Ohio State Football Recruiting: Vonn Bell Is Most Important Member of 2013 Class

David RegimbalFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2013

Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com

Everyone in college football, including Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes, are trying to play catch up with Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

That process starts on the recruiting front, and Meyer just won a huge battle against the reigning national champions when Vonn Bell selected Ohio State over Alabama and Tennessee.

Bell, a 5-star safety and the No. 27 prospect overall out of Rossville, Georgia, was a rumored Alabama lean for much of the season. Tennessee and Ohio State emerged as legitimate contenders for Bell's services once the 2012 regular season ended, and it was Meyer and the Buckeyes who came out on top on National Signing Day.

His commitment to Ohio State was pivotal, and not just because he instantly became the highest-rated prospect in the Buckeyes' 2013 recruiting class.

Ohio State's depth at safety behind a pair of senior starters—Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett—is a legitimate concern.

Corey Brown, who has been inconsistent throughout his career, and Najee Murray, a sophomore coming off a season-ending knee injury in 2012, had been projected to back up Bryant and Barnett.

Bell's commitment, though, should ease any concerns of depth in the defensive backfield. Bell will join safeties Jayme Thompson (4-star), Chris Worley (4-star) and Darron Lee (3-star) in Ohio State's 2013 recruiting class.

With the rise of the spread offense in college football, having fast, hard-hitting safeties who can excel in coverage is an absolute must. Bell gives Ohio State that and more with his explosive style of play.

The impact of his commitment, though, won't be excluded to his on-the-field play in 2013 and beyond.

When you look at the players Meyer is targeting for his 2014 class, many of the top prospects reside in Georgia.

Meyer is pursuing 5-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan,  4-star wide receiver Demarre Kitt, 4-star athlete Myles Autry and current Clemson commit and 4-star quarterback Deshaun Watson

Landing Bell—one of the top players from the "Peach State" in 2013—will only help Meyer's attempts at recruiting these 2014 Georgia prospects.

That, on top of beating Saban and the Tide out while plugging a legitimate hole in the roster, makes Bell the most important member of Ohio State's 2013 recruiting class.

All recruit rankings per 247Sports.com


David is the lead Ohio State football writer for B/R. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.