'13 QB commit JT Barrett (right) is a perfect fit for Urban Meyer's offense. - Tk Cuttino Facebook
National Signing Day is rapidly approaching, and Ohio State is giving its best effort to land the athletes needed to compete at the highest levels of college football. The staff is targeting a few key athletes, but the class of 2014 has too much talent to be procrastinated on too.
Head coach Urban Meyer has a plan for the Buckeyes, but it's no secret to anyone what that plan has in store for Ohio State in 2013 and beyond: Building a championship contender, year in, year out. If anyone watched the National Championship game this year, you could easily tell what Coach Meyer was thinking. If the Buckeyes are going to win championships, they have to recruit better, execute better and finish the job.
I can't think of a better way to do that than by getting the best high school players in the country to commit to your school. For Coach Meyer, recruiting is not only a necessity, but a priority to win. From day one of his hiring, Coach Meyer has said that he needs to find playmakers. Whether they're on the team already, or are in future classes, he needs them on the field to perform. So what kind of talent is Meyer targeting?
SB Nation's Patrick Vint did a superb job covering a few of the top athletes in the class of 2013 for Ohio State, where he talked about Coach Meyer's impact on '13 QB JT Barrett and '13 ATH Jalin Marshall:
J.T. Barrett: The Urban Meyer spread offense was built for dual-threat quarterbacks, and the best of them -- Tim Tebow, Braxton Miller -- thrive in Meyer's run-heavy system. Barrett, a quarterback from Wichita Falls, Texas, fits the bill. Barrett chose Ohio State over offers from LSU, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Baylor, and Texas Tech. Rivals rates him the ninth-best dual-threat quarterback in the country.
Jalin Marshall: Jim Tressel built an empire in Columbus by cherry-picking Ohio of its finest talent. Meyer is picking up where Tressel left off with Jalin Marshall, a wide receiver from Middletown. Marshall received five stars from Scout, and is rated the second-best player in Ohio by Rivals (behind OSU commit Cameron Burrows). Marshall held offers from Notre Dame, UCLA and much of the Big Ten, but has been an OSU commit since January 2012.
Speaking of Marshall, Middletown's basketball team is suffering without the excellent talents of the senior. Marshall reported that he suffered a separated shoulder in the Under Armour game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Finally, '14 OL Roderick Johnson has received an offer from Ohio State. Coach Meyer and his staff would really like to sign a couple of offensive tackles in the class of 2014, so it's only good news for Johnson. The 6'7" and 310-pound Johnson is a 4-star prospect in the 247Sports rankings. He is the country's No. 9 OT and the No. 2 prospect in Missouri. Johnson is also holding offers from Texas A&M, Michigan State, Michigan, Missouri and Iowa. Expect even more interest in Johnson to pick up as the year rolls on.