Predicting the Finish
By Michael Chung
Since we last forecasted the finish, Ohio State has added 2 more commitments in OL Demetrius Knox out of Fort Worth, TX and PA DB Malik Hooker. I earlier wrote that the 2014 class will number around 22 and with 16 spots already filled, there is not much room left for 2014.
Theoretically, OSU is full for 2014 as their roster will be at 82 if nothing else changes. But there will be most certainly a few Buckeyes headed to the NFL early as well as dismissals, transfers, and 4th year juniors who are not offered a 5th year. Factoring in these entities, I argued that there would be around 6 more spots open.
OSU is unable to accept certain players now like Jonathan Hilliman, Noah Brown, and Mike Gesicki all due to the scholarship limits. Had Tat-gate never happened, these names along with others like Derrick Green would likely be on the Buckeye roster. With this in mind, here is this month’s forecast for the remaining 6 spots.
Curtis Samuel (6’0” 190, ATH, 2014, NY)
Samuel is reportedly visiting Thursday or Friday and will become the 17th member of the 2014 recruiting class unless something catastrophic happens. Samuel is a quiet person according to sources but did spend some time with OSU recruits at The Opening. At The Opening, he introduced himself to Kyle Trout. He is on the priority list for Urban Meyer and has recruited Samuel hard and Meyer’s track record with the Percy Harvin’s of the world will 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. Though many players held “non-committable" offers, Samuel’s will be accepted immediately.
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. He released the schools he will visit and they are: Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, Florida and the Buckeyes. He also listed Ole Miss in his top 6 but they do not have an OV as of now. Almost one year ago, he told the-Ozone that his top schools were: 1. Ohio State, 2. Georgia, 3. Clemson, and 4. Alabama in that order. 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.
Chad Mavety (6’6” 320, OL, 2014, Garden City, NY)
The picture is becoming clearer and clearer and clear and one thing is for certain: OSU really wants Chad Mavety. So much so that the Buckeyes would not take Jermaine Eluemunor’s verbal pushing him to Bret Bielema and the Hogs. OSU will be in stiff competition with Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Mavety matches up well under Nick’s “Saban-Metrics of wanting OL not shorter than 6’4” and weighing over 300 lbs. You can read Mavety’s the-Ozone interview here.
Thomas Holley (6’5” 290 DL, 2014, Brooklyn, NY)
Looks like a five team battle for this NY superstar: Notre Dame, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse, and the Buckeyes. According to Dylan Butler of Madison Square Garden Varsity “he’s only played organized football for about one year.” But despite his inexperience with football, he is rated five stars by some major outlets. It looks good that OSU will have one superstar from the great state of New York and Urban Meyer would love to add two studs. Meyer’s lust for defensive lineman coupled with possible early departures by Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington could lean Holley towards Ohio State.