Michael’s Sunday Recruiting Rundown
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).
After a scary game in Bloomington, the Buckeyes squared off with the Hoosiers rival in the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday. For the second week in a row, an overmatched team from Indiana scared the living daylights out of the Scarlet and Gray faithful, reminding all fans that big-time recruits are essential for the future of this football program.
It was a relatively small recruiting weekend compared to the Nebraska game, but a far more exciting game than anyone could have predicted.
Corn Elder, a RB/ATH out of Tennessee was scheduled to be at the game along with current 2013 commit Cam Burrows. Other players expected to be in Columbus at the game over the weekend were mostly 2014 prospects: WR Thaddeus Snodgrass, DT Phillip Sawyer, LB Will White, LB Davonte James, OL Quenton Nelson and DB Alonso Saxton.
Skai Moore, a LB prospect out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is scheduled to visit for the Illinois game in two weeks, along with North Carolina TE prospect Jeb Blazevich, but the big recruiting day comes November 24 when Ohio State plays their archrival Michigan.
As of now, there are at least 34 targets for the 2013 and 2014 classes who will be present during The Game including: WR’s Sebastian LaRue, James Quick, Shelton Gibson, Marquez North, and Tony Stevens; OL: Dorian Johnson and David Dawson; LBs Daniel McMillian, and Trey Johnson.
James Hearns texted me that he would also be at “The Game.” Recruiting is in full swing, with 4-5 spots left and many needs, the Buckeyes have some crucial spots to fill. Here is this weeks recruiting rundown.
Mike Mitchell (6-4, 216, LB, 2013 Plano, Tex., Prestonwood Christian Academy)
Brandon Castel and I recently debated the linebacker issue not too long ago, and it seems more and more that Brandon was right. Zach Boren, after being the starting FB for three seasons, has been moved to middle linebacker. This makes recruiting linebackers an absolute necessity for the 2013 class and so far, there are zero linebackers. The most prominent name to be mentioned is Mike Mitchell. He does not speak to the media too often but was recently interviewed by ESPN. He said he would make official visits and come to Ohio State sometime in November. He stated in the past that Ohio State is his leader, and you can watch his interview here. The four main schools vying for Mitchell are: Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and OSU.
Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch recently wrote that Mitchell is no longer Ohio State’s to lose. The article states that it looks like OSU vs. Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Given that Mitchell has visited Oklahoma, I would argue that Oregon is a deeper threat. A&M would move ahead if Mitchell desired to stay close to home. Mitchell is one of the top targets for this class and Urban Meyer will pursue him hard.
Trey Johnson (6-1, 222, LB, 2013, Lawrenceville, Ga., Central Gwinnett)
Current Auburn commit Trey Johnson plans to take official visits. Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that those visits will be to: Auburn, USC, Penn State, UF/FSU and Ohio State. Johnson will be at OSU on Nov. 24. He has been committed to Auburn for 15 months and affirms that his commitment to Auburn is strong but anytime someone visits, there is always a chance. With the need for LBs, Johnson would be a huge get if he comes north to OSU and out of SEC country.
Shelton Gibson (5-11, 173, WR, 2013, 4.48 Cleveland Heights)
Gibson continues to tell sources like ESPN that he would “love to play for the Buckeyes,” so there is no change here. Buckeye Nation is just waiting for the day for him to either say yay or nay to the Buckeyes. With Gibson being the No. 1 receiver in Ohio and Urban Meyer publicly stating that the Buckeyes need more playmakers, Gibson seems to be a perfect fit on all fronts. Rumors of outside factors that are holding up his commitment persist but in the end, look for this Ohio No. 1 to stay in Ohio’s No. 1 school.
James Hearns (6-3, 230, LB, 2013, Tallahassee, Fla., Lincoln HS)
Hearns is a verbal commitment to Urban’s old Florida Gators team. The Buckeyes are recruiting this prospect hard; so hard that Florida has recently made inroads with former OSU commit and current ND commit Alex Anzalone in case players like Hearns de-commit. Hearns told The-Ozone he is 70/30 Florida to OSU but is planning on visiting OSU twice, one would be an official. The staff is recruiting him hard and the Buckeyes need at least two linebackers for the 2013 class, so the would love to Hearns flip to Ohio State. You can read his Ozone interview here. His first visit will be for the Michigan game.
David Dawson (6-4, 282, OL, 2013, Detroit, Mich., Cass Tech High School)
History has an odd way of repeating itself. Last year, one of the top Ohio recruits, Kyle Kalis, de-committed from Ohio State and shortly afterwards, pledged to Michigan. Now, one of the top recruits in Michigan—David Dawson—has also de-committed and has Ohio State on his short list of four.
According to what we’re hearing, those four schools are Alabama, Florida, LSU and Ohio State.
From all that has been shared, it just seems like Dawson doubted his initial Wolverine commitment. He has stated that he will visit Ohio State during the Michigan game. Michigan does not allow players who have issued their verbal commitment to visit other schools once they pledge. Dawson clearly had doubts and told the coaches his desire to visit other schools, the first being Florida.
Wolverine coaches immediately rescinded his scholarship offer. If Dawson commits to the Buckeyes, it would be a “reverse repeat of history.” Tune in to see if it does. I am guessing Dawson ends up in SEC country, but Meyer will recruit him hard and even harder since he was once a Wolverine commit.
Tony Stevens (6-3, 175, WR, 2013, Orlando, Fla., Evans HS)
The news is not good for Seminole fans for this standout Florida WR. Josh Newburg of 247 Sports stated that Florida State has removed Stevens from their commitment list. This is good news for Ohio State, and it sounds like Stevens is planning to make visits to both Ohio State and Notre Dame.
Florida State certainly is not of the mix, but sources have indicated to The-Ozone that Stevens is very high on the Buckeyes. He has great size and good field vision and would appear to be a perfect fit for Meyer’s offense at Ohio State. The Buckeyes lack playmakers at the skill position, and a source out of Florida told me that he believes Stevens would be open to heading north to play for Urban Meyer.
*That’s is all for this week. Tune in next week when The-Ozone tries to keep Buckeye Nation up-to-date with the latest in recruiting coverage. Ozone will have an interview with 2014 OL target Alex Bars and hopefully more.