Random thoughts from San Antonio

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Established October 31, 1996
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Last updated: 01/02/2013 7:02 AM
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Football Recruiting
Random Thoughts from San Antonio
Updates on James Quick, Mike Mitchell, Shelton Gibson and More
By Michael Chung

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. — San Antonio is synonymous with greatness.

American history had a zenith when members of Texas militia held off Mexican despot and general Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana in a crucial Battle of the Alamo. This allowed general Sam Houston the time to lead his forces to victory, eventually overtaking the Mexican army, bringing Texas into the United States.

Currently, the city of San Antonio can also be associated with Ohio State greatness, as the Buckeyes have five commits being selected to play in the most prestigious of all high school all-star games. The East squad has P Johnny Townsend, OL Evan Lisle, CB Eli Apple and DT Michael Hill (out due to injury), while the West has RB Ezekiel Elliott.

There are also three significant targets for Urban Meyer and his staff – WR James Quick, WR Shelton Gibson, and LB Mike Mitchell – playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Wide receiver Tony Stevens is also an OSU target, but all signs down here in Texas are pointing to Stevens becoming an Aggie.

Latest on WR James Quick…

There have been a lot of conflicting reports about the status of Louisville Trinity WR James Quick . Some are reporting Quick is leaning towards Ohio State, while others are reporting he is leaning towards Charlie Strong and the hometown Louisville Cardinals.

Others are reporting he is 50/50 between the Buckeyes and Cardinals, but according to what I’m hearing from sources here in San Antonio, he has not been hanging with the OSU commits since he arrived in Texas.

One source of mine believes Quick will go to Louisville, while another believes Ohio State still has a great chance and that Quick is 50/50 heading into his commitment on Saturday. When I talked to him myself, I got the impression that he is still torn and has not yet made up his mind. No one can really know until he announces, but I get the feeling my source that thinks it’s 50/50 is right on. He and Eli Apple (formerly Eli Woodard) had a brief exchange during the interviews and both felt that they would improve if they went against each other in practice.

One James Quick rumor that can be dispelled tonight is the one having Quick and his high school teammate – Jason Hatcher – as a package deal to Louisville. Hatcher told me personally he is not de-committing from USC and called these reports ‘rumors.’ When I asked him where he thinks James Quick will go, he responded that he did not know.

Latest on LB Mike Mitchell

One recruiting target that is not 50/50 is Texas LB prospect Mike Mitchell. Everyone I’ve spoken to over the past week is saying the 5-star LB out of Texas is headed to Ohio State.

Unlike Quick, Mitchell has been hanging out with the OSU commits and every indication points to him donning the OSU hat on Jan.5 during his Army Game announcement. While things can change in a hurry during recruiting, anything less than an OSU commitment would be a huge shock.

Assuming Mitchell pulls the trigger for the Buckeyes Saturday, it looks like Ohio State will begin the New Year with two LB commits, as former Auburn commit Trey Johnson announces Jan 4. at the Under Armour All-American game down in Florida.

Like Mitchell, all signs are pointing to Johnson becoming a Buckeye.

Latest on WR Shelton Gibson…

It has been widely reported that the issue preventing WR Shelton Gibson from being a Buckeye at this point are concerns with eligibility due to his grades at Cleveland Heights High School.

I caught up with Gibson after the East practice on Tuesday and he told me grades are not an issue in his Ohio State recruitment. If he wanted to commit to Meyer and the Buckeyes today, he says he absolutely could.

Gibson, who showed up in San Antonio wearing an Ohio State winter cap, told me that OSU and West Virginia are currently tied for his top spot, but a source indicated to me that he thinks Gibson is almost certainly headed to Columbus.

Here are some more random thoughts from San Antonio:

Ohio State commit, DT Michael Hill, was not at practice Tuesday. I was told the South Carolina native has an injury and will arrive in San Antonio on Thursday, just two days before the game. It’s safe to assume he probably will not play in the game on Saturday.

Offensive lineman Evan Lisle has already earned the respect of defensive linemen here in San Antonio. During my interview, some were high fiving him, mostly SEC commits he blocks in practice. He is a mountain of a man already and I can only imagine what he will look like after Mickey Marotti gets a hold of him.

Punter Johnny Townsend is a southern gentleman. The future Buckeye out of Orlando was a treat to talk to and is as nice as they come. Ohio State not only has great athletes coming but also great guys.

That includes defensive back Eli Apple. The New Jersey native is very confident in person but also very humble. I was very impressed with Townsend, Lisle, and Apple. They are all classy young men who I believe will do well at OSU. It is important for OSU to have high character guys and not just great football players. After interacting with these three, I am excited to see that these three appear to possess fine character.

Speaking of character, parents of recruits still have a great amount of respect for former OSU head coach Jim Tressel. All of them praise him for his character. One parent even told me a school like Tennessee needs to hire Tressel and just eat the two years probation. The feeling is these schools will be better off in the long run.

On the other end of the spectrum, Maryland head coach Randy Edsall does not appear to have the respect of the parents of prospective recruits. Many of the ones I spoke with think Maryland will not prosper under the former Syracuse QB who was hired by the Terrapins last season.

Michigan also has been discussed with great respect among the parents. In many ways, it is actually a testimony to Ohio State, as Woody Hayes set the foundation for Bo Schembechler who has passed it on to his coaching disciples. Like Schembechler, Brady Hoke has a good reputation among parents.

*That's it from the East side. Tomorrow I will watch the West practice and try to catch up with OSU commit Ezekiel Elliott and OSU target Mike Mitchell.

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