Alex Anzalone is a 4-star outside linebacker prospect for 2013, and he's currently committed to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but is there a way Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes can bring him back into the fold?
The interesting thing about that question is that Anzalone is actually a former Ohio State commit.
He decommitted from the Buckeyes because of a situation involving a known sexual offender posting a picture of himself and Anzalone, taken during an unofficial visit, on the Internet. It's important to note that Anzlone's father, who was very vocal about the experience in the report from Jared Shanker of ESPN, said that he didn't blame Ohio State:
The elder Anzalone said he held nothing against Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, who recruited the player.
"Ohio State had no idea that this guy was a perv," Sal Anzalone said. "They were totally unaware. Let's make that very clear. That's not Ohio State."
Anzalone later committed to Notre Dame, and the rest is history as we know it.
While it may seem like the end of the road for Anzalone and the Buckeyes, Shanker just recently reported that Meyer had made contact with the linebacker and kept the door open for him:
Anzalone, now committed to Notre Dame, said Meyer did not pressure him in any way, though.
“Coach Meyer called me I think once since they were able to call on Sept. 1,” Anzalone said Tuesday, “and he just said he understands everything and if any anything ever happens (with Notre Dame) I’d have a home there.”
If you're Urban Meyer, bringing in a player of Anzalone's caliber would be a major recruiting win, especially after you already lost him once. His 2013 class is impressive, but Ohio State has not gotten a single commit from a linebacker, and that's not a good sign.
So, what's Meyer's pitch? It's simple.
Always lead with the championships.
Meyer has what Brian Kelly doesn't over at Notre Dame, and that's championship experience. He can tell a prospect that he wants him to come and play for titles at Ohio State, and when he says that he has real credibility behind it. Kelly can say the same thing, but in his case it's just coach speak.
The other thing Meyer would need to sell is the fact that Anzalone can be the premier defender of his 2013 class, and that's something else Notre Dame can't offer.
All anybody will ever want to talk about in regards to Notre Dame's 2013 class is Smith. The attention will always be on him when he's out on the field, as will be the spotlight when he's off of it.
As talented as Anzalone is, he'd be an afterthought on Notre Dame's defense. That wouldn't be the case at Ohio State, and that's easily Meyer's best selling point.
Don't underestimate the allure of being "the guy" to elite high school football players. They've grown up their whole careers being the featured player, and that's something that anybody would want to hold on to. If Anzalone went back to OSU, he'd have the chance to be the premier linebacker of their class, and eventually he could become the premier linebacker of an Ohio State program back on the rise in the Big Ten.
That has to be a huge selling point for Meyer if he wants to get the talented 4-star linebacker back.
As we all know, nothing is official until signing day in college football recruiting, so don't count out Meyer and the Buckeyes making a few more pitches to Anazalone.