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Where will Kyle Dodson end up? (Photo PD)
Drew Thurman (5:54 pm)

We are less than 24 hours away from National Signing Day, and there is still some drama to play out for the Buckeyes. While the 2012 class is very loaded, the staff is still looking at a handful of prospects to fill needs. Ideally, they would close things out by grabbing one more offensive tackle and wide receiver/playmaker. Any other commitments on top of those two positions would just be icing on the cake.

Currently the '12 class has 23 total commitments, as Roger Lewis will not sign with Ohio State tomorrow due to academic issues. The Buckeyes sit right on the 82 scholarship line, and further attrition will have to happen with several more players expected to jump on board when the dust settles.

So who will those players be? Well let's take a look at who's left and where I expect them to announce. My last set of predictions were spot on, and I guess we'll see if I keep batting a high percentage in the prediction game.

OL Kyle Dodson -  The Cleveland Heights offensive tackle is scheduled to announce his decision tomorrow. He was originally committed to Wisconsin, but began wavering in that commitment back in November and has been looking around. Things are down to Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State, and USC.

There has been lots of rumblings that the Trojans might come out of nowhere and steal Dodson at the last second, much like they did with Aundrey Walker from Glenville High School last year. Still, it's hard to bet against the Buckeyes. Dodson was on campus this last weekend for an official visit, which has to be a good sign several days before his announcement. I also envision him wanting to stay closer to home in the end. Prediction: Ohio State

 
 
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Score another big one for Meyer!
Dave Thurman (7:26 pm)

Jalin Marshall, rated the top Ohio prospect in the class of 2013, verballed to Ohio State today, becoming the second member of what promises to be a special group of athletes.  Marshall hails from Middletown (Ohio) High School, which has given the Buckeyes such legends as Jerry Lucas in hoops, and Cris Carter in football.  Although Jalin intended to wait until tomorrow and verbal on his father's birthday word leaked out of his eventual destination so he went ahead and made it offical this afternoon.

The 6'1", 190 pound quarterback is ranked by 247 Sports as the number 5 overall prospect in the class of '13, and the top rated athlete.  Although some expect him to eventually move to receiver or even become a defensive back, he will begin his OSU career as a quarterback, his postion of preference.  As a junior, Marshall rushed for 1,972 yards and 20 touchdowns, and he also passed for 781 yards and six more scores. He is reported to have run a 4.42 40 yard dash, and one look at his video shows his blazing speed.  When I look at him I see visions of Tedd Ginn Jr. and wonder if he won't eventually return kicks and punts in Columbus.  Wherever he plays, Marshall is a special athlete who brings speed and a competitive spirit to the gridiron. 

Combined with last week's verbal from corner Cameron Burrows, Ohio State has already scored the top two rated players in state for next year's class.  And Urban and company are only getting started.

Welcome aboard Jalin.  We can't wait to see you in scarlet and gray. 

Check out his highlights after the jump.

 
 
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Reeves picked Ohio State over Michigan.
_Drew Thurman (9:39  pm)

Tonight the Buckeyes grabbed their 24th commitment in the 2012 class as cornerback Armani Reeves picked the Buckeyes. He joins his high school teammate and friend, Camren Williams, who committed to Ohio State just over a week ago.

Reeves, like Williams (and Joey O'Connor and Tommy Schutt), was originally committed to Penn State before narrowing things down to Ohio State and Michigan recently. After taking visits to both schools over the last couple of weekends and hosting both coaching staffs, Reeves was reportedly very torn on where to go. In the end, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes emerged victorious.

The commitment of Reeves fills a huge and unexpected need. With DerJuan Gambrell and Dominic Clarke being dismissed from the team, the depth chart is very thin at corner. There was not another true cornerback in this class, so Reeves could be fighting for some playing time right away. This is also a big commitment for the staff because of Reeves' potential. He is ranked as a four star prospects across the board by all the major recruiting services, and is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the country. It's nice the staff could navigate him away from two rival schools.

Highlights after the break.

 
 
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This afternoon the Buckeyes welcome the No. 22 ranked Wolverines into Value City Arena for a battle to claim top bragging rights in the B1G. Both teams sit tied with Michigan State at 6-2 in the conference, and will be looking for momentum entering the final stretch of regular season play. 

Michigan has lost four of their last six on the road, though they did grab a win this last Tuesday over Purdue in Mackey Arena. Also not in their favor is the fact that they have lost the last seven games playing the Buckeyes in COlum

The game tips at 1 PM ET on CBS, but the LiveBlog will get going at 12:30. Joining us will be Men of the Scarlet and GrayOur Honor Defend,The Buckeye Battle CryBuckeye House Callthe Buckeye Blog, Scarlet and Game, and Fox Sports Ohio.

LiveBlog after the break!

 
 
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Will Roger Lewis end up being in the 2012 class?
Drew Thurman (4:33 pm)

One of the biggest concerns over the last week, as Urban Meyer has been banking in recruits, is the scholarship count. Not only are the Buckeyes limited to 25 commitments per class, but they also only have 82 total scholarships to play with after the sanctions.

A quick look at the current numbers shows the Buckeyes are in danger of being over both of those counts. There are currently 23 commitments in the 2012 class and 62 returning players on the roster. That would mean the Buckeyes are already three over their total limit and two away from the class limit, and yet the staff are still after a handful of prospects to finish out this class. So, what gives? How are Urban and company going to pull off adding more players and still get the numbers to equate. Well, it all comes down to bookkeeping and attrition.

Tim May over at the The Dispatch already did a great job breaking down both of those in detail, especially that 25 number. The staff has very little concern about that number thanks to the six early enrollees. They actually count towards last year's numbers.

"So, 23 minus six equals 17. That means that, at the moment, the Buckeyes still are eight short of the maximum of 25 players who can be signed to any one recruiting class. And there might be a member or two already committed who could be weeded out because of academic concerns or could change his mind before signing day."

 
 
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Ken Kohl (3:59 pm)

I woke up in an opinionated mood this morning, and now this it what you have to deal with.

This is my first and last article on Joe Paterno and the Penn State milieu. Regardless of your thoughts and opinions on his involvement in the Sandusky scandal, in the end JoePa was made up of good and bad decisions, just like everyone else. Once we acknowledge JoePa's humanness, the rest is just detail. The interesting reading this morning were the accounts of his funeral. Particularly Phil Knight's involvement, Jay Paterno's odd comment, and the presence of Billy Baldwin.

Look, Phil Knight's Money Machine has thrown a lot of cash to a lot of universities. I get it. But, do his stipends to PSU garner him a position as a speaker of honor at the funeral service? That was an underhanded bit of marketing there, Phil, but considering the raging masses, very effective; well done. 

 
 
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Stoney set for big year in 2012
Dave Thurman (2:02 pm)

Even in the midst of another stellar season by the Thad 5 in basketball, it is never too early to start thinking about football.  With a new head coach and a lot of new players it is exciting to think of the possibilities.  Here are five bold predictions for the 2012 season to add some warmth to your mid-winter chill:

1. Braxton Miller will double his passing total from 2011.  I know - this one seems obvious, since he only threw for 1159 yards this past year.  However, keep in mind that he will have to post his numbers in twelve games, as OSU is banned from any postseason activity.  Also remember that the Buckeyes will still run the ball a good deal, featuring Braxton, himself, along with a bevy of fine backs.  But with all that in consideration I still think Miller will more than double 2011's passing stats.  As a bonus prediction, I'll throw in that fans in the fifth row will feel safe this next year, with Joe Bausmerman having used up his college eligibility. 

2. A true freshman will lead the team in sacks.  Ohio State brings back some fine veteran defensive linemen, so this sounds like a more risky prognostication.  However, my thought is that offenses will be tailored to stop John Simon, Nathan Williams, and Johnathan Hankins, opening up the opportunity for someone else to get to the opposing quarterback.  There are three nationally ranked ends making their way to Columbus, and any one of them could become a pass rush specialist.  The most acclaimed is Noah Spence, bur for some reason I have a feeling that Adolphus Washington makes the most noise next season.  It would not shock me if one of these guys tallies a bunch of sacks, which would be great news for Luke Fickell and the defensive coaches.

 
 
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A young A.J. Hawk at Centerville HS.
Michael Chung (8:09 am)

We are all enamored with the “star” quality of recruits, especially the four and five star ones.  The science of recruiting has improved and ratings are more and more accurate as each year passes, but Ohio State has taken a number of three star athletes who later became ‘stars.’  We will look at some previous Buckeye players who were not as highly rated out of high school but ended up starring at Ohio State and went on to play in the NFL.  This proves that four and five star athletes, though great for overall recruiting rankings, do not always translate into football greatness.  Then we will try to predict which three star athletes from this class couldl become stars.  

Looking at the current Rivals recruiting rankings, schools that averaged 3 stars per player were ranked between 25-35 in the team recruiting class rankings. Clearly, the 10 players below who have played or are playing in the NFL have superseded expectations.

10. Chimidi Chekwa
This 3-star cornerback came to Ohio State via Florida.  He had an interception during his freshman year at USC that was the beginning of a solid four-year OSU career.  He suffered a wrist injury during the Sugar Bowl but he saw time in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders.  

9. Jay Richardson
Jay Richardson was part of the 2002 recruiting class that had other star-studded 3-star players.  Richardson often went under the radar due to names like A.J. Hawk, Troy Smith and others that were stars on the team.  But anyone who watches OSU football knows that Richardson was a solid D-lineman and was drafted into the NFL.   He saw action with Oakland and Seattle but is currently not on an NFL roster.

 
 
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_Tonight the Buckeyes play host to the Nittany Lions (10-11, 2-6) who have dropped four out of the last five in B1G play. They sit alone in the basement of the conference. The one bright spot for them is guard Tim Frazier (18.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 6.4 apg), who is the only player averaging in double figures on the entire squad.

The Buckeyes are coming off of two very impressive victories against Indiana and Nebraska, and appear to be positioning themselves as the top dog in the conference. We'll see if they can keep the momentum tonight.

The game tips at 6:30 PM ET on Big Ten Network, but the LiveBlog will get going at 6. Joining us will be Men of the Scarlet and Gray, Our Honor Defend, The Buckeye Battle Cry, Buckeye House Call, the Buckeye Blog, Scarlet and Game, and Fox Sports Ohio.

LiveBlog after the break!

 
 
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Ken Kohl (5:33 pm)

[Ed. Note] Believe it or not, there are other sports at The Ohio State University besides football and basketball. In our new feature, Campus Spotlight, we will periodically catch you up with what is happening with those sports. 

Since my last brilliant idea had about as much merit as my first marriage, I think I’ll gravitate to a non-revenue sport where I have some familiarity; golf. In this case, women’s golf. 

Here’s a brief biography of the two coaches for Ohio State’s Women’s Golf Team and a recap of the 2011 Fall Season. Future articles will highlight the roster and upcoming matches in the Spring 2012 Season with their recaps. 

Coaching Profiles:

Therese Hession

Head coach Therese Hession is in her 20th year as HC of the Ohio State women's golf program. Over her tenure, Coach Hession’s Buckeyes have won seven Big Ten championships, including four of the last nine, and 11 NCAA championship appearances. [Ed: That’s pretty good stuff.]  Her squads have also competed in 17 NCAA regionals the past 19 years, including the last 16 in a row. For her efforts and impressive results, Hession has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year six times (1993, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2005). So, bringing home CoY 6 times in 19 years is pretty good; remember, there are other teams in the conference!

Coach Hession competed in more than 250 LPGA tournaments during her 11 year career. This kind of successful experience is important to teach her players how to approach and deal with travel requirements and tournament pressures. This may help explain why her teams have been consistently successful for such a long period. Of course, she can’t do this alone, so I’d like to introduce...

Lisa Strom

Lisa Strom golfed for four years at Ohio State, and accumulated 10 years of professional golf experience on the LPGA tour as well as teaching the sport. While on tour, she competed in more than 50 tour events. Lisa joined the staff in 2011 as assistant coach. 

Note: for full biographies: www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com 
 
2011 Fall Season Results

The format is play five-score four. For each day’s round, the lowest four scores of each team’s five participants are counted towards team total. So, over the course of a 3-day event, a player has the opportunity to “shoot” her way out of a slump. All events consist of three rounds.