Vonn Bell is the top guy left.
Drew Thurman (8:18  pm) @osusilverbullet

Since the start of the football season, the recruiting trail has been somewhat quiet. The Buckeyes have only added one commitment since summer ended (17 total in 2013 class), in Tyquan Lewis, and haven't seen a great amount of movement with other recruits on their big board.

Stiil, there's not much reason to panic though, as this fall has been a stand still for schools around the college football world. In this new era of college football recruiting, players seem to be either dead set on committing before their senior season or desire to wait up until signing day to keep their options open. Recruits are increasingly wanting to focus on their senior season and don't seem to want to interfere with helping their team succeed. So, right now we are in the land between those two worlds.

Things are starting to heat up, though, as high school football is slowly coming to end around the country. This is best evidenced by the sheer amount of recruiting news that has come out this last week, much of which is very positive for the Buckeyes. With three months left until signing day, fans should be getting excited. Urban Meyer has a proven track record as a lethal closer, and there's no reason to believe he won't do the same this year.

So, in this edition of the Recruiting Rundown, let's take a look at some of recruiting nuggets that came out this week...

Flipping Recruits From...Michigan?

One of the more interesting developments this week is the staff's recruitment of a couple of guys that are/were a part of Michigan's class.

The first is OG David Dawson, who hails from Cass Tech in Detroit, Michigan. After decommitting from Michigan he named Ohio State in his top five, but it was widely believed he was a heavy Florida lean. In fact, he visited Gainesville, and there was a lot of speculation that he may commit to the Fighting Muschamps while on the visit. He didn't. Instead, his recruitment took another weird turn as he named his top two schools without the Gators being one of them. Here's what Miles Joseph of 11W got from him.

Spoke briefly with 2013 Cass Tech (MI) OG David Dawson. He told me Ohio State and Michigan State are tied at the top. Many thought he'd be going to Florida, but he says staying close to his family is an important factor in his decision.

Definitely a strange turn of events, and it makes you wonder what happened on Florida's end to force Dawson to look back at the Midwest. Regardless, the Buckeyes sit tied on top, but will definitely be in a fight to pry him away from Dantonio and company. Not only is Dawson in their backyard, but Dawson's teammate Dennis Finley is already a Spartan. He's set to visit during the Michigan game ironically, and we should know better then where things stand.

The staff is also after current Michigan commit Gareon Conley. The WR/DB combo is from Massillon, Ohio, and definitely has mutual interest. In fact, he's planning an official visit to Ohio State as well as Oregon. There's one problem though. Hoke has a rule that his commitments aren't supposed to visit other schools. Something Conley seems alright with because he wants to see what else is out there.

"I'm taking visits somewhere else because Michigan was the first ever college I visited so I want to see what's out there," Conley told Rivals.com Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt. "I haven't talked to (Michigan’s coaching staff), but I've got to talk to them about it."

To be clear, he's never decommitted. Still, the fact that he is looking around knowing the rules is a pretty clear indication that his heart may be headed elsewhere. He also seems to like what Meyer is pitching him right now, which only looks sweeter thanks to the 9-0 record the Buckeyes have right now.

So, Meyer could be poaching two guys from Hoke. He's also starting an assault on the best players in the state of Michigan in the 2014 class, which could make for some interesting battles over the next year.

Robert Foster Situation Over?

One of the most interesting recruits in this class is WR Robert Foster. The 6-3 170 pound product from Pennsylvania is rated as one of the top wideouts in the country, and has had a hot and cold relationship with the Buckeyes.

The staff was putting on the full court press until he came to visit. Reportedly, his actions on that visit caused the staff to stop contacting Foster. Sometime later, though, Foster claimed that the Buckeyes were pursuing him again, though that wasn't ever really totally confirmed. There were even rumors and speculation that the Buckeyes were the dark horse to land Foster is they did truly want him.

All of the rumors appeared to be coming to an end after a recent trip to Alabama. Foster tweeted that he was ready to commit, and everyone was pushing this as a Pitt-Bama battle, though Foster did name the Buckeyes as his other finalist. The situation appeared over, right? Wrong.

But it turns out that Foster is NOT ready to commit.Central Valley coach Mark Lyons was going to meet with Foster late this morning. Lyons said Foster was still going to make a visit to Pitt and the Pitt coaches were working hard this morning to make sure that visit still occurred in the future. Then a short while ago, Foster tweeted "I may have spoke to soon. I will take my official visits then make a decision. This will be my last tweet concerning this matter"

Foster is definitely a head case, and there are a lot of fans actually hoping he heads elsewhere. Considering the recent sanctions, a risk on a guy like Foster doesn't seem likely or even wise.

Vonn Bell Pondering

There is no question that the top guy left on the board for the Buckeyes is S Vonn Bell. Not only is he one of the top players in the country, but he provides a big upgrade at a position of weakness for the staff currently. He also would round out a stellar defensive backfield class that includes Cameron Burrows, Jayme Thompson and Eli Woodward.

Bell has always been high on the Buckeyes, though he's also been been high on several SEC schools. As of now Bells three finalist are Ohio State, Alabama and Tennessee (in no particular order).

The bad news is that Bell missed a recent visit that was planned for Columbus, which many considered a sign that OSU might have dropped on the list. That's not the case, as his coach explained what happened. 

“He was going to Ohio State two weeks ago, and it just became a logistical nightmare,” Ridgeland coach Mark Mariakis told the AJC.

“He was trying to catch a red-eye flight out of Nashville at 2 a.m. in the morning, get up to Ohio State, and get back on Sunday to be back at school on Monday. It just wasn’t feasible to do it and enjoy himself. I think he’s going to wait until after our season for his official visits.

“Hopefully, those teams are at bowl practices or something. Hopefully, our team (at Ridgeland) will be playing deep into the winter. There’s no official visits set up right now.”

Well, the Buckeyes won't be getting to practice for a bowl, so hopefully he gets a chance to visit before the season ends. Getting to see each team practice is a big priority to Bell, and since he's seen the other two, not getting him in for one would appear to be a big disadvantage.

So, does he have a leader currently? Well, according to his coach he does not.

“He does not have one,” Mariakis said. “We talk all the time, and he is torn between all three. They all three bring something different and positive to the table. It was a tough choice going from seven colleges to three, and it’s going to be a tougher choice going from three to one. That’s not just a politically correct answer, it’s the truth. It’s just a very tough decision for him.”

Under the Radar

The staff is chasing a bevy of wide receivers to add playmakers, and they have left no stone unturned. While most of the attention is on guys like Shelton Gibson, Corn Elder and James Quick, there are lots of other options. One guy that continues to go under the radar is Tony Stevens.

Stevens, an Orlando, Florida native, was originally committed to Florida State, but cut his ties a month ago to look at other options. There are a lot of schools looking at 6-3 175 pound product, but the Buckeyes are definitely in the hunt. Here's the latest:

He has plans to head to Columbus for Ohio State-Michigan on November 24. Buckeyes running back coach Stan Drayton has been recruiting Stevens and he likes what he is hearing.

He noted, "Coach Meyer came from Florida and won national titles here. I like their offense and want to check it out."

Yet another player headed to Columbus for the Michigan game. Keep an eye on him.

An Update from Raekwon McMillan

Switching to 2014, LB Raekwon McMillan has given an update on his recruitment to ESPN. He affirmed his early declaration that Ohio State is his current leader, and that he sees lots of opportunity currently in Columbus. So, he's definitely watching the games. He also claims all his family are big Georgia fans and are very pleased when he visits. Here's the video...


11/02/2012 10:20

Robert Foster's 7-2 Central Valley team plays Dorian Johnson's 4-5 Belle Vernon team tonight (11/2/12).

Could a who's who of CFB coaching be seated in the stands?


Leave a Reply