By Ohio State’s standards, the school had a disappointing 2013 college football season. Heading into the Big Ten Championship Game, the team was undefeated and one step away from a national title shot. Two straight losses, though, forced them to finish at No.12 in the polls.
A month after the end of the season, the Buckeyes can be encouraged as they begin another quest for a national championship. With high school seniors officially deciding what schools they’ll be attending on 2014 National Signing Day, Ohio State has one of the best recruiting classes this year.
According to rankings put together by scout.com, no team in the country has landed more top 10 recruits than Urban Meyer. Ohio State and Alabama are tied with 10 such players. In all, the Buckeyes have landed 22 recruits in this year’s class, most of whom are expected to have strong college careers.
It can be difficult to project how 17 and 18 year olds will perform after high school, but initial projections indicate that the Buckeye have landed future stars on both sides of the ball. Below is a look at some of the top players that will join Ohio State next season.
Raekwon McMillan MLB, Liberty County HS: By all accounts, McMillan is a top linebacker in the 2014 class. Whether some rate him as a five or four-star recruit, most experts agree he’ll be a force in the middle of the Ohio State defense. He’s a big hitter and very strong for his age. Running backs headed up the middle may regret their decision when they come into contact with the Buckeyes newest middle linebacker.
Damon Webb CB, Cass Technical HS: The four-star recruit should be a key part of Ohio State’s secondary for the next few years. Scout.com highlights his ability to play press coverage because of his physicality. He played just two years at the position in high school.
Jamarco Jones OT, De La Salle Institute: The 6’5, nearly 300-pounder let his Twitter followers know on the night before National Signing Day where he was headed. Jones gives the Buckeyes a much needed boost at the position, considering the team only added two offensive linemen in the 2013 class.
Curtis Samuel WR, Erasmus Hall HS: Samuel might be the best overall athlete that was successfully recruited by Meyer this year. As a junior, he ran for over 1,000 yards, but he also has the ability to make some great catches. He could be a very special playmaker for the Buckeyes down the road.
Under the Radar
Sam Hubbard OLB, Moeller HS: Though not as highly rated by other recruiting websites, Hubbard is given a five-star rating by scout.com, which lists him as the second-best player at his position. At 6’6 and 220 pounds, the linebacker had the athletic ability to play safety as a junior, but he switched positions in his final season. He’s gone unnoticed by some experts because he was once committed to playing lacrosse for Notre Dame. Now that Hubbard is concentrating on football, he could end up surprising many with his play on defense.