Ohio State capped off another season with a disappointing championship loss.
However, the Buckeyes chalked up a win off the field with their 2008 incoming class.
While the Buckeyes don’t have the quantity of a Miami or an Alabama, they have the quality to match-up with any team in the nation.
Let’s start in the trenches with the “Big Uglies”...
Mike Adams, OT, Dublin, Ohio
Five-star tackle with striking similarities to Orlando Pace. Experts are calling Adams the most dominant offensive lineman they have seen in years. He should compete for playing time this year, and as the year progresses, has the potential to start. Mike will be an anchor on the left side for as long as he says.
JB Shugarts, OT, Klein, Texas
Five-star tackle who has enrolled early as to partake in spring practice, and compete for playing time. Although a starting spot is unlikely, JB should be able to see playing time in a rotational situation.
Michael Brewster, C, Orlando, Florida
Five-star center who has an absolute mean streak. Like Shugarts, Mike had enrolled early to get in on spring practice. Chances are he won’t start, but don’t be surprised if he does. The leader of this recruiting class (the notorious BrewCrew) has captain written all over him in the future.
Nic DiLillo, TE, Madison, Ohio
Three-star tight end who will fall in the long line of tight ends who have become glorified tackles on the line. Nic is apparently satisfied with that roll, and with studs like Beanie Wells, Brandon Saine, and Boom Herron running behind him, another blocker may not be a bad thing.
Jermil Martin, FB, Cleveland, Ohio
Two-star fullback who fills a position of need, as the Bucks are very thin at the position. Most likely will be redshirted, but with limited bodies, he may get thrown into the fire.
Moving on to the skill positions on offense...
DeVier Posey, WR, Cincinnati, Ohio
Five-star wideout who brings smooth routes, great hands, and the ability to position himself to get the ball a majority of the time. He could easily crack the three-deep and may even push for the number two spot. Currently Brian Hartline is the number two, but DeVier would allow Brian to move to the slot.
Lamaar "Flash" Thomas, RB/WR, Fort Washington, Maryland
Four-star back whom many recruiting gurus tabbed as the steal of the Buckeye class. Lamaar is an absolute burner, and it would be very difficult to keep him off the field. Expect to see him on kick/punt returns (where OSU ranked 117th in the nation last year), or even getting some looks on five-wide sets on offense. A redshirt could also be a possibility with the players ahead of him at his positions.
Jacob Stoneburner, WR, Dublin, Ohio
Four-star tight end who will make the transition to wide out. Jacob will be an absolute nightmare of a matchup for opposing defenses, particularly in the red zone, with his 6’5” size and 4.4 speed. He could easily share time in the slot with Hartline this year.
Switching sides to the defense, where the Buckeyes picked up a plethora of defensive linemen...
Garrett Goebel, DT, Lombard, Illinois
Four-star defensive tackle who will reinforce the most questionable position on this Buckeye team. Garrett certainly has the tools to be a dominant lineman, and the opportunity is there for him to pull in significant playing time.
Willie Mobley, DT, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Four-star defensive tackle who, like Goebel, will have his opportunity to net playing time. Willie and Garrett will provide much needed depth at the position, and that will only help the Buckeyes late in games.
Shawntel Rowell, DT, Cleveland, Ohio
Three-star defensive tackle who will most likely be issued a red shirt. Rowell worked his tail off to get an offer, and still has a long way to go, but his work ethic is certainly not in question.
Keith Wells, DE, Gainesville, Georgia
Four-star defensive end who was a late steal akin to Cameron Hayward last recruiting season. Keith has an incredible head on his shoulders and shows great explosion off the edge. He may need to red shirt to bulk up, but no one expected Hayward to do the things he did this year, so Keith could sneak into the Two-Deep.
Nathan Williams, DE, Washington Ch, Ohio
Four-star defensive end who will be playing the Viper position, similar to Bobby Carpenter. Nathan will most likely red shirt, but could very well be in the mix next season.
Anchoring the middle of the Defense are...
Etienne Sabino, LB, Miami, Florida
Five-star linebacker who is an absolute beast. Etienne sheds blockers well and has good closing speed, but will most definitely either play special teams or redshirt due to the log jam at the position. Expect to hear his name frequently in the future, as he will continue the great tradition of linebackers at Ohio State.
Andrew Sweat, LB, Washington, Pennsylvania
Four-star linebacker who, as with Sabino, will resort to special teams play, or redshirt. Andrew is very talented and should find his spot as an outside linebacker in he near future.
The Last Line of Defense...
Zach Domicome, S, Beavercreek, Ohio
Three-star safety who was a surprise offer, but has special athleticism. Zach will most likely take a red shirt and may see action in the later years of his career, but don’t underestimate his abilities.
Orhian Johnson, S, Gulfport, Florida
Three-star quarterback who was brought in as an athlete. He will try his role at safety, but has versatility to fit in at numerous positions. A redshirt is most likely for Orhian, but has plenty to offer in terms of speed.
Travis Howard, CB, Miami, Florida
Three-star cornerback who many feel is very underrated. Howard could see playing time this year, as his talent may be too valuable to redshirt, even if it means contributing on special teams.
And last but not least, special teams...
Ben Buchanon, K, Westerville, Ohio
Three-star kicker—but if five stars were available for kickers, Ben would receive them. Buchanan made 14 of 16 field goals, missing only two kicks from longer than 50 yards. Tressel’s special teams will be in good hands for years to come.
Totaling the numbers, the Buckeyes landed five Five-Stars and seven Four-Stars, which included a very balanced mix of top Ohio Talent (nine players) and Out of State talent (ten). Ohio State is also in the fold for prized recruit Terrelle Pryor, and no explanation is needed about that young man.
In the end, Ohio State addressed every position of need (excluding quarterback) while filling them with quality players. This may be the most talented group that Jim Tressel has brought in while at Ohio State, and while we won’t be able to assess it until four to five years have passed, the future looks bright for The Ohio State University.