Who Else Could Be in for 2014?
By Michael Chung
Predicting Urban Meyer and recruiting is much like trying to be a fortune-teller gazing into a crystal ball. Getting all predications right is all but impossible. Meyer casts a wide net all over the country and the world trying to mine the best talent to come to OSU.
In my last article predicting the 2014 class, I stated that OSU would finish out the class with: ATH Curtis Samuel, ATH Marshon Lattimore, LB Raekwon McMillan, DB Erick Smith, OL Chad Mavety, and DL Thomas Holley (I will have another updated list coming soon). This was based on a class numbering 22. Curtis Samuel crossed himself off of this list and put himself on the list of commitments bringing the Buckeyes to 17 for 2014. With Adam Griffin and Blake Thomas suffering career ending injuries and Najee Murray leaving the team, OSU now has a few more spots for 2014.
In another article, I felt the class would number around 22 but it could be as high as 24-25. If that were the case, there needs to be more names added to the list. Who could they be?
Noah Brown (6'2" 210, WR, Sparta, NJ)
I was wrong when I stated that Brown was currently a victim of scholarship reductions. Turns out that Ohio State has formally mailed him an offer. Saeed Blacknell and Jonathan Hilliman committing to Rutgers maybe a small hitch as the hometown team is forming a pretty strong foundation for the future but Ohio State is Ohio State. Reports are that Brown is staying home and wants to bring the glory back to Rutgers. Urban Meyer will not give up and will recruit Noah until his Ark sails. Even if it sails to a different school, Meyer may not give up until Brown docks his Ark at Ohio State, but look for him to be a Scarlet Knight.
Mike Gesicki (6'6" 215, TE, Manahawkin, NJ)
How bad do schools want this guy? Duke recently sent 115 letters to him. Gesicki is taking his time visiting schools from all over the country. Urban Meyer covets the freakish nature this guy possesses and Tom Herman probably already has a number of plays to utilize this fellow’s size and speed against opposing defenses. A source did mention to me that Gesicki wanted to commit but was asked to wait, but this source was likely WRONG and Ohio State is the one who is waiting. Do not be surprised if this other NJ star leaves home for Herman’s offense. Many think he is a Miami lean but Meyer is recruiting him hard. So hard, that Urban is using some “puzzling recruiting tactics.” Gesicki is in if he wants to and in the end, I would not be surprised if the chance to catch footballs from OSU QBs and play for Urban Meyer and Tom Herman is too much for Gesicki to “pass up.”
Solomon Thomas (6'3" 260, DL, Coppell, TX)
Ohio State has been recruiting Texas hard since Urban Meyer took over and why not. With talent like Solomon Thomas down there in the lone star state, it would behoove the Buckeyes to mine the oil fields for talent. He impressed greatly at The Opening and Urban Meyer is always impressed by D-linemen so do not be surprised if OSU makes a strong play for Solomon. The Buckeyes are in a battle with the Fighting Irish and Alabama but Texas is still probably the school to beat despite reports to the contrary. Again, if the class size increases to beyond 22, Urban would be wise to go hard after Solomon.
Alex Bookser (6'6" 295, OL, Mt. Lebanon, PA)
Alex Bookser has a “committable” offer but did not sound too close to being ready when he interviewed with the-Ozone. He seems to be making distance a big deal so many believe it will be between Pitt and Ohio State. Most think he will go to Pitt but I will not be surprised in the least if he comes to Ohio State. It is less than three hours from Mt. Lebanon to Columbus but Mt. Lebanon is less than thirty minutes to Pittsburgh. This could be the deciding factor to get this “Book”ser on the shelf.
Damian Prince (6'7" 290, OL, Forestville, MD)
Damian has been in the OSU mirror for a while and many believe he is Ohio State’s to lose but I am thinking this is looking like Stefon Diggs II and that Prince will crown the Terps. Unless Prince announces soon (and with recruiting, who knows) he may let the process draw out and if that is the case, OSU may not have the space to accommodate him. Many also believe FSU is a strong player to coronate Damian Prince.
Johnnie Dixon (6'0" 175 WR, West Palm Beach, FL)
This kid is in play for Ohio State and the Buckeyes will be fighting the Miami Hurricanes for his services. He recently visited Miami (FL) and it went great but could the Buckeyes lure Dixon away from the Sunshine state? As of now, they do not have a FL commit and this has not happened since 2003, the year James Louis was not able to sign his NLOI. Alabama is also going at Dixon hard but it looks like Urban will have to overtake the U. if he wants to prevent this from being the first class not to sign a FL star since in over ten years.
Brian Wallace (6'5" 295 OL, St. Louis, MO)
Urban Meyer always pulls rabbits out of hats and has people commit who are not on the “forum” radars. With offensive line being such a high priority, do not be surprised if surprises happen and Wallace out of MO could be that surprise like his friend Ezekiel Elliott was in last year’s class. Wallace has an offer in writing and Urban Meyer wants at least one more OL and will take Wallace if he decides to come follow Zeke to the Shoe.
Avery Gennesy (6'4" 285 OL, Southaven, MS)
The Buckeyes want a Juco OL and missed out when Jermaine Eluemunor committed to Arkansas and are in a battle with FSU, Alabama, etc. for Chad Mavety. If Urban misses on Mavety, do not be surprised if he turns up the heat on Gennesy as the Buckeyes need depth at OL and even more so since Timothy Gardner was dismissed. Gennesy told the-Ozone that he will not decide until around December and once he deicdes, the commitment will stick, no chance of a de-commitment.
Nick Glass (6’2” 205 DB, Atlanta, GA)
This one was a shocker but in the world of recruiting, being shocked is as normal as a mouse in a developmental psychology experiment. Glass was an ardent recruiter for the Bulldogs and was working on Raekwon McMillan. He will probably stay in SEC country but if the Buckeyes get back into it, do not be shocked if the Glass is full for Ohio State. He and Vonn Bell are friends and would make a nasty secondary if they were to play alongside each other ringing opposing players Bells and pouring cold water. Read his Ozone interview here.
Quenton Nelson (6’5” 295, OL, 2014, Red Bank, NJ)
Currently a Notre Dame commit, reports from sources at The Opening had Quenton spending some time with OSU recruits. There was a published report that he had eaten dinner with the OSU commits and I confirmed with sources that indeed, Quenton did hang around them. ND had three other commits there: WR Justin Brent, RB Elijah Hood (now a UNC commit), and QB DeShone Kizer. Shouldn’t he have been hanging and eating with them? Elijah Hood recently de-committed from Brian Kelly to be closer to home; could lightning strike twice? This would not be the first time Urban Meyer tried to flip a ND commit. He flipped Taylor Decker in his first class after taking over for Luke Fickell and would love to put Brian Kelly in a full “Nelson” for Quenton. South Bend is about 730 miles from Red Bank, NJ while Columbus is a little over 540. Could this influence Nelson like it did Hood? That would help Rutgers the most and Quenton is being courted by Scarlet Knight commits.
Let us just accept the fact that Urban Meyer will recruit someone that no one is really talking about in the news. Malik Hooker being #16 of the class was a surprise to many and expect more surprises when dealing with Urban Meyer and recruiting. Other possible names are DT Matt Elam, DB Jamal Adams, TE Tyler Luata, ATH Jalen Brown, DL Derrick Nnadi, LB Petera Wilson, DL Myles Garrett, TE DeAndre Goolsby, ATH, “Ju Ju” Smith, but do not be surprised if someone out of the blue arises.