Big Ten Snapshots
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The dust has settled in the wake of Jim Tressel's resignation, and the Buckeyes sit with 11 commitments, and only lost one that had been previously committed. Doesn't sound like the doom and gloom it's made out to be right? The Buckeyes are loading up on in-state prospects, some of the sleeper variety, but all of the "football player" variety. A smart move. This class started off with flash and through the summer, they added some toughness and intangibles.
Five-star running back Brionte Dunn committed last September, and it was not really a surprise then, but to get one of the state's best was significant. Since then, there have been rumors aplenty that he may look elsewhere, and he did, in fact, visit rival Michigan. Through it all, the Buckeyes have solidified their position with him and he continues to reaffirm his commitment. The "get" was big, the "hold" has been even bigger.
One that Got Away:
Five-star offensive lineman Kyle Kalis de-committed from Ohio State and chose Michigan in a much publicized move.
With Dunn and four-star Warren Ball, the Buckeyes have two stud tailbacks. The concern with Ball has been injuries and that he may not be a 25 carry a game back. That's just fine, because Dunn is, and I think they'll complement each other perfectly. Ball has great athleticism, balance, and good speed for a bigger guy. Dunn is a pounder with good lateral agility for a battering ram type.
Four-star linebacker Josh Perry is a guy with a very high ceiling. Great frame, long arms, and though he is touted as a good athlete, I don't think many know just how good of an athlete he is. He may, in fact, be the best athlete in the class. He's a good fit for the defense (any defense really), because he can run, cover, and rush the passer. He's a versatile kid who is just scratching the surface of his ability. While he's a long term guy, I see Lancaster's Luke Roberts are more of a "you know what you're getting" prospect, but that's not a knock, because what you're getting is one of the toughest, strongest players in the state. We got to see him in person several times and the kid is hard nosed as can be and hits like a truck. A true throwback.
In the secondary, I think the Buckeyes have done a great job. Four-star safety Devan Bogard leads the way. I got to see him in person several times and he is thin, but that doesn't stop him from laying the lumber. This kid will hit you. I've always liked Najee Murray as an athlete. I think he's a perfect fit for Ohio State as a corner. I questioned whether he was a little small for safety, but as an outside guy in Ohio State's defense, I think he'll flourish. He can also also be a return man. Tyvis Powell is long and athletic. I think he's the least ready to step in right away of the three, but may have the most long term potential.
Offensive lineman Jacoby Boren follows his brothers to Ohio State, and those two had (and have had) great careers in Columbus and there is no reason to think Jacoby won't do the same. He's a tough kid with good technique. He does well in space, and he may not be your prototype 6'5, 300-lber, but he makes up for it in all other areas. I wouldn't bet against him being a future starter, and I don't know many who would. Patrick Elflein could go either way, but we see him as a guard right now and he's an intriguing kid. Like Boren, he's not overwhelmingly big, but he moves very well and he plays to the whistle.
Wide receiver Frank Epitropoulos is a guy I really liked on film and then our staff had glowing reviews of him at the Ohio State camp. He has great size and ball skills and I think he'll develop into one of those guys that opposing teams just hate to play against because he'll find ways to get open and he'll catch everything.
Tight end Blake Thomas surprised me with how he ran and his ability in space. They flex him out and use him as a receiving weapon quite a bit at St. Ignatius, and he's a good blocker to boot.
Scout's top Ohio prospect, Cincinnati Taft defensive end Adolphus Washington, is still considering the Buckeyes and is the top ranked prospect on the board. Another top defensive end from within state borders, Ifeadi Odenigbo, from Centerville, is also considering the Buckeyes. He is close friends with 2011 signee Michael Bennett.
Offensive tackle Nick Davidson was recently offered, and he has family ties to Ohio State, so there is a strong chance for the Buckeyes to land the four-star prospect from Eden Prairie (Minn.). He is the best chance for an offensive tackle right now, as I believe Jordan Diamond and Jonah Pirsig are headed elsewhere. If Alex Kozan from Colorado receives an offer, it is likely he would be a Buckeye.
I think there is a good chance that more in-state kids will receive offers. Wide receiver Roger Lewis and offensive lineman Kevin Mills have both recently reported that the Buckeyes have shown increased interest.
We think a kid like Bam Bradley at safety or Monty Madaris at wide receiver also have shots at offers along with Cincinnati Colerain defensive tackle Trae Clark.