Ohio State Football: OSU's Top 10 Recruiting Targets for 2014
Urban Meyer and the Ohio State coaching staff are just one week removed from signing one of the country's top 2013 recruiting classes, but as the saying goes, there is no rest for the weary.
Meyer and the Buckeyes are already hard at work preparing for next year's recruiting haul. Five soon-to-be-senior prospects have already pledged to Ohio State as the Buckeyes snagged three verbal commitments in a one-hour span last Sunday.
Ohio State's '14 class could range from anywhere between 16 and 20 members, and the coaching staff is hitting nearly every corner of the country in search of potential targets.
A number of highly rated prospects have a big interest in Ohio State, meaning another stellar recruiting class is in the works for Meyer and the Buckeyes.
Here's Ohio State's top 10 recruiting targets for 2014.
Drake Harris, 4-Star Wide Receiver
Harris, a current Michigan State pledge out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, committed to the Spartans to play both football and basketball at the collegiate level. After deciding against being a two-sport athlete and sticking with football, Harris reopened his recruitment and is strongly considering Ohio State.
The Buckeyes will have to contend with Michigan State, Michigan, Florida, Alabama and Notre Dame for Harris' services. In a recent interview with ElevenWarriors.com, Harris said there is no definitive leader at this point.
Raekwon McMillan, 5-Star Linebacker
Despite landing two high-profile linebackers in Mike Mitchell and Trey Johnson this year, the Buckeyes want to build depth and sign at least two more to the 2014 class.
No linebacker prospect is more highly touted than McMillan.
The standout from Hinesville, Georgia is rated the top linebacker in the country by Rivals and highlights a long list of prospects that Ohio State is targeting from the "Peach State."
Despite holding offers from in-state Georgia, Alabama, Florida State, USC, Notre Dame and a host of others, McMillan has named the Buckeyes his early favorite. McMillan will make his final decision sometime in the fall and enroll in college early.
Jabrill Peppers, 5-Star Cornerback
Peppers is one of the most talented high school prospects in the 2014 class, and his offer list (which includes Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Notre Dame and Florida among others) reflects that.
The Buckeyes landed three outstanding cornerbacks in 2013, but the potential addition of Peppers would make Ohio State's secondary loaded with 5-star talent. The Buckeyes are currently in Peppers' top two alongside Stanford and in front of Michigan and Notre Dame.
Jamarco Jones, 4-Star Offensive Lineman
Ohio State's biggest area of need for its 2014 recruiting class is the offensive line. The Buckeyes only signed two true offensive linemen in 2013, so an already shallow position group will need a big boost this year.
Meyer has already secured commitments from two offensive linemen in Kyle Trout and Marcelys Jones, but the Buckeyes would like to add at least two more big guys to the fold.
The 4-star prospect out of Chicago, Illinois visited Columbus this weekend and reportedly had a great visit at Ohio State, according to ESPN.com.
Jamarco Jones (@jjones_73) February 11, 2013
Deshaun Watson, 4-Star Quarterback
If Meyer wants his top quarterback prospect, he'll have to work his magic to flip Watson, who is currently committed to Clemson.
Ohio State signed 4-star prospect JT Barrett in 2013, but that won't stop Meyer from pursuing the top dual-threat quarterback in the country. With the limited number of scholarships on hand, the Buckeyes will likely only take one quarterback in 2014.
Kyle Berger, 4-Star Linebacker
Meyer and the Buckeyes will have to battle a number of Big Ten schools for Berger's services. Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State have all offered the 4-star linebacker out of St. Ignatius High School, but Ohio State beat everyone to the punch by offering him first.
Berger wants to verbally commit by April or May, and currently lists Ohio State as his leader, according to ElevenWarriors.com
Demarre Kitt, 4-Star Wide Receiver
Kitt is another Georgia prospect that Ohio State is recruiting very hard.
The one-time Georgia commit reopened his recruitment after de-committing from the Bulldogs late last year, and Ohio State's scholarship offer was a game-changer for the 4-star receiver.
Kitt currently has Clemson and Ohio State as his top two choices, but he also holds offers from Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, Oregon, USC and many others.
Da’Shawn Hand, 5-Star Defensive End
Hand, a dominant defensive end out of Woodbridge, Virginia, is the consensus No. 1 ranked prospect in the country.
Hand visited Ohio State last November to take in the Michigan game and, surprisingly, didn't have that great of a time. His top five schools right now are Alabama, Michigan, Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Florida, with the Buckeyes sitting just outside at sixth.
That won't stop Meyer from pursuing Hand, though, so expect the Buckeyes to try and make a push for this elite talent.
Marshon Lattimore, 4-Star Athlete
With a surprisingly shallow talent pool in the state of Ohio this year, it will be important for Meyer and the Buckeyes to secure commitments from the top talent in the state.
Lattimore is considered the top prospect from Ohio by both Rivals and 247sports, and the Buckeyes are looking to continue their Glenville pipeline by securing Lattimore's commitment.
The 4-star athlete plays cornerback and wide receiver and boasts an impressive offer list that includes Michigan, USC, Tennessee, UCLA, Penn State and Louisville.
The Buckeyes are currently in the lead for Lattimore, but Brady Hoke and the Wolverines are making a late surge.
Jalen Hurd, 5-star Running Back
Despite securing a verbal commitment from all-purpose back Parris Campbell last Sunday, the Buckeyes will continue to pursue this 5-star running back out of Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Hurd made 247Sports' 2014 All-American team after rushing for 3,357 yards and 43 touchdowns as a junior in 2012. In the state title game last year, Hurd rushed for an incredible 394 yards and seven touchdowns.
The 5-star prospect has offers from schools like Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Michigan, South Carolina and Nebraska, but his top four as of now are Ohio State, Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
All recruit rankings per 247Sports.com.
David is the lead Ohio State football writer for B/R. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.
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