Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
Ohio State football was banned from the postseason, but you can’t say the Buckeyes didn’t make progress during college football’s bowl season.
OSU grabbed two coveted recruits at the linebacker position during weekend all-star games to add to a 2013 recruiting class ranked No. 3 in America by Rivals.com. The two commits fill an area of need for coach Urban Meyer’s 2013 class, which lost linebacker Alex Anzalone to Notre Dame in May.
Starting linebackers Zach Boren and Etienne Sabino will be lost to graduation, leaving sophomore Ryan Shazier as the only returning starter at the position.
OSU gobbled up four-star linebacker recruit Mike Mitchell of Plano, Texas, late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Mitchell, of Prestonwood Christian Academy, boasts a 6-foot-4, 216-pound frame and was ranked the third-best player in talent-rich Texas, according to Rivals.com.
The weekend’s first piece of good recruiting news for OSU came Friday during the Under Armour All-American Game when four-star linebacker Trey Johnson of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Central Gwinnett High School donned an OSU ball cap to announce his decision to join Meyer’s 2013 recruiting class. Johnson stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs in at 221 pounds, according to Rivals.com.
The verbal commitments from Mitchell and Johnson bring the total number of four-star players in the Buckeyes’ 2013 class to 14, according to Rivals.com. Only Notre Dame and Alabama, respectively, have classes ranked higher than OSU’s.
Verbal commitments are something of an appetizer in the world of college football, with the main course coming on National Signing Day, which falls on Feb. 6. Recruits are able to put pen to paper on that day and make their commitment to a given program binding.