Ohio State Football: Bold Predictions for Buckeyes' 2013 Recruiting Class
Urban Meyer has put together another top recruiting class in 2013, one that should help keep the program in national-championship contention for years to come. The class includes the perfect balance of elite defensive prospects, with a few sprinkles of speedy offensive players that will fit well in the spread offense.
The second class under Meyer is widely considered better than his first in Columbus and should play a key role in many victories down the road.
But just what are Buckeyes fans expecting from this group of young players?
I think a Heisman winner could be included in this bunch. There is an offensive player that will light up the scoreboard this season, and with a handful of defensive recruits ready to make an impact, don’t be surprised if comparisons to a few Ohio State greats are being tossed around.
With all of that and more, here are the bold predictions for some of the top Ohio State 2013 recruits.
JT Barrett Wins the 2015 Heisman Trophy
Braxton Miller who?
Urban Meyer already has his quarterback of the future in JT Barrett and he will be ready to go the minute Miller graduates from Ohio State. Considering the current quarterback has two seasons left with the program, Barrett will likely take a redshirt this year and be ready to go his sophomore season in 2015.
While this may seem like a long time from now, Buckeyes fans can be patient for greatness. Barrett fills the quarterback position in this spread offense quite nicely, and he's actually more of a true quarterback who happens to be athletic rather than an athlete who throws well enough to handle quarterbacking duties.
Barrett won't exactly have much playing experience under his belt in 2015, but he should have the offense down to a science with two full years of keeping his head in the playbook. There won't be much tweaking needed once he steps on the field as that athletic ability will handle the rest.
Give it a couple of years and Ohio State will have an eighth Heisman Trophy winner.
Joey Bosa Becomes the Next Vernon Gholston
Joey Bosa has the size at 6'5", 270 pounds to immediately step on the field and help out the Buckeyes on the defensive line. What is even scarier than that is his lengthy frame will also allow him to add on about 20 extra pounds of good weight to make him even more effective than he already is.
This kid was a man-child at the high school level, and his combination of strength and relentless motor should translate well to college.
Due to the massive frame, Bosa could line up inside and be a run-stuffer, or he could end up becoming a defensive end and being a true pass-rusher with his quickness off the ball. He is likely going to play strong-side defensive end for Ohio State and this will allow him to make plays in the backfield and show why he was such a highly recruited player in high school.
The Buckeyes really haven't had that elite defensive lineman that has put up off-the-chart numbers since Vernon Gholston back in 2007. With the speed, toughness and strength that Bosa packs in his large frame, he has the ability to be something special and become that great defensive lineman that every offense hates going up against.
Jalin Marshall Scores 10 Total Touchdowns 2013
Urban Meyer wants speed, versatility and big-play ability from his players on the offensive side of the ball. Guys who can line up in multiple spots and who are a threat to score anytime they have the ball in their hands. Meyer was desperate to find these players in his first season in Columbus, but he has found one in the 2013 recruiting class.
Meet Jalin Marshall.
Capable of playing the quarterback position, Marshall will likely line up at wide receiver and be used similar to how Meyer used Percy Harvin back in his Florida days. Marshall works well in the open field and his change of direction is extremely impressive. He has good hands to make the effortless transition to wide receiver, and his ability to hit another gear is why he is a threat to consistently go the distance.
I expect Marshall to see the field early and become one of the main playmakers in this Ohio State offense.
Eli Apple Starts and Finishes in Top 3 in Tackles
Next to star cornerback Bradley Roby, there is an opening at the other corner spot and Eli Apple has all of the talent in the world to grab it as a true freshman. He even enrolled early to get a jump on the competition and beat Doran Grant for the position.
I expect him to not only suit up as a first-year player and start on this defense, but he should end up being one of the most active defenders on this unit as well.
Apple is a safety who just gets the game of football. Forget about the athletic ability, ball skills and ability to play either type of coverage, this is a recruit that reacts to the game well and has a very high IQ. He reads the run well, doesn't mind getting his hands dirty in run support and there aren't many plays where he isn't in on the action.
The 4-star recruit is just aware of what is going on out there on the football field, and he seems to have a knack for making the big play. With a defense that will undergo a makeover this offseason, Apple will be a difference-maker in year one and help contribute at a high level.
Christopher Worley Ends Up Being the Biggest Star of the Class
Ohio State has a lot of star potential in this class. With a potential Heisman winner in JT Barrett, a future great defensive lineman in Joey Bosa and a touchdown machine in Jalin Marshall, it is hard imagining somebody top any of those guys.
One of the most underrated players of this entire class is linebacker Christopher Worley. He is expected to compete right away for the STAR position and could eventually become an outside linebacker that is used on blitz packages and helping out in the running game.
So what stands out when it comes to Worley?
Just watch this highlight film and tell me this kid can't soon become a household name in Columbus. He doesn't just tackle everything in sight, he drops the atomic bomb on opposing ball-carriers and often jaws the ball loose. He plays the game like his hair is on fire and hits anything and everything that moves. All it will take is a few games of that type of material and Buckeyes fans will be begging for the coaching staff never to pull him out of the game again.
Worley may be much of an afterthought at the moment, but soon everybody will be chanting his name.