Ohio State Buckeyes: Lawrence Marshall

Bold predictions: Big Ten 

February, 4, 2014
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National signing day is less than 24 hours away and there's still plenty of recruiting action that could take place in the final hours. The Big Ten still has some big questions and storylines leading up to the big day.

College decisions are often unpredictable, but here are five signing day predictions for the Big Ten.

Biggest flips: Big Ten 

February, 3, 2014
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The 2014 class has seen a very high number of commitment switches during this recruiting cycle. With so many flips throughout the process, here is a look at some of the biggest in the Big Ten.


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Recruits feel Michigan-Ohio State rivalry 

November, 27, 2013
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There is no bigger rivalry in the Big Ten than Michigan and Ohio State, two programs with a storied past. Tension and hatred between the schools can be seen and felt on the field, but those bitter feelings also carry over to the recruiting trail.

Both teams recruit similar prospects, so it’s only natural that recruiting battles between the rivals exist. The prospects get to experience what the rivalry is really like off the field during their process.


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With any conference there will always be battles on the recruiting trail within the Big Ten. Coaching changes, different philosophies and geographic location all factor in to who battles who.

Here is a look at the top five Big Ten recruiting rivalries.

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Best Big Ten classes by position 

September, 10, 2013
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Each class within the Big Ten has its strengths and weaknesses, but there is a lot of talent joining the conference. Here is a look at the top classes in the Big Ten by position.

Quarterback
Strongest class: Penn State


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B1G High school games of the week 

September, 5, 2013
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Each week Big Ten recruiting reporters Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival outline a few big high school games involving Big Ten recruits and commits. Here is this week’s list:


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Big Ten recruiting writers Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival outline this weekend’s high school football games featuring Big Ten commitments and targets.

Prep Kickoff Classic:

The annual Prep Kickoff Classic begins on August 29 and runs through Aug. 31 and will take place at Wayne State University in Detroit.

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Trades aren't happening in college football any time soon. Even if they were legalized, the thought of two hated rivals doing anything to potentially help each other out would make Woody and Bo start spinning in their graves.

But pretend for a second those laws were relaxed and the Buckeyes and Wolverines each had a need so pressing that the programs at least kicked around some ideas. As part of our ongoing look this week at "The Game," a couple ESPN.com beat writers took a shot to see just what they could get from each other that might spur on a championship run for the current roster. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, here's a look at how a (fictional) deal might have gone down.

From: OSU_GM

To: UM_PersonnelDept

Subject: Don’t tell anybody

Mr. Rothstein:

We probably shouldn’t even be talking, and if word gets out that we even considered making a deal, we might need to consider looking for new jobs. But since the rules against trades in college football magically vanished and we were hired for some reason to become general managers for Ohio State and Michigan, respectively, I think we at least owe it to ourselves to pursue all options. As I’m sure you’re aware, the Buckeyes were hit pretty hard by graduation in the front seven after knocking off the Wolverines to cap a perfect season last fall (in case you forgot about the celebration in the ‘Shoe). And recently the program has seen a group of linebackers that was already thin lose a couple more bodies that could have offered some help off the bench this fall. Additionally, while the future looks pretty bright at tackle for Taylor Decker or Chase Farris, right now there is one spot without much experience that tends to stand out when there are four seniors starting elsewhere on the line. So, I don’t know what position is troubling you most as training camp sneaks up on college football, but if there’s a potential swap or two that might help us both out, I am all ears. But you didn’t hear that from me.

Sincerely,

Austin Ward

Interim Ohio State personnel director

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[+] EnlargeMichael Schofield
Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesThe Buckeyes wanted Michael Schofield for experience at tackle, but Michigan's demands in return were too rich for OSU's blood.
From: UM_PersonnelDept

To: OSU_GM

Subject: Too late

Mr. Ward:

Unfortunately for you, I'm mouthy. And I've already started rumors you are trying to trade Braxton Miller for the remnants of Rich Rodriguez's offense. Apologies in advance. Not going to lie, looking over my roster I have concerns at wide receiver, running back and I could use some experience on the interior of the offensive line. Also, while there's some depth at cornerback, wouldn't mind grabbing one or two from you. Oh, and since you're interested in giving up Miller, that would solidify some of the depth issues there. I see you're fishing for a tackle. Sorry, Taylor Lewan is not available. While I like Michael Schofield a lot, he is more available at the right price. So too are some of the linebackers. What interests you on the Michigan squad? I'm willing to listen for anyone except for Lewan and quarterback Devin Gardner.

Sincerely,

Michael Rothstein

Fake Michigan personnel director

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From: OSU_GM

To: UM_PersonnelDept

Subject: Re: BRAXTON

Hey bud, these talks just about ended instantly with any mention of the franchise quarterback being available. Newsflash -- Miller won’t be on the market heading into his senior season either, so get used to trying to defend him. At any rate, Schofield would be an intriguing option for the Buckeyes because he could provide another veteran presence with ample experience in the Big Ten, potentially giving Decker or Farris another year to develop physically before moving into the starting lineup in 2014. After getting a glimpse at what Desmond Morgan could do last fall when he made 11 tackles (in a losing effort) against Ohio State, he might look good in Scarlet and Gray, especially if the spring gave him flexibility to play in the middle. I probably don’t need to mention that Bradley Roby is untouchable in the secondary, but there is no shortage of talent alongside him in the backend. Might want to take a look at the stable of running backs the Buckeyes have in the fold as well -- but feel free to skip over Carlos Hyde.

AW

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From: UM_PersonnelDept

To: OSU_GM

Subject: No subject

(Read full post)

Tales From the Road: Ohio State 

June, 5, 2013
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BuckeyeNation continues to hit the road in search of budding Division I talent who should catch the eyes of Ohio State fans. Here’s what we came up with this week:

This week’s targets: BuckeyeNation as well as RecruitingNation headed to Columbus, Ohio, for the Elite 11 and Nike Football Training Camp. Seven Buckeyes commitments -- the only pledges missing were Marcelys Jones (Cleveland/Glenville) and Sam Hubbard (Cincinnati/Moeller) -- made their way to the Ohio State campus and didn’t disappoint as Kyle Berger (Cleveland/St. Ignatius), Kyle Trout (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster), Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech), Dylan Thompson (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) and teammates Dante Booker and Parris Campbell Jr. of Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary each earned trips to The Opening.

Detroit rock city: Assistant coach Kerry Coombs spent a good portion of the evaluation period in Detroit, and for good reason. He went after two-time Michigan commit David Dawson from Cass Tech High School last season, but missed. Coombs and the Buckeyes didn’t this time around as Webb committed back in January. Malik McDowell of Detroit Loyola is also on the Ohio State radar. Before he said yes to Michigan, Lawrence Marshall was an Ohio State pledge, even if it was only for three days. Marshall lives in Southfield, Mich. a suburb 19 minutes away from Detroit.

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You win some, you lose some.

One day after losing former Ohio State commit Lawrence Marshall (Southfield, Mich./Southfield) to Michigan, the Buckeyes landed their eighth commitment of the 2014 class.

It was a week of ups and downs, but one filled with Ohio State news, good and bad.

Here’s what happened in another busy week:


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Every school needs a leader in its recruiting class. Not one that stands out while on the field -- virtually every athlete does that at a BCS program -- but one that will take the lead when it comes to spreading the good word about the university.

Lonnie Johnson (Gary, Ind./West Side) could be that pledge for the Buckeyes in the class of 2014.


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RN Top 10: Chicago NFTC 

May, 6, 2013
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The RN Top 10 will appear throughout the camp and combine season and rank prospects based strictly on their on-field performance at that particular event. It does not reflect what their overall prospect ranking will be when the 2014 rankings are unveiled this spring.

ADDISON, Ill. -- The Chicago NFTC did not disappoint when it came to top talent. The Midwest showcased some very good looking talent across the board and all the way down to the 2016 class. The camp produced seven invitations to The Opening and one Elite 11 invitation.

10. Kyron Watson
East St. Louis (Ill.) East St. Louis | LB | 6-1, 210

Watson has started to see his stock rise recently, with offers coming in from Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Purdue, Syracuse and TCU.

The No. 100 ranked player in the country isn't the biggest guy on the field, but his highlight tape shows that doesn't matter. He loves to hit and loves contact, which is a necessity at the linebacker spot.

He says his top two are currently Michigan and Kansas and he plans to visit Michigan on May 20.

NFTC linebacker coach Chris Gizzi on Watson: "Twitchy type guy. If anything he would be like a WILL. You talk about a football player and an inquisitive guy, a guy that asks the right questions and very football smart type player. He got better as the day went on."


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Charting next 'LEO' at Ohio State 

April, 10, 2013
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John Simon flourished at the LEO position in the Ohio State defense in 2012.

The standup defensive end recorded 44 tackles -- 14 for loss -- nine sacks and forced a fumble in his nine games for Ohio State.

The next in line for the Buckeyes are players who likely are already familiar to fans as Noah Spence, Jamal Marcus, Steve Miller, Tracy Sprinkle and transfer Rashad Frazier have played this spring.

But who comes after that?

Current freshman Tyquan Lewis could fill in there as well, but all eyes have turned to 2014 and who might be in the mix.


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The annual adidas Invitational is set to take place on Sunday, March 24, at Grand Valley State University, and as usual some of the top Midwest and national prospects will be on hand.

The camp, put on by Maximum Exposure, already has more than 40 prospects with offers on its roster and ready to compete. The event will put the athletes through individual events and one-on-one drills in the indoor facilities at Grand Valley.

As usual, Cass Tech High School will be represented well with 2014 prospects Damon Webb, Gary Hosey and William White. The underclassmen also will be on display for the Technicians, with 2015 quarterback Jayru Campbell, Joshua Alabi and running back Mike Weber on the roster.

The 2015 class might have a shot to steal the show at the event, with big names including wide receivers Brian Cole (Saginaw, Mich./Heritage) and Ray Buford (Southfield, Mich./Southfield), defensive end Jashon Cornell (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham) and defensive backs Tymeon Ollison (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel) and Tyriq Thompson (Detroit/King).

Thompson is the son of former Michigan standout Clarence Thompson and by all accounts could be a great player in his own right. Thompson will be joined by his teammates, 2014 linebacker Carl Fuller and defensive back Avonte Maddox, as well.

Defensive end Lawrence Marshall (Southfield, Mich./Southfield) has nothing really to prove with offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Tennessee, among others, but he will be in attendance nonetheless.
Thad Matta, Urban MeyerIcon SMI, AP PhotoThe success of Thad Matta and Urban Meyer go hand in hand at Ohio State.
Winning is good business, especially when it comes to Ohio State and recruiting.

While many of the top athletes in the Class of 2014 have pointed to the Buckeyes being the only undefeated football team in Division I as a reason to look at the university, it goes beyond the gridiron.

In fact, it can rest on the hardwood as well, as the Ohio State men’s basketball team won the Big Ten Tournament for the third time in four years. In doing so, the Buckeyes locked up a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.

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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD

Monday, 12/22
Saturday, 12/20
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12