Urban Meyer put together one of the best recruiting classes at Ohio State this year, hoping to add enough to give the Buckeyes a chance for their first national title since the 2002 season.
Ohio State finished national signing day with one of the Buckeyes' most talented classes on paper, loaded with blue-chip talent across the field, led by significant upgrades to the secondary and offensive skill positions.
The morning started with the signing of New Smyrna Beach (Fla.) WR James Clark. Clark joins WR Jalin Marshall, WR/RB Dontre Wilson and RB Ezekiel Elliott as the latest Buckeyes who should provide a jolt to the offense with their tremendous speed.
But the best part of the day came shortly after when S Vonn Bell, who earlier in the morning looked to be leaning towards Tennessee, chose instead to become a Buckeye.
OSU already had several big names in the secondary signed before Bell's National Letter of Intent came through, including corners Eli Apple and Cam Burrows and safeties Darron Lee and Jayme Thompson.
Bell is the type of game-changing safety the Buckeyes have not had in a long time. Not since the days of Donte Whitner and, to a lesser extent, Kurt Coleman have the Buckeyes had a game-changer at safety like Bell can be.
More freshmen could see significant time on the defensive side of the ball because the Buckeyes only have three returning starters and just one in the front seven—LB Ryan Shazier. That means freshmen like DE Joey Bosa and LBs Trey Johnson and Mike Mitchell can make their impact felt early.
Freshmen alone won't win a national championship, but they can have a big impact along the way there.
Percy Harvin and Tim Tebow each played big roles for Florida when it beat Ohio State, ironically enough, in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. T.J. Yeldon rushed for over 1,100 yards as a freshman and had a touchdown and 108 yards rushing in the Crimson Tide's win over Notre Dame in January's BCS title game.
It's a new era of college football where freshmen are not only expected to make contributions, but to have huge impacts and win some games.
The wild card of this entire class will be QB J.T. Barrett, an early enrollee who is expected to be Braxton Miller's heir. He may redshirt this season while he rehabs from an ACL injury.
He is almost a Miller clone and will have about two years of grooming before he takes over for Miller in 2015, unless Miller leaves early for the NFL after this season.
If he can be as good as Miller, with the talent on offense OSU has brought in, it would be hard to see the Buckeyes not win a national championship with this group.
Meyer came to Ohio State to compete for national championships. If his 2013 class pans out as expected, he has a great chance to bring one or two back to Columbus.
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