Buckeyes Land Pair of Defenders, Including Five-Star Defensive End
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two days after getting a commitment from blue-chip linebacker Alex Anzalone, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes added to their haul by receiving verbal commitments from defensive end Joey Bosa (6-5 260) and linebacker Lewis Neal (6-1 232).
Bosa, a five-star prospect according to Scout, is the second-ranked defensive end in the nation per every recruiting service except for ESPN, which rates him as their number six defensive tackle.
A first team All-State selection out of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Bosa announced his decision like so many others of late—via Twitter.
"Committed to The Ohio State University. Thank you to everyone who had an interest in me ... I can't even say how thankful I am but Ohio State is just the place for me. God bless everyone involved in my recruiting process."
Bosa is a nephew of former Buckeye Eric Kumerow, so the Buckeyes had a little bit of a headstart in this one, though Alabama was long-thought to be the favorite here until the last month or two.
Bosa, the #14 player in the nation per Rivals, and #24 player per Scout and 247Sports, had offers from Florida, Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Florida State, Wisconsin and Tennessee, among others.
"I had a chance to see Joey Bosa last fall in a game against another south Florida power, Cypress Bay," said Barton Simmons, a national recruiting analyst for 247Sports.
"Bosa is a great looking prospect on the hoof. He's a big lean kid with length. Looks like a physical defensive end who could project to a 5-technique as well. For St. Thomas Aquinas he was playing primarily nose guard and he was a nightmare for the opposing offense.
"Bosa was explosive off the snap, really disruptive and maybe most notably he played with really good strength. The Cypress Bay offensive line just couldn't handle him, and that's a good line.
"Truly, I think Bosa is one of the really rare defensive linemen in this class."
Simmons opinion on Bosa is not unique, here is Scout's Chad Simmons' evaluation:
"There is not much you don't like when watching Bosa in action. He is a big defensive lineman that plays with good pad level and he consistently fires off the ball. He gets penetration and helps collapse the pocket on the high school level. In college, he will be a quick interior lineman or a strong and physical end. He has a lot of room to grow still into his frame and he is only going to get better."
Bosa finished last season with 52 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
The commitment gives the Buckeyes four five-star defensive end commits in the last three classes (Steve Miller, Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, Joey Bosa), and twelve defensive line commits in that span overall.
Lewis Neal, from James Hunt High School in Wilson, North Carolina, is the second commitment from North Carolina in as many classes.
Last year Jamal Marcus emerged out of nowhere to become a Buckeye, and even though it's still only April, Neal has done similarly. The addition of assistant coach Everett Withers cannot be overstated regarding the in-roads that Ohio State is making in the state of North Carolina.
Neal is ranked a three-star prospect by all four major recruiting services, though only Scout ranks him as a linebacker, which is where Ohio State sees him.
He plays defensive end in high school, and will likely do some pass rushing at Ohio State, but don't expect him to start out on the front four.
"He’s not the biggest kid in the world, but at the camp he did offensive and defensive linemen drills," said Keith Niebuhr, who is the Southeast Recruiting Analyst at Rivals.
"He was very good. He’s 6-1, 232 pounds and benched 21 reps at 185 pounds, so he has good strength. His vertical was 31.5 inches, and he’s very compact, and a good athlete. He’s not a bowling ball. Some people might hear 6-1, 230 and think he’s this little bowling ball running around. He’s not."
Neal also had offers from Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. He finished with 88 tackles and eight sacks last season.
His ESPN scouting report still has him as a bit of a project, but one with upside.
"Neal comes across as a defender who will give good effort to get around the football. He possesses solid overall size and should be able to put on some additional good mass in time. Displays a good burst off the ball, but not consistently."
Ohio State now has 13 commitments in their 2013 class, and more are coming. Expect Florida tight end Mike Heuerman to announce his decision at any time, and Massachusetts defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is also one to keep an eye on.
The class is filling up quickly, and there is still a summer camp to go. Meyer would like to add another quarterback, a pair of receivers, another offensive lineman or two, and another linebacker or safety or two, if the room allows.
The 2013 Commitments
1. Cameron Burrows (6-1 195), DB Trotwood, Ohio
2. Jalin Marshall (6-0 190), ATH Middletown, Ohio
3. Billy Price (6-4 280), DT Youngstown, Ohio
4. Eli Woodard (6-1 185) CB Voorhees, New Jersey
5. Evan Lisle (6-6 265) OT Centerville, Ohio
6. Ezekiel Elliott (6-0 200) RB St. Louis, Missouri
7. Jayme Thompson (6-2 184) DB Toledo, Ohio
8. Marcus Baugh (6-4 229) TE Riverside, California
9. Tracy Sprinkle (6-4 270) DL Elyria, Ohio
10. J.T. Barrett (6-1 209) QB Wichita Falls, Texas
11. Alex Anzalone (6-3 225) LB Wyomissing, Pennsylvania
12. Joey Bosa (6-5 260) DE Fort Lauderdale, Florida
13. Lewis Neal (6-1 232) LB Wilson, North Carolina
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.