Ohio State Football Recruiting: The State of the Buckeyes

Tim BielikSenior Analyst IDecember 13, 2012

Ohio State Football Recruiting: The State of the Buckeyes

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    The first couple weeks after the Ohio State Buckeyes' 12-0 season have been good for recruiting with the addition of two new players: DB Gareon Conley and DT Donovan Munger.

    OSU now has 19 verbal commits with the dead period coming up shortly.

    The race to get several top prospects to visit and create a big impression before the dead period is heating up.

    Here is a look at the two new Buckeye verbals as well as the latest news when it comes to the top prospects.

Conley Flips from Michigan

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    Massillon's Gareon Conley had long been a Michigan verbal, but made the long-assumed flip from the Wolverines to the Buckeyes official on Friday.

    Conley, an Under Armour All-American and cousin of receiver Devin Smith, verballed to Michigan back in March. But after an official visit, he changed his status and committed to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.

    Conley is a very talented corner, but he told Eleven Warriors that he could possibly play offense.

    The Massillon product joins Cameron Burrows, Joey Bosa, Jalin Marshall and Marcus Baugh as the Buckeye verbal commits playing in the Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 4.

Munger Makes It 19

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    Going for recruit No. 19, the Buckeyes stayed in-state and added to their defensive line with Shaker Heights tackle Donovan Munger. Munger joins Bosa, Billy Price, Michael Hill and Tracy Sprinkle as the defensive linemen in the 2013 class.

    Munger had other offers from Notre Dame, Georgia and Penn State, but opted to stay in-state and be a Buckeye.

    He is a top-300 prospect on ESPN.com, giving the Buckeyes 13 prospects from that list.

    The loss of Johnathan Hankins to the NFL made DT a necessity, and bringing Munger in along with fellow Ohioans Price and Sprinkle only gives OSU more options in the middle.

Mitchell Impressed by Visit, Waiting on Johnson

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    Considered by several insiders as a Buckeye lean, Plano (Tex.) LB Mike Mitchell finally made an official visit to Ohio State last week and was blown away by what he saw. Mitchell did not pull the trigger on a verbal yet, but still may have Ohio State out in front.

    Moving further south, former Auburn verbal Trey Johnson came to visit the Ohio State-Michigan game in Columbus a few weeks ago. OSU appears to be the favorite, but there isn't much noise coming from the Johnson camp at this moment.

    With OSU's deficiency at the linebacker position in the last two seasons, the Buckeyes need all the talent at LB they can get.

Quick, Bell Getting Away?

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    Ohio State needs a high-profile receiver to improve its passing game, but recent signs point to Louisville blue-chipper James Quick staying in-state and going to the Cardinals.

    In addition to Louisville locking up coach Charlie Strong to an extension, Quick is making his official visit this weekend. The Cardinals are still in first ahead of the Buckeyes, with Quick set to make his decision at the Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 5.

    Star safety Vonn Bell is still playing and has his team in the Georgia Class AAAA State Championship Game this Saturday. The Buckeyes are in his top three with Alabama and Tennessee, and Bell has tried to shut his recruiting down significantly to focus on the season.

    OSU needs to get a dynamic safety, and there is a possibility that the struggles and lack of the depth at the position may help the Buckeyes if Bell is looking for early playing time.

    Nick Saban's status at Alabama may change things if he goes to the NFL, and it's tough to tell what new UT coach Butch Jones can bring to the table.

Latest Commit Predictions

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    The number of players OSU can bring in for this class and next class is drastically affected by the scholarship sanctions, which gives them three fewer to use for the 2013 and 2014 classes.

    OSU has 19 commits, and may only have room for three or four more depending on how many players the coaches anticipate will leave the team or transfer before the start of fall.

    Here are predictions for who the Buckeyes will land at this point of the process:

    • LB Mike Mitchell (Plano, Tex.)

    • WR Shelton Gibson (Cleveland, Ohio)

    • RB Cornelius Elder (Nashville, Tenn.)

    • S Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga.)

     

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