Ohio State’s 2015 Most Wanted Top 10 List

Here is a quick look at how I see the top of Ohio State’s recruiting board. This list is fluid and always subject to change. As we all know, the arms race of recruiting can change in a hurry.

10) Minkah Fitzpatrick DB (6’0 185 lbs Jersey City, NJ/St. Peter’s Prep) – Tall defensive back with range and speed. Fitzpatrick is being courted be schools all over the country. Ohio State would love to keep their recent pipeline to New Jersey flowing. However, Fitzpatrick won’t be an easy get from the Garden State. Alabama seems to be the early leader with South Carolina and Ohio State right behind them. It’ll be interesting to see if Fitzpatrick’s teammate, QB Brandon Wimbush’s destination will have any impact.

9) Devante Peete WR (6’5 195 lbs Pompano Beach, FL/St. Thomas Aquinas) – The ever elusive tall split end Ohio State has coveted the past two recruiting seasons may be on his way in 2015. The answer could be south Florida’s own, Devante Peete. Peete possesses a unique blend of size and speed that Urban Meyer desperately wants on his offense. Peete attended a bowl practice down in Miami and plans on making it up to Ohio State in the near future. St. Thomas Aquinas has been a bit of a Florida pipeline for the Buckeyes and hopefully that trend continues this recruiting cycle.

8) Steven Gonzalez OL (6’5 300 lbs Union City, NJ/Union Hill) – Ohio State’s impressive 2014 offensive line haul won’t stop them from recruiting more top notch talent at the position. Gonzalez is just that and it appears that Ohio State holds an early lead for his services. Offensive Line coach Ed Warinner is the lead recruiter. The Big Ten’s expansion to the east coast may help the Buckeyes in this New Jersey native’s recruitment as well.

7) James Daniels OL (6’4 282 lbs Warren, Ohio/Harding) – Daniels is the only offensive line prospect from Ohio the Buckeyes have offered to this point. The son of former Buckeye, LeShun Daniels, James appears to be poised to join the Buckeyes at some point. Like his father, he seems destined to play guard at the next level.

6) Ricky DeBerry LB (6’2 238 lbs Richmond, VA/St. Christopher’s School) – While Ohio State has recruited well at linebacker the last few years; they still can’t seem to develop much depth. In order to change that, they need to reel in guys like DeBerry. There is no doubt; the hiring of Larry Johnson will help Ohio State immensely during this recruitment. Expect DeBerry to visit Ohio State sometime in the next month or two.

5) Nick Conner LB (6’3 230 lbs Dublin, OH/Dublin Scioto) – Conner has blown up in recent weeks on the recruiting trail. He recently made a visit to Columbus and is definitely high on the Buckeyes. Urban Meyer and co. have not yet offered but that could be coming soon. Stay tuned, I think it’s only a matter of time.

4) Justin Hilliard LB (6’2 215 lbs Cincinnati, OH/St. Xavier) – Without a question, Ohio State has the first pick of top talent year in and year out in the State of Ohio. However, Cincinnati has been a problem area for the Buckeyes to consistently land talent. Meyer and Cincinnati native, Kerry Combs, have hit the Queen city hard the past two years and it’s time to see if their hard work pays off. Hilliard is not only one of the best Linebackers in the Midwest, but the whole nation. Ohio State has some stiff competition early on in Michigan, Iowa and Oklahoma.

3) Tim Settle DL (6’2 290 lbs Manassas, VA/Stonewall Jackson) – The strength of Ohio State’s defense is their defensive line. With that being said, that won’t stop the Buckeyes from pursuing Settle in a relentless manner. Simply put, Settle is one of the best defensive linemen in the nation. After watching his film, it’s easy to see why all the top programs in the nation are going to scratch and claw for his signature come February 2015.

2) Jerome Baker ATH (6’1 210 lbs Cleveland, OH/Benedictine) – Baker has size and speed and projects on both sides of the ball. He will either play linebacker on defense or running back on offense. I tend to think he plays linebacker at Ohio State if he signs with the Buckeyes. Given Ohio State’s success recruiting Cleveland, I expect him to be a Buckeye when it is all said and done. Don’t sleep on Penn State though; surely they will not stop recruiting Baker.

1) Torrance Gibson QB (6’4 198 lbs Fort Lauderdale, FL/American Heritage) – With nearly a year until signing day 2015, Gibson appears to be one of the highest priorities in the Ohio State class. The interest is mutual and I expect the Buckeyes to remain in heavy contention into the fall. He’s got a unique blend of height and speed. He reminds many of Terrelle Pryor with his long strides but has a bit more quickness than Pryor. We’ll see what happens with this one, but with Meyer in Columbus, the Buckeyes will have a great chance to land this super talented signal caller.

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