- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
Ohio State has lured back a talented in-state prospect who was at one time committed to rival Michigan. ESPN 150 cornerback Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has committed to the Buckeyes and strengthened an already strong secondary class.
When Urban Meyer took over the Buckeyes a year ago he signed a class defined by its talent in the trenches, especially on the defensive side of the ball. For 2013, he is building another highly rated class, this time more defined for its strength among the ‘skilled positions’. Conley, a top ten corner prospect, joins a class that already possesses verbals from five-star CB Eli Woodard (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern) and ESPN 150 CB Cam Burrows (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison).
The commitment of Conley gives the Buckeyes a player with a nice combination of athleticism and football smarts. He needs to keep filling out, but has the length to match-up with bigger receivers. Conley is a fluid athlete who can run and demonstrates very good closing speed. He also displays good ball skills, can jump and is also a reliable tackler. Mentally he displays very good instincts and anticipation to help get himself in positions to make plays and get around the ball. He does need to gain weight to help him support the run and just physically hold up which could limit his contributions some initially, but he is an athletic kid who offers a versatile skill set for the Buckeyes to take advantage of. A player who can contribute well in spots early on and develop into a very good fulltime starter.
The addition of the one-time Michigan commit not only gives Ohio State a talented prospect but also helps close the gap some between the No. 6-rated Buckeyes class and the No. 5-ranked Wolverines.