Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class is about three quarters of the way full, but many of the Buckeye's top targets still remain on their board. They will need to engage in some pretty intense recruiting battles in order to land a couple of this players, who are some of the nations best seniors.
With the 2014 recruiting cycle starting to come into its final leg, the emphasis on the 2015 class is starting to increase. This class is going to be a big one for the Bucks as the scholarship sanctions are set to expire, as well as a big senior class that graduates after the 2014 football season.
Thad Matta is putting the finishing touches on a very strong 2014 recruiting class that includes four top-notch prospects, with the chance of adding one more player to complete the class.
To put all of this into perspective, five of Land-Grant Holy Land's recruiting experts sat down to talk all things Buckeye recruiting.
Join Austin Kemp, Charles Doss, and I as we talk all things Buckeye recruiting.
With the 2014 class currently standing at 18 commits, how many players do you see ending up in the class? What are the biggest remaining needs the Bucks need to fill in this class?
Austin: I think we end up with 24 commitments when it's all said and done. Urban Meyer needs to bring in one more elite offensive lineman, namely a true left tackle. I do believe we will be able to grab Chad Mavety or Damian Prince, one of them. If Braxton Miller decides to forgo his senior year, I think the quarterback situation would get a tad bit dicey and it wouldn't shock me one bit to see Meyer go after another quarterback.
Charles: I believe this class will finish with 24 or 25 recruits when its all said and done. I look for the Buckeyes to add an offensive and defensive lineman, a couple defensive backs and also a tight end and another linebacker before Feb. rolls around.
Miles: I think the Buckeyes will take five or six more players in this class, depending on the recruits that want to commit. I think the biggest remaining need is linebacker, followed closely by offensive line. It's pretty well know OSU is very thin at linebacker and while they do currently have four very good commits along the offensive line, they could definitely use one or two more as four starters are graduating after the 2013 season.
Of the remaining targets in the 2014 class, who do you feel it's most important for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes to land?
Austin: Given our offensive line situation, with four seniors starting, I think that bringing in a player like Mavety or Prince would calm any questions surrounding that unit. Both guys have the talent to start right away and if one of them did commit, I think they would find themselves in the starting lineup next year.
Charles: Out of the remaining targets left on the Buckeyes big board, I Believe Raekwon McMillian is the most important for OSU to get in the Scarlet and Gray. The 5-star Georgia, linebacker has had OSU as his leader for quite sometime but also has a couple programs trying to keep him down south, including his home state Bulldogs. In the end I believe he finally calls Columbus his future home and joins the Dream '14 but I don't see it happening anytime soon.
Miles: I think Raekwon McMillan is a pretty easy answer here with the Buckeye's current situation a linebacker, one that could worsen if Ryan Shazier leaves for the NFL after this season, which I think is more likely than not as things currently stand.
Who do you see filling the remaining spots in the 2014 class? Do you see anyone potentially dropping from the class/de-committing?
Austin: I think that class fills up as Raekwon McMillan, Marshon Lattimore, Erick Smith, Chad Mavety, Thomas Holley, and Mike Rogers. Also, there's always a couple more names that pop up the closer we get to signing day and it won't be any different this year. A big name will come up that no one is talking about and the Buckeyes will have as good a shot as anybody to grab him. Who are they? Welp, we'll find out in a few months. This current group of commits seem real tight and I don't see anyone wavering from their commitment. If I was forced to pick one I would say Marcelys Jones, but I think even that is a stretch.
Charles: I think the 2014 class closes out with McMillan, New Jersey tight end Mike Gesicki, Cleveland Glenville defensive backs, Eric Smith and Marshon Lattimore. I could also see a defensive tackle like Thomas Holley and a offensive lineman such as Chad Mavety or Damian Prince ending up in this class. I don't think we lose out on any of the current commits. If you listen to social media, you might see some people scared that Glenville offensive lineman Marcelys Jones might jump ship. I for one, highly doubt that happens, as Glenville usually has their recruits wait till late in the process to commit to a program, unless they are 100% of their choice. I don't blame Jones for wanting to take visits to other schools. If I was in these recruits shoes, I would want to check out campuses, and attend as many college football games as I could. You only go through the process once.
Miles: I think Mike Gesicki, Chad Mavety, Thomas Holley, Raekwon McMillan, Erick Smith, and Marshon Lattimore will fill the last six spots of this class. The two recruits I could see dropping from the class are Marcelys Jones and Lonnie Johnson, but I'm not ready to predict a de-commitment.
The Buckeyes are hosting some of their highest priority targets in the remaining three home games. Whose official visit do you feel is the most important?
Austin: Chad Mavety must have a great visit when he's in town. There's no question it's a Seminole-Buckeye race for him and he's visiting both schools in November. A commitment from Mavety would fill a void at a huge position of need and we can only hope his comfort with the Ohio State staff is strong enough in the end.
Charles: I think having McMillan on campus for the PSU game is huge for the Buckeyes. He has already made the trip north a couple times but seeing the Shoe 100k deep, under the lights going nuts, is almost enough to make any recruit want to commit on the spot. I expect OSU to pull out the red carpet that weekend and show McMillan what it is truly like to be a Buckeye football player.
Miles: Raekwon McMillan is a pretty popular answer here, but I'll go a bit off the radar with Thomas Holley. McMillan has already been on campus plenty of times, including last year's Michigan game, so he already has a feel for pretty much everything OSU has to offer. Holley on the other hand has only been to Columbus once- never for a game. Ohio State currently holds a slight lead on Notre Dame for Holley, but a good official visit could go a long way in furthering their chances at scoring his commitment.
Of the players currently committed to OSU, which offensive player(s) do you think can make the biggest impact from day one in Columbus?
Austin: I love Noah Brown's game and think he will have opportunities next year at wide receiver. The transition to a full-time wide receiver could be a tad bumpy, but Brown should impress with his size and overall ball skills. He's played tons of snaps at running back and knows what to do when the ball is in his hands. With Chris Fields and Corey Brown moving on, Ohio State will have Devin Smith (most likely), Corey Smith, Michael Thomas, James Clark, Jalin Marshall and the rest of the wide outs in the Dream 14 to work with. Noah Brown will have a fair shot to come in and win playing time as he could be the most physically ready freshmen wide receiver coming in. Watch out, though. If Georgia Tech transfer Jeff Greene can impress in the spring, like I think he can, the road to playing time would obviously get more difficult.
Charles: I think Demetrius Knox has a chance to step foot on campus and battle for early playing time. The Buckeyes are going to be looking for one of the young offensive lineman to step up and I believe Knox will be that man. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Noah Brown and Curtis Samuel get involved early on in their OSU careers.
Miles: I foresee Curtis Samuel getting on the field quite a bit next year. As we've seen with Dontre Wilson this year, Urban finds a way to get playmakers on the field and the speedy Samuel is just that. I could also see Demetrius Knox or Jamarco Jones starting next year as four starting offensive linemen are graduating after this season.
To be continued...