Buckeyes Set to Host Big Names for Another Big Recruiting Weekend
By Michael Chung
This week has seen some major coaching dominoes fall into place, with the most surprising being Bret Bielema’s decision to leave Wisconsin for Arkansas.
Many thought Charlie Strong was the coach to beat, but with Bret on his way to Fayetteville, does Paul Chryst get the call from Barry Alvarez? If so, des this impact players like Dorian Johnson, who committed to play for Chryst at Pitt?
Does this impact Ohio State? Luke Fickell was a finalist for the Pitt job last year. Does Strong stay at Louisville, all but guarantying that Ohio State loses out on wide receiver James Quick? Will Darrell Hazell going to Purdue influence any current OSU assistants to take the Kent State job? Will Butch Jones leave UC? Would Kerry Coombs be a candidate if he does?
Only time will tell.
The two biggest recruiting weekends of the season are over and it’s safe to say Ohio State hit the ball out of the park on both occasions. In talking to recruits, the two craziest game day atmospheres were easily Nebraska and Michigan, which happened to be the games where most recruits attended.
The recruiting dead period will happen in less than two weeks – from Dec. 17 into January, ending after the 3rd. During this period, coaches cannot personally contact nor assess a recruit on or off campus. No official or unofficial visit by recruits or phones calls to them are permissible. Hence, coaches will be working feverishly on recruiting over the next 12 days.
Next to the Nebraska and Michigan games, this weekend will be the most important recruiting opportunity of the year for the class of 2013. Though the number of recruits is not even comparable to those two game day weekends, the quality of the visitors is certainly worth mentioning.
Here is a look at the kids who are expected to be on hand this weekend, many of whom will attend Friday night’s 12-0 celebration at St. John Arena.
Mike Mitchell (LB, 2013, Plano, TX)
Of all the uncommitted targets that Buckeye fans covet, Mitchell is right at the top. He has long been mentioned as an OSU lean and this weekend visit will make or break whether or not Mitchell becomes Buckeye. Many predict Mitchell could commit after his visit. He is also considering Oklahoma and Texas A&M, but he has already been to both of this schools. If Ohio State blows him away this weekend, I like their chances with this blue-chip linebacker.
David Dawson (OL, 2013, Detroit, MI)
With Dorian Johnson now committed to Pitt, getting Dawson becomes an even higher priority. He told the-Ozone that Michigan State might have a slight lead, but now that Michigan has reoffered, look for Urban to be in a fight with Brady Hoke and the “Schools Up North.” Alabama has even gotten into the picture. If Nick Saban and the Tide are serious, Dawson maybe rolling down to the SEC, but he has stated that he would like to stay close to home.
Donovan Munger (DL, 2013, Shaker Heights, OH)
With all the talk about prospects like Mitchell, Dawson, etc., there has not been too much to discuss about Donovan Munger. He is an Ohio kid with an Ohio State offer and is visiting this weekend. With the DL already stacked, would Munger consider committing as an OL? Especially if Dawson stays up north or goes down south? News has not been too loud on Munger, but maybe the volume will be turned up after this weekend, especially if he would consider coming to OSU as an offensive lineman.
Gareon Conley (DB, 2013, Massillon, OH)
Conley came in early and began his visit on Wednesday. Just like Dawson, this once committed Wolverine began to doubt his heart and desired to see other places. Michigan’s policy of rescinding an offer if a verbal commit visits elsewhere has been tested and Conley has caused Hoke and company to reevaluate their policy. Michigan has reoffered and Conley will visit again but before he goes to Hoke-land, Urban Meyer will get his shot and encourage a Justin Boren-like action to be Buckeye. Could we see another Taylor Decker type flip?
Vonn Bell (DB, 2013, Ridgeland, GA)
Bell’s team is in the state semi-finals this Friday, so he will likely not make his visit this weekend. He has also gone on record that he is ready to decide, and it looks like it is between Alabama and Ohio State. Having visited Alabama a few times during the season already and not setting foot on the OSU campus since the summer, it looks like Vonn could be headed to Tuscaloosa. There is still an outside chance Bell could come to Columbus this weekend, which would be about the only way Ohio State could pull the rabbit out of the hat on this one. Don’t think Urban Meyer is conceding Bell to his old nemesis. We’re hearing Meyer may fly down to Georgia this Friday to see Bell, which means he has not given up on the 5-star safety.
Tommy Sanders (LB, 2013, Butler Community College, Kansas)
A la Larry Grant, another JuCo LB may be visiting Ohio State as reported by Steve Robertson. In 12 games, Sanders had 5 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions, 7 sacks, and 63 tackles (45 solo). With Ohio State hotly pursuing Trey Johnson, James Hearns, Mike Mitchell, Skai Moore, and Daniel McMillian, Sanders would likely be a plan B unless the coaches do not feel the LBs are ready. With Zach Boren needing to switch positions to solidify the defense, Sanders could fill a much-needed role.
2013 Commits Taking Their Official Visit
There will be a number of current commits who are taking their official visits this weekend. Some of the names that have popped up are:
It will be a huge weekend for Ohio State, one that will determine how the 2013 class finishes. With two months till national signing day, the Buckeyes have much work left to fill out the class.