Quick Thoughts on Ohio State's 2014 Signees
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Signing Day has come and gone, and the Buckeyes are currently sitting with a class of 22 signees. That number could grow to 23 in a couple of weeks, as defensive end Darius Slade will be taking a visit to Ohio State next weekend.
Urban Meyer has signed the Big Ten's top class for the third year in a row, and I question whether he will ever not sign the Big Ten's top class. Even though this class may not yet be finalized, there is still plenty to talk about. With that in mind, here are my quick thoughts on each of the signees to this point.
Kyle Berger (LB 6-2 225 Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius)
Berger is the type of linebacker that Ohio State fans have grown up rooting for. He's got a high motor and will attack the entire football field to make a play. Could have been Ohio's #1 player in 2014.
Dante Booker (LB 6-3 215 Akron, Ohio/St.Vincent-St.Mary)
Booker is the physical freak that every school has to keep from leaving their state. Booker has been timed in the low 4.5s and is only going to get bigger and better, just needs to put it all together.
Noah Brown (WR 6-2 225 Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII)
Receivers aren't supposed to be this big as high school seniors, but Brown isn't a typical receiver. He is a tough runner who can also carry the ball. He will be used all over the field.
Parris Campbell (WR 6-1 184 Akron, Oh/St.Vincent-St.Mary)
Speed on speed and quicks to match. Campbell is still young, so he will continue to grow. Ohio State lists him as a receiver, but he will also carry the ball in the OSU offense.
Stephen Collier (QB 6-3 210 Leesburg, Ga./Lee County)
Collier camped at Ohio State where he earned one of the few 2014 quarterback offers that Urban Meyer handed out. He is already enrolled, so it will be interesting to see how quickly he adapts.
Johnnie Dixon (WR 5-11 195 West Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer)
Dixon is strong and explosive, and since he is already enrolled, he will only get better quicker. He isn't just an athlete, as he is smooth in his routes and snatches the ball out of the air. He will play.
Jalyn Holmes (DL 6-5 240 Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor)
Holmes looks how you want your defensive ends to look when they're this young. Even at 240 pounds, he looks lean. If his motor can match his frame, the Buckeyes will have a good one here.
Malik Hooker (S 6-2 190 New Castle, Pa./New Castle)
Hooker might be the best overall athlete in Ohio State's class. He's certainly the best basketball player. He's still learning the game, but his natural athleticism makes for a great safety prospect.
Sam Hubbard (LB 6-6 230 Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller)
Hubbard is one of three five-star linebackers in the class, but he is the only one who played safety in high school. His athleticism and ability to change direction at his size is impressive, as is his range.
Jamarco Jones (OL 6-5 315 Chicago, Ill./De La Salle)
Jones gave Buckeye fans a scare with a late visit to Michigan State. He is one of the top tackles in the nation and seems like a future right tackle. He'll have a year or two to develop, but will add depth.
Marcelys Jones (OL 6-5 340 Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville)
Opinions vary wildly on Jones, but everybody agrees that he has the feet that you want in an offensive lineman. The best thing for Jones is that he is already enrolled and working towards refinement.
Demetrius Knox OL 6-4 285 Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints
Knox is one of the top guards in the country and could find himself in the two-deep immediately. He is extremely mobile and only going to get stronger. He will fit in just fine on OSU's interior.
Marshon Lattimore (CB 6-0 180 Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville)
Lattimore wants to play cornerback, but he's such a tremendous offensive weapon that I wouldn't be surprised to see him catch some passes at some point in his career. An exciting prospect to watch.
Terry McLaurin (WR 6-0 190 Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral)
If Malik Hooker isn't the best athlete in the class, then it might be McLaurin. He's as fast as you'd like (4.41), but has the ability to use his wits, agility and vision as much as his speed in evading tacklers.
Raekwon McMillan (LB 6-2 242 Hinesville, Ga./Liberty Co.)
The expectations are high for McMillan, and that's not just from the fanbase. He is already enrolled, so it's pretty obvious that he intends on playing this season. He'll be given every opportunity to produce.
Sean Nuernberger (K 6-1 210 Buckner, Ky./Oldham County)
While it's never ideal to have to rely on a freshman kicker, it is nice when they have a leg as hefty as Nuernberger's. Enrolling early is huge for him. He shouldn't be a typical freshman come September.
Curtis Samuel (RB/WR 5-11 185 Brooklyn, NY/Erasmus Hall)
Samuel may be the fastest player in the class, which automatically qualifies him for a few more practice snaps than your typical freshman. He's already enrolled and he'll be fun to watch this spring.
Erick Smith (S 6-1 195 Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville)
One of the top candidates to be the biggest impact freshman in the class. He seems like the type who takes everything in stride and excels at whatever he does. He will have several big hits this season.
Brady Taylor (OL 6-5 290 Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Ready)
More than one scout considers Taylor a sleeper, though I wonder how much of a sleeper you can be when you have offers to OSU and Virginia Tech. Needs some work, but he's got a solid base.
Dylan Thompson (DL 6-5 270 Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic)
Thompson seems like a future captain. He's a hard worker and is a "yes sir, no sir" kind of guy. Whatever his coaches tell him to do, he will do at full speed. Effort should never be a problem with him.
Kyle Trout (OL 6-6 300 Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster)
Trout came from a running offense in high school, so he excels at run blocking but will need to develop his pass blocking. The good news is that he has the frame and the feet to do just that.
Damon Webb (CB 5-11 180 Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech)
If I had to pick the one signee who could end up starting this season, I think I might go with Webb. He has yet to reach a stage that is too big for him, or a receiver that is too good for him. He is a good one.
Darius Slade (DE 6-5 240 Montclair, N.J. / Montclair)
Slade was supposed to sign with Michigan State on Wednesday, but didn't. He has a great frame and an impressive first step. Larry Johnson has liked him for a while and now you will too.
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