Sunday Recruiting Rundown: Predicting the Rest of the Class
By Michael Chung
Christmas came early for the Buckeyes this week. On Dec. 16, Raekwon McMillan became number 18 for 2014 and the very next day, Florida speedster Johnnie Dixon pledged to be #19. Both will enroll early.
But just as Christmas came early, the Buckeyes did lose out on JUCO OL prospect Chad Mavety who went with his heart and chose Florida State over the Buckeyes despite FSU trying to recruit a total of 6-8 OL and have tentatively four returning starters coming back for 2014.
In this edition of the Sunday Recruiting Rundown, I will discuss who I think will finish out the class that will number between 23-25 players. With Raekwon McMillan and Johnnie Dixon committing, the Buckeyes officially have one spot remaining but look for more to open up via transfers/early declarations, etc.
In Rob Ogden’s Football Notebook, Braxton Miller seems undecided while Ryan Shazier seems to be leaning a senior season return. It would not surprise me either way if Shazier returns or declares early. One thing that is noticed when prospects are interviewed on their visits is that Ryan Shazier’s name always seems to pop up as a host or someone who was involved. This communicates Shazier is all in for the Buckeyes and would not be surprising if he returned, but the allure of being a high draft pick maybe too tempting.
I fully expect Braxton Miller to turn pro which would open a second scholarship, but I hope I am wrong on this one as no one believes Braxton going this year will be good for his long-term future. Ozone’s Tony Gerdeman also pointed out that being drafted higher than the third round pays of big dividends financially: “There really isn't much difference monetarily between the third and seventh round of the NFL Draft. If Miller was to be the first pick of the second round, however, his signing bonus alone would essentially equal any four-year contract as lower-round pick. The four-year contract for a second-round pick is worth $1-$3 million more over the life of a contract than anything from the fourth round and below. Additionally, the last pick of the first round is looking at a million more in signing bonus, and at least that over the four years of the contract. If Miller has the potential to be a top 10 pick, then you're looking at a signing bonus of anywhere from $7-$15 million, and that top 10 status is much more likely to happen next year than this year.”
So if money is the issue for Braxton then Tony Gerdeman has shown Braxton should take a longer-term view and try to up his draft stock by returning for his senior year.
Despite all the “possibilities” Ohio State still has some roster spots to fill and these are the players I believe will fill them.
Marshon Lattimore (6’0” 185, ATH, Cleveland-Glenville)
No news is good news. Lattimore went to Alabama and left with no real stir. It looks all Buckeye here and he will announce in January and I believe he will don the Buckeye cap at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio. This will be a particularly rich year for the Cleveland-Glenville pipeline to flow down to Columbus as Marcelys Jones is already in the fold.
Erick Smith (6’0” 180, S, Cleveland-Glenville)
The Tarblooder three of Marshon Lattimore, Marcelys Jones, and Erick Smith did not stay in Alabama too long and there has not been too much commotion since they returned so it looks like the Cleveland Glenville Trio will head to Ohio State together and be reunited with friends like Chris Worley and carve a new legacy of Tarblooder greats. This also forms a good foundation for future Tarblooders to come to OSU. I believe Erick Smith will also don the OSU cap at the Alamo Dome and depending who is first to announce, will become #20 or #21 for the 2014 class.
Mike Rogers (6’0” 185 DB, 2014 Smyrna, GA)
Bradley Roby has declared for the NFL and will not be back. Though Buckeye fans expected this, there still needs to be a corresponding move. Roby was once committed to a southern school (Vanderbilt), is from the state of Georgia (like Rogers), and is a star DB. It looks like history will repeat itself and Urban will flip this Mr. Rogers from his commitment to Central Florida to the Urban Meyer neighborhood.
Solomon Thomas (6’3” 260, DL, 2014 Coppell, TX)
This Texan has been to Ohio State two times and is coming again for an official visit. With Urban Meyer’s obsession with the DL he will be obsessed to get Thomas out of Texas. With Mack Brown leaving and Stanford with a little assistant coaching turnover, this could be primetime for Thomas to come north.
Brady Taylor (6’5” 275 OL, 2014, Columbus, OH)
Taylor is a Columbus native and current Virginia Tech commit. With Chad Mavety headed to FSU and no guarantees of landing another OL, the Buckeyes could offer this Bishop Ready high school OL. Just like Johnny Townsend flipped last year to his home state Florida Gators, Brady could leave Frank Beamer in the dust to stay home and play for Urban Meyer.
That is all for this week. The-Ozone.net recruiting will have another installment of “The Mind of Meech” and many interviews this upcoming week.