Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

2014 OSU Recruiting: Few Ohio Losses, But Sparty & Domers Grab A Few

Ever since the 2002 college football recruiting class, Ohio State football has been largely successful in persuading the top Ohio talent to remain home and play for the Buckeyes. Under former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, it could be argued that Ohio State’s recruiting philosophy seemed to zero in on the top fifteen or twenty players in the state of Ohio, then the class would be complimented with players from other states to push the class over twenty members. A classic example of this is the 2002 recruiting class, which was Tressel’s first full recruiting class at Ohio State. Among the players who helped lead Ohio State to the national championship were Ohioans Maurice Clarett, A.J. Hawk, and Bobby Carpenter; a Floridian who redshirted that season but was a prominent member of Ohio State’s teams from 2003-2005 was Santonio Holmes.

Even with the transition to Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer, Ohio has been the focal point of Ohio State’s recruiting efforts. A significant difference lies in Meyer’s approach – while focusing upon Ohio, Meyer will identify the top Ohio talent, but will not necessarily offer scholarships to all of the top players in the state.

Of the top twenty players in the state of Ohio for 2014, Ohio State was able to land six players. While that number seems low, scrutiny must come into play to determine the answer to the following question – did Ohio State recruit these players who went elsewhere?

The rationale for this question is simple – did Ohio State let a player go to a rival school, thus elevating the possibility that Ohio State will have to face that player, and thus, their mistake, for the next four or five years?

Fortunately for Ohio State, the number is low. Below are the players who were offered scholarships by Ohio State, were considered a top twenty Ohio player, yet chose to go elsewhere…

OL Noah Listermann - offered by Ohio State, yet never visited. Signed by Michigan State. Considering the six offensive linemen signed by Ohio State in this recruiting class, hopefully Listermann’s decision will not be a factor over the next few seasons.

OL James Daniels – offered by Ohio State, yet signed with Iowa. While Ohio State does not play Iowa until the 2017 season, this one could hurt for two reasons. First, Daniels is the son of former Ohio State player LeShun Daniels, so the fact that a legacy player selected Iowa stings the pride a little bit. Secondly, and more importantly, Daniels was recruited to play center for Iowa. With Jacoby Boren leaving after the 2015 season, Daniels could have been an ideal candidate to move into that spot after Boren’s eligibility expired.

DB Shaun Crawford – Crawford was originally committed to Michigan, visited Ohio State, and wound up signing with Notre Dame. Fortunately for Ohio State, the only way Ohio State will run into Crawford will be in a bowl game, so the chances of Crawford hurting Ohio State is lessened over the next four or five years.

L.J. Scott – A powerful running back from Hubbard, Ohio State offered Scott, yet Scott stayed firm in his commitment to Michigan State. Considering how Ohio State and Michigan State are both in the B1G East, and how Michigan State Mark Dantonio has long favored a power running game, Ohio State fans need to get used to the possibility of facing Scott in a Spartan uniform for the next few seasons.

Anyone who has ever been a fisherman laments “the one that got away”. Hopefully, Ohio State fans will not be lamenting the loss of these Ohio players on the gridiron when the next few college football seasons begin.

No comments: