Drew Thurman (12:35 pm)
Reports from the Cleveland Plain Dealer are that Ohio State has received a verbal commitment from Kenny Guiton, a three star quarterback from Houston, Texas. The 6-2 172 pound Guiton will provide depth, and help stop the worries about there only being two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. He held offers from Houston, Iowa State, and Kansas.
This commitment has seemed to have shocked everyone, and is in light of the Buckeyes missing out on Tajh Boyd and Austin Boucher. Here some of the links below:
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Drew Thurman (5:17 pm)
National Signing Day is just one week away, and the Buckeyes are looking to finish off what has been another successful campaign in the class of 2009. There are still some guys out there that the staff want to cap of the class, but let's first look at what the Buckeyes have already brought in by position.
QB: none thus far
Jamaal Berry: 5-11 195 (4*)
Jordan Hall: 5-9 185 (3*)
Carlos Hyde: 6-1 225 (4*)
FB: Adam Homan: 6-2 230 (3*)
Corey Brown: 6-2 180 (4*)
Duron Carter: 6-3 180 (4*)
Chris Fields: 6-1 180 (3*)
James Jackson: 5-11 170 (4*)
TE: Reid Fragel: 6-8 255 (4*)
Corey Linsley: 6-4 275 (4*)
Sam Longo: 6-5 260 (3*)
Jack Mewhort: 6-6 283 (4*)
Adam Bellamy: 6-4 270 (3*)
Melvin Fellows: 6-5 255 (5*)
John Simon: 6-3 265 (5*)
Dorian Bell: 6-2 200 (5*)
Zach Boren: 6-1 240 (3*)
Storm Klein: 6-2 225 (4*)
Jonathan Newsome: 6-3 230 (4*)
Jordan Whiting: 6-1 230 (3*)
CJ Barnett: 6-1 175 (4*)
Dominic Clarke: 5-11 180 (4*)
Justin Green: 5-10 175 (4*)
Jamie Wood: 6-2 185 (4*)
Total: 24 Commitments (Rankings from Scout)
QB - Austin Boucher (Pictured Above): Boucher just got his offer after Tajh Boyd decided he fit better in Clemson. There has been lots of criticism of Tressel and the staff for offering Boucher, but I do not agree with the opinions that he is not a Big Ten quality quarterback. Boucher is a proven winner that has quality intangibles, and the Buckeyes desperately need another scholarship quarterback on the roster. I will have a lot more to say about that in the coming days, but just know that I am in support of him receiving a scholarship.
Update (5:58 pm)
Boucher has elected to stay with his Miami (OH) commitment. I am sure no one can blame him, and I wish him the best!
OL - Marcus Hall: If you can figure out where Hall is going at this point, you can probably make some serious money (totally joking). It seems at this point that Hall has no clue where he wants to go with parties from Miami (Fl), Ohio State, and Michigan all feeling he could come their way. The Buckeyes really could use Hall to help the depth on the OL, and besides that, no one wants to lose a prospect from their backyard.
WR - Marlon Brown: Brown's name still gets brought up a lot on the Ohio State boards, but I have to say that I personally have not believed he was coming our way for a long time. There have been too many visits between his Ohio State visit and now, and on top of that the Buckeyes are fighting a whole host of SEC schools. So, I throw his name in, but don't hold your breath Buckeye fans!
Drew Thurman (5:05 pm)
Quarterback Tajh Boyd is headed to Clemson. I wish Tajh the best, even though I know he passed up on the best opportunity he has available.
Drew Thurman (8:57 pm)
Things have started to look better for a Marcus Hall commitment to the Buckeyes in the last week. Bucknuts reported that Marcus Hall was down to two schools in Ohio State and Miami (Fl), just a week after saying that Michigan was the leader. I along with everyone else thought Hall had come to his senses, and was planning on being a Buckeye. On the same day as the Bucknuts report though, GoVolsXtra.com got an interview with Tennessee's new committment Mike Edwards, the Glenville teammate of Hall. Edwards had a lot to say about Hall in the article, and there were some alarming words in his prediction of what Hall would do. This is what the piece said:
"Edwards now plans to help UT take advantage of the strong recruiting base at Glenville.
Edwards said he will try to sway his teammate, offensive lineman Marcus Hall, to UT.
Hall, who’s also considering Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois and Miami, plans to visit UT next weekend.
'I’m going to try to get him to be a Volunteer,' Edwards said.
Many believe Ohio State to be the team to beat for Hall’s services. Edwards doesn’t see it that way.
'A lot of people think that but I think Marcus is going to shock a lot of people,' Edwards said."
Take Edwards words for what they are worth, but Hall might have a surprise still up his sleeve. The Buckeye faithful may still think he is ours to lose, but you have to wonder if we have another Cordale Scott on our hands!
Drew Thurman (9:54 am)
1) Rivals has Glenville defensive back Mike Edwards listed as a Tennessee committed. Scout has yet to do so, but that is not saying much. Anyways, I would have loved for the Buckeyes to send an offer Edwards way, but I wish him the best as he plays for "Tenn-a-cleats" (I hope most of you get my Citrus Bowl humor).
2) The big news for Buckeye fans will come tomorrow with the announcement of Tajh Boyd (Left in picture above). As of now, Boyd is suppose to make his choice at 5 PM tomorrow evening at his high school. Most of the media is pointing towards an Oregon commitment, but I really believe they have downplayed the recruiting power of Tressel and his staff. The Buckeyes have as good of a shot as anyone to land Boyd tomorrow, but we will just have to wait and see!
Drew Thurman (6:27 pm)
There has been a lot said about what the 2009-10 team will look like for the Buckeyes, and whether they will be rebuilding or reloading. So let's break the positions down by what is already good, what needs improvement, and what we have no idea what to expect from!
Quarterback: Terrelle Pryor alone at this position makes it solid. There is obviously some improvements that he needs to make in the off season to become the prolific passer that the fans want him to be, but I am not worried about that at all. The only worry here is that the Buckeyes still need to pick up someone in this class (Boyd of Boucher) to be in the three deep. With a mobile quarterback like Pryor starting, one backup is not going to work.
Linebackers: Most teams would be dying if they lost two linebackers like Laurinaitis and Freeman, but not the Buckeyes. Obviously their experience and leadership will be missed, but there is plenty of talent to take their spots. It's impressive to look and see guys like Spitler who has been waiting for his chance to play for the last three years, Sabino who has all the physical gifts to be special, Moeller who stepped in nicely for Hines late in the year, Rolle who has been a hitting machine on special teams, and a whole host of other talent around including Sweat, Whiting, and Bell. Throw in a experienced starter like Ross Homan, and you have a very solid unit!
Defensive Line: The d-line was a disappointment for much of the 2008 season, but they didn't lose anyone outside of Nader Abdallah. So I think this unit will go from one of the weakest, to maybe the strongest aspect of the defensive this next season. Like at the end of the season I expect Worthington and Heyward to be the guys in the middle, with Larimore and Denlinger getting their fair share of time at defensive tackle. With that said a guy like Garret Goebel or John Simon could impressive and get some serious reps. On the outside I think the coaching staff will go with the speed of Gibson and Williams. I know many are saying Wilson will be in the starting role, but I feel he under performs, especially in comparison to the Williams (who was undersized this last season!). Behind those guys there are a ton of options who could get playing time including Rose, Wells, Mobley, Thomas, and Fellows.
Secondary: More than any position on the field, the secondary is going to have some things to prove this season. With the departure of guys like Jenkins and Washington, the secondary is very youthful. A lot of this is due to the loss of Eugene Clifford and James Scott, which would make this transition less painful. Junior Chimdi Chekwa will be the most experienced corner returning, and after that it is a crap shoot. So the battle will begin between Andre Amos, Donnie Evege, Travis Howard, and maybe Orhian Johnson for the other corner spot. I really do believe Howard will get the spot, but don't forget the freshmen like Barnett, Clarke, Green, and maybe Brown that will try to throw their name in the hat. On the other hand, the safety position is loaded. Starters Anderson Russell and Kurt Coleman return, and have guys like Hines, Gant, and Oliver right behind them.
Don't Know What to Expect
Running Back: With Beanie leaving early for the NFL, Mo Wells graduating, and Saine moving over to fullback, the running back position will have a totally new look in 2009. Boom Herron looked very solid for most of the '08 season including the Fiesta Bowl game, and will most likely be the starter. After that, the Buckeyes will have to ask incoming freshman Jamaal Berry, Carlos Hyde, and Jordan Hall to try to make a name for themselves. Berry and Hyde could both see a lot of playing time because of their speed and physicality. Overall though, no one knows totally how good these guys will be, and they will have many questions to answer come the fall.
Wideout: Robiskie and Hartline are saying their goodbyes to head to the NFL, and that leaves a lot of playing time out there. Based on last season, Posey and Sanzenbacher are the most likely candidates to fill the starting jobs. There are a lot of other guys that will be getting playing time though. How about Ray Small, Lamaar Thomas, and Jake Stoneburner just to name a few. That doesn't even include incoming freshman Corey Brown (could be DB or WR), Duron Carter, Chris Fields, and James Jackson who will all fight for some playing time. So it's hard to believe this unit will be as disappointing as they were in 2008 with this amount of talent, but they still have to prove it on the football field.
Offensive Line: Outside of the defensive line, there was probably not a more disappointing unit for the Buckeyes than the o-line. Had they not had Beanie and Pryor in the backfield, it would have been even worse. They will have a different look in 2009, thanks to the departures of Alex Boone, Steve Rhering, and Ben Person. They do bring back starters Jim Cordle, Mike Brewster, and Bryant Browning (though I don't think he starts next season). Outside of them you have Justin Boren (transfer from Michigan), J.B. Shugarts, and Mike Adams that look like serious contenders for the starting jobs on the line. Of those six, I think Browning is the odd man out with Adams and Shugarts starting at the tackle positions. So overall, like the wideout position the talent is in place, but this unit needs to show us something after the abysmal play last season.
So with all that said, here is who I think will be the starters in 2009. What do you think, are we going to be rebuilding or reloading?
QB - Terrelle Pryor
RB - Boom Herron
FB - Brandon Saine
WR - DeVier Posey
WR - Dane Sanzenbacher
TE - Jake Ballard
LT - JB Shugarts
LG - Jim Cordle
C - Mike Brewster
RG - Justin Boren
RT - Mike Adams
DE - Thaddeus Gibson
DT - Doug Worthington
DT - Cameron Heyward
DE - Nathan Williams
WLB - Ross Homan
MLB - Austin Spitler
SLB - Etienne Sabino
CB - Chimdi Chekwa
FS - Anderson Russell
SS - Kurt Coleman
CB - Travis Howard
Drew Thurman (11:17 am)
There has been a lot of Buckeye news coming of in the last day, so let's take a look:
1) ESPN has posted prestige rankings for the schools they feel have been the best all around in football since 1936. They have a whole point system that they use based off of national titles and success, and Ohio State makes it at #3 behind Oklahoma and USC.
2) Former Ohio State commitment Bradley McDougald has committed to the Kansas Jayhawks. It's been a roller coaster ride for McDougald, but I wish him the best!
3) Ken Gordon of the Dispatch has an article talking about the draft status of many of the Buckeyes. He especially talks about Boone taking a hit after the East-West Shrine Game, and also about Nadar Abdallah playing in the Texas all star game next week. It's a good read to check out!
4) NFL.com has a new video of Robiskie getting interviewed at the practice of the Under Armour Senior Bowl. Of course Robo is well spoken as always, and spends some time in the interview talking about the jump to the NFL and having a father who can break down his film. I personally feel he is a big steal in the draft (if he goes in the third round as predicted), much of that due to him being under utilized this last year!!
Drew Thurman (7:35 pm)
There has been lots of coverage on the Under Armour Senior Bowl on the NFL Network this last week. In one of their latest features, Marcus Freeman gets highlighted as a standout on the North squad. Many of you don't get the NFL Network, so enjoy the link!
Drew Thurman (1:19 am)
It's hard to be optimistic about quarterback prospect Tajh Boyd these days, especially since many have written him off as an Oregon commit a long time ago. But do the Buckeyes still have a chance?
Well, in his latest interview with HRVarsity.com, Boyd claims to have no leaders after his visit to Clemson this last weekend. Originally this was a two horse race between Ohio State and Oregon, and Boyd said he didn't even know he if as visiting Clemson. So, the Boyd roller coaster ride continues. Here is one of his quotes:
"All the schools have something to present," he said. "Ohio State only has two quarterbacks, and Terrelle Pryor can't take all the snaps. Oregon, you can win a Heisman in that type of offense. Clemson, they're like an SEC school in the ACC."
I think Boyd is confused as ever. Just the fact that he claims Clemson is an SEC caliber team is enough evidence to prove this. On top of that, I really feel Boyd just jumps on the bandwagon of his latest visit. So obviously trying to predict which school he will pick is like trying to figure out how many cheeseburgers Charlie Weis ate yesterday. I really have no clue, but I am calling Oregon at this point! Take it or leave it!
Drew Thurman (12:18 pm)
Rumors have been surrounding defensive back prospect Justin Green for some time now. Even though Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts has continued to reassure Buckeye fans of Green's commitment, there still has been speculation about the Louisville Male High School star. Green finally has put those doubts to rest in his interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal. This is what he had to say:
"Ohio State is the best decision for me and my family," Green said. "I have always looked forward to playing for the Buckeyes since the fourth grade. I am really excited about signing day."