Looking Forward: 2014 Quarterbacks
By Tony Gerdeman
Now that the Ohio State coaches are in the midst of their January recruiting fire drill, let's all find a calm place to spend some time looking forward to the 2014 class.
Today we begin a new series looking at the 2014 prospects that you'll probably be hearing more of over the next six months or so. The lists will by no means be exhaustive, as more names will emerge, but it should give you a decent foundation of names to get to know.
The first position up is quarterback. Currently, only Deshaun Watson out of Georgia has been offered, and he is a Clemson commit. It will be interesting to see how long the coaches hold off on offering anybody else as they work hard on Watson. Will they be pressured to offer other quarterbacks once somebody high on their list commits? Or will they simply assume that they can always go back and flip somebody down the road?
Right now it looks like only one quarterback will be taken in the 2014 class, so the Buckeye coaches are going to be extremely picky. For now, here are some names for you to know.
|Deshaun Watson (6-3 200), Gainesville GA (Clemson)
#4 Dual Threat QB per 247 Sports, #14 QB per Scout.
|Watson is the only 2014 quarterback with an Ohio State offer, so that should tell you who their #1 QB target is for next year. He has been a Clemson commit since February of 2012. He was just offered by Georgia, and also has offers from Florida State, LSU, North Carolina and Auburn. It appears that the Buckeyes are number two right now, and Watson will continue to take visits, but there is still a lot of work to be done here. He is being hailed as one of the best quarterbacks out of the state of Georgia in years. Max Preps named him the National Junior Player of the Year for 2012. He threw for 4,011 yards and 50 touchdowns this season, and rushed for 1,430 yards and 24 touchdowns, leading his team to the Class AAAAA State Championship. He was also named Georgia's All Classification Player of the Year by the AP. He is already the state's all-time leader in passing yardage (9,360), touchdown passes (108), and all-purpose touchdowns (155). He was the third player in state history to throw for 4,000 yards and the second to throw for 50 touchdowns in a season. Highlights
|Caleb Henderson (6-3 220), Alexandria VA (Uncommitted)
#2 Pro Style QB per 247 Sports, #3 QB per Scout
|Henderson does not yet have an Ohio State offer, though the Buckeyes remain one of his favorites. He performed well in attendance at last summer's Ohio State Friday Night Lights, and spoke glowingly about the Buckeyes at that time. He talked about his desire to play in the Big Ten, which is probably why Michigan State is one of his leaders right now. The Spartans are one of two Big Ten team to offer at this point, along with Illinois. He also has offers from future Big Ten teams Maryland and Rutgers, as well as Virginia and Virginia Tech. He threw for 2,435 yards and 19 touchdowns (with 11 interceptions) this past season, and rushed for 453 yards and 10 touchdowns. Some believe that if the Buckeyes were to offer, they would jump to the lead. At the moment, however, they don't appear to be willing to take any commitment from a quarterback who isn't Deshaun Watson. Highlights
|Drew Barker (6-4 210), Hebron KY (Uncommitted)
#6 Pro Style QB per 247 Sports, #5 QB per Scout
|Barker does not yet have an Ohio State offer, though the Buckeyes remain in frequent contact. In fact, cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs was reportedly at the school this past weekend to watch Barker play basketball. He has offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Purdue, Tennessee and South Carolina. Barker has stated that he would like to make a decision this spring. Like Henderson, Barker also participated in last summers OSU FNL camp. He is in a similar position as Henderson, as an Ohio State offer would be warmly received. They may not get a chance to make that offer before he commits somewhere else, however. Not that that would then keep them from offering him later, of course. He threw for 2,072 yards and 22 touchdowns this past season, while rushing for 1,455 yards and 18 touchdowns. Highlights
|William Crest (6-3 170), Baltimore MD (Uncommitted)
#10 Pro Style QB per 247 Sports, #8 QB per Scout
|Crest does not have an offer from the current Ohio State staff, though he did receive one from the previous staff. He appears to be taking things very slowly at the moment and is in no hurry to commit, though OSU and West Virginia have been mentioned as leaders. Crest has offers from West Virginia, Maryland, Rutgers, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He led his team to their third consecutive state championship this past season.
|Will Ulmer (6-1 190), Washington DC (Uncommitted)
#6 Dual Threat QB per 247 Sports, NR per Scout
|Ulmer does not have an Ohio State offer, but that doesn't mean there isn't mutual interest. He attended the Michigan game last November, and it likely won't be his last visit. He has offers from Maryland, Boston College, North Carolina and Syracuse. Given his location, Maryland would seem to be the lead school right now unless something bigger comes along. Ulmer has run in the 4.4s at camps in the past, and is also being looked at as an "athlete" by schools. According to 247 Sports, Ulmer rushed for 1,412 yards and threw for 1,245 yards last season. Highlights
|Kyle Allen (6-3 185), Scottsdale AZ (Uncommitted)
#7 Pro Style QB per 247 Sports, #4 QB per Scout
|Allen does not have an Ohio State offer, and is probably a long shot to receive one. However, he does have offers from Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Oklahoma State, Boise State and North Carolina. He plays in a passing offense and rarely runs the ball, though he is not a statue. This past season he threw for 3,119 yards and 36 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. He very well could be the top prospect in the state of Arizona next season. Highlights
|Deshone Kizer (6-5 207), Toledo OH (Uncommitted)
#7 Dual Threat QB per 247 Sports, #10 QB per Scout
|Kizer does not have an Ohio State offer, but the rest of the Big Ten is well aware of him. Illinois, Michigan State, Nebraska and Penn State have all extended offers, as have Kentucky, Louisville and Syracuse. Kizer led his team to a state championship this past season. Highlights
|Chris Durkin (6-4 216), Youngstown OH (Uncommitted)
#18 Pro Style QB per 247 Sports, #21 QB per Scout
|Durkin does not have an Ohio State offer, though he is one of the top quarterbacks in the state for 2014. The Buckeyes are in contact, however, and likely will be for a while. He has offers from Illinois, Toledo and Bowling Green at the moment. Highlights
|Joey Duckworth (6-3 215), Louisville OH (Uncommitted)
Unranked per 247 Sports and Scout
|Duckworth was also at the Ohio State Friday Night Lights, and performed pretty well, though it has not yet led to an OSU offer. His offers to this point are MAC schools Akron, Toledo, Bowling Green and Buffalo. He is in contact with Ohio State, but he is a long shot to get an offer. Highlights
|Dimonic McKinzy (6-0 210), Kan. City KS (Uncommitted)
#11 Dual Threat QB per 247 Sports, #17 QB per Scout
|McKinzy also attended Ohio State's Friday Night Lights, but no offer came from it. He does, however, have offers from Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa, with the Hawkeyes reportedly on top. Highlights
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