Ohio State Football: Where the 2012 Recruiting Class Stands after Christmas

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IDecember 26, 2011

Ohio State Football: Where the 2012 Recruiting Class Stands after Christmas

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    Ohio State's recruiting class has been a story in itself in the past few weeks since Urban Meyer came to Columbus as head coach.

    Meyer has been able to reel in a spectacular haul of top defensive talent in just the first few weeks, including DT Tommy Schutt and DE Noah Spence.

    The Buckeyes are still after some offensive prospects, but there aren't many spots as OSU will have to wait until after the bowl season to try to continue their hot streak.

    Here are some of the major recruiting storylines dealing with the Buckeyes. 

Schutt, Pittman Jump to OSU Within Hours of Each Other

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    It only took one visit weekend for Meyer to land his first big name and to turn some heads in the Big Ten as a result.

    Former Penn State favorite Tommy Schutt decided he loved his visit to OSU so much that he decided to commit to the Buckeyes.

    And just hours later, Canton McKinley DE Se'Von Pittman, a Michigan State commit, decommitted from Sparty and joined Schutt.

    That type of rush was incredible, showing the impact that Meyer has had early on in his career.

Noah Spence Commits Earlier Than Expected

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    Bishop McDevitt DE Noah Spence is among the best defensive prospects in the country and never really received much attention from Ohio State until Meyer came to town.

    Some reports said Spence wanted to wait until the Under Armour All-American Game to make his commitment public.

    But it was announced from Spence's Twitter account that he was indeed coming to Ohio State, making him the fourth 5-star commit (Schutt, Brionte Dunn, Adolphus Washington) on OSU's 2012 recruiting class according to Scout.com.

    With three 5-star linemen in the fold, Big Ten offensive lines could have a tough time in the future.

Bowl Ban Doesn't Deter Recruits

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    Ohio State fans and players received stunning news earlier last week when they learned the Buckeyes were banned from the 2012 postseason.

    While the university claims AD Gene Smith's job is safe, one thing is certain: most of the recruits want to stay.

    Most recruits announced that they are sticking with their commitments, including Spence who said that he and his family were all-in with Ohio State.

    That type of statement shows that the positivity of Meyer's arrival has, at least for now, trumped the reality of a one-year setback.

Dunn Shuts Down Michigan, Will Enroll Early

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    For the longest time, it seemed the biggest question around OSU recruiting was not if RB Brionte Dunn was going to commit to Michigan, but when.

    But since Meyer's arrival and a talk with the coach, not only has Dunn decided to solidify his commitment, but he will enroll at Ohio State in January after the Gator Bowl.

    The big back a while ago appeared to be a square peg in a round hole with regards to the Meyer spread offense.

    But Meyer has said time and again that he has always wanted to run an offense with big running backs.

    He will get his chance immediately with young Dunn.

Jones, Diggs Losing Interest, Neal Entering Picture

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    Within days of the arrival of Meyer, 5-star receivers Cyrus Jones and Stefon Diggs were ready to come to Ohio State for an official visit.

    But since then, Jones has postponed a visit indefinitely if not removed OSU entirely, and there hasn't been much chatter on Diggs at all.

    In the recruiting world, no buzz means it's on to the next one. That next one is a WR who may be just as talented as those two: Da'Vonte Neal of Chaparral, Ariz.

    Neal, who has family from Ohio, seems to be a name more closely linked to Ohio State as a guy who could come in and be the Percy Harvin-type player who can make the Meyer spread offense much better.

    He's likely to make an official visit and could be very easily swayed to move out east to Columbus.

Diamond High on Buckeyes, Will Wait To Decide

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    Any Buckeye fan knows how much OSU needs—not wants, needs—offensive linemen from this recruiting class.

    But even with no OL coach in tow yet, 5-star OT Jordan Diamond from outside of Chicago had nothing but great things to say about his official visit to OSU.

    He took his official with Pittman, Dunn and Schutt and raved about his time in Columbus.

    Diamond will wait until National Signing Day to commit, with official visits to Michigan, Arkansas and Wisconsin left. He has already visited Auburn.

    This will be the first test to see if Meyer can be the closer that Jim Tressel rarely was.

2013 Class Remains Empty

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    For as good as the 2012 recruiting class is shaping out to be, we have heard next to nothing at all about the 2013 class.

    Whether that's a result of Meyer focusing heavily on this class or not, the lack of a single commitment in the 2013 class is pretty surprising.

    The state of Ohio is simply loaded with great talents including Jalin Marshall, Billy Price and Cameron Burrows. And out-of-state prospects like Eli Woodard and Derrick Green are extremely high on Ohio State.

    Ohio State should have another amazing class in 2013, but the fact that these players have completed their junior seasons and not one has committed so far is pretty interesting.

How New Staff Additions Can Affect Recruiting

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    Next year's coaching staff under Urban Meyer is starting to round itself into shape. 

    Tom Herman was the only confirmed hire for a while as OSU's newest QB coach/offensive coordinator. But in the past week, former UNC interim head coach Everett Withers and Temple WR coach Zach Smith have been confirmed additions to the OSU staff.

    Defensive assistants Mike Vrabel and Taver Johnson are the only other leftover staff members besides Luke Fickell that will stay on board.

    Good young coaches like Smith and Herman are intriguing hires and could become great recruiting names if the Buckeye offense lights up the scoreboard early on in the 2012 season.

    Withers is already a phenomenal defensive recruiter as shown by some of the talented players North Carolina has put on the field.

Early Predictions for Final 2012 Class

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    Oh, what a difference a month makes.

    A month ago, Ohio State seemed to be at a huge low after losing to Michigan for the first time since 2003.

    Now with Meyer taking over after the Gator Bowl and a loaded recruiting class, it seems Tattoogate—as the scandal has known amongst OSU fans—could be merely a two to three-year setback for the Buckeyes taking 2011 into account.

    With about five scholarships left, here are predictions of who Ohio State will land:

    OT Kyle Dodson (Cleveland Hts, Ohio) — committed to Wisconsin

    WR Da'Vonte Neal (Chaparral, Ariz.) — uncommitted

    WR Joel Caleb (Midlothian, Va.) — uncommitted

    S George "Bam" Bradley (Trotwood, Ohio) — uncommitted

    OT Jordan Diamond (Simeon, Ill.) — uncommitted


    Follow me on Twitter @bielik_tim for the latest college football news and updates, especially on the recruiting trail with National Signing Day just over a month away.