Predicting the Finish: 2013 Recruiting Season
By Michael Chung
(Editor’s Note: This is the latest contribution to the-Ozone for Michael Chung. He has provided OSU recruiting information to several websites in the past, but now will be exclusive to the-Ozone as we look to bring more football recruiting coverage in the coming months. You can follow him on Twitter @MChungOzone).
Now that the season is under way, all attention is focused on the field. After months where recruiting took center stage, Buckeye Nation is watching the Urban Meyer era take shape. Does recruiting now take a back seat? The answer is 'never'.
While we still have a ways to go until the season ends, and National Signing Day is not until February, Ohio State has been really active on the recruiting front since Meyer took the job last November.
With 16 commitments to a class that will likely finish around 20-22, there are only four to six spots that remain before Meyer’s second class is full. He has already turned much of his attention to the 2014 class, but that doesn’t mean the Buckeyes will not have a strong finish this year.
Here is a look at how we think the 2013 class will finish out as we head into 2014.
1. Tyquan Lewis (6-3, 225, DE, N.C.): He is as close to a lock to commit as there is in my opinion and has told The-Ozone his interest in the Buckeyes is extremely high. He has said his decision will come on Sept. 20. Unless he decides to play close to home, with the Tar Heels, he will be No. 17 for the Buckeyes.
2. Mike Mitchell (6-4, 216, LB, Tex.): He has had OSU high on the radar ever since he emerged unto the recruiting scene at this Summer’s The Opening in Oregon. He has recently stated that his top two are Ohio State and Oklahoma. If he visits Ohio State, I could see him becoming the 18the member of the class shortly afterwards.
3. Shelton Gibson (6-1, 175, WR, Cleveland Heights): He dazzled at Friday Night Lights and 2013 ATH commit—Darron Lee— said no one could stop him. Gibson told ESPN that Ohio State was his leader and in the end, I think he stays home and becomes No. 19 in the 2013 recruiting class.
4. Chris Worley (6-2, 185, ATH, Glenville): The Buckeyes need linebackers and Worley is talented enough to be a DB or LB at the next level. With the Glenville pipeline to Ohio State intact, Worley will continue the tradition and follow De’van Bogard to Columbus.
Could There Be More?
What about Vonn Bell, Dorian Johnson, Daniel McMillan, Donavan Munger and Devon Allen? Ohio State will wait for Bell. If he wants to be a Buckeye, he will be one. Everyone else becomes a matter of timing and attrition.
* WR Devon Allen (6-1, 190, Phoenix) attended FNL, but since then the news has been silent. He had Ohio State at No. 4 on his list, so it seems unlikely he will be a Buckeye when all is said and done.
* LB Daniel McMillan (6-2, 220, Jacksonville) appears to still be solid Gator and unless something crazy happens, I would not expect him to don the Scarlet and Gray. We should have interview with him at some point to find out first-hand where he stands in his recruiting process.
* OT Dorian Johnson (6-6, 280, Pa.) says Ohio State is in his top 3 with Pitt, and Virginia Tech. De-committing from PSU may indicate a desire to stay in Pennsylvania, and Paul Chryst used to be at Wisconsin and has a reputation for developing players on the offensive line.
* DT Donavan Munger (6-4, 290, Shaker Heights) is listed as a defensive line recruit. With Joey Bosa, Billy Price, Tracy Sprinkle, Michael Hill, and likely Tyquan Lewis, there will be too many bodies at D-line, despite Urban Meyer’s philosophy “if your d-line is good, your team is good” mentality.
If he is willing to play offensive line, it’s possible the 6-4, 290-pound Munger could be a late addition to the class. Along with Ohio State, he also has offers from Auburn, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Pitt and Tennessee.
* WR James Quick (6-0, 180, Louisville) has had Louisville No. 1 for a long time and there is no reason to believe he will not go Red with Charlie Strong. If Strong ends up somewhere else before February, say Arkansas, it’s possible Quick could end up in Columbus.
So Who Will it Be?
If there were two more spots left in the class after those first four I mentioned, I feel comfortable with Donavon Munger and the Buckeyes would love to have either Bell or Johnson to top things off. If they could get one or both of those guys to finish this class, Ohio State is all but guaranteed top 5 ranking.
WR Ryan Timmons (5-10, 186, Ky.) is another possibility, especially if another scholarship opens up, but it’s also possible Meyer and his staff will bank any remaining scholarships and apply them to a loaded 2014 class.
Top prospects Raekwon McMillan and Jonathan Haden have already told The-Ozone that Ohio State leads. With a possible bumper crop in 2014, do not be surprised if the class of 2013 stops at 20 and Meyer banks the rest of the scholarships for a monster 2014 and run at a No. 1 rated recruiting class next year.