Ohio State Football: Urban Meyer's Biggest National Signing Day Battles

David Regimbal@davidreg412Featured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2014

Oct 6, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines prior to the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State is on the verge of securing one of the top recruiting classes in the country, and with national signing day fast approaching, a trio of recruiting battles are heating up for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.

Two undecided prospects will visit Columbus this weekend to get a closer look at Ohio State, while one of the Buckeyes' current commits appears to be wavering on his verbal pledge.

These three players are imperative for Ohio State—and not just because of their talent. The Buckeyes only have two or three scholarships remaining, so finding the right players to finish the class, while maintaining one of their prized prospects, is a top priority.

Malik McDowell

Ohio State is absolutely loaded along the defensive line, but that didn't stop Meyer from securing pledges from a pair of defensive ends in Jalyn Holmes and Dylan Thompson.

Ohio State will host Malik McDowell for a make-or-break visit this weekend.
Ohio State will host Malik McDowell for a make-or-break visit this weekend.Photo via 247Sports

The Buckeyes are going for the hat trick with 5-star prospect Malik McDowell.

The Detroit native has offers from schools such as Alabama, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame and USC, but he's down to a final four of Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.

According to Jeremy Birmingham of Eleven Warriors, Meyer visited McDowell's high school on Monday and persuaded him to visit Ohio State instead of LSU this weekend.

As it stands now, Michigan State is the overwhelming favorite, according to 247Sports' Crystal BallIf the Buckeyes make a good impression on McDowelland more importantly his family—this weekend, they could become legitimate contenders.

David Njoku

Ohio State has surged in the recruitment of David Njoku, the 3-star athlete out of Cedar Grove, N.J.

Until the Buckeyes offered on January 21, Njoku was weighing offers from Miami, Boston College, Rutgers and Temple. Since then, Ohio State has stolen the momentum, and Meyer could seal the deal when Njoku visits this weekend.

The 6'4", 220-pound standout is an outstanding athlete who runs a reported 4.46 40-yard dash, according to his 247Sports profile. That athleticism helped him excel on the field during his senior season when he caught 40 passes for 981 yards and 11 touchdowns to complement 334 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.

Njoku could line up as either a wide receiver or a tight end at the collegiate level.

If he commits to Ohio State, he could thrive in Meyer's offense.

Jamarco Jones

Ohio State's toughest recruiting battle could come down to Jamarco Jones, the 4-star offensive tackle who committed to the Buckeyes last June. 

Jones didn't start wavering until Mike Vrabel left Ohio State to join Bill O'Brien's staff with the Houston Texans, according to Birmingham's article. Vrabel was Jones' primary recruiter, and his untimely departure has opened the door for Michigan State.

Ohio State's Ed Warinner and Larry Johnson will visit Jones on Friday before he makes an official visit to East Lansing, per his 247Sports profile. The Buckeyes coaches will try to secure the commitment from one of their most important prospects.

The depth along Ohio State's offensive line will take a massive hit in 2014 with the loss of four senior starters. As the top offensive line prospect committed to the Buckeyes, Jones has the talent to crack the two-deep rotation as a freshman.

Ohio State lost a critical matchup to Michigan State on the field in 2013, but the negative effects of losing this battle off the field would last much longer.

All recruit rankings and stats per 247Sports.

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


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