Coming off a perfect season, Urban Meyer's recruiting class has Ohio State in a position to be consistent contenders in the Big Ten now that its postseason ban is lifted. The Buckeyes have a consensus top-five recruiting class: No. 3 according to Scout, No. 4 per ESPN and Rivals, and No. 5 in 247's eyes.
It's a class that's absolutely stacked on the defensive side of the ball: linebacker Mike Mitchell is the consensus five-star recruit, one of three linebackers in the class and one of nine players considered either a four- or five-star recruit on the defensive side of the ball, solving a bunch of problems for Ohio State, as Land-Grant Holy Land wrote after his committment. The Buckeyes were also able to snag five-star safety Vonn Bell on Signing Day, which came as a bit of a surprise after CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman tweeted that a source had Bell going to Tennessee.
Other big defensive gets include defensive ends Joey Bosa and Tyquan Lewis, as well as already enrolled defensive backs Eli Apple and Cameron Burrows.
That's not to say there aren't exciting things going on for the Buckeyes on offense: another prize is four-star quarterback J.T. Barrett, a guy who should contribute for them down the road:
The plan with a talent of Barrett's pedigree and Ohio State's wealth of experience at his position all along was likely to bring him along slowly, and only burn his redshirt in case of emergency. Though Meyer in the past has never shied away from letting extremely talented freshmen see the field early (even in with already established more veteran commodities ostensibly impeding them), it would have still taken outstanding circumstances (or a tremendous spring/summer) for Barrett to jump Cardale Jones in the pecking order.
Jalin Marshall played quarterback in high school, but the four-star speedster is most likely going to play at wide receiver for the Bucks, as Land-Grant Holy Land broke down.
Bud Elliott’s grade
A+. Meyer and the Buckeyes are bringing in so much talent that B1G play is about to become pretty easy, for the most part. Ohio State signed an incredible 20 players rated four or five-stars, which paces college football. The Buckeyes brought in immediate secondary help in Apple and Burrows, two elite corners who enrolled early, plus two more stars in safety Bell and corner Gareon Conley. Oh, and they also secured four four-star defensive linemen. Meyer also landed commitments from star playmakers Dontre Wilson, Ezekiel Elliott, Corey Smith and James Clark. There are no true weaknesses in the class.
Top three players
Having reportedly run a laser-timed sub-4.5 40 and recorded a 40-inch vertical leap, Mitchell has freakish athleticism, and his speed is evident when covering kicks and catching receivers from behind well down the field. It's truly a sight to see Mitchell at top speed, churning away with his high knees. Based on his film, the reported 40 time could well be accurate.
Marshall is an extremely versatile player, so much so that different recruiting services have him listed as a dual-threat quarterback, wide receiver, and athlete. With Braxton Miller firmly entrenched at quarterback for the Buckeyes, it would seem that Marshall's future will be at wide receiver, where Urban Meyer could utilize him in a role similar to that of Percy Harvin at Florida.
Bell brings exactly what was needed to the depth chart: a hard-hitting safety that can run like the wind. Bell had an impressive showing in late December, at the Under Armour All-American Game, where he was constantly being called for MVP of the game. Eventually, those honors didn't go to him, but the performance put on by Bell was a testament to why he is so highly thought of. A sure tackler, Bell provides a lot of versatility, being able to play at either the safety or corner role, so his spot on the defensive side of the football will be a huge asset going into the 2013 season.
Top three rival classes
The big competitor is obviously Michigan. Both brought in big classes in 2013, and as SB Nation's Michael Bird writes, both are well ahead of the competition. Both Wisconsin and Penn State are well behind the Buckeyes on the recruiting trail, and should remain there for the foreseeable future.
Biggest National Signing Day drama
Four-star wide receiver James Clark picked Ohio State over Florida. Athlete Corn Elder considered basketball while making his decision. Ezekiel Elliott considered decommitting, but eventually stuck with the Bucks.
Notes from SB Nation blogs
Land-Grant Holy Land recorded a podcast on the state of the recruiting class with just a week to go, then released an incredible longform on the 2013 Ohio State class:
But now there's this edge - something not quite the same - that permeates from the holdovers like Luke Fickell (and to a lesser extent Mike Vrabel), and on through the intense professional demeanor of an Everett Withers, or a Ed Warinner.
Meyer and his staff stepped into a situation last year where a 6-7 football team possessed a fringe top 25 recruiting class and sat on the precipice of setting Ohio State back half a decade or more. He didn't just take lemons and turn them into lemonade; he turned them into Antica Distilleria Russo limoncello.
Last season's consensus top-5 class set the table for what would turn into a 12-0 season. This season's even better one seems primed to raise the bar even higher. The really scary thought, however, is that for all the talk of this being the most complete class in Ohio State history, next season's might be even better.
The official class release
Coach Urban Meyer announced Wednesday a class of 24 prospects, including five already enrolled in school, who have signed national letters of intent to attend The Ohio State University and play football for the Buckeyes. The class, heavy along the defensive line and with significant resources in the defensive backfield and at the offensive skill positions, is among the finest classes in the nation this year.
"Great day," Meyer said. "I thought it would be a good day, but now I'll put it in the great category."
The recruiting class features individuals from 11 different states and includes 13 defensive players, eight offensive players and three "athletes." A total of 14 recruits are from outside the state of Ohio, including:
- three top performers from Texas - five-star linebacker Mike Mitchell, running back/athlete Dontre Wilson and quarterback J.T. Barrett;
- seven from the southeastern United States, including five-star defensive lineman Joey Bosa from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and five-star safety Vonn Bell from Rossville, Ga.;
- a five-star cornerback from New Jersey (Eli Apple);
- the top player from Missouri (running back Ezekiel Elliott); and
- one of the top tight ends in the country - Marcus Baugh - from Riverside, Calif.
"I'm really pleased with this class," Meyer said. "Joey Bosa, a big-time defensive lineman from Florida, got us started off when he was the first to FAX his letter of intent in, and then we capped it the way I had hoped we would: by getting a very, very talented and skilled running back out of St. Louis in Ezekiel Elliott."
Ohio is well represented in this class. In fact, there are 11 outstanding Ohio players, a contingent that includes:
- five-star receiver prospect Jalin Marshall from Middletown;
- four of the top five Ohio prospects, according to ESPN - No. 1 athlete Gareon Conley, No. 2 Marshall, No. 3 cornerback Cam Burrows and No. 5 offensive lineman Evan Lisle; and
- six more players who are ranked between Nos. 12 and 28 in the state: SAF Jayme Thompson, DL Donovan Munger, DL Billy Price, SAF Christopher Worley, DL Tracy Sprinkle and ATH Darron Lee.
Offensive speed is prominent. Marshall, Elliott, Wilson, wide receiver James Clark, from New Smyrna Beach, Fla., and wide receiver Corey Smith, from East Mississippi Community College, are all blessed with true speed and all can find the end zone.
The Ohio State secondary returns three starters from the unbeaten, 2012 team - cornerback Bradley Roby and safetiesC.J. Barnett and Christian Bryant - but it gets a tremendous infusion of freshmen talent as five of the top defensive back prospects in the country are now Buckeyes: Apple, Bell, Cam Burrows, Conley and Thompson.
Ohio State's defensive line grew by six members today with Bosa, Munger, Price and Sprinkle joined by Michael Hill, from Pendleton, S.C., and who had scholarship offers from all the top Southeastern Conference schools, and Tarboro, N.C. end Tyquan Lewis.
Lawrenceville, Georgia prospect Trey Johnson, the No. 3 inside linebacker prospect in the nation according to two services, gives Ohio State an outstanding linebacker tandem (with Mitchell) in this class.
Indianapolis' offensive lineman Tim Gardner joins Lisle as the only players at their position among the class.
2013 Ohio State Recruiting Class
Name Pos. Hgt. Wgt. Hometown/High School Eli Apple* CB 6-0 184 Voorhees, N.J./Eastern J.T. Barrett* QB 6-1 225 Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider Marcus Baugh TE 6-4 245 Riverside, Calif./J.W. North Vonn Bell SAF 6-1 190 Rossville, Ga. / Ridgeland Joey Bosa DL 6-5 270 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. / St. Thomas Aquinas Cam Burrows* CB 5-11 200 Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood Madison James Clark WR 5-11 170 New Smyrna Beach, Fla. / New Smyrna Beach Gareon Conley ATH 6-2 170 Massillon, Ohio/Washington Ezekiel Elliott RB 6-0 210 St. Louis, Mo. / Burroughs Tim Gardner OL 6-5 320 Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central Michael Hill DL 6-2 305 Pendleton, S.C. / Pendleton Trey Johnson LB 6-2 220 Lawrenceville, Ga. / Central Gwinnett Tyquan Lewis* DE 6-3 223 Tarboro, N.C./Tarboro Darron Lee ATH 6-2 205 New Albany, Ohio / New Albany Evan Lisle OL 6-6 290 Centerville, Ohio/Centerville Jalin Marshall WR 6-0 190 Middletown, Ohio/Middletown Mike Mitchell LB 6-4 225 Plano, Texas / Prestonwood Christian Donovan Munger DL 6-3 290 Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights Billy Price DL 6-4 305 Austintown, Ohio/Fitch Corey Smith WR 6-1 180 Akron, Ohio / Buchtel & E. Mississippi C.C. Tracy Sprinkle* DE 6-2 241 Elyria, Ohio/Elyria Jayme Thompson SAF 6-2 185 Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic Dontre Wilson ATH 5-10 174 DeSoto, Texas / DeSoto Christopher Worley SAF 6-3 195 Cleveland, Ohio / Glenville
*Enrolled at Ohio State in January 2013
Cornerback / 6-0, 184
Voorhees, N.J./Eastern High School
Overview: Eli Apple, who enrolled into Ohio State in January, is a five-star prospect (ESPN 150) who is rated as high as the No. 11 prospect nationally on the ESPN 150 ... the No. 1 prospect in New Jersey and No. 6 cornerback prospect (247Sports) ... he played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl after helping his Eastern High School team, coached by Dan Spittal, to a 7-4 record in 2012 and to a regional semifinals berth ... had 17 pass break-ups, two interceptions, 45 tackles, three forced fumbles and a blocked kick in 2012, plus 39 receptions for 770 yards and four touchdowns on offense ... was the fourth in this class to commit (on Feb. 16, 2012) ... the son of Annie and Tim Apple, Eli recently changed his last name from Woodard to Apple to honor Tim, his father since age 2 ... "...I am the man I am today because of his tireless love, and commitment to our family," Eli said in a statement. "So it is with great pride and honor to carry his last name. I am truly blessed to be Eli Apple." ... his family includes a younger sister, Jordan.
Quarterback / 6-1, 225
Wichita Falls, Texas / Rider High School
Overview: John Thomas (J.T.) Barrett is considered one of the nation's premier dual threat quarterbacks, although his senior season came to an early end with a knee injury in the fifth game of the season ... rated as the No. 11 prospect in talent-rich Texas (247Sports) and a consensus four-star cornerback (ESPN, Rivals, Scout, 247Sports) ... a top 150 player by both Scout and 247Sports and on the ESPN 300 ... enrolled at Ohio State in January and is recovering from his 2012 knee surgery and taking part in winter conditioning drills, except for the running ... coaches expect him to be throwing this spring but aren't concerned that he won't be running until later ... Barrett can run, though: he had rushed for 569 yards with seven touchdowns and passed for 784 yards and five scores as a senior prior to the injury ... he rushed for over 1,500 yards with nine touchdowns and passed for over 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns for coach Jim Garfield's Raiders as a junior ... he is the son of Stacy and John Barrett and he has two brothers: Xavier and Stephen.
Tight End / 6-4, 245
Riverside, Calif. / John W. North
Overview: Marcus Baugh is a consensus four-star prospect (ESPN, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports) and a Top 150 player overall, including a No. 73 ranking on the final Scout 100, a No. 102 ranking on the ESPN 150 and a 148 ranking on the final Rivals 250 ... considered among the Top 3 tight ends in this recruiting class (Scout and 247Sports) ... played in the 2013 Under Armour All-American game ... Marcus caught a combined 68 passes for 1,138 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior and senior for John W. North High School and coach Mark Parades ... his senior season included 38 receptions for 610 yards and he was named second-team Division II all-state ... as a junior he caught 30 passes for 528 yards and seven touchdowns ... was also used as a wide receiver, running back and linebacker by Parades in 2012 ... has family in the Central Ohio area as an aunt lives in Reynoldsburg (Mom, Debbie Clausen's, twin sister) and he has a cousin who already attends Ohio State.
Safety / 6-1, 190
Rossville, Ga. / Ridgeland
Overview: The exclamation point on this Class of 2013, Under Armour All-American Vonn Bell announced on National Letter of Intent signing day that he would be a Buckeye ... a five-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports, Bell is a one of the top 30 players in the nation with overall rankings of No. 25 by Scout, No. 29 by 247Sports and No. 32 by Rivals ... is No. 50 on the ESPN 150 ... the No. 4 player in the state of Georgia this season, Bell is also ranked as high as the No. 3 safety prospect nationally by Scout ... helped his Ridgeland team, coached by Mark Mariakis, to a 13-2 record and a runner-up finish in the Georgia Class AAAA state championships ... Bell had 146 tackles and three interceptions as a senior, and on offense he had over 1,700 all-purpose yards and scored 21 touchdowns ... helped Ridgeland to the state Sweet 16 in 2011 as a junior with 119 tackles, five interceptions and three forced fumbles ... is the son of Vanessa and Vencent Bell.
Defensive Lineman / 6-5, 270
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. / St. Thomas Aquinas
Overview: Joey Bosa is one of the premier football prospects in the Class of 2013 with impressive national rankings of No. 38 (Scout), No. 47 (Rivals), No. 56 (ESPN) and No. 53 (247Sports) ... a Scout five-start prospect, Bosa earned the No. 4 overall ranking at his position - strong side defensive end - by both Scout and Rivals ... an Under Armour All-American and second-team all-USA Today pick ... the leader of a St. Thomas Aquinas defense that allowed approximately 12 points a game ... Aquinas defeated Tallahassee Lincoln, 41-25, to cap a 13-2 season and win the Florida Class 7A state championship in 2012, the school's seventh state title and first for second-year coach Rocco Casullo ... a two-time Associated Press first-team all-state selection, Bosa totaled 51 tackles-for-loss in his last two seasons and 19 quarterback sacks, including 27 TFLs and 9.5 sacks as a senior ... father, John, was a first-round NFL Draft pick by the Miami Dolphins in 1987 out of Boston College and played three years in the league ... Mom, Cheryl, is an Ohio State graduate and an uncle, Eric Kumerow, was a star linebacker for the Buckeyes between 1984-87 and a 1987 co-captain.
Cornerback / 5-11, 200
Trotwood, Ohio / Trotwood Madison High School
Overview: Cameron Burrows was Ohio State's first commitment to the 2013 class when he announced in January 2012 that he would be a Buckeye ... he was also among the first to arrive at Ohio State, as he was one of five Class of 2013 recruits to enroll in school in January ... a first-team Associated Press all-state selection as a junior and senior, Burrows helped lead Trotwood Madison to three consecutive Division II state championship games, including an unbeaten, 15-0 state-title winning season in 2011 ... had 14 pass break-ups as a senior for coach Maurice Douglass' 12-3 state finalist team and also had 39 tackles ... a consensus four-star cornerback (ESPN, Rivals, Scout, 247Sports) who was the No. 38 prospect nationally (Rivals), an ESPN 150 performer (No. 62) and the No. 2 senior in Ohio (ESPN) ... played in the 2013 Under Armour All-American game ... a two-time state track finalist in the sprint relays ... the first from his high school to sign with Ohio State since Will Allen (Class of 2000), who committed while at Trotwood Madison before transferring to Huber Heights Wayne for his senior year ... Burrows is the son of Dionne and Andre Burrows ... his brother, Chris, is a senior track and field performer for Arizona State University.
Wide Receiver / 5-11, 170
New Smyrna Beach, Fla. / New Smyrna Beach
Overview: James Clark was one of the last in this class to commit and ultimately sign an NLI with Ohio State, doing so today - Feb. 6 - the first day for prospects to sign their national letters of intent ... Clark was a first-team Florida 6A all-state pick by The Miami Herald as a senior when he led New Smyrna Beach into the state playoffs ... he totaled 87 receptions for 1,954 yards and 29 total touchdowns for his career, playing for coach Lance Jenkins ... had 49 receptions for 1,112 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior ... had 28 catches for 576 yards as a junior ... outstanding as well in track, Clark has a 100-meter dash best of 10.71 ... he placed fifth in the 100 and sixth in the 200 at the 2012 Florida outdoor state track championships ... the son of Jesse Clark.
Athlete / 6-2, 170
Massillon, Ohio / Washington
Overview: The No. 1 player in Ohio as a senior (ESPN 150) and a first-team Associated Press Division I all-state selection, Gareon Conley is an athlete with wide receiver-cornerback skills that earned him consensus four-star status (ESPN, Scout, 247Sports, Rivals) ... the No. 43 overall prospect nationally by ESPN and the No. 14 cornerback prospect (247Sports) ... played in the Under Armour All-American game ... as a senior Conley, who was coached by Jason Hall at Washington, caught 50 passes, averaged 21.9 yards per catch and scored 16 touchdowns while on defense he had 13 pass break-ups, an interception and 25 tackles ... Washington was 11-2 during Conley's senior season and advanced to the regional finals ... recorded four interceptions and 30 tackles as a junior ... Washington is also the same school that produced current Buckeye receiver Devin Smith ... Gareon is the son of Sherry Robinson and Jameel & Angel Conley.
Running Back / 6-0, 210
St. Louis, Mo. / John Burroughs High School
Overview: Ezekiel Elliott is a consensus four-star prospect (ESPN, Rivals, Scout, 247Sports) and one of the Top 100 prospects nationally with overall rankings of No. 47 by Scout, No. 70 by 247Sports, No. 84 by Rivals and No. 109 by ESPN ... also ranked fourth, ninth, 11th and 12th among running backs by 247Sports, Scout, ESPN and Rivals, respectively ... named to the U.S. Army All-American game ... the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offensive player of the year in 2012, Elliott put up tremendous statistics with 3,061 all-purpose yards and 50 touchdowns, including 2,155 rush yards, and 40 rushing touchdowns for the 13-1 Class 3 state runner-up ... also had 16 receptions for 383 yards ... rushed for 1,802 yards and 34 touchdowns and caught 23 passes for 401 yards and six touchdowns as a junior ... Burroughs, coached by Gus Frerotte, has been state runner-up three consecutive years ... Ezekiel's father, Stacy, and mother, Dawn, were each student-athletes at and are graduates of Missouri with Stacy a football player and Dawn a member of the track and field team.
Offensive Lineman / 6-5, 320
Indianapolis, Ind. / Lawrence Central High School
Overview: Tim Gardner was a 2012 Associated Press first-team all-state performer for Lawrence Central, the Indiana Class 5A state champion, and he was also named to the Indiana Football Coaches Association's Top 50 all-state team ... he was considered the top offensive lineman in the state by the Indianapolis Star and he was also named to that publication's "Super Team" ... Gardner helped his undefeated (15-0) Bears team, coached by Jayson West, average 328.5 rushing yards and 38.5 points per game in 2012 ... was rated as the No. 5 prospect in Indiana as a senior and the No. 24 offensive tackle prospect by 247Sports ... a three-year starter, he also helped Central to the 2010 Class 5A state final before losing to Fishers ... joins Centerville, Ohio's Evan Lisle as the only offensive linemen in the Ohio State Class of 2013.
Defensive Lineman / 6-2, 305
Pendleton, S.C. / Pendleton High School
Overview: U.S. Army All-America Bowl invitee Michael Hill announced in June 2012 that he was committing to Ohio State, the school that has been his favorite since he was a youngster ... a consensus four-star prospect by (ESPN, 247Sports, Scout, Rivals) and one of the Top 20 defensive tackles in the nation by Scout (No. 16) ... listed on the ESPN 300 (216) ... named to the South Carolina Shrine Bowl this year and the No. 6 player in the state by 247Sports, Hill had an unfortunate end to his senior season, injuring a hand in the eighth game that caused him to miss the remainder of the season and all post-season all-star games ... Pendleton finished 8-4 on the year ... Hill was dominant as a junior playing in the middle of Pendleton's line for coach Paul Sutherland ... he recorded 25 tackles-for-losses and 81 total tackles despite persistent double-teams against him ... he also had six sacks as a junior and had four as a senior before his injury ... he is the son of Dianne Blount and Michael Hill, Sr.
LB / 6-2, 220
Lawrenceville, Ga. / Central Gwinnett
Overview: Trey Johnson committed to attend Ohio State Jan. 4 on national television while playing at the Under Armour All-American Bowl ... a consensus four-star prospect (ESPN, Scout, Rivals and 247Sports) and one of the top senior prospects in the talent-rich state of Georgia, Johnson is rated as high as the No. 3 inside linebacker prospect in the nation (Rivals and 247Sports) and he is the No. 48 overall player on the ESPN 150 ... Scout listed him as the No. 16 outside linebacker ... Johnson recorded 456 career tackles for Central Gwinnett and was coached by Todd Wofford ... as a senior he had 140 tackles and four sacks and as a junior he had 164 tackles, including 25 tackles-for-loss ... named first-team allstate by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a senior and second-team 6A all-state by the Georgia Sportswriters Association ... is the son of Wilbur and Shellie Johnson.
Athlete / 6-2, 205
New Albany, Ohio / New Albany
Overview: Local prospect Darron Lee is fine athlete who played quarterback, wide receiver, safety and returned punts and kickoffs as a junior for the New Albany Eagles and he played primarily in the secondary and at quarterback as a senior ... Lee was named a first-team Associated Press Division II allstate cornerback as a senior after recording five interceptions with three punt return touchdowns, and accounting for over 1,700 yards of offense and 21 touchdowns ... he helped New Albany, coached by Mark Mueller, advance to the Division II state semifinals and to a 11-3 overall record as a senior ... Lee did it all in a third-round win over Marion-Franklin, throwing for two touchdowns, rushing for a 36-yard score, returning a punt 82 yards for a touchdown and making the game-clinching interception in the final minute ... team was 9-3 and a state qualifier in 2011 ... Lee is considered a four-star prospect (Scout) and the No. 29 safety prospect by Scout ... ESPN ranks him the No. 28 prospect overall in the state of Ohio ... originally from Chattanooga, Tenn., Lee moved to Ohio as an eighth grader ... Mom, Candice, is a news anchor for WCMH Ch. 4, the local NBC affiliate.
Defensive End / 6-3, 223
Tarboro, N.C. / Tarboro High School
Overview: Tyquan Lewis, one of five from this class who enrolled at Ohio State in January, is a four-star defensive end prospect (Rivals, Scout, 247Sports) from Tarboro, N.C., and Tarboro High School ... a Top 25 defensive end who comes from a tremendous program at Tarboro ... the Vikings, coached by Jeff Craddock, won three consecutive North Carolina Class 2A state championships and had won 21 consecutive games before falling in the 2012 state championship to East Lincoln ... Lewis was injured in the title game but still played and earned defensive player of the game honors ... he finished his senior season with 13 sacks and was named to the Associated Press all-state team ... he had 12 sacks among his 63 tackles as a junior ... is the son of Tyronda Whitaker, and a proud big brother to three younger brothers: Kenai, Tylie and Christian. Note: Tyquan is pronounced TIE-kwan)
Offensive Lineman / 6-6, 290
Centerville, Ohio / Centerville
Overview: Evan Lisle was one of the first five prospects to commit to this Ohio State class, doing so on Feb. 28, 2012 ... he is a member of the ESPN 150 (No. 106) and is rated by ESPN as a Top 5 player in Ohio by ESPN, Scout and 247Sports ... also regarded as the top offensive lineman in the state and a Top 10 prospect nationally by Scout, Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN ... he is a consensus four-star player (ESPN, Rivals, Scout, 247Sports) and a special mention Associated Press Division I all-state honoree in 2012 ... only Ohioan named to the 2012 USA Today All-America team ... played for coach Ron Ullery at Centerville, which went 6-4 in 2012 ... selected for the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, something he referred to as an honor for the family ... father, Steve, went to West Point and brother, Nick, is in the Army ... Mom's name is Marcy ... Centerville also produced former Buckeyes A.J. Hawk, Mike Nugent and Kirk Herbstreit. Note: Lisle is pronounced LYLE
Wide Receiver / 6-0, 190
Middletown, Ohio / Middletown
Overview: Jalin Marshall was considered the No. 1 prospect in Ohio by 247Sports and the No. 2 prospect as a senior by ESPN and Rivals ... he was the second to commit to Ohio State in this Class of 2013, announcing his decision in late January 2012 ... a skilled quarterback who rushed for a school-record 4,759 yards during his career, including more than 1,400 yards as a senior with 14 touchdowns scored, Marshall is being looked at as a wide receiver for the Buckeyes ... a five-star prospect by Scout, he played receiver in the 2013 Under Armour All-America game and had a 44-yard reception ... as a quarterback, he passed for 2,240 yards as a senior ... also totaled 4,929 all-purpose yards for coach Troy Everhart during his career and scored 52 rushing touchdowns and 54 total touchdowns (two receiving) ... one of the Top 50 prospects in the nation (ESPN, Rivals, Scout) ... had a 56-yard touchdown rush on his first varsity carry as a freshman, and rushed for a career-high 312 yards as a senior vs. state champion Cincinnati Moeller ... led Middletown to its first Greater Miami Conference championship in more than 20 years in 2010 ... 2012 state Division I long jump champ (23.00) ... the son of Richard and Angel Marshall ... has older brothers (Richard Jr. and DeAnte), an older sister (Monae) and a younger brother (Blake).
Linebacker / 6-4, 225
Plano, Texas / Prestonwood Christian
Overview: Highly regarded Mike Mitchell is one of only two middle linebackers nationally to receive a five-star rating by Scout ... also a five-star prospect by Rivals ... Scout's No. 2 middle linebacker announced Jan. 5 on national TV, and while playing in the U.S. Army All-American game, that he would be attending Ohio State ... the No. 10 overall player in the state of Texas, Mitchell is rated as high as the No. 26 overall prospect (Rivals) and No. 28 by Scout ... also a member of the ESPN 150 (No. 128) ... grew up in Winter Park, Fla., but spent final three years in Texas ... played for Prestonwood Christian as a sophomore and senior, and for Plano West as a junior ... he recorded 151 tackles and 11 sacks as a junior and then totaled 186 tackles, 32 tackles-for-loss (11 of them sacks), seven forced fumbles and even returned a kickoff for a touchdown as a senior playing for coach Chris Cunningham ... Mike is the son of Ken and Candy Mitchell ... father played two seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons.
Defensive Lineman / 6-4, 290
Shaker Heights, Ohio / Shaker Heights
Overview: Consensus four-star prospect (Rivals, Scout) Donovan Munger was a two-way lineman for coach Jarvis Gibson at Shaker Heights High School and was recruited by the Buckeye coaches to play along the defensive line ... called "quick, fast, strong and a mammoth of a man" by Gibson, Munger is considered among the Top 25 tackles (Scout, 247Sports, ESPN) nationally with a No. 18 ranking by 247Sports his highest ... he helped Shaker Heights to a six-win improvement from 2011 to 2012 - the team went 8-2 this season - by recording 70 tackles, including 14 tackles-for-loss with six quarterback sacks and 23 pressures ... Munger also had 34 pancake blocks on offense ... named second-team Associated Press Division I all-state in 2012 ... ...is the son of Deidra Sanders ... Donovan joins Shaker Heights graduate and current junior offensive lineman Antonio Underwood on the Ohio State team.
Defensive Lineman / 6-4, 305
Austintown, Ohio / Fitch
Overview: Billy Price was the Associated Press's 2012 Division I co-defensive player of the year in the state of Ohio (along with Gareon Conley and Tracy Sprinkle) and a first-team all-state pick ... a consensus four-star prospect (ESPN, Rivals, 247Sports, Scout) ... rated among the top 200 players in the Rivals 250 and a member of the ESPN 300, Price was the third Buckeye to commit to the Class of 2013 with his decision coming Feb. 13, 2012 ... rated as the No. 17 defensive tackle nationally by 247Sports and No. 21 by Scout ... helped Fitch to a 9-2 record in 2012 and to the state playoffs ... also helped Fitch to the state playoffs in 2010 with a 10-2 record and again in 2011 ... was named first-team all-state as a junior when he recorded 40 tackles with three sacks, 10 TFLs and an interception ... coached by Phil Annarella ... placed seventh in the discus at the 2012 Ohio outdoor state track and field meet after placing sixth in the shot and second in the weight throw indoors ... is the son of Bill Price and Pam & Dave Lescsak.
Wide Receiver / 6-1, 190
Akron, Ohio / East Mississippi C.C.
Overview: Corey Smith is the first junior college prospect to sign with Ohio State since Larry Grant (a member of the San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl team) signed out of Community College of San Francisco in 2006 ... Smith, from Akron Buchtel High School, played on an unbeaten (10-0) Grand Rapids (Mich.) C.C. team in 2011 before the college discontinued the program after 80 years ... Smith had 28 receptions for 438 yards and two touchdowns for Grand Rapids ... played for Buddy Stephens at East Mississippi C.C., located in Scooba, Miss., in 2012 ... he recorded 51 receptions for 733 yards and nine touchdowns for the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges' north division champion ... caught 11 passes for 113 yards vs. Northwest C.C. and seven passes for 158 yards vs. Southwest C.C. ... his team won first eight games before dropping final two games of the season ... named the No. 9 junior college prospect in the nation by 247Sports and the No. 3 receiver ... Smith will have three seasons to complete two years of athletic eligibility at Ohio State ... he is the son of Erika Smith.
Defensive End / 6-2, 241
Elyria, Ohio / Elyria High School
Overview: The 2012 Associated Press first-team all-Ohio selection and Division I co-defensive player of the year, Tracy Sprinkle recorded 19 sacks and 30 total tackles-for-loss among his 103 tackles as a senior ... dominant games included five sacks against Amherst Steele and four sacks (and 12 tackles) against Hudson ... the first defensive player since Matt Wilhelm in 1999 to win the prestigious Lorain County Golden Helmet award as the best player in the county ... also was named the Northeast Ohio All-Lake District Defensive Player of the Year as a senior ... Elyria, coached by Kevin Fell, was 7-3 in both 2012 and 2011 ... Sprinkle, a Top 30 strong side defensive end by 247Sports, had 27 sacks his final two seasons of play ... he was a third-team all-state pick as a junior after making 94 tackles and eight sacks ... Elyria High'sChase Farris is a third-year sophomore offensive lineman at Ohio State ... Sprinkle, who enrolled at Ohio State in January, is the son of Tracie Sprinkle and Percy Hicks.
Safety / 6-2, 185
Toledo, Ohio / Central Catholic
Overview: Jayme Thompson is a consensus four-star prospect (ESPN, Rivals, Scout, 247Sports) and among the top 250 prospects in the nation (No. 204 on the Rivals 250 and No. 218 on the ESPN 300) ... considered the top safety in Ohio (ESPN) and the No. 12 prospect in the state ... played in the All- American bowl Dec. 27 in Houston ... helped lead his Central Catholic Fighting Irish, coached by Greg Dempsey, to the 2012 Division II state title and a 14-1 record ... Central, also the high school of former Buckeye Dane Sanzenbacher, defeated defending state champion Trotwood-Madison, 16-14, in the title game for the second state title in school history (2005) ... Thompson was an Associated Press all-state pick as a senior when he had 48 tackles, an interception and two fumble recoveries ... he also helped Central to the state playoffs in 2011 and was a second-team AP all-Ohio pick ... played at St. Francis DeSales in Toledo prior to attending Central Catholic as a junior and senior ... moved to Toledo from Washington, D.C. ... is the son of Deon Thompson ... practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Running Back / 5-10, 174
DeSoto, Texas / DeSoto
Overview: Dontre Wilson announced Feb. 4 live on Dallas' KDFW TV4 that he would accept his Ohio State scholarship offer and become a Buckeye ... his choice gives the Buckeyes three players - QB J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls) and LB Mike Mitchell (Plano) - from the state of Texas in this recruiting class ... Wilson is the No. 5 player in Texas and considered one of the Top 100 players in the nation and a consensus four-star prospect (ESPN, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports) ... rated as the No. 5 all-purpose back by Rivals ... ranked overall as high as No. 50 and the nation's No. 10 running back by Scout) ... also rated No. 55 on the ESPN 150 and No. 100 on the Rivals 250 ... led DeSoto, coached by Claude Mathis, to the Texas Class 5A Division I state semifinals as a senior by rushing for 1,895 yards and 37 touchdowns and catching 37 passes for 750 yards and nine scores ... DeSoto finished 14-1 on the season ... Wilson finished his high school career with over 3,200 rushing yards, 1,200 receiving yards and 81 touchdowns ... the son of Don Wilson.
Safety / 6-3, 195
Cleveland, Ohio / Glenville
Overview: Christopher Worley was one of the final prospects in this Class of 2013 to commit to attending Ohio State, doing so on Jan. 11 ... a special mention Associated Press all-state pick as a senior, Worley led Glenville, coached by Ted Ginn, to an 8-2 record this season by recording 89 tackles with nine sacks, five interception returns for touchdowns and five forced fumbles ... for his career he had 161 tackles, 13 sacks, eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles ... a Top 25 senior prospect in Ohio (No. 20 by 247Sports and No. 25 by ESPN) ... Worley extends a streak of Glenville Tarblooders signing NLIs with Ohio State to 12 consecutive years ... 19 Tarblooders have become Buckeyes since 2002, including four current members of the team - Marcus Hall, Christian Bryant, Cardale Jones and Devan Bogard - and past greats like Super Bowl players Donte Whitner and Ted Ginn (San Francisco 49ers) and 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith ... Christopher is the son of Michelle Bandy and Chris Worley, Sr.
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