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Friday, April 12, 2013
Will spring game shift hurt recruiting?

By Brad Bournival

Construction is rarely a good thing.

Some “spring cleaning” at The Horseshoe has pushed Saturday’s Ohio State spring game to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

Will it hurt visits? Yes and no.

Ohio State’s big recruiting week -- and weekend -- was last week, when ESPN Watch List juniors filed in one after another to see how the Buckeyes rolled.

This weekend includes some big names, too: Derek Kief (Cincinnati/La Salle) and Austin Roberts (Carmel, Ind./Carmel). They’ll likely get an earful from some of the 2013 signees and 2014 commitments about becoming a Buckeye. The one thing missing, however, will be the ambiance of the campus and its community.

Don’t misunderstand. Fans will still come in by the van full and RVs will line the parking lots as well.

But the student body won’t be as strong, and the sights and sounds won’t be those of the Columbus campus.

With the class already nearing the half-full mark -- 2014 could yield as few as 14 commitments -- in no way are the Buckeyes in panic mode about moving the game to the Queen City.

There might be a commitment, but the Ohio State staff is likely to use Saturday as a chance to get to know some of the Buckeyes' targets a little bit better as it gets to know the team better as well.

That said, playing in Paul Brown Stadium isn’t entirely bad, as the Buckeyes will be able to show prospective targets that Ohio State's tradition and fanaticism aren't confined to campus.

In fact, a strong showing in Cincinnati might be just enough to sway a recruit or two into rethinking the Buckeyes. It all remains to be seen. Tune in next week. Ohio State should know the answer by then.