As we wade through the 2013 recruiting waters position by position, it is time to take a deeper look into the offensive line picture. We previously looked at the quarterback position, which you can check out here.
Months ago, as the 2012 class was winding down, the new staff was quickly trying the repair the recruiting situation on the offensive line. Despite the late start they were able to get Joey O'Connor, Taylor Decker and Kyle Dodson to sign on the dotted line. Those three joined Jacoby Boren and Pat Elflein, who had committed under the previous staff. To further rectify the situation, Reid Fragel and Darryl Baldwin were moved to the offensive line, a switch that gives the Buckeyes solid depth at the position for the first time in years.
The staff is far from satisfied, though. While they have stabilized a very messy situation for this upcoming season, they will be looking to add depth across the board, especially at offensive tackle.
Already on board in 2013 is Evan Lisle, who is arguably the best offensive lineman in Ohio. At 6-6 265 pounds, Urban Meyer and company already have a future offensive tackle slated in this class. They will likely look to add 2-3 more guys to join him before it's all said it done. Let's take a deeper look at who may fill those spots and who is on the staff's radar currently.
Lovell Peterson (6-4 285 pounds, Wayne HS) - Peterson was the center for current Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller, and is likely the only other Ohio offensive lineman to end up in this class. He has yet to receive an offer from the staff, though. Some of this is due to the fact that the staff is focused on tackles and not interior lineman, as the depth is much better there currently. Peterson is still in contact with the staff and was on campus at the end of January for one of the junior days. He will have the chance to earn that offer this summer at camp, and I believe he will.
Ohio lineman like Alex Gall, Steve Mathie, and Kyle Meadows are really on the outside looking in at this point and don't need a full breakdown. The staff is pursuing a bevy of national offensive lineman who will cap off this class.
Hunter Bivin (6-7 288 pounds, Owensboro, KY) - Bivin is one of the top rated offensive tackles in this class and the Buckeyes recently made his top seven with Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin. Tim Hinton and Ed Warriner are leading the charge with his recruitment, which would seem to make sense as they had a relationship with him during their tenure at Notre Dame. Speaking of the Irish, Bivin grew up a fan and many believe he is will eventually be South Bend bound. While he's still playing catch up with their offensive line coach, Harry Hiestand, it's hard argue with the popular opinion.
Derwin Gray (6-5 285 pounds, Washington, D.C.) - Gray does hold an offer from the Buckeyes, but his recruitment has yet to really heat up to this point. He will possibly visit campus, though a date has yet to be set. He is still looking at a ton of schools like Auburn, Nebraska, Maryland, Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Clemson, and many others. He has dealt with some grade issues, so that list may dwindle in time. While he remains on the radar, the chances of him ending up in scarlet and gray seem very slim at this point.
Marcell Lazard (6-6 293 pounds, Bloomfield, NJ) - Lazard received an offer from Ohio State a month ago and has quickly become a prospect to watch. He has expressed a lot of interest in the Buckeyes and has a visit schedule at the beginning of April. The staff will be battling it out with Miami, West Virginia, Florida, and UConn down the stretch for his services, who are his other favorites. Quickly after his visit to Columbus on April 1st he will be heading to Gainesville for a visit, and we should start to get a clearer picture of where things stand.
Colin McGovern (6-6 280 pounds, New Lenox, IL) - McGovern is one of two Illinois offensive tackles that the staff is going very hard after. He also holds an offer and plans to be in Columbus for the spring game. He also has visits planned to Notre Dame, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Alabama all coming up in the next month as well. Illinois and Nebraska are in the mix too. While he appears to be a long way from making a decision, he is definitely impressed with the Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.
John Montelus (6-5 295 pounds, Everett, MA) - Montelus is one of a growing number of prospects the staff is pursuing in the New England area. After grabbing Reeves and Williams from Massachusetts last class, Meyer has his sights set on another. He has an impressive offer list from teams like Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, West Virginia, Boston College, Nebraska, and Ohio State. He has yet to visit Columbus, but will likely end up on campus later this spring or summer.
Ethan Pocic (6-7 286 pounds, Lemont, IL) - Pocic is one of the most sought after offensive tackles in the country and is on the top of OSU's priority list in 2013. He has a very impressive offer list including schools like Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee, Oregon, USC, Wisconsin, and many more. He is rumored to be high on the Buckeyes and will visit Columbus at the end of this month.
Laremy Tunsil (6-6 275 pounds, Lake City, FL) - One of the elite players in the country, and arguably the top offensive lineman in the country in 2013, he hails from SEC country and has offers from practically every big time program. Tunsil has interest in LSU, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, among others. While fans should keep an eye on him, realistically he isn't leaving SEC country.
As I previously stated the staff will take just a couple more guys on the line in this class. At this point the Illinois duo (McGovern and Pocic), Peterson, and Lazard seem like the top four candidates to land in this class when the dust settles. It is still extremely early in the process, and summer camps could produce a new crop of names on the OSU radar.