Today, we're kicking off a series highlighting the future of the Ohio State football program. In the wake of our successful profiles of each member of this year's basketball team, we did some soul searching, meditation, before ultimately just electing to shamelessly rip off our friends at OBNUG (thanks again for voting Ohio State #1 pretty much all season for whatever reason, you guys!).
Though our blue turf clad comrades highlight their entire team, we're going to keep it simple (well, at least simple for us), and focus only on Ohio State's newcomers. Many of these are relative unknowns to those amongst us that don't follow recruiting diligently. We'll seek to separate the chaff from the wheat and help winnow things down to who these newly minted Buckeye are, as well as what they might mean to the future of Ohio State football.
We begin our maiden voyage into the murky unknown with Cameron Burrows, the first class of 2013 member to give an oath to come to Columbus and play for Ohio State.
(Grain of salt) 40 average: 4.57 seconds
High School: Trotwood-Madison High School, Trotwood, OH (in the Dayton area)
As mentioned above, Cam Burrows was Ohio State's first commitment for the class of 2013. He came on board at a late afternoon ceremony at his Trotwood-Madison High School, with little surprise after having thought to favored the Buckeyes for much of his junior football playing season. The announcement was also simulcast on BlogTalk Radio (which you can actually still go back and re-listen to, if you're so inclined), because, of course it was. In the month leading up to his commitment, Burrows didn't exactly shy away from the fact that Ohio State didn't really have any opening starting positions in the secondary at the time, seemingly welcoming the challenge of any and all competition.
Burrows is a big, physical cornerback (at or just under 6-1), who has the sort of size that usually results in a conversion to safety. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, many of the physical traits that usually accompany longer defensive backs (stiff hips, etc) don't seem to dog the Under Armour All-American. Many scout types have alluded he compares favorably to former Buckeye (and Bengal) Nate Clements.
Cam had a dozen or so other offers topped by Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, and Wisconsin, but never seriously considered anyone other than Ohio State. He had interest from defending two time national champions Alabama, but never received an offer after his principle recruiter, Sal Sunseri, departed Alabama to become defensive coordinator at Tennessee (he's since moved on to be a position coach at Florida State). He took a number of unofficial visits to the Buckeyes' Columbus campus, and in ultimately committing, became the first Buckeye football player from Trotwood in sometime. There were some rumors that Jim Tressel had a fractured relationship with the coaches there, but it's more likely the talent either wasn't the right fit for what The Vest was doing at the time, or the players simply weren't interested.
Burrows was a Buckeye through and through though, even from an early age:
Cam made things official Sunday, January 6th, officially putting pen-to-paper, not only signing his letter of intent, but enrolling early for the 2013 spring semester. He's currently rooming with fellow early enrollees Eli (late Woodard) Apple, Tyquan Lewis, and Tracy Sprinkle.
"I have a picture of Woody Hayes on my bedroom wall," he said.
Besides showing a premature propensity for leadership, even at seventeen when he lead the class of 2013 by becoming the first commit in Ohio State's class, Burrows still continued to get better and better on the field this past fall, his senior year in high school. At the Under Armour All-America Game, hall of fame cornerback Deion Sanders said of Burrows:
"I think Cam Burrows is a little more physical at cornerback and I like him a lot."
SB Nation Recruiting's Bud Elliott also said Burrows was one of the best defensive backs he saw at the event.
Many felt after his week in the Tampa-St. Pete area there wasn't a ton of lingering doubt he wouldn't translate well to the corner position. While it's obviously possible depth/need could necessitate a switch to free safety in the not too distant future, the plan for now seems to be to go ahead with Burrows not only competing for a role as a piranha on the kick coverage team, but also potentially be in the mix for the fourth defensive backs spot with an outside shot (though not impossible odds wise) at some reps at nickel.
Sophomore-to-be Armani Reeves will be rehabbing from an injury, and juniors Adam Griffin and Doran Grant are expected to compete for now departed Travis Howard's vacant starting cornerback role. Sophomore Najee Murray will also be returning from a season ending injury. Add Devan Bogard, Tyvis Powell, and Ron Tanner into the mix (not to mention potentially Apple and fellow frosh Gareon Conley) and there's suddenly just about too many cooks in the kitchen. It should be interesting to see if some of last year's frosh elect (or are not so subtly suggested) to look for opportunities outside the program.
Highlight Jam Session
One of These Things is Blatantly False
- Cam Burrows is on Twitter at @CB2ERA
- He'll probably wear Etienne Sabino's old #6 with the Buckeyes.
- He helped lead Trotwood-Madison to three state championship games, including a state title in 2011.
- Cam was named first-team all-Ohio by the Associated Press after his senior year.
- He's a huge Montana State Bobcats fan and a total flight risk:
Rumor circulating Cameron Burrows bought a Montana State hat today at Wal-Mart. Watch out for the Bobcats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Bill Greene (@BillBankGreene) January 18, 2012