Who Will Be Number 20?
By Michael Chung
Christmas came early for the Buckeyes. Dec. 16 and 17. On those dates the Buckeyes picked up two of the top prospects in the nation: LB WR Johnnie Dixon. Both had to call Nick Saban and tell them they would not be headed to Tuscaloosa and both later called Urban Meyer to tell them they are headed to Columbus.
After months of speculation, actually over a year, Raekwon McMillan finally made it official by choosing Ohio State live on NBC Sports. For over a year, McMillan has had OSU in the lead and finally decided to end his recruitment.
Johnnie Dixon had been pursued by the Buckeyes for a while to but many had him going to Miami. He did tell the-Ozone that he had the best relationship with Miami coaches but he also grew up following Urban Meyer at Florida. Now Dixon will cross the Mason Dixon line and follow Urban Meyer to Ohio.
With a class numbering 23-25 and National Signing Day less than two months away, who will be number 20? In this issue of the-Ozone.net recruiting, we will explore who is the likely candidate to commit next.
Marshon Lattimore (6’0” 185, ATH, Cleveland-Glenville)
Just like Raekwon McMillan, Lattimore has been an OSU lean for a longtime. He will announce on January 4th at the Army All American Bowl in San Antonio and I believe will follow McMillan in donning the Ohio State hat. The only way he would not be number 20 is if his teammate—Erick Smith—decides before him. There will be a slew of OSU commits playing at the game so look for a full court press from the 2014 commits on this Cleveland-Glenville Tarblooder.
Erick Smith (6’0” 180, S, Cleveland-Glenville)
The only was he is #20 before Lattimore is if his announcement time is before. Other than that, he is also scheduled to announce Jan 4 and will likely be either #20 or 21, depending on the announcement order. With so many former Tarblooders currently on the OSU team or committed — like De’van Bogard, Chris Worley, along with 2014 commit Marcelys Jones—these relationships will push Erick to stay home and play for the Buckeyes and hopefully follow Tarblooder DBs like Donte Whitner into the NFL.
Alex Bookser (6-6, 295, OL, 2014, Pittsburgh, PA)
He has been to Ohio State at least three times and once on an official. He is scheduled to visit Pitt January 17 and will make his decision afterward. The reason he could be #20 is that after his official to OSU, he may have a good idea where OSU stands and I believe OSU is standing taller than most think. Many have Alex penciled in at Pitt and this is a strong possibility but I think he is coming to OSU and he may decide to pull the trigger sooner rather than later, though even I would be shocked if he decided before his official to Pitt which is less than 30 minutes from his house. Pitt and Penn State were his other top schools when he interviewed with the-Ozone but it looks like a two team race between Pitt and the Buckeyes.
Mike Rogers (6’1” 185 ATH, 2014, Smyrna, GA)
Usually, flips come out of nowhere so if the Cleveland-Glenville duo are not #20 and 21, then look for a flip to occur. One likely candidate is Mike Rogers, a current commit to Central Florida. If history repeats itself then do not be surprised if Rogers ends up in this class. Not too long ago, another GA high school superstar—Bradley Roby—was also committed to another school, Vanderbilt, but de-committed to play for the Buckeyes. Roby also hails from GA and was also a three star prospect by some recruiting services. Could Georgia lightning strike twice? Could Rogers be #20?
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.