Ohio State Football: All-Time Best Recruit at Each Position
Ohio State has recruited some of the best young talent in the country in the era of modern college football, and it shows in the trophy case.
But since scouting services like Rivals, Scout and 247Sports have reached the public, there is a way for fans to gauge how good a player could be before he makes it to the college level.
Whether the player lives up to that hype is a different story.
But it's the hype machine that makes recruiting exciting.
So which Ohio State players were the most hyped coming in?
Here is the all-recruit team for the Buckeyes.
Quarterback: Terrelle Pryor
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Say what you will about what Terrelle Pryor did to Ohio State late in his tenure, but he was the prospect just about every school wanted in 2008.
Pryor was 247Sports' composite No. 2 overall player in 2008 and top-rated quarterback out of Jeannette, Penn. He was expected to be the next Heisman Trophy winner, and the Buckeyes were the winners in the sweepstakes, beating out Michigan for the highly-touted star.
The thing that made Pryor such a hot commodity was his size at 6'6" and 235 pounds, and his incredible speed (via Scout.com):
Pryor has great size and good quickness and speeed. He shows a good arm and great athletic ability in the pocket. He is a “Vince Young” type of signal caller in that is very dangerous in the open field because he has the ability to make a move or run right through would be tacklers. As a passer Pryor shows a good arm and can throw with accuracy and touch.
Pryor helped lead the Buckeyes to three BCS bowl appearances as the starter, but was accused of accepting improper benefits and left school shortly after his coach Jim Tressel resigned in May 2011.
Running Back: Chris "Beanie" Wells
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Ohio State has had some good running backs all throughout its history, and they got a great one in Beanie Wells in 2006.
Wells was 247Sports' composite No. 9 overall prospect and top-rated running back in 2006 out of Akron, and committed about a year before he signed his letter of intent.
What made Wells so dangerous other than his great stiff arm was his amazing combination of size and explosive speed (via Scout.com):
Cut from the same mold as Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson. He has tremendous speed. Great burst. Quick feet. Can accelerate outside and get corner. Square pads, delivers on contact. Breaks arm-tackles. Carries pads well. Has awesome leg strength. Good balance and lateral agility following contact.
Despite injury problems, Wells had an outstanding three-year career in Columbus, rushing for over 3,300 on 585 carries and 33 touchdowns. He was drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
Wide Receiver: DeVier Posey
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Before he was part of the Suspended Five in 2011, DeVier Posey was a part of the Brew Crew in 2008 along with Terrelle Pryor and others that all came to Ohio State.
Posey was Rivals.com's No. 21 overall prospect in 2008 out of Cincinnati with offers from many other national programs including Clemson, California and Virginia.
The main appeal with Posey were his physical talents and what he could do when he got the ball in his hands (via Scout.com):
Posey is a physical and powerful runner with the ball in his hands. He rarely goes down on the initial contact and does a nice job of breaking tackles. Posey can get behind a secondary and be a deep threat and he can also dominate the middle of the field. He has good hands, size and speed. He runs good routes, and can also change directions in space.
In his Buckeye career, Posey never had more than 1,000 yards in a season, but recorded at least 50 receptions in back-to-back seasons and had 18 touchdowns.
Tight End: Jake Stoneburner
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Ohio State has not been a factory of talented tight ends in the past, but it hoped Jake Stoneburner would change that in 2008.
Stoneburner was Rivals.com's No. 3 TE and No. 120 overall prospect in 2008, and was a high school teammate of Mike Adams.
He came out of high school at 6'6" with great speed, which made him an attractive TE prospect (via Scout.com):
Stoneburner has excellent size and speed and shows the ability to make the big catch. Stoneburner is great in the air, showing excellent body control, concentration and field awareness. He has surprisingly good speed for a big receiver and can certainly run away from the pack. Stoneburner can beat you deep or take the short and make a big play. He can be very elusive and make you miss or he can run with power.
But he never made good on the hype as he only had 53 career catches for 714 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Offensive Line: Mike Adams
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To say that Mike Adams was a physical specimen in high school would be an understatement.
Rivals.com's No. 3 overall prospect and top-rated offensive lineman in 2008, Adams already stood 6'7" and 300 pounds out of Dublin, Ohio.
But when it came to Adams, the scouting reports felt he was more than just a big lineman (via Scout.com):
Adams is one of the top pass blockers in the country. He has exceptional technique. Once Adams fills out his body with more muscle mass in college he will be an elite lineman. Adams has very good feet and is athletic for his size. Needs to work on his lower base to be a more powerful run blocker.
He became a starter at left tackle for almost his entire career, despite being suspended for the first five games of his senior season. Despite some off-the-field issues, including his involvement in "Tattoogate," Adams was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft.
Defensive Line: Noah Spence
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Urban Meyer came to Ohio State with a ton of hype at the end of the 2011 regular season, and landing talented prospects like Noah Spence helped increase the hype.
He was 247Sports' No. 12 overall prospect and top weak-side DE in 2012, and became the third defensive lineman in the span of a week to verbally commit to Ohio State, joining Se'Von Pittman and Tommy Schutt.
Spence was a dominant pass-rusher in high school and it was because of more than just his athletic ability (via Scout.com):
Spence is the best pure pass rusher to play in the state in a long time. He has a long wing span and uses his hands well. He is well versed in a number of pass rush moves. He gets a good up-field push and always seems to be a disruptive force in the backfield. Spence is not just a pass rusher, he is an athlete and is outstanding in pursuit from sideline to sideline.
He has only been on campus one season, but rotated quite frequently during his freshman season and saw plenty of playing time behind a veteran defensive line.
Linebacker: Mike D'Andrea
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Ohio State has signed some outstanding linebacker prospects in the last few decades, and had hoped Mike D'Andrea of Avon Lake would have been the next great one.
At 6'3" and 248 pounds, D'Andrea also had a mean streak that seemed to mark him as the next in a line of great Ohio State linebackers that includes Chris Spielman, Marcus Marek, Pepper Johnson, Randy Gradishar, Rick Middleton, Bob Brudzinski, Andy Katzenmoyer, Bobby Carpenter and Hawk.
D'Andrea was selected by numerous publications as the nation's best linebacker while totaling 140 tackles as a senior at Avon Lake High School outside Cleveland.
However, his career kept getting derailed by numerous injuries. D'Andrea never made it to the NFL.
Defensive Back: Ted Ginn Jr.
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Even though Ted Ginn will be known as a game-breaking receiver and probably the greatest kick returner in school history, he was originally brought in as a defensive back.
Ginn was Rivals.com's No. 2 overall player in 2004 and one of the many players in the legendary Cleveland Glenville pipeline that included Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.
Ginn had offers from so many of the country's top programs at the time, including Miami and USC, and his incredible speed was the biggest reason why (via Scout.com):
Cleveland (OH) Glenville product Ted Ginn, Jr. enters 2004 as Ohio State's highest-rated incoming recruit. Ginn won the 2004 Insiders.com Player of the Year and was the 2004 Gatorade National Defensive Player of the Year. He has the ability to be a star at either CB or WR and should be able to contribute immediately on punt and kick returns. Ginn is an excellent track athlete as well and plans on making an attempt at qualifying for the Olympics before coming to Ohio State.
Ginn had 15 receiving touchdowns in his three-year career, but made his career out of returning punts for touchdowns, which he did six times in his career—a Big Ten record.
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