Ohio State Football Recruiting: Looking Ahead to 2015 Class

David Regimbal@davidreg412Featured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2014

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 15:  Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes salutes the students after Ohio State defeated the California Golden Bears 35-28 at Ohio Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

With the 2015 recruiting cycle officially underway, Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes are gunning for the No. 1 class.

That, as it turns out, is very important to Meyer. Speaking to the media at a press conference just moments after signing the No. 3 recruiting class, Meyer lauded his team's 2014 recruiting haul while voicing his disappointment in its ranking, according to Mike Herndon of AL.com.

I hear people say it's not important. I disagree. I think ... as long as you're keeping score we're going to try to win. (It's) disappointing we weren't the number one recruiting class in the country. Our staff knows we're disappointed about that. 

Will the Buckeyes be able to claim the top spot on national signing day next year? With the prospects Meyer and the coaching staff are targeting, it's a very good possibility.

Here's a look ahead at Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class.

Playing with a Full Deck

Just three weeks after Ohio State hired Meyer in November 2011, the NCAA sanctioned the program for the tattoo scandal that ultimately cost Jim Tressel his job. Those sanctions included the reduction of three scholarships per year for three years, a ban that officially lifts with the 2015 class.

In essence, Meyer will be able to accept offers from three more recruits than he has during his tenure at Ohio State. 

Already in the Fold

The Buckeyes already have commitments from three prospects.

Current Ohio State Commitments for 2015 Class
RecruitPositionStar RatingHome State
Eric Glover-Williams CB4-starOhio
Jamel DeanCB4-starFlorida
Ben EdwardsS3-starFlorida
247 Sports

With verbal pledges from Eric Glover-WilliamsJamel Dean and Ben Edwards, it's clear that Ohio State wanted to stock up on talented defensive backs. 

Glover-Williams, who made his announcement last August, was the first to commit. The 5'11", 165-pound standout plays quarterback for McKinley High School in Canton, Ohio, and is ranked the No. 3 overall prospect in the state.

Dean and Edwards both hail from Florida, and they both signify early returns from Ohio State's hard work in the Sunshine State.

Building the Fence Around Ohio

An important element of every Ohio State recruiting class is securing the top in-state talent. 

Justin Hilliard is a must-get for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.
Justin Hilliard is a must-get for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.Credit: 247Sports

Glover-Williams was a big get, but the two Ohio prospects ranked above him5-star outside linebacker Justin Hilliard and 4-star athlete Jerome Bakerare big-time targets for Meyer and the Buckeyes.

Hilliard has offers from programs such as Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Notre Dame, but according to 247Sports' "Crystal Ball," it's shaping up to be a fight between Ohio State and Michigan.

Baker plays both running back and linebacker for Benedictine High School, so the 6'1", 205-pound standout is a versatile prospect. The Cleveland product is a unanimous pick to land with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State also has offers out to 4-star cornerback and current Michigan commit Shaun Crawford and 3-star interior offensive lineman James Daniels. It's still very early, though, so the Buckeyes' in-state efforts will only expand in the coming months with summer camps.

Planting the Flag

With Meyer at the helm, the Buckeyes' recruiting has branched out past Ohio's borders more than ever before.

Of the 23 members in Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class, 14 were out-of-state prospects.

That's a trend that should continue this year as a number of Ohio State's top targets are spread throughout the Midwest and SEC territory. 

At the top of the Buckeyes' list is a trio of 5-star prospects in defensive tackle Tim Settle, running back Damien Harris and cornerback (and current LSU commit) Kevin Toliver II.

Ohio State also wants to continue building depth along the offensive line, and Meyer is targeting 4-star linemen Drew Richmond and Steven Gonzalez.

Of course, Meyer places a premium on talented skill-position players, and the Buckeyes are pursuing a number of talented receivers such as 4-star standouts Devante Peete and Damarkus Lodge. Peete (6'5") and Lodge (6'2.5") are both tall receivers, something Ohio State needs.

Getting the Signal-Caller

Finding the right quarterback is something Meyer takes very seriously, and the Buckeyes have locked in on 5-star dual-threat standout Torrance Gibson.

According to Luke Stampini of 247Sports, Gibson is the recruiting target for Ohio State in 2015.

Torrance Gibson is the top dual-threat quarterback in the country.
Torrance Gibson is the top dual-threat quarterback in the country.Credit: 247Sports

The 6'4", 200-pound standout threw for 1,789 yards and 19 touchdowns against just three interceptions while running for 1,063 yards and 10 touchdowns during his junior season. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., product has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, but as of now, Ohio State and Miami are the favorites.

According to Ari Wasserman of The Plain Dealer, Gibson is in close contact with a number of people at Ohio State.

Urban Meyer, we have been talking since last year and he really wants to win and he really wants me. I also talk to (offensive coordinator) Tom Herman and (director of player personnel) Mark Pantoni, and they are all great guys and we talk often. We just talk about normal stuff. We don’t even talk about football, we just talk about grades and family. That’s the type of coach I like. I don’t like a coach that only talks about football.

If that helps land Gibson, Ohio State would be well on its way to landing the nation's top class.

All recruit rankings, stats and information per 247Sports.

David Regimbal is the Ohio State Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. 
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.


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