Cody Cousino/ Photo editor
Since a white-hot start to the 2013 recruiting class, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer seemed to have taken his foot off the recruiting trail pedal. But recently, the Buckeyes’ class of 2013 has received another growth spurt, with likely more growth to come.
Early in this year’s football recruiting cycle, Meyer carried the momentum from a strong close to the class of 2012 into the upcoming 2013 class. On the heels of National Signing Day 2012 on Feb. 1, Meyer picked up pledges from the top two prospects in Ohio for the class of 2013.
Six weeks ago, Evan Lisle, the top offensive line product in Ohio out of Centerville, announced his intention to play for the Buckeyes. Standing at 6′ 6″, Lisle figures to line up at tackle and be a stronghold on the edge of the line.
On April 1, Meyer received commitments from Toledo Central Catholic product Jayme Thompson, a safety rated as the 146th best player in the nation, and running back Ezekiel Elliot, a speedster out of St. Louis.
And early last week, Marcus Baugh, an athletic tight end out of southern California became the eighth member of the 2013 class.
By comparison, the Buckeyes’ 2012 recruiting class also had seven of the top 150 players, but that was for a full recruiting cycle. The 2013 cycle started about two months ago. Impressive.
It started with the commitment of defensive back Cameron Burrows of Trotwood-Madison, the No. 2-ranked cornerback in the nation, per Rivals. Within two weeks, athlete Jalin Marshall of Middletown was on board as well. Highly touted defensive tackle Billy Price, out of Austintown Fitch High School in Youngstown, and the top-rated player in New Jersey, defensive back Eli Woodard, joined the class shortly thereafter, giving the class four of the top 130 prospects in the nation.
But following this blazing start, a quiet period that lasted through much of February and into March had some fans sitting on pins and needles, especially while coach Brady Hoke and that team up north picked up a slew of top flight commitments.
Yet most figured it was just a matter of time before Meyer, known as a coach who thoroughly enjoys recruiting and is as competitive as they come on the recruiting trail, would catch fire once again.
And that appears to be the case.
Do not be surprised to see the streak continue. With OSU’s Spring Game scheduled for Saturday, keep an eye out for even more commitments. Spring games are generally big recruiting weekends for prominent teams as they are the best showcase for the program outside of the regular season.
With Meyer recruiting some of the biggest names in the class of 2013, do not be surprised to see a couple of them at the game this weekend and possibly a couple of pledges.
But it really could go either way from here. With the loss of scholarships in the fallout of the “Tattoo-gate” scandal, look for the Buckeyes to have a class somewhere in the range of 18 to 20 players, which would leave 10 to 12 spots open with eight already committed. Those spots could fill up very quickly or take time before they are occupied, depending on the approach Meyer takes.
Either way, Buckeye fans should feel comfortable knowing that one of the elite recruiters in the nation is the headman in Columbus. Whether the class of 2013 develops fast or slow, it is certain to be one of the premier hauls in the nation.
In Urban we trust.