Recruiting Rundown—The Home Stretch Cometh
By Tony Gerdeman
The week had almost passed without Urban Meyer landing a verbal commitment. What would the Buckeye world have come to had that actually occurred this close to Signing Day?
Fortunately for Ohio State, Massachusetts cornerback Armani Reeves had tired of waiting on his own decision.
Reeves (5-9 185) had finalized his choices between Ohio State and Michigan, and it was clear that a decision could come as early as this weekend.
Then, around 9:00 pm on Sunday night, Reeves gave everybody a teaser.
"Well it's time to tell everyone ....." he tweeted.
A few minutes later, he broke the news to the world that he was going to be a Buckeye.
A teammate of linebacker commit Camren Williams, out of West Roxbury, Massachusetts, Reeves was until recently a Penn State commitment.
Scout.com ranks Reeves the sixth-rated cornerback overall. 247Sports has him as the seventh-rated cornerback, and the third highest-rated recruit in Ohio State's class behind Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington.
Reeves is currently Ohio State's 24th commitment, though it appears that wide receiver commit Roger Lewis won't be part of the class, which brings the number back down to 23 for 2012.
Lewis, a receiver out of Pickerington Central, does not yet have the requisite pre-enrollment test score per The Columbus Dispatch, so it appears that he will explore other options.
Lewis visited Ohio University this past weekend, and is also looking at Bowling Green and Marshall, per his head coach.
Meyer and his staff have been after receivers Davonte Neal and Stefon Diggs very hard, and Lewis' likely departure makes them even more important.
Neal visited Ohio State two weekends ago, though his decision probably won't come for another couple of weeks. Diggs visited this past week, and it was a win for Meyer to even get him on campus.
Diggs (6-0 185), out of Olney, Maryland, is Rivals' second-ranked receiver, and eighth-ranked prospect overall in the 2012 class.
Reports of his visit, which started on Saturday, have him enjoying his time on campus, but the Buckeyes are still working from behind on this one.
Even though National Signing Day is this coming Wednesday, Diggs is still taking visits. His final visit will be at Maryland this coming weekend, and then he will make his decision on February 10th.
Signing Day Drama
Kyle Dodson (6-6 315), the four-star offensive tackle out of Cleveland Heights, is scheduled to make his decision on Signing Day.
I received word this past week that USC was a legitimate darkhorse in the race for Dodson, which came from someone close to him, which means that he was actually giving USC some legitimate thought.
However, after Dodson spent this past Sunday at The Schottenstein Center watching the Buckeyes drill the Wolverines, you have to like Ohio State's chances in this one. It's not difficult to imagine that Urban Meyer put the hard sell on Dodson to make a quick trip to Columbus.
Durham, North Carolina linebacker Jamal Marcus (6-2 230) is also set to announce on Signing Day. He is scheduled to do so at 10:30 a.m. at his high school. He states that he is still deciding between East Carolina and Ohio State.
He tweeted on Sunday that he is ready leave Durham and move on to "way bigger and better things". That statement would seem to fit Columbus better than Greenville, North Carolina.
Even though he would start out at linebacker for the Buckeyes, Marcus is rated the 12th-best weakside defensive end per 247Sports. If he did commit to the Buckeyes, Ohio State would have four of 247's top twelve weakside defensive ends.
The Buckeyes will likely strike out on safeties Bam Bradley and Demetrious Cox on Signing Day, as both have been trending away from Ohio State for a while now.
Fortunately, the Buckeyes already have two safeties in this class, and possibly more depending on whether or not Najee Murray ends up at cornerback or safety.
Gone and Forgotten
A lot of names have been mentioned in the Rundown over the last two months or so, and if they haven't been mentioned in a while, it's because Ohio State and the player in question have moved on.
The Buckeyes have looked at a host of linebackers, including Dalton Santos out of Texas. Santos was looking at taking a visit to Ohio State, but it never materialized. He ended up committing to Texas on Sunday.
Jordan Diamond, the five-star offensive lineman out of Chicago, is seemingly out of the picture for the Buckeyes now as well. Contact between the two has been at a minimum, and Ohio State seems happy to put their eggs in the Kyle Dodson basket at the moment.
Virginia receiver Joel Caleb has been backburnered for quite some time by the Buckeyes. Either they like where they stand with Neal and/or Diggs, or they were just trying to keep him warm as a tertiary option. Caleb will likely end up choosing between Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Ohio State held a "Junior Day" this past weekend, inviting top high school juniors to visit, which many did. Most notably, Robert Foster (6-3 170), a receiver out of Monaca, Pennsylvania. He is already being billed as one of the top receivers in the nation and a five-star prospect.
Quarterback Malik Zaire (6-1 190), out of Kettering Alter, was also on hand. Zaire is already rated as the second-best dual-threat quarterback in the 2013 class by 247Sports. Like Foster, he already has an offer from Ohio State.
The one to watch who will really "be next" is Middletown quarterback Jalin Marshall (6-0 190). Marshall, a five-star running back prospect per Scout, and a five-star athlete per 247Sports, is set to make his decision on January 31st.
Marshall has been told by Urban Meyer that he'll get an opportunity to play quarterback, but the ultimate plan for him is to use him in every way possible. Just not solely as a quarterback.
There may be some concern as to whether or not Zaire and Marshall can coexist because of their similarities, but Marshall is such a tremendous athlete that he will be used in many different ways.
Assuming he commits to Ohio State, of course.
Related Article: Reeves' commitment fills area of need.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.