Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Need for Speed: Buckeyes 2009 Recruits Have Plenty of It

by Tim Bielik
BlockONation Analyst

The Vest has been in charge of the Buckeyes for just under a decade, but what he has done the last two years on the recruiting front may have been some of his best work in his tenure.

After having a blockbuster '08 class featuring Terrelle Pryor and Michael Brewster, '09 made sure not to disappoint.

This new group of Buckeyes features an abundance of DBs and lots of linemen on both sides of the ball. Plus having one of the top RBs and OLBs in the country doesn't hurt either.

One common trend with this recruiting class: speed. In this era of college football, speed kills. And there's simply no way around it.

So by loading up on guys that can run and run fast, Tressel has brought in tremendous talents giving the Buckeyes a top five recruiting class, behind LSU, USC, and Texas on most lists. has this class ranked No. 1. However, these rankings aren't an exact science by any means, but the type of players recruited are fast and furious.

RB Jamaal Berry from South Florida may be the face of this class offensively. Ranked in the top five of RBs in most rankings, Berry is a burner with 4.35 speed and not afraid to run between the tackles.

LB Dorian Bell, the defensive gem of this class, is also considered a speedster with a nasty attitude and a guy you don't want to get hit by. Pennsylvania's top player for the last two years has become part of Buckeye Nation. Without a doubt, the Vest has shoved a pipeline into western Pennsylvania and southern Florida.

And based on the recent correlation of great recruiting leading to national championships (that is a little obvious), Ohio State has stepped up their efforts drastically.

However, some complain that Tressel cannot land the big players when it comes to signing day, as was evident with the Marlon Brown commitment to Georgia. But sometimes, the recruit just doesn't go your way no matter how hard you work.

The results cannot be argued so far: back-to-back elite classes spearheaded by improved talent in the trenches. Losses to the SEC and USC have revealed that the Bucks needed new talent up front.

Ask and you shall receive.

Now with the departure of the slower linemen, in comes the newer, faster boys up front, led by Brewster and Michigan transfer Justin Boren.

No doubt this 2008 class has a lot to live up to, but there is also no doubt the potential is palpable.

If Pryor's freshman season was any indication and the contributions of numerous freshmen including Brewster and DE Nathan Williams among others, 2009 should be a coming out party for this amazing '08 class.

As for 2009, it's unclear how much playing time these players will get. Although Berry and Bell may be among the first to jump right in to the action, no doubt the Vest will look to the other players to contribute.

The real impact of this group may not be felt until 2010, when the '08s are juniors and those '09s are sophs.

Just a fair warning to the rest of the nation: Tressel has turned two-star recruits into All-Americans. Just imagine what he can do with all these four- and five-star players.

Scary, although one has to take these rankings with a grain of salt.

Expect this team to become faster over the next few years. Much faster.

This new infusion of speedy and athletic players can only mean that a great Buckeyes team will turn into an elite team faster than Pryor can score a 60-yard touchdown run.

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