Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Minnich's Musings On The 2014 Ohio State Recruiting Class

Congratulations to Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and his assistant coaches on signing 23 new players for the 2014 recruiting class.  Recruiting at a high level demands tremendous effort and time, and by the ratings of various recruiting sites/analysts, Ohio State landed highly-touted players who should be able to come in and contribute to Ohio State.

I have stated before, and I will state again - I truly do not get overly concerned about recruiting rankings.  Yes, I know Coach Meyer stated in his press conference that he follows it, and was disappointed that Ohio State did not have the top-ranked recruiting class in the country.  Yes, I certainly acknowledge that recruiting is the life-blood of any football program.

I will merely point out that while recruiting is important, player development is essential.  And even Coach Meyer acknowledged in his press conference that last year's recruiting class, which was highly ranked, did not have the immediate impact Coach Meyer felt that they would for the 2013 season.

In my lifetime, I have read about many hyped players who just simply never developed into the superstars that fans were led to believe they would become.  A case in point ~ the top ranked player from the 2010 class?  OT Seantrel Henderson.  While Henderson may develop into a solid NFL player, I believe most college football fans would agree that Henderson certainly did not have a college career that measured up to the considerable hype that accompanied him to Miami (FL).

My point is, I simply choose to pump the brakes until a player has arrived on campus, and shows what they can do in college games, against other top players.  A.J. Hawk was not as highly-rated as Mike D'Andrea in 2002, and Ohio State fans will all agree that Hawk had the superior Buckeye career.  So will this happen again with any of the 2014 recruits?  Wait and see.

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The 2014 recruiting class has nine players from Ohio, with multiple states also contributing to the group.  Again, my compliments to Coach Meyer for leaving no area overlooked in the effort to secure top players for the Buckeyes.



Other items of interest I have regarding this recruiting class?

  • Luke Fickell is certainly on notice, based upon comments made by Coach Meyer.  Linebackers were a premium recruiting position for the Buckeyes, and Coach Meyer repeatedly stated that the linebacker play "has not been up to standard".



  • I am ecstatic that Ohio State signed five offensive linemen in this class.  For years, Jim Bollman seemed to trivialize the number of offensive linemen signed, often playing walk-ons.  No more - Coach Meyer stated that sixteen are needed, which reflects why five were signed for this class.



  • Was tremendously impressed listening to both Coach Chris Ash and Coach Larry Johnson Sr. on Coach Meyer's radio call-in show.  Coach Johnson's strong reputation as a defensive line coach was the essential reason why Ohio State was able to flip DE Darius Slade from Michigan State.  This spring should bear watching and listening for the imprint by both of these coaches.
The 2014 recruiting chase has come and gone; on to 2015.  Meanwhile, I believe I will take my time speculating on how the new recruits will fit into the current team - after all, it is not as though those recruiting rankings will mean much during the spring game on April 12th.

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