Sunday, January 6, 2013
Across The Field: Landing linebackers
By Scott Kendrick
The linebacker recruiting breakthrough finally happened. Welcome to Across The Field, a regular feature on BuckeyeNation where we point you to noteworthy Buckeyes coverage here and elsewhere. Think something should be included? Send it to email@example.com. First, our week in review:
- Linebacker is no longer a weakness in this recruiting class. A great defensive group is coming together after ESPN 150 linebackers Trey Johnson and Mike Mitchell put on Ohio State caps at the big national all-star games over the weekend.
- Both are aggressive linebackers who have elite speed and a nasty streak on the field. And both have the potential to make an early impact. Brad Bournival wrote about Johnson's brute style and Mitchell's natural ability.
- With Cam Burrows, Gareon Conley and Eli Apple, the Buckeyes are cornering the market on elite defensive backs. And they can still land Vonn Bell, too.
- The Buckeyes didn't get WR James Quick and are still in the market for a receiver or two. Shelton Gibson of Cleveland Heights, who had a nice week leading into the Army game, is one of them.
- Conley could become a receiver, too.
- And Ezekiel Elliott, the Buckeyes' only running back pledge, showed his versatility by playing a little defense this week in Texas.
- Jalin Marshall's transformation into a receiver has begun, and early returns are promising for the 2013 commit, who was a quarterback at Middletown (Ohio).
- The defensive linemen in this class could be special as well.
- Bournival shone the Under Armour spotlight on Marcus Baugh, Joey Bosa, Cam Burrows, Gareon Conley and Marshall.
- And another Georgia prospect, LB Jevin Mouhon, picked up an OSU offer, the third from the same Atlanta-area high school, Norcross.
- Dillon Bates, a 2014 linebacker from Florida who has an Ohio State offer, impressed at the UA camp.
- Austin Ward continued his series on how the Buckeyes will replace departing players. This week, how they'll deal with the losses of John Simon, Jake Stoneburner and Nathan Williams.
- Urban Meyer talked to Mike & Mike.
- Ohio State surged ahead of Michigan in the recruiting rankings. Can they stay there? Bournival and the WolverineNation crew had that debate this week, and looked ahead to 2014 as both schools are wrapping up their current classes.
- A potential Big Ten division realignment is coming this spring, writes Adam Rittenberg.
- And the Big Ten is likely to revamp its bowl tie-ins.
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