THE DREAM 17: Urban Meyer’s Stranglehold on the Recruiting Game, Part III and IV
The Buckeyes are just a mere two weeks away from their first game of the season against the Bowling Green Falcons and although they are currently in constant pursuit of the edge, recruiting will never truly become an afterthought because of all the potential playmakers the Buckeyes have set their sights on. We cannot just focus solely on the players that they are targeting and a lot of recruiting comes from maintaining a constant level of communication between the coaching staff and the players that have been committed for a long duration of time. Memories of Bruce Judson should be the most fresh in all of our minds, but the train moves on. Maintaining the relationships is important and although the staff is flexing their recruiting muscles for the whole nation to see, you could never fully keep the Ohio State staff away and with just 16 players committed out of potentially 20 or 21, I believe that the Buckeyes are just padding their stats and re-loaded at an unprecedented level that is adding toward their momentum.
Jake is a mammoth Offensive Tackle at 6-5, 285 lbs. He was highly regarded and a key piece to Coach Meyer’s Offensive Line, but he suffered a torn ACL at a Buckeyes Camp and has been shelved temporarily. While still being in the Buckeyes plans, Moretti is planning to enroll early so that he can get a head start on getting his mind, body and spirit right for his journey as a Buckeye. He is an elite tackle prospect and although he is shelved, he still garners the respect by being in the Top 100 player in the nation. Sure we won’t see him in action because he is unable to, but Coach Meyer and company know exactly how to revive a players career and get the utmost best out of them.
Brendon White is the #2 rated Athlete in the nation due to his ability to make a play on both sides of the ball. Just like Urban Meyer does, he stockpiles players that fit the mold of a multipurpose playmaker, who could impact either side of the ball game. White is 6-1.5 and is a stout 200 lbs. He can play Wide Receiver and Safety and until he makes it through the strength and conditioning program, we will just have to see. Coach Meyer and his crew develop their players into more than the recruiting sites thought they would be and it’ll be fun to see if he can develop into a Darron Lee on defense or a lethal offensive weapon like Curtis Samuel. We can only hope, but he provides a sure set of hands and the ability to catch on unsuspecting defenders and he could lay opposing players as a hard hitting, run stuffing safety. Ah, hybrid players are indeed the best!
Amir Riep feels like one of those impact players to be and I am excited for his development as well as the rest of the current Buckeyes and the Buckeyes to be, but there is something about Riep and his rise after good showings at showcase events. Ohio State received a commitment from a 5-11, 185 lb player who is projected to play cornerback. Now, I don’t mean to rub it in or anything, but Ohio State has produced a pretty good amount of NFL caliber DB’s so… You know where I am going with this. Riep has that fluidity in his hips that will help him smother opposing players and Coach Meyer got a good one who has the potential to be great. Ever since he blew up on the recruiting trail, the Buckeyes have their man and successfully fended away those pesky Spartans. This was well worth the wait and we will see how Coach Coombs develops him.
Do you notice a trend yet? Defensive Backs just want to be coached up at Ohio State and the rich get richer! Marcus Williamson was one of the first few to commit and he has helped the Buckeyes on and off with recruiting while at the IMG Academy, a Buckeye pipeline located in Florida. Projected at Cornerback, at 5-9, 180 lbs he is a bit undersized, but the talent pretty much speaks for itself. He may be a work in progress, but the talent is there and it is up the coaching staff to develop him into a NFL Cornerback. Being undersized isn’t that bad either, Damon Webb is around the same height and weight and look at him after the strength and conditioning program. Webb is also in the midst of earning some playing time as well so there is nothing remotely wrong with his measurable statistics. He brings speed and the mirroring ability that Riep brings and he will be another player to watch.
Does the last name ring a bell? His older brother was high on the Buckeyes list in 2014 before he decided to play for the Fighting Irish. Although he plays the same position as his brother at Defensive Tackle, the younger Cage sits at 6-1.5, 275 lbs and is in fact smaller than his older brother during their Senior years, but John Simon wasn’t a huge guy and that did not stop him from wreaking havoc all around the Defensive Line. Cage has a quick first step and he can occupy space and make space for Linebackers to get to the Quarterback. He also has a few nifty go to moves in which he will develop under the tutelage of Coach Johnson and Coach Fickell. He will be a key cog and will be utilized if he can turn some heads when he arrives on campus and Ohio State needs depth along the D-Line anyway and that is why Cage will be one out of potentially three Interior Defensive Linemen that the Buckeyes will take this cycle.
Antjuan Simmons is a blessing in disguise for the Buckeyes. He comes from That State Up North and right in That Team Up North’s back yard. Literally! That is what makes this recruiting victory so sweet. Living in that territory can be rough, but he will be in good hands with Coach Meyer and company and I look for him to continue the tradition of Linebacker U while at Ohio State. As the only Linebacker commit, he will be looked at to replace Raekwon McMillan on the interior or Chris Worley or Dante Booker on the outside, but at 6-1, 215 lbs he looks like a rock solid addition to the proud tradition. Although ranked as the 289th overall player nationally, he will contribute as soon as that black stripe comes off and he looks like a monster. With Ohio State chasing other Linebackers to come join Simmons, we can only wait and see, but it is so exciting to see playmakers come in droves to want to play for the Buckeyes.
Mr. Buckeye, the Prototype himself Danny Clark is Quarterback commit #2 and he isn’t backing down from competition after the commitment of fellow Quarterback prospect, Tate Martell. I like his tenacity during Friday Night Lights as he competed fiercely the entire night. I think it is safe to safe, barring any last-minute flips that the Quarterback position is one of the many deep position groups that the Buckeyes have. Clark will add to the depth and he will looks to surprise some people. At 6-5, 223 lbs, he is a Pro Style Quarterback, opposite of Martell who is the top Dual Threat Quarterback prospect. Clark is quick on his feet, but he can throw the ball with velocity and accuracy. Most of his passes were on the money and he will look to compete at Ohio State with one of the most crowded groups or units. With time, I think he will develop and potentially become the Cardale Jones or the Kenny Guiton of the team and be that leader from the bench or the one who saves the day after numerous, unplanned injuries. We will see and I for one am hoping that he stays on board.
You know how Coach Meyer loves his Special Teams? Yeah, he used one of the spots in this years class for a Special Teamer who so happens to be the #1 Kicker in the nation. It is some serious business and we need it. Sean Nuernberger is in his Junior season and we need a player to fill in once he departs and it so happens to be Haubeil, at 6-3, 200 lbs. He is willing to pay for the first semester at Ohio State to add a scholarship to add a key player so he may forgo the grayshirt and just pay until his scholarship is guaranteed. I love this kid already. A truly selfless act and he should be a good player in the future. He has a leg that is capable of routinely nailing 30-45 yarders and who knows, he may be able to hit from downtown too. All we have to do is wait and see, but I am confident that he will be game ready when the time comes.