Signing Day Primer

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Last updated: 02/04/2014 0:46 AM
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Football Recruiting
Signing Day Primer: One Chase Ends, Another Begins
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's the day that every recruitnik loves, and it only comes once a year. That's right, Wednesday is National Letter of Intent Day. You may also call it "Signing Day" or "Recruitsmas".

It's the day when a coaching staff can finally put one recruiting class to bed and get back to work on the next one.

For the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer is looking at a 2014 class of anywhere from 21-23 signees, with seven of those signees already dated back to last year's class and added to the roster.

Including the seven early enrollees, the Buckeye roster currently shows 68 scholarship players. With Ohio State serving the last year of its three-year scholarship reduction from 85 to 82, that means OSU currently only has room for 14 more signees, for a total of 21 in this class.

That number, however, is based only on the public roster. Right now, Ohio State is trying to sign 23, which means that Meyer knows something that the public doesn't, which is usually the case.

Every year there is attrition between the start of one season and the beginning of the next. As it stands, if Meyer lands the class of 23 that he is shooting for, then there will need to be two existing scholarship players who won't be back with the team.

In recruiting vernacular, this is known as oversigning. In the Big Ten, however, Meyer would have to explain to the conference where the two extra scholarships would be coming from.

Last year on Signing Day the Buckeyes appeared to be over the 82 limit as well, but injuries actually had OSU so far under the limit that Meyer was able to put walk-on long snapper George Makridis on scholarship as well.

Waiting on a Pair

The Buckeyes currently have 22 commitments, though Chicago offensive lineman Jamarco Jones took an official visit to Michigan State this past weekend, and is now a "flight risk".

According to Land-Grant Holy Land, Jones will be informing both the Michigan State and Ohio State coaches of his decision on Tuesday after talking it over with his family Monday night. It is expected that Jones will then make his decision public.

The Monday night family talk will also take place with the Buckeyes' other target, Malik McDowell. McDowell, the massive 6-foot-6 292-pounded defensive lineman out of Michigan, will be talking over his decision with his family before finally announcing on Wednesday at a school press conference around 9:30 a.m.

McDowell will be choosing between Ohio State, Florida State, Michigan and Michigan State, though his parents have been quite public in their stance that they do not want their son going to Michigan State.

The thought at this point is that this is a race between OSU and FSU because if he wanted to go to Michigan, he's had a year to commit to them and yet never pulled the trigger. Keep in mind, he took his official visit to Ohio State last weekend, so Columbus is going to be fresh in his mind.

Familiar Territory

The decision by Jamarco Jones to take an official visit this close to signing day is not all that unusual for commits, as both Ezekiel Elliott and Trey Johnson did the same last year. Obviously, they both stuck to their commitments, and Urban Meyer and his staff are hoping Jones does the same.

They are also experienced with sweating out the signing day commitment of a five-star defender like McDowell. A year ago they were waiting on safety Vonn Bell to make his decision. That one, as you'll recall, also went the Buckeyes' way.

Ohio State closed extremely strongly last year, and that will be the game plan this time around as well. That closing could start as early as Tuesday.

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