I've noticed quite a few fans worrying about Ohio State's recruiting class as it currently stands. Today we're going to (try) to put your worries to rest.
First, we're going to take a look at where the "Dream 14" stood on March 30th, 2013:
On this day in 2013...
Ohio State only had five commitments in their 2014 recruiting class, which as we all know right now ended up as one of the best classes in the country.
Of the five players the Buckeyes had committed in the class, only one of them was a big time national recruit in Detroit (MI) Cass Tech cornerback Damon Webb, who the Buckeyes poached out of the state of Michigan, surprising many at the time it happened.
Three of them were in-state players including linemen Marcelys Jones, Kyle Trout, and athlete Parris Campbell Jr. All three were considered by almost everyone to be Ohio State locks at the time they committed to Urban Meyer and the coaching staff.
The fifth, Dylan Thompson, was considered to be a pretty strong out-of-state lean from the moment he received a scholarship offer from the Scarlet and Gray.
In this class, the Buckeyes have scored two commitments that were relatively surprising (Ben Edwards and to a smaller extent, Jamel Dean) and a player who was pretty much a lock (Eric Glover-Williams), which is much different from last year's cycle.
Not to mention, the Buckeyes are in the mix for a lot more big time national recruits than they were in the last recruiting cycle.
Next let's examine the three players I've noticed cause the most worry amongst Buckeye Nation, and after that we'll take a look at players who could be close to committing.
TE Chris Clark, Avon (CT) Old Farms, 4-star
I'll admit that I was pretty surprised on the timing of Clark's commitment to North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. I thought he was going to take quite a few more visits before deciding, but almost every big school in the nation was in the running for him, so there was never a guarantee that he was going to be in this class.
But just two weeks after committing, he told Alex Gleitman of Bucknuts that he would be visiting Ohio State on April 25th. This means the the Buckeyes could very well still have a shot at landing the current Tar Heel commit.
QB Torrance Gibson, Fort Lauderdale (FL) American Heritage, 5-star
There has probably been the most concern regarding Gibson and quite frankly I don't understand why people are so concerned about Ohio State's chances the way things currently stand. Recently, he's taken visits to a number of schools in the southern portion of the country. One of them, Tennessee, who has definitely made a good impression on him so far, will probably need to show they can win football games this fall before Gibson is completely sold on them.
Gibson wanted to visit Ohio State over spring break, but his coach told him it was too far away and there wasn't much he could do about it. Instead, he's back to his original plan of coming to Columbus this summer, only then will we have a relatively clear picture of where the Buckeyes stand in the race to land his commitment.
OG Steven Gonzalez Union City (NJ) Union Hill, 4-star
The standout offensive lineman from New Jersey committed to James Franklin and the Nittany Lions earlier today while on an visit to Happy Valley. He had the Buckeyes on top heading into the visit, but he never made the trip to Columbus and a commitment wasn't within the realm of possibility unless he stepped foot on campus.
Don't get me wrong, he's an excellent big up for James Franklin and company, who has done an awesome job recruiting since arriving in Happy Valley a couple on months ago. However, Gonzalez isn't a guy who was going to make or break this class. I haven't spoken to him yet, but I would be pretty surprised if he ended up anywhere other than Penn State when Signing Day 2015 comes and goes.
Who could be close to committing?
WR Van Jefferson, Brentwood (TN) Ravenwood
Ohio State has put themselves in excellent position to land the polished wide receiver after a strong visit to Columbus last week. He said there's a chance that he would be back in the state's capital for the spring game in a couple of weeks.
If he does indeed make the return trip for the spring game, I would say there's a pretty strong chance he would commit on the visit or shortly thereafter.
DE Dre'Mont Jones, Cleveland (OH) St. Ignatius
Another one of last weekend's visitors could be close to ending his recruitment as well as he's also coming off a very good visit to Ohio State last weekend. It was his first ever trip down to Columbus in order to check out the Central Ohio campus.
He's expected to make a return visit for the spring game and if he does, I could definitely see him ending his recruitment and committing to the Buckeyes then.
LB Sh'mar Kilby-Lane, Hallandale (FL)
The Sunshine State standout has played things relatively close to the vest, but has always maintained a very high interest in OSU. In fact, Ohio State was the first school to extend him a scholarship offer in December of 2013.
It's believed that he'll be in Columbus for the spring game, though I haven't been able to confirm that the visit is 100% still happening. If he does make the trip, there's definitely a chance he could go back home committed to Urban Meyer.
Remember folks: missing on the likes of Gonzalez and (at least for now) Clark stings, but it's not how you start, it's how you finish.