Ohio State recruiting: State Secrets, 12/6

James Quick was close to committing at The Game but Charlie Strong's return to Louisville hurts OSU's chances.

Bowl season is just a week and a half away, but for Ohio State the off-season has already begun. Urban Meyer and his staff continue to recruit some of the best athletes in the country and we're helping you keep track of all the latest news and updates regarding Ohio State recruiting.

The coaching carousel is in full swing, as coaches around the country are finding new jobs and homes after the end of the regular season. Besides the obvious headliner of Arkansas hiring Bret Bielema, just yesterday Louisville head coach Charlie Strong turned down a job offer from Tennessee. Louisville is reportedly offering Strong a long-term extension, which could have a huge impact on where '13 wide receiver James Quick decides to attend school. Quick has been deciding between Ohio State and Louisville for a while now, but has yet to commit to either team. It's not exactly a closely guarded secret that Quick is a Louisville lean in part due to his connection with Strong. One would have to think with Strong looking to stay more longer term now to help usher the Cardinals into a new era in the ACC, Quick could also find it favorable to potentially play a part in that transition

Meanwhile, just about every coach on Ohio State's staff is using their added time without a bowl to work to improve the relationships between the school and the targeted recruits out there, but that also means that the staff has to have good relationships with those players' high school coaches:

The fun doesn't stop there, as the Buckeyes offered 2014 Michigan commit OL Denzel Ward. I wouldn't get too excited, as Ward mentioned that he's still strongly committed to the Wolverines.

There must be something that head coach Urban Meyer likes about this batch of Michigan recruits, because the Buckeyes are competing with the Wolverines for the services of '13 defensive back Gareon Conley and '13 offensive guard David Dawson. Conley, who was finally making his all-important official visit on Wednesday, was actually injured in a game later that night:

Massillon's boys basketball team managed to avoid one of the rarest of all things on Tuesday night - a rained-out season opener. The Tigers also managed to avoid an opening-night loss, holding off home-standing Kenmore 53-50. However, the Tigers suffered a big loss - at least for the short-term - in terms of a leader on and off the floor, as Gareon Conley suffered what appeared to be a severe ankle sprain in the first half.

The 6'1", 170-pound cornerback made 26 tackles and intercepted four passes during his junior season. Ohio State is recruiting Gareon Conley as an athlete that could play on either side of the ball, but will most likely stick to the defensive side of things.

Dawson, meanwhile, has an official visit set for Ohio State (he had been slated to come this weekend along with the boatload of other high profile prospective and future Buckeyes but had to cancel at the last second due to his need to take and receive a qualifying score on the ACT) but still holds Michigan in high regards. Don't be surprised if Dawson actually ends up re-committing to the Wolverines sometime before National Signing Day.

The Buckeyes got a new offer on the board Wednesday as well, this time directed towards 2014 wide receiver Austin Roberts:

Finally, 2013 commit punter Johnny Townsend was selected to the 2013 Army All-American team. Congrats to Townsend on the outstanding honor:

"It's a huge honor... they actually selected 90 kids out of the entire nation and I think it's a huge honor to be selected," Johnny Townsend said. "I've been working hard, harder than I have ever been working in preparation for this game. It's going to be the biggest game of my life."

The Ohio State commit will take the national stage January 5 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Evans WR Tony Stevens will also be representing Central Florida in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl game.

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