Ohio State Football: Why the Buckeyes Must Sign Mike Mitchell and Vonn Bell

Tim BielikSenior Analyst IDecember 28, 2012

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 23: Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and former South Florida University coach Skip Holtz watch warmups before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play against the St. Louis Rams December 23, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Ohio State has only a few scholarships left to give out for the 2013 recruiting class, but the Buckeyes would love to add commitments from blue-chipper LB Mike Mitchell and S Vonn Bell to their class.

OSU has 19 verbal commits in the class of 2013, with a bulk of its defensive talent coming on the lines and at the corner position.

However, the weaknesses of the Buckeye defense last season came from the middle of the back seven, namely the linebackers and safeties. Both starting safeties are back next year in Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett. Unfortunately, they were each inconsistent throughout the year and there isn't much quality depth behind them.

At the linebacker position, Ryan Shazier is the only returning starter from the end of the season. The rest of the depth at the position is unproven and lacks talent.

For those reasons, OSU pretty much needs to sign both Mitchell and Bell to add significant talent to its roster.

The good news for the Buckeyes is that Mitchell has been a Buckeye lean for a while and is favored to commit to OSU when he makes his declaration at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Former Auburn commit Trey Johnson will make his declaration at the Under Armour All-America Game the day before, and OSU is among the favorites.

Bell's recruiting saga is a tad more complicated than that, and is actually just beginning more or less.

He had shut off most of his recruiting to focus on his high school team's (Ridgeland H.S., Rossville, Geor.) playoff run, which ended in a loss in the AAAA State Championship Game.

With things opened back up, Bell will make three official visits following the dead period to OSU, Alabama and Tennessee before making his decision.

Bell comes to Columbus on Jan. 11, which means that Urban Meyer, who was at Bell's championship game, will get the first chance to put the full-court press on.

Alabama, as always, will be tough to deal with in recruiting, especially if the Tide beat Notre Dame in the national championship game. However, the real unknown is the effect that new Tennessee head coach Butch Jones will have.

Jones needs that signature signing in recruiting to create some excitement going into the 2013 season at UT, and Bell is that kind of player.

Meyer will have to do his best work in order to pull such a great player like Bell out of the south, something the Buckeyes have historically had problems doing.

Despite all the great talent OSU has already reeled in in its 2013 class, Mitchell and Bell are without a doubt must-get players. That doesn't mean it will get them, but it will need to do everything within the rules to pull both players.

Getting one is necessary.

Getting both is icing on the cake.


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