We're back with our third edition of our "Top 15 targets for 2015". Let's take a look at some of the top top players Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are recruiting for their 2015 class.
We will continue to look at three main variables: Player's overall talent, interest in Ohio State/probability the Buckeyes land the athlete, and how much of a need the individual is for the Buckeyes. With that in mind, here is the most current list:
15. WR De'Vante Peete, Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas
I haven't heard too much regarding Peete's recruitment of late, but the Buckeyes were definitely in a good spot the last time we spoke. He's a guy who could help in filling a pretty big need on the outside for the Buckeyes' offense.
14. DT Neville Gallimore, St. Catharines (ON) Canada Prep Football Academy
The Canadian football star was a force at last month's Nike Football Training Camp in Columbus. While in town, he made his first visit to Ohio State and had a good time on the trip. There's still a long way to go as Gallimore hasn't looked at very many schools, but the Buckeyes should be there until the end.
13. OT Isaiah Prince, Greenbelt (MD) Elanor Roosevelt
This is another race that's going to be tough to win, especially with Prince having been to in-state Maryland so many times over the course of his recruitment. Ohio State had him on campus for the first time this weekend and I think they're running a little behind Maryland, with Florida right there with them.
12. DT Christian Wilkins, Suffield (CT) Academy
He has been very quiet throughout his recruitment, but visited Ohio State last summer and the Buckeyes are definitely in a good spot, with some time to go. This will be an interesting recruitment to follow going forward, but there isn't a ton of information out on him right now.
11. CB Jordan Whitehead, Monaca (VA) Central Valley
When it comes to cornerbacks still on the recruiting board, Whitehead is probably the top guy the Buckeyes have a good chance of landing. I'm expecting a fall decision from the standout corner and I think the comes down to Ohio State and Penn State.
10. WR Van Jefferson, Brentwood (TN) Ravenwood
It's important for the Buckeyes to land a top outside receiver in this class and of all their targets, they're probably in the best position to land Jefferson. The ultra polished wideout is expected to decide sometime this summer and is likely to visit Ohio State again before deciding. This is by no means over, but the Bucks are the team to beat right now.
9. RB Larry "LJ" Scott, Hubbard (OH)
I think Ohio State is in the pole position here, but Michigan State has done a great job recruiting him and are a very close second. Scott is expected to make a summer decision and it will be interesting to see which visits he takes pre-decision.
8. OT Drew Richmond, Memphis (TN) University School
Ohio State could definitely use an elite offensive tackle in this class and Richmond is likely the top guy on their board. It's important to get him back on campus at least another time before his Sept. 9 college decision, with "Friday Night Lights" being a legitimate possibility for the visit. Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama, and other southern schools are the Buckeyes' top competition here.
7. DE Josh Sweat, Chesapeake (VA) Oscar Smith
Right now this is probably a bit of a long shot, but if he makes it to Columbus on July 25 for "Friday Night Lights", the Buckeyes could be firmly in the mix to land his commitment. Sweat might be the best defensive player in this class when it's all said and done. I don't expect him to decide until close to National Signing Day as he has taken recruiting process very slowly, so there's plenty of time to make up ground in this one.
6. DE Jashon Cornell, St. Paul (MN) Cretin Derham Hall
The Buckeyes weren't really in the picture a month ago, but he finally made it to Columbus at the beginning of June and this race started moving in the favor of Ohio State. He's about a month and a half from making his college decision and the Buckeyes appear to be the clear favorite to land him as things currently stand.
5. OG Matthew Burrell, Woodbridge (VA) C.D. Hylton
Ever since making his visit in the spring, the Buckeyes have emerged as the favorite in Burrell's recruitment. He visited a couple of weeks ago and the Buckeyes had the chance to build on their lead. I don't think he decides until later in the recruiting cycle, but right now I really like Ohio State's chances to land the standout offensive lineman.
4. WR Christian Kirk, Scottsdale (AZ) Saguaro
There's no doubt this will be a difficult race for the Buckeyes to win. Texas A&M is probably the team to beat right now, with the Buckeyes a close second and they had a big chance to close that gap with his visit over the weekend. I think there's still some work to do, but there's a legitimate chance the star receiver decides to play his college football in Columbus. I'd expect to see a mid-fall decision from him.
3. RB Damien Harris, Berea (KY) Madison Southern
Since decommitting from Michigan back in the winter, the Buckeyes have emerged as the clear favorite in Harris' recruitment. Right now, the number two school is probably Kentucky, who needs to win this fall to have a chance in this one. I think he'll make a decision in the early part of the fall after taking a few official visits. Harris has the potential to be a special player at the college level.
2. LB Jerome Baker, Cleveland (OH) Benedictine
The only thing keeping him from the number one spot on the board is he isn't as close to making a college decision as the guy who will be listed number one. The Buckeyes need a major recruit to help lead their class and Baker isn't close enough to committing to be that guy. I still have him as my top player in the state of Ohio.
1. LB Justin Hilliard, Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier
It was a close race for number one, but Hilliard is a guy who is planning on committing in the very near future and will likely emerge as a leader for his recruiting class. Right now, it looks like Ohio State is going to be the pick. Notre Dame is probably the biggest competition to land his commitment, with Iowa, Michigan, and Alabama still in the race as well.