Ohio State now has 17 commits for a recruiting class that should number in the area of 21-22 by National Signing Day next February. Of course, the final number will be impacted by current players leaving the program, or early departures for the NFL by Johnathan Hankins and/or Bradley Roby.
The 2013 Buckeye recruiting class is presently ranked as the number-eight recruiting class in America, and only behind Michigan (number-one nationally) in the Big Ten. What position groups are the most impressive for Ohio State?
OFFENSE: Seven commits.
On the offensive line, a position of moderate need following last year's impressive haul, Ohio State has added two prospects: Guard Tim Gardner (2-star) and tackle Evan Lisle (4-star).
For the skill positions, Ohio State has added three exciting playmakers in slot receiver Taivon Jacobs (3-star), tailback Ezekiel Elliott (4-star) and athlete Jalin Marshall (5-star). This is an area Urban Meyer targeted as being deficient when he took over, and these three bring long-distance ability to the offense.
Ohio State also landed two of the top players in the country at both tight end and quarterback, with the additions of Marcus Baugh (4-star) and J.T. Barrett (4-star).
Although they probably would have liked one more highly-rated offensive lineman, and still could land one, Ohio State definitely addressed their needs on this side of the football. Adding speed on the outside, speed at the tight end position, and speed at the quarterback spot reinforces the Meyer offensive philosophy.
DEFENSE: Nine commits.
On the defensive line, coming on the heels of last year's amazing group, Meyer and company simply went back and did it again. These five commits make it one of the top defensive line hauls in the country, again showing the emphasis Meyer places in this area. The headliner is defensive end Joey Bosa (5-star), and he is surrounded by power players in tackles Michael Hill (4-star), Tracy Sprinkle (3-star) and Billy Price (4-star). Recent commit Tyquan Lewis (3-star) brings speed off the edge at defensive end. Ohio State might not be done in this area either, with Donovan Munger a prime target. There is talk of Price possibly sliding over to offense and playing guard.
The defensive backs include two of the top ten cornerbacks in the country, in four-stars Eli Woodard and Cameron Burrows. At the safety spot, Jayme Thompson (4-star) fills the need of a physical, hard-hitting, player. Darron Lee (3-star) could see himself playing any number of positions, from linebacker to safety, and is a versatile athlete.
Taking five linebackers last year means Ohio State doesn't have the position as a glaring need, but they would like to add a thumper in the middle. Definitely see a middle linebacker being included in this class before Signing Day.
Overall, this is an impressive collection of talent on the defensive side of the football. Meyer loves depth on the defensive line, clearly an SEC concept, and he has added a ton of talent over the past two classes. Ohio State needed to address the defensive backfield, which they did, and they could use one more highly-rated athlete in that group.
Punter Johnny Townsend (3-star) was also added to the mix last summer, to replace the departing Ben Buchanan.
With approximately five spots remaining, Ohio State has the room to move up in the rankings significantly by National Signing Day, and could be on the verge of a Top-Five class, coming on the heels of last year's number-three ranked group. Clearly, Meyer is having the same recruiting success he had during the Florida championship years.