National Signing Day 2011: Ohio State Football Reels in a Top Recruiting Class
Today is national signing day, one of the most important days of the year for NCAA football programs. This season, Ohio State has landed itself one of the best recruiting classes in the entire league. Ohio State has 22 players verbally committed, six of which are in ESPNU's top 150, and only one player left who is still considering.
Ohio State's big catch was the 30th-best player in this year's recruiting class, and the sixth-best at his position. Defensive end Steve Miller has verbally committed to Ohio State after considering offers from Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Pittsburgh and Tennessee. Miller, who is 6'3", 226 lbs., is an Under Armour All-American and a member of ESPNU's top 150 recruits. Miller has the ability to make plays, with his quick starts off the ball, and his ability to shed one-on-one situations with his superb hand skills.
Although Miller has a lean build, he still displays great leverage when on the line, and can get to the quarterback quickly. Miller has the potential to be a key component to the Buckeyes defense in the coming years.
Doran Grant, another Under Armour All-American and ESPNU top 150 player, is the third-best cornerback in this year's class. Ranked 69th overall, this Ohio native (St. Vincent-St. Mary High School) has the speed, agility and playmaking ability to be one of the best corners in the Big Ten. Considering other schools like Michigan, Michigan State, USC, Georgia Tech and Penn State, Grant decided to verbally commit to Ohio State. Grant is not always "fast" at times, and shows that his quickness is more of a weapon than his overall speed, but he has a keen ability to read the quarterback, and put himself in the best position to make a play on the ball.
With Terrelle Pryor returning for one more season at Ohio State, the Buckeyes are in the perfect place to bring in a young gun at quarterback. With the commitment of Braxton Miller, the fourth-ranked quarterback in 2011, the Buckeyes are hoping that they can have another young, successful quarterback on their team. Miller can run and throw the ball productively, and quarterbacks that posses both of those skills tend to do well in the NCAA. Miller has a great arm that can complete almost any pass, but lacks experience under center, which he will have to work on to be a real threat.
That's where Michael Bennett comes in. No, I'm not talking about the Minnesota Vikings bust at running back; I'm talking about the seventh-ranked offensive guard. Bennett, who is 6'3", 275 lbs., can help Braxton Miller become more comfortable in the pocket where he can put his incredible arm strength and accuracy on display. Bennett is predominantly a run blocker, but his athleticism and ability to knock defensive linemen off of their feet show that Bennett can compete at any level of competition. If the offensive line doesn't bode well for Bennett, he's also said to be a force on the defensive line, with one of the quickest starts that the scouts have seen thus far.
The other two ESPNU top 150 players joining the Buckeyes next season are outside linebacker Ryan Shazier and Under Armour All-American wide receiver Evan Spencer.
The Buckeyes have had success recruiting many times, but there is no doubt that this could be one of the best classes that they have ever had. With their coaching ability, these six men could do a lot of damage in the Big Ten, and to the entire NCAA. Not that Ohio State isn't already capable, but expect to see the Buckeyes continuing to make a push at a national championship.
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