The Buckeyes' director of player personnel, Mark Pantoni, the master of #JUICE and the Ohio State Internet's resident #Swaggernaut spoke with the Big Ten Network's Gerry DiNardo about Ohio State's recruiting process. Pantoni, who oversees the administrative aspect of the recruiting process, provides great insight into how the Buckeyes go from the information gathering stages into the end product you see unveiled National Signing Day each year.
"We use all the resources necessary to find kids names using the recruiting websites to when the coaches go out recruiting," Pantoni says. The team essentially leverages all tools at their disposal (including but not limited to recruiting websites) and comes up with a big board that ranges from "500-to-700 prospects", and then begins to winnow those down based on how realistic their chances are, geography (e.g. Ohio kids), and ties/connections to the program.
Interestingly enough, Pantoni mentions that if a recruit doesn't make it to the school's central Ohio campus by spring or summer, their chances of landing them decrease significantly. He humorously calls assistant coaches "the setup man" and Urban Meyer their "Mariano Rivera". He also mentions the Vonn Bell saga specifically and how OSU was able to land the 5-star safety.
Given his importance with the program, it's almost no surprise that Pantoni comes across as impressive as he does. Though the NCAA's controversial new recruiting rules have been tabled (for now), having a resource like Pantoni at the team's disposal definitely gives them a leg up relative to any school that doesn't.