Ohio State Buckeyes: Ohio State football recruiting

Autry aching to return to the game 

June, 5, 2013
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Myles Autry is still on the sidelines. A vicious injury to his knee last fall, with tears to his ACL, MCL and meniscus, has kept the Norcross (Ga.) High School athlete from participating in basketball, track, spring practice and now the summer camp series. And it is killing him.

Under Jim Tressel, it was hard not to trip over a Tarblooder.

Ohio State’s lineup was loaded with Glenville products under the former Buckeyes coach as he tried to keep a budding pipeline strong. During his stay, Tressel managed to get 16 Tarblooders to sign national letters of intent.

He had his hits with players such Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Donte Whitner. He had his misses with Jonathan Newsome, Shawntell Rowell and Freddie Lenix.

Nicholas Davis
AP Photo/Tony DejakTed Ginn Sr.'s Cleveland Glenville program has churned out a slew of FBS prospects, many of whom have become Buckeyes.
But the one thing that remained strong was the connection Tressel and the Buckeyes had with the Tarblooders program.

When Urban Meyer took over, the two-time national champion made sure that direct line to Columbus stayed strong.

While Cardale Jones and De’Van Bogard technically weren’t initially recruited by Meyer, they did sign with the recruiting class of 2012 so they became his.

The Class of 2013 saw Christopher Worley sign with Ohio State, while 2014 already has Marcelys Jones as a commitment.

Quick math shows 20 Glenville athletes either signed or committed to the Buckeyes since 2002 and four under Meyer.

If there was any doubt as to the importance of Glenville under Meyer, he has squashed that notion early.

“Let’s put it this way,” Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr. said. “If he needed blood, that blood would come from Glenville.

“The business is the business. If you’re working at Ford Motor Co. on eight-cylinder motors, you can’t have anything different because the motor won’t work. Why change the blueprint if the style works?”

That’s exactly what Meyer thinks, and he might not be done as Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith have already been offered. Both juniors could be budding stars at the next level.

The Glenville mystique

What makes Glenville so important to college coaches is more than just the name. It’s almost hard to keep up with how many athletes Ginn has sent on to the next level. What’s not hard to see is why they’ve reached the college ranks.

“They’re stacked from the first guy to the last guy with talent,” St. Ignatius safety Dameon Willis Jr. said. “Every guy on that team has talent. Everyone comes in different shapes and sizes, but they all bring great skill and talent to the table.

“That’s what makes them appealing. You really have to prep and beat them with fundamentals. You might not be as athletic, but you have to stick with it as much as you can.”

Worley says the Tarblooders, with sophomores like Matthew Draper and Milen Golden, are ready to take the next step.

“We have young guys coming up as well,” Worley said. “It’s like a machine. Coach Meyer is the type of coach and recruiter that if you show skill, he’ll go after you. The Glenville kids fit right into the Ohio State scheme.”

What Meyer means

It’s not just Glenville that attracts Meyer. Meyer attracts Glenville, too.

When Meyer took the job, he made it a point to seek out the school. That went a long way with the Tarblooders.

“That means everything,” Ginn said. “Most of the kids from this area grow up with the dream of going to Ohio State.

“It means a lot, but the kids know what Ohio State means to them. For him to want them and for the kids to know what that means is important. Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel are different only in the fact they have different names.

“When you talk about how are they different, I don’t see a difference in either one of them. They’re the head coach at Ohio State, and you have to have a certain mindset to be there. When you’re the right fit for the school, it works.”


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ATHENS, Ga. -- For most high school players, the end of practice means they get a break from the incessant nagging and ceaseless instruction of their coaches. They go home, eat dinner, study and enjoy the respite until the whistles start blowing next time. For ESPN Watch List safety Quincy Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School), that is not the case.

Wilson’s father is the defensive coordinator and the defensive backs coach at the University School, so Wilson jokes that he gets no respite.

“Oh no, there’s no break, there’s no break,” Wilson said. “Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Yeah, I get it at practice, before practice, after practice, in the car, at the dinner table ...”

The talented junior laughed about the nonstop instruction but he also credited his father with making him the player he is today -- one of the most coveted safeties in Florida.


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OLB Wilson has cold day, hot future 

March, 5, 2013
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ATLANTA -- With a wind-chill factor in the low 20s and occasional snow flurries blowing through the air, outside linebacker Petera Wilson (Memphis, Tenn./White Station) had a hard time staying warm Saturday. The cold kept his legs tight and he was not happy with his 40-yard dash or agility shuttle times. After having driven from Memphis, Tenn., to Atlanta to compete in the Nike SPARQ Combine, the talented junior left Lakewood Stadium cold and disappointed.


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Georgia quick to offer Watch List RB 

February, 16, 2013
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Many high school prospects are evaluated for months or even years before a college program extends a scholarship offer. Highlights from sophomore seasons are compared to those of junior seasons to see progression and potential. Players who make a name for themselves as juniors are visited as seniors to gauge their possible impact at the next level. And then there are prospects like Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) for whom the entire process takes three or maybe four days.


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Watch List DE Sawyer a popular target 

January, 29, 2013
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SUWANEE, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List defensive end Dante Sawyer of North Gwinnett (Ga.) High School is becoming one of the most popular juniors in the country.


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Georgia offers ESPN Watch List DE 

January, 25, 2013
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When Georgia lost defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner to Auburn, the worry amongst the Georgia fans was more focused on how his departure would impact recruiting so close to signing day rather than what would happen on the defensive front. But according to one ESPN Watch List standout, Garner’s replacement will do just fine.


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ESPN Watch List WR shuffles leaders 

January, 23, 2013
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Recruiting is never static, especially at this time of the year. Coaches are on the road and visits are being taken. That holds true not just for the Class of 2013 but for this year’s junior class, which is being wooed by college coaches trying to get a jump on the ever-quickening recruiting cycle.

Each day we find college coaches checking in on the top prospects for the Class of 2014. Such is the case with ESPN Watch List wide receiver Demarre Kitt (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek).


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RB Nick Chubb picks up Georgia offer 

December, 31, 2012
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ATLANTA -- Running back Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown) walked off the field Monday at Grady High School at the conclusion of the Georgia Junior Bowl game surrounded by his family. Well-wishers called out to him and congratulated him on his performance. More than one person congratulated him on his most recent scholarship offer -- from the University of Georgia -- that Chubb picked up before the game.

“It was a real good day,” Chubb said. “I am blessed. Georgia said they were going to offer me but they can’t make it official until they figure out the 2013 class and all that stuff and then they will offer me. But he said I have an offer from them. I felt better when he said, 'I am going to give it to you.'”

“He” in this case is Bulldogs' running backs coach Bryan McClendon, whose tenure at Georgia has been successful in recruiting such highly coveted tailbacks as Isaiah Crowell, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.

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Watch List TE Blazevich talks top six 

December, 20, 2012
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ESPN Watch List tight end Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) named his top six schools on Twitter last week. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound junior is one of the most coveted targets in the Class of 2014 and that news left 17 programs with lumps of coal in their recruiting stockings.

“It is Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama and Ole Miss,” Blazevich said.

The Rebels would not have made the cut had Blazevich decided to trim the list before the football season.

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Raekwon McMillan talks top five 

October, 30, 2012
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HINESVILLE, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) has narrowed his long offer list down to a top five, with Ohio State in the lead. Clemson, Georgia, USC and Alabama are also in his top group. But don’t expect an announcement anytime soon.

Raekwon McMillian
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSHinesville, Ga., junior linebacker Raekwon McMillian has UGA is his top five, but he's not close to making a decision.
“My decision will be at the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game,” McMillan said.

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QB commit gets confirmation of torn ACL 

October, 11, 2012
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The second opinion for J.T. Barrett (Wichita Falls, Texas/Rider) came back almost the same as the first and the ESPN 300 dual-threat quarterback will have surgery on Oct. 23 to repair a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Barrett planted his right leg but was hit from behind, causing the injury during a 44-17 win over Brewer on Friday.

In Rider’s opening drive, Barrett rushed for 49 yards and a score and was 2-of-4 for 41 yards, but then the injury to his right knee happened.

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Allen Lazard ranks OSU scene in top 2 

October, 7, 2012
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Following his first ever visit to Ohio State, 2014 receiver Allen Lazard (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale) is confident there is something special going on in Columbus.

The ESPN Watch List prospect spent the entire day at Ohio State, meeting with Urban Meyer around noon before seeing all the Buckeyes’ program has to offer.

“I like the whole tradition there. It’s always been a good school. I feel Coach Meyer has something special there. They’re going to win a national championship in the next few years. It’ll be a great place to be.”

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If there was ever a question regarding how Shelton Gibson (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland Heights) felt about Ohio State, the ESPN 300 wide receiver put an end to lingering doubts Sunday.

The Buckeyes have long been Gibson’s top choice, but the atmosphere from Saturday’s Ohio State-Nebraska game put the Buckeyes over the top for the 5-foot-11, 173-pound Gibson, who is ranked 196th in the nation.

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It took almost two months in between recruits, but Ohio State picked up its 17th commitment Thursday with Tyquan Lewis (Tarboro, N.C./Tarboro).

The Buckeyes have been courting the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Lewis for quite a while in a summer affair that finally landed the three-star hybrid defensive end/linebacker.

Lewis ended the suspense in a news conference at his high school.

He came to Ohio State’s Senior Advanced Camp on June 10 and got the offer he was looking for, then returned with his mother July 27 for the Buckeyes’ Friday Night Lights camp.

While Lewis didn’t participate at the second event, he did spend the night and the better portion of the next day talking football and beyond with Ohio State brass.

“I felt comfortable there,” Lewis said. “I think it’s a great choice overall. The coaching staff and the facilities, everything there is nice.”

In choosing the Buckeyes over North Carolina and LSU, Lewis adds a dimension the 2013 recruiting class didn’t have as a linebacker.

“I see myself at the linebacking position,” Lewis said. “Just moving around and being aggressive.”

It looked like Ohio State had the position filled, but decommitments from Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing) and Lewis Neal (Wilson, N.C./James B. Hunt) left the Buckeyes scrambling to fill the position.

Lewis is a standout athlete who can play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. As a junior, he amassed 63 tackles and 12 sacks. He also brings a winning attitude as Tarboro has won three consecutive state championships and is undefeated this season.

“I bring a winning spirit, speed, and I’m someone that will go out there and play hard every game,” he said.

The other plus Ohio State had going for it was the culture of winning Urban Meyer brings to the Buckeyes.

Already a successful program, Meyer’s two national titles were on the mind of Lewis as well. It’s a tradition the three-star commit hopes to continue.

“I expect to win a national championship,” Lewis said. “Year after year after year.”

Lewis plans on making his official visit on Nov. 24 for the Michigan game.

With Lewis’ commitment, the Buckeyes will likely look once more at the position with athlete Christopher Worley (Cleveland/Glenville) or Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian). Both are very interested in Ohio State.

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