Ohio State Football: 18 2014 Recruits Who Are Glad the Spring Game Is in Cincy
Urban Meyer and his Buckeyes will be playing somewhat of a road game in their annual Scarlet-Gray Spring Game.
The game will not be held in Columbus due to renovations in the "Horseshoe," but rather the game will be played in Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium, the home of the Bengals on April 13 at 1 p.m.
This could be a negative since some of the recruits won't be able to tour the campus and see the facilities the Ohio State program has to offer.
Instead those that visit will get the chance to take in the scrimmage in front of a packed NFL stadium, a place many of the Buckeyes' big-time visitors aim to play in when their four years in college are done.
Judging from his history, Meyer won't necessarily need help to turn the negative into a positive, but some of the 2014 recruits could actually enjoy a visit to Cincinnati more than a trip to Columbus, whether that be due to geography, dreams or just a new experience.
Drew Barker, a highly-touted QB, is from Hebron, Ky. Also in Hebron is the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. It's pretty safe to assume he wouldn't have any trouble getting to Paul Brown Stadium, which sits right along the Ohio River.
The biggest reason Barker could skip out on attending the spring game is that he has yet to receive an offer from the Buckeyes. He does have offers from several of the other programs in the Midwest and he might choose to attend one of their spring games instead.
However, with Deshaun Watson, Ohio State's top QB target, reaffirming his commitment to Clemson, the Buckeyes might decide to move on and offer Barker.
Jalen Hurd is one of the highest rated running backs in the 2014 class.
The 6'3'' 200-pound back from Hendersonville, Tenn., like many others following on this list will have a shorter trip to Cincinnati than Columbus, which could make the trip more possible.
Hurd is a key recruit for the Buckeyes because he is from SEC country and he has elite playmaking ability. Another steal from the state of Tennessee to follow the signing of Vonn Bell would show Urban Meyer has staying power in the South.
The defensive back from New Jersey is one of the top players overall in the 2014 class and has mentioned his interest in getting to a program that can get him to the NFL.
What better way to impress a recruit with NFL aspirations than to fill up an NFL stadium with Buckeye fans?
Being from a state that leans towards professional sports over college sports, visiting a state that is clearly dedicated to Ohio State football could grab his attention.
Coming from a professional sports town like Chicago in a state that leans more towards professional sports than college sports, seeing an NFL stadium filled with crazy Buckeyes fans for an exhibition game could be eye-opening for a young recruit.
Jones is an important recruit because Ohio State will be losing four offensive linemen to graduation after the 2013 season and will need an infusion of talent. Jones would certainly help Urban Meyer achieve that goal.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, there aren't very many Ohio State-caliber recruits in the Cincinnati in the 2014 class.
But Derek Kief is and he already has a Buckeye offer.
Since Urban Meyer has taken over at Ohio State, the receivers brought in have been of the smaller and quicker variety while Kief is different. He is long and lanky and at 6'5'' could give the Buckeyes a red-zone threat after Devin Smith graduates.
While the class may not get a lot of help from the Cincinnati area, a spring game in Kief's hometown could give him a little added incentive to join the 2014 class.
Lonnie Johnson is another receiver with good size, and despite his lack of ranking, he has received an offer from Ohio State and 247 Sports has Johnson ranked as the fifth player in the state of Indiana.
The Gary, Ind., native would have a shorter trip to Cincinnati than Columbus if he decides to attend the Buckeyes' spring game.
Johnson played running back for his high school team, but would likely line up on the outside if he ends up in scarlet and gray.
Clifton Garrett is a big-time linebacker recruit and Urban Meyer has shown that he loves to recruit big-time linebackers.
Garrett would have a shorter trip to Cincinnati than he would Columbus, which could make his trip to the game more likely.
Garrett has also already been to the Buckeyes' campus, so seeing another part of Ohio filled with Buckeye fans and the chance to roam an NFL sideline could add another dimension to Garrett's interest in Ohio State.
The Glenville Trio
Jones has already committed to Ohio State, and if Glenville tradition holds, Lattimore and Smith will likely join Jones in Columbus.
Glenville stars have become commonplace at the Horseshoe every Saturday in the fall, but these three Tarblooders will get the chance to see the Buckeyes play in a different setting.
The Georgia Boys
Perhaps the change of scenery in an NFL team's stadium still filled with Buckeye faithful could convince the Georgians to come up north.
Weather could be important with these players too.
The Early Commits
Marcelys Jones, Kyle Trout, Damon Webb and Paris Campbell have all committed to Ohio State already. While they'd probably like to go visit their future homes in Columbus, a visit to another part of the state and an NFL stadium would probably make up for it.
Besides, considering these four will likely spend plenty of weekends at Ohio State watching the 2013 team play, one less weekend probably won't leave a mark.
Trout and Jones are the beginning of what should be a large offensive line class. Campbell will bring plenty of speed, while Webb will continue the excellent defensive back recruiting for Urban Meyer.
These four also have the added incentive of trying to convince other 2014 recruits to join them as Buckeyes.