Ohio State, in the second year under head coach Urban Meyer, is one of the stars of this national letter-of-intent signing day with the surprising acquisitions of safety Vonn Bell and wide receiver James Clark. The Buckeyes' class now sits at No.1 in the country, according to Scout.com, and is No.2 according to both Rivals.com and ESPNU. It certainly will make at least the top three when the day is done.
>> 'It was a great day,' Meyer says
>> Elliott keeps commitment to Buckeyes
>> Meyer praises coaching staff for recruiting efforts
>> Ohio State gets pleasant surprise from Florida receiver
>> Safety Bell picks Buckeyes
Ohio State, in the second year under head football coach Urban Meyer, is one of the stars of this national letter-of-intent signing day with the surprising acquisitions of safety Vonn Bell and wide receiver James Clark.
The Buckeyes' class now sits at No.1 in the country, according to Scout.com, and is No.2 according to both Rivals.com and ESPNU. It certainly will make at least the top three when the day is done. Bell and Clark helped make that happen. Wide receiver Taivon Jacobs did change his mind, as he had indicated yesterday, and signed with Maryland instead of Ohio State. But the Clark decision more than made up for that.
Meanwhile, there is still some drama left in the day. Punter Johnny Townsend of Orlando (Boone), Fla., was an early commitment to the OSU class. His signing news conference, set for noon, was delayed to 4 p.m. The Orlando Sentinel speculated on its website this afternoon that Townsend might have had his scholarship offer withdrawn by Ohio State, which will be on the limit if it gains a signature from running back Ezekiel Elliott this afternoon.
Boone athletic director Doug Patterson said the situation is being discussed between the school and the Townsend family.
"Right now it's a personal matter between the Townsends and Ohio State, and they are woking as fast as they can to make sure that any concerns they have is taken care of," Patterson told the newspaper without getting into specifics. "They really want to hold off on a binding commitment until they feel 100 percent comfortable with everything from the University."
It could be a family situation for Elliott, too. From St. Louis (Burroughs), Mo., he has been committed to OSU since April 1. But he suddenly became interested in his parents' alma matter, Missouri, in the past few weeks and will make his final decision known around 5 p.m. Columbus time.
As for those 23 who already have signed for the Buckeyes, here are their bios:
DL Joey Bosa
Fort Lauderdale (Aquinas), Fla.
Had 51 tackles for loss (19 sacks) the past two seasons for one of the top programs in the nation ... Helped Aquinas win the 2012 Class 7A state title ... Was two-time first team all-state and is considered the No.3 weak-side DE prospect nationally by rivals.com. Son of former Miami Dolphin John Bosa and nephew of ex-Buckeye Eric Kumerow.
He was a standout at WR and DB, but is projected as a cornerback in college. That's the position he played in the Under Armour All-American game. Associated Press first team all-state as a senior, he is considered the 43rd best overall prospect nationally by ESPN.com. He scored 16 TDs and caught 50 passes his senior year.
He was AP first team all-state Division II as a cornerback his senior season which saw him also star as a receiver, quarterback and return man for New Albany. Scout.com lists him as the 29th best safety prospect nationally. He scored 21 TDs overall, including three on punt returns, his senior year as he helped his team move to the state semifinals.
OL Evan Lisle
A standout performer in the U.S. Army All-American game, he said he was honored to play in it; his father went to West Point; his older brother just enlisted. He committed to OSU almost a year ago. He is ranked 106th among overall prospects nationally by ESPN.com, and considered the top OL prospect in Ohio by rivals.com.
DL Billy Price
Austintown (Fitch), Ohio
The third player to commit to this class, he was first team Division I the past two seasons, and AP's co-defensive player of the year Div.I. He is No.17 nationally among DT prospects, according to 247sports. He's also aiming at a state title in the shot put this spring, one reason he didn't leave high school early.
The second commitment to this class, 247sports ranks him No.1 in Ohio, while scout.com says he's the 32nd overall prospect nationally. He played QB at Middletown, setting the school record with 4,759 rushing yards 52 rushing TDs, but is projected as a receiver for OSU. He played that role well in the Under Armour All-American game.
OL Tim Gardner
Lawrence (Central), Ind.
He was a wheelhorse for the 2012 Indiana Class 5A state title team, which averaged 328.5 yards rushing and 38.5 points in a 15-0 season. He was an AP first team all-stater, and named the top offensive line prospect in the state by the Indianapolis Star. He was a 3-year starter in a career that included loss in state title game as a sophomore.
DB Jayme Thompson
Toledo (Central Catholic)
Helped lead Central Catholic to Division II state championship in 2012 over Cameron Burrows' Trotwood-Madison team. Ranked as 12th-best safety nationally by ESPN, 19th by Rivals and 20th by Scout. Considered to be better in zone coverage. Plays fast and can be used in run support and as a blitzer.
DL Michael Hill
After a stellar junior season which attracted scholarship offers from across the nation, Hill's senior year ended in eight games due to a hand injury. Though named earlier to the U.S. Army All-American game, he could not participate. His junior season he had 25 tackles for loss. Scout.com ranks him the No.16 DT prospect nationally.
LB Mike Mitchell
Plano (Prestonwood Christian), Texas
He announced his commitment to OSU in the U.S. All-American game. Rivals.com says he is the No.26 overall prospect nationally, while Scout.com ranks him No.2 among middle linebackers. The experts are impressed by speed (4.39-second 40) to the ball. He was in 186 tackles as a senior, 32 of them for loss (11 sacks).
DL Donovan Munger
Shaker Heights, Ohio
He is a two-way lineman who showed aggressiveness on both sides, meaning in a pinch he could move to O line. He is ranked 18th among defensive tackle prospects nationally by 247sports, and carries a four-star rating from rivals.com. He is from the same school as current OSU offensive lineman Antonio Underwood.
RB Dontre Wilson
Originally committed to Oregon, he backed off after the coaching change and picked OSU over Texas. With 4.4-second speed, he's projected as a slotback in OSU spread. First team all-state for a team that reached the Class 5A state semi s, he rushed for 1,892 yards and 37 TDs in 2012, and caught 37 passes for 752 yards and nine TDs.
Another in the long line of products from coach Ted Ginn Sr. Projects eventually as an outside linebacker, where he's ranked 38th nationally by Scout and 42nd by ESPN. Has exceptional quickness and speed. Tough player who will need to develop more bulk and time to learn pass coverage, and could play safety or nickel back early.
LB Trey Johnson
Lawrenceville (Gwinnett Central), Ga.
He had originally committed to Auburn, but backed off after the coaching change. Rivals.com ranks him No.3 among outside linebacker prospects, as does 247sports, while ESPN.com says he is the nation's No.48 overall prospect. He had 140 tackles as a senior, 164 as a junior. He committed to OSU during the Under Armour All-American game.
WR Corey Smith
Akron (East Mississippi CC)
Originally from Akron (Buchtel), he went first to Grand Rapids (Mich.) CC and then East Mississippi to get his academic record straight. He excelled at EMCC, making 51 catches for 733 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He will be a junior this year, but still has a redshirt season available if needed.
TE Marcus Baugh
Riverside (J.W. North), Calif.
He was second-team all-state Division II as a senior, and played some at running back and linebacker. He caught 68 passes for 1,138 yards over the past two years, and was in the Under Armour All-American Game in January. He was ranked the 73rd overall prospect in the nation by Scout.com, the third best tight end.
WR James Clark
New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
He was a late bloomer on the national scene, but in the end had Ohio State, Clemson and Florida calling often. He is considered a field stretcher with superior speed (4.38-second 40). He caught 49 passes for 1,112 yards and 8 TDs his senior season. Ranked 45h among receiver prospects nationally by rivals.com, he was first team all-state Class 6A.
S Vonn Bell
Rossville (Ridgeland), Ga.
Considered one of the elite safety prospects, he narrowed his list to boyhood favorite Tennessee, Ohio State and Alabama. Rivals.com ranks him the 32nd best overall prospect nationally, No.4 among safeties. He helped lead his team to the Georgia state title game last season. He played in the Under Armour All-American game.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
St. Louis (John Burroughs), Mo.
The 247sports recruiting service ranks him No.4 nationally among RBs, while rivals.com has him No.12. He was the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2012 offensive player of the year, with 3,061 all-purpose yards (2,155 rushing) and 50 TDs for a team that lost in the Class 3A title game. He played in the U.S. Army All-American game.
Five members of the 2013 Ohio State recruiting class enrolled in January for spring semester.
CB Eli Apple
Voorhees, N.J. (Eastern)
Already enrolled at Ohio State. Ranked No. 3 cornerback nationally by ESPN, No. 8 by Rivals.com and No. 11 by Scout.com. Recently changed surname from Woodard to honor Tim Apple, who's helped raise him since age 2. Rangy athlete with explosive speed and good footwork and strength. Played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
QB J.T. Barrett
Wichita Falls (Rider), Texas
Already enrolled at OSU. Ranked No. 7 QB by Rivals, No. 11 by ESPN and No. 13 by Scout. Is dual threat quarterback but is passer first. Has good, accurate arm and quick release. HS coach raves about his leadership and intangibles. Senior season ended after five games because of torn ACL. Will learn from Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton early in career.
CB Cameron Burrows
Trotwood (Madison), Ohio
Already enrolled at Ohio State. Ranked as 6th-best cornerback by Rivals, 9th by ESPN and 12th by Scout. Was Buckeyes' first commitment to 2013 class. Played in Under Armour All-American Game. Was named first-team all-Ohio by Associated Press. Has good height and is superb athlete. Excels in man-to-man coverage.
DE Tyquan Lewis
Already enrolled at Ohio State. Ranked 12th defensive end nationally by Rivals, 25th by Scout and 47th by ESPN. Team won state championship sophomore and junior years and was runner-up last year. Played stand-up end and is potential outside linebacker in college. Good speed rusher. Might need time to develop.
DE Tracy Sprinkle
Already enrolled at Ohio State. Ranked 24th defensive end by Rivals, 36th by ESPN and 38th by Scout. Named AP co-defensive player of the year in Ohio by Associated Press after 19-sack senior season. Had 30 tackles for loss among 103 tackles last season. Has frame to shift eventually to defensive tackle. Was HS teammates with current Buckeye OL Chase Farris.