Urban Meyer has recruited 36 bluechip recruits (defined here are four- or five-star players according to the 247Sports Composite) to Ohio State that are now draft-eligible.
These are players from the 2012 and 2013 classes, and they formed the new core of Ohio State's roster. However, how effective has Urban and his staff actually been turning raw high school talent in to value for NFL teams? Of course, it's not always on the coaches -- sometimes even elite recruits change their focus and leave football or see their careers prematurely ended by injury.
But of the 36 blue-chippers, how many can be considered successes? I took a look at the data because of the NFL Draft:
|NFL Draft pick||Undrafted||Transferred||Retired due to injury||Potential starter||Established starter|
Headed to the NFL
A little under a quarter of Urban's draft-eligible blue chip recruits were drafted in the 2016 NFL Draft, including Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, Vonn Bell, Joey Bosa, Eli Apple, Ezekiel Elliott, Josh Perry, and Taylor Decker.
The four blue-chippers who were UDFAs are Tommy Schutt, Illinois State alum David Perkins, Jalin Marshall and Cam Williams. Schutt faced injuries and was a meaningful part of the defensive tackle rotation, but never the superstars that Bosa and Washington were on the line. Cam Williams actually already ruled out going the UDFA route, signing on to join the Patriots as a scout. Jalin Marshall is the big outlier here. The fourth-most talented blue-chip recruit from Urban's first two classes, Marshall nonetheless wasn't drafted after coming out early.
Interestingly, the average 247 Composite score from Urban's drafted players is .9722, while for everyone else it is .9328. From Urban's top six recruits from 2012 and 2013, only Jalin Marshall wasn't drafted (with a 247 Composite of .9856). So in Urban's case, the best of the best -- that is, those rated over .9700 in the 247 Composite -- are extremely likely to be drafted.
The only two players with a 247Sports Composite score over .9700 who didn't leave for the NFL Draft this year were Mike Mitchell, who transferred to Texas Tech and who has since transferred from there as well, and Cam Burrows, who is contending for a spot in the secondary this season. Ezekiel Elliott is just under the .97 cut off, at .9693.
What does that mean for future classes?
So if you're an Urban Meyer blue-chipper with a 247Sports Composite over .97, you have a nearly two-thirds shot at leaving early to be a likely high-round NFL Draft pick. That could mean good things next year for Raekwon McMillan, Damon Webb, Marshon Lattimore, Dante Booker, and likely Jamarco Jones as well (.9696).
However, things might be more difficult for this group of >.97 247Sports Composite blue-chippers to leave early, because Webb, Lattimore, Booker, and Jones have yet to be full-time starters due to the depth that was already ahead of them. The 2012 and 2013 classes were able to prove themselves younger than more recent classes have been (and will be) able to due to the increase in overall team talent when Urban started at Ohio State. That means good things for Buckeyes fans, and still likely means good things for those super-talented blue chippers.
Justin Hilliard, Jonathon Cooper, Nick Bosa, and Demario McCall are all current underclassmen with 247Sports Composite ratings over .97.
Transfers and injuries
While the odds are a lot better for you to pan out if you're a blue chipper, nothing is a sure thing. For instance, eight of the 36 blue chippers transferred, and six retired early due to injuries. Transfers include Noah Spence, Mike Mitchell, Se'Von Pittman, David Perkins, Warren Ball, Jayme Thompson, Joey O'Connor, Jamal Marcus, and Najee Murray. Injured and retired players include Trey Johnson, Mike Mitchell, Armani Reeves, De'Van Bogard, Kyle Dodson, Donovan Munger, and Joey O'Connor.
Players who transfer had an average 247Sports Composite rating of .9306, indicating that it's not always talent that influences who will transfer.