Can the Bucks Cash In?
Whitner is a Buckeye
Whitner is a Buckeye

Posted Jan 7, 2003


Jim Tressel and the Ohio State Buckeyes shocked the football world last Friday night with their thrilling double overtime upset victory over the vaunted Miami Hurricanes to win college football’s National Championship. So many teams from Columbus came so close to football’s promise land in year’s past. But Tressel’s Buckeyes came through and won the big one. Can Ohio State cash in the recruiting wars? They most certainly will.

Even before the Fiesta Bowl victory, Tressel and his staff were on their way to a stellar recruiting class. Recently, Donte Whitner and Dareus Hiley, teammates from Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville High School, both committed to the Buckeyes. Whitner is rated the nation’s top cover corner by TheInsiders.com and Hiley is not too far behind him. Other secondary standouts committed to play football in Columbus are Tony Gonzalez, Ashton Youboty, and Curt Lukens. In the trenches, Ohio State has already picked up commitments from standout defensive tackles Brandon Maupin and David Patterson and mammoth offensive tackle Kenyon Buford from Tennessee. Louis Irizarry is without question, one of the best athletic big me in the country and one of America’s top tight ends. They have secured 13 verbal commitments and should sign anywhere from 17-20 prospects on National Signing Day.

There are many high profile recruits sitting atop the Buckeye recruiting board. Who will they land between now and February 5th? Lets take a look.

Staying in-state, two more defensive linemen could be headed to Columbus. Sian Cotton, a defensive tackle from Akron and defensive end Shawn Crable from Massilon, are prime for Ohio State. Cotton is looking at several schools while Ohio State will battle Pittsburgh, Michigan, USC and Miami for Crable.

Two out of state defensive ends will give Ohio State a serious look. Stanley McClover, from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, is now down to three schools – Ohio State, Auburn and Miami. All three schools have ties to this athletic rush end. Claude “Turk” McBride, from Cemden, New Jersey, has already visited Ohio State and Tennessee. He will take some other January visits but McBride is still gushing about his November visit to Columbus.

The word out of Kentucky is that Louisville sensation Michael Bush could land at Ohio State. Bush is a terrific athlete that got votes for All-State at five different positions. He is an incredible receiver that now wants to play quarterback. Ira Guilford, another standout in the secondary, is leaning to Ohio State over Notre Dame, Penn State, Rutgers, and Syracuse, while tight end Jamesley Jean, if offered a scholarship, could end up a Buckeye as well.

Wesley Jefferson (LB), Jesse Holley (WR), and Mo Dampeer are some more high profiled recruits that will pay visits to Ohio State this month.

That’s a lot of big name players on the Tressel’s board and only a handful of spots open. Anyway you look at it, Ohio State should cash in on a very successful season all the way around.


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