Ohio State Helmet Strip
Ohio State Helmet Strip
2002 CLASS
Closing the Book on the Class of 2002 - 25 Members
February 6, 2002 8:00 pm EST

You probably know by now, all 25 commitments have now signed with Ohio State.  If you follow recruiting closely, you probably realize that it doesn't get much better than this class.

2/6/02 - Buckeyes land one of their best classes ever

There may have been some fans questioning Jim Tressel's offensive philosophy this past season, but I don't think many fans are questioning his recruiting skills right now.  Today, the Buckeyes signed 25 recruits in a class that rivals any Buckeye recruiting class in the program's history.  The marquee names include Justin Zwick, Mike D'Andrea, Quinn Pitcock, Maurice Clarett, Doug Datish and Derek Morris, just to name a few.  The Buckeye coaches landed top prospects in all areas of need and have a class that will probably be considered to be the 2nd best class in the nation.  More importantly, neither Penn State nor Michigan was able to land any of Ohio's top 25 prospects.

The Buckeyes could have signed two more prospects but chose to limit their last few offers to the best of the best prospects.  Ohio State will likely bank these scholarships for the 2003 class, a class that will be pretty small in numbers.  As far as academics, the Buckeyes have a mind-boggling total of 19 out of 25 commitments that carry a 3.0 GPA or higher with 12 signees actually having a 3.5 GPA or higher.  Gone are the days of the prospects that are signed for the sole purpose of helping the team win.  This class is truly an amazing group of student-athletes.  There is really only one signee, Troy Smith, who appears to be on the fence in terms of qualifying, and the coaches expect him to be fully eligible come fall.

This class started to come together on May 30th of last year when blue chip quarterback Justin Zwick became the Buckeyes' third verbal commitment.  Zwick's commitment set off a chain reaction that saw 14 prospects commit to Ohio State within a two month span.  Justin Zwick helped the Buckeye coaches by calling several top-tier prospects and encouraging them to become a part of an outstanding recruiting class.  The preliminary result was Ohio State having 16 verbal commitments before the start of the 2001 football season, far more early commitments than the Buckeyes have ever had.

Ohio State started strong and finished strong in the last two and a half months before signing day.  On January 12th, the Buckeyes landed Mike D'Andrea, one of the most heralded linebackers in the country.  D'Andrea was targeted by just about every major program in the country and was heavily pursued by Michigan, Notre Dame and Nebraska.  Later in January, the Buckeyes landed two more blue-chip recruits in defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock and outside linebacker Bobby Carpenter.  The icing was put on the cake earlier today when the Buckeyes landed offensive tackle Derek Morris, a prospect some consider to be the best offensive lineman in the country.

Congratulations to Coach Tressel and his outstanding assistant staff, an assistant staff that will not get enough credit for the roll they played in landing these outstanding student-athletes.  

Ohio State Commitments:

Maurice Clarett, Warren, Ohio - TB.  6-0, 220, 4.47 speed.  3.3 GPA.  Clarett was Coach Tressel's first verbal commitment.  Sometimes compared to Jerome Bettis, Clarett is a tank with extremely quick feet.  He battled injuries in 2000 but still put up very impressive numbers against some of the top competition in the state.  Maurice plans to enroll early in January 2002 and get a jump start on the rest of the freshman by enabling himself to play in the spring.

Joel Penton, Van Wert, Ohio - DE.  6-5, 250, 4.8 speed.  3.8 GPA.  Lima defensive player of the year last year over highly touted Lima LB Brian Andrews.  Could play DE, DT, or O-line at Ohio State.  Outstanding character.  Not rated highly in early rankings but started to become a hot item in the late spring.  Took third in the state in wrestling at 215 pounds. 

Justin Zwick, Massillon, Ohio - QB.  6-5, 215, 4.75 speed.  Zwick is one of the top three QB prospects nationally and is currently ranked by Max Emfinger as the #1 drop-back prospect in the nation.  He had already set the career passing yardage mark in the state before he played his senior year.  3.83 GPA.  The best Ohio QB prospect since Joe Pickens and possibly since Art Schlichter.

R.J. Coleman, Charleston, West Virginia - TE.  6-3, 265, 4.8 speed.  Coleman is one of the top five or so TE prospects nationally and immediately got on board after Zwick's commitment.  3.4 GPA. Could play TE or O-line at Ohio State.  Has grown considerably the past few years.  Probably the top overall prospect in the state of West Virginia.  Thought to have tremendous upside.  Coleman's high school offensive coordinator is Matt Wilhelm's uncle, Fred Wilhelm.

T.J. Downing, Canton, Ohio - OL.  6-4, 265, 4.9 speed.  His father was an All-Big Ten offensive lineman for Michigan and played for the 49ers in the NFL.  Not rated highly in the early publications but really impressed OSU coaches at their senior camp.  Excellent frame with room to grow.  Could play guard or tackle at the next level.  Good strength.

E.J. Underwood, Hamilton, Ohio - CB.  6-1, 175, 4.48 speed.  The top CB prospect in Ohio lit up the Purdue Nike camp in April and impressed the OSU coaches enough at their camp in June to warrant a scholarship offer.  Excellent coverage skills and a big hitter for a man of his weight.  Has the frame to add plenty of muscle weight.  Unquestioned character.  Son of a preacher.

Doug Datish, Warren - OL.  6-5, 285, 5.1 speed.  The top O-line prospect in Ohio and one of the top 10 to top 15 O-line prospects nationally.  Very polished at a young age and has the talent to come in and possibly play right away.  Probably slated for offensive tackle at Ohio State.  His dad was the back-up center on Woody's '75 team.

A.J. Hawk, Centerville - LB.  6-1 1/2, 230, 4.6 speed.  One of the many outstanding LB's in Ohio this year.  The guy bleeds scarlet and gray and has outstanding character.  Everything you could want in a MLB at Centerville.  Huge tackle numbers as a junior.  Could also play FB at the next level.  Duane Long calls him the best FB prospect in the state but OSU has recruited as an OLB. 

Jay Richardson, Dublin - DE.  6-4, 245, 4.8 speed.  Fast riser that was offered a scholarship after the coaches saw him up close at the OSU senior camp.  Will probably play DT at the next level.  Duane Long of Ohio Future Stars compares him to a current up and coming Buckeye, David Thompson.  Great frame.  

Rob Sims, Macedonia - OL.  6-4, 287, 5.1 speed.  Sims comes from great bloodlines, with his father Robert Sr. being an ex-Cleveland Brown.  The younger Sims was the most impressive offensive lineman at the Ohio State camp.  It was once thought that Sims could be somewhat of a project, but after his showing at OSU's senior camp, Sims could be quite a catch.

Nick Mangold, Kettering - OL.  6-4, 267, 5.1 speed.  Another O-lineman that impressed OSU coaches at their senior camp.  Could play guard or center (his high school position) at the next level.  Top five O-lineman prospect in the state.  Is said to be quite a leader.  Good mobility.  Also a very solid nose guard but his future is definitely on the offensive side of the ball at Ohio State.

Tyler Everett, Canton - DB.  5-11, 187, 4.47 speed.  Everett has excelled at both TB and DB at Canton McKinley but projects as a DB at Ohio State.  Everett has excellent athletic ability and showed it off at the Ohio State June camp.  He was offered a scholarship by the Cooper staff and was re-offered by Tressel an company after his outstanding showing at the camp. 

Mike Kudla, Medina - LB/DE.  6-4, 245, 4.5 speed.  Absolute freak. 485 pound bench and a 37 inch vertical to go along with his 4.5 speed.  Huge tackle numbers last year.  Slated to play "rush-end" in a new look Buckeye defense.  Could also play LB.  Very confident and a great leader.  3.86 GPA.  Rated as the second best MLB prospect in the country by Max Emfinger. 

Michael Roberts, Toronto - CB.  5-11, 175, 4.35 speed.  Impressed OSU coaches at camp and received an offer.  Ran a sub-4.4 at the camp.  Plays for a "club" team in Canada because his high school does not have a football team.  Some say he is the top overall prospect in Canada.  Said to have the great hips you want in a CB.  Also a great hitter.

Tim Schafer, Upper Arlington, OH - DE.  6-5, 245, 4.9.  Played opposite Simon Fraser on state championship 2000 Upper Arlington team.  According to Duane Long of OFS, made monstrous strides as the season wore on.  Could play DE, DT, or O-line at Ohio State. Potential top 10 prospect in the state who had offers from other big-time programs such as Michigan and Notre Dame.

Roy Hall, Lyndurst, OH - WR.  6-3, 200, 4.5.  Considered to be the top WR prospect in Ohio and one of the top 10 to top 15 WR's nationally.  Has drawn comparisons to former Buckeye star receiver David Boston.  Excellent size and good speed for a big receiver.  Outstanding student carrying a 3.8 GPA. 

Stan White Jr., Baltimore, MD - OLB. 6-3, 230, 4.6.  One of the top outside linebacker prospects in the country.  Also a very good high school tight end that could get a look at that position at OSU.  Dad played LB for Woody Hayes from 1969-1971.  3.88 GPA.  Played against strong H.S. competition.

Mike D'Andrea, Avon Lake, OH - MLB. 6-3, 235, 4.5.  Arguably the top MLB prospect in the nation.  D'Andrea's athletic abilities are off the charts, likely topping those of former Buckeye MLB Andy Katzenmoyer.  D'Andrea also carries a 3.5 GPA.  Pursued very hard by several top-notch programs including Michigan, Nebraska, and Notre Dame.

Brandon Mitchell, Atlanta - WR/DB. 6-3, 185, 4.5.  Not rated very high by the guru's but the Buckeye coaches obviously saw something they like in him.  Will probably play safety at Ohio State.  3.8 GPA.  Picked off 9 passes this past season and scored 9 TD's on the offensive side of the ball.

Quinn Pitcock, Piqua, OH - DT.  6-4, 307, 4.7.  Definitely one of the top 10 DT prospects nationally and probably top 5, but that could still be selling big Quinn short.  Excellent speed for a man of his size.  Top 5 prospect in the state of Ohio which is absolutely loaded with talent this year.  Pitcock fills a big need for DT's at Ohio State and could find himself in the mix early.  Pitcock, like many other commitments in this OSU class has a very high GPA in the high 3's.

Nate Salley, Ft. Lauderdale - safety. 6-3, 180, 4.5.  Probably one of the top 10 safety prospects nationally.  Great size and extremely athletic.  Salley is an excellent basketball player as well. Ohio State has said that he can play both sports at OSU.  And yet another Ohio State commitment with excellent grades.  Salley carries a 3.4 GPA.

Santonio Holmes, Belle Glade, FL - WR.  5-11, 175, 4.5.  Not rated very high by the gurus but saw his stock rise in December and January.  Was very impressive at the California Bowl.  Has drawn comparisons to Andre Rison.  Could be a real sleeper like the Florida WR Ohio State landed last year, Chris Gamble. 

Bobby Carpenter, Lancaster, OH - LB.  6-3, 230, 4.6.  One of the top 10 to top 15 LB prospects nationally.  Will probably play on the strong side at Ohio State.  Excellent footwork makes him very good in coverage.  His father is Rob Carpenter who played RB for the Houston Oilers and NY Giants in the NFL.  3.9 GPA.

Troy Smith, Cleveland - QB/ATH. 6-1, 200, 4.5. Fared extremely well at the Elite 11 quarterback camp that featured 11 of the top QB prospects nationally.  Very strong arm and throws well on the run.  Has great athleticism.  Will get a shot at QB and if that does not work out, Smith could end up at WR or safety.  Probably a top 30 QB prospect nationally.  Academics are a question mark; Smith still needs to qualify.

Derek Morris, Huntersville, NC - OL.  6-6, 350, 5.1.  One of the top 5 O-line prospects nationally and one who probably has more upside than any other O-lineman.  Physical freak of nature.  Carries his weight well.  Very strong and very athletic.  Orlando Pace is Morris' idol.  Is probably a little more raw than Orlando Pace was when Pace arrived at Ohio State.

Top Ohio Prospects - where they are headed

   1) Mike D'Andrea MLB - Ohio State
                   2) Maurice Clarett TB - Ohio State
                   3) Quinn Pitcock DT - Ohio State
                   4) Justin Zwick QB - Ohio State
                   5) Bobby Carpenter OLB - Ohio State
                   6) Doug Datish OL - Ohio State
                   7) Roy Hall WR - Ohio State
                   8) DeShawn Wynn TB - Florida
                   9) Mike Kudla LB/DE - Ohio State
                   10) Bryan Andrews LB/DE - Wake Forest
                   11) E.J. Underwood CB - Ohio State
                   12) George Cooper jr. TE - Ga Tech
                   13) Tony Franklin TB/DB - Virginia
                   14) Nick Mangold OL - Ohio State
                   15) A.J. Hawk LB/FB - Ohio State
                   16) Antonio Reynolds DE/LB - Miami (FL)
                   17) Kyle Ralph OL - North Carolina
                   18) Rob Sims OL - Ohio State
                   19) Greg Pruitt jr. TB - Minnesota
                   20) Ashton Watson CB - Michigan State
   21) Jay Richardson, DE - Ohio State
   22) Andy Alleman, DE - Pittsburgh
   23) Regis Edgerson, TB - South Carolina
   24) Troy Smith QB/ATH - Ohio State
   25) Erick Phillips, TB - West Virginia
   26) TJ Downing, OL - Ohio State
   27) Willis Barringer, CB - Michigan
   28) John Scott, TB/DB - West Virginia
   29) Joel Penton, DE - Ohio State
   30) Tyler Everett, DB - Ohio State
   31) Tim Schafer, DL - Ohio State
   32) Rick McDole, OL - Northwestern
   33) Courtney Alexander, CB - Michigan State
   34) David Vickers, WR - Iowa
   35) Mark Bihl, OL - Michigan 
   36) David Herron, FB - Michigan State
   37) André Chattams, WR - Purdue
   38) Charlie Vample, WR - Cincinnati
   39) Kris Mick, OL - South Carolina
   40) Larry Tumblin, DE - Pittsburgh
   41) Roman Fry, DE - Clemson
   42) Eric Fritz, DL/OL - Pittsburgh
   43) Trumaine Banks, CB - Minnesota
   44) Donnie Johnson, TB - Penn State
   45) Barry Cofield, DE - Northwestern
   46) Rick Brown, LB - Boston College
   47) Vince Gliatta, S - Penn State
   48) Bryan Cupito, QB - Minnesota
   49) John Kerr, LB - Indiana
   50) Al Washington, DT - Boston College
   51) Anthony Smith, S - Syracuse
   52) Sean Miller, TB - Indiana
   53) Mike Donaldson, OL - Akron
   54) Robert Price, DT - Penn State
   55) Matt Vogele, LB - Miami (OH)
   56) Jo Jo Parker, DB/RB - uncommitted
   57) Brian Bury, OL - Michigan State
   58) Marc Huddleson, WR/ATH - Purdue
   59) David Abdul, K - Pittsburgh
   60) Reggie Hairston, TE - uncommitted
   61) Anthony Montgomery, DE/TE - Minnesota
   62) Mike Matthews, TE - Georgia Tech
   63) Josh Williams, WR - uncommitted
   64) Steven Gunter, S - Indiana
   65) Tyler Spears, OL - uncommitted
   66) Jimmy Skinner, QB - Marshall
   67) Reggie Corner , WR - Bowling Green
   68) Brandon Fields, K - Michigan State
   69) Anthony Hollins, TE - uncommitted
   70) Antoine Malone, CB - Toledo
   71) Charlie Smith, DB/TB - uncommitted
   72) Jay Rohr, LB - Akron
   73) James Davenport, LB - uncommitted
   74) Brandon Cornell, DT - Louisville
   75) Brian White, LB - Akron
   76) Erik Claxon, OL - uncommitted
   77) Kyle Hoogenboom, DB - uncommitted
   78) De'Wayne Penn, DB - uncommitted
   79) Jimmy Riley, WR - Louisville
   80) Justiss Scales, OLB - Minnesota
   81) Quentin White, S - Minnesota
   82) Mark Philmore, WR - Northwestern
   83) Adam Hines, OL - Indiana
   84) Jeremy Hines, OL - West Virginia
   85) Kenny Harper, K - Minnesota
   86) Ryan Keenan, DE - Northwestern
   87) Chad Breeden, S - Central Florida
   88) Mike Lorello, S - West Virginia
   89) PJ Pope, RB - Bowling Green
   90) Denayne Davidson-Dixon, QB - uncommitted
   91) Nate Szep, QB - uncommitted
   92) Raishaun Stover, RB - Bowling Green
   93) Joel East, DE - Duke
   94) Brandon Jones, WR - Bowling Green
   95) Brad Williams, DE - Bowling Green
   96) Lerron Moore, TB - uncommitted
   97) Rodney Gamby, RB - uncommitted
   98) Justin Ashford, RB/ATH - uncommitted
   99) Deacon Minna, LB/DE - uncommitted
 100) Matt Leininger, DT - Bowling Green

February 6, 1:00 p.m.

Signing Day Update

Derek Morris has just committed to Ohio State, possibly wrapping up this year's class as the 25th commitment.  This is absolutely huge, pardon the pun (Morris is 6-6, 350.)  Morris probably has more upside than any other O-line prospect in the nation and carries his weight very well.  He is a physical freak.

Datish and Schafer have now sent in their LOI's leaving Morris and Troy Smith as the last two LOI's Ohio State is waiting on.

This OSU class will likely be considered the 2nd best class in the nation next to Texas.  Not only that, the Buckeye coaches basically shut Michigan and Penn State out of Ohio.  Both Michigan and Penn State did land prospects from Ohio, but none of from the top tier.

February 6, 10:30 a.m.

Signing Day Update

Richard Washington is now officially gone and will sign with NC State.  Derek Morris will make his announcement at 12:20 p.m. EST today and sources indicate that chances look pretty good for Ohio State.

The following Buckeye verbal commitments have signed their letter of intent today:

Justin Zwick, Stan White Jr., RJ Coleman, Mike D'Andrea, Mike Kudla, Brandon Mitchell, Nate Salley, AJ Hawk, TJ Downing, Santonio Holmes, Joel Penton, Quinton Pitcock, Bobby Carpenter, Rob Sims, Nick Mangold, Roy Hall, Tyler Everett, Michael Roberts, EJ Underwood and Jay Richardson

Maurice Clarett had already signed his LOI before today and enrolled at Ohio State for winter quarter.  That leaves the following players who are expected to sign today, but have yet to fax their LOI:

Troy Smith, Doug Datish, and Tim Schafer. 

February 5, 11:00 p.m.

Signing Day is here

Well, in one hour, it is here.  Richard Washington will announce his decision between Florida, NC State and Ohio State tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. EST and Derek Morris will announce his decision at 12:20 p.m. EST tomorrow.  The 24 solid verbal commitments are expected to all submit their LOI's tomorrow, which will officially make them Buckeyes.  Check here for updates tomorrow.

February 4, 10:30 p.m.

Buckeyes land 24th solid verbal

Cleveland Glenville QB/athlete Troy Smith verbally committed Ohio State this evening. Smith can play a variety of positions including QB, WR and DB, but it is likely that Smith will get a legit shot at QB at Ohio State, especially after the transfer of Rick McFadden.  Smith was originally thought of more as a DB or WR until the Elite 11 camp this past summer.  That camp featured 11 of the top QB prospects in the nation, including Justin Zwick.  Smith outperformed Zwick at that camp and made quite an overall impression on observers.  Zwick was battling an injury at the time, but nonetheless, Smith made a name for himself.  He does need to raise his ACT score, but with an offer being extended to him, the OSU coaches must now believe that Smith has a good chance of qualifying.  Smith apparently will receive his LOI (letter of intent) tomorrow.

Who's Next?

With the commitment of Smith, I believe that Buster Davis is no longer in the picture.  That probably leaves two other prospects that could still become Buckeyes, Derek Morris and Richard Washington.  Washington, of course, was thought to be a Buckeye commitment until he declared the race open again.  It is down to Ohio State and NC State and this one is a very tight call.  As for Derek Morris, from what I am hearing, I think he will be a Buckeye, but I still wouldn't bet the house on it.  Let's keep our fingers crossed.

As for the other prospects that were considering Ohio State....Larry Fitzgerald is apparently set to sign with Pittsburgh on signing day.  Duane Coleman has committed to Clemson.  Davin Joseph has confirmed that he is solid with his Oklahoma verbal.  And, Bryan Andrews is no longer being pursued.

February 3
Remaining Targets


Troy Smith, Cleveland Glenville, 6-1, 190, 4.5.  Could play quarterback or safety at the next level.  Very strong arm and faired very well at the Elite 11 summer QB camp that featured 11 of the best QB prospects in the nation.  Probably a top 30 QB prospect nationally.  Visiting Ohio State the weekend of 1/26/02.  (His vist date recently changed.)  Wants a legit shot at QB.  Smith may feel that he will get more of a shot at QB at West Virginia than Ohio State, although Ohio State has apparently said he can take a shot at QB.  Grades/test scores are an issue as well.  In fact, it is very likely that Smith will not qualify and may not even be admitted into Ohio State (or any D-1 college) if he does not improve his scores.  Smith may have to pay his own way into school.  As of 2/3/02, nothing new on Troy Smith.

Running Backs

Duane Coleman, Naples, FL, 5-10, 185, 4.4.  One of the top 20 TB prospects in the nation.  Visited Ohio State the weekend of January 12th and returned saying OSU was tied for his leade along with Miami.  Coleman is now said to favor Clemson slightly over Ohio State.

Wide Receivers

Richard Washington, Ft. Myers, FL, 5-10, 170, 4.4.  Washington is no longer a solid verbal to Ohio State.  He is now deciding between Ohio State and NC State.  Florida appears to be out of the picture after this weekend's visit, but Washington apparently is factoring in the weather situation in Ohio vs. North Carolina.  He also wants to play WR, although he has said that he would play CB if need be.  The weather and his future position could be the biggest factors now for Washington.

Larry Fitzgerald, Valley Forge Military, PA, 6-4, 215, 4.4.  Fitzgerald was rated as a top 10 to top 15 WR nationally last year but did not have the necessary grades/test scores, so he headed the prep school route.  Fitzgerald went to high school in Minnesota and developed a relationship with former Buckeye WR Chris Carter.  Fitzgerald visited Ohio State the weekend of January 19th and Coach Conley visited Fitzgerald at his home this past week.  Fitzgerald had committed to Pittsburgh, but as of 2/3/02, he was still giving the Buckeyes strong consideration.

Santonio Holmes, Belle Glade, (FL) 5-11, 180, 4.5.  Top 50 WR nationally.  Holmes stock seems to be on the rise and a recent ranking of Florida's top prospects by Florida recruiting guru Bill Buchalter has Holmes rated higher than OSU commit Richard Washington.  Holmes could be a real sleeper here.  Holmes has now committed to Ohio State.

Eddie Jackson, Coffeyville Community College (KS), 6-4, 215, 4.5.  One of the top JUCO prospects this year.  Very physical WR.  Jackson is from Columbus (OH) East High School and also spent a year at Fork Union.  Jackson has now eliminated Ohio State.

Brandon Mitchell, Atlanta, 6-3, 185, 4.5.  Not rated very high by the gurus but Ohio State has seen something they like in him.  Mitchell has now committed to Ohio State as a safety.


Derek Morris, Huntersville (NC) North Mechlenburg, 6-6, 350, 5.1. - Maybe the best offensive tackle prospect in the country.  His idle is former Buckeye All-American Orlando Pace.  Was very impressed with the Buckeyes when he visited for the Northwestern game.  Visited again in a non-official trip recently.  Morris will announce his decision on signing day.  He names Ohio State and Georgia as his co-favorites with NC State still in the picture.  Ohio State nows appears to be the team to beat here.

Max Jean-Gilles, North Miami Beach, FL.  6-5, 340, 5.2.  Probably one of the top 25 OL prospects nationally.  Jean-Gilles has now eliminated Ohio State.

Davin Joseph - Hallandale, FL., 6-3, 260, 4.9.  Probably considered one of the top 50 O-line prospects nationally.  Has now committed to Oklahoma.

Defensive Tackles

Quinn Pitcock, Piqua, OH, 6-4, 290, 4.9.  One of the top 5 prospects overall in Ohio this year and one of the top 5 DT prospects in the nation this year.  Pitcock has now committed to Ohio State.

Defensive Ends

Bryan Andrews, Lima (OH) Senior, 6-6, 225, 4.7.  One of the top overall prospects in Ohio.  Played OLB in high school but looks destined for DE at the next level.  Duane Long (Ohio Future Stars) has compared Andrews to Courtney Brown.  Sources now claim that Ohio State has told Andrews that they will not have an LOI (letter of intent) to send him on signing day.  It looks like Andrews may need to improve his ACT to 19 to be fully qualified. His last ACT score was an 18.  As of 2/3/01, Ohio State is no longer pursuing Andrews.

Middle Linebackers 

Buster Davis, Daytona Beach Mainland, 5-11, 230, 4.5.  Lacks the ideal height that many top LB prospects have but nonetheless is considered to be one of the top 5 MLB prospects in the nation.  Visited Ohio State the weekend of 12/8 and visit was said to have gone well.  Visited Tennessee the weekend of 1/12.  Ohio State coaches had an in-home visit with Davis after his visit to Columbus.  Davis has also expressed an interest in being a teammate of Mike D'Andrea.  Davis is thought to be deciding between Ohio State and Florida State and many now thing Davis will sign with the Seminoles.

Outside Linebackers

Bobby Carpenter, Lancaster, OH, 6-3, 230, 4.5.  One of the top 10 OLB prospects in the nation.  Son of former NY Giants RB Rob Carpenter.  Has now verbally committed to Ohio State.

Nate Salley, Ft. Lauderdale, 6-3, 180, 4.5.  Salley is a safety and is probably one of the top 10 safety prospects in the country.  Salley has now committed to Ohio State.

January 30, 9:45 p.m.

Carpenter becomes 24th commitment (or was he the 23rd commitment?)

As expected, Lancaster blue chip linebacker prospect Bobby Carpenter committed to Ohio State.  Carpenter is one of the top 10 to 15 OLB prospects nationally and is a top 10 overall prospect in Ohio.  Carpenter comes from good bloodlines.  His father Rob Carpenter played running back in the NFL for the Houston Oilers and New York Giants.  Carpenter is expected to play on the strong side at Ohio State.  Like many of the other Buckeye recruits, Carpenter is a true student-athlete, carrying a 3.9 GPA.  Welcome aboard, Bobby.

Carpenter's commitment gives the Buckeyes either 23 or 24 verbal commitments in this class.  It has been reported that Richard Washington is having second thoughts about coming to Ohio State and is still considering NC State and Florida.  In fact, Washington will visit Florida this weekend.  It has also been reported that Washington's mother really wants her son to stay in the state of Florida.  This could be a tight call now.  Washington has stated that he is still committed to Ohio State, but also states NC State and Florida are not out of it.  He has also stated that he will make his final decision on signing day.

January 29, 10:30 p.m.

Ohio State got its 23rd verbal commitment today, Bell Glade, FL WR Santonio Holmes. Holmes is 6-2, 170 and is said to run a 4.5.  He isn't rated that high by some of the gurus, but the rankings may be a bit low.  Holmes.  The Miami Hurricanes would have taken him had they not already reeled in 4 WR commitments, with 3 of them being blue-chippers.  Holmes excelled at the California Bowl, where he was said to be electric in the open field.  

January 28, 9:15 p.m.

Recruiting, Recruiting, Recruiting

The Buckeyes landed two more verbal commitments today in Piqua defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock and Ft. Lauderdale safety Nate Salley bringing the number of OSU verbal commitments to 22.  Both are considered to be top 10 at their respective positions nationally.
Click here to look at the updated verbal commitment list that have Pitcock and Salley summaries added.  The landing of Pitcock means that the Bucks have at least 4 out of the 5 top prospects in Ohio.  In fact, there appear to be 11 top-notch prospects in Ohio that separate themselves from the pack, and it looks like the Buckeyes will land 9 of those 11 if indeed Bobby Carpenter commits to Ohio State Wednesday as many expect.  Here are the top 20 players in Ohio as I see it, and where they have committed:

                    1) Mike D'Andrea MLB - Ohio State
                    2) Maurice Clarett TB - Ohio State
                    3) Quinn Pitcock DT - Ohio State
                    4) Justin Zwick QB - Ohio State
                    5) Bobby Carpenter OLB - announces Wed
                    6) Doug Datish OL - Ohio State
                    7) Roy Hall WR - Ohio State
                    8) DeShawn Wynn TB - Florida
                    9) Mike Kudla LB/DE - Ohio State
                    10) Bryan Andrews LB/DE - undecided
                    11) E.J. Underwood CB - Ohio State
                    12) George Cooper jr. TE - Ga Tech
                    13) Tony Franklin TB/DB - Virginia
                    14) Nick Mangold OL - Ohio State
                    15) A.J. Hawk LB/FB - Ohio State
                    16) Antonio Reynolds DE/LB - Miami (FL)
                    17) Kyle Ralph OL - North Carolina
                    18) Rob Sims OL - Ohio State
                    19) Greg Pruitt jr. TB - Minnesota
                    20) Ashton Watson CB - Michigan State

More good news hopefully is on the way from Santonio Holmes.  Holmes is WR from Belle Glade, Florida that has turned many heads lately.  Holmes could decide any day now and it seems fairly likely that he will choose Ohio State over NC State.  If Holmes and Carpenter commit to Ohio State, that would bring the size of this class up to 24 commitments.  One would then think that Daytona Beach linebacker Buster Davis (said to be announcing a few days before signing day) and Huntersville, North Carolina offensive lineman Derek Morris (announcing on signing day) could potentially be commitments #25 and #26.  A lot could happen from now until the end of signing day, but if this happened to play out this way, this could be considered as good any incoming Ohio State class ever, although Texas has all but sewed up the mythical recruiting championship for 2002.

January 27, 5:00 p.m.

Atlanta WR/DB Brandon Mitchell has committed to Ohio State.  It sees likely that the 6'3" athlete will play safety at Ohio State.  Mitchell had not received a lot of ink from the national recruiting gurus, but apparently turned some heads late in the year.  Mitchell has an excellent GPA (in the high 3's.)  He chose Ohio State over Georgia Tech, North Carolina and others.  Mitchell becomes Ohio State's 20th verbal commitment for 2002.

January 27, 2:45 p.m.

Two big fish set to announce

Lancaster linebacker Bobby Carpenter and Piqua defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock are apparently ready to make their announcements as to which college they will attend.  Carpenter has set a press conference for Wednesday at 6:20 p.m. EST at Lancaster High School.  Pitcock is said to be making his decision be known tomorrow, but will not be having a press conference.  Carpenter is widely regarded as one of the 8 players in the state and top 125 players in the country and will likely play OLB at the next level.  Many remember Carpenter's father Rob Carpenter who played RB in the NFL for the Houston Oilers and the NY Giants.  Rob is also his son's high school head coach at Lancaster.  Pitcock is the top DT prospect in Ohio and considered to be a top 5 overall prospect in the state.  Ohio State is dire need of more talented bodies at defensive tackle, so Pitcock may be #1 on the Ohio State's coaches board of uncommitted prospects.

January 12, 11:45 p.m.

The wait is finally over and Mike D'Andrea will be a BUCKEYE!  D'Andrea chose Ohio State over Nebraska and becomes the 18th commitment of the 2002 recruiting class.  D'Andrea talked about his like for the Ohio State coaches and the incoming recruiting class, as being the deciding factors in his decision.  D'Andrea will likely play MLB at Ohio State although it is possible that he could play outside.

January 11, 11:00 p.m.

As of 11:00 p.m. tonight, Mike D'Andrea's decision does not appear to have been made public.  Last night, D'Andrea said that he would make his decision known to his school of choice within the next two days.  He said that he would then notify the media of his selection.  There have been several rumors that D'Andrea is committing to Ohio State, but these rumors are uncomfirmed at this point.  Mike D'Andrea, a high school All-American LB prospect from Avon Lake, Ohio is down to Ohio State and Nebraska.  D'Andrea has Andy Katzenmoyer type athleticism (and probably better) and also holds a 3.6 GPA.  There is no such thing as a "sure thing", but look for the Buckeyes to be D'Andrea's school of choice.

January 7, 10:00 p.m.

Ohio State has added another WR to their prospect mix - Larry Fitzgerald from Valley Forge Military.  Ohio State recruited Fitzgerald last year, but when he fell short on the grades end, Fitzgerald opted to head the prep school route.  Fitzgerald has committed to Pittsburgh, but seems to be wavering on his decision.  He has said that he will visit Ohio State.  Fitzgerald probably rates as a top 10 to top 20 WR prospect nationally.  He will have four years of eligibility.

January 4, 10:30 p.m.

--The Mike D'Andrea watch is still on.  Bucknuts.com 
has reported that Nebraska coaches have been sending D'Andrea printouts of the negative posts about him by Buckeye fans on the Bucknuts and O-Zone fan Forums. Now this is pretty sad, in my opinion.  Which is more pathetic, Ohio State fans that trash D'Andrea on message boards or Nebraska coaches who print these posts out and send them to D'Andrea via overnight mail?  Well, I guess they are both pretty pathetic.  It still appears to be very, very close between Ohio State and Nebraska.  If Mike's dad, Bob, has his way, Mike will be a Buckeye.  This could ultimately sway Mike, but many feel that his heart is in Nebraska.  

Jim Karsatos said on 1460 WBNS that Justin Zwick would be enrolling early and would play spring ball for Ohio State.  I thought that Karsatos was confusing Zwick with Clarett, but apparently there are rumors that Zwick could enroll early.  Some time ago, Zwick had said that his school, Massillon Washington, does not allow early graduation. There is now talk that there could be away around this.  I still think Karsatos may have been thinking of Clarett.

--If the Buckeyes do not land Mike D'Andrea they could still land a national top 5 MLB prospect in Daytona Beach Mainland's Buster Davis.  Davis has offers from Ohio State, Tennessee, Florida State, Nebraska along with several other big-time schools.  Not too shabby.  Davis is undersized (only 5-11 and under 230 lbs), but those who have seen him play say he is an absolute terror on the field.  The Buckeyes seem to have an excellent chance of landing Davis.  Coach Tressel will be visiting him soon, and a commitment could happen at that time.  Davis would also very much like to play with D'Andrea who he has becomes friends with.

--Sources say that Ohio State still leads big for Piqua DT Quinn Pitcock and Lancaster LB Bobby Carpenter.  The question is, when are these guys going to commit? This talk has been going on since before the season started.  On the other hand, prospects like this are plenty good enough to wait for.

Top Seniors in Ohio
August 18, 2001 9:00 am EST

Here's a look at the top seniors-to-be in Ohio next year.  As of 8/18, these rankings are a little out of date. Some players have moved up and others have moved down since I originally ranked these players a few months ago.  Players were originally ranked based on the early hype they were getting.  Disclaimer: I am not a recruiting expert and have not seen anything more than a few highlights of only a few of these players.  I basically read what the gurus have to say about the prospects and listen to a few insiders to base my opinion.  

1) Justin Zwick, QB, Massillon Washington, 6-5, 215, 4.75.  The best QB prospect to come out of Ohio in years.  Top 25 overall prospect per Burton/Crabtree.  All-time passing leader in Ohio and hasn't even played his senior year yet.  Max Emfinger #3 dropback QB prospect nationally.  Rivals top 100 overall national prospect.  Lemming top 100 overall national prospect.  Offered early by OSU.  8/15 update: Dated news as of this date, but Zwick was bothered with a hamstring problem at the national "Elite 11" QB camp a few weeks back.  Zwick did not fair all that well against the best of the best, but this probably wasn't a measure of his talent.

2) Drushaun Humphrey, RB/LB, Toledo Rogers, 6-3, 240, 4.43.  The term "freak" is often used to describe him.  Put on an absolute show at the Ohio State camp last summer.  Can play a variety of positions and probably has more athletic ability than Andy Katzenmoyer if that's possible.  Wants to play TB in college.  Already committed to Ohio State.  5/3 update: As most people know by now, Humphrey died of a heart attack on 4/30 after a pickup game of basketball.  My heart goes out to those close to "Big Dru."

3) Mike D'Andrea, LB, Avon Lake, 6-3, 230, 4.55.  #1 MLB in the country per Emfinger.  3.5 GPA.  Duane Long from Ohio Future Stars notes that he has been compared to Katzenmoyer.  National top 25 overall prospect per Burton/Crabtree.  Lemming top 100 overall national prospect.  Offered early by OSU.  Rivals100 top 100 overall national prospect.  World class shot put thrower.  Freakish abilities.  May be the top defensive prospect in the nation.  7/22: D'Andrea still saying it will be a while and that he has no leader.  Those in the know still believe OSU is the team to beat over Nebraska and Michigan.  7/27:  Direct quote from Duane Long today - "I think the Buckeyes end up with D'Andrea and White for sure and probably Carpenter."  Also, there is talk that Kennedy leaving may have actually helped OSU's chances with Mike.  8/15: Still playing the waiting game with D'Andrea.

4) Quinn Pitcock, TE/DT, Piqua, 6-4, 290, 4.81.  #5 DT prospect in the country per Emfinger.  3.9 GPA.  Very quick for a big man and has great strength.  Best DT prospect in a while to come out of Ohio.  Overall top 25 national prospect per Burton/Crabtree.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Rivals and Lemming.  Offered early by OSU.  6/13 update: Per BSB, will begin visits soon.  Considering OSU, Pitt, ND, NW, Wisky, MSU, and Duke.  Those in the know still consider OSU tough to beat on this one.  6/24: Did not camp at OSU.  7/2: OSU still leads.  Will visit in July.  Still a hard one to call, but OSU probably has a better than 50/50 shot.  7/7: Pitcock has said he wants to take all of his visits after the season.  7/14: Will be visiting OSU soon, says OSU still leads.  7/22: Rumors have resurfaced that Pitcock could quit football for track and field, but I wouldn't bet on it.  8/15: Visited PSU but still proclaimed OSU as his leader after the visit which is a good sign for Ohio State.  8/18: Bucknuts (via SuperPrep) reports OSU leads over PSU and others.

5) Maurice Clarett, RB, Warren Harding, 6-1, 230, 4.5.  One of the best TB's in the land.  Max Emfinger lists him has his #3 FB prospect in the country.  (Note to Max - he won't play FB at OSU.)  Top 100 overall national prospect per Lemming.  Rivals100 top 100 overall national prospect as a FB.  (Note to Rivals - he won't play FB at OSU.)  Great agility for a big man.  Firm commitment to Ohio State and will enroll next January after graduating early from high school.  3.3 GPA.  Injury problems are the only draw back with Clarett.  6/24 update: Attended OSU camp.  Ran an impressive 4.47 after a long day of workouts.  Still a firm commitment to OSU and still plans to enroll early (next January) to participate in spring practice.  

6) Brian Andrews, DE/LB, Lima Senior, 6-6, 225, 4.6.  Played LB last year but may project as DE in college.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  Does not appear on many national lists anymore because of grade issues, otherwise he is a to 100 prospect nationally.  Ohio Future Stars Duane Long says he reminds him a bit of Courtney Brown. 7/27 update: There are a lot of unconfirmed rumors that say Andrews actually has a good shot at qualifying.  If this is the case, there is a good chance he could end up a Buckeye.  8/15: More talk that Andrews has a decent chance of qualifying.

7) DeShawn Wynn, RB/S, Reading, 6-0 1/2, 212, 4.34.  Wynn splashed on the scene as a freshman when he ran for nearly 2,000 yards.  He's had some injury problems since, but has still put up phenomenal numbers. Great speed.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  Top 100 national prospect per Lemming.  #3 power-I TB prospect in the land per Emfinger.  8/18 update: Alabama and WVU are Wynn's leader over OSU and Michigan.  No decision expected soon.  Will probably take visits.  Many now consider OSU a long shot.

8) Roy Hall, WR, Lyndhurst Brush 6-3, 200, 4.4.  Receiving much hype despite the fact that he has modest numbers.  Injuries slowed him down last year.  3.5 GPA.  Big receiver who has great athletically ability.  #16 flanker-WR prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Rivals.  7/2 update:  OSU still appears to be the leader.  Zwick is calling Hall once a week.  Duane Long feels that OSU has an excellent chance with Hall and a commitment could be right around the corner.  Bucknuts (via SuperPrep) is reporting that Hall has no leader.  7/7: Good chance of OSU getting a commitment, and soon.  8/15: Looks like it may be between OSU and Georgia Tech, with OSU still expected to win out.  Decision could come shortly after the start of the season.

9) Mike Kudla, LB/DE, Medina Highland, 6-4, 245, 4.52.  More Katzenmoyer comparisons, this time in stature.  3.8 GPA.  Close to a 500 pound bench.  An absolute freak.  Born leader that has no fear of competition.  Played LB this past season, but could play DE in college.  #1 DE prospect in the country per Emfinger.  7/14 update: Verbally committed to Ohio State.

10) Bobby Carpenter, LB/RB, Lancaster, 6-3, 232, 4.6.  Son of former Giant Rob Carpenter.  Great work ethic.  Great speed.  3.8 GPA.  #7 SLB prospect in the country per Max Emfinger.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Lemming.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  Offered early by OSU.  His dad gave strong consideration to Ohio State but apparently shied away from Ohio State because they already had a decent RB at the time - some guy named Griffin.  7/22 update: Carpenter still talking about waiting a while on a decision.  Considering ND, OSU, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, Michigan State and West Virginia.  Bucknuts is reporting (via SuperPrep) that OSU is Carpenter's solid leader - 7/16 report.  7/27:  Direct quote from Duane Long today, "I think the Buckeyes end up with D'Andrea and White for sure and probably Carpenter."  Carpenter still says he will probably wait until after the season to make a decision.  8/25: Long wait expected.

11) Doug Datish, OL, Warren Howland, 6-5, 285, 5.1.  #6 OT prospect in the country per Emfinger.  Datish's father played at Ohio State in the mid 70's.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Rivals and Lemming.  #7 O-line prospect nationally per CL Ronning.  Offered fairly early by OSU.  6/28 update: Committed to Ohio State yesterday.

12) George Cooper Jr., TE, Westerville North, 6-5, 255, 4.9.  Son of former OSU fullback George Cooper Sr.  Could grow into an O-lineman.  Offered early by OSU.  Could play O-line at the next level.  Huge frame with huge hands.  7/22: Duane Long has said recently that he now believes there is a good chance Cooper ends up a Buckeye.  Has publicly said that he favors Pitt, GT, Miami (FL), OSU, and Arizona St.  Was offered by OSU at one point.  8/4: Per D. Long has offers from OSU, ND and PSU.  Duane says it looks like a long wait.  Also noted that Cooper has lost weight and will probably stay at TE. 

13) A J Hawk, LB, Centerville, 6-1 1/2, 230, 4.59.  Were it not for the quality of this class and the several superstar LB's, would be rated higher.  6th best SLB nationally per Emfinger.  Outstanding FB as well.  6/28 update: Committed to Ohio State today.  Offered as a "Will" LB, which plays over the TE.

14) Al Washington, DT, Columbus Watterson, 6-0, 266, 4-9.  Son of former Buckeye Alvin Washington.  Being looked at by FSU, so that should tell you something.  MVP of Boston College camp last year.  6/24 update: Apparently did not attend OSU camp.  If he did, no one's mentioning it.  7/22: Doesn't appear to have much in terms of offers.  Likes WF, Miami (OH), OSU, Michigan, and N'Western.

15) Eric Fritz, OL/DT, Dublin Coffman, 6-4, 300, 5.2.  Son of former Ohio State All-American Ken Fritz.  Could play on either side of the ball at the next level.  5/13 update: Rivals100 says Fritz interested in the following schools - Pitt, OSU, Ga Tech, Fla, Mia, NC St, Michigan, and LSU.  Offered by OSU and Pitt.  6/24: Attended OSU senior camp, but no real talk of him afterwards.  6/28: No leader right now.  7/27: OSU does not appear to be pursuing anymore.  8/25: Still hard to tell if OSU is interested at this point.

BEST OF THE REST to round out the top 50 prospects in Ohio: (by position)

QB: Denayne Davidson-Dixon, Cleveland - Completed over 70% of his passes last year. 7/22 update: Favoring Ga Tech over Pitt, Indiana, Central Michigan, and West Virginia.
QB: Jimmy Skinner, Chillicothe 7/22 update: Favoring Michigan over Marshall, Indiana, and Purdue.  82/15: Marshall has offer.
QB: Troy Smith, Cleveland - #7 dropback QB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  8/4 update: Favors OSU, Va Tech and West Virginia.  Would like a shot at QB.  OSU apparently recruiting as an "athlete" but he could get look at QB should he end up at OSU.  OSU has offered.  Needs to raise test score.  Excelled at Elite 11 QB camp that featured 11 of the best QB's nationally.  Height is probably hurting his chances of getting many offers as a QB.
RB: Tony Franklin, Bedford 6/19 update: Has committed to Virginia.
RB: Regis Edgerson, Garfield Heights 7/7 update: Per Duane Long, Wisconsin may be the team to beat.  Several offers but no offer from OSU apparently.  8/15: OSU will not be one of his 5 visits. 
RB: Sean Miller, Solon 8/15 update: Has committed to Indiana.
RB: Erick Phillips, Hilliard - Very powerful at 210 pounds.  Per D. Long at OFS, would be the top RB in the state in normal year, but this year is very special for Ohio TB's.  7/14 update: Phillips favors Michigan, OSU, and PSU in that order per Duane Long.  Also says Pitt could be a player.  8/18: Considering OSU, Pitt, PSU, Michigan, Indiana, and Notre Dame.  No offer from OSU.  Penn State may be school to beat.
FB: Zach Harris, Portsmouth 6/24 update: Attended OSU camp.
WR: Andre Chattams, Dayton - brother of Buckeye Angelo Chattams.  More speed than his brother but not quite as proven just yet.  6/15 update: Per BSB's Steve Helwagen, has impressed at OSU camp.  No offer, however.  7/2: OSU showing little interest.  7/22 Purdue has offered and leads.
WR: Josh Williams, Cincinnati 5/21 update: Ga Tech has offered.  Does like Ohio State per D. Long.
WR: David Vickers, Akron 5/9 update: Offers on board from BC, Pitt, GT, and Louisville.  D. Long says Bollman visited Vickers' school (Buchtel) today.  7/22: GT and Pitt have offered.  GT leads.
WR: Reggie Corner, Canton 6/19 update: Attended first OSU camp.  Bucknuts is reporting (via SuperPrep) that OSU is solid leader.  No offer at this point.  8/15: Several MAC offers.
TE: Anthony Hollins, Cleveland 5/17 update: OSU leads but no offer on table.  6/12: Was to attend OSU camp but not sure if he made it.  7/22: Akron is current leader.
TE: Anthony Montgomery, Cleveland 6/19 update: Bucknuts reporting (via SuperPrep) that Penn State is solid leader.  6/24: Attended OSU camp.  7/22: OSU, PSU, and GT lead but apparently does not have an offer from any of these three schools.  OSU would be a longshot to offer with so few 'ships left.
OL: Kyle Ralph, Cincinnati - Top 250 national prospect per rivals.  6/9 update: Verbally committed to Vandy today.  OSU had offered.
OL: Mike Donaldson, Mansfield 7/7: Favors OSU, but still no offer.  7/22: Has MAC offers only.  Outside chance that OSU could still pursue if he looks good this fall.  8/15: Akron and BG have offered.
OL: Rick McDole, Marysville - Huge O-lineman that faired very well against all-world DT Quinn Pitcock in the state playoffs last year.  6/24 update: Not offered at OSU camp although the O-Zone reported he looked good.  May be headed to Northwestern now that OSU seems to be out of the picture.  7/22: GT and NW lead Pitt and WV.  8/15: Has decent offers on the board. 
OL: Rob Sims, Nordonia -  #16 OG prospect nationally per Emfinger.  7/2 update: Has committed to OSU
OL: T.J. Downing, Canton 7/7 update: OSU verbal commitment.  
OL: Nick Mangold, Kettering - 6-5, 255, 5.1.  Also plays DT for Alter.  7/2 update: Has committed to Ohio State. 
DE: Roman Fry, Ironton 7/22 update: Clemson and West Virginia are biggest offers.  Clemson is leader.
DE: Antonio Reynolds, Akron #21 DE prospect nationally per Emfinger 7/14 update: Has verbally committed to Miami (FL.)
DE: Joel Penton, Van Wert (Emfinger #19 DE prospect nationally) 7/14 update: Was Ohio State's 2nd verbal commitment.  Apparently slated to play DT at Ohio State.
DE: Tim Schaefer, Upper Arlington - Could play DE, DT, or O-line at the next level.  Played at the other DE spot opposite Simon Fraser last year.  Really came on late in the year.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  8/15: Has committed to OSU.
DE: Jay Richardson, Dublin  6/24 update: Offered at OSU camp.  Per Duane Long, shooting up the charts.  Could play DT.  Goes 6-5, 245, ands runs a 4.9.  OSU is his leader.  6/28: Committed to Ohio State.  7/14: Apparently slated to play DT at OSU.
DL: Andy Alleman, Massillon 7/14 update: Has verbally committed to Pitt.
LB: James Davenport, Lima - off-the-field problems.  Possible grade issues.  Top d-1 prospect if off-the-field issues were to cease.  7/14 update: Rumors have resurfaced that he may not play his senior year.  I think it's safe to say that there is virtually no chance he could end up a Buckeye anymore.
DB: EJ Underwood, Hamilton - 12th best CB nationally per Emfinger.  7/27 update: Verbally committed to Ohio State.
DB: Tyler Everett, Canton - Was top prospect early in high school career but toughness questions may have dropped his stock.  7/14 update: Has verbally committed to Ohio State.
DB: Carlos Alexander, Akron - great speed.  Incredible return man.  Fast rising star per Duane Long at OFS. 7/28 update: Has committed to Michigan State.  
DB: Rick Brown, Cincinnati - Plays LB at the high school level.  6/9 update: Verbally committed to Vandy today.
DB: Donnie Johnson, Cincinnati 7/2 update: Has committed to Illinois to play RB.
DB: Anthony Smith, Hubbard 7/27 update: With Roberts on board and Ashton Watson potentially coming aboard, Smith could get squeezed out of the picture.  ND is waiting to see if Smith qualifies and Ohio State may be waiting as well.  8/4: OSU still leads.  Still needs to qualify.
DB: Tremaine Suggs, Canton 6/24 update: Was said to be attending OSU camp, but no mention of him now that camp is over.
DB: Ashton Watson, Huber Heights 8/15 update: Has committed to Michigan State.

Top Seniors Across the Nation
August 18, 2001 8:00 am EST

By position)  

Kyle Brown, RB, West Bloomfield, MI, 6-1, 196, 4.35. Could play WR, RB, DB at next level.  Played QB last year.  #3 Strong Safety prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 prospect per Rivals (as an "athlete".)  May be top prospect in state of Michigan, definitely one of the best.  6/7 update: Says he has been offered by OSU.  Per BSB, interested in Purdue, Mich St, Michigan, OSU, Ga, and Wisconsin, having offers from all of them except Georgia.  8/4: Purdue looks like school to beat.  8/18:  May take an official visit to Ohio State.

Duane Coleman, RB, Naples, FL, 5-10, 185, 4.4. Plays RB and safety.  June 12 update: Offered by OSU per BSB.  Will probably camp at OSU.  OSU one of Coleman's favorites.  6/24 update: Not sure that he made it to OSU camp.

Gerald Riggs, RB/DB, Chattanooga, 6-1, 210, 4.4.  Over 50 scholarship offers.  Could play either side of the ball at the next level.  Grades are a concern.  #1 power-I TB nationally per Emfinger.  Top 25 overall national prospect per Burton/Crabtree.  Top 100 national prospect per Rivals and Lemming.  5/25 update: Lemming reported OSU one of five favorites along with Michigan, Miami (FL), Tennessee, and Arizona State.  6/19: Duane Long thinks he stays in the south and again mentioned that Riggs is an academic concern.  7/22: July 8 piece from Emfinger had Tennessee, Michigan, Miami, Florida State, and possibly Arizona State as schools with best shot at Riggs.  OSU basically out of the picture for Riggs.

Nicholas Turner, RB, Atlanta, 5-11, 190, 4.3.  Top 100 overall national prospect by Lemming and Rivals.  #6 speed-TB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  5/26 update: Per Rivals100, offers from OSU, Florida, Georgia, Ga Tech, and several other major programs.  Wants to wait a while before deciding.  OSU actually recruiting as a DB.  7/14: Favors Georgia, Penn State, Florida, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Clemson and Miami.

Nate Schiccatano, RB/WR, Catawissa, PA, 6-3, 230.  Could play a variety of positions at the next level including TE, safety, WR, TB, or FB.  #2 power-I TB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Lemming (TE).  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals (athlete.)  Excellent size-speed combo.  3.9 GPA.  5/26 update: Offers from 30 plus schools including Ohio State, Michigan, and Florida, per Emfinger.  6/7: Chris Pool quotes Schiccatano as liking several schools, OSU being included.  Confirms OSU offer.  7/7: Plans to visit OSU.  7/22: Max feels Notre Dame may get an early verbal unless PSU can convince Nate otherwise.  8/4:  Recently visited OSU and enjoyed the visit.  Says he will probably make an official visit here.

Selvin Young, RB, Houston, 6-0, 195, 4.36.  #7 Speed back nationally per Emfinger.  7/14 update: Offers from several big-time programs but not OSU at this time.  Is considering OSU.

Devin Aromashodu, WR, Miami, FL, 6-1, 180, 4.5.  One of the top WR's in Florida.  #9 flanker-WR prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  7/2 update: Not sure if offer is on table or not for Aromashodu.  He's very high on OSU and probably will take a visit to Columbus. 7/14: OSU is not thought to be in Devin's top 2, though he lists OSU in his top 6.  7/22: Favors Miami, OSU and ND.  8/18: Will visit OSU on Oct 6 - Northwestern game.  OSU and Miami lead Notre Dame.

Jason Avant, WR, Chicago, 6-2, 200, 4.4.  Also plays TB.  #3 WR flanker WR nationally per Emfinger.  Top 250 overall national prospect per Rivals.  7/27 update: Favors Tenn, Mich, Miami and OSU all of which have offered.  OSU may get visit.

Dominique Byrd, WR/LB, Minneapolis, 6-3, 230, 4.5.  Top basketball and football prospect.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  #10 SLB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 naitonal prospect per Lemming (LB.)  7/7 update: OSU has apparently offered.  One of several schools Byrd is considering.  7/14: Byrd will probably visit ND.  No favorite.  7/22: OSU not amongst Byrd's 6 favorites per Chris Pool.

Damion Collins, WR, Dallas, 6-1, 200, 4.4.  One of the top WR's in Texas this year.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  7/7 update:  Texas Alliance site listing OSU as one of Collins leaders.  7/14: Per David Garvin at Hearland Recruiting, Collins is "giving Ohio State serious consideration, along with Tennessee, FSU and Texas."  8/4: OSU may be favorite although they have not offered.  Oklahoma and others have offered.

Jahkeen Gilmore, WR, Brooklyn, 4.4.  High school teammate of I. Perfection Harris and Kwakou Robinson.  Runs track as well.  6/15 update: Excellent camp at OSU.  Ran a 4.4 at the camp.  Offered a scholarship by Ohio State according to teammates.  6/24: Does not appear to have offer from OSU.

Santonio Holmes, WR, Bele Glade, 5-11, 178, 4.5.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  6/28 update: Offers from some good programs including Va Tech, but not from OSU or FSU which are his two favorites.

Chris McClain, WR, Nashville, TN, 5-7, 160.  Plays DB as well, and is an excellent return man.  7/14 update: Per Chris Pool, favors Wisc, Tenn, OSU, and Ole Miss.  Wisconsin has offered.  8/4:  Wisconsin and Tennessee lead. 

Jermaine Mobley, WR, Deerfield Beach, FL, 6-0, 170, 4.4. #16 (non-flanker) WR nationally by Emfinger. 7/7 update: OSU amongst leaders, but OSU has not offered.  Very few offers to this point.

Ryan Moore, WR, Orlando, 6-3, 190, 4.4.  Burton/Crabtree overall top 25 national prospect.  Top 100 national prospect per Lemming and Rivals.  #1 Flanker WR prospect nationally per Emfinger.  7/27 update: Justin Zwick has attempted to reach Moore in an effort to persuade him to come north.  Moore says that he is considering OSU among many others.  OSU has not offered at this point.  Emfinger does not have Moore listing Ohio State.

Terry Richardson, WR, Corona, CA, 6-1, 180, 4.4. Plays DB as well.  #10 (non-flanker) WR prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  7/7 update: Still considering OSU but apparently no offer on table from OSU.  8/4: OSU amongst 5 favorites.  8/18: Says he would like to take an official visit to Ohio State.

Maurice Stovall, WR, Radnor, PA, 6-4, 200, 4.24.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Rivals and Lemming.  #2 Flanker-WR prospect nationally per Emfinger.  7/7 update: OSU in the hunt, but Virginia leads per Duane Long.  7/22: OSU not in Stovall's top 10.  7/27: Stovall mentioning OSU but not amongst his leaders.  Favors GT and Virginia.  8/4: OSU virtually no shot with Stovall.

Shawn Tucker, WR, Parkland, FL, 6-1, 170, 4.4.  One of many top-notch WR's from the state of Florida this year.  6/24 update: Has offer from OSU (although not many other elite programs) and OSU appear to be very high on his list.  Will visit after the high school season.

Richard Washington, WR, Ft. Myers, FL, 6-1, 190, 4.4.  Runs a 10.8 100 meters.  Teammates call him "Little Peter (Warrick.)  All-Florida as a junior.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Rivals and Lemming.  #1 (non-flanker) WR nationally per Emfinger.  6/28 update: Click here for a great piece from the O-Zone on Washington.  Sounds like OSU could have a real good shot at this out-of-state superstar.  7/27: Duane Long talked to Washington today.  Washington said OSU is definitely in his top 2 (along with FSU) and that he could decide before he visits here for the N'Western game.  The tone of Long's post sounded very positive for OSU.  This would be a GREAT get.  8/18: Said on Bucknuts radio that OSU probably has 75% chance and that may change to 100% when he visits for the Northwestern game.  His OSU buddy Chris Vance likes OSU's chances here.

Mike Watkins, WR, College Park, GA, 6-2, 180, 4.5.  Many relatives from Ohio.  One of top WR's in Georgia.  #25 flanker-WR prospect nationally per Emfinger.  6/6 update: Claims has a verbal offer from OSU.  University of Georgia showing little interest.  Will camp at Ole Miss as reported by Mike Farrell.  6/7: Some question as to whether or not he actually has an offer from OSU.  BSB quotes Farrell as saying OSU leads.  7/28: Superprep still saying OSU is big leader, but again, I'm not sure OSU is even pursuing.

Vincent Young, WR/QB, Houston, TX, 6-5, 195, 4.4.  Top 100 national prospect per Rivals and Lemming.  #1 Athletic Passing QB nationally per Emfinger.  Top 25 overall national prospect per Burton/Crabtree.  7/7 update: Probably pointless to list him here, but OSU has offered.  FSU leads and OSU doesn't appear to be on the chart.

RJ Coleman, TE, Charleston, WV, 6-6, 265, 4.8.  #3 TE nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 national prospect per Lemming.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  Fully qualified.  Offered by Ohio State as well as some other big-time programs.  Has visited Ohio State.  6/3 update: Became Ohio State's 4th verbal commitment on 6/2.  See the front page for more on Coleman.  Major grab, especially this early in the game.  6/24: Attended OSU camp.  7/22: Attended WV camp but still thought to be solid OSU verbal.

Chris Auletta, OL, Massapequa, NY, 6-5, 311, 5.2.  23rd best OT prospect in the country per Emfinger.  7/14 update: Penn State leads, but OSU still in picture per Bucknuts (via SuperPrep.)  8/4: Has committed to Penn State.

Justin Blalock, OL, Plano, TX.  6-4, 346, 5.0.  3.6 GPA and a 31 on ACT.  Incredible athlete for a man his size.  #1 OG nationally per Emfinger.  7/7 update: OSU probably a longshot but could get a visit.  7/22: Emfinger report has Blalock mentioning Texas and Michigan as his favorites.  No mention of OSU.  8/18: OSU not in top 4, but Blalock has still is mentioning OSU.  OSU considered long shot.

Heath Benedict, OL, Highstown, NJ.  6-6, 285, 4.75.  Top 250 prospect overall nationally per Rivals.  7/14 update: Favors Tenn, Neb, GT, PSU, OSU, Va, and Va Tech.  Offered by all (including OSU) except for UT. 

Brian Borgoyn, OL, Pittsburgh, PA, 6-4, 295, 5.0.  #4 OG prospect per Emfinger.  8/4 update:  Is considering OSU but does not have offer.  Probably a long shot of Borgoyn winding up in scarlet and gray. 

Ryan Carter, OL, Groveland, FL, 6-5, 320, 5.2.  #3 OG prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  6/8 update: BSB reporting that OSU has offered and is one of 5 favorites along with Fla, Tenn, BYU, and Okl.  Will visit those five schools.  7/22: Emfinger report has Carter mentioning Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia Tech.  OSU may be out of the picture.  8/18: Has said recently that he is still considering OSU, but OSU is not in his top 5.  OSU has offered.

Jeff Edwards, OL, Marist, GA, 6-7, 250.  #22 OT prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Will be a four year starter.  3.85 GPA.  Was all-state as a junior.  7/7 update: Does have offer from OSU.  7/14: Wide open in terms of schools.  Per Jamie Newberg has written offers from Maryland, Georgia Tech, Ohio State and Arkansas.

Abner Estrada, OL, Carrollton, TX, 6-4, 275, 5.2.  One of the top O-lineman in Texas this year.  7/14 update: Nebraska and Miami lead.  OSU has offered.

Max Jean-Gilles, OL, North Miami Beach, FL., 6-5, 340, 5.2.  Played guard last year after playing tackle as a sophomore.  2nd best OG prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  7/7 update: OSU in Gilles' top 5, with no favorite.  Not close to deciding.  Does not appear to have offer from OSU.  8/4: Still considering OSU, but is probably a long shot.

Brandon Jefferies, OL, Shelby, NC, 6-5, 275, 4.8.  Top 250 overall national prospect per Rivals.  Great size/spee combo.  #9 OT prospect nationally per Emfinger.  7/14 update: Several offers including PSU, Oklahoma and Tennessee.  OSU is amongst Jefferies leaders.

Davin Joseph, OL, Hallandale, FL, 6-3, 270.  Florida recruiting guru Bill Buchalter reports that he can play all five offensive lineman and nose guard on defense.  Buchalter also reports that his quickness is outstanding and he is a top wrestler with very good grades.  7/14 update: OSU is current leader per Bucknuts (via SuperPrep.)  No written offer from OSU at this time.  8/15: OSU and Michigan State are co-leaders.  Will visit OSU.  Insinuated that OSU has offered him verbally.  Wants to wrestle in college as well as play football.  OSU has legit chance here.

Winston Justice, OL, Long Beach, CA, 6-7, 300, 5.0.  #2 OT prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Rivals.  Hails from same top-notch high school program as Ken-Yon Rambo.  7/27 update:  Considering OSU along with UCLA, USC, Wash, and Fla.  UCLA may be school to beat.  All of favorites have offered as well as several other top notch programs.

Jim Marten, OL, Indianapolis.  6-8, 285, 5.1.  Top 250 overall national prospect per Rivals.  7/22 update: Offers from OSU, Tennessee, Northwestern, and Ball State.  No leader.

Shadu Moore, OL, Patterson, NJ, 6-4, 295, 5.0.  #5 OG prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 25 overall prospect in the country per Burton/Crabtree.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Lemming.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  6/12 update: ND, Syr, Rutg, BC, and (possibly) OSU is who Moore listed as his favorites (per BSB.)  Will visit OSU.  6/24: Duane Long of OFS thinks Moore is a major target of OSU's.  7/14: Will visit in August.  Apparently still no offer from OSU at this point.  7/22: Bucknuts (via SuperPrep) reports Syracuse is slight leader.  Report does not mention OSU.  8/18: Planning to visit at the end of August.  Still no offer from OSU.  Grades could be the reason.

Derek Morris, OL, Huntersville, NC, 6-6, 340, 5.2.  #3 OT prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Rivals and Lemming.  6/14 update: Jamie Newburg reporting that Morris is considering OSU along with several other schools and will make an unofficial visit here within the next few weeks.  7/14: Tennessee appears to be favorite.  8/4: Had outstanding visit and will visit again for N'Western game. Duane Long still feels it will be tough for OSU to pry him from the south.  8/18: Tennessee considered the major favorite here.  Parents love UT.  Visiting OSU on Oct 6.

Alex Pou, OL, Coral Gables, FL, 6-4, 235.  Plays guard and tackle.  #11 OG prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  6/28 update: Says he has an offer from Ohio State.  Has other big-time offers.  OSU in his top 6 per Jamie Newberg.  8/4: Miami leads.

J.C. Ronnfeldt, OL, Federal Way, Washington, 6-3, 300, 5.2. 23rd best OG prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  6/24 update: Has offers from some majors programs, but not OSU as of yet.  May visit OSU.  7/27: Bucknuts (via SuperPrep) reporting that Washington is a solid leader but Ronnfeldt is still considering OSU.

Troy Reddick, OL, Albany, GA, 6-6, 310.  One of the top O-line prospects in Georgia this year.  7/14 update:  Unconfirmed, but supposedly has offers from OSU, Clem, Aub, GT, WF, and Stanford.

Gabriel Watson, OL, Southfield, MI, 6-4, 320, 5.0. Plays both sides of the ball.  One of top two or three prospects in Michigan this year, maybe #1.  #6 DT prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Lemming and Rivals.  6/12 update: Michigan is his favorite, with OSU probably 2nd, per BSB.  Offered by OSU, Michigan, Nebraska, MSU, and others.  6/28: Per Duane Long at OFS, the Bucks appear to have little chance with Watson and he will probably go to Michigan.

John Williams, OL, Atlanta, 6-3, 270.  One of the top O-lineman in Georgia this year.  7/7 update: OSU one of several schools that have offered Williams a scholarship.  Favors GT.

Kendric Gholston, DT, Tyrone, GA, 6-4, 285, 4.9.  Top 25 overall prospect in the country per Burton/Crabtree.  #7 DT prospect nationally by Emfinger.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Lemming and Rivals.  5/26 update: Offers on board from several schools including FSU.  Ohio State probably a longer shot.  7/22: As of July 13, Gholston was not listing OSU per Emfinger.   

Fred Matua, DT, Wilmington, CA, 6-3, 270. Top 100 overall national prospect per Rivals.  #2 nose tackle nationally per Emfinger.  6/24 update: Considering several schools including Ohio State.  No leader.

Haloti Ngata, DT, Salt Lake City, 6-4, 308, 4.87.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Lemming and Rivals.  #3 DT prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Put on a show at the Texas A&M Nike camp.  7/2 update: OSU pursuing hard but look like a very long shot.  OSU has offered, though.  Favors Washington, Nebraska, Oregon, and Oregon State.  7/14: OSU basically out of running.

Kwakou Robinson, DT/OL, Brooklyn, NY, 6-4, 315, 5.1.  Per the O-Zone, prefers defense but could play either side of the ball.  Imposing physical specimen - rock solid.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  Top 100 national prospect per Lemming.  6/15 update: Maybe the best camp of any of the first session participants at OSU.  Offered a scholarship. 7/7: No leader between OSU, USC, ND, Michigan State, and Miami (Fl).  8/18: Says he will likely visit OSU.  

Baraka Atkins, DE, Sarasota, FL, 6-5, 250.  7/27 update:  Says he has offer from OSU, but OSU probably not pursuing at this point with lack of 'ships available.  Favors Miami, OSU, and Va Tech.  8/4: Favors Miami.

Brandon Cannon, DE, Stone Mountain, GA, 6-4, 250.  One of the top D-lineman in the Peach state this year.  3.5 GPA.  7/7 update: Per Jamie Newberg, OSU has verbally offered.  GT leads Aub, Clem, and OSU. 

Julian Jenkins, DE, College Park, GA, 6-5, 220, 4.7.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Lemming and Rivals.  #7 DE prospect nationally per Emfinger.  5/26 update: Offers from several big-time programs but not Ohio State as of yet.  No favorite as of yet.  7/7: Stanford leads per Chris Pool.  OSU looks likes major longshot.  8/4: OSU not in Jenkin's top 5.

Kamerion Wimbley, DE, Wichita, KS, 6-4, 225, 4.6.  8th best SLB nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 prospect nationally per Lemming and Rivals.  8/4 update: According to Emfinger piece, Wimbley has offer from OSU.  OSU does appear to be longshot, though.  FSU appears to be leader

Travis Leitko, DE, The Woodlands, TX, 6-6, 255, 4.8.  #3 DE prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Rivals and Lemming.  6/6 update: Offered by Ohio State.  7/7: OSU not in Leitko's top 6. 

Marvin Byrdsong, LB, Longview, TX, 6-3, 230, 4.5.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Rivals.  #4 SLB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  7/27 update: Committed to Rutgers.

Tyrone Cox, LB, College Park, GA, 6-2, 215, 4.42.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  Top 100 national prospect per Lemming.  #1 WLB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  7/7 update: Considering OSU but favors Miami (FL).  Not quite clear whether OSU has offered.  7/22: OSU not among Cox' four leaders.

Lucas Jackson, LB, West Monroe, LA, 6-1, 210, 4.5.  Considered by some to be the top prospect in Louisiana this year.  7th best WLB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  6/8 update: OSU one of a variety of schools that is pursuing per Phil Grosz.

Thad Washington, LB, New Orleans, 6-0, 230, 4.56.  3.0 GPA.  14th best MLB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  6/8 update: Actively being pursued by all SEC schools, A&M, Texas, Okl, Neb, Ole Miss, Was, Michigan, and OSU per Phil Grosz.

Stan White Jr., LB, Baltimore, MD, 6-3, 228, 4.62.  Offered by Ohio State.  5th best SLB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  Top 100 overall national prospect per Lemming.  3.9 GPA.  His father is former Buckeye standout Stan White. 7/27 update:  Direct quote from Duane Long today, "I think the Buckeyes end up with D'Andrea and White for sure and probably Carpenter."  Visits Stanford from August 4th to August 6th.  8/4: Currently on recruiting trip to Stanford.  Decision expected soon after with OSU still the school to beat.  8/18: OSU still leads over Stanford (even after his visit there.)  Decision expected soon.  Strong rumors that he has decided on Ohio State.

Ryan Andrews, DB, College Park, GA, 5-9, 175, 4.5.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals (athlete.)  Could play a variety of positions at next level including WR, RB, or DB.  7/7 update: OSU one of many schools Andrews is considering.  Not quite clear whether OSU has offered.

Abraham Brown, DB, Sarasota, FL, 6-4, 205, 4.55.  Phenomenal stats on the field as a junior, including 7 picks and has a 3.5 cumulative GPA.  6/24 update: Has been offered by OSU.  

I Perfection Harris, CB/RB, Brooklyn, 5-11, 175, 4.4.  Probably projects as a corner at next level.  Won the national high school championship in the long jump this past season.  6/15 update:  Had phenomenal camp at OSU and his teammates reported that he was offered a scholarship.  Ran a 4.35 at the camp.  6/19: Does not appear to have offer like teammates had indicated.  8/18: No offer from OSU at this point.  Offers from Boston College and Miami.  May come back to OSU for official visit.

Michael Hawkins, DB, Carrollton, TX, 6-1, 180, 4.4,  Top 100 prospect per Rivals.  #3 CB nationally per Emfinger.  7/7 update: Favors Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida, West Virginia and Ohio State per Jamie Newberg but apparently no offer from OSU.  7/14: Per David Garvin at Heartland recruiting says OSU has offered, but trail Oklahoma.

Devin Hester, CB/RB, Riviera Beach, FL, 5-11, 180, 4.33.  Battled injuries last year.  Excelled at Miami Nike camp.  Top 100 national prospect (at corner) per Rivals.  #1 CB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  7/7 update: Per Jamie Newberg, FSU leads.  Big-time offers all over the place including one from Ohio State.  OSU not in his top 5.  7/22: Has not decided which schools he is going to visit but the Buckeyes are one of the 10 or so schools Hester is considering.  8/4:  8/18: Says he will probably visit OSU.

DeMario Mintor, CB, Stone Mountain, GA, 6-0, 175, 4.3.  May be the top cover corner in Georgia.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  7/2 update: Claims he has has verbal offer from Ohio State. May visit OSU.  Earlier Mintor favored North Carolina but seems to be more open now and has taken a liking to Ohio State.  7/14: OSU probably a long shot.

Michael Roberts, CB, Toronto, 5-11, 170, 4.37.  One of the top overall prospects in all of Canada.  #11 CB prospect in North America per Emfinger.  7/27 update: Is now a confirmed OSU verbal.  

Glenn Sharpe, DB, Miami, FL, 6-0, 185, 4.5.  One of the top DB prospects in the southeast.  Top 250 national prospect per Rivals.  #18 CB prospect nationally per Emfinger.  6/15 update: Per BSB, no offer yet from OSU.  Is considering OSU but Florida is leader right now.  7/2: Per Duane Long, OSU definitely in the race for Sharpe.

2002 Recruiting Class - A Look Ahead
July 22, 2001 8:00 am EST

There have been a lot of questions lately regarding the number of scholarships that Ohio State will have available for the 2002 recruiting class and how they will fit remaining prospects into this class.  Ohio State will have 75 scholarship players when the freshmen report next month, out of the maximum 85.  After this season, 10 players will have used up their eligibility, which means at least 20 spots will be available for the 2002 recruiting class.  This number will probably grow due to "attrition", i.e. players leaving early for the NFL, players not making grades and players transferring.  

There is another NCAA limit that says you can only grant 25 scholarships in one recruiting class.  When players graduate high school and enroll in college early (like what Maurice Clarett plans to do), they can potentially be counted towards the previous year's total.  This means that if Ohio State could stay at or below the 85 total scholarship limit, they could potentially sneak 26 into this current class (which would actually be 25, with Clarett counting towards last year's class.)  The only way Ohio State could take advantage of moving Clarett to the 2001 class would be if six players left the program, which would take the available scholarships from 20 to 26.

So who are the prime candidates to leave the program that could free up scholarships?  Well, the first name that comes to mind wouldn't necessarily be leaving Ohio State, but Ivan Douglas' football career may unfortunately be over.  Douglas is still recovering from a blood clot in his lungs and is out for at least the first part of the season and his football career is in jeopardy.  If Douglas can no longer play football, he would retain his scholarship, but it would no longer count against the 85 limit.  Next, Michael Doss is Mel Kiper's #11 overall prospect for next year's NFL draft.  He has said that he will stay for his senior year, but I'm not so sure.  Darnell Sanders' NFL stock is on the rise as well and he could decide to head to the NFL after this season.  Derek Ross is a guy that has struggled with grades and has that great athleticism that the NFL scouts love.  He could also decide to head to the NFL, foregoing his final year of eligibility.  Sanders and Ross are also said to be close to graduating, possibly as soon as next December.

There are also some guys like BJ Barre and Nate Stead that need to continue to keep their grades up.  Others could transfer to other schools if they find themselves buried on the depth chart.  Pat O'Neil, Brandon Joe and potentially one of the younger QB's may find it difficult to ever crack the two-deep at Ohio State.  

So as for now, the Buckeyes have 20 scholarships to give and cannot offer more than that until it becomes clear that a current scholarship is going to be freed up. As of today, the Buckeyes have 13 or 14 verbal commitments depending on whether or not Michael Roberts is indeed verbal commitment #14.  That leaves 6 or 7 spots available for sure.  My guess is that 5 or so scholarships will become available but this could take a while.

There are six guys in state that probably separate themselves as "top priority."  They are:

Mike D'Andrea, MLB, Avon Lake - definite scholarship will be held by OSU
Quinn Pitcock, DT, Piqua - definite scholarship will be held by OSU
Roy Hall, WR Lyndhurst Brush - will decide soon, probably no need to hold 'ship
Bobby Carpenter, OLB Lancaster - OSU may or may not hold scholarship
DeShawn Wynn, TB Cincinnati Reading - OSU may or may not hold scholarship
Tim Schafer, DE, Upper Arlington - OSU probably will not hold scholarship

There are five other in-state prospects that had offers that may have waited too long and may or may not have scholarships currently available to them.  They are:

George Cooper, TE, Westerville North - probably has current offer on the table
Ashton Watson, CB, Huber Heights Wayne - probably has current offer on the table
Anthony Smith, safety, Hubbard - may or may not have scholarship available at this point
Troy Smith, QB/athlete, Cleveland Glenville - may or may not have scholarship available at this point
Eric Fritz, DL/OL, Dublin Coffman - probably does not have an offer available anymore.

Here's a few more names and then we'll close the book on Ohio:

Bryan Andrews, LB/DE, Lima Senior - If grades are in order OSU will give scholarship (if available)
Regis Edgerson, TB, Garfield Heights - If Wynn goes elsewhere, could earn an offer from OSU
Erick Phillips, TB, Hilliard Davidson - If Wynn goes elsewhere, could earn an offer from OSU
Mike Donaldson, OL, Mansfield - If OSU strikes out with out-of-state O-lineman, could get offer

Now let's take a look at the out-of-state prospects that OSU has the best chance with.  There are several prospects that have said that Ohio State has offered them a scholarship.  Some of these offers may have "expired" so to speak.  Here's the out-of-staters that have a decent shot of landing in Columbus:

Stan White Jr, OLB, Baltimore, MD  - scholarship definitely on table right now
Richard Washington, WR, Ft Myers, FL - scholarship offer definitely on table right now
Derek Morris, OL, Huntersville, NC - scholarship offer definitely on the table
Kwakou Robinson, DL, Brooklyn - scholarship offer definitely on the table
Devin Aromashodu, WR, Miami, FL - scholarship offer unknown
Davin Joseph, OL, Hallandale, FL - Did not have an offer as of two weeks ago.
Jim Marten, OL, Indianapolis - thought to have an offer 

Other out-of-state prospects considering Ohio State are thought to be longer shots or are doubtful of receiving an offer.

Now let's put these 22 guys into probability groups: 

Group 1: Almost certainties:

Roy Hall 
Stan White

Group 2: Good chance:

Mike D'Andrea
Quinn Pitcock
Bobby Carpenter
George Cooper Jr.
Tim Schafer

Group 3: 50/50 or slightly less:

Richard Washington
Anthony Smith
Ashton Watson

Group 4: Longer shots:

DeShawn Wynn
Troy Smith
Eric Fritz
Bryan Andrews
Regis Edgerson
Erick Phillips
Mike Donaldson
Derek Morris
Kwakou Robinson
Devin Aromashodu
Davin Joseph.
Jim Marten 

The call here is for the Buckeyes to sign 25 guys in February.  That includes the 14 current verbals (Roberts included), the two in group 1, four out of the five in group 2, one in group 3, three in group 4, and one prospect that I have not listed.  - Brent Baver

Buckeye 50 Yard Line
Recruiting 2002
Bobby Carpenter   LB
Maurice Clarett   RB
RJ Coleman   OL
Mike D'Andrea   LB
Doug Datish   OL
Tyler Everett   DB
Roy Hall   WR
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Bobby Carpenter
Mike D'Andrea
Maurice Clarett
RJ Coleman
Doug Datish
Tyler Everett