11 January 2011
As the class of 2011 winds down I find myself looking at the last few names on the Buckeye short list and think I want this class to be done right now.
There are ten to twelve names still out there that the Buckeyes have a shot at. Of the players on that list I can only see two that I would like to see a part of this class. Curtis Grant is an elite linebacker prospect with few weaknesses. He runs so well. he has great instincts. He has a motor. He has a great looking body to build on. You take him no matter what. The same with wide receiver Ja'Juan Story. You don't see big split ends like Story come along very often. He is a throw it up and let him go get it receiver. There are never too many of those on your roster. There are some other good players on that Buckeye offer list. The thing is, I have been looking at so much film that I can't see any of the others as players I would like to have more than players right here in state in the class of 2012.
Fans have gotten excited about Stanford commit James Vaughters coming in this weekend for an official visit. With no coach in place at Stanford now that Jim Harbaugh has taken the San Francisco 49'er job, the Buckeyes stand a good chance of landing Vaughters. He is a really nice player but the target was two linebackers in this class. The recent commitment of national top 100 linebacker Ryan Shazier fills the slots set aside for linebackers in this class. Like I said, you don't say no to Curtis Grant. With the need filled and Grant maybe a Buckeye come signing day, I just would not have room for a player like Vaughters, nor for the other linebacker on the board Ejuan Price.
I don't think we will see offers to the Glenville trio of Cardale Jones, Shane Wynn or Andre Sturdivant. I am hearing no chatter about any of them around here and we have only two remaining visit weekends left before signing day after this weekend. We know they are not coming in this weekend. Whether it is grade related or not it is not looking good for any of them. As much as I like Jones and Sturdivant I am concerned about their ability to stay in school because it has taken so long to get eligible, which it appears they are not right now. With the current depth chart at quarterback, the offer out to the outstanding junior from California Shane Dillon, and the monster class in the state of Ohio in 2013, I just don't see an offer coming for Jones. The staff going back after Story tells me that Wynn may be off the board too. The most underrated position in 2012 is the receivers. Beyond Dwayne Stafford there are others who I think could be Buckeye caliber.
This is going to strike you odd. Of the other possibles other there for the Buckeyes the one I am most open to is Aundray Walker. I know you thought you would never hear me say that. I never thought I would say it but the reality is that he is the best of the senior guards in Ohio. He had an excellent performance in one on one drills at the national all-star game. That has happened before with Walker. He first made a name for himself by excelling in drills at the junior combine. I have not changed my mind. I still would rather pass on Walker. The problem is he outperformed the verballed guards on the Buckeyes commitment list. His senior film is better. He has done a far better job of controlling his weight. He is actually lighter than he was last year. We need to add at least one guard who can step in right away. Walker could. I only hope that the others can step in and help at some point in their Buckeye careers. In the end you want to see players getting better ever year. That is especially important with project type players. Antonio Underwood, Tommy Brown and Chris Carter did not get better. I would love to pass on all of the offensive linemen that we are talking about for 2011 except Bobek. Since that can't happen I would be fine adding one that I have some hope would play sooner rather than never, and that is Aundray Walker.
I am looking at a class in 2012 that looks like it is at least 30 deep with players who rate an Ohio State offer. I might pare that list or add to it by the time the athlete season is over this summer. Speed and measurables are going to tell the tale on any number of players. No matter what happens I think this class will be so deep that the staff does not ever have to use a plane to end up with a top five class. The key is going to be having enough scholarships to take advantage of the situation. Borrowing a few from this class will help.
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