After they released new and updated ratings Wednesday evening, Ohio State now has five current commits in the new 247Sports Top 100 and 10 in the Top 247. The Buckeyes 2014 (#TheDream14) class is now ranked 4th overall in the 247 team rankings behind Alabama, Miami (FL) and Florida State. The biggest mover of the 2014 class was Terry McLaurin out of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. McLaurin jumped up a whopping 227 spots and now is ranked the 212th best recruit in the Top 247. In the process, McLaurin gained his 4th star, joining another Hoosier state receiver that is committed to be a Buckeye, Lonnie Johnson. The Buckeyes coaching staff seem to have hit it right on the head with McLaurin, when some rivals fans doubted his bonafides. Terry was a 3-star recruit before he headed out to The Opening in Beaverton, Oregon. McLaurin did not shy away from the competition and finished second in the SPARQ National Championship.
The Buckeyes also have their first 247 five star recruit for the class of 2014. Dante Booker Jr out of Akron St. Vincent-St Mary is now ranked the 16th best player in the country and the number one OLB, per 247. Booker Jr., who committed to the Buckeyes back in May, also had a very impressive weekend at The Opening, which helped him gain that fuifth star in the latest batch of recruiting rankings. During the 7-on-7 competition, Booker had a pick six he returned 100 yards, showing off his 4.52 speed (which ranked third out of all linebackers at the competition). After hearing about earning his fifth star, Booker Jr had this to say on Twitter:
Blessed to be recognized as 5 star talent!— Dante Booker Jr. (@D_Book47) July 10, 2013
The Buckeyes have a great shot to land another 5-star linebacker in Raekwon McMilan. Raekwon has been saying throughout his recruiting process that the Buckeyes are in the lead to earn his commitment. After the updated 247Sports rankings Kwon is ranked one spot ahead of Booker Jr and likewise is ranked the best at his position. Getting McMilan to be a Buckeye would be a huge feat for the Ohio State coaching staff, particularly with the overall lack of depth at linebacker for the Buckeyes on their current roster. McMilan would not only join Booker Jr in the 2014 class but also fellow Top 100 player in Kyle Berger out of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio.
Malik McDowell out of Detroit, Michigan, who everyone believes is a Michigan lean, sounds like he will be visiting Alabama, LSU and Ohio State this summer. McDowell who is stands 6-7 290 pounds will be a great get for whoever lands him. During McDowell's sophomore and junior season, he has racked up 27.5 sacks and 130 tackles while leading his team to a state championship game last season. Malik will join fellow state of Michigan player and Ohio State commit Damon Webb in San Antonio, Texas to participate in the 2014 Army All-American Bowl. As of now, McDowell has not set a date when he will commit, but I would not be surprised to see him wait it out and do it live at the Army All-American Bowl.
The biggest mover in in the Top 247 is Ohio State target, TE Mike Gesicki, who jumped an amazing 752 spots and now comes in as the 180th best player in the country. Gesicki also made a huge jump in his position ranking where he was ranked as the 40th best TE and now ranks as the fourth best. Gesicki seems to be favoring the Buckeyes and the Hurricanes as the teams to beat for his commitment, but it might come down to Gesicki vs. Austin Roberts with Ohio State's probable limited class space. At this point it seems unlikely the Buckeyes will take both Roberts and Gesicki, so it may ultimately be a race to see who commits first to the Buckeyes. Roberts will be in Columbus for FNL while Gesicki will not and is expected to visit later this fall. We'll see if the latter comes to fruition should Roberts ultimately elect to pull the trigger.
One of the biggest targets left on the recruiting boards is rising athlete and speedster Curtis Samuel. Samuel comes from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York, where he plays a little bit of everything football-wise. Like his 4.36 burner speed, Samuel continues to find him blazing his way up the recruiting rankings. Samuel earned his fifth star and is now rated 98 out of 100 in the latest 247Sports rankings. Curtis has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and more to go along with the Buckeyes. As of now it seems the Buckeyes are the team to beat for his commitment. 30 out of 30 Crystal Ball Predictions have Samuel joining Urban Meyer and a suddenly high powered Buckeyes class.
Check out what Samuel would potentially to Columbus:
On again off again Ohio State lean Demetrius Knox falls 35 spots in the latest rankings and comes in at 135th overall. Knox, who has UCLA in the lead at the moment, is still a strong candidate for the Buckeyes coaching staff. Knox originally hails from the Buckeye State before his Uncle moved him to Texas and has always been a life long Ohio State fan (and is hardly ever afraid to admit it). Demetrius seems to be loving playing the whole recruiting process out and especially all the love he is getting from the social media and blog scene. I personally believe he will be a great get for who ever lands him even though he has fallen in the last two rankings. Knox has stated he will commit when it feels right; I personally don't think you will see a commitment from him for awhile. I wouldn't be surprised if he plays the hat game right up to NSD '14.
Since you grew up a Buckeye fan, wouldn't it be a life long dream to play for Ohio State?... — Yup http://t.co/UKYQW2JUuS— BIG MEECH (@Ummm_Mr_Knox) July 11, 2013
Finally, in case you missed it late last night, it looks like Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema pulled a Memphis basketball's Josh Pastner and accidentally tweeted a recruiting target's name when he meant to search it. Unfortunately for the Arkansas head coach, that's a secondary NCAA violation. Never change, Bret:
- Happy birthday to Buckeyes basketball coach Thad Matta who turns the "Big" 46.
- Buckeye commit Jalyn Holmes dropped down in 247's rankings and is now ranked 68th overall.
- Newest Buckeye commit Jamarco Jones dropped three spots himself to 46th overall.
- Berger jumps up and joins other Buckeyes in the Top 100 checking in at 94th overall.