This week we move along in our preview of the 2013 recruiting class that Urban Meyer has assembled with a look at 247 Composite 4-star defensive tackle Billy Price. Price will join the stacked defensive line unit that Urban has quickly put together in his first two recruiting classes while at Ohio State. Along with Ohio State, offers came to Price from Arizona, Miami (OH), Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Pitt, SMU, Tennessee, UCLA, and West Virginia. The offer from Ohio State for Price came while Jim Tressel was still the head coach, but even with the turmoil that the program faced in 2011, it seemed as if Price was destined to come to Ohio State for quite some time.
(Grain of salt) 40 average: 5.01
High School: Austintown Fitch (Youngstown, OH)
Austintown Fitch's Billy Price was the third recruit of the 2013 class that gave Urban Meyer his verbal commitment a little more than a week after the 2012 National Signing Day. Recruiting services have ranked Price from as high as the 175th overall high school senior (Rivals) to as low as 288th (ESPN). Price had held an offer from Ohio State, which he received when Jim Tressel was recruiting him back in his sophomore year. While Price said playing for Ohio State was a dream come true, but being so early in the recruiting process he wanted to keep evaluate all of his options.
Originally Billy said that he was going to wait until after his senior season to commit to a school but the charm of Urban Meyer must have been too much as on February 13th, 2012 Price announced that he was committed to Ohio State. While Price played on both sides of the ball at Fitch, Meyer and his coaching staff envision him playing defensive tackle for the Buckeyes, and only playing OL if he is truly needed there. No matter what position he played, it was clear that Price was just excited to be a Buckeye:
"You come to Ohio State. This is a place we'll be working. This is a place we'll be winning National Championships. You have to be able to step up to that game. I'm going in there excited and ready to work,"
With Price in the mix, now Meyer had already received commitments from three of the top recruits in Ohio and there was still just under a year until National Signing Day 2013. This was big for Meyer as now he had three highly talented players that could try and persuade some of their peers to come to Ohio State and build something great.
Price had a busy spring as he went to states in the discus and the shot put for Austintown Fitch, finishing 7th in the discus and 12th in the shot put at the state tournament in Columbus in June. Along with his duties for his high school track team, Price also attended the Columbus NFTC (Nike Football Training Camps) in Columbus in May. At the camp, which was held at Ohio Dominican University, Price was named defensive MVP. You can see Price in action at the Columbus NFTC in 5 one-on-one drills (:48, 2:37, 3:35, 4:23, 5:18) in action that CBSSports' Bryan Fischer caught:
During the summer, Price made the trip from Youngstown to Ohio State's first Friday Night Lights camp. Price was able to get some time with fellow Ohio State defensive commits Joey Bosa, Tracy Sprinkle, Donovan Munger, and Tyquan Lewis. Those five commits would make any coach elated to have on their team, and the 2013 class has only gotten better since then.
One of the biggest reasons that Price said he committed early to Ohio State was so that he could enjoy his senior season. Without any of the distractions that come along with recruiting, Price really excelled on the field, sharing the Division I Defensive Player of the Year honor with fellow Ohio State signee Tracy Sprinkle. For the season, Austintown Fitch finished 9-2 and made the playoffs.
In early December Price took some time to talk to Luke, and let us know that he was in attendance to watch Ohio State clinch their undefeated season against Michigan. Billy let Luke know about what the coaching staff had told him how they were planning to utilize him on the defense, and about the areas that he felt he needed to improve in before arriving on campus.
Price did not enroll early at Ohio State, as he wanted to finish up his high school track career in the spring. Even with the delay in getting to Columbus, Price has the ability and drive to become an anchor on one of the best defenses in the country these next few years.
A comparison that is often made when talking about Price is to fellow Youngstown native, John Simon. While Price is bigger than Simon, he does display the same type of strength and explosion that Simon did. Now that Price can focus solely on playing on the defensive side of the football he can really flourish under the teachings of Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel.
The addition of Price will add even more depth to a young and talented defensive line that Urban Meyer has assembled in his first two years on the job. 2013 recruits Price, Michael Hill, and Donovan Munger join current Buckeyes Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt, Joel Hale, and Chris Carter at the defensive tackle position. With these players it will allow Urban Meyer to make changes on the fly and keep his defensive line fresh. Later in games this could prove to be huge, with the rotating defensive line becoming too much for the offensive line to handle.
On Price's side is that he is humble and knows the areas where he can improve in and will put in the work to turn those weaknesses into strengths. Price calls himself a gym rat and that will only help him to improve one he sets foot onto campus in Columbus. The competition within this growing defensive line unit will only bring out the best in Price, and he knows that as he stated in his interview with Luke:
"I can promise them that the competition for starting positions and playing time will be high. Competition will fuel the defense to excel, prosper, and help us become the nation's number one defense."
The future looks bright for Price and 2013 will only be the first chapter in what many are thinking will be a successful Ohio State career.
Highlight Jam Session:
One of These Things is Blatantly False:
- With John Simon having graduated, Price could be the next to wear #54 for the Buckeyes
- Billy Price is on Twitter with the username, @b_price54
- In the winter of his junior year, Price dropped basketball to focus on indoor track
- Price hung out with fellow Buckeye signee Mike Mitchell during his official visit at the 2012 Michigan/Ohio State game
- Price was rooting for the 49ers during the Super Bowl