Ohio State Football: Summer Grades for 2015 Recruiting Class

David Regimbal@davidreg412Featured ColumnistMay 23, 2014

Ohio State Football: Summer Grades for 2015 Recruiting Class

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Urban Meyer has proven himself as one of the elite recruiters in college football, securing three consecutive top-five recruiting classes during his tenure at Ohio State. That streak, though, is in serious jeopardy.

    The Buckeyes' 2015 class only has two commitments from a pair of 4-star prospects, ranking No. 63 in the country. Programs such as Rice, Florida Atlantic and Texas-San Antonio currently boast better classes than Ohio State.

    That should change very soon.

    Despite the slow start, Meyer has the Buckeyes positioned very well with a number of elite recruits. And although it's difficult to evaluate a class that hasn't taken shape yet, grading where the Buckeyes stand at each position group is possible.

    Here are Ohio State's summer grades for the 2015 recruiting class.


    All recruiting information via 247Sports.


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    Credit: 247 Sports

    Ohio State has swung and missed on two of its top quarterback targets.

    Four-star dual-threat prospect Brandon Wimbush chose Penn State over Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. Lorenzo Nunez, also a 4-star recruit out of Kennesaw, Georgia, pledged to South Carolina.

    The sting of missing out on those targets would evaporate immediately if Meyer lands Torrance Gibson.

    Gibson is a 5-star prospect, the top dual-threat quarterback and the No. 14 overall recruit in the country. He has offers from programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State and LSU, but most view this as a race between Ohio State and Tennessee.

    According to the experts, the Buckeyes are the favorite to win that race.

    Gibson recently announced a top 15, where Ohio State came in at No. 4, but that is expected to change once he finally visits Columbus.

    The Buckeyes don't grade out well here, but that would obviously change if they landed Gibson.

    Grade: C-

Running Backs

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    Ohio State is going after a wide range of running backs in this year's class, and 4-star targets Michael Weber and Larry Scott are high on Meyer's list.

    The crown jewel of the group, however, is 5-star prospect Damien Harris.

    The 5'11", 205-pound blazer out of Berea, Kentucky, has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and many others. Aside from his strength and vision on the field, his 4.4 speed makes him one of the hottest prospects in the country and the top-rated running back, according to 247Sports.

    Harris was once committed to Brady Hoke and Michigan, but he reopened his recruitment after offensive coordinator Al Borges left the team. That opened the door for Meyer and the Buckeyes, who currently lead for his services.

    Grade: C+

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

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    Credit: 247 Sports

    When Meyer took over at Ohio State in the winter of 2012, he described the wide receiver group as a "clown show.

    Over the course of three recruiting classes, Meyer has brought in a number of blue-chip prospects such as Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, James Clark, Johnnie Dixon and Parris Campbell to upgrade the talent level.

    It's no secret that Meyer loves talented players on the perimeter, and he's targeting some of the best receivers and tight ends in the country.

    The Buckeyes are back in the race for 4-star tight end Chris Clark after he decommitted from North Carolina, but 4-star Hale Hentges is the safest bet to commit. 

    The Buckeyes don't have as big a need at receiver as they have in previous years, but that's not stopping Meyer from targeting players such as 5-star Christian Kirk and 4-stars Van JeffersonDevante Peete and Miles Boykin.

    Ohio State has not landed any receivers or tight ends yet, though, so it has some work to do.

    Grade: C-

Offensive Line

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    Credit: 247 Sports

    Building depth along the offensive line was Ohio State's top recruiting priority last year. Meyer did well, bringing in five linemen, highlighted by 4-star offensive tackle Jamarco Jones.

    But building the kind of depth Meyer wants is a multiyear process, and the Buckeyes are going hard after a number of highly touted big guys.

    Ohio State is the overwhelming favorite to land 4-star offensive tackle Matthew Burrell and highly recruited 3-star interior lineman James Daniels. The Buckeyes also have a good shot at landing 4-star tackles Drew Richmond and Isaiah Prince

    Ohio State recruited the unit so well last year that even landing two or three of those players would be a huge win. Meyer and the Buckeyes' coaching staff are positioned well for that to happen.

    Grade: C

Defensive Line

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    Credit: 247 Sports

    With the likes of Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt and Joey Bosa lining up for the Buckeyes' defensive line this fall, it's easy to see how much importance Meyer places on pass-rushers.

    The Buckeyes will likely have the best defensive line in the Big Ten this year, and with the players they're targeting in 2015, it looks like they want to keep it that way.

    Meyer has spiked on the recruitment of 5-star defensive ends Josh Sweat and Terry Beckner Jr. recently. Sweat is rated the top defensive end while Beckner is ranked No. 3, and both would be nightmares to handle under new defensive line coach Larry Johnson.

    Ohio State may not land those 5-star studs, but it is in great shape for 4-star defensive end Dre'Mont Jones and 3-star prospects Darius Fullwood and Elijah Taylor. Jones and Taylor are home-grown prospects that Meyer needs to keep instate.

    Grade: C+


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    Ohio State got lucky this year on the linebacker front.

    When looking at the linebacker rankings, two of the top prospects in the country—5-star Justin Hilliard and 4-star Jerome Bakerare right in the Buckeyes' backyard.

    Hilliard has offers from programs such as Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M, but the Cincinnati product is looking to stay in the Midwest. Ohio State currently leads for his services over Michigan, Notre Dame and Iowa.

    Baker is more of a sure thing to land with the Buckeyes. Despite offers from Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and many others, Baker is a unanimous pick to wind up in Columbus.

    Other than the Hilliard and Baker, the Buckeyes also lead for 4-star prospects Ricky DeBerry Jr.Sh'mar Kilby-Lane and Nick Conner.

    Meyer doesn't have room for five linebackers in this year's class, but with the number of players typically leaning his way, Ohio State is in great position.

    Grade: B


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    With 4-star cornerbacks Eric Glover-Williams and Jamel Dean already in the fold, the secondary is the only unit that has produced tangible results.

    It's also the only unit that has lost a commitment.

    Meyer had gotten a verbal commitment out of 4-star safety Ben Edwards, but the Jacksonville, Florida, native flipped to Auburn last month.

    His decommitment prevented Ohio State from grading out perfectly here.

    Four days prior to Edwards' flip, Ohio State offered 4-star safety and heavy Oklahoma lean Will Sunderland. While landing Sunderland is a long shot, Meyer and the Buckeyes have a much better chance of landing 4-star cornerback Jordan Whitehead out of Monaca, Pennsylvania.

    The secondary isn't a huge need for Ohio State's 2015 class, though, so one or two more commitments should close things out for the unit.

    Grade: B

    David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report. 
    Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.