- Brad Bournival, RecruitingNation
Throughout the next few months, BuckeyeNation will look further into those juniors offered by Ohio State.
We’ll give as much detail as we can and go behind the scenes to see why these Class of 2014 standouts are so attractive to the Buckeyes.
First on the list of running backs is Parris Campbell Jr., who impressed during the Ohio Division III state championship game with 168 yards rushing and three touchdowns in front of Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer.
Vitals: Campbell (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) is 6-foot and 181 pounds.
Status: Although his recruiting started to take off at the beginning of the year, Campbell always knew where he wanted to go and committed to the Ohio State on the spot when Meyer offered him on Feb. 10 during an unofficial visit.
ESPN.com ranking: He’s not on the ESPN Watch List, but Campbell very well could be when all is said and done, especially if he has another season like the one last year when he led the Fighting Irish to their first state title since 1988.
Numbers game: Just 15 years old, Campbell rushed for 1,286 yards as a junior and scored 28 touchdowns. His performance in the state championship game came when Meyer was on hand to see Watch List linebacker and teammate Dante Booker. Campbell quickly jumped on Meyer’s radar.
State of the position: While things point to the backfield being loaded in Columbus, Ohio it’s not as bad as most think. Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde are in their final seasons with the Buckeyes and Rod Smith is a junior. With a redshirt season, Campbell would be in line to get some serious playing time. Ohio State could also move him to the slot receiver position if need be.
What has caught Ohio State’s eye: Speed, and a ton of it. A two-time state champion in track already, Campbell has run the 100-yard dash in 10.6 seconds. But the junior is much more than speed as his shiftiness befuddled Bellevue in the state finals. His ability to hit holes quick was a big part of why he scored three touchdowns. The junior can flat-out elude tacklers.
What he has said about the Buckeyes: “It means everything to be a Buckeye. Just to know that I’m a part of something special. I’ve been an Ohio State fan since I was kid. It’s always been a dream to go there. I’m very happy with my decision.”
4dBrian Bennett and Josh Moyer