Indianapolis Offensive Lineman is Commit #16 for the Buckeyes
By Tony Gerdeman
Tim Gardner, an offensive lineman out of Indianapolis, committed to Ohio State over the weekend, giving the Buckeyes their 16th verbal commitment in the 2013 class.
Gardner (6-5 315), rated a two or three-star prospect by all four major recruiting services, chose the Buckeyes over in-state offers from Indiana and Purdue, and also reported offers from Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
ESPN ranks him the 59th-best offensive tackle in the nation, and the tenth-best prospect in the state of Indiana overall. Despite being rated as a tackle by all four services, Gardner tweeted that the Ohio State staff sees him as an offensive guard.
A breakdown of Gardner's game from ESPN states that he is adept at run blocking, yet nimble enough to pass block.
"Gardner is a tough guy with strong hands and good upper body playing strength; is a dominant run blocker at his present level of competition. Has the size and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition."
Gardner grew up an Ohio State fan and actually tried to commit to the Buckeyes back in June, even tweeting that he had done so. However, there was no offer to accept on Urban Meyer's part, so it was essentially hopeful foreshadowing on Gardner's part.
Undaunted, Gardner's Twitter profile continued to read "Ohio State bound", and after again trying to land an offer, this time at Friday Night Lights, he was finally successful and quickly committed.
"His goal was to go there and get an offer and I’m happy for him," Gardner's coach Jayson West told the Indianapolis Star. "Obviously they think it’s a good fit so that’s the best part."
Gardner's commitment gives Ohio State two offensive linemen in the 2013 class, though there is growing sentiment that defensive tackle commit Billy Price could find himself on the offensive side of the ball as a Buckeye.
Regarding Price's potential on offense, John McCallister of the McCallister Scouting Report actually likes him better on that side of the ball.
"He plays both sides of the ball, but I think he's a better offensive lineman," he said back when Price committed in February. "Probably a guard because he's not real tall. He'll be a really good run blocker, and like most kids he needs to work on his pass blocking. He comes off the ball really well, he's a good bender and he's tough. He'll bring a little bit of nastiness to the table."
With 16 commits in the fold, there is still expected to be room for four or possibly five more commits. The staff told five-star running back Derrick Green last week that they would no longer be recruiting him, which gives you an idea of the number crunch the coaching staff is dealing with. Right now, with a limited scholarship base of 82, the staff has to focus more on needs than wants.
Ohio State still wants (and needs) to land a receiver or two, and Cleveland's Shelton Gibson currently has the Buckeyes on top. Kentucky receiver James Quick, a five-star prospect according to Scout, recently tweeted that Ohio State and Louisville were tied for his services.
The coaches will continue to wait on Georgia safety Vonn Bell, also a five-star prospect per Scout. Texas linebacker Mike Mitchell could make a decision any day now, and he'll be choosing between Texas A&M, Ohio State and Florida State. There is some thought that the longer he waits, the worse it may be for the Buckeyes.
Shaker Heights defensive tackle Donovan Munger and North Carolina linebacker Tyquan Lewis are both expected to make their decisions by early September.
Ohio State is currently at the top, or very near it, for all six of these prospects, though it's still unlikely that they would land them all.
1. Cameron Burrows (6-1 195), DB Trotwood, Ohio
2. Jalin Marshall (6-0 190), ATH Middletown, Ohio
3. Billy Price (6-4 280), DT Youngstown, Ohio
4. Eli Woodard (6-1 185) CB Voorhees, New Jersey
5. Evan Lisle (6-6 265) OT Centerville, Ohio
6. Ezekiel Elliott (6-0 200) RB St. Louis, Missouri
7. Jayme Thompson (6-2 184) DB Toledo, Ohio
8. Marcus Baugh (6-4 229) TE Riverside, California
9. Tracy Sprinkle (6-4 270) DL Elyria, Ohio
10. J.T. Barrett (6-1 209) QB Wichita Falls, Texas
11. Joey Bosa (6-5 260) DE Fort Lauderdale, Florida
13. Darron Lee (6-2 205) ATH New Albany, Ohio
12. Johnny Townsend (6-2 200) P Orlando, Florida
14. Michael Hill (6'3 315) DT Pendleton, South Carolina
15. Taivon Jacobs (5-11 165) WR District Heights, Maryland
16. Tim Gardner (6-5 315) OG Indianapolis, Indiana
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