Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

The 2015 Ohio State Recruiting Class, By The Numbers

Before reviewing the 2015 Ohio State recruiting class, I want to congratulate Coach Stan Drayton for his recent move to the NFL’s Chicago Bears as the Bears running backs coach. Coach Drayton was highly instrumental in the development of Ohio State running backs Carlos Hyde and Ezekiel Elliott from 2012-2014. I wish Coach Drayton all the best as he moves onto the NFL.





The 2015 Ohio State recruiting class, with twenty-seven players signed, ranks as one of the top recruiting classes in the country. While I have never placed too much emphasis on how various recruiting analysts rate recruiting classes, I do pay attention to 1) if other top programs are recruiting the players that Ohio State has signed, and 2) if the recruiting class helped to address needs within Ohio State’s program. By those measurements, Ohio State’s 2015 recruiting class did very well.

Geographically, Ohio State signed twelve players from Ohio, three from Florida, two each from Michigan and Virginia, and one player each from Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Utah. While Ohio players may be the majority, the graph below will demonstrate that Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer and his staff will scour the nation in order to find the best players and convince them to become Buckeyes.



The best position group with this recruiting class? In my estimation, the offensive line recruits are tremendous. Branden Bowen, Matthew Burrell, Kevin Feder, Mirko Jurkovic, Isaiah Prince, and Grant Schmidt will help Ohio State co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Ed Warriner maintain the strong play at the line of scrimmage that Ohio State fans have become accustomed to since the 2012 season. Schmidt is an early enrollee and will participate in spring practice. It is such a relief to see Coach Meyer and Coach Warriner place the strong emphasis on offensive line recruiting; gone are the days of 2010 when Andrew Norwell was the only offensive lineman signed in the recruiting class. One!

A concern for this recruiting class? Very minor, but few interior defensive linemen were signed. Joshua Alabi, DaVon Hamilton, and Robert Landers were signed, but even Coach Meyer stated that the backup defensive line play has been “disappointing”, and “”You’ve got to go, or you’ve got to go.”. With Michael Bennett’s departure to a probable NFL career, and the targeted departures of Adolphus Washington and Joey Bosa after the 2015 season, I am guessing defensive linemen will be a premium target for the 2016 recruiting class.

Which player will be able to make an impact during the 2015 season as a true freshman? Early enrollee Nick Conner may be able to make a mark on special teams, and even at linebacker. A sleeper pick may be Rashod Berry, who will be played at tight end. With Jeff Heuerman’s departure, Nick Vannett a senior, and Marcus Baugh sometimes skirting the good graces of the coaching staff, it may be possible for Berry to get some playing time at tight end.

Yes, recruiting is key to the long-term health of any program. As my Dad used to say, you have to have the horses in order to be able to win, and Coach Meyer was able to secure some highly-touted talent with this class. I believe Fox Sports 1’s Joel Klatt said it best as it relates to what now awaits all of the talented football players who signed their respective national letters of intent on February 4, 2015…



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