Monday, February 9, 2009

A View from the Other Side: Ohio State's 2009 Class in Review

2009 Ohio State Recruiting Summary

I hadn’t really spent a great deal of time analyzing Ohio State’s recruiting class in the days before and after last Wednesday. There are several reasons for that. #1 The lack of a Terrell Pryor story line this year. #2 The class had been committed for months. #3 Work responsibilities required attention elsewhere. However, when Big House Bob asks for an update, you have to come up with something. Here goes…….

Overall, I’m very happy with this group of recruits. Players fit in at every position of need. The class was highly ranked by all of the major services. Any ranking in the top 3-6 keeps me happy year after year. ESPN had us a little lower but the composite score of the class was pretty competitive with the other elite teams in the BCS conferences. I also liked the fact that we were able to keep almost all of the best Ohio players from leaving the state and we took some of the best players from Michigan, Pennsylvania and --with Jaamal Berry one -- of the best from Florida. I’m not going to go into individual detail about each recruit but I will take a quick look at how some of these recruits could end up contributing sooner rather than later.

QB - It’s been said by many Ohio State fans that the most important development at this position wasn’t being in the running for Taj Boyd or signing Kenny Guiton. No, the most important development was that Joe Bauserman decided to remain with the team. At the very least we’ll have someone who’s taken live snaps on the roster to back up Pryor. I was never of the opinion that we needed to land Taj or any other highly ranked QB in this class. With a small gap in this class (sorry Kenny) we won’t have to worry as much about playing time issues with recruits in the next few classes. Remember these names…..Robert Bolden and Braxton Miller.

Running Back - This spot became a huge position of need when Beanie declared for the draft. Boom Herron ran well at the end of the season and by all accounts will be the starting tailback next year. Saine continues to disappoint (is he hurt…or not?) and “Rasta’ Wells graduated. Adding Berry is good but I’m really looking forward to seeing Carlos Hyde get some reps. I think his size and speed compare favorably with Beanie and I look for him to be an early contributor. People say other wise but I think Jordan Hall is just part of the package deal with Pryor.

Wide Receiver and Tight Ends - In my mind the struggles that Ohio State had with the passing game last year has taken some of the shine off of the players signed at this position. The Legacy, Duron Carter and Cory Brown are the big names and I’ll admit to being curious to see if either one of them can crack the rotation of receivers. James Jackson is fast, Reif Fragel is tall. Both are from Michigan. That sums up this group of recruits.

Offensive Line - If I’m a little down on the passing game after last year, I’m really down on the play of the offensive line based on the same metric. This unit was terrible last year but there are plenty of reasons to think things will be better this year. Jack Mewhort and Marcus Hall are the two highest rated recruits at this position and both may get a chance to see plenty of playing time. The O-line seems set across the board with Adams, Cordle, Brewster, Boren and Shugarts. Mewhort could see time backing up Brewster at center and Hall could play either of the positions on the right side of the line. Overall, I think this group of players (and all the others that I didn’t mention) makes up the deepest line unit in many, many years. Now, I hope this hype can translate to performance on the field in the fall.

Defensive Line - I have conflicting thoughts about the players signed to play here. Simon and Fellows were given 5 stars at the start of their senior seasons. One dominated play from the outside and one dominated from the inside. Both positions are areas of need for the Buckeyes. However, the hype around both of them seemed to ebb a little bit over the course of the season and by the end of the year neither was getting as much attention. We’ll see what happens but I for one think that one of the keys for success in the upcoming year is improved play across the defensive line. It will be critical for the line to keep blockers from getting to the second level where we will be fielding less experience than the past several years.

Linebacker - Dorian Bell and Storm Klein get mentioned here…if only because I like their names. We’ll need all the depth we can get at this position so the addition of these two to the rotation is key. Most services rated Bell as the number one player in Pennsylvania. Klein has developed a cult like following for his old school play on both sides of the ball. There is even talk of Klein getting some reps at fullback. I think based on his name alone he’s going to be the next great middle linebacker for the Buckeyes.

Defensive Backfield - This is also a position of concern for the team. The safeties are set to return but the corner positions are all up for grabs. Maybe CJ Barnett will be able to crack the rotation.

So…like I said at the beginning….I tried to cover the positions as compared to the individual recruits. Overall I like the players. I like the class ranking. Above all, I trust that all were chosen because they were quality young men who would be exemplary student-athletes who will bring honor (and victories) to the program….especially in 258 days….in Ann Arbor Michigan.

Go BUCKS!!!!

-Buckeye John


Anonymous said...

Jack Mewhort and Marcus Hall are the two highest rated recruits at this position and both may get a chance to see plenty of playing time.

You just lost me here. Marcus Hall went to TN,

Adam said...

Uh, Marcus Hall says you're wrong and Buckeye John is right.

Buckeye John said...

You may be confusing Marcus Hall and Mike Edwards. Both attended Glennville HS in Cleveland. Hall is most definitely a Buckeye while Edwards is going to play for UT.

Bob said...

I wonder if Edwards got treated to the fog machine and the fake press conference?