As we wade through the 2013 recruiting waters position by position, it is time to take a deeper look into what is going on at wide receiver. We previously looked at the quarterback, offensive line, defensive line, and linebacker positions.
Even if you marginally follow the recruiting world, you know how hungry Urban Meyer and the staff are for playmakers. In fact, Meyer was quite open about the lack of game changers at the wide receiver position in spring practice, something that he will look to change. While the wideout ranks are still very young and have potential, Meyer is looking some more versatile talent that can alter games in his diverse attack.
He already has one of those players on board in Jalin Marshall. While there has been a lot of speculation about where Marshall will play in college, since he plays QB for Middletown and wants a shot there at Ohio State, most everyone assumes that he will eventually end up in a Percy Harvin type role when the dust settles. Marshall is a very rare talent with 4.4 speed and great lateral movement, qualities that make him a scary asset with the ball in space.
Besides Marshall, the staff will be looking to add two to three more players at wide receiver in this class. Fortunately, almost all their targets are still on the board, as the big time wideouts don't appear to be picking schools as quickly as their fellow classmates. Let's dive in a take a deeper look at who those players are...
Shelton Gibson (6-1 175 pounds, Cleveland Heights HS) - Gibson is the only true receiver in Ohio the staff has consistently pursued. Guys like Rob Wheelwright and Jaron Dukes just never seemed to capture their attention. Gibson is definitely head and shoulders above those other two in terms of national recruitment. He has offers from the likes of Auburn, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Pitt, Vanderbilt and West Virginia. He has long been down to Auburn and Ohio State though, and his latest comments would make it appear that Ohio State is the leader. He set to announce in a month, and many expect Columbus will indeed be the destination.
James Quick (6-1 180 pounds, Louisville, KY) - Quick is another explosive playmaker that has recently become a very sought after prospect for the Buckeyes. He made a visit to Columbus for the Spring Game in April, and since then has had Ohio State at the top of his list. The biggest competitor right now is home town Louisville, though he does have offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon and Tennessee. There is still a long way to go in his recruitment, too, as he claims he will not decide until after his football season. The Buckeyes do look good right now.
Devon Allen (6-1 190 pounds, Phoenix, AZ) - Allen is a speedster from out west that is looking to run track and play football at the school he chooses. He has an impressive list of suitors including Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Stanford, Washington, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Nebraska. He really hasn't narrowed his list at all, but is planning a Midwest tour of schools this summer. Ohio State should make the cut when he does assemble a list though, as he likes what Urban is doing and his father played baseball for the Buckeyes.
Robert Foster (6-3 170 pounds, Monaca, PA) - Foster is arguably the best wide receiver in the country and has offers from a multitude of big time programs, including the Buckeyes. Well, at least he did. During a visit to Columbus, Foster made a mistake that would cause the staff to pull his scholarship and move on. His recruitment at Ohio State appeared over. Things have changed again though. Bill Kurelic reported over at Bucknuts that Foster has repaired the relationship with the staff and is very high on the Buckeyes.
Laquon Treadwell (6-3 185 pounds, Crete, IL) - Treadwell is one of the most highly regarded wide receivers in the country, boasting offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC. He visited Ohio State earlier this spring and has constant communication with the staff, but is in no rush to make a decision. That may be something that works in the staff's favor, as Michigan is the perceived favorite at this point. Don't hold your breath though. While I'm not ruling out Meyer's recruiting magic, I'm not expecting Treadwell in this class.
Other Out-of-State Player to Watch:
Uriah LeMay (6-1 181 pounds, Matthews, NC) - Very physical receiver with the Buckeyes on his list, but it is very unclear of his overall interest. Going to be hard to steer him away from ACC country.
Marquez North (6-3 205 pounds, Charlotte, NC) - Being recruited hard by Withers. Is high on the Buckeyes and plans on visiting this summer.
Demorea Stringfellow (6-2 185 pounds, Moreno Valley, CA) - New offer from the staff. Seems to really like the Buckeyes, and has lots of time until he makes a decision.
Right now, if I had to make a pick, I would say Gibson is definitely a Buckeye. A fully expect at least one guy of the Quick-Allen-Foster trio to also pick Ohio State in the end. That's enough to make me drool right there, especially with Marshall lining up beside them in the future. Meyer's playmaking problem should be solved!