Go ahead and scratch Cameron Hunt's name off your Ohio State recruiting wish lists.
The countdown to National Signing Day is in the single digits, which means crunch time for recruiting staffs across the country. Ohio State added another commitment to their class of 2013, which ranks in the top five of recruiting classes in college football.
2013 JUCO WR Corey Smith committed to Ohio State yesterday, giving the Buckeyes' class of 2013 23 total commitments as of now. Smith is the 10th best JUCO prospect in the country, the fourth best JUCO WR and third best prospect in the state of Mississippi for the class of 2013 according to 247Sports. This keeps the Buckeyes' hold as the third-best recruiting class in college football tight and gives them a little bit of momentum as we head into National Signing Day one week from now. When the 247Composite rankings are recalculated in the next several days, it's even possible we see a shift up to the second overall spot for the Buckeyes.
Not a bad 24 hours for Urban Meyer and his staff. While many fans continue to unfairly dog Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith, Smith definitely showed some real recruiting gumption in helping secure Smith. Not only did they help solidify a position of need, but they also managed to keep Smith from a potential visit to Tennessee this weekend that may have complicated matters further. On top of that, it sounds as though the addition of Smith (and the Buckeyes' subsequent messaging to the other targets still on their big board) hasn't hurt their chances those players one bit.
There remains a small group of elite level athletes that are still considering Ohio State. Names like '13 S Vonn Bell, '13 RB/WR Ryan Timmons and '13 WR James Clark are still very much on the table. And despite possible trepidations that adding Smith would effectively call it a recruiting cycle at one of the major skill positions for the Buckeyes, it doesn't sound like top talents like Clark are worried one bit about a little competition:
Clark says of the Corey Smith commitment: "It doesn't change my recruitment at all. The OSU coaches told me it was gonna happen." #Buckeyes— Dave Biddle (@davebiddle) January 30, 2013
It's worth noting that Clark and Smith wouldn't really play the same position when everything's said and done anyways.
Speaking of the job the coaching staff has done, one day removed from speaking with wide receivers coach Stan Drayton and offensive coordinator Tom Herman, '13 RB commit Ezekiel Elliott let everyone know that his national letter of intent will be signed at 3 p.m. on National Signing Day. While the open ended-ness may concern a few Buckeye partisans out there, given Elliott's other tweets in the last day, it sounds like he's still squarely in the fold for Ohio State:
My signing ceremony is at my school at 3 pm. Everyone come out— Ezekiel Elliott #⃣2⃣ (@EzekielElliott) January 30, 2013
In a less stellar development, '13 OL Cameron Hunt dropped Ohio State from his top schools and announced he will make a decision between Oregon and Cal on National Signing Day. This could be a sign that the staff has gone in a different direction and only plans on having only one or two more fall into the class of 2013. Or there's always the possibility that they just plum struck out, having offered both Hunt and now Arkansas commit (formerly of Tennessee) Dan Skipper a bit too late in the process.
Moving onto the class of 2014, a little panic ensued when '14 OL commit Marcelys Jones tweeted out that he had talked to Florida State defensive lines coach, Sal Suneri. Obviously this doesn't mean anything drastic about him leaving his commitment to Ohio State, but after the brief panics with Elliott and Missouri (along with '13 LB commit Trey Johnson and Tennessee), many OSU devotees probably wish the filter on some of these guys was a bit more stringent. Jones later deleted the tweet, which *celebrate or freak out accordingly*.
Coach withers came by #OhioSt— Demarre Kitt (@D_ocho) January 29, 2013
The staff continues to work on bringing in the SEC-level talent to Ohio State and Georgia seems to be the state the staff has focused on the most for the class of 2014. '14 WR Demarre Kitt has been a frequent mention on this website, and for good reason. Kitt has been in constant contact with the Buckeye staff members, and has Ohio State amongst his favorite schools.
The tight end position has been a bit more on the quiet side since our recent sit down with '14 TE Jeb Blazevich, but that might be about to change:
'14 TE Ethan Wolf had the Ohio State staff come to his school to visit him and talk a little bit about the Buckeyes. Our Charles Doss caught up with Ethan and chatted briefly about what he talked about with the coaches:
"Coach Hinton stopped by to watch my basketball practice and he said that they are going to keep recruiting me. Coach Hinton also said that the staff really likes what they see out of me, but aren't going to pull the trigger on an Ohio guy until they know that I would be the perfect fit for them."
As of now, Wolf does not have a scholarship offer from Ohio State, but the 6'6", 221-pounder has started to catch the attention of other schools in Ohio. It may only be a matter of time before the Buckeyes dish out one of their own.