Ohio State has received verbal commitments from 12 good high school players:
Darryl Baldwin - A Solon, Ohio DE that reminds me of Jayson Gwinn. Big, strong fast, huge upside.
Drew Basil - Another in a long line a fine kickers - do we get one of these every year?
David Durham - Looks a bit and plays a bit like Bobby Carpenter. Former Texas standout is now back in Charlotte, NC.
Taylor Graham -Son of Kent Graham. Tall pro-style qb.
Chad Hagan - Big, fast safety. Like Baldwin, Hagan has huge upside.
James Louis - Think James Jackson.
Scott McVey - A smallish Tyler Moeller type Lb.
Broderick Smith - Big, Physical running back with suprising speed. Top 10 at the position by every respected recruiting site.
J.T. Moore - Corey Linsley's' Youngstown Boardman teammate. Moore is a rangy DE.
Andrew Norwell - A smart, highly touted OL prospect. Room to grow at 6'7" 270 and great feet.
Jamel Turner - Devastating speed rusher.
Tyrone Williams - Tall(6'7") receiver from Cleveland Shaw High. Tyrone is a long strider that will stay at WR and create numerous match-up problems.
While these players seem like virtual locks, and while it appears that OSU is a virtual lock for another top 15 class, the difference between a good class and a great class may ride on the USC game this weekend.
A host of highly touted, uncommitted recruits will be on hand in the 'Shoe' on Saturday for the 'Collision in Columbus'. The visit, and the results, could play a large role in whether or not the players decide to attend The Ohio State University and play football. While an education should be first and foremost, these players will be interested to see if Ohio State can improve on their performances against the Nations' elite. Some of these players can go just about anywhere as they have a stack of offers from the who's who of college football.
Among those players will be Ohio Lb Jordan Hicks. In my opinion, Jordan Hicks is the best player available at any position. He is the kind of player that starts immediately. Hicks could literally get OSU over the hump in games like the one on Saturday night. He is the fastest, most aggressive High School Lb I've seen in years. He already knows that Ohio State can hang with these other programs as the other top contender for his services, is Texas.
Another bigtime recruit that will be making an Official visit on Saturday is OT Seantrel Henderson. Henderson is not only one of the best OL in the Midwest(Minn) - he's one of the best in the entire country. He's mammoth at 6'8" 310. This is a player that OSU covets with the ongoing situation at OT.
Out of state Corner Lamarcus Joyner will also be at the game. Joyner is one of the best covermen at the HS level.
Two other recruits will be there. Matt James, a good looking OL prospect out of Cincinnatii, and Christian Bryant, a polished defensive back from Buckeye farm Cleveland Glenville will also be in attendance.
Chaz Green is another bigtime recruit that will be at the game. Green, along with Henderson could could make 2010 the second coming of the 'Block-O', and could give OSU the best OL class ever. Could you imagine Norwell, James, Green, and Henderson in the same class? Signing two would be great, signing three would be better, and signing all 4 could spell 'D-Y-N-A-S-T-Y'. That would give Ohio State 4 of the top 20 OL in the entire country. Green, like Hicks, may have Ohio State second on his list(Fla), but OSU seems to make an awfully big impact on players that make an official visit. Does the outcome matter? Realistically, it could.
California CB Joshua Shaw has the size and speed to compete right away. He'll be flying in as well. Shaw seems to favor Ohio State and could be the most important defensive prospect that tOSU will host on Saturday night.
All 7 of those players have received scholarship offers from Ohio State, and just knabbing 3 or 4 would be a huge success for the scarlet and gray.
These are not the only players that have Ohio State's attention. There are others - some of which may also be at the game. In-state Skyler Schofner has yet to receive an offer from the Buckeyes, but OSU is keenly aware of the this talented and athletic offensive lineman. OSU is trying to get more athletic up front and this is a guy who fits the mold and could get an offer soon. An offer could depend on the feeling OSU gets from Green and Henderson this weekend. If Schofner is a guy that OSU may have to 'settle' for - I'll settle for a guy like Schofner anyday. This is an underrated prospect much like John Simon was on the other side of the ball in 2009.
Another local product that is intriguing is DE Derrick Bryant. Columbus Brookhaven has produced it's share of OSU greats(Winfield, Glenn, Gwinn,etc.).
Florida 'Vernon Gholston look-a-like'(Tickets to the Gun Show) Jeff Luc still has OSU on his short list. I'd say out of all the highly touted prospects on this page - Luc is probobly the least likely to sign with the Buckeyes. You can bet he'll be watching the game on the television though.
OSU has room for 7 or 8 more players in this class. If those 7 or 8 come from this list - you can bet it will pay dividends.
One thing is certain. Ohio State must be competitive against USC on Saturday night. The environment and the facilities are enough to get these kids attention, but if Ohio State can't perform well against other programs that are vying for these players services, they are not going to sign as many as they would like. If Ohio State has a good showing they could duplicate the quality of their last 2 recruiting classes. A win could mean a recruiting landfall. Another 35-3 loss could mean disaster for both the fans and the 2010 class. There's more riding on this game than most people realize.