Thursday, February 2, 2012
Signing Day - Class Rankings - Ohio State Final Recruiting Class for 2012
Two-Minute Drill: Meyer Beaming on Signing Day
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer refused to call his 2012 class a “home run” Wednesday, but Ohio State’s first-year head coach was naturally pleased with the work he and his staff were able to accomplish.
The Buckeyes signed 25 players on National Signing Day—including two public commitments that came in Wednesday with Kyle Dodson and Jamal Marcus joining the class.
We take a look at Meyer’s Signing Day press conference, which included assistants Luke Fickell and Tim Hinton.
Keeping Things Together
Meyer said Fickell, Mike Vrabel and Stan Drayton were selfless with no agenda in helping them close this class.
Meyer also praised Mark Pantoni and Greg Gillum for their help putting this class together.
Meyer: "I had the belief we would not get a bowl ban. When it hits, we have to do damage control for 2 weeks."
Meyer said his goal was to be out in front of the news. Hinton said they must have done good job because he never heard about it during his month on the recruiting trail.
Oversigned or Undersigned?
Meyer said he will never oversign. At Florida, he never oversigned and “we're obviously not going to do that here.”
Meyer said he thinks Ohio State is at 81 scholarships with room for one more (they are restricted to 82 by the NCAA sanctions). Said he would let us know about the other guys who have left the program in the near future.
Meyer admitted the one thing missing from this class right now is speed at the skill position. "In our offense, we're still lacking that game changer we can hand the ball to, speed wise."
Without naming names, Meyer said Roger Lewis was not going to be a part of the class before..."I heard something awful happened."
Prize of the Class
Meyer said the defensive line is the strength of this class and the prize of this recruiting class."
Meyer said the OSU defense has always been good, but they were down in sacks. Didn't want to have to blitz more.
Meyer said Se'Von Pittman always wanted to be a Buckeye. Credits Fickell with his recruitment.
Meyer said other schools tried to dissuade their ends from coming to OSU because they had too many good ones in the class.
Meyer said he first spoke to Noah Spence the night he was hired. "We accelerated a 1.5 year period into two weeks."
Meyer said senior Nathan Williams is lifting and training, but still not running.
Meyer said Josh Perry is doing great. Gained a bunch of weight, which probably means he will be a Leo.
Fickell on Tommy Schutt: "He's a true inside guy, he doesn't want to hear about the edge."
Filling Need at LB and OL
Meyer said the area that was their most dire need was the linebacker position.
He really praised the film of Jamal Marcus, and even said “his highlight video borders on ridiculous.”
Meyer said he had never heard of Jamal Marcus until two weeks ago, said Everett Withers turned him on to Marcus.
Meyer on OT Kyle Dodson: "I think we had to have him. I don't think, I know. I would almost trade him for any other player we have.”
Meyer said it was like God crafted Decker and Dodson just for them. Perfect for what they were looking for.
Meyer cracked a small smile when he was asked about "flipping" kids.
Meyer said the only way they recruit kids committed elsewhere is by asking if they were interested. "If they say no, we move on."
Hinton said they never tried to "flip" anyone. Simply asked if there was interest in Ohio State.
Meyer said, "Taylor Decker recruiting us. He called us and said he wanted to be a Buckeye."
Hinton said he didn't recruit Taylor Decker to come to Ohio State until after he had called coach Meyer.
Meyer talking about Kalis: "We went after a kid up in Cleveland and asked if he was interested and he said no. So we moved on."
The nation's top 10 recruiting classes for 2012:
4. Ohio State
8. Florida State
Football Recruiting Team Rankings
1 Texas 28 Big 12 5156
2 Alabama 26 SEC 4861
3 Ohio State 25 Big Ten 4599
4 Michigan 25 Big Ten 4407
5 Florida 23 SEC 4102
6 Stanford 22 Pac-12 3731
7 LSU 23 SEC 3724
8 Miami (Fl) 33 ACC 3672
9 Oklahoma 25 Big 12 3598
10 Florida State 19 ACC 3533
Signing Day Superlatives
Most refreshing storyline: Revenge of the nerds. Stanford showed it doesn't plan to fade from the national spotlight in the wake of Andrew Luck's departure, landing Signing Day pledges from three five-star players -- tackles Kyle Murphy (San Clemente, Calif.) and Andrus Peat (Tempe, Ariz.) and defensive end Aziz Shittu (Atwater, Calif.) -- to complete a remarkable top five class. The Cardinal also landed a notable running back: Barry Sanders Jr.
Elsewhere in the brainiac department, Vanderbilt flirted with the Top 25 right up until Signing Day, but still landed what is assuredly the highest-rated class in school history. And Northwestern landed its first Rivals100 signee, defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (Centerville, Ohio).
Most important signing: Dorial Green-Beckham to Missouri. That may sound obvious, seeing as the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Randy Moss clone was the nation's No. 1 recruit. But it wouldn't necessarily be the case if the Springfield, Mo., native had signed with Texas or Oklahoma. For Missouri, signing the No. 1 player in the country is an incredibly important moment from a purely p.r. perspective, especially as the Tigers prepare to join the SEC next fall. Whether DGB becomes the next Adrian Peterson (No. 1 in 2004) or Bryce Brown (No. 1 in '09), Mizzou should enjoy a recruiting bump in the coming year.
Recruiter of the year: UCLA's Jim L. Mora. The 26-year NFL veteran had never spent a single day recruiting prior to his Dec. 10 hire. After assembling a solid staff (led by ex-SMU assistant Adrian Klemm, a highly connected L.A. recruiter), Mora killed it down the stretch, landing 15 of UCLA's 28 signees after Jan. 1. The haul was highlighted by three of Rivals' Top 100: defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia, Calif.), athlete Devin Fuller (Old Tappan, N.J.) and receiver Jordan Payton (Westlake Village, Calif.), the latter of whom committed to three other Pac-12 schools (USC, Cal and Washington) before signing with the Bruins.
"It's been exciting, it's been educational, it's been a lot of fun," said Mora. Now we get to find out Mora's approach to "roster management." It's believed the large class puts UCLA as much as 10 above the 85 scholarship limit.
Biggest surprise: Miami. Remember last August when the words "death penalty" were being thrown around in the wake of Yahoo!'s report on rogue booster Nevin Shapiro? The threat of heavy NCAA sanctions didn't scare off future Hurricanes in the slightest, as Al Golden landed an enormous (33 members, including nine early enrollees who can count toward last year) Top 10 class chock-full of homegrown talent (20 of the 24 players who signed Wednesday are from Florida). The cherry on top came Wednesday when the nation's best cornerback, Tracy Howard (Miramar, Fla.), chose The U over Florida and FSU.
"There was a lot of negative recruiting," said Golden, in reference to the Shapiro investigation. "... Get your licks in now."
Biggest disappointment: LSU. Les Miles' team is normally a fixture at or near the top of the rankings, and a BCS championship game appearance last month would seemingly make this year ripe for a particularly strong class. Instead, the Tigers finished fifth among SEC teams and outside the top 15 nationally. Getting and then losing elite quarterback Gunner Kiel was a disappointment, as was four-star linebacker Torshiro Davis' last-minute defection to Texas. Quite uncharacteristically, the top four players from Louisiana -- safety Collins
Biggest stunner: Four-star receiver Deontay Greenberry's defection from Notre Dame to ... Houston. Greenberry, a Top 50 prospect from Fresno, Calif., was long set to join his cousin, early enrollee cornerback Tee Shepard, in South Bend before taking an 11th-hour visit last weekend to the soon-to-be Big East-member Cougars. Apparently he liked what he saw. "Getting Gunner Kiel was a nice addition, but this was a big shock," Farrell said of the Irish's class. "That's what Notre Dame fans are going to remember most about this Signing Day."
Most triumphant return: Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. The former Florida coach showed little rust after his year-long hiatus, particularly when it came to swaying recruits. Eight of the 25 players Ohio State signed Wednesday were committed to other schools before Meyer's arrival, including four-star defensive tackle Tommy Schutt (Penn State) and defensive end Se'Von Pittman (Michigan State). On Wednesday, Meyer added tackle Kyle Dodson, a former Wisconsin pledge. "It's pretty simple," Meyer said Wednesday. "You ask a guy if he's interested, and if he says no, you move on."
Most interesting development: The four-year scholarship. In October, the NCAA approved legislation allowing schools the option to grant multiyear scholarships rather than the traditional one-year renewable grant. However, after at least 75 member schools objected, the change is now up for review. In the meantime, nine Big Ten schools and at least one SEC school (Florida) went ahead and signed players to four-year scholarships Wednesday, a potentially game-changing development. While there are still clauses that allow schools to revoke the scholarship should a player run into academic or disciplinary issues, schools that opt to offer athletes more security could potentially gain a recruiting advantage.
Best actor, drama: Texas. For years, Mack Brown wrapped up his classes eight or nine months before Signing Day, but a couple of down seasons altered his approach. The Longhorns, who finished just behind Alabama in Rivals' class rankings, kept themselves in the conversation right until the end, flipping four-star athlete Daje Johnson from TCU last weekend and stealing away LSU commit Davis Wednesday. "Having room [in the class] made it exciting to watch for Texas fans, because they've usually been so boring to follow after June," said Farrell.
Worst actor, horror: Cal. Just as Bears fans feared, defensive line coach/ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi's departure for Washington precipitated the demise of a one-time Top 10 class. All three players who committed to Cal during last month's U.S. Army All-American Game -- McCarthy, Payton and safety Shaq Thompson (Washington) -- signed elsewhere, and a class of just 15 signees fell to No. 25. Friendly advice to Jeff Tedford: Win big this fall.
Posted by just BS at 5:17 AM