Buckeye Bulletin: Ohio State Football Recruiting Update


College football is a never-ending cycle of gut-wrenching action. As the clock struck double zero in the national championship between Oregon and Ohio State, the clock for recruiting started. For most high-profile recruits, this is their time to shine, their moment to pitch themselves to the elite teams. These top-tier teams already have put together great classes, but these few remaining recruits are game-changers.

As National Signing Day (February 4) rolls around, the defending champion Buckeyes prepare to put the final touches on another top-10 recruiting class for 2015, and add some pieces for future classes as well (2016/17). The Buckeyes have their eyes on some high level, unsigned recruits. They also must focus on keeping their own recruits from flying the coop. Urban Meyer, known for being a terrific recruiter, has his work cut out for him in the coming week, but with another terrific class already in tow, much of the pressure has been alleviated. Still, Meyer has the opportunity to further improve the Buckeyes, be it keeping recruits from That Team Up North, or adding top-tier recruits. Ohio State football recruiting is in full swing.

Recruiting Updates

1/12/15- Class of 2016 5-star, #1 RB Kareem Walker (De Paul Catholic, NJ) gives commitment to the Buckeyes.

Scouting Report Via ESPN:

"“Walker is one of the more talented young backs in this 2016 class. His size and speed combination is at a premium level and there is also a lot of upside here to develop.”"

Walker will certainly be a key component of the Buckeyes in the near future. Ezekiel Elliott will not be around forever, and Walker is the ideal replacement. At 6’1”, 210 lbs he brings great speed and power, much like Elliott, and could be a big time play-maker in the backfield. He will have to compete with 2015 recruit Mike Weber and fellow 2016 RB George Hill, but expect him to get a big chunk of the offense in his 2nd year.

Not only is he valuable in terms of on the field talent, but off the field he is close friends with #2 overall recruit Rashan Gary, a defensive tackle. Whether or not Walker can reel in Gary for the Buckeyes remains to be seen, but he should play a key role in Ohio State’s recruiting pitch to the star DT.

Highlights via Hudl

1/12/15-Class of 2017 4-Star, #2 CB Shaun Wade (Trinity Christian, FL) commits, joining QB Danny Clark in the 2017 recruiting class.

1/25/15-Class of 2016 4-star, #3 TE Jake Hausmann (Archbishop Moeller, OH) commits, adding another weapon to the Ohio State passing attack.

1/25-Class of 2017 5-Star, #1 OT Josh Meyers (Miamisburg, OH) commits, bringing another very talented big man in the trenches for the Buckeyes

Signing Day Outlook

There are two big questions surrounding the Buckeyes for National Signing Day:

  1. Will Torrance Gibson stay committed, despite three veteran QBs (Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett, Braxton Miller) all staying, as of now, in Columbus?
  2. Can Urban Meyer steal another star recruit or maybe two, and complete another A+ class?

Both Gibson and Terry Beckner Jr. are big time recruits, however the loss of Gibson may not be as big as the gain of Beckner. Let’s address Gibson’s situation first.

Meyer has a habit of dipping into Florida (ex. Joey Bosa) and now with Torrance Gibson. If Gibson has half the impact that Bosa has had with the Buckeyes, it would be another great signing.

The question is will he be around for next year or the future?

Gibson recently visited Auburn and said it was a “game-changer”. Auburn has a similar situation with Jeremy Johnson taking over the helm of the offense, but Gibson has a better shot of starting earlier on. He also took a visit to LSU, which probably offers the best shot at a starting job. LSU struggled all year-long, much of which had to do with the lack of a consistent quarterback.

Gibson is an athlete whose best option may be to change positions. However, he does seem intent on playing out his college days at the quarterback position. The biggest story line of the offseason going forward for the Buckeyes is who will play QB next season. With three great options currently enrolled at Ohio State, Torrance Gibson could see himself sitting on the bench until his Junior, maybe even Senior, year. Torrance has been adamant that while he is okay with red-shirting his first year, and sitting out his red shirt freshman year, he wants to play and won’t play for a team that wont give him that opportunity. In that respect, it is hard to see Gibson staying with the Buckeyes. However, if he does decide to wait, Columbus would be a terrific learning experience with three veteran quarterbacks to learn from.

Verdict: Gibson flips his commitment to LSU

The next question is what Meyer will do in the coming week to add to the 2015 recruiting class. Meyer already has some terrific defensive recruits in tow (Jashon Cornell, Justin Hilliard), but he has the chance to add a few more prospects. Meyer values the defensive line, something that was evident its role in Ohio State’s championship run. With Michael Bennett departing, Meyer will no doubt look to bring in some depth for the DT position. Despite getting 3-star DaVon Hamilton to flip his commitment, there is still a big fish out there.

That fish’s name is Terry Beckner Jr. Beckner is coming out of East St. Louis, and being so close to Missouri, the Tigers hold a massive advantage. Mizzou is definitely the favorite to land him, but this wouldn’t be the first time the Buckeyes snatched a recruit from the jaws of the Tigers. Ezekiel Elliott was also tabbed to go to Mizzou, but the Buckeyes convinced him otherwise and look how that turned out. Despite being favorites there are chinks in Mizzou’s “armor,” according to East St. Louis assistant coach Harith Mitchom.

"“I think they (Missouri) have to bring their A-game because there are some great opportunities out there for him. Five months ago we were certain he was going to Mizzou. It’s now close as it stands right now. It’s wide open right now. I don’t know how to really explain it.”"

Mitchom also said that Beckner was “impressed” by Urban Meyer and Ohio State. With the tides ever so slowly shifting away from the Tigers, Ohio State would be wise to jump on this opportunity. The draw of a National Championship school, as well as an open spot on the defensive line is very appealing, as is the prospect of playing under Urban Meyer.

Verdict: Beckner Jr. commits to Ohio State

Beckner will make his announcement on signing day (February 4) at 9:45 AM ET

As if this recruiting class wasn’t already good enough, Meyer looks to have a good shot at adding yet another 5-star recruit in Porter Gustin. Gustin, who was a quarterback and middle linebacker in high school recently said that with Ohio State he would play defensive end and learn from Joey Bosa. Though this would most likely mean a year on the bench, his biggest desire seems to be playing on a winning football team, something Ohio State offers. Gustin was very impressed by Urban Meyer in the coaches visit to his home in Salem, Utah.

“It was awesome,” Gustin said of the visit. “I like coach Meyer a lot. (He’s) a Serious no bull guy”

Gustin would join Jashon Cornell as defensive end commits for the Buckeyes and would have an excellent teacher in Joey Bosa. It wouldn’t be a guaranteed starting spot, and will probably be harder to find playing tiem than if he chooses USC, but it would definitely pay dividends in the long run.

Verdict: Gustin commits to Ohio State

Porter Gustin will make his announcement Tuesday, February 3, at 11AM ET

Quick Hits

Class of 2015, 4-star, #17 WR KJ Hill (North Little Rock, AR)

Verdict: Commits to Alabama

Classs of 2015, 4-star, #7 OT Isaiah Prince (Greenbelt, MD)

Verdict: Flips to Maryland

Class of 2015, 3-star, #39 OT Venzell Boulware (Fairburn, GA)

Verdict: Holds steady at Tennessee

With some big names still on the market Urban Meyer and all of the Buckeye scouts will have their hands full, but if there is any group of coaches and scouts that can get it done it is that of the Buckeyes.

Ladies and Gentleman, hold onto your seats, because this next week is going to be a wild ride.