As is customary following large event like Nike's The Opening, 2012, many of the major recruiting services pool their collective think tanks, resources, and personnel and reevaluate some of the grades they'd previously disseminated to some of the best recruits across the country.
247Sports is no exception. Yesterday, they revised their rankings top-down, modifying the star ratings given to some top talent and switching the overall rankings for others. Their revised 247Sports Top247 can be seen here.
So how did it effect Ohio State's verbal commitments in the class of 2013?
Perhaps most notably, Ohio State's Jalin Marshall did himself no favors at this past weekend's The Opening, 2012. SB Nation's own Scipio Tex, who was in attendance in Oregon, said Marshall "left no impression whatsoever which in and of itself is a sort of impression". I myself caught the event's three nights of television coverage in the games featuring Marshall (which granted was less than a quarter of the total action) and came away with a less than pleasant taste in my mouth as well.
247Sports' brass felt similarly as Marshall was docked from a 5-star talent down to a four. He also free fell in the total rankings from 20th overall all the way to 80th. Marshall's athleticism is unquestioned and he almost gives the impression to onlookers that he could be a really effective college quarterback for one of the have-nots of the Big Ten. Given the likes of J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller, however, Marshall's most natural fit within Urban Meyer and Tom Herman's design would be at wide receiver.
Unfortunately for Marshall, this wasn't an area he shined. In the action I personally took in, Marshall had trouble creating separation against some of the more highly ranked receivers in the competition. While 7-on-7 football is in very many ways the football equivalent of "streetball" at its core, offensive coaches still draw up plays with defined wide receiver routes. Marshall often looked uncomfortable running these to fruition, and made simple, new-to-the-position mistakes at wheeling in catches even when he did. A strong fall and/or run of all-star games could yet raise Marshall's profile back to what it was, but it remains clear he still has room to grow at the wide receiver position before he's a refined, college ready product.
In more of a head scratcher, Ohio State's now aggregate best verbal commit, defensive end Joey Bosa, fell arbitrarily from 27 to 33 in 247Sports' total rankings. Joining him was Cam Burrows, who slid from 34th to 36th despite by many accounts having a great weekend at The Opening. Were 247Sports to defend the methodology, one has to imagine they'd say this was more about the solid play showcased by others than anything disappointing from Bosa and Burrows.
In the positive column, Eli Woodard, another Buckeye defensive back who had a nice weekend showcasing his overall abilities in Niketown, moved up a single spot from 60th overall to 59th. Ezekiel Elliott, the senior-in-high-school-to-be tailback who showcased his proficiency as a pass catcher (and has many thinking he'd now be a natural fit at 'Pivot', the role Percy Harvin made famous at Florida under Urban Meyer) earned himself a fourth star moving up from his previous stature as a 3-star grade. Safety Jayme Thompson, who had a solid though unspectacular The Opening according to most, also gained a fourth star, thus making him a consensus fourth star amongst the major recruiting services.
The remainder of Ohio State's class of 2013 stayed static. Quarterback J.T. Barrett remains 4th overall, tight end Marcus Baugh stays at 96, and offensive lineman Evan Lisle continues to stand pat at 143rd. Big-time d-lineman Michael Hill is still at 193rd and fellow defensive lineman Billy Price remains at 199th. The previously unranked defensive end Tracy Sprinkle, athlete Darron Lee, and punter Johnny Townsend also remain as such.
While there's still a lot of time to go before national signing day 2013, it should be interesting to see how further game tape and evaluations impact national perception of the talent Ohio State continues to draw in.