Buckeyes Well-Represented in Latest Rivals 100
By Tony Gerdeman
Rivals has released their second-to-last "Rivals 100" for the 2013 recruiting class, and five Buckeye commits find their names among the service's top 100 players.
Cornerbacks Eli Woodard (6-0 185) and Cameron Burrows (6-0 203), as well as defensive end Joey Bosa (6-5 270), and athlete Jalin Marshall (5-11 196) have been on previous renditions of the Rivals 100, but the current edition now includes tailback Ezekiel Elliott (6-0 198) as well.
All five players are four-star prospects, though Woodard and Burrows are just on the outside edge of a fifth star.
The biggest jump in rankings went to Elliott, who moved from #120 up to #77 overall. Scoring 50 touchdowns in a season sometimes has that effect on people.
The highest-rated future Buckeye is Woodard, out of Voorhees, New Jersey. He is currently ranked #28, just two spots outside of Rivals' current five-star threshold. He has moved up one spot since the last update.
Following Woodard in the rankings is Burrows. The Trotwood, Ohio product is #31, a drop of four spots from the previous rankings.
Next on the list is Marshall at #42. Though his Middletown, Ohio team struggled on the field, Marshall wasn't the reason (1,421 yards rushing). In fact, despite the poor team record, Marshall moved up 11 spots in the rankings.
Bosa, out of storied St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is #51 on the list. It was a pretty steep drop from Bosa's previous spot at #25, and a season of injuries is likely to blame. Still, he will get a chance to move back up in the rankings following the all-star games. He will play in the Under Armour All-America Game next month.
Last season, Urban Meyer landed four members of the 2012 Rivals 100, and there is a chance that he could ultimately double that number this time around.
There are still plenty of uncommitted prospects on the list, and a few of them are high-value targets for the Buckeyes.
Linebacker Mike Mitchell (6-4 216) out of Plano, Texas is #30. He famously ran a 4.39 40-yard dash on national television back in the summer. He will be making his official visit to Ohio State this weekend, which is the only official visit he currently has scheduled. It might be safe to be on commit watch.
There is also Trey Johnson (6-1 222), a former linebacker commit for Auburn, who has since decommitted from the Tigers. Ranked #86 overall, the state of Georgia prospect officially visited Ohio State for the Michigan game. He still has two more visits scheduled, but their is reason to be optimistic here for the Buckeyes.
Florida commit Daniel McMillan (6-3 220), the #93 prospect visited Ohio State for the Michigan game as well, though our own Michael Chung expects the linebacker to stick with the Gators.
Third-to-last, but not forgotten, is Cleveland receiver Shelton Gibson (6-1 175), who is ranked #98 overall. Gibson, an Army All-American, has the Buckeyes as a heavy favorite and it would be an upset if he didn't end up in the 2013 class.
While the rest of the Rivals rankings won't be released until tomorrow, looking at the previous rankings, you can expect to find a few Buckeyes just on the outskirts of the top 100.
Defensive tackle Michael Hill (previously #103), offensive tackle Evan Lisle (#104), quarterback J.T. Barrett (#124), tight end Marcus Baugh (#146) are all possibilities, though Hill and Barrett suffering season-ending injuries will not help their causes.
With a number of future Buckeyes playing in the various high school All-American games in January, there is a greater chance for them to move up even higher in the final rankings next month.
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