National Signing Day 2012 is over 7 months away, meaning a lot can still happen in terms of which prospects commit to or decommit from Ohio State in the coming months, but don't expect the worst, because it's not going to happen.
Regardless of where the OSU 2012 class ends up in the national rankings, the cupboards are far from bare in Columbus.
The Buckeyes have brought in a top 5 class in 3 of the last 4 years and have had a top 25 class every year since 2002 -- a trend that will likely live on when the dust settles next February.
5-star Lineman Kyle Kalis (6-5, 305), Ohio's top-rated player in the 2012 class recently retracted his verbal commitment to tOSU but is still considering the Buckeyes.
Personally, I believe he will ultimately become a Buckeye, but if he does go elsewhere, he's just one guy, and it's not like he's a QB, RB, or WR -- he's an offensive lineman -- a position that Ohio State isn't in dire need of filling at the moment.
Before Kalis decided to look at other programs, 4-star LB Ejaun Price (5-11, 230), a member of the 2011 class for the Buckeyes asked to be released from his LOI. His release was granted and he will be playing football for Pitt instead.
Again, Price is a good player, but not a skill position game-changer. Not to mention, Ohio State always has stud linebackers on the roster, so alas, the Buckeyes will be fine moving forward without him.
While Kalis is on the fence, the other 9 talented players should all be considered moderate to solid verbal commits that are still heading to Columbus in 2012. Here are video highlights of each.
Glen Oak HS (Canton, OH)
4-Star RB Warren Ball (6-2, 200)
St Francis Desales HS (Columbus, OH)
4-Star LB/WR Joshua Perry (6-3, 225)
Olentangy HS (Lewis Center, OH)
4-Star S Devan Bogard (6-1, 175)
Glenville HS (Cleveland, OH)
3-Star TE Blake Thomas (6-4, 225)
St Ignatius HS (Cleveland, OH)
3-Star WR/ATH Frank Epitropoulos (6-3, 195)
Upper Arlington HS (Upper Arlington, OH)
3-Star OL Jacoby Boren (6-2, 275)
Pickerington HS (Pickerington, OH)
3-Star S Tyvis Powell (6-3, 180)
Bedford HS (Bedford, OH)
3-Star CB Najee Murray (5-11, 175)
Steubenville HS (Steubenville, OH)
All 9 guys are from Ohio and 5 of them are "only" 3-Star prospects. Critics like to allude to those facts as a sign of some impending apocalypse.
Ever heard of AJ Hawk, Santonio Holmes, or James Laurinaitus? They too were also once considered "lowly" 3-Star recruits. For the record, I love the Epitropoulos kid. He is VASTLY underrated IMO.
As for none of these recruits being from out of state -- This really shouldn't have to be pointed out to anyone, but apparently it needs to be said, so in closing:
OHIO IS ONE OF THE MOST FERTILE GROUNDS IN THE ENTIRE NATION WHEN IT COMES TO HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL AND FUTURE D-I COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYERS, SO HAVING A CLASS FULL OF OHIO-GROWN PLAYERS IS NOT A BAD DEAL...
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