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Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Analysis: Decommits could be big for OSU

By Brad Bournival

Urban Meyer’s 2013 recruiting class might get a big shot in the arm and the first-year coach did little to stoke the fire. Two ESPN 150 targets announced their decommitments on Tuesday.

The fact both were in Columbus on Saturday to watch Ohio State beat Michigan 26-21 makes it very intriguing.

Former Auburn commit Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) was the first to throw his hat back in the ring after the dismissal of Tigers coach Gene Chizik. The linebacker will have an in-house visit from Buckeyes assistant Luke Fickell on Wednesday.

The second to decomit was one who has flirted with Ohio State for awhile as Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) told Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison he won’t be a Wolverine.

So what does it all mean?

Potentially a lot.

Ever since Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing) and Lewis Neal (Wilson, N.C./James B. Hunt) decommited from Ohio State, the Buckeyes have been combing the country for top-tier linebackers.

With another ESPN 150 linebacker set to make an official visit next week -- Mike Mitchell is scheduled for a Dec. 7 trip to Columbus -- a possible Johnson/Mitchell dual commitment could be a tremendous boost for the Buckeyes.

“I loved the game atmosphere, facilities and the staff,” the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Johnson told ESPN.com after his official visit to Ohio State.

“My dad liked it a lot, too. Linebacker is their priority and I could play there next year.”

The bigger impact could come from Conley. Meyer has offered the 6-1, 165-pound Conley a scholarship as an athlete along the lines of former Buckeyes standout Chris Gamble.

If Conley commits, he could round out a strong secondary that already includes ESPN 150 standouts Eli Woodard, Cam Burrows, ESPN 300 safety Jayme Thompson and Darron Lee.

Offensively, Conley would complement Taivon Jacobs and give the Buckeyes their second true wide receiver in the 2013 class.

Defensively, Conley had 25 tackles, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and an interception for a score. At receiver, Conley led Massillon in catches (50), receiving yards (1,096) and touchdowns (16).

Buckeyes assistant Mike Vrabel is scheduled to visit Conley at Massillon on Thursday.