No national attention during bowl season, no problem for Ohio State.
Despite hiring Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes entered 2012 with a slew—that's right, a slew!—of question marks. Not only were they coming off a 6-7 season and a painful loss in the Gator Bowl to Florida, but with a postseason ban on the horizon, it was unclear how motivated the team would be.
Well, apparently motivation wasn't such a problem, after all—Meyer's squad reeled off a 12-0 season and finished at No. 3 in the AP poll.
As a result—and as a result of Meyer being a dynamite recruiter—the Buckeyes currently have the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation (via 247Sports.com).
It's important to note that rankings often end up meaning very little, but OSU still has Alabama in its sights for that No. 1 spot.
Let's take a look at the undecided prospects who can help the Buckeyes get there.
Vonn Bell, S, Ridgeland (Rossville, GA) High School
According to 247Sports.com, the 5-star Bell is ranked as the third-best safety and 29th-best recruit in the nation, and it's not really hard to see why:
Bell could probably stand to add a few steaks to his frame, but he has the speed and athleticism to make plays at every level on the field, not to mention the ability to rack up return yardage after a takeaway.
He would be a monstrous "get" for the Buckeyes, but the No. 1 team in the nation could be standing in their way (via FOX Sports' Chad Simmons):
Shelton Gibson, WR, Cleveland Heights (Cleveland, OH) High School
The Buckeyes have already secured the commitment of wide receiver Jalin Marshall, but adding playmakers on the offensive side of the ball is never a bad thing.
And Gibson, the No. 27 pass-catcher in the nation, is the epitome of a playmaker.
The Army All-American isn't a big receiver (5'10", 173 pounds), but he is a true home-run threat. He has breakaway speed and possesses the quickness and elusiveness that would make him a threat both via screens and in the return game.
Fortunately for the Buckeyes, it's hard to imagine the future slot receiver from Cleveland going anywhere other than Ohio State when you hear him talk:
Cornelius Elder, Athlete, The Ensworth School (Nashville, TN)
Speaking of playmakers.
Elder, who is ranked as the No. 8 athlete in America, has dangerous elusiveness and lighting-fast speed just like Gibson, but he does his work out of the backfield.
While he's not very big, Elder can hurt defenses in a variety of ways and projects to be a threatening change-of-pace back at the collegiate level.
Or a safety. Or a cornerback. Or a point guard (via 247Sports' Jerry Meyer):
dual sport athlete Cornelius Elder scored 35 pts n win last night. Officially visits Ohio State this weekend. 247sports.com/Player/Corneli…— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) January 9, 2013
What potential recruit is the most important target for the Buckeyes?
It's pretty clear that Elder, who could play several different positions on the gridiron, will want to make an impact on the hardcourt, as well.
His decision, which will come down to the Buckeyes, UCLA, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss, might just depend on what coach is most willing to let him battle it out in both sports.