Urban Meyer 2012 Signing Day Comments Source: OSU Official Site
Newly committed recruit Noah Spence talks about his decision to come to Ohio State and his expectations for the Buckeyes. Source: CBSSports.com
Q&A: Ohio State coach Urban Meyer February 2, 2012 Source: ESPN - Urban Meyer hasn't coached a game yet at Ohio State, but his impact on the Big Ten has already been massive.
Though he was only hired in late November, Meyer managed to put together an impressive first recruiting class that ESPN ranked as the sixth-best in the country. Several players in the class were at one time committed to other league schools. The Buckeyes put together one of the best groups of defensive linemen in the country as well.
I caught up with Meyer on Thursday morning to talk about the class, whether there's such a thing as a "gentleman's agreement" in recruiting, and how he expects his recruits to see the field right away...
Q: There were a couple of coaches who criticized you for recruiting players who had committed to their schools. I liked the way you answered that question on Wednesday. Is there ever such a thing as a gentleman's agreement in recruiting, or is that a phony thing?
UM: Actually, Will Muschamp and I talked about that, about if a guy is previously committed. Up here, I was hired, and we covered our state and said to players, "Would you be interested?" We had one or two that said they would be interested, and others recruited us. Se'Von Pittman and Taylor Decker came after us...
Q: Jamal Marcus was a signing-day addition for you, and you talked about how he blew you away on tape. You really didn't know anything about him before that?
UM: That was one of those Christmas presents I unwrapped when they showed me the highlight video. I mean, he's as good as I've seen on a highlight video. Then you meet the kid and he's a beautiful kid, great family. Everett Withers identified him and brought him up. It's almost a shame to say this, but the first time I shook his hand and even talked to him was when he got on campus. And he blew us away.
Q:He's been listed some places as a linebacker, others as a defensive end ...
UM: Oh, he's a linebacker. Linebacker all the way...
Ohio State Football Class of 2012 - Colin Cowheard intro to Signing day - Video of all Ohio State Buckeye Football players signing their letter of intent. Brionte Dunn - Joshua Perry - Cardale Jones - Tyvis Powell - Jacoby Boren - Michael Thomas - Noah Spence - Adolphus Washington - Armani Reeves - De'Van Bogard - Tommy Schutt - Se' Von Pittman - Camren Williams - David Perkins - Warren Ball - Frank Epitroplous - Joey O'Connor - Ricquan Southward - Blake Thomas - Najee Murray - Pat Elflein - Luke Roberts Source: Bucknuts
Back in action, ace recruiter Meyer assembles stellar Ohio State class February 2, 2012 Source: SI.com - Meyer loves the competition of recruiting and says he currently feels 'awesome'..."You talk to him for a few minutes and he's got you hooked," said four-star defensive tackle Tommy Schutt from Glen Ellyn, Ill., who switched his allegiance from Penn State to Ohio State following a mid-December visit to Columbus. "You want to go play for him."...
As he dashed around the country in December and January, Meyer watched several Ohio State games from last season he'd loaded on his iPad. He also broadcast one of the Buckeyes' games for ESPN. While he won't know for sure until he sees his players perform this spring, he believes the Buckeyes' mediocre 2011 season was due largely to the "chaos" of Tressel's dismissal, Terrelle Pryor's unexpected departure and the NCAA suspensions of several key players.
But he also senses the program that won six straight Big Ten championships from 2005-10 (the last one since vacated) suffered a talent drop-off.
"The question I have is, do we have that dynamic player on offense?" said Meyer. "Where's the Ted Ginns of the world? Were they hiding [last] year? I hope we have those guys. That's a big concern of mine right now."
One player he's thrilled with is rising sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, who served as an ace recruiter when prospects visited campus and whose skill set seems an ideal fit for the up-tempo offense Meyer and coordinator Tom Herman (formerly of Iowa State) plan to install...
Urban Meyer talks recruiting odds and ends February 1, 2012 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - Wednesday's news conference was in the Buckeyes' team meeting room and it featured the 2012 schedule on the wall. Instead of listing Michigan as the final opponent, it had "That Team Up North" with no logo. In years past, the wall schedules did read Michigan...
The priorities in the class, in order according to Meyer, were defensive end, linebacker and offensive line. The Buckeyes signed four defensive linemen, including three ends, four linebackers and five offensive linemen. He called defensive ends Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Se'Von Pittman "the prize of the recruiting class."
Meyer said Kyle Dodson and Taylor Decker were the top two offensive tackles he targeted the day he was hired. A previous Notre Dame oral commitment, Meyer said that Decker "recruited us. He called me and said, 'I want to be a Buckeye.'...
After the December announcement of a 2012 bowl ban "it was damage control for two, three weeks," Meyer said. But he said the staff was proactive with recruits in talking about the ban. And the Buckeyes didn't lose any previous pledges over it. He also said negative recruiting from other schools wasn't a big concern of his. "We had people tell the truth. We're not going to a bowl game. I had to address that. I'm not sure what negative recruiting is. [That was] factual recruiting." ...
Urban Meyer defends his aggressive recruiting for Ohio State's Class of 2012 February 1, 2012 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Sometimes they say, 'How can you go recruit a young guy committed to another school?'" Meyer said. "You ask a question, 'Are you interested?' If they say, 'No,' you move on. If they say, 'Yes, very interested,' then you throw that hook out there. If they're interested, absolutely [you recruit them], especially from your home state. Is it gratifying to take a guy from another school? Not at all."
But it is necessary to compete, according to Farrell. (Rivals national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell)
"If you're not trying to do it, you're putting yourself at a disadvantage," Farrell said. "It's up to the NCAA to step in and come up with an early signing period to stop it. Until they do that, everything is fair game."
Clearly though, Meyer ruffled some feathers in his first year in the Big Ten, with his aggressive and successful style. Michigan State assistant coach Pat Narduzzi, speaking at a luncheon in Canton on Monday, indicated that the Spartans weren't happy about Pittman's switch, according to the Canton Repository...
Don’t blame coach when recruits choose to flip February 2, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - In the competitive world of college recruiting, a door cracked open equals an invitation for a coach to crash a high-school player’s signing-day party.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer made it clear yesterday that when he saw the metaphorical strip of daylight between door and frame, he asked a simple question, waited for the affirmative answer and then walked right on through
When eight recruits recently answered "yes," Meyer moved in like the stud salesman who pulls in the highest commission. By the time he finished his presentation — selling Ohio State, sweet-talking the recruit’s mother and sampling her cooking — the recruits, all of whom had committed elsewhere at one time or another, had flipped to Ohio State. Four had previously committed to Penn State, two to Notre Dame, one to Michigan State and one to Wisconsin.
The recruits’ decisions to switch schools was significant because without those flips, the Buckeyes would be looking at a recruiting class ranked somewhere around No.?25. Instead, Scout.com listed them No.?3, Rivals.com had them No.?4 and ESPN put them No.?6.
Meyer insisted the intent was not to change the recruits’ minds as much as give them an opportunity to follow their heart’s desire. Some of Meyer’s Big Ten coaching brethren saw it differently.
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, who watched former Badgers commitment Kyle Dodson sign with the Buckeyes, suggested yesterday that some of Meyer’s early recruiting practices resembled "illegal" tactics tried in other leagues. "I actually reached out to Coach Meyer and shared my thoughts and concerns with him," said Bielema, whose mouth shoots from the hip. "The situation got rectified."
Ohio State assistant coach Luke Fickell stood up for Meyer, saying the current method of recruiting was "no different" from how it was handled under Tressel.
Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi had his own take on Meyer’s recruiting philosophy. Speaking at a Pro Football Hall of Fame luncheon on Monday in Canton, Narduzzi was quoted in the Canton Repository as saying that Spartans coach Mark Dantonio and former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel had a gentleman’s agreement to refrain from contacting each other’s recruits once they had committed...
Buckeyes’ defensive front gets recharged February 2, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Four recruits give line a look in tune with SEC teams...Ohio State has had its share of superb defensive linemen over the years. Will Smith, Vernon Gholston and Cameron Heyward have been first-round NFL draft picks in the past eight years.
But having an entire unit of game-changers on the defensive front is something more typical of top Southeastern Conference teams.
The disparity in speed and quickness between Ohio State and the Florida and Louisiana State teams that defeated the Buckeyes in successive national title games wasn’t really at the skill positions but on the lines. Ohio State had trouble matching up with players such as Florida defensive linemen Jarvis Moss and Derrick Harvey and LSU’s Glenn Dorsey.
Now, the coach of that Florida team, Urban Meyer, has recruited a group of linemen for the Buckeyes that, at least on paper, looks every bit as imposing as a top SEC line...
Dodson (6-6 1/2, 308) is the 16th-ranked tackle and No. 178 overall by Rivals.com.
Dodson backed off his Wisconsin commitment when Badgers offensive coordinator Paul Chryst became Pittsburgh's head coach in December, and offensive line coach Bob Bostad also went to Pitt. Bostad recruited Dodson.
Dodson visited Ohio State on Dec. 10 and met with new coach Urban Meyer. The last few weeks have been busy for Dodson. He visited USC the weekend of Jan. 14, and went to Michigan State a week later...
Kyle Dodson announces his intentions to attend The Ohio State University
2012 Kyle Dodson - Cleveland Heights OL 66 - Senior Year Highlights
Hillside standout picks Ohio State February 1, 2012 Source: HIGHSCHOLLOT.COM - Jamal Marcus, one of North Carolina's top uncommitted prospects coming into National Signing Day, will play football at Ohio State University for new head coach Urban Meyer.
Checking in at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, Marcus is rated a 3-star prospect by Rivals.com and Scout.com. Marcus announced his decision alongside 10 teammates Wednesday morning during a National Signing Day press conference in Hillside High School's basketball gym.
Before committing the Buckeyes, he considered offers from Auburn, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Florida, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Minnesota, NC State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Carolina, USC, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
As a junior, Marcus recorded 52 tackles and 15 sacks. The Hornets completed a perfect 16-0 season in 2012, winning the PAC 6 Conference and the N.C. High School Athletic Association's 4-A state championship.
Following a standout senior season, Marcus played in the Shrine Bowl as a hybrid defensive end and outside linebacker. He recorded three tackles and a tackle for loss in North Carolina's 26-19 victory over South Carolina.
Senior Highlights of 2012 DE/LB Jamal Marcus (Hillside HS/Durham, NC)
Linebacker makes Ohio State his surprise pick February 1, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Ohio State gained its first surprise signing this morning when linebacker Jamal Marcus from Durham, N.C., picked the Buckeyes over East Carolina...Marcus had been recruited by OSU defensive coordinator Luke Fickell and defensive backs coach Everett Withers, who was the interim head coach at North Carolina last season, along with a strong push from head coach Urban Meyer. Marcus had been wrestling with the idea of staying closer to home or committing to Ohio State, thus the presence of East Carolina in his final two.
But he reportedly could have written his ticket to go many places, because during the recruiting process he received offers from more than a dozen schools, including Florida, Auburn, Notre Dame, Clemson, North Carolina and Georgia Tech.
"Marcus adds another four-star prospect at a position of need for Urban Meyer in this class," veteran recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic said. "The Buckeyes were looking for impact linebackers, and Marcus certainly has that potential."...
Ohio State's 2012 Recruiting Class Analysis Doug Lesmerises, The Plain Dealer
Ohio State football: Meet the new recruits February 1, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Biographies of football players who today submitted signed letters of intent to Ohio State, along with those of the six players from the class of 2012 who enrolled at OSU in January to gain a head start on their college careers:
SIGNED TODAY: Webmaster Note: All commits in! Still a few targets out there
Warren Ball RB, 6-2, 205 Columbus (DeSales)
He was the second commitment to the 2012 class. Considered the 13th best running back nationally by Scout.com and No.16 by rivals.com, he rushed for 1,232 yards and 29 TDs as a senior while being named to The Dispatch all-Metro team and first team Division III all-state by the Associated Press. Though nicked by injuries throughout high school, helped DeSales to the state title game in 2009 and to the second round of the playoffs last year. He will play in the Ohio high school all-star game April 20 in Ohio Stadium.
Devan Bogard DB, 6-0, 175, Cleveland (Glenville)
He was named first team Division I all-state by the Associated Press this past season, posting 91 tackles and two interceptions. Was ranked the 14th best safety prospect nationally by rivals.com and 24th by Scout.com. The 247Sports site ranked him the sixth best overall prospect in the state. Though committed to OSU since summer, he turned some heads when he took an official visit to Southern California in January. From same school that produced several former Buckeyes, including safeties Donte Whitner and Jermale Hines. He will play in the Ohio high school all-star game April 20.
Taylor Decker OL, 6-8, 315, Vandalia (Butler), Ohio
Initially committed to Notre Dame, he turned heads in January when he flipped to Ohio State, which before Urban Meyer took over in late November had not recruited him. The largest of the 2012 OSU recruits, he was a three-year starter in football and basketball Rivals.com rated him No.23 among tackle prospects nationally while Scout.com ranked him the 77th best overall prospect. He was first team Division II all-state by the Associated Press after helping his team to its first winning record (6-4) in eight years. He will play in the Ohio high school all-star game April 20 in Ohio Stadium.
Kyle Dodson OL, 6-6, 315, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
He committed to and signed with Ohio State on Feb.1. He had committed to Wisconsin months earlier, but reopened the recruiting process in December and considered Southern California and Michigan State, too. He was ranked No.16 nationally among tackle prospects by rivals.com, and the 178th best overall prospect. Scout.com rated him No.24 among tackle prospects nationally. He helped his team make the state playoffs for the first time in 110 years, even though playing the last four games with major right shoulder injury.
Pat Elflein OL, 6-3, 285, Pickerington (North)
He was named first team Division I all-state by the Associated Press and to The Dispatch all-Metro team. He was rated No.22 among guard prospects nationally by ESPNU and No.31 by Scout.com. He is working to become a 12-letter winner at North in three sports. He is an accomplished wrestler who was named performer of the year in Ohio Capital Conference in winter 2011 and has advanced deep into state and national tournaments. He’s shot-putter in track and field. In between sports he has worked he has busted and poured concrete for his father’s business.
Frank Epitropoulos WR, 6-3, 197, Upper Arlington
He is a second-generation Buckeye, son of three-year letterman John Epitropoulos (1978-1980), and nephew of Ernie Epitropoulos. Frank is taking part is the International Bowl all-star game in Austin, Texas, tonight. He was three-way performer in high school as a receiver, defensive back and punter. Despite missing four games as a senior due to a hand injury he still caught 29 passes for 459 yards and seven TDs on a team that made the state playoffs. He was named second-team all-state punter by the Associated Press. With a 40-inch vertical leap, he also runs track for UA as a sprinter and long jumper.
Jamal Marcus LB, 6-2, 230, Durham (Hillside), N.C.
He made his choice on signing day, picking Ohio State over East Carolina. Marcus is listed as a linebacker, but he has the size and ability to play the Leo position, a combo linebacker/DE. He has 4.6-second speed in the 40. He was ranked 32nd among outside linebacker prospects nationally by rivals.com while Scout.com had him 70th among defensive ends. He had 14 sacks as a junior on a team that went 16-0 and won a state championship...But he reportedly could have written his ticket to go many places, because during the recruiting process he received offers from more than a dozen schools, including Florida, Auburn, Notre Dame, Clemson, North Carolina and Georgia Tech.
Najee Murray DB, 5-11, 172, Steubenville, Ohio
He committed to Ohio State last June. He was named the Division III state co-defensive player of the year in 2011 by the Associated Press while also being named first-team all-state after his team went 11-1, losing in the second round of the state playoffs. He had 54 tackles as a senior. Though a two-way player who was considered a shutdown cornerback in high school, rivals.com ranked him No.16 among safety prospects nationally. He was part of the state title-winning 4by200 relay team last year. He will play in the Ohio high school all-star game April 20 in Ohio Stadium.
Joey O’Connor OL, 6-4, 295, Windsor, Colo.
He is student body president his senior season. He originally committed to Penn State but withdrew that after the scandal that rocked the school in November. He committed to OSU in January and is the first player from Colorado to sign with OSU since receiver Chris Sanders in 1990. The Colorado Class AAA player of the year after helping his team win the state championship, O’Connor was ranked No.12 among tackle prospects nationally by rivals.com. First-team all-state the past two seasons, he played in the Under Armour All-American game in January in St. Petersburg, Fla.
David Perkins LB, 6-2, 220, South Bend (Washington), Ind.
He was listed as an "athlete" prospect by national recruiting services because of his defensive abilities and his running back prowess (1,311 yards rushing, 20 catches as a senior), but he will play linebacker at Ohio State. He had committed to Notre Dame long ago, withdrew that in the fall and pledged to OSU in January. With 4.43-second speed in the 40-yard dash, he was ranked No.13 among athlete prospects nationally by rivals.com, which also rated him No.2 among overall prospects from Indiana. Among his 103 tackles last season were 22 for loss, of which seven were sacks on a team that went to the state title game.
Se’Von Pittman DE, 6-5, 245, Canton (McKinley)
He made news in June when he eschewed an Ohio State offer in favor of committing to Michigan State. He turned heads again when he flipped to OSU in December. He was considered the No.58 overall prospect in the nation by Scout.com and No.95 by rivals.com, which also rated him the third best overall prospect in Ohio. He had 102 tackles as a senior, including eight sacks among his 20 tackles for loss as his team advanced to the second round of the state playoffs. He was first team Division I all-state the past two seasons according to the Associated Press.
Armani Reeves DB, 5-10, 185, West Roxbury (Catholic Memorial), Mass.
He had been committed to Penn State before the scandal which rocked that school in November. He committed Ohio State on Sunday night after making OSU and Michign his final two. He is high school teammate of fellow OSU signee Camren Williams, whose father Brent Williams is his godfather. Reeves was ranked No.6 among cornerback prospects nationally by Scout.com, No.17 by rivals.com, and was ranked the No.2 overall prospect in Massachusetts behind Williams. Reeves was a two-way performer, rushing for 1,103 yards the past season while making 51 tackles.
Luke Roberts LB, 6-2 225, Lancaster, Ohio
With a 4.3 grade-point average and a 30 on the ACT pre-enrollment test he could have written his ticket to several Ivy League schools, but he committed to Ohio State in July. Though not rated nationally by rivals.com, he is ranked No.28 by Scout.com among inside linebacker prospects, No.44 by ESPNU. His 118-tackle senior season that included 19 tackles for loss earned second-team Division I all-state recognition by the Associated Press. From the same school that produced former Buckeyes Rex Kern, Bobby Carpenter and Jim Cordle, he plans t enroll at OSU in March so he can take part in spring drills.
Tommy Schutt DL, 6-3, 300, Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West), Ill.
He was the first commitment to new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer in December. Originally pledged to Penn State, he rescinded that after the scandal that hit PSU in November. He played in the U.S. Army All-American game in January in San Antonio, Texas. Scout.com ranked him the No,47 overall prospect in nation, while rivals.com had him No.64, while SuperPrep had him the No.6 overall prospect in the midwest. He made 73 tackles his senior season, with 14 sacks among his 23 tackles for loss. He was named all-state by the Illinois high school coaches association three straight years.
Ricquan Southward WR, 6-2, 190, Lakeland, Fla.
He’s the only player in the class from Florida, and he committed on Nov.27, the day before former Florida coach Urban Meyer was named OSU head coach. Southward, originally committed to Miami, had 54 catches, including a school-record 12 in one game, for 994 yards and nine TDs his senior season as his team, the Dreadnaughts, moved to the state’s Class 7A semifinals and finished 13-1. He was ranked No.36 nationally among receiver prospects by ESPNU, No.60 by rivals.com. The Associated Press named named him first team all-state in Class 7A in 2011.
Noah Spence DE, 6-4, 245, Harrisburg (Bishop McDevitt), Pa.
He is the highest rated prospect in this class. He was ranked No.5 by Scout.com among overall prospects nationally, and No.9 by rivals.com, which also rated him No.1 among defensive ends. He is one of nine sons of Greg Spence, who played at North Carolina State. Noah Spence was the state’s big school defensive player of the year the past two seasons, and the Maxwell Club national high school player of the year. He had 204 tackles, including 35 sacks among his 50 tackles for loss, the past two seasons. He set an Under Armour All-American game record with three sacks in January in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Blake Thomas TE, 6-4, 245, Cleveland (St. Ignatius).
He is the only tight end in this class, committing to Ohio State in mid-May. Since then he helped St. Ignatius win the Division I state championship, its 11th. Ironically, after catching 24 passes for 256 yards as a junior he caught 25 for 250 yards as a senior, but four of those catches came in the title game win over Pickerington (Central). Rivals.com ranked him 16th nationally among tight ends, and No.22 by Scout.com. He was considered the 25th best overall prospect in Ohio by rivals.com.
Adolphus Washington DE, 6-5, 245, Cincinnati (Taft)
He committed to Ohio State the Tuesday before Michigan game last season, and six days before Urban Meyer was named head coach. After a 90-tackle senior season that included 23 sacks, he was considered a five-star prospect by both Scout.com, which ranked him No.10 among overall prospects nationally and No.1 in Ohio, and by rivals.com, which ranked him No.25 overall nationally. He also is a standout basketball player, and he led Taft to the Division III state championship in 2011 with team-high 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in the title game.
Camren Williams LB, 6-2, 215, West Roxbury (Catholic Memorial), Mass.
A former commitment to Penn State, he rescinded that in the wake of the scandal there in November. He committed to Ohio State two weeks ago. He is a high school teammate of OSU signee Armani Reeves. Williams was the No.1 prospect in Massachusett, according to rivals.com after a 119-tackle season, and rated No.8 among inside linebacker prospects nationally by rivals. Scout.com ranked him No.16 among outside linebacker prospects. The son of former 11-year NFL defensive end Brent Williams, Camren is a member of the National Honor Society.
Jacoby Boren OL, 6-2, 275, Pickerington (Central)
He enrolled at Ohio State in January. He is the youngest brother of current OSU fullback Zach Boren and former OSU lineman Justin Boren. Jacoby was a two-way performer at Central, helping the team to the Division I state championship game last year where it lost to Cleveland St. Ignatius. He was named first team Division I all-state by the Associated Press and a member of The Dispatch.all-Metro team. Rivals.com ranked him 37th nationally among guard prospects and SuperPrep made him the 37th best overall prospect in the midwest. He was a four-year letter winner.
Bri’onte Dunn RB, 6-2, 220, Canton (GlenOak)
He caused waves when, despite being a long-time commitment to Ohio State he took an official visit to Michigan in early December. But he enrolled at OSU in January. Scout.com ranked him No.7 nationally among running backs while Rivals.com ranked him No.11. Playing his first two years at Alliance, Ohio, he rushed for 5,479 yards in his four-year high school career that included two 300-yard games. He was named first team Division I all-state by the Associated Press the past two seasons. After a 2,030-yard junior year, he rushed for 1,657 yards as a senior.
Cardale Jones QB, 6-5, 220, Cleveland (Glenville)
He was originally going to be a member of the Ohio State 2011 class but went to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy in the fall to bolster his academics. He enrolled at OSU in January. He was 24-3 as the starting QB at Glenville, leading the Tarblooders to the Division I state championship game in 2009 where they lost to Hilliard (Davidson). Considered a dual-threat QB, he preferred to throw in high school, passing for 2,168 yards and 18 TDs in 2009 and 1,689 yards and 22 TDs as a senior. He helped the Ohio team beat Pennsylvania in the 2011 Big 33 game. He also played basketball at Glenville.
Joshua Perry LB, 6-3, 230, Lewis Center (Olentangy), Ohio
He was the first commitment to this class, pledging in June 2010 before his junior year in high school. He enrolled at OSU in January after compiling a 3.8 grade-point average in high school. Ranked No.6 among overall prospects in Ohio by rivals.com, the service also ranked him No.11 among outside linebacker prospects nationally while Sout.com had him No.9. He was runnerup in long jump in the Division I state track and field meet in 2010 in an event won by current OSU receiver Devin Smith. A second team all-state player according to the Associated Press last season, he had 70 tackles, including seven sacks.
Tyvis Powell DB, 6-3, 180, Bedford, Ohio.
He committed to Ohio State on June 1, two days after Jim Tressel stepped down as head coach, Powell enrolled in January. Just where he will play for the Buckeyes remains to be seen, since rivals.com rated him the 33rd best cornerback prospect nationally while Scout.com has him as the 37th best safety prospect. He had four interceptions as a junior, two as a senior. He also played basketball and baseball at Bedford, though he opted for track instead of baseball his junior year so he could improve his speed, which reputedly is in the 4.4-second range in the 40-yard dash.
Michael Thomas WR, 6-4, 205, Woodland Hills (Taft), Calif.
He enrolled at Ohio State in January. He went to Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy this past fall to upgrade his academic standing, rooming with fellow OSU recruit Cardale Jones. Thomas committed to Ohio State in October. He had a stellar senior season back in California, catching 86 passes for 1,656 yards, most in the state, and scoring 21 TDs. Ranked 98th among receivers nationally by Scout.com during the 2011 recruiting period, he played in the Under Armour All-American game in 2011. At Fork Union last season he caught 23 passes for 497 yards and seven TDs.
Complete Signing List: February 1, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Track the Buckeyes 2012 recruits as they become official after their National Letters of Intent have been received by Ohio State, with name, position, hometown and comment...
In addition to players from the Buckeyes' home state, players from California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania say they will sign with the Buckeyes, according to Rivals.com.
Two players on the commitment list attended for Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia last year after playing earlier at Cleveland Glenville High School (quarterback Cardele Jones) and Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft High School (wide receiver Michael Thomas.)
Click on the interactive map for some details about each recruit...