Ohio State Football: How OSU's 2009 Recruiting Class Failed to Meet Expectations

Tim BielikSenior Analyst IJune 19, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 5:  John Simon #54 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates a third down stop against the Indiana Hoosiers in the first half at Ohio Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Ohio State's 2009 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 by Scout.com, and only one player from that group—John Simon—was drafted by an NFL team.

While the much less-heralded 2010 recruiting class was a huge success, despite low expectations, 2009 was the opposite: lots of hype but little payoff.

The "Brew Crew" in 2008 received a tremendous amount of hype, and the class that followed it was expected to help propel the Buckeyes to their first national title since the 2002 season.

It never panned out that way.

Instead, the two classes played a role in one of the Buckeyes' worst chapters, where they went 6-7 in 2011.

While the 2008 class deserves a brunt of the blame with several of its top names among the "Suspended Five," the 2009 class deserves some blame as well for its long list of recruiting busts.

Dorian Bell, Melvin Fellows, Jaamal Berry, Duron Carter, Jamie Wood, Dominic Clarke, Jonathan Newsome, James Jackson and Corey Brown were all expected to be the leaders of the 2011 team. Instead, for one reason or another, none of those players even sniffed those expectations.

In fact, Wood and Brown were the only two of that group to be on the roster when Urban Meyer coached his first game in 2012.

Ohio State recruited and signed 25 players to the class of 2009. Not counting Carlos Hyde who enrolled at OSU the year before, 10 members of the class were not on the roster by the time OSU played Michigan last season, which was senior day for players who didn't redshirt like Simon, who was one of the few stars of the class.

Even more devastating is that, despite having 17 4-star players in the class, according to Scout.com, only eight started multiple games and had a reasonable impact on the football team.

That's a problem when less than half of the top players recruited by a team live up to minimal expectations of being spot starters.

Bell and Fellows were 5-star recruits, yet neither had any impact at all on the football team.

By comparison, the No. 2-ranked team in Scout.com's 2009 rankings, Alabama, had two 3-star recruits (James Carpenter and Chance Warmack) go in the first round.

A No. 1 recruiting class has the expectation of being the group that helps a team compete for national titles.

By that definition, the Ohio State 2009 recruiting class was a major failure. It was projected to bolster the defense, which has instead been very shaky the past two seasons.

The only positive from this group is that it has formed the framework for the Buckeyes' 2013 offensive line. Jack Mewhort, Corey Linsley and Marcus Hall are all among returning starters for a line that was greatly improved from the year before.

The hope is that those three can have another strong season and help the Buckeyes improve on a breakout year offensively.

Other than that and Simon's spectacular career, there's not a whole lot to like about the class of 2009.

There was some talent there, and some players had big moments, but there was so much more that should have happened.

Fans will remember it as class full of "what if's?"


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