Recruiting Rundown — A Dozen Names to Watch on Defense
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Earlier in the week we took a look at twelve prospects on the offensive side of the ball that Buckeye fans need to keep an eye on. With the 2013 recruiting class filling up, much of the rest of the class will likely come from that dozen.
There are still some needs to fill on defense, so the list below will detail twelve defensive prospects of interest to OSU fans. Like the list for offense, new names will emerge as visits and camps continue, so this is by no means an exhaustive list.
However, with only a few spots left in the class for defense, this is a pretty fair "best guess" list.
Maurice Hurst (6-2 285) Xaverian Brothers HS, Westwood MA
(Rivals #24 DT ***, Scout #23 DT ****, 247 #18 DT ****)
Hurst has offers from Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan State and UNC, to name the notables, and he wants to make his decision before his football season starts. He finished last season with 61 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks.
Donovan Munger (6-3 278) Shaker Hts HS, Shaker Heights OH
(Rivals #25 DT ***, Scout #24 DT ***, 247 #17 DT ****)
Despite being rated just a three-star prospect per Rivals and Scout, Munger shows a pretty impressive offer list. Ohio State, Penn State, Washington, Pitt, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee are all after the Ohioan. The Buckeyes are thought to lead this one, and Munger's decision could be coming at any time because Ohio State likely won't wait too much longer for him. His commitment would almost certainly end any further recruiting of Maurice Hurst, and could happen sooner rather than later.
Jordan Sherit (6-3 245) Hillsborough HS, Tampa FL
(Rivals #6 WDE****, Scout #24 DE****, 247 #6 WDE ****)
The Buckeyes aren't really in need of any defensive ends right now after landing Joey Bosa in this class, and the three monsters in the 2012 class. However, they have their eyes on a couple, and if things fall right (or wrong), they may decide to take one more. Sherit has offers from Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio State, Miami, Notre Dame, Auburn and Stanford. He plans to visit a few Midwest schools this summer.
Tashawn Bower (6-5 230) Immaculata HS, Somerville NJ
(Rivals #9 WDE****, Scout #14 DE****, 247 #3 WDE ****)
Bower is in the same boat as Jordan Sherit. The Buckeyes like them both, but may not have room or need for either. He has offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Florida State, Clemson, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State and Virginia Tech.
Elijah Daniel (6-4 253) Avon HS, Avon IN
(Rivals #12 SDE ****, Scout #5 DE ****, 247 #8 SDE ****)
Daniel was offered by the Buckeyes back in December, but there hasn't been much momentum between the two over the last few months. He also has offers from Florida State, Florida, Michigan State, Miami, Clemson, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. At this point, Daniel is certainly not a need for the Buckeyes.
Jaylon Smith (6-3 225) Bishop Luers HS, Fort Wayne IN
(Rivals #5 OLB ****, Scout #1 OLB *****, 247 #1 OLB *****)
Smith is the highest-rated defensive target still on the board for the Buckeyes, and he's the type of prospect that you would take even if you thought you were full at linebacker. He has offers from USC, Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Notre Dame. This is thought to be a battle between the Buckeyes and the Irish, with the Irish holding the lead at the moment. He is from the same high school as OSU basketball player Deshaun Thomas, as well as the brother of current Buckeye running back Rod Smith.
Christopher Worley (6-3 185) Glenville HS, Cleveland OH
(Rivals NR ATH ***, Scout #67 OLB ***, 247 NR ATH)
Ohio State is Worley's biggest offer, but Arkansas, West Virginia and Illinois are also trying to land him. At his frame, he would clearly have to grow into a linebacker, so his early future may be at star. He is reminiscent of 2012 OSU signee Devan Bogard, also from Glenville.
Jerome Lane (6-3 217) Firestone HS, Akron OH
(Rivals NR S, Scout NR OLB, 247 NR S)
Jerome Lane, son of the former Pitt basketball star of the same name, is an under the radar guy, but after running a 4.47 at an Adidas combine in early April, you can expect more schools' radars to start pinging. His only major offer is Washington, but more offers will begin to roll in as he hits the summer camp circuit.
Mackensie Alexander (5-11 175) Immokalee HS, Immokalee FL
(Rivals #5 CB ****, Scout #3 CB ****, 247 #2 CB ****)
With offers from all over the South and East and Midwest, Alexander is one of the most sought after players in the nation. The recruiting services list him as having interest in Ohio State, but don't expect him to head north.
Caleb Day (6-0 175) Darby HS, Hilliard OH
(Rivals #11 ATH ****, Scout #57 CB ***, 247 #35 ATH ***)
Day has an Ohio State offer, but it's not clear if it's an offer that OSU will let him accept at the moment. Likely he will have to prove himself at camp again this summer, like he did last year under the Fickell regime. Arkansas, Illinois and Louisville have also offered him. Though he will likely start at cornerback, he might ultimately end up at safety.
Vonn Bell (6-1 190) Ridgeland HS, Rossville GA
(Rivals #19 S ****, Scout #3 S *****, 247 #2 S ****)
Scout and 247 certainly like Bell more than Rivals, and his offer list is more in line with the former rather than the latter. He has offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, Clemson, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia Tech. He recently visited Ohio State and called it his best visit so far. Originally thought to be a longshot, the Buckeyes might actually have a dog in this fight.
Dymonte Thomas (6-1 175) Marlington HS, Alliance OH
(Rivals #8 S ****, Scout #5 S *****, 247 #7 S ****)
Thomas has been committed to Michigan since September, but there are still people who believe that Thomas will ultimately end up at Ohio State. However, 97% of those people wear tinfoil fedoras. If OSU was to somehow land Vonn Bell, the Thomas-to-Ohio State train would likely derail for the final time.
The 2013 Commitments
1. Cameron Burrows (6-1 195), DB Trotwood, Ohio
Rivals #2 CB *****, Scout #4 CB ****, 247 #4 CB ****
2. Jalin Marshall (6-0 190), ATH Middletown, Ohio
Rivals #2 ATH ****, Scout #6 RB *****, 247 #2 ATH *****
3. Billy Price (6-4 280), DT Youngstown, Ohio
Rivals #11 DT ****, Scout #15 DT ****, 247 #14 DT ****
4. Eli Woodard (6-1 185) CB Voorhees, New Jersey
Rivals #4 CB ****, Scout #7 CB ****, 247 #8 CB ****
5. Evan Lisle (6-6 265) OT Centerville, Ohio
Rivals #10 OT ****, Scout #8 OT ****, 247 #16 OT ****
6. Ezekiel Elliott (6-0 200) RB St. Louis, Missouri
Rivals #20 RB ****, Scout #9 RB ****, 247 #26 RB ***
7. Jayme Thompson (6-2 184) DB Toledo, Ohio
Rivals #13 S ****, Scout #32 S ***, 247 #22 S ***
8. Marcus Baugh (6-4 229) TE Riverside, California
Rivals #4 TE ****, Scout #7 TE ****, 247 #3 TE ****
9. Tracy Sprinkle (6-4 270) DL Elyria, Ohio
Rivals NR DE ***, Scout #41 DE ***, 247 #26 WDE ***
10. J.T. Barrett (6-1 209) QB Wichita Falls, Texas
11. Alex Anzalone (6-3 225) LB Wyomissing, Pennsylvania
Rivals #6 DT QB****, Scout #7 QB****, 247 #1 DT QB****
Rivals #16 OLB****, Scout #10 OLB****, 247 #5 OLB****
12. Joey Bosa (6-5 260) DE Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Rivals #2 SDE ****, Scout #2 DE *****, 247 #2 SDE ****
13. Lewis Neal (6-1 232) LB Wilson, North Carolina
Rivals #16 WDE ***, Scout #28 MLB ***, 247 #37 WDE ***3
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