like Howard, reportedly things have not gone well in 2009. I believe Ohio State will view Anderson in a different light than Howard, and they will wait on Anderson for as long as it takes. If he makes the grade academically I believe he's a Buckeye. RATING: Buckeye [fingers crossed].
Josh Shaw: The ultimate game-player in the recruiting world for the 2010 class. I think he's headed to Urban Meyer and Florida, but this one will not shock anyone with his pick. He told people he was committing to the Buckeyes at the USC game, and when that didn't occur with a few days, you knew there was trouble. RATING: Not happening for Ohio State.
Cullen Christian: This kid appeared to be ALL Michigan when I saw him last spring at a national 7on7 tournament. His parents were decked out in Wolverine gear as well, and it appeared his commitment to Michigan was coming, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm hearing he's depth-chart worried about Ohio State, but let's see how things go if he visits for the Iowa game, as planned. RATING: Doubtful.
Verlon Reed: A new name to hit the radar, and while he fits more into the athlete category, I'm listing him with the defensive backs. Ohio State has increased their attention level recently, and they have invited him to attend the Iowa game, which he will do. I saw him play last week and there's no doubt in my mind he fits in athletically at Ohio State. Has several MAC offers as a quarterback. He told me Ohio State is recruiting him as an athlete, which makes sense to me. An extremely versatile athlete. RATING: Wait and see.
Things are starting to get interesting for this recruiting class, in direct contrast to last year, when it was basically over by late summer. Landing Floyd, Henderson and Joyner won't be easy, and it's not a slam-dunk, but things are trending the right way for Ohio State. This class has a chance to continue the recent tradition of landing top-5 classes, and things should start to fall into place with several visitors coming in early December.