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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Buckeyes hoping for a special LB package

By Brad Bournival

While Ohio State is trying to boost its linebacker depth chart in the recruiting class of 2013, an even brighter future might sit just one year away.

To finish their 2013 class, the Buckeyes are after Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian), Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) with the possibility of signing Tommy Sanders (Cordele, Ga./Butler Community College) or flipping James Hearns (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln).

Clifton Garrett
After the Michigan-Ohio State game, Clifton Garrett talked about wanting to play in college with Raekwon McMillan and Drew Barker.
But the dream Ohio State fans are hoping for in the class of 2014 isn’t that much of a stretch as Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) and Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) are very much still plausible options as a package deal.

While recruiting can very much be speculative at times, the big three ESPN Watch list linebackers are still sitting in the Buckeyes’ crystal ball and haven’t really moved out of sight.

The best news heading out of the Michigan game was to hear the fact McMillan, Garrett and OSU quarterback target Drew Barker were talking about playing on the same team together.

Booker wasn’t able to attend because his team was busy winning a Division III state semifinal game that weekend.

McMillan said his visit to The Horseshoe was everything he expected.

“It was a great game,” McMillan said. “It was everything. It was exactly what I thought it would be because it was a big rivalry. It was a crazy atmosphere.”

Garrett went further in depth, telling Midwest recruiting analyst Jared Shanker about the conversation he had with McMillan and Barker.

“We want to win championships and we feel like we’d be able to help get a team to a championship contender,” Garrett said. “We’d like to go to the same school.”

“[Urban Meyer] wants to get this train rolling, making it clear he wants me to come down and be a Buckeye. He said I’m not going to be on the bench, I’m going to be playing. He likes me a lot and likes my family and wants me to play freshman year.”

That leaves Booker, who is no stranger to unofficial visits and the Buckeyes. St. Vincent-St. Mary graduate and current Ohio State cornerback Doran Grant watched Booker win a state championship and Grant had company with Meyer and a handful of assistant coaches at the game as well.

While the junior doesn’t tip his hand too much, seeing the Buckeyes come out had to help.

With a small class anticipated, nabbing the three would be huge.

Booker had 157 tackles, 14 sacks, three fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles this season. McMillan had 151 tackles, seven sacks, five forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble recovery.

Garrett finished with 117 tackles -- 11 for loss -- three sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception to go with five touchdowns.