Buckeyes Become Part of the Brady Bunch: Brady Taylor is #22
By Michael Chung
It was a Sunday afternoon, not too long after Brady Taylor left the Ohio State campus. He had been on his official visit and had already talked to Urban Meyer two times; the third time would be a charm.
Taylor told me Sunday that he, his mother, and Urban Meyer would meet once more Monday morning and that there was a chance he would cancel his VT visit. This told me that Taylor was likely going to flip. A Columbus native and life long Buckeye fan, it is hard to turn your back on your dreams when your childhood favorite team offers a scholarship.
Taylor was offered a scholarship less than a week ago, and almost a week ago I interviewed Brady and had the impression he would stay committed to VT. At that time, OSU had not offered (though they were talking) and Taylor had been committed to VT since the summer. Taylor also told me about VT’s Dietetics program and a possible double major in Business or an MBA. A little less than a week ago, it looked like Taylor would stay Hokie.
But recruiting is a “soap opera/Reality TV Show” and things change so fast. Last year, OSU had punter Johnny Townsend committed for months on end but days before National Signing Day, Townsend decided to follow his heart and pledge to the Florida Gators, his childhood favorite team.
Though not as dramatic and unexpected as Townsend, history repeated itself in reverse with Taylor becoming #22 for the 2014 recruiting class and their fifth and likely final OL (Rod Johnson also visited and OSU would accept his commitment).
The day after I interviewed him, Ohio State offered. When I talked to Taylor again, it was clear Ohio State had made a significant move in Taylor’s mind, but the nail that likely sealed VT’s fate in losing Taylor was when the OL coach Jeff Grimes left VT for LSU. Taylor was understanding of Grimes to LSU but his relationship with him was the strongest. After Grimes left for LSU, it looked like Taylor flipping to OSU was inevitable.
He is a huge commitment because OSU was desperate to replenish their OL depth. Meyer was very clear about OL recruiting: “We're going to have four starters walk out the doors next year this time,” he said back in early February. “And we're not prepared for that. So that's area number one. And 1A, 1B, 1C is offensive linemen for next year.”
Ohio State already had a blue chip recruiting season for offensive linemen. Cleveland-Glenville’s Marcelys Jones became the first OL and the first member of the 2014 class to commit. The Buckeyes later added Kyle Trout, Jamarco Jones, and Demetrius Knox, filling four of their allotted five spots for OL.
But attaining OL #5 has not been easy. Top Juco OL Jermaine Eluemunor told me he was going to commit to OSU upon his visit but certain unknown factors prevented him from being Buckeye. Another top Juco OL—Avery Gennesy—visited Ohio State and had OSU #2 behind Texas A&M but he later pledged to the Aggies with Eluemunor (who flipped from Arkansas). Ohio State was all in for top Juco OL Chad Mavety, who told Ozone that OSU was calling him their #1 guy. Urban Meyer personally took over his recruitment but Mavety went with his heart and committed to FSU. Now the Buckeyes have OL number 5 and can focus on the remaining few spots left for the 2014.
Rod Johnson has an OSU offer and would be accepted if he pledged but the recruiting focus is likely on the DL and the hopes that Derrick Nnadi, Solomon Thomas, and Malik McDowell will be one of the last commits. Tthey would like to take two of these three.
Taylor is 6-5, 275-pound lineman out of Bishop Ready HS in Columbus. Rivals, Scout, ESPN, and 247 rate him as a 3-star prospect. His commitment has sealed the deal for 2014 and now OL recruiting for 2015 will be kicked into high gear, as OSU still would like to add more depth at OL.