Part I: Ohio State 2012 Recruiting Timeline
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Recruiting is a year-long—sometimes multi-year—journey with more twists and turns than a show by J.J. Abrams.
It begins, often times, before the previous class has even signed on the dotted line, and, in some cases, can continue long past National Signing Day.
With that day—Feb. 1—rapidly approaching, we take a look back at one of the strangest, most astounding, bizarre, horrible, erratic, mystifying, wonderful recruiting years in Ohio State history.
STAGE I: Perry Kicks Things Off
June 29, 2010 — Olentangy LB Josh Perry is one of the first players in the class of 2012 to receive a verbal scholarship offer from the Buckeyes, and becomes the first member of the class by committing to Jim Tressel and his staff.
Aug. 28, 2010 — After camping at both Ohio State and Notre Dame over the Summer, Columbus DeSales RB Warren Ball becomes the second member of the 2012 class after attending a two-day camp in Columbus.
Sept. 17, 2010 — St. Edward offensive tackle Kyle Kalis receives a verbal scholarship offer from Taver Johnson and the Buckeyes. He had planned to wait, but instead issued an immediate commitment: "I pretty much knew when I started playing football, I knew in my heart that's where I wanted to go.”
Nov. 31, 2010 — Following in the footsteps of his two older brothers—Justin and Zach—Pickerington Central guard Jacoby Boren commits to Tressel and Jim Bollman, becoming the fourth member in the class of 2012.
Dec. 23, 2010 — Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor and four others are suspended by the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011 season for receiving improper benefits and trading/selling their OSU football memorabilia.
Feb. 2, 2011 — Cleveland Glenville QB Cardale Jones does not sign with the Buckeyes in the class of 2011, but instead is headed to Fork Union Military Academy.
March 4, 2011 — Vandalia Butler OT Taylor Decker wastes no time committing to Notre Dame assistant coaches Tim Hinton and Ed Warinner.
March 8, 2011 — Jim Tressel holds a press conference with Gene Smith and Gordon Gee, during which he admits to having previous knowledge of the violations committed by Pryor and WR DeVier Posey. Smith and Gee both reaffirm that Tressel will be their coach “wherever we end up.”
March 25, 2011 — West Roxbury (Mass.) Catholic Memorial LB Camren Williams became the second commit in Penn State’s class of 2012.
April 24, 2011 — The Buckeyes host a number of big-time prospects for their annual Scarlet and Gray Spring Game at Ohio Stadium. Within days, they land commitments from Upper Arlington WR Frank Epitropoulos and Canton Glenoak RB Bri’onte Dunn. Epitropoulos is a legacy recruit following in the footsteps of his father (John Epitropoulos) and uncle (Ernie Epitropoulos).
May 16, 2011 — Not long after naming Boston College as his early leader, St. Ignatius TE Blake Thomas picked up an offer from the Buckeyes and quickly committed to Ohio State.
STAGE II: The Edge of Darkness
May 30, 2011 — Ohio State announces the resignation of Jim Tressel after 10 seasons in Columbus. It would later be revealed that Tressel was forced to resign because of mounting pressure surrounding the school. Luke Fickell is named the program’s interim head coach. A number of prospects begin to reconsider their future at Ohio State, including Kyle Kalis and Bri’onte Dunn.
June 1, 2011 — Kalis phones Fickell to inform him of his decision to de-commit from Ohio State following Tressel’s resignation two days earlier. Fickell would talk Kalis into sticking by his commitment, but it wouldn’t last. Kalis eventually did de-commit. On that same day, the Buckeyes did receive a verbal commitment from Bedford CB Tyvis Powell.
June 6, 2011 — South Bend (Ind.) Washington LB David "Boom" Perkins commits to Notre Dame over offers from finalists Syracuse, Tennessee, Michigan State and Mississippi State.
June 12, 2011 — After shining at summer camp in Columbus, Steubenville DB Najee Murray receives a verbal offer from Fickell and promptly becomes the ninth member of the 2012 recruiting class. The staff compared Murray to Christian Bryant, and said he could play either safety or corner at the next level.
June 13, 2011 — After receiving very little interest from Ohio State early on, Cleveland Heights OT Kyle Dodson finally receives an offer from the Buckeyes. That same evening he opted to commit to Wisconsin, the alma mater of his high school position coach, Dontez Sanders.
June 18, 2011 — Canton McKinley DE Se’Von Pittman stuns many by committing to Michigan State over Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn and Michigan.
June 25, 2011 — Murray’s commitment was followed shortly by another from Cleveland Glenville DB De'van Bogard, who picked Ohio State over USC, Michigan and Michigan State.
June 29, 2011— Windsor (Colo.) offensive lineman Joey O'Connor became Penn State's 11th verbal commitment in the Class of 2012.
July 10, 2011 — Kalis flips his commitment, making the decision to play for new Michigan coach Brady Hoke and immediately begins to recruit Bri’onte Dunn to join him in the Wolverines’ class of 2012.
July 13, 2011 — Lancaster LB Luke Roberts became the 10th member of Ohio Stat’s 2012 recruiting class after a stellar camp performance.
July 14, 2011 — Roberts is joined by another camper named Pat Elflein. The Pickerington North product became the second offensive lineman in the class, joining Jacoby Boren.
Aug. 8, 2011 — Pickerington Central WR Rogers Lewis becomes commitment No. 12 for the Buckeyes, picking OSU over Cincinnati, Arizona and West Virginia.
Oct. 14, 2011— Aliquippa (Pa.) Hopewell RB Rushel Shell commits to Pittsburgh.
Oct. 30, 2011 — Ohio State hosts a monster recruiting weekend in Columbus centered around their night game against Wisconsin. The Buckeyes stun the Badgers on a last-minute toss from Braxton Miller to Devin Smith, and pick up a big commitment from WR Michael Thomas, had been a silent verbal. The nephew of former NFL WR Keyshawn Johnson announced he would be attending OSU with his FUMA teammate, Cardale Jones.
Oct. 31, 2011 — South Bend (Ind.) Washington LB David Perkins de-commits from Notre Dame.
Click Here for Part II of our 2012 Recruiting Timeline
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