- Brad Bournival, RecruitingNation
A talked-about recruiting trend is Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and the globalization of his recruiting classes, but the fact of the matter is -- at least right now in the 2014 recruiting process -- the two-time national champion coach likes to recruit from places he knows best.
The 2014 ESPN Watch List was unveiled Thursday, and not surprisingly the places the Buckeyes are hitting hardest are Ohio and Florida.
In fact, Meyer is so honed in on Ohio that 17 names appear on the list and all 17 either have an Ohio State offer or interest from the Buckeyes.
As of right now, Dante Booker (Akron/St. Vincent-St. Mary), Jimmy Byrne (Cleveland/St. Ignatius), Michael Ferns (Saint Clairsville/St. Clairsville) and Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield/Springfield) have offers, but expect that number to climb as Ohio State has told many they are waiting until the midway point of the season in order to evaluate film.
While Ferns already has committed to Michigan, the other three are unattached at the moment.
Prospects from Florida are actually ahead of Ohio in terms of offers, with 12.
Floridians offered by Ohio State in the class of 2014 and appearing on the list are Khairi Clark (Hollywood/Chaminade-Madonna), Mason Cole (Tarpon Springs/East Lake), Kain Daub (Jacksonville/Sandalwood), Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach Gardens/Dwyer), J.C. Jackson (Immokalee/Immokalee), Tony James (Gainesville/Gainesville), Jake McCrary (Miami/Coral Reef), K.C. McDermott (Wellington/Palm Beach), Artavis Scott (Tarpon Springs/East Lake), Moral Stephens (Perry/Taylor County), Denzel Ware (Crestview/Crestview) and Quincy Wilson (Ft. Lauderdale/University School).
Jackson, McCrary and Ware have already committed to Florida State, and Daub is pledged to LSU.
The Buckeyes have had at least one athlete from Florida in every recruiting class dating back to 2003.
Ohio State is hoping to strengthen an already adhesive bond in Texas, as eight ESPN Watch List athletes have been offered by the Buckeyes.
One of the more interesting trends happens in Washington D.C., however, as three of the four athletes on the list -- Jonathan Haden (Friendship Collegiate), D’Andre Payne (Howard D. Woodson), Jalen Tabor (Friendship Collegiate) -- have offers from Ohio State.
It’s very early in the process and more names will undoubtedly be added to the list, but the Buckeyes have already offered scholarships to 63 prospects for 2014.
448dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert