Ohio State Football Recruiting: Why the Buckeyes' 2014 Class Has Started Strong
Ohio State's 2013 class is a few weeks away from signing, and the Buckeyes have already begun work on putting together their 2014 recruiting class.
OSU started its 2014 class back on Christmas with the verbal commit of big OT Marcelys Jones out of Cleveland Glenville. They added to a class that will be their last to be affected by NCAA scholarship reductions by landing a big fish out of their biggest rival's backyard: DB Damon Webb from Cass Tech in Michigan.
Jones is a big young tackle at about 325 lbs. who impressed Urban Meyer's staff enough to earn an offer. Glenville has historically been a great pipeline to Ohio State, with several players like Ted Ginn Jr., Troy Smith and starting safety Christian Bryant coming to Columbus and having success.
Jones fills a big need for the Buckeyes, largely because of the need in the class to come for offensive linemen, with four starters set to graduate after the 2013 season.
Webb's commitment came so far out of left field that even he didn't think he was going to commit to the Buckeyes, he told Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch.
But whatever made Webb decide to commit at this stage of the game worked because the highly touted corner, No. 7 on Scout.com's early cornerback rankings, pulled the trigger on a verbal shortly after the basketball Buckeyes ended Michigan's perfect season.
Webb boasts quite an impressive offer list as he has scholarship offers from LSU, Mississippi State and both Michigan and Michigan State. In the end, Webb spurned both in-state Big Ten schools to come down south to Columbus and to be a Buckeye.
By this time a year ago, OSU's strong 2013 class was completely empty, and now it stands at 22 players and is ranked No. 3 on Scout.com behind Michigan and Texas A&M.
The danger for the 2014 class is that the Buckeyes have only 13 players who will leave school for sure at the end of next season, and the team must stay at 82 scholarships for one more year.
That means Meyer will have to go with quality over quantity big-time in this class unless several underclassmen leave school for various reasons. That attrition is natural, but unpredictable.
The Buckeyes are likely going to focus most of their efforts for the 2014 class on the offensive line and the wide receiver position.
But Meyer has done a good job of keeping his first two recruiting classes fairly balanced, adding a little of everything along the way.
Starting off with talented youngsters Marcelys Jones and Damon Webb will go a long way to making 2014, albeit probably a small class, another good recruiting class to the Buckeyes.
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