Ohio State Football Recruiting: Class of 2014 Targets Buckeyes Must Land

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst ISeptember 30, 2013

Ohio State Football Recruiting: Class of 2014 Targets Buckeyes Must Land

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Ohio State is again among the top recruiting programs in the country. With 18 commitments, the Buckeyes have 14 4-star pledges and the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports

    Head coach Urban Meyer is one of the best recruiters in the business, and he is building a talented roster in Columbus. However, Meyer is not resting, as bringing in the best possible recruiting class is his objective for Ohio State. 

    The Buckeyes have several remaining recruits who are critical must-get targets. A pair of offensive tackles are on this list, while another pair of defensive linemen also are needed in Columbus. A linebacker with size has also caught Meyer's eye.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU.

Erick Smith, S

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    A 4-star safety from Cleveland, Erick Smith is a must-get for Ohio State because he is one of the best in-state talents available to the Buckeyes.

    Smith, who is 6'1" and 185 pounds, has solid man-coverage skills, but he works better in zone schemes. He is comfortable in the secondary, does a great job of playing with awareness and has the instincts to quickly recognize route combinations.

    Smith has solid speed, great ball skills and plays with excellent range deep on the third level. He is expected to sign with Ohio State, according to 247Sports

Mike Gesicki, TE

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    Although he shows some stiffness in his athleticism, Mike Gesicki is a 3-star tight end who could be a solid player in Ohio State's offense. As head coach Urban Meyer upgrades the talent at receiver, he will need to also find seam players who fit his spread-option offense.

    Gesicki, a New Jersey native, plays receiver for his high school squad, but the 6'5", 236-pounder will move to tight end in college. He isn't the fastest or most sudden player one will see on tape, but his hands, toughness and size would be welcomed in Columbus.

    Wisconsin and Penn State appear to be Ohio State's stiffest competition, according to 247Sports

Solomon Thomas, DE

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    The Buckeyes play in the physical Big Ten conference, so having plenty of defensive line depth is crucial. Also, versatility is always an asset, and that is what 5-star defensive lineman Solomon Thomas would bring to the program.

    Thomas, who is 6'3" and 256 pounds, is from Texas and can play end and tackle. He has good strength, adequate quickness at the snap and can set the edge versus running plays. Thomas could allow the Buckeyes to run a variety of packages, plus he could be used on stunts and twists.

    Ohio State is in the mix, along with Stanford, Alabama and Notre Dame, among others, reports 247Sports

Damian Prince, OT

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    Any time a program can land a potential top-level left tackle, it must pounce on the player. That is what Ohio State must do with 5-star offensive lineman Damian Prince.

    A Maryland native, the 6'6", 300-pound Prince has great movement skills, balance and quickness for a player of his size. He can mirror rushers to protect the passer, slides well when engaged and can perform an array of blocks to assist in the running game.

    Prince has Maryland and Florida State on his mind, along with Ohio State and a few others, according to 247Sports

Chad Mavety, OT

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    Chad Mavety is a 4-star JUCO offensive lineman who plays for Nassau C.C. in New York. He is a talented blocker who could pay off immediately for Ohio State, as Mavety can play both left and right tackle.

    He stands nearly 6'7", weighs 320 pounds and has great athleticism. Mavety gets out of his stance quickly, doesn't overextend or bend at the waist often and displays light feet. He's nasty in the running game and shows the ability to reach linebackers to create secondary alleys above the line of scrimmage.

    Ohio State appears to lead Florida State and Alabama, via 247Sports

Marshon Lattimore, CB/ATH

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    Cleveland's Glenville High School is perhaps the top pipeline for Ohio State. The Buckeyes usually land the school's best player, which has included receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and quarterback Troy Smith in the past.

    This year, 4-star prospect Marshon Lattimore is the top Tarblooder, and the Buckeyes would love to have him. Lattimore, who is 6'0" and 175 pounds, can play receiver, cornerback, running back and safety while also being capable of filling in at quarterback.

    He is a terrific athlete whose speed, quickness and instincts help him make a ton of plays. He's expected to sign with Ohio State, according to 247Sports

Thomas Holley, DT

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    Thomas Holley is a 4-star defensive tackle with a lot of potential, yet he doesn't have extensive experience as a football player, as Holley is a converted basketball player.

    However, the New Yorker has become a 6'4", 285-pound beast in the trenches who bullies blockers with explosive quickness and strength. Holley flashes penetration skills but can also powerfully anchor to make a mess versus running plays.

    He can generate a push in the interior of the pocket to pressure passers but needs to be developed to learn the nuances of the game. The Buckeyes must land him, or Holley could sign with conference rival Penn State or recruiting rival Notre Dame, per 247Sports

Raekwon McMillan, LB

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    Ohio State needs to keep adding linebackers to operate the defensive schemes it aspires to run, and 5-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan  would be a huge help.

    He has good instincts, athleticism and great short-area quickness. McMillan, who is from Georgia, also has wonderful size at 6'2" and 242 pounds. He plays strong and large at the point of attack, finds the football in a flash and doesn't shy away from contact.

    He is such a talented defender that he could help right away as a true freshman. Ohio State is the front-runner, according to the experts at 247Sports.

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Several of Ohio State's top uncommitted targets can be found by using the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map! This is a unique tool for recruiting fans, as it is an interactive map that serves as a great source of information.

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.