Forecasting the 2014 Class
By Michael Chung
Forecasting Urban Meyer is like forecasting the stock market. One never really knows what will happen. My first attempt was before the 2013 class was even finished but the days before NSD 2013 were as dramatic as ever.
My early forecast incorrectly projected players like Jonathan Haden (Arizona), Jalen Hurd (Tennessee), Drew Barker (Kentucky), Alex Bars (ND), Orlando “Zeus” Brown (Tennessee), Thad Snodgrass (Kentucky), Drake Harris (Michigan). It also looks like Clifton Garrett, Parrker Westphal, and Myles Autry will go elsewhere. Only Kyle Berger, Dante Booker, and Kyle Trout were picked correctly.
Since my initial predictions, the Buckeyes added eleven commits to the 2014 class and thirteen total. After Marcelys Jones and Damon Webb came Kyle Trout, Dylan Thompson, Dante Booker, Kyle Berger, Sam Hubbard, Parris Campbell, Lonnie Johnson, Jalyn Holmes, Stephen Collier, Terry McLaurin, and Sean Nuernberger. With 13 already committed for 2014, there are likely only 7-8 spots remaining for the class, depending on attrition. Here are the final 7-8 spots I am projecting.
Jonathan Hilliman (6’1” 210, RB, New Jersey) He told me he almost committed over the weekend on his visit. With spots filling up fast and Parris Campbell on board, one wonders how much longer this power runner can wait before there is no more room at the inn. He told me that the running back depth at OSU would not be a factor.
Jamarco Jones (6’5” 285, OL, Illinois) He announces Thursday and unless something drastic happens, should be #14 for Ohio State. Buckeyes need linemen and Jamarco will get his shot as four OL graduate after 2013.
Erick Smith (6’0” 180, S, Cleveland-Glenville) The Cleveland-Glenville pipeline will keep on pumping but one thing against Smith is that traditionally, Tarblooders take their time before committing. Marcelys Jones was an exception. The only thing that can stop Smith is pure and simple space. Unless he would be willing to grey shirt or go to prep school, Smith may not be part of 2014 if he waits too long.
Curtis Samuel (5’11” 180, WR, New York) Urban Meyer stocks up on playmakers like he stocks up on defensive linemen. With the recent commitment of Terry McLaurin, one wonders whether or not there will be space in the class for Curtis but if he wants to commit, I am sure Urban would accept as Meyer is enamored by playmakers who can take it all the way every time they touch the ball and Samuel has that type of ability.
Raekwon McMillan (6’3” 235, LB, GA) Raekwon seems to be showing more interest down south these days but OSU will keep a spot open for him and will wait till January 2014 when he announces at the Under Armour All Star game. For the longest time, Raekwon has had OSU at or near the top and there is no reason to think that his decision come the all-star game will go anything but Scarlet and Gray. You can read his Ozone interview here.
Marshon Lattimore (6’0” 185, ATH, Cleveland-Glenville)
Just like Smith, the only thing that would keep Marshon away from OSU would be space, but just like Raekwon, OSU will reserve a spot for the #1 player in Ohio. He and Damon Webb recently competed in a 7-on-7 in MI so maybe they would want to continue their rivalry.
Damian Prince (6’5” 290, OL, Maryland)
The 5-star MD OL has OSU interest but may let the recruiting process work itself out which could be a detriment to Prince because the staff will likely not wait if they can secure a commitment from someone like Demetrius Knox or Natrell Curtis. But sources say Prince has OSU interest and they are in it for his pledge.
Jermaine Eluemunor/Chad Mavety (Juco OL: Eluemunor 6’6” 300; Mavety 6’6” 320) Meyer needs at least one or both of these guys to commit. With four graduating OL, both men would almost certainly start from day one. If there is enough space, Meyer would love both. In the case of Mavety, one deal breaker could be jersey number. He demands 55 but if Damain Prince commits, he also wears 55 though he has not been demonstrative about keeping it.
In speaking with Eluemunor, he is torn and clearly his OSU visit turned his head. He will take a few other visits and then decide but I would not be surprised at all to see this Bruin commit flip Buckeye.