What a huge stretch for Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes recruiting staff. First we saw them officially flip Gareon Conley. Then we saw Donovan Munger take the plunge and go all in with the Buckeyes. With all types of positivity in and around the Mike Mitchell watch, the best may still be yet to come. Ohio State's director of player personnel Mark Pantoni and the rest of the staff continue to stay on the grind in an effort to secure the best talent for 2013, 2014, and beyond. Monday was no exception.
We begin with the minor circus surrounding class of 2013 JUCO OLB Tommy Sanders. Sanders, a bit undersized at 6'1" 210 pounds, but is a 247composite 3-star caliber player rated as the 20th best junior college player in the country. Sanders was in Columbus over the weekend for the Buckeyes' celebration of perfection along with numerous other Buckeye recruits in for official and unofficial visits alike. The early inclination Monday evening was that Sanders may be ready to commit ($) to either Ohio State or Texas A&M as early as Wednesday afternoon. But then just like that, he wasn't:
And that wasn't all. Just over an hour later:
From the sound of it, I wouldn't expect to hear a commitment from Sanders anytime soon. The fact that he has other visits in the future doesn't necessarily bode well for the Buckeyes either as those are more likely to leave a fresher impression in his mind if he doesn't commit before them. While Ohio State and A&M have been neck and neck of late, I'd wager that the longer this process drags on, the less likely he'll wind up a Buckeye.
After Bret Bielema elected to leave Wisconsin following 6 years in Madison, we knew it was only a matter of time before a number of Wisconsin commits began to reevaluate their statuses. Ohio State wasted no time by offering 2013 OL Jackson Keeler. Then, over the weekend, they offered 2014 OL Craig Evans. Go ahead and add another Wisconsin offensive line commit to the Buckeyes' lists of targets, as DL coach Mike Vrabel offered 2014 o-lineman ($) Jaden Gault on Monday. This Buckeye staff is doing nothing if not taking advantage of the instability at the head coaching position in Mad-town before the Badgers have a chance to do anything. And we all certainly know they've proven more than capable of identifying and churning out stout offensive linemen there over the years.
Perhaps the biggest non-recruiting (at least at face value) news with immediate recruiting implications is that of the Southern Miss coaching vacancy being filled. Word leaked Monday evening that that school had elected to hire Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken as their next head coach. While there was some shaky last minute contractual details to work out that could've potentially soured the deal, those were addressed and resolved late Monday evening:
So how does this remotely impact the Buckeyes? Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and secondaries coach Everett Withers had interviewed for the vacancy sometime recently an was a finalist for the gig. With his experience as North Carolina's interim head coach in 2011 to his resume, it would seem to only be a matter of time before Withers gets his next head coaching opportunity. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, that time doesn't appear imminent, as Withers has proven to be one of their most effective recruiters.
Withers in particular could directly influence how the sweepstakes for 2013 DB Vonn Bell plays out. Bell still has a state championship game to play in this weekend, but his high school coach said he expects Bell to make an announcement quickly there after ($) as to where he'll be playing his college ball. While it's believed Alabama is the leader in the club house at the moments, the Buckeyes certainly don't remain far behind. It should be interesting to see whether Ohio State's momentum towards making a push for linebackers is indicative of a quiet confidence with respect to Bell's leanings or if they're just confident he's already made up his mind in the opposite direction and wouldn't be worth their time and effort.
Lorenzo Carter is high school teammates of another Buckeyes 2014 target, athlete Myles Autry.
And finally, we leave you with some Joey Bosa puff piece video action just for good measure: