Depthcharting the Defense

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Last updated: 02/03/2012 3:33 AM

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Football Recruiting
Depth Charting the 2012 Class: Defense
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — There is a twinkle in Urban Meyer’s eye every time he talks about offense, but he was all about defense during his Signing Day press conference.

Meyer called his defensive haul class the prize of Ohio State’s 2012 recruiting class, and we take a brief look at how the 13 new players fit in to the Buckeyes’ scheme defensively.

DE Adolphus Washington (6-4, 230, Cincinnati Taft)

Meyer raved about Washington during Wednesday’s press conference and called him a big body with a wide frame. He is an excellent pass rusher who will likely play strongside defensive end, but can also play the run and should move around quite a bit on the defensive front.

DT Tommy Schutt (6-3, 301, Glen Ellyn, Ill.)

The one true “inside” guy in this defensive line haul, Schutt is a legitimate 300 pounder who could play nose tackle or the 3-technique similar to Jonathan Hankins. Schutt was widely considered to be the top prospect—or at least one of them—in the state of Illinois and Fickell said he likes the fact Schutt has no interest in playing on the edge. He should give the Buckeyes good depth inside behind Hankins, Garrett Goebel, Michael Bennett and Joel Hale.

DE Se’Von Pittman (6-5, 245, Canton McKinley)

Another big, strong end who is tremendously athletic and can rush the passer. Much like Washington, Pittman is probably suited for strongside defensive end in Ohio State’s system, but he could move around a bit like Washington or John Simon.

LEO Noah Spence (6-4, 245, Harrisburg, Pa.)

A 5-star prospect out of Pennsylvania, Spence is the one true “rush end” in this class and Meyer loosely compared him to Jarvis Moss, a guy who gave Ohio State fits in the 2007 BCS Title Game. Spence likely would have given them fits the next four years if he had signed with Penn State. Another guy who could play the LEO at Ohio State is Joshua Perry.

SAM LB Camren Williams (6-2, 215, West Roxbury, Mass.)

Williams is the son of long-time NFL defensive end Brent Williams, who played with the Patriots, Seahawks and Jets in the 1980’s and 90’s. Williams is a an outside linebacker with the kind of speed Fickell and Everett Withers are looking for to take away the edge. He is listed at 6-2, 215, and could play either of the outside spots, although strongside (Sam) linebacker seems like a great fit because of his athleticism. He could be an instant impact type guy for OSU considering their depth (or lack thereof) at linebacker.

MIKE LB Luke Roberts (6-2, 230, Lancaster)

Roberts is one of the more underappreciated players in the class of 2012, but he is a throwback to the old school days of playing middle linebacker. He is strong, tough and physical and loves to hit. He plays downhill and is at his best between the tackles. Probably needs a year to redshirt unless he is going to contribute on special teams.

WILL LB Jamal Marcus (6-2, 230, Durham, N.C.)

He is only rated as a 3-star prospect by most recruiting services, but we went with Marcus here in a slight edge over David Perkins, if for no other reason than the boss likes him. Marcus ended up in Columbus because of his relationship with Withers, and Meyer raved about his athleticism after watching film.

CB Armani Reeves (5-9, 185, West Roxbury, Mass.)

A teammate and close friend of Camren Williams, Reeves may turn out to be the bigger get in this class if he pans out. He isn’t the biggest corner, but he knows how to play physical and he is a tremendous athlete. He should crack the two-deep at corner in the fall behind Bradley Roby and Travis Howard.

CB Najee Murray (5-11, 172, Steubenville)

We caught up with Murray on Thursday and he said the Ohio State coaches are bringing him in as a cornerback. He certainly looks like a corner, and has the athleticism to play corner, but he also hits like a safety. It will be interesting to see where he ends up. Murray could get a look at the Star position, especially since he has been compared to Christian Bryant (though Murray is a legitimate 5-10 or 5-11).

FS Tyvis Powell (6-4, 185, Bedford)

Powell was recruited as a corner, but esteemed talent evaluator John McCallister believes he could move to safety. At 6-3 or 6-4, he certainly has the size to play safety and could be a nice ball hawk in the middle of the field.

SS De’van Bogard (5-11, 172, Glenville)

Bogard is the big hitter in this secondary group. He isn’t very big, which could be something to keep an eye on, but Bogard hits like a linebacker. He is perfect for strong safety, if the Buckeyes are going to go free and strong inside of left and right, the way they have recently.

Depth Charting the offensive signees.

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