As college football's bowl season rages on, Ohio State fans are stuck dreaming of what the future will have in store. It's only appropriate that the only Buckeyes still to play in postseason contests will be those comprising the future of Ohio State football. A cadre of verbally committed Ohio State prospects and a pack of ones still trying to make up their minds will begin to play in postseason games tonight and next weekend, some of which will include announcements of where these players will spend the next 4-5 five years of their football playing lives.
Offense-Defense All-American Bowl
Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 8 pm ET
Comcast Sports Network - Time Warner Columbus/Delaware Not Available, WOW! Not Available, DirecTV 665, DISH 429
The least known of the four major high school all-star games has actually been around since 2007. While it once aired on ESPNU, it's since fallen to the not carried in the Columbus area (outside of satellites with the sports package) Comcast Sports Net. The game takes place in Houston's Reliant Stadium, home of the Texans. While the Texans are flying back from Indianapolis either having clinched the #1 seed in the AFC or licking their wounds and wondering what the postseason will have in store for them, a pair of exciting future Buckeyes will be suiting up.
Jayme Thompson's been an Ohio State commit since last April, but brings depth to a secondary that will be losing Travis Howard. Thompson projects to a safety at the next level and is a 4-star in the 247Composite rankings. He had a couple of big games in the Ohio State playoffs as he helped Central Catholic defeat Trotwood-Madison to win it all.
Taivon Jacobs, a Maryland product, is one of but a few likely future wide receivers currently in this class for Urban Meyer and Zach Smith. Jacobs is a bit of an underrated prospect at just 3-stars in the 247Composite rankings, but is said by those who coached against him in the Washington DC metro area to be a total sleeper and one of the most explosive athletes in the class.
James Hearns, a 4-star out of Tallahassee committed to Florida, was expected to play in this one but will miss the game due to a quad injury. He was thought earlier this fall to be a possible flip for Ohio State. And while an Ohio State visit January 11th is still in the cards for Hearns, he tweeted as recently as yesterday that he's still looking forward to being a Gator. We'll have to see what Kerry Coombs has to say about those plans.
Other players of interest: DE Lewis Neal (LSU commit, former OSU commit), and OL Jackson Keeler (Wisconsin commit who received an Ohio State offer earlier in the month).
Under Armour All-America Game
Friday, January 4, 2013 at 5 pm ET
ESPN - Time Warner Columbus/Delaware 1301 HD/31 SD, WOW! 211 HD/33 SD, DirecTV 206, DISH 140
The Under Armour All-America Game was one thought as sort of a copy cat game when it debuted back in 2008. Now it manages to draw much of the best talent in the country and is considered by some to be an even better event than the more storied US Army All-America Game.
The game is rich with Buckeyes this year and includes 5-star defensive end Joey Bosa, 4-star cornerback Cam Burrows, 4-star WR/ATH Jalin Marshall, 4-star TE Marcus Baugh, and 4-star DB Gareon Conley all suiting up for the game. Even more awesome, the quintet of future Buckeyes will all be playing with one another on Team Nitro, the white uniformed team, which is going to be coached by former Lions/Niners coach Steve Mariucci.
Also worth keeping an eye on in this one is S Vonn Bell. Bell will play for the opposing team and is thought to be a strong Alabama lean, but still has plans for a January 11th to Columbus.
Perhaps most excitingly of all, former Auburn commit, 4-star ILB Trey Johnson is expected to announce his commitment during the game. It's believed Johnson is an Ohio State lean, but Luke Fickell, Urban Meyer, and co. still have Florida close on their tails. Johnson could contribute as early as year one if he elects to head to Columbus.
Other players of interest: QB Shane Morris (Michigan commit), OL Logan Tuley-Tillman (famed Ohio State letter burner and Michigan commit), OL David Dawson (Michigan commit who decommitted and briefly flirted with Ohio State before recommitting), S Max Redfield (USC/ND lean with Ohio State interest), LB Alex Anzalone (former Ohio State commit who decommitted, because, well, you know, who later committed to Notre Dame), DE Robert Nkemdiche (the #1 player in the country thought to be bound for Ole Miss).
Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl
Friday, January 4, 2013 at 9 pm ET
NFL Network - Time Warner Columbus/Delaware 1346 HD/346 SD, WOW! Not Available, DirecTV 212, DISH 154
The after party for the Under Armour game is the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl. The game returns for a second year and takes place in the home of the LA Galaxy, the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, California.
There are no present Ohio State commits taking part in the game though 4-star QB J.T. Barrett was originally selected to participate. Barrett is out with a severe knee injury but is expected to enroll in Columbus next weekend early to begin his rehabilitation with Ohio State's medical staff before a likely redshirt freshman season.
RB Corn Elder, a 4-star out of Tennessee, is also playing in the game. He'll be suiting up for the East squad in the game and is still considering UCLA in addition to the Buckeyes. Like a few other high profile recruits playing in these postseason contests, he'll be in Columbus January 11th. That weekend is certainly shaking out to be one Mark Pantoni and co. will need to have the #Juice cranked to 11.
Other players of interest: OL Kyle Bosch (Michigan commit), DB Ross Douglas (Michigan commit from Avon, OH), WR Levonte "Kermit" Whitfield (former Miami commit now committed to Florida State who continues to flirt with Ohio State), QB Malik Zaire (ND commit who supposedly called OSU after learning about the Barrett injury to see if they were still interested).
US Army All-American Bowl
Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 1pm ET
NBC - Time Warner Columbus/Delaware 1004 HD/4 SD, WOW! 203 HD/4 SD, DirecTV 4, DISH 4
The grandaddy of high school All-American games, the San Antonio, Texas based US Army All-American Bowl caps off a week of exciting high school all-star action with another large group of future Buckeyes suiting up. Playing for the East team will be 4-star DB Eli Apple, 4-star OL Evan Lisle, 4-star DT Michael Hill, and P Johnny Townsend. On the opposing side of the field will be the electric 4-star RB Ezekiel Elliott, the target of Kerry Coombs' now legendary inspired pitch to come to Columbus.
In addition to taking in these stud athletes showcasing what they've got on the field, there'll be extra intrigue added courtesy of the in-game commits. Louisville area 4-star WR James Quick will announce his decision during the contest. While it's widely expected he'll succumb to familial and local pressures to stay home and play for Charlie Strong and the Cardinals, Urban Meyer's taken over his recruiting personally and could ultimately sway the 4-star
4-star LB Mike Mitchell, long thought to be a solid lean for Ohio State, may or may not announce where he'll be playing his college football during this one. In spite of their large class of linebackers, Mitchell is still considering Texas A&M, and in general is thought to not care for the recruiting process. He may buck custom and continue doing things his way by keeping fans of both schools waiting while he decides what's right for him.
Other players of interest: TE Jake Butt (Pickerington,OH product committed to Michigan), S Dymonte Thomas (Michigan commit from Alliance, OH), RB Derrick Green (former Ohio State target still in play for Michigan).