Ohio State Buckeyes: Austin Roberts

The receiver talent in Miami has been well documented. The same goes for Dallas and Los Angeles.

But Indianapolis is not typically known for producing stars out wide. The ones with the potential to be elite BCS-level receivers end up tossing a ball into a hoop rather than spiking it into the end zone. That changed with the 2014 class, though.

Four receivers from the Indianapolis area are going to nationally known programs. Justin Brent (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) committed to Notre Dame more than a year ago. Fellow ESPN 300 receivers Dominique Booth (Indianapolis/Pike) and Austin Roberts (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) just committed this week to Tennessee and UCLA, respectively. And Indianapolis Cathedral receiver Terry McLaurin worked out for Ohio State twice and gave Urban Meyer little choice but to offer him. He committed days later.

As the recruiting class rounds the halfway point in its cycle, Ohio State certainly has done its part in strengthening weaknesses and shoring up depth issues in the Class of 2014.

With four starters gone after this season on the offensive line, the trenches were a priority as were the linebackers. That became even more a factor after linebackers Luke Roberts and David Perkins transferred.

Under NCAA guidelines, the Buckeyes essentially have two remaining scholarships to fill, but they aren’t recruiting that way. Through transfers, medical scholarships and the like it appears Ohio State’s class will be a decent size once again and will far exceed the 16 spots it currently is allowed to have.

Remember, the Buckeyes will have until August of 2014 to get to the allotted 82 scholarships. With that in mind, here’s an idea of who might be left to grab:

Offensive line


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The Opening provided prospects with the opportunity to showcase their skills against the best in the nation. It also gave them the chance to see where they stacked up and provided a good recruiting tool as well, if prospects perform well and improve their stock.

Here is a look at four Ohio State pledges and six targets that helped themselves at the three-day camp:

1. WR Terry McLaurin (Indianapolis/Cathedral)
6-0, 181
Unranked


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A week after Ohio State increased its 2014 recruiting class by four the Buckeyes took a little time off from the commitment game. But that didn’t mean pledges and recruits didn’t have a lot to say in what -- as always -- was a busy week as Ohio State continues to mold itself into a solid team.

Jermaine Eluemunor
Josh Moyer/ESPNJermaine Eluemunor delayed his decision between Ohio State, UCLA and Arkansas, which was scheduled for this past Friday.
Just two days after the exit of Luke Roberts, who transferred to Harvard, Ohio State had to look into replacing yet another linebacker. Some of the names we looked at on Friday were familiar, while some were new. Some are incredible long shots. On another front, Jermaine Eluemunor, who was rumored in wanting to finalize a decision on Friday, decided to hold off. The UCLA pledge plans to make a trip later this month to Arkansas before making a final commitment.

On Wednesday, news turned to the hardwood as top 10 recruit Myles Turner gave Ohio State some good news. The ESPN 100 power forward/center broke down a top 10 and the Buckeyes are in it. Wednesday also saw big receiving target Austin Roberts find himself in the who’s who from The Opening after another strong performance.

ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas spoke about his recent Ohio State visit on Tuesday, while ESPN 300 offensive tackle Demetrius Knox heard about the Buckeyes from virtually every commit while he was in Oregon. Some great news in the wide receiving front came when ESPN 300 standout Johnnie Dixon put Ohio State in his top two along with Miami (Fla.) after a recent visit to Columbus, Ohio.

On Monday, wide receiver Christian Kirk said he’d probably schedule a visit to the Buckeyes in the next few weeks. Could that mean an appearance at the Friday Night Lights camp on July 26? Stay tuned. Star pledge Damon Webb looked to join fronts with other Buckeyes at The Opening, while ESPN 300 safety Jamal Adams broke down a top six that included Ohio State. Speaking of the Opening, big news came out on Monday when new pledge Terry McLaurin finished second in the SPARQ national championship. Nothing much has changed with ESPN 300 linebacker Raekwon McMillan. He’s still got Ohio State at the top and is coming to Friday Night Lights at the end of the month.
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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- The Opening has concluded and it did not disappoint. The top prospects in the nation were invited to Nike headquarters to display their ability and compete against the best of the best.

RecruitingNation was on hand for every event to take in the happenings throughout the week. Here are a few storylines:

Who committed

Florida State landed two in-state prospects during the final day of The Opening on Wednesday: four-star offensive tackle Corey Martinez (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic) and three-star safety Trey Marshall (Lake City, Fla./Columbia). Marshall was a finalist for the SPARQ national championships where he posted a 40-yard-dash time of 4.34 seconds. ESPN 300 linebacker Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra, Fla./Ponte Vedra), son of former Tennessee Volunteers and Dallas Cowboys safety Bill Bates, verbally committed to the Vols. Four-star linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) verbally committed to USC over UCLA.


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OSU recruiting: Positions of need 

July, 2, 2013
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Ohio State had several areas of need in the 2014 class, chief among them being the offensive line and linebacker. Here’s a look at their top five areas of need and what they’ve done to address them so far.


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WR McLaurin has something to prove 

July, 1, 2013
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LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- One of the biggest surprises of the Nike camp circuit was wide receiver Terry McLaurin (Indianapolis/Cathedral). The new Ohio State commit came away with the highest SPARQ rating for all wide receivers in the SPARQ testing and is hoping to come out on top on Monday at The Opening when the SPARQ Rating National Championship takes place.


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Ohio State instant impact recruits 

June, 25, 2013
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With the 2014 recruiting class filling up, which committed and uncommitted prospects would likely make the earliest impact? Here are the 10 most likely candidates:

1. Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech)
5-foot-10/174 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 57

The top commitment in the Buckeyes’ class and the No. 57 player in the country, it is no surprise Webb has the potential to make an early impact for Ohio State. Urban Meyer is not afraid to play freshmen, especially at the skill positions. The defensive back recruiting at Ohio State has been strong under Meyer, but Webb will come in with an opportunity to compete for a spot in the nickel and dime packages.

2. Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross)
6-5/228
ESPN 300 rank: 10

The five-star defensive end visited Ohio State this past weekend, and while the Buckeyes have a lot of catching up to do in Carter’s recruitment, a visit to Columbus is a start. The top player in Georgia and the No. 3 defensive end nationally, Carter has the pedigree to be a player who sees the field often as a freshman. And Meyer showed in 2012 that he is willing to play his young guys along the defensive line as Noah Spence (also a former five-star recruit) and Adolphus Washington played extensively as freshmen.

3. Jalyn Holmes (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor)
6-5/219
ESPN 300 rank: 293

One of the Buckeyes’ most recent commitments, the ESPN 300 recruit is in the same boat as Carter as a potential candidate to play as a freshman along the defensive line. While Holmes is one of the best tight ends in the country, the Buckeyes have him pegged as a defensive end in Columbus.

4. Kyle Berger (Cleveland/St. Ignatius)
6-2/220
ESPN 300 rank: 299

The Ohio State coaches were not able to see it, but some of his future teammates -- and opponents -- saw Berger dominate at the Columbus NFTC earlier this month. Ohio State had some attrition this offseason at the position, so there is an opportunity for Berger to earn a spot in the rotation once he makes it back to Ohio State’s facilities, but as a member of the team this time.

5. Chad Mavety (Garden City, N.Y./Nassau Community College)
6-6/320
ESPN 300 rank: Not ranked

Meyer did not recruit the juco ranks heavily while he was at Florida, but a few junior college linemen sparked his interest in this 2014 class. The Buckeyes have an offer to Mavety, who some believe is a Buckeyes lean. As a juco player, the expectation is for him to have an immediate impact, possibly as a backup in 2014 with an opportunity to earn a starting role.

6. Sean Nuernberger (Buckner, Ky./Oldham County)
6-2/220
ESPN 300 rank: Not ranked

Special teams will also be an area of emphasis on a Meyer-coached team, so it is not a surprise he is giving a scholarship to a specialist. Nuernberger had other BCS interest, but Meyer gave him an offer after watching him kick in person. Nuernberger could become a valuable piece to the Buckeyes’ 2014 season as a kicker, and when he committed, Nuernberger said he does not like watching other players do his job.

7. Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County)
6-2/249
ESPN 300 rank: 13

The Buckeyes’ class will not hinge on McMillan’s recruitment, but it will be a tough blow if the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker does not land in Columbus. There is sense the Buckeyes lead for McMillan, and the five-star prospect would provide an immediate presence at linebacker in 2014. The 6-foot-2, 249-pound linebacker is a strong run defender, a necessity when playing in the Big Ten. He also has the speed to remain on the field when opponents try to stretch the field horizontally.

8. Saeed Blacknall (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan)
6-3/205
ESPN 300 rank: 111

The ESPN 150 receiver is a physically imposing threat at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds. Blacknall has the body to defeat defenders for contested throws, but he also has the speed to beat defensive backs vertically. Freshmen receivers make an impact annually in college football, and at the very least Blacknall could be a red-zone threat to begin his career.

9. Austin Roberts (Carmel, Ind./Carmel)
6-2/217
ESPN 300 rank: 166


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The Opening, presented by Nike, will feature 162 of the best high school football players in the country. The event, which will include linemen, 7-on-7 and SPARQ testing competitions, is set to run from June 30 to July 3 at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

The following events from The Opening will be televised on ESPNU:

July 1: SPARQ Rating National Championship, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET

July 2: 7-on-7 Pool Play, 9 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

July 3: Linemen Challenge Finals and 7-on-7 semifinal and championship games, 9 p.m.-midnight ET

The players will be divided in to six teams -- Alpha Pro, Apocalypse, Field Generals, Land Sharks, Super Bad and Vapor Carbon. Here is a closer look at how the teams match up.

Team: Alpha Pro
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Jordan Palmer, defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson

The Alpha Pro team will have plenty of targets to spread the ball around. Ermon Lane and Tyler Luatua, the No. 1-ranked receiver and tight end in the country respectively, bring size and playmaking ability to the passing game. ESPN 300 athletes Corey Holmes, Jalen Hurd, John "JuJu" Smith, Ja'Von Harrison, and Derrell Scott are all explosive offensive weapons.

Defensively Alpha Pro is led by Andrew Brown, the No. 1-ranked defensive tackle in the country, ESPN 150 cornerback Damon Webb, defensive end Andrew Williams, Ohio State linebacker commit Dante Booker and LSU cornerback commit Chris Hardeman.

Complete Alpha Pro roster.

Team: Apocalypse
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Adam Tafralis, defensive coordinator Donovin Darius

The first thing that jumps out about team Apocalypse is the talent in the defensive front seven. Team Apocalypse will be led by five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan. Hand, from Woodbridge, Va., is the No. 4-ranked player in the country, while McMillan was recently bumped up to a five-star linebacker. Joining Hand and McMillan along the front seven are ESPN 300 defensive linemen Anthony Moten and Ainuu Taua, and linebackers D.J. Calhoun and Rashaan Evans.

Offensively, team Apocalypse has no shortage of playmakers. ESPN 300 wide receivers Artavis Scott, K.D. Cannon and Michiah Quick will provide explosiveness in the passing game, while athletic running backs Joe Mixon and Royce Freeman will provide athletic and reliable targets out of the backfield.

Complete Apocalypse roster.

Team: Field Generals
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, defensive coordinator Michael Fletcher

Seven-on-seven events are always geared towards the offense, but with five-star defensive back Adoree' Jackson, No. 3-ranked safety Jamal Adams, and ESPN 300 cornerback Adarius Pickett in the secondary, the Field Generals should more than hold their own. New Ohio State defensive end commit Jalyn Holmes and the No. 6-ranked defensive end in the country, Solomon Thomas, will be two to watch along the defensive line.

Offensively, the Field Generals are led by ESPN 300 offensive guard Damien Mama, ESPN 300 wide receivers Austin Roberts and Thaddeus Snodgrass and explosive Notre Dame running back commit Elijah Hood.

Complete Field Generals roster.

Team: Landsharks
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Craig Nall, defensive coordinator Keith Bulluck

The Landsharks have some big-time talent along each line of scrimmage. Led by five-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the Landsharks also feature ESPN 300 offensive guard Corey Martinez. ESPN 300 defensive linemen Gerald Willis III and Thomas Holley, as well as ESPN 300 defensive end Chad Thomas, will form a very physical and athletic defensive line.

In the secondary, the Landsharks will have three defensive backs -- Arrion Springs, Chris Lammons and Tony Brown -- that are ranked among the top 85 players in the country. The defense also features ESPN 150 linebacker Nyles Morgan.

Offensively, explosive running backs Dalvin Cook, a Florida commit, and Racean Thomas form a dangerous tandem out of the backfield, and wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Jalen Harvey are solid receiving threats.

Complete Landsharks roster.

Team: Superbad
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Dennis Gile, defensive coordinator Harold Nash Jr.

The Superbad defense line is led by five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and ESPN 150 defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson. The linebacking corp is stacked with three ESPN 300 members, including Clifton Garrett, Christian Miller and Edwin Freeman. Cornerback Jalen Tabor is the No. 19-ranked player in the country.

Offensively, Superbad has a huge advantage with the No. 1-ranked prospect in the country, running back Leonard Fournette. This team is loaded on offense, with wide receivers Drake Harris, Josh Malone and Speedy Noil all in the mix.

Complete Superbad roster.

Team: Vapor Carbon
Coaches: Offensive coordinator George Whitfield, defensive coordinator Chris Gizzi.

Vapor Carbon will be tough to throw against with defensive backs Quin Blanding, Naijiel Hale and Ed Paris roaming the field. The linebacker group is just as impressive, with Ohio State commit Kyle Berger, Kain Daub and Dillon Bates all leading the way.

The offense for Vapor Carbon could be lethal with running back Joseph Yearby and Nick Chubb in the backfield. Spreading out wide receivers T.V. Williams, Justin Brent and tight end Ian Bunting on the outside could prove to be an awesome combination for this squad.

Team Vapor Carbon has a lot of pieces to make a long run in the 7-on-7 tournament, but then again, every team is stacked in this competition.

Complete Vapor Carbon roster.
Carmel (Ind.) High School receiver Austin Roberts has already been to USC. So when he visits in July, it will be a return trip.

The difference, though, is Roberts was a freshman when he first visited Los Angeles and was not being recruited by the Trojans. When he arrives July 5, he will do so with a USC offer.


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One thing is becoming abundantly clear in the Urban Meyer era.

The two-time national champion coach likes players with NFL bloodlines. In the Class of 2014, Ohio State has offered Christian McCaffrey the son of three-time Super Bowl winner Ed McCaffrey. Jonathan Haden, the brother of NFL superstar Joe Haden, and Austin Roberts, the son of Super Bowl champion Alfredo Roberts.

Tennessee offensive line commit Orlando Brown Jr., the son of late Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Orlando Brown, was also offered by the Buckeyes as was linebacker Dillon Bates, the son of three-time Super Bowl winner Bill Bates.


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Meyer still puts premium on Ohio 

May, 7, 2013
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An offer goes out to a Georgia athlete. It's one of 20 to the Peach State from Ohio State in the Class of 2014.

Click, clack.

Urban Meyer sends assistants to Florida and Texas, and more offers are issued. The Sunshine State now has 23 juniors with offers from the Buckeyes. The Lone Star State has 14.

We must protect this house? It hardly seems like it these days.

Ohio athletes hold just 12 offers from Ohio State and make up only eight percent of the ones handed out by the Buckeyes in the junior class.

As the 2014 class gets deeper into the recruiting season, there are fans wondering out loud why Meyer is disregarding the Buckeye State and heading north, east, south and west for recruits.

Yet, in the end, he’s really not. He's just being more choosy with the in-state talent.


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ESPN 150 tight end Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Christian) went flying off the board to Georgia on Tuesday. Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) followed suit to Michigan, and Nic Weishar (Chicago/Marist) took his talents to Notre Dame.

With all three committing -- and holding scholarship offers from Ohio State -- what does it all mean for the Buckeyes?


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Week in Review: Of commits and offers 

April, 15, 2013
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Ohio State started a busy recruiting week by picking up commitment No. 7 in budding talent Kyle Berger.

It continued with one Watch List junior after another either visiting or throwing the Buckeyes in their final lists. Of course, there were offers handed out by the scarlet and grey in what has become the norm: a very busy recruiting week.

Here’s the week that was around Columbus, Ohio:


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It’s hard not to be a student of the game when you come from a family like that of Austin Roberts (Carmel, Ind./Carmel).

His father, Alfredo Roberts, won two national championships as a tight end with the Miami Hurricanes, two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys and is the tight ends coach for the Indianapolis Colts.


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