The hiring Tommy Tuberville has proven to be somewhat a mixed blessing in the admittedly early goings of his tenure at the University of Cincinnati. Sure, in a moment of uncertainty with their third coach in eight years leaving for a more lucrative opportunity it provided a community with a sense of pride and some instantaneous reactions that bringing a guy of Tuberville's pedigree to the area would help reinvigorate the school's ability to recruit in the Ohio State dominated landscape of the state.
But then came the reality that in leaving Lubbock, Tuberville may have just been restarting the clock. That is to say, that by abandoning Texas Tech (and allegedly recruits at an on an official visit dinner the night before), he was getting a clean start, one where by which having a disappointing next season is exponentially less likely to cost one their job. But in developing a bit of a reputation as a carpetbagger, it'll become harder and harder for Tuberville to sell recruits, existing and new alike, on taking him at face value.
Following Butch Jones' departure for Tennessee, UC almost immediately lost the verbal commitment of 2013 3-star lineman Dylan Wiesman. Wiesman had been a steady Bearcat commit going back to June 17th. But with the coach he made the commitment to back then now in Knoxville, he and his family decided it was time to reevaluate their options. Courtesy of a steady dose of Kerry Coombs, it seems as though the Buckeyes are now squarely in the mix to secure the services of the talented o-lineman:
While you almost have to think that Butch Jones or perhaps even Tuberville yet will have the best shot at landing the commitment, never rule out Urban Meyer.
Speaking of Urban Meyer and closing, all the scuttlebutt of late surrounding Louisville, Kentucky product James Quick has been that Meyer has taken over his recruiting himself. Still, the conventional wisdom is that head coach Charlie Strong and the hometown Cardinals have the 2013 4-star WR's heart. But in a Q&A Wednesday afternoon, Rivals' Mike Farrell wasn't quite ready to count out the Buckeyes:
Definitely a great sign if one of the most connected on the recruiting scene out there is favoring Ohio State. While I personally am still skeptical, it's hard to not gain at least some semblance of optimism in the wake of folks that have been covering recruiting for so long feeling that way.
On the subject of existing Buckeye verbal commits, any worries about former Michigan commit-turned-OSU class of 2013'er Gareon Conley turning back to the dark side need not apply. Conley told Scout's Bill Bank Greene he's a Buckeye for good:
No more visits for Gareon Conley. Talked to him today, he said "I'm done with recruiting. I'm all Buckeye." Video interview coming— Bill Greene (@BillBankGreene) December 19, 2012
Conley is the cousin of current Buckeye wide receiver Devin Smith
Flash forward to the class of 2014, one of the most likable prospects out there on the scene (both among fellow recruits and fans alike) has to be class of 2014 QB Drew Barker. Still, the 4-star QB can't seem to receive an offer from Ohio State's coaching staff. There appears to be mutual interest, but Barker's gone on record as to how frustrating the process has been with the Buckeyes not really reciprocating his desire to potentially play his college football there. It might now be getting into crunch time, with as the offers stacking up, Barker opined on Twitter Wednesday that he may be committing relatively soon:
Thinking about announcing around my bday or April.— -Drew Barker- (@D_Barker7) December 19, 2012
Barker's birthday is March 14th, so target that area give or take a few weeks for a potential decision. If Barker hasn't garned an offer by that juncture, it might be safe to start scratching him off your recruiting wish lists.
Finally, let's incorporate some rare basketball recruiting talk. 5-star class of 2013 forward Dakari Johnson has his prospective school list down to 3 ($). Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, they fail to make the cut off as Johnson appears bound for Kentucky, Syracuse, or Georgetown. You have to almost think that Thad Matta, Jeff Boals, and co. may be done with that class with forward Marc Loving and guard Kameron Williams already officially in the fold.