Friday, February 5, 2010

National Signing Day—Ohio State 2010 Recruiting Report Card: Did The Buckeyes Make The Grade?

by Tim Bielik
BlockONation Analyst
Ohio State Featured Columnist



With all 18 recruits signed, Ohio State has put together a decent class, though nowhere near at the level of 2008 and 2009, classes both in the Top 5.

Though OSU did not land the type of recruits they were able to score the previous two classes, the Buckeyes do have a solid group of sleepers to work with.

By comparison to 2008 and 2009, OSU did not land that one true superstar that made the class special (Pryor in 2008, Jaamal Berry in 2009).

But with the pieces they have, solid football players with alot of heart, Ohio State has depth in place for the future.

Here's a look position by position at the recruits Ohio State have signed.



QB Taylor Graham, Verlon Reed; Grade: B-




Terrelle Pryor will be a junior in 2010, but the need for a backup QB was immediate so OSU could have someone ready in case Joe Bauserman isn't as solid as many hoped.

To fill the void, Tressel landed Illinois QB Taylor Graham, the son of former NFL QB Kent Graham.

Graham is ranked 14th on Rivals.com's pro-style QB list, ahead of Washington commit Nick Montana. At 6'4", 215 lbs, he has the prototypical frame of a tall pocket passer.

Graham missed the end of both his junior and senior season with injuries, which is somewhat of a concern to the coaching staff.

But he has the accuracy and arm strength to be a solid quarterback, though he must learn how to be a more cerebral passer.

The Buckeyes also landed athlete Verlon Reed late in the process as a sleeper out of local Marion-Franklin in Columbus.

He will be given a shot at QB, but might switch over to defense depending on 2011, which I will discuss in further detail later.


RB Carlos Hyde, Roderick Smith; Grade: A



One thing the Buckeyes did well was bolster what many already thought was a deep stable of running backs.

Big RB Carlos Hyde, held up in 2009 by grade issues, returns as the big power back that many felt the Buckeyes lacked in 2009.

Hyde spent the last season at Fork Union Military Academy, but has enrolled at Ohio State for the winter quarter and will play this spring.

The other RB in 2010 might remind a lot of Buckeye fans of legendary RB Eddie George.

Roderick Smith comes to Columbus at 6'3", 220 lbs with a pedigree as probably the best running back ever to come out of the state of Indiana.

Smith is one of the most physical runners in the country and push for playing time this coming season, or at least by 2011.


WR James Louis, Corey Brown, Tyrone Williams; Grade: A



Ohio State lately has been churning out a great quantity of talented WRs into the NFL, surprising for a school built on running the football.

And the trend continues as the Buckeyes picked up three talented receivers to add to their collection.

The most prized product in this class might be Florida product James Louis, who shocked many by picking Ohio State over Florida during the summer.

At 5'11", 180 lbs, and 4.4 40-yard speed, Louis has all the physical measurables of a dynamic playmaker in the receiver corps.

Louis has drawn comparisons to Santonio Holmes and Andre DeBose, both of whom should raise some eyebrows at Ohio State.

Another major prospect similar to Louis is Pennsylvania native Corey Brown, who has a near-exact build to Louis at 6'0", 186 lbs, and 4.45 speed.

Brown is a talented receiver who is great in space and an excellent kick returner, drawing comparisons to Percy Harvin.

The third of the new receivers is a big target in Cleveland's Tyrone Williams.

And by big, Williams comes in at a massive 6'7", 216 lbs frame, making him a big target in the red zone.

Williams could one day move to TE if his body outgrows the WR frame, but having that size could be a big mismatch in the passing game.


OL Andrew Norwell; Grade C+



The offensive line has been an Achilles heel of the Buckeyes for the last few years, but the Buckeyes landed a huge fish early in the process.

Top-rated offensive tackle Andrew Norwell of Cincinnati brings a tremendous nastiness and tenacity to the position.

Norwell will probably redshirt like most offensive linemen to build up their strength, but he could be a big-time linemen for the Buckeyes.

The reason for the low C+ grade is that Norwell is currently the only offensive lineman committed to the Buckeyes.

Obviously, the quality of the entire class would have skyrocketed had Seantrel Henderson committed, or if he still does since he has yet to sign a LOI with USC.

If not, 2011 will need to be a big year for O-line recruiting in Columbus.


DL J.T. Moore, David Durham, Darryl Baldwin, Johnathan Hankins; Grade: B+



The defensive line was the staple of the 2009 season, and OSU started off 2010's recruiting season with a defensive lineman.

Boardman's J.T. Moore was the first to commit on Sept. 12, 2008, and comes in at 6'3", but not quite as big as some defensive linemen out there.

Moore has great lateral quickness and gets off the line quickly as well.

David Durham left Texas to play his senior year in North Carolina, but stayed a Buckeye through the process.

Durham comes to Columbus somewhat slender, but at 4.7 40 speed, very quick for a defensive lineman.

He might be converted to OLB with his speed, and is more of a DE/OLB hybrid.

It will be very interesting to see where Durham ends up at, but he has the speed to wreak havoc on the defensive side of the ball.

Big Darryl Baldwin hails from Solon and has the size and speed to play either position on the defensive line.

Baldwin is 6'7", 265 lbs, and a 4.7 40 time, meaning that he can be either a power rusher outside or a disruptor in the middle with his speed.

Baldwin was also a TE, but has been projected at DE for the impending future.

The biggest (in size) recruit for 2010 is DT Johnathan Hankins from Michigan.

Hankins brings his big body in at 6'3", 310 lbs, prototypical size for a NT if OSU is considering a 3-4 as they had experimented with during 2009.

DT was a big need, especially after Sharrif Floyd went to Florida over the Buckeyes.

Having a dominant D-line as the Buckeyes did in 2009 is crucial, hence the direction most of the recruiting was put into.


LB Scott McVey, Jamel Turner; Grade: B



Linebacker has always been a position of strength in recruiting, especially in the last two years where the talent pool is as stacked as any school in America.

This year, Ohio State added two more talented prospects to this pool.

The most talented and most intriguing of the two could be Jamel Turner.

Turner is a lightning rod athlete at OLB, but saw his stock plummet when he transferred to Fork Union Military Academy for his senior season.

Turner says he has matured and is ready for the Buckeyes.

The other man in the LB corps is St. Ignatius product Scott McVey.

McVey is Scout.com's third ranked MLB, and presents special types of instincts that you need at the MLB position.

McVey is compact at 6'1", 217 lbs, and has a 4.55 40 time, but he is also known as a great hitter and aggressive playmaker.


DB Christian Bryant, Bradley Roby, Chad Hagan; Grade: B



Defensive backs are another position Ohio State produces well when it comes to the NFL, and 2010 added a few more names to a potential legacy.

The big face in the secondary for 2010 is Glenville product Christian Bryant.

Bryant was a U.S. Army All-American and had a tremendous camp, shutting down many of the top receivers through the week of practices.

A Top 10 corner, Bryant is a very instinctive with great awareness despite his lack of size and supreme speed.

The speed belongs to Bradley Roby, who was a surprise pickup from the same school as superstar DT Cameron Heyward (Peachtree Ridge in Georgia).

Roby was originally a commit to Vanderbilt but switched to OSU after an outstanding visit.

And the staff was no doubt intrigued by Roby's frame at 6'1", 171 lbs, and 4.34 speed, something Ohio State will really enjoy.

Roby is a talented corner, but his specialty is his speed, which could also allow him to possibly play WR or be a returner for the Buckeyes.

The wildcard of this recruiting class might be S/LB Chad Hagan, who has a freakish athlete frame at 6' plus and over 200 lbs with speed in the 4.4 neighborhood.

Hagan might need a year to learn defense, and for his body to fully mature, but he could very well end up being a steal for the Buckeyes.

However, he has a heart condition that might be a worry for the coaches—but they have shown faith in Hagan by staying true to their scholarship.

K Drew Basil from Chillicothe, Ohio is the 18th and final commit of the 2010 recruiting class.




Looking to 2011: A Top Class in OSU's Future?

While OSU had limited scholarships to work with in 2010, 2011 could end up being a very different story.

Having a near-full complement of 25 scholarships, plus a loaded amount of top prospects in Ohio, OSU could have a class very similar to what they had in 2008 and 2009.

They've already gotten their 2011 class off to a great start, landing potential four-star DE Kenny Hayes from Toledo Whitmer, and four/five-star DE Steve Miller from Canton McKinley.

The top Buckeye targets from Ohio in 2011 are Wayne QB Braxton Miller, cousin of former Buckeye Dee Miler, and Springfield LB Trey DePriest.



Both superstar products (pictured above) have offers from everywhere, but OSU has a shot to land both as a package deal to Columbus.

No one has an indication as to when Miller might commit, although most indications are that he will eventually be a Buckeye—but Alabama has emerged as the main competition for DePriest's services, so that will be a wait-and-see situation.

On a positive note, Ohio State has a solid track record with singing in-state talent, so DePriest could definitely end up a Buckeye, and another super recruiting class in 2011 could easily be in the works!


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your analysis of our 2010 recruiting class. I fully agree with your grades. The one OL that we landed was an "A" but 3-5 OL are nice to have annually. We will be fine at OL for years to come and a bunch of them are now red-shirting, a good thing. I can't wait to see how the Bucks fare these next few years. I assume that in the future, time travel will be invented by college football fans who could not wait for football season to start. Fir us stuck in the present, we will have to wait. Anyway, it seems like a long time since the Rose Bowl ended, so football season must be just around the corner. GO BUCKS!!!!

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