Michael’s Sunday Recruiting Rundown
The Grand Daddy of them All for Recruiting
By Michael Chung
A sweet ending to a great season.
Ten years after the last time an Ohio State team went undefeated. Bowl or no bowl, there is nothing sweeter than to end the season with a victory over Michigan. At this point, it would not be surprising if Urban Meyer has similar success against the Michigan as Jim Tressel did in his 10 years with the Buckeyes. Meyer has learned from Tressel and will also add his wrinkle to beat That School Up North. Regardless, Ohio State fans can savor the victory for a year and the fact that TSUN has lost eight of the last nine meetings with the Buckeyes, and 10 of the last 12.
As the regular season ends, the year round recruiting season jumps into high gear. With Urban Meyer at the helm, there is never a time in the recruiting cycle where one has a break.
This weekend was the busiest weekend of them all. With close to 80 recruits visiting for the weekend, Mark Pantoni sent out a notice to prospects letting them know that time with coaches will be limited as the focus was beating the “you-know-what” out of Michigan. The-Ozone did its best to try to get the most up-to-date information on the weekend visitors as we could. Here is this weeks rundown.
Trey Johnson (6-1, 222, LB, 2013, Lawrenceville, Ga.)
Trey recently told Ozone that the main reason he is looking around is that the coaching situation at Auburn is unstable with Gene Chizik’s possibility of being fired and the uncertainty of which coaches will be retained. He told Ozone that Auburn still leads and is on his official visit with his father. With Chizik getting fired and the uncertainty of who will replace him and who the coaching staff will be, Ohio State has to be trending up. He talks to Urban Meyer and Luke Fickell at least one to two times a week and with Chizik gone, has OSU trending upward. It’s looking better and better for Johnson to come up north to the cold of Ohio and be part of a Georgia pipeline to Columbus.
Daniel McMillian (6-2, 220, LB, 2013, Jacksonville, Fla.)
McMillian told Ozone back in September he would make an official visit to Ohio State and he has kept his word. When I interviewed him, I did not get the impression that he was interested in any school other than Florida but his mother accompanied him on this visit to Columbus over the weekend, so if she has a different opinion and really likes OSU, then the Buckeyes certainly have a chance. The only comments he has stated on Twitter was that Ohio is cold. I talked to him on the phone and he said his visit went really well. Ryan Shazier hosted him and was in his ear all weekend about becoming a Buckeye. He plans on graduating early and if he flips will make an announcement, but still I don’t think he will and believe he will stay in the Sunshine State of Florida to be a Gator.
Shelton Gibson (6-1, 175, WR, 2013, Cleveland Heights, Ohio)
It seems like only a matter of time before Shelton Gibson announces Ohio State. With each passing moment, there seems to be no evidence that Gibson is going anywhere else. With close friend Kyle Dodson already in the fold at OSU, the No. 1 receiver from Ohio should follow suit. Steve Wilfong of 247 Sports tweeted that Ohio State is way out ahead for Gibson and that no other school is close. In the end, Gibson will be a Buckeye and be a big time playmaker for the home state.
Chris Worley (6-2, 185, ATH, 2013, Cleveland, Ohio, Glenville)
Worley was planning to announce his commitment this past week but was asked by his high school coaches to delay. A source close to Cleveland-Glenville said that he believes Worley will pick OSU continuing the Cleveland-Glenville pipeline. 247 Sports has also posted on their website that Ohio State is the leader for Worley. A source close to Cleveland-Glenville high school mentioned that Worley could wait up until National Signing Day to announce after he tweeted earlier that he would announce last week.
James Quick (6-1, 180, WR, 2013, Louisville, Ky.)
Quick was on another visit to Columbus and from his twitter, it seems like he was having a really good time. With Gene Chizik already out at Auburn, Derek Dooley out at Tennessee and Arkansas already announcing that John L. Smith is not a candidate and that they want the position filled within 10 days, it looks good that OSU will land another playmaker. It seems doubtful that Charlie Strong will stay at Louisville with 3 top-flight SEC jobs open and Strong having strong SEC ties. This will send Quick quickly to Urban Meyer unless Strong can convince James to come down South with him. Unless it is Tennessee, I do not see Quick following Strong and that Jan. 4 Quick will announce Buckeyes.
Demetrius Knox (6-5, 300, OL, 2014, Fort Worth, Tex.)
He will announce on November 26 and was stealth as to whether or not he would visit OSU. He said he would in his first Ozone interview but was non-committal in his second. I am quite certain he will announce for the Longhorns on Nov. 26 as he would not have been so stealth about visiting OSU and I think he wants to make a splash so too many people predicting UT would not make for much media attention. He grew up a Buckeye fan and has Braxton Miller as a ‘big brother,’ but I doubt he made his visit as others in the media tried to get him to tell us if he would visit and his “Tressel-like” answers lead me to believe he was never in Ohio and that he will be Longhorn come November 26.
Kyle Berger (6-3, 205, LB, 2014, Cleveland, Ohio, St. Ignatius)
Urban Meyer has been criticized for not offering in-state talent soon enough, he and the OSU coaches were way ahead of the game with Berger. Berger only has two offers: Ohio State and Cincinnati but Ohio State was first. Urban Meyer and Luke Fickell gave him the good news and Ohio State is showing that they do not want to make the same mistake that they have earlier with prospects like Mike McCray and Gareon Conley. the-Ozone will have an interview with him this week. It will be between the Buckeyes, Michigan, and Stanford for this St. Ignatius product. He idolizes Jake Ryan but currently does not have an offer from Michigan. Seeing OSU defeat Jake Ryan and Co. could leave an impression that he does not want to be on the losing side too often as TSUN has lost 8 of the last 9 meetings and 10 of the last 12 meetings of the game. It does not seem like much will change under Urban Meyer as Ohio State did not play a good game and still won the game.
De’Shawn Hand (6-4, 245, DE, 2014, Woodbridge, Va.)
Sounds like Ohio State made some headway with the No. 1 recruit for 2014. He told Marc Givler that his visit exceeded expectations. This is great news for Ohio State because opposing coaches will point to OSU’s depth at D-line as a means to recruit against the Buckeyes. Having a great visit only helps Urban and Co.’s chances at landing the top defensive prospect for 2014. Virginia Tech is still considered the favorite.
Nick Glass (6-1, 196, DB, 2014, Atlanta, Ga.)
Nick told Ozone that Georgia leads but recently mentioned that Ohio State is in second position with a few other schools but that he is mostly Georgia. But he ended up not making the trip to OSU for the weekend and it is unsure whether or not he will visit OSU. He is likely staying in the south and for the SEC Bulldogs.
Raekwon McMillan (6-3, 235, LB, 2014, Hinesville, Ga.)
This five-star LB has had Ohio State in the lead for a while and his visit to the Shoe has not seemed to deter. He still says that Ohio State still leads after a great visit to Clemson. He told the-Ozone in August that OSU was in the lead and watching OSU finish a perfect season and defeating Michigan did nothing to daunt OSU’s standing. He tweeted that he was having a really good visit in Ohio. You can read his Ozone interview here.
Clifton Garrett (6-3, 220, LB, 2014, Joliet, Ill.)
OSU is in need of linebackers and Clifton Garrett is one of the top linebackers in the country. It was told to the-Ozone a while back that Garrett had serious OSU interest. It sounds like his OSU experience has done nothing to temper this interest. He told Marc Givler of Rivals “I could definitely see myself playing for THE OHIO STATE.”
Jimmy Byrne (6-4, 275, OL, 2014, Cleveland, Ohio, St. Ignatius)
Byrne and fellow St. Ignatius OSU target Kyle Berger both watched former HS teammates Jake Ryan and Blake Thomas at the Shoe. He said the atmosphere was great and made small talk with the coaches and said that coach Ed Warinner will be at his school within a few weeks. Right now, he says the gap between OSU and ND is close but Notre Dame still leads.
Kyle Trout (6-6, 280, OL, 2014, Lancaster, Ohio)
Trout visited Ohio State for the UCF, Nebraska and Michigan games this season. He said the Michigan and Nebraska atmosphere was similar but Nebraska was at night. After the game, he talked to coach Meyer briefly and Meyer said he was glad Trout visited. Fickell told Trout that OSU will evaluate at the end of the season and made it sound like an offer was coming but no offer as of yet has come. Trout seems to be picking up offers on a regular basis so OSU better not delay too long.
Nick Richardson (6-5, 285, OL, 2014, Westerville, Ohio)
Kyle Trout and Richardson are in similar situations, Ohio O-line prospects without an OSU offer. A Rivals 250 4-star recruit, a source said that Richardson has already talked to Urban Meyer on the phone four times and will likely see an offer in the near future. It sounds like Northwestern will offer as well, so the country will start to know Nick Richardson. Ohio has a few top OL prospects in Jimmy Byrne, Kyle Trout, Marcelys Jones and Richardson and need to start locking some of them down as OL will be a huge need for 2014 and 4-5 spots will likely be on the O-line.
*That is all for now. We will continually try to get the latest recruiting information as the weeks progress to national signing day. We will also have interviews with Ohio LB Kyle Berger and Illinois prospect Parkker Westphal.