Michael’s Sunday Recruiting Rundown
By Michael Chung with contributions from Tony Gerdeman
(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).
Recruiting has become a 24/7, 365 day-a-year obsession.
The 2012 recruiting class is just wrapping up its first fall camp, but many fans are already longing for more information on the 2013 and ’14 classes.
In today’s constant information cycle, avid fan-bases yearn for up-to-date information on the latest recruiting news surrounding the Buckeyes, and other college football programs around the country.
Ozone contributor Michael Chung checks in with an excellent rundown of some very important prospects in the 2013 and ’14 classes in the first edition of his Sunday Recruiting Rundown.
Tyquan Lewis (6-3, 225, DE, 2013)
One of the most talked about recruits in Ohio State’s radar recently has been Tyquan Lewis, the talented DE out of Tarboro, N.C. Almost every insider and recruiting analyst is predicting Lewis will eventually be a Buckeye. Unless an overwhelming bout of pre-homesickness strikes at the last minute, it would be a surprise if he ended up anywhere other than Ohio State.
In a recent O-Zone interview, Lewis said the chances of committing to Ohio State are high. He has a close relationship with defensive line coach Mike Vrabel, whose NFL pedigree surely is attractive for any recruit like Lewis.
We are hearing his is up to 234 pounds after weighing around 226 when he camped with the Buckeyes backing early June. In his recent interview, he mentioned he would play the Viper position at Ohio State – which is a LB/DE hybrid position being played by Noah Spence.
Is that a stealthy way of saying he is a silent commitment? Maybe not, but a public commitment to OSU seems immanent. We are being told to expect an announcement some time around Labor Day with OSU and UNC being the two finalists.
Mike Mitchell (6-4, 216, LB, 2013)
Another popular recruit being discussed right now is Plano, Tex. LB Mike Mitchell. Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell once said he thought Mitchell had an 80% chance of committing to Ohio State, but, more recently, Farrell has not been able to reach Mitchell for an update.
OU Insider reported that Mitchell had a good visit to Oklahoma, so it appears Ohio State may no longer be the leader. Until Mitchell visits, call this a four team battle between Bob Stoops’ Sooners, Texas A&M, the Buckeyes and Florida State.
In the end, I do believe Mitchell will chose Ohio State, but if he waits too long, someone else could take his spot. That someone could be . . .
Daniel McMillian (6-3, 220, LB, 2013)
Another LB making a lot of noise in recruiting right now is current Florida commit Daniel McMillian. Aubrey Hill, the former WR coach and recruiting coordinator, was recently forced to leave UF due to his involvement with the University of Miami scandal.
Since his departure, 2 four-star recruits have de-committed; coincidence? Though McMillian has yet to de-commit, he has stated he wants to take visits to other schools, and Ohio State is certainly one them.
Urban Meyer has a knack for raiding programs when they are vulnerable and that could even include his former school. The Gators are certainly susceptible right now, but the questions remains to be whether Meyer can repeat history and get McMillian to de-commit from his once beloved Gators.
Look for Ohio State to take Mitchell or McMillian at LB in the class of 2013, but there may not be room for both.
Vonn Bell (6-1, 190, DB, 2013)
Coveted defensive back and Ohio State camp standout Vonn Bell has released a new favorites list and Ohio State is on it along with Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Vanderbilt. Does Ohio State stand a chance? Lindsey Young of the Chattanooga Times Free Press writes "Several Internet sites, including Scout.com, lists Ohio State as the favorite, though it's well known that Bell has grown up a Volunteers fan."
"I'm honestly still looking at the process," the Under Armour All-American said. "Anything is possible, and I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the road."
Young goes on to write, "It's built my confidence being able to talk to big-time coaches like Nick Saban and Urban Meyer, and to be able to build relationships with them is one of the great things about this," Bell said. "Every kid has a dream in this game of football to play college ball and maybe make the NFL. That's definitely a dream of mine."
The last statement in the article could be telling; why did Bell only mention Saban and Meyer? Did he not grow up a Tennessee Vols fan? Are there not other schools on his list? Have other coaches stood out? Could it be a battle between Ohio State and Alabama? These two programs are also two of the best to put players into the NFL while Saban and Meyer are two of the best recruiters. Look for either the Tide or the Buckeyes to win this battle.
Demetrius Knox (6-5, 300, OL, 2014)
Fort Worth, Tex. O-lineman and 2014 recruit Demetrius Knox has gone clandestine ever since the Twitter debacle in early August. It has been stated that he would like to attend the same college as his close friend and recent Texas Longhorn commit, RB Daniel Gresham.
However, he has maintained that he will not decide until the end of the season and that he plans to visit Ohio State before making his decision.
Based on my own personal interactions with him, it appears Knox is a virtual lock to end up with the Texas Longhorns, but if Urban Meyer, Tom Herman and Ed Warinner can coax Knox to visit OSU, the Buckeyes would certainly have a chance.
It sounds like 2013 DE Tracy Sprinkle had a couple of nice performances in team scrimmages over the weekend. Sprinkle reportedly recorded 5 sacks and 10 tackles-for-loss in Elyria’s two scrimmages against Solon and Medina.
The latest we are hearing on 2013 WR James Quick is that he is likely headed to Louisville unless something happens with current head coach Charlie Strong, who just so happened to be Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator at Florida.
A native of Louisville, and product of Trinity High School – the same school that produced Jordan Whiting – Quick recently cut his list to five schools. They are, in order, Louisville, Ohio State, Oregon, Kentucky and Cincinnati, but it really sounds like a three-team race with the Ducks behind both Louisville and OSU.
That could change, of course, if something happens to Louisville recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt, whose name has been mentioned a lot with the Nevin Shapiro scandal. He used to be Miami's recruiting coordinator.
With fall camp wrapping up and kickoff against Miami (Ohio) now only a few weeks away, the OSU coaching staff is extremely busy. Meyer’s crew is filled with relentless recruiters, and they will be working around the clock to bring the best athletes they can to Ohio State.
That’s all for now, but be sure to check back next week for another installment of our Sunday Recruiting Rundown.