Recruiting Must Reads
Meet Larry Johnson
Watch the video above to get the inside scoop on Larry Johnson Sr, the coach and teacher, and check out our interview with Black Shoe Diaries for more on Johnson the program diplomat and person.
Recruiting Must Reads
In case you've been living under a rock the past 24 hours, Urban Meyer has made huge moves to the Ohio State coaching staff, grabbing Larry Johnson Sr. from Penn State and Chris Ash from Arkansas. Both of these coaches can flat-out recruit and these hires have potential to send some shock waves down the recruiting trail for the 2014 class – especially dealing with Johnson Sr.
Before Mike Vrabel accepted a position with the Houston Texans, he was in a war, attempting to land highly touted defensive linemen Solomon Thomas. With Stanford seemingly being the favorite for most of the process, it was always going to be an uphill battle, but Ohio State has always remained within striking distance.
When Vrabel packed his bags it looked as if that door would shut. However, Chris Ash has had contact in the past with Thomas and should be able to pick up right where Vrabel left off.
Hiring Chris Ash could definitely help #Buckeyes out with Solomon Thomas. Has existing relationship. Still think #Stanford is the school.— Derek Young (@DYoungScout) January 14, 2014
Solomon Thomas isn't the only prospect that Larry Johnson and Chris Ash have a chance to "steal", though. One-time Buckeye target Thomas Holley is fully expected to get back in the mix with Ohio State. If you remember, Holley was bullish on the Buckeyes for quite some time, but had begun to cool the last couple of months before giving his commitment to Penn State—a large part due to Larry Johnson. We figure that Urban Meyer would give Johnson the freedom to go after Holley if he chooses to do so and if that is allowed to happen, there's a good chance Holley will be a Buckeye on signing day. Other coaches around the league agree as well.
Another said Larry Johnson to #OSU would mean Thomas Holley would be a #Buckeye. "That would be lock," he said. "Count on it."— Jeremy Crabtree ESPN (@jeremycrabtree) January 14, 2014
A head coach told me at St. Elmo Steakhouse last night that Larry Johnson is hands down the best d-line / recruiter combo in the nation.— Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) January 14, 2014
Taking a deeper look, Johnson's hire could pay dividends in a huge way when it comes to the class of 2015.
Larry Johnson going to Ohio State is perfect!! ⭕️🙌 #Buckeyes— Ricky DeBerry (@TheFranchize__) January 14, 2014
Larry Johnson going to Ohio State 🙌⭕️— Jashon Cornell (@Jay_Rock16) January 14, 2014
Jashon Cornell and Ricky DeBerry are both big-time Ohio State targets for next year's class. Cornell is currently a five star prospect while DeBerry checks in as a four star.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes are continuing to chase Florida native Mike Rogers who is a UCF commit at the moment, but holds a slew of offers. Athletically speaking, Rogers is one of the most impressive prospects in the country and has the ability to play either offense or defense at the next level. In the past, Rogers has spoken highly of Ohio State and the closer we get to signing day, the more we will start to hear. Rogers earned a Buckeye offer on October 11th. It appears to be a race between UCF, Ohio State, and Georgia Tech. You can read his full update here.