Catching Up on Ohio State's Linebacker Recruiting Thus Far in 2013
Urban Meyer pulled in a great linebacker haul last February when Mike Mitchell, Scout.com’s No. 2-ranked linebacker, and Trey Johnson inked their name to Ohio State. While both seem to have promising futures in the scarlet and grey, Meyer has hit the recruiting trail hard thus far in 2013 and is off to a great start at the linebacker position.
Meyer got the ball rolling in April, when he was able to grab commitments from two Ohio natives in Kyle Berger and Sam Hubbard. Scout.com has Berger ranked the No. 2 outside linebacker in the country, and Sam Hubbard as the third-ranked outside linebacker.
While, at this point in their careers, they both lack bulk—Berger at 6’2", 215 pounds and Hubbard at 6’6", 221 pounds—it’s clear that Meyer puts more of a strain on overall athletic ability. Both move extremely well, can make tackles and have the ability to come off the edge and be effective pass-rushers. For Hubbard, his position is still somewhat unknown as his size allows him to be an interesting prospect at multiple positions. The athletic gene is there as Ohio State was able to flip him from being a Notre Dame lacrosse commit.
Fast-forward to May, and that brings us to the commitment of Akron’s Dante Booker. At 6’3", Booker has the build of his two fellow linebacker commits and, like the other two, has the ability to be effective when rushing the passer. There’s even speculation that once in Columbus, Booker will be told to put his hand on the ground and play defensive end. However, at this point in time he’s a linebacker—Scout.com’s No. 9-ranked outside backer.
Outside of these three, there are prospects that are still getting the full court press from the Buckeye staff. One is Raekwon McMillan, a middle linebacker prospect from Hinesville, Georgia. Weighing in at 230 pounds, McMillan is a prototypical middle linebacker and packs a load when hitting people. 247Sports has Ohio State as his leader, but it will be a fight all the way to the end with Alabama, Clemson and Georgia all creeping up behind. A commitment from McMillan would be the cherry on top for a great linebacker haul.
Chase Winovich has seemingly been an Ohio State lean for a couple months but hasn’t pulled the trigger on the Buckeyes. Recently, Michigan has made a big move up on the list for Winovich. Up until today, it was thought that this would be a Buckeye-Wolverine battle all the way to the end. However, Tuesday night, Eleven Warriors’ Jeremy Birmingham released a piece that claimed Winovich may become a Pittsburgh Panther, soon:
“There's a lot of rumors going around tonight that he could have committed to Pitt today and that it could be official as soon as tomorrow.”
Eleven Warriors then sent out a follow-up article yesterday that Chase didn't, in fact, commit, and all three schools are still in the picture.
Whatever the case may be, Ohio State has put itself into a good position to land, once again, one of the best linebacker classes in the country.
As we all know, new names can pop up at any time, that’s the nature of recruiting. Urban Meyer has done a fabulous job at getting top-tier talent to Columbus, and this year’s recruiting class shouldn’t be any different.
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