Ohio State Football: Buckeyes' 5 Most Important Recruiting Battles

Cory McCune@@corymccune11Contributor IIIDecember 28, 2012

Ohio State Football: Buckeyes' 5 Most Important Recruiting Battles

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    Urban Meyer was hired in late November of 2012. That left him with three months to go out and recruit the nation's top players.

    Amazingly, he was able to bring in a handful of highly-touted prospects as well as keep the players already committed to Ohio State

    That success was partially due to the trials the Penn State program was going through—several of the late additions to Ohio State's class were Penn State commits or Penn State leans.

    Due to the fact that Meyer and his coaching staff have had an entire year to recruit the 2013 class, don't expect a flurry of commits like last December and January.

    But there are still several high-profile recruits Buckeye fans should keep an eye on.

    The Buckeyes are in on other recruits like Cleveland Glenville's Christopher Worley and several others, but the following five are the keys to closing out the 2013 class with a bang.

Mike Mitchell

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    Scout—Five-Star, No. 2 Middle Linebacker and 33rd overall
    Rivals—Four-Star, No. 3 Outside Linebacker and 30th overall
    ESPN—Four-Star, No. 10 Outside Linebacker and 121st overall 



    Mike Mitchell is big (6'4'' 220lbs), strong and fast. All of his abilities were on display when he won the SPARQ rating competition at "The Opening."

    But he has proven to be more than just a physical freak, Mitchell is a great football player, too.


    The Battle:

    It has long been thought the battle for Mitchell's services would come down to Texas A&M and Ohio State. Before the recruiting dead period, Mitchell cancelled his visit with Texas A&M, which should be good news for Ohio State.

    Mitchell will announce at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

James Quick

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    Scout—Five-Star, No. 2 Wide Receiver, 21st overall
    Rivals—Four-Star, No. 14 Wide Receiver, 114th overall
    ESPN—Four-Star, No. 10 Wide Receiver, 98th overall



    James Quick has good size and good speed and played for one of the best high school teams in the country.

    Quick had such a successful senior season that he won the Mr. Football award in the state of Kentucky.



    This battle has been pretty clear from the start. Quick seems to love Ohio State because it is a national power and with Urban Meyer the program has momentum.

    But Quick is from Louisville and the home team will be hard to turn down. Especially with them having such a good season and a hot coach of their own. 

    Like Mitchell, Quick is set to announce his commitment at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Vonn Bell

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    Scout—Five-Star, No. 3 Safety, 25th overall
    Rivals—Four-Star, No. 11 Safety, 122nd overall
    ESPN—Four-Star, No. 5 Safety, 61st overall



    Vonn Bell is a ball-hawking, physical safety that led his team to the state title game in Georgia. He is 6'1'' and 190 pounds, so he isn't the biggest safety, but he can flat out play.

    Bell will play in the Under-Armour All-American Game.



    According to his Rivals profile, Bell is set to visit Ohio State, Alabama and Tennessee on successive weekends in January and then will make his decision.  

Trey Johnson

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    Scout—Four-Star, No. 20 Outside Linebacker, 244th overall
    Rivals—Four-Star, No. 4 Outside Linebacker, 86th overall
    ESPN—Four-Star, No. 2 Inside Linebacker, 96th overall



    Trey Johnson doesn't have the same type of size as Mike Mitchell, but is still a fast and physical linebacker just like Urban Meyer wants them.

    Like Bell, Johnson will be at the Under Armour All-American Game. The good news for Ohio State is that the Buckeyes will have five committed recruits at that game to help bring Bell and Johnson into the fold.


    Johnson was committed to Auburn, but has since de-committed and was thought to be down to Ohio State and Florida. 

    Florida recently got a commitment from Matt Rolin, which seems likely to end their recruiting of linebackers for 2013. But Johnson has a visit scheduled for USC in mid-January that could hurt Ohio State's chances.

Shelton Gibson

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    Scout—Four-Star, No. 18 Wide Receiver, 139th overall
    Rivals—Four-Star, No. 12 Wide Receiver, 98th overall
    ESPN—Four-Star, No. 26 Wide Receiver, 199th overall



    Shelton Gibson brings speed. His Rivals profile reports 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash. Ohio State had a decent receiving core in 2012, but to take the next step the Buckeyes need players like Gibson.

    Gibson will get the opportunity to show off his speed at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.



    This recruiting battle has always seemed to be about one thing: Grades.

    If Gibson can get the grades, then expect him to join his friend and former teammate Kyle Dodson at Ohio State. 

    If he can't get into Ohio State, then expect him to choose West Virginia or go the prep route.