In 2009, Ohio State signed twenty-five players to its recruiting class. In part one, we reviewed the starters (9; 36% of the total class) and contributors (5; 20% of the total class). This article will focus on the players who left Ohio State - some due to injury, some due to playing time issues, others were asked to leave the program rather recently.
Departures ( 11 - 44% of the signed class)
15. Dorian Bell - A highly decorated five-star recruit, Bell redshirted his freshman season in 2009. Bell played sparingly in 2010, was suspended for the 2011 season, implicated in the "Tattoogate" scandal that engulfed the program in 2011, and left the team for Duquesne last season.
16. Adam Bellamy - A recent addition to this list, Bellamy has been absent from the recent football camp for Ohio State. Bellamy was a solid backup defensive line contributor the past few seasons, and would have contributed this coming season. Recently, Ohio State defensive line coach Mike Vrabel disclosed that Bellamy left Ohio State for personal reasons, and would be welcomed back in the program when/if he returns to Ohio State.
17. Jaamal Berry - Redshirted in 2009, Berry had a star-crossed career in Columbus. Before even arriving on campus, Berry faced drug charges in Florida that placed his Ohio State career in peril. In 2010, Berry made a mark as Ohio State's leading kickoff returner, contributing as a reserve tailback. In October 2011, Berry had an on-campus assault incident that essentially concluded his time with the Buckeyes. Recently, Berry landed at Murray State and has two years of eligibility remaining.
18. Duron Carter - The son of Ohio State legendary receiver Cris Carter, Duron Carter played as a true freshman in 2009, exciting Ohio State fans about his potential for seasons to come. Suspended for the 2010 Rose Bowl, Carter left Ohio State for academic reasons. Carter has since bounced from Coffeyville Community College to Alabama to Florida Atlantic University, essentially getting down to his last shot at a collegiate career.
19. Dominic Clarke - Another casualty of the new coaching regime this past winter. Clarke redshirted in 2009, playing as a reserve in 2010. Clarke was thrust into action in the 2011 Sugar Bowl, and played very well in the 2011 season opener versus Akron. Clarke was suspended for a game in 2011 for shooting a BB gun near an Ohio State residence hall, then sealed his fate with Coach Meyer for driving a vehicle while impaired, hours after Coach Meyer stressed the importance of making good decisions. Clarke has since moved onto Illinois State.
20. Melvin Fellows - Fellows redshirted in 2009, and played sparingly in 2010 and 2011. Fellows originally committed to Illinois, but switched his commitment to Ohio State, exciting fans as Fellows was a highly-touted defensive end. Fellows' career concluded due to knee injuries, taking a medical hardship in January 2012.
21. James Jackson - Redshirted in 2009, the speedy Jackson never truly developed as a wide receiver at Ohio State. Jackson was essentially pushed out of the program by then head coach Jim Tressel, allowing Jackson to land on his feet at Wayne State.
22. Storm Klein - Another recent addition to this list. Klein played primarily on special teams in 2009, as a backup linebacker in 2010, and as a starter in 2011 at middle linebacker. Coming into this season, Klein was looked upon as a backup to Curtis Grant at middle linebacker, but Klein would have played. Klein was arrested on a domestic battery charge and subsequently kicked off the team by Coach Meyer, ending Klein's Ohio State career. Klein's lawyers have recently tried to have his case dismissed, but Klein will be going to trial over this issue in the near future.
23. Sam Longo - Redshirted in 2009, Longo played only against Eastern Michigan in 2010. A backup offensive lineman, Longo transferred to Cincinnati in 2011, and should be eligible to play this season for the Bearcats.
24. Jonathan Newsome - A tweener linebacker/defensive end, Newsome played primarily on special teams in 2009 and 2010, but ran into academic difficulties at Ohio State. Part of the traditional Cleveland Glenville pipeline to Ohio State, Newsome transferred to Ball State, where he could be eligible to play this coming season.
25. Jordan Whiting - Whiting was actually the first player to commit to this class, but transferred to Louisville this past winter. Whiting redshirted in 2009, played sparingly in 2010, and was implicated in the "Tattoogate" scandal, forcing Whiting to miss the opening game of the 2011 season. Whiting will sit out the 2012 season for Louisville, where he will hope to make an impact at linebacker.
Using the rule of thirds, Ohio State reached the criteria for starters (36%), fell short with contributors (20%), and had an unusually large number of departures for a Jim Tressel-recruited team (44%). To be fair, Adam Bellamy and Storm Klein would have been contributors if they had stayed at Ohio State as expected. Adding two more contributors, while taking away two departures, would have improved both areas (contributors would have gone to 28%; departures would have fallen to 36%), but again, there have been more departures than in previous recruiting classes.
What will the 2009 recruiting class' legacy be? Without the opportunity to play for a conference championship or bowl game this season, the remaining members of this class will need to focus their energies into making their remaining twelve games as Ohio State Buckeyes truly memorable and positive.