As we covered late Monday night, reports have been surfacing that Ohio State is in the process of finalizing a deal with Larry Johnson Sr. that would make him the next defensive line coach. Johnson has spent the past 19 years in State College, and was even given a shot to become the next head coach at Penn State before they chose James Franklin. Franklin offered a spot on the staff, but it seems Johnson is ready for his next move.
Having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of Larry Johnson not on the recruiting trail for #PSU. Is such a special recruiter.
— Jeremy Crabtree ESPN (@jeremycrabtree) January 14, 2014
The real reason Johnson headlines today's State Secrets is because of his excellent recruiting prowess. Those that know him have had nothing but good things to say about the way he coaches the game and connects to the players and prospects that he recruits. This is the sort of coach that Urban Meyer loves to have on his coaching staff, and the Buckeyes are extremely fortunate they grabbed him when they had a chance.
With the talent Ohio State already has at Johnson's disposal (Joey Bosa, Adolphus Washington, Noah Spence) there's no limit to how good the defensive line can be in the 2014 season. You also have to account for the talent coming in with the class of 2014, including '14 DE Jalyn Holmes and '14 DE Dylan Thompson.
So what about Thomas Holley? It's no secret that Johnson was a principle force in Penn State securing the services of the talented 4-star New York prospect. Though Ohio State is said to have cooled on Holley before he ultimately pledged to the Lions, it isn't out of the question to think that if Johnson really goes to bat for him, Ohio State could re-enter his sweepstakes. For now, I'd wager that as a low probability happening, but Johnson's departure could very well start a chain reaction of events that culminates with Holley flipping to Florida.
Moving on, the class of 2015 is starting to ramp up as National Signing Day draws near. However, the Buckeyes might not be done with recruiting for the Dream 14 as they are reportedly showing interesting in '14 DT Daniel Cage. Cage hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and is ranked the 12th-best prospect in the Buckeye state. While the 247 Crystal Ball has him going to Michigan State (70%), Ohio State may just surprise some people by taking a closer look at the 6'3, 295-pound defensive tackle.
Started my morning off talking to my guy Coach Meyer... Way to start my morning off 😎
— Drew Richmond (@TheDream_75) January 13, 2014
Speaking of the class of 2015, '15 OT Drew Richmond is quite a big target in the recruiting world and has offers from many of the major Division I programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and many more. The fact that Richmond is starting his "mornings off right' with a call from head coach Urban Meyer only means good things for the Buckeyes. We'll continue following how one of the top offensive tackles in the country goes through his recruiting process.
- 3-star Avon, CT tight end Chris Clark looks to liking the level of communication he's having with the Ohio State coaching staff. Clark could become the tight end of the future OSU didn't pick up in the 2014 class.
- Ohio State/Tom Herman target 5-star all everything LB Malik Jefferson will be a 2015 Under Armour All-American. OSU has some ground to make up on Jefferson behind trendy SEC home state pick Texas A&M, but you can never count out Texas Tom.