Updating the 2014 Recruiting Forecast
By Michael Chung
Ohio State is now at 14 commits and are well on their way to be filling all the spots for the 2014 class. Most recruiting analysts project a class between 20-22. The numbers include graduating seniors, fourth year juniors who may not be granted another year, third year players leaving for the NFL, and attrition due to transfers.
Since my last forecast, the Buckeyes added Chicago, IL offensive tackle Jamarco Jones as the 14th member of the 2014 class. Look for July to end with a bang as Friday Night Lights happens July 26 and those in attendance will be the likes of Austin Roberts, Raekwon McMillan, Erick Smith, and Marshon Lattimore.
Expect to be surprised, as recruiting and Urban Meyer are synonymous with excitement. Do not be shocked to see this list of commitments jump from 14 to 16-17 by August.
Without further adieu, here is my updated forecast for 2014
Jermaine Eluemunor (6’6” 300, OL, 2014, Juco, Scranton, PA)
Many, including myself, had Eluemunor penciled in last Friday to be the fourth OL commit to the class but an eleventh hour change postponed his announcement and he will visit Arkansas July 19th and then decide. One factor in Eluemunor’s recruitment is that he is British and did not move to the states until he was 14. He told the-Ozone that he really did not learn how to play football until his senior year in HS and started playing his sophomore year. Hence, all this “visiting” colleges and “verbal” commitments are fairly new to him. Unless Arkansas Head Coach Bret Bielema can blow him away or Mora Jr. can change the tide I believe Eluemunor will flip Bruin to Buckeye. If Eluemunor does not commit for some unknown reason, look for Chad Mavety to be the Juco commit but sources close to the program shared that there is one spot for a Juco. Eluemunor is a four star prospect according to 24/7 and a four star on the 24/7 composite list.
Austin Roberts (6’1” 210, WR/TE, 2014, Carmel, IN)
Roberts returned to the Buckeye radar at The Opening. He is coming to Friday Night Lights and do not be surprised if Roberts pulls the trigger and commits to the Buckeyes. Many believe it is only a matter of time for Roberts to pledge Scarlet and Gray, but he is also scheduled to visit Alabama, who has already stolen one “Buckeye Lock” in Derek Kief; could Saban do it again? I doubt it and believe Roberts becomes Buckeye before August. Roberts is rated a four star prospect by 24/7 and a four star on the 24/7 composite list.
Demetrius Knox (6’4” 300, OL, 2014, Fort Worth, TX)
Knox has been talking UCLA as his leader and told me he is closer to the UCLA commits but I do not see him headed west as of now. He says winning championships is important to him and of his top 5, UCLA, Miami, TCU, Florida, and OSU, he will likely see that OSU is where he will win championships. With four OL graduating after next season, there will be plenty of opportunity to play right away. He says he will announce when it feels right and as of now, he will officially visit UCLA, Miami, Florida, Florida State, and the Buckeyes. In the end, I think he comes home and tries to pursue titles. He would also only be about 200 miles away from his best friend—Daniel Gresham—who has an OSU offer but has committed to play at Louisville, his hometown. He is rated a four star player by Rivals.com and the number one offensive guard prospect in the nation.
Curtis Samuel (6’0” 190, ATH, 2014, NY)
Samuel is a quiet person according to sources but did spend some time with OSU recruits at The Opening. Sources at The Opening were reporting that there was no real “group” of commits Samuel was hanging out with. He is on the priority list for Urban Meyer and he will recruit Samuel hard but Meyer’s track record with the Percy Harvin’s of the world should land Samuel in Scarlet and Gray. Samuel is rated a five-star prospect by 24/7 and a four star on the 24/7 composite.
Marshon Lattimore (6’0” 185, ATH, Cleveland-Glenville)
He will announce at the Army All American All Star Game Jan 4 as other Glenville stars have done in the past. He will wait and take his visits like most Glenville kids do but in the end, relationships is a big factor that draws kids to schools and his relationship with current OSU players like De’van Bogard and Chris Worley along with 2014 commit Marcelys Jones will likely have Marshon putting on the OSU hat in San Antonio. He is a four star prospect according to 24/7 and a five star on the 24/7 composite.
Raekwon McMillan (6’3” 235, LB, GA)
Reports are that Alabama is gaining as well as other Southern schools like Florida. He will announce January 2014 at the Under Armour All Star game and I believe he announces OSU like current 2013 LB Trey Johnson did. He told the-Ozone back in August of 2012 OSU was his leader. In regards to the reports that distance could be a factor, McMillan told the-Ozone , “My parents are not pushing me to stay home and they would be fine if I played further away. It is not important to me to play close to home; I feel I need to branch out so playing further away would be good. My parents will travel to wherever I play to watch me.” He and Dante Booker are friends and have talked about going to school together. Dante has committed to OSU already and I believe Raekwon will follow. You can read his Ozone interview here. He is rated a five star prospect by 24/7 and on the 24/7 composite.
Erick Smith (6’0” 180, S, Cleveland-Glenville)
Just like Marshon Lattimore, the factor that I believe tilts Erick towards Ohio State is relationships. With so many former Tarblooders currently on the OSU team, it will be hard not to want to renew relationships with bonds that are already formed; hence, I believe Smith will make it a “trifecta” this year for Cleveland-Glenville and Ohio State. Rivals ranks him a four star prospect.