Urban Meyer’s 2014 recruiting class, built on defense to this point, now stands at 17 recruits. The latest commitment is bringing some of the “SEC speed” every coach is looking for and then some.
In August the Buckeyes added four-star athlete Curtis Samuel from Erasmus High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. Samuel jumped on the radar after he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at the Opening in Oregon, a highly- regarded camp reserved for the country’s top recruits.
Samuel is primarily thought of as a receiver, where his speed on the outside can be put to best use.
“He’s like a glitch in a video game,” Erasmus assistant coach Ray Lizzi told Brad Bournival of ESPN.com. “He creates big plays. You just can’t teach that. It gives you all the advantages in the world.”
Lizzi also said all the Erasmus skill position players must run indoor and outdoor track. Two weeks in, Samuel (5-foot-11, 186 pounds) broke the record for the 55-meter dash (6.38 seconds) and was ranked second nationally. The first-place runner, according to Lizzi, was a track star and not a football player.
The Big 2
Don’t sleep on Michigan.
Meyer’s track record on the recruiting trail is well documented and well deserved. But Michigan head coach Brady Hoke hasn’t been too far behind, and the two are creating another “Big 2, Little 8” situation (although of course it would now be Big 2, Little 10).
Ohio State and Michigan, to no surprise, have a sizable lead on rest of the Big Ten in the 2014 class rankings. Who’s ahead, though, is unclear. According to Scout.com, Ohio State currently has the sixth-best class in the nation (and the most top 100 kids, with seven, in the country). Michigan is 12th on that list. According to ESPN.com’s rankings, the two are almost reversed. Michigan is sixth on their list (15 commitments) and Ohio State is 11th. Neither Scout nor ESPN has another Big Ten school in the top 22 (Penn State and Michigan State are third, depending on which scouting service you choose to consider).
According to Bournival, the rest of the Big 10 is slipping but several schools should make a strong finish as the calendar draws nearer to Signing Day.
Penn State, Northwestern, Nebraska Wisconsin and Michigan state all fell slightly in the most recent rankings. And Penn State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska haven’t landed a recruit since July 8.
Michigan’s 2014 class is headlined by five-star recruit Jabrill Peppers, the No. 1 cornerback in the country and the No. 2 overall prospect, according to multiple scouting services.
Meyer has already brought in some impressive defensive line and secondary prospects in his short time with OSU. His 2014 class is shaping up to follow a similar pattern.
The current class is headed by Damon Webb, a 6-foot, four-star cornerback from Detroit ranked as one of the 10 best at his position by both Scout.com and ESPN.com. Next come a string of linebackers, headed by Kyle Berger (St. Ignatius), Dante Booker (St. Vincent-St. Mary) and Sam Hubbard (Cincinnati Moeller). All three are ranked inside the top 5 at outside linebacker nationally, per Scout. And on the defensive line will be end Jalyn Holmes, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound four-star recruit from Virginia. Scout has him ranked as the ninth-best defensive end in the nation.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.