New-look top five for 2013 recruiting class


Cornelius “Corn” Elder had an incredible time at Ohio State’s 29-22 overtime win over Purdue at The Horseshoe. Gareon Conley of Massillon (Ohio) Washington High School was offered by the Buckeyes despite being a Michigan commit, and junior college standout Corey Smith was extended a scholarship offer by the Bucks as well.

To say the least, the last week in Ohio State recruiting has been interesting and will only get more intriguing as the Buckeyes get ready for an all-out blitz on the next generation when they play host to Michigan on Nov. 24.

Official visits and unofficial visits will dot the landscape for that one. That said, there has been a shuffling of the top five targets BuckeyeNation believes might be next in line to wear the scarlet and gray. While the list might look a bit more renegade than those of the past, it’s one based on getting a senior to commit.

With that said, here’s where things stand:

1. Shelton Gibson (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland Heights): The wide receiver has not swayed from his stance that the Buckeyes hold the key to his signing. In fact, the 5-foot-11, 173-pound ESPN 300 senior has said Ohio State’s hold on him is as strong as ever. With over 900 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns, he’s a perfect fit for the offense.

Gut feeling: Chalk Gibson up as future Buckeye the second he’s given the green light to commit.

2. Corn Elder (Nashville, Tenn./The Ensworth School): This name isn’t new to Ohio State, but he’s new to being a top-five candidate. It’s hard to ignore the fact he had the Buckeyes at the top of the mix with other schools before his visit last weekend. It’s even harder to overlook the fact the ESPN 300 running back went on Twitter and said the Purdue game was the best he’s ever been to.

Gut feeling: If Ohio State can get the 5-10, 170-pound Elder back on an official visit for the Michigan game, he could be a Buckeye.

3. Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian): Mitchell grew up a fan of Urban Meyer and has continued to say Ohio State is one of the favorites -- if not the favorite. The fact the Buckeyes’ linebacking core is a step slow might actually work in the school’s favor as they can push the immediate playing time card on the ESPN 150 recruit.

Gut feeling: Ohio State needs to get the 6-4, 216-pound Mitchell up on an official visit -- preferably to a game -- and keep pointing out the fact he could be a leader in the linebacking corps sooner rather than later.

4. Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland): The ESPN 150 safety saw Tennessee and Alabama play last weekend and still maintained that Ohio State, Alabama and Tennessee were all at the top despite the fact the Crimson Tide rolled the Volunteers. He’s got the speed on the edge Meyer is looking for.

Gut feeling: Bell is taking the process slow, so pushing for an immediate commit isn’t happening. It could take some time before the 6-foot, 190-pound Bell picks a school.

5. Corey Smith (Akron, Ohio/East Mississippi Community College): This one isn’t a stretch at all as the 6-1, 180-pound wide receiver was big on the Buckeyes when he led his Buchtel Griffins to a state runner-up finish in 2010. He’s got 43 catches this season for 649 yards with 8 touchdowns, so he knows how to get things done.

Gut feeling: Don’t be surprised if this isn’t a late addition to the class should other recruits not pan out. He’s a very good receiver with great hands and incredible speed.