Part II: Ohio State 2012 Recruiting Timeline
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — We continue our look back at one of the strangest, most astounding, bizarre, horrible, erratic, mystifying, wonderful recruiting years in Ohio State history.
Unlike past years under Jim Tressel, there was as much to follow in the last three months leading up to National Signing Day as there was in the first nine or 10 combined.
It all began in a place they used to call Happy Valley.
STAGE III: The End of Camelot
Nov. 5, 2011 — Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested on 40 counts relating to a sex abuse scandal, including allegations of incidents on the Penn State campus.
Nov. 9, 2011 — Penn State coach Joe Paterno announces he will retire at the end of the 2011 season after it is revealed he likely had knowledge of inappropriate behavior between Sandusky and a 10-year old boy on the PSU campus. Instead, the Board of Trustees decided to fire Paterno after 45 years as the head coach.
Nov. 10, 2011 — Paterno’s ousting and the scandal surrounding Penn State immediately begins to send tremors through the school’s recruiting class. A number of the most high-profile commits begin to look at other options for their future.
Nov. 22, 2011 — After visiting Ohio State for the Wisconsin game, Cincinnati Taft DE Adolphus Washington commits to the Buckeyes while teammate Dwayne Stanford verbal’s to Oregon. Washington became the 15th player in the class and by far the most highly-rated of the group. The first really big commitment for OSU since Kalis’ de-commitment in the spring.
Nov. 26, 2011 — Ohio State snaps a seven-year win streak over Michigan with a 40-34 loss in Ann Arbor. They finished the regular season with a 6-6 record. The following day, however, they pick up a surprise commitment from Lakeland (Fla.) WR Ricquan Southward, who had been committed to Miami (Fla.).
STAGE IV: Enter Sandman
Nov. 28, 2011 — Ohio State introduces Urban Meyer as the 24th head football coach in school history. Meyer announces he will keep interim coach Luke Fickell as a primary member of his coaching staff.
Dec. 12, 2011 — Shaken by the upheaval in State College, Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Glenbard West DT Tommy Schutt officially flipped his commitment from Penn State to Ohio State after an unofficial visit to Columbus. Schutt became the first public commitment for Urban Meyer, and he was followed later that evening by DE Se’Von Pittman, who flipped his commitment from Michigan State to OSU.
Dec. 18, 2011 — With turmoil still swirling at Penn State, 5-star DE Noah Spence—at one time thought to be a PSU lock—commits to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes over offers from nearly every major program in the country. The Harrisburg, Pa. native was the third high-profile defensive lineman to pick Ohio State since Meyer’s hiring.
Jan. 3, 2012 — Urban Meyer introduces the OSU players to his new coaching staff, including offensive assistants Ed Warinner and Tim Hinton, both of whom had been coaching under Brian Kelly at Notre Dame.
Jan. 4, 2012 — Six members of Ohio State’s 2012 class begin classes at Ohio State for Winter Quarter: Bri’onte Dunn, Cardale Jones, Michael Thomas, Tyvis Powell, Jacoby Boren and Josh Perry.
Jan. 5, 2012 — Baltimore (Md.) Gilman School athlete Cyrus Jones picks Alabama over Ohio State and Virginia Tech.
Jan. 6, 2012 — Penn State announces the hiring of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien as the next head coach in State College.
Jan. 7, 2012 — Centerville DE Ifeadi Odenigbo commits to Northwestern over offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame and Stanford.
Jan. 15, 2012 — With Warinner and Hinton both at Ohio State, OT Taylor Decker makes the flip from Notre Dame to become the 20th member of OSU’s 2012 recruiting class. It is one of the biggest commitments in the class for a team in desperate need of offensive tackles.
Jan. 17, 2012 — Days after landing a commitment from Decker, the Buckeyes also picked up a verbal pledge from Windsor (Colo.) offensive lineman Joey O’Connor, another player who had been committed to Penn State since June. O’Connor will likely play center or guard for the Buckeyes.
Jan. 18, 2012 — Urban Meyer and his staff land another recruit, as former Notre Dame commit LB David Perkins picks the Buckeyes instead.
Jan. 19, 2012 — Considered one of the top players in the state of Ohio, Trotwood-Madison DB Cameron Burrows becomes the first member of Ohio State’s 2013 class with an early commitment to the Buckeyes.
Jan. 20, 2012 — The Buckeyes pickup another big commitment when West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial LB Camren Williams flips his commitment from Penn State to Ohio State, becoming the third player to do so.
Jan. 26, 2012 — OSU commit Roger Lewis decides he will take visits to Ohio University, Bowling Green and Marshall after Ohio State suggests he may need a year at Fork Union Military Academy.
Jan. 29, 2012 — Williams is followed nine days later by West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial CB Armani Reeves, his high school teammate, who picked Ohio State over Michigan on Sunday evening after previously being committed to Penn State.
Jan. 30, 2012 — Middletown athlete Jalin Marshall, the consensus No. 1 player in Ohio for 2013, joins Burrows as an early commitment for Ohio State in next year’s class. On the same day, Jeannette DB Demetrious Cox commits to Michigan State.
Feb. 1, 2012 — National Signing Day.
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