2013 WR Devlin McDaniel is an Ohio State Buckeye. - Ed Borland/For The Marion Star
Urban Meyer and the rest of the Ohio State coaching staff have begun their off-season recruiting early, due to the Buckeyes being ineligible for any type of bowl game. To help you keep up with all of the action, we've got you well-covered with the latest news and updates on Ohio State recruiting.
Bowl season has descended upon the college football world, following the final conference championship games on Saturday. Ohio State is ineligible to go to a bowl game, but as we mentioned late last week, Coach Meyer can use this extended break to his advantage in the recruiting game. When Coach Meyer was hired last year in November, he was able to recruit the same way he's planning to now. That plan earned him a top ten class across the board, which only spells good news for Buckeye fans.
Although the main focus for the coaching staff, as far as recruiting goes, is to convince the best athletes to attend Ohio State, there are always those players that don't steal headlines despite some excellent on-field performances. For example, last Thursday, November 29th, the Ohio State staff invited Devlin McDaniel (who made the Associated Press Division V All-Ohio defensive squad) to join the team as a receiver as a preferred walk-on. McDaniel stands 6'1", 195-pounds and this season had 38 receptions for 764 yards (20.1 YPC) and 11 touchdowns. Congratulations to McDaniel on becoming the latest member of the class of 2013.
Meyer isn't the only one working to reach out to student-athletes across the country, however; as is evidenced by some of the coaches themselves tweeting that they're out hitting the road already:
Headed out for more great recruiting. Philly, New Jersey, Houston, Beaumont, and Cincy this week.— Kerry Coombs (@OsuCoachCoombs) December 3, 2012
Per @dawgsbynature, Ohio State co-DC Everett Withers is at tonight’s Mary Persons-Ridgeland playoff game checking out Vonn Bell.— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) December 1, 2012
Coach Withers attending class of 2013 safety Vonn Bell's game on Friday proves that Bell and the Buckeyes are keeping in touch. With the recent firing of Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley, Ohio State has the perfect opportunity to take the lead in the race for Vonn Bell's unique skill set.
The visit with Coach Meyer and @coachvrabel50 today >>>>— Well Done 2+1 (@BlackSwarm_21) November 30, 2012
Staying in the class of 2013, another huge target that has recently emerged is defensive back Gareon Conley. Conley decommitted from Michigan after breaking the Wolverines' no-visit policy and has re-opened his recruitment back up, following his visit for The Game in Columbus. Now it appears that Conley has set two official visits after Coach Meyer had an in-home visit with him last Friday (see tweet above). Conley is considering Ohio State, Michigan, and Cincinnati as his final three schools. Oregon was actually supposed to be tied up head-to-head with the Buckeyes for Conley's services, but the Ducks never offered him a scholarship, effectively removing them from contention.
Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman and defensive coordinator Luke Fickell were in Texas early last week, making an in-home visit with '13 4-star linebacker Mike Mitchell. The 6'4", 222-pound linebacker was going to visit The Game, but his team was still playing at the time, and instead will take his visit this weekend (Dec. 7th-9th).
Finally, this weekend is not only big because of Mike Mitchell. Many other commits and top targets (including Mike Mitchell and Gareon Conley) will be visiting the second largest campus in the nation. '13 OL David Dawson (another former Michigan commit), '13 LB Skai Moore, and a few other notable recruits will be on hand to hear what Meyer and the rest of the coaching staff preach what Ohio State has to offer them. The future of Ohio State football under Urban Meyer could very well turn on how this weekend goes for those high profile talents.