Drew Thurman (5:23 pm)
The Buckeyes have eight commitments so far in the class of 2010, but there is still a ton of work left to be done. Not only do the Buckeyes have some serious needs to fill, but are watching many of the other schools in the Big Ten rack up commitments. So, let's take a look at the top five guys I think the Buckeyes need to lock up. These are not unrealistic prospects that the Buckeyes have just simply offered, this list includes five guys who the Buckeyes have at least a decent shot at landing.
5. Spencer Ware - Running Back // Cincinnati (Princeton)
Some of you may be surprised that Ware finds himself on this list ahead of guys like Matt James, Darryl Baldwin, and Christian Bryant. I put him ahead of those other guys because of the recent problems the Buckeyes are facing with Jaamal Berry and Carlos Hyde. On top of that, it has come to light that recent commitment Roderick Smith is facing some grade problems himself. So, another running back for insurance would be huge for the Buckeyes. Ware is much more than insurance though, he is an incredibly talented back with offers from North Carolina, LSU, Wisconsin, and Cincinnati.
4. LaMarcus Joyner - Defensive Back // Miami, FL (Southwest)
The Buckeyes have had some serious luck in Florida the last several years, and they look the continue that with Joyner. He has offers from USC, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida, but everyone thinks that it will come down to Ohio State and Florida State. He will be in Columbus for the USC game, and a win could help sway him our way. Not to mention the fact that Florida State has enough issues going on to scare anyone away. I throw Joyner this high on this list because of his speed and athleticism. Not to mention that the Buckeyes also lost out on a couple defensive backs late in the process last year.
3. Alex Smith - Tight End // Cincinnati (Lakota West)
The tight end situation has been well noted in recent months, and the staff obviously is hungry for a top tier talent there. After missing out on Alex Welch and C.J. Fiedorowicz it appeared as if the Buckeyes would have to settle for a more blocking oriented tight end, but Smith is very much a possibility. He has yet to have received an offer, but is the most likely candidate to receive one in the near future. I put Smith this high on the list because the Buckeyes disparately need a tight end. No offense to Reid Fragel or Nic DiLillo, who were both brought in the last couple of years, but I do not see either as a serious pass catcher. On the other hand, I think Smith has the athleticism to be big time talent for the Buckeyes.
2. Brandon Linder - Offensive Lineman // Fort Lauderdale, FL (St. Thomas Aqunias)
Linder is one of the most talented offensive linemen in the entire country. He is incredibly versatile, and has played both offensive tackle and center in high school. He has about everyone in the country looking at him, but it will be tough for anyone to pull him away from the state of Florida (UF or Miami). He is visiting the Buckeyes both unofficially and officially, so they will have their shot for his services. Offensive linemen are always a priority, and so Linder has to be high on the list of "must gets." If you haven't seen his film, check it out.
1. Jordan Hicks - Linebacker // Cincinnati (Lakota West)
Hicks has to be one of the most talented linebackers I have seen on film in recent years. His offers from Florida, Texas, USC, West Virginia, and Alabama back that up. He would find himself on the top of this list even if he was not from Ohio, but because he is, it makes grabbing him even more urgent. His size, speed, and instincts are rare to find, especially in your own backyard. The class of 2010 definitely has not lived up to the hype of the previous two, but if Hicks jumps on board some of that criticism will silence.