Once again, it's time to catch up on the class of 2013 with our "Bucks to the Future" series – and the future is now for Shaker Heights defensive tackle Donovan Munger.
Recruiting is a funny business, especially in this day and age of social media. Tweets or Facebook posts are dissected, analyzed, re-analyzed, and interpreted. What a potential recruit does on an official or unofficial visit is tweeted, re-tweeted, and discussed ad nauseum on message boards from Columbus to Karachi, and at some point the truth is overcome by speculation.
And that's what happened to Donovan Munger. What should've been a pretty straightforward commitment of a really great defensive tackle prospect turned into a last minute soap opera. But we'll get to that in a bit.
Wt: 285 - 290, give or take an extra piece of cake here and there.
40: At most, it's about seven yards from the line of scrimmage to the quarterback. THAT'S 33 WASTED YARDS SON.
High School: Shaker Heights (Cleveland, OH)
One of the things that happens when a head football coach brings in monstrous recruiting classes is that some guys tend to get overlooked. Really good, solid prospects with a lot of potential, and that kind of happened with Munger. It's tough to say why that happens, but it does in every class. Maybe he was recruited late and was pushed to the back burner by bigger fish in the net, maybe it was because he was coming in at a position that has had stud after stud come in the last couple years, maybe it was because although he had over multiple offers from big time FBS schools, he was a heavy OSU-lean from the beginning. And maybe it was because he was a top Ohio kid.
Whatever the reason, Munger, although a solid, top flight prospect (#18 overall Ohio prospect and #25 DT overall nationally via 247 composite), never got the 'wow' factor attached to him like it did with some other prospects. But that isn't to say he shouldn't have. Munger started getting a lot of offers early on, eventually ending up with over 30 scholarship offers, to include 9 from Big Ten schools, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Georgia, Auburn, and Florida State.
Hey, remember when I said we'd get to the soap opera part in a bit? Welcome to 'in a bit'. Munger, to his credit, took his time and looked at all his options. He took multiple official and unofficial visits for the better part of the year, and it when he committed to Ohio State last December, he was sure, and 100% solid.
So color Buckeye fans surprised when he took an official visit to Florida State a little more than a month later. When rumors started that Munger was going to take an official visit to Tallahassee, the extreme fringe of the fan base automatically wrote him off as good as gone. Some folks surmised that because there were no reported problems with his recruitment in terms of grades or his relationship to Meyer and the staff that obviously THERE IS SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH MUNGER'S GRADES AND/OR THE COACHING STAFF NOW HATES HIM.
"Well, we didn't want him anyway", said Ohio State message board bro. Mind you this was the same message board bro that was posting 300 dancing banana GIF's when Munger committed to the Bucks.
"Too bad Donovan won't have a scholarship waiting for him when he gets back from Tallahassee because of Urban's 'no-visit once you commit' policy", said the same BBS dweller.
Only, Urban Meyer doesn't have that policy. Brady Hoke does – and mostly only when it's convenient for him to have it.
Ohio State is equally attractive to Michigan, though you won't hear Urban Meyer talk of a no-visit policy. He all but encourages his recruits to look around. Meyer believes he'll still get them in the end.
Turns out, Urban Meyer did. Why did Munger take an official visit to Florida State? He just wanted a free vacation to a warm place in the middle of the Ohio winter.
"I only went down there because it was nine degrees around here," he added. "I don't know why that was such a big commotion, but everything is all good now."
21st century social media rumormongering fever. Catch it!
Munger was a lineman on both sides of the ball, and he excelled on offense and defense. He projects as a defensive tackle at Ohio State, which really adds to the embarrassment of riches on the defensive line the last two classes. Although defensive ends Adolphus Washington, Noah Spence, and Joey Bosa have garnered most of the attention, the interior line has some serious prospects as well, including Munger and Tommy Schutt. Michael Bennett and Joel Hale would probably be named the starters if the season were to start today, but the one thing about the defensive line is that they'll rotate in and out frequently, and Munger's talent gives him every opportunity to see action early and often.
As an interior lineman, probably at the three technique position, he gets tremendous push at the point of attack, and does an excellent job of shedding his blocker while closing to the ballcarrier. I was particularly impressed with his lateral movement for a guy his size, and he has the ability to recover and minimize big gains on screens if he penetrates deep into the backfield.
There's also been some speculation that Munger could be out on offense, but personally, I don't see it. He's good on the offensive side, but potentially great on the defensive side. He just seems a more natural defensive player, and with the entire defensive line needing to be replaced from last year, his talent and the opportunity will mean we'll see Donovan Munger as a defensive tackle for Ohio State come 2013.
Highlight Jam Session:
One Of These Things Is Blatantly False:
- His good friend and teammate De'Niro Laster wanted to play together in college
- Laster signed with Minnesota
- Donovan took part in Ohio State's 2012 Friday Night Lights
- Donovan represented the United States in the International Federation of American Football's (IFAF) International Bowl
- Team USA beat the world 27-0 in the International Bowl