Who Will Be #19?
By Michael Chung
Recruiting is a never-ending cycle. Fans wait and wait and wait and once a commitment happens, it is on to the next one. Kind of reminds me of my two year old who is on to the next toy once he has finished playing with another.
Noah Brown pledged to be the 18th verbal commitment for 2014 on Sept.9, one day after his visit. He has been significantly pursued by Ohio State since the summer and many felt he would commit in July. After he pledged a little over a week ago, the question Ohio State recruitnicks asked was: Who is next?
Looking at the current roster, Ohio State only has one spot officially open for the 2014 class. Most consider Bradley Roby and Ryan Shazier locks to go to the NFL bringing it to three and there will likely be at least one or more transfers bringing the total to four to five, and do not be surprised if one 4th year junior is not given a 5th year bringing the total to 5-6 spots for the upcoming class. With 18 already in the fold, who is next?
Mike Gesicki (6’6” 237, TE, 2014 Manahawkin, NJ)
Gesicki will take his last visit Oct. 12 to Penn State and will decide shortly after that. I think Ohio State has everything he is looking for and I believe he is most likely to be number 19. What is he looking for? He told Tyler Donohue: “First off, academics is most important because if football doesn’t work out for me and I can't do what I want to do at the next level, I need to have a great degree so I can go out in the world and compete for a great job. The next thing is the coaches, players and “family” atmosphere. Can I see myself living there for four or five years and fitting in? The final thing I’m looking at is the actual football program. Do I fit in with the offense? How do I like the system? Could I see myself maybe playing there as a freshman? It’s about where I can fit in and make an impact on a college football team.”
Meyer is recruiting Gesicki hard and with Brown and Samuel already in from the NY/NJ area, do not be surprised if the Big Apple/Garden State pipeline continues to flow. Odds of being number nineteen: 75%
Chad Mavety (6’6” 320, OL, 2014, Garden City, NY)
With Ohio State wanting one more OL, Urban Meyer is recruiting Chad Mavety hard. With four OL graduating after this year, it is imperative that OSU has battle-ready lineman and Mavety will be battle ready. Noah Brown pledging Buckeye helps OSU. He and Mavety are friends and were talking up until and after Brown committed. With the NY/NJ pipeline flowing, do not be shocked if Mavety follows Brown and Samuel to Columbus. Florida State and Alabama are Ohio State’s chief competition and Mavety has good friends at both schools, including his best friend at FSU. Odds of being number nineteen: 50%
Alex Bookser (6’6” 295, OL, 2014,Mt. Lebanon, PA)
There will be a race for the final OL spot in this year’s class. There could be two more OL but for sure one and it could be Alex Bookser. He has a committable offer from the Buckeyes along with offers from Alabama, Michigan State, Northwestern, Tennessee, and Virginia but the two main threats to obtaining Bookser’s pledge will be Pitt and Penn State. I gather he wants to be close to home and there is no place closer than Pitt but OSU is about three hours away, close enough I think. He is rated a four-star prospect by 24/7 and a four-star prospect on the 24/7 composite. You can read his Ozone interview here. Odds of being number nineteen 25%
Thomas Holley (6’5” 290 DL, 2014 Brooklyn, NY)
It depends on whom you talk to in regards to Thomas Holley. Todderick Hunt of NJ.com writes, “In talking to him, I get a feeling that Ohio State and Penn State are doing very well here, and wouldn't be surprised if the Nittany Lions pull this off.”
It has been reported that Holley spends a lot of time at his friend’s house—basketball star Isaiah Whitehead—located in Coney Island. Holley is at Lincoln high school and would have a two-hour commute if he went home everyday. Whitehead believes Holley will go to either Alabama or Syracuse. Holley has not visited Alabama but Syracuse seems to be high on his list. One factor that will work in OSU’s favor is Curtis Samuel, who is friends with Holley. They have discussed which schools they are interested in and Holley has expressed that he has high interest in Ohio State. (Mitch Abramson, NY Daily News)
The kid wants a championship and what better place than Ohio State to produce the dreams of winning the crystal. Odds of being number nineteen: 55%
When 2014 began, who would have expected names like Sean Nuernberger, Terry McLaurin, Stephen Collier, Jayln Holmes, or Malik Hooker to be commits? Urban has yet to flip someone for 2014. He flipped many for 2012 and got Jayme Thompson, Corey Smith, and Gareon Conley to flip for 2013. Demetrius Knox was once a Texas commit, so one could argue that Meyer has one and Sam Hubbard was committed to ND for Lacrosse but there has not been a true de-commitment for 2014 and Meyer will not stop. Jermaine Eluemunor almost became the flip but strange circumstances lead him to the Hogs.
There are also two big recruiting dates—Sept. 28 (Wisconsin) and Oct. 26 (Penn State)— to come and scores of top tier talent will be making official visits. Names like Johnnie Dixon, John “Ju Ju” Smith, Avery Gennesy, Jalen Brown, Tyler Luata, Travis Rudolph, Shawn Boone, Raekwon McMillan, and Jamal Adams will grace the confines of The Shoe. There is still a lot of recruiting yet to come. Odds of being number nineteen: 50%