Ohio State National Signing Day 2014: Instant Updates and Analysis

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2014

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Ohio State came within one game of playing for the national championship last season. Although the Buckeyes fell short and went on to lose the Orange Bowl to Clemson, they are putting together a top-notch recruiting class to bolster an already strong roster.

Head coach Urban Meyer built a reputation of being an elite recruiter throughout his college coaching career. His time with Ohio State certainly hasn't been any different. The Buckeyes had top-five classes in both 2012 and 2013, according to 247Sports.

With that in mind, let's check out how the 2014 class is shaping up. Below is a chart with all the committed recruits along with some of the targets still on Ohio State's radar on national signing day. It's followed by a look at some intriguing prospects heading to Columbus.

2014 Ohio State Recruiting Class
StatusProspectPositionStar Rating
EnrolleeRaekwon McMillan ILB5
EnrolleeCurtis Samuel ATH4
EnrolleeJohnnie Dixon WR4
EnrolleeKyle Trout OT4
EnrolleeMarcelys Jones OG3
EnrolleeStephen Collier QB3
EnrolleeSean Nuernberger K3
Hard CommitDamon Webb CB4
Hard CommitMarshon Lattimore CB4
Hard CommitDante Booker OLB4
Hard CommitErick Smith S4
Hard CommitJalyn Holmes DE4
Hard CommitDemetrius Knox OG4
Hard CommitParris Campbell WR4
Hard CommitKyle Berger OLB4
Hard CommitSam Hubbard ATH4
Hard CommitNoah Brown ATH4
Hard CommitTerry McLaurin WR4
Hard CommitMalik Hooker ATH3
Hard CommitDylan Thompson DE3
Hard CommitBrady Taylor OT3
Hard CommitJamarco Jones OT4
Remaining Targets
High ChoiceRoderick Johnson OT4
InterestedDenzel WardOT3
247Sports' Composite Rankings

 

Latest Updates

 

Malik McDowell (DE)

McDowell opted not to attend Ohio State in favor of another school in the Big Ten, per the Detroit Free Press:

Derrick Nnadi (DT)

Nnadi snubbed the Buckeyes for the most dominant team in the ACC, the recruit announced on Feb. 5:

 

Top Commits

 

Raekwon McMillan (ILB)

Raekwon McMillan is a prototypical inside linebacker. The Georgia native has solid size (6'2'', 242 lbs.) for an incoming freshman and is a textbook tackler with plenty of power. His natural tools and high school performance was enough to make him to top player at the position in 247Sports' composite rankings.

He made the decision to choose Ohio State back in December. Martin Rickman of Sports Illustrated passed along comments he made during the announcement on the NBC Sports Network, in which he talked about creating a bond with the Buckeye staff:

It was just something special about Ohio State University. Every time I visited the school. Every time I talked to coach [Urban] Meyer on the phone. Every time I talked to coach [Luke] Fickell. Every time we sat down to talk. We just had a special bond.

McMillan is a player who's capable, if called upon, to play on the early downs right away. He's a terrific run-stopper. He'll need to work on his cover skills to become a true three-down option, but he has the size and the athleticism to make that happen once he gains some experience at the collegiate level.

 

Damon Webb (CB)

Damon Webb has played both cornerback and wide receiver, using speed and ball skills to excel at both positions. He projects as a corner at the college level. He's a reliable tackler when called upon in run support and isn't afraid to get physical at the line.

247Sports' composite rankings slot him inside the top 40 nationally and No. 5 overall as a cornerback. The accolades go beyond the high rating as Jeff Svoboda of Buckeye Sports Bulletin notes he was also named Defensive Back of the Year at the Army Bowl back in January:

Looking ahead, Webb is like a lot of natural athletes. He's been able to shine using his instincts and base skill set to this point. To reach expectations at the next level, however, the biggest key for him will be learning the finer points of the position. But the talent is there for him to become a star.

 

Johnnie Dixon (WR)

Johnnie Dixon sports good speed and intriguing playmaking ability. What makes him stand out is his combination of route running and soft hands. He has illustrated an advanced ability to run any pattern—even the tough routes over the middle.

A lot of young receivers reach this point because they have elite speed, and coaching staffs believe they can develop them into all-around wideouts. Dixon is a step ahead of that group thanks to his route running, which helps explain why he's inside the top 10 at the position in 247Sports' composite rankings.

It will be interesting to see how quickly he gets involved in the offense. Ohio State has substantial depth on both sides of the ball, so any freshman who wants to make an immediate impact will have to earn it. But Dixon is worth looking out for at the very least.