Antonio Underwood‘s commitment caught me by surprise. I like to think I have a fairly accurate knowledge of everyone that Ohio State is recruiting, but I did not come across his name until his decision was made public yesterday. Underwood, an interior lineman prospect — and, from the looks of it, a potential offensive guard, was on campus with his grandfather the same day as Chris Carter and received a written scholarship as well. He, like Carter, liked the visit so much that he could not see himself at any other place and committed shortly thereafter. Combined, Underwood and Carter’s commitment goes to great lengths to rectify the dearth of offensive linemen in last year’s class. However, neither adds to the offensive tackle position, where I think the need is the greatest in this year’s class (looking ahead to replacing Adams and Shugarts). Further, it is unlikely either will be a future center for the Buckeyes, though you never can say never. The Buckeyes are in very good position with Brian Bobek of Illinois, who, it appears, the Buckeyes are looking at as a center.
I am much more familiar with DerJuan Gambrell, a defensive back from Toledo’s Rogers program. The high school might sound familiar, as it was once home to USC TE Fred Davis. Unlike Davis, Gambrell (track and field profile here) does not find the Buckeyes to be boring and will (hopefully) not take a flight to Los Angeles and enroll at USC under the cover of darkness. Gambrell has been on the Buckeyes’ radar for sometime and the interest has been more than mutual. A month ago, the Buckeyes invited DerJuan to Ohio State and, while there, Taver Johnson offered a scholarship to the lifelong Buckeye fan. His first offer so early into the process was the hometown Toledo Rockets. He suddenly had the golden ticket and openly suggested it would not take long. His brother runs track for Arizona State and tried to get him to come down for a visit to see what he loved so much about Tempe. Ultimately, DerJuan decided to join his new friend and Toledo local Kenny Hayes in Columbus in 2011.
The Buckeyes have five commitments in the 2011 class. With the Spring Game a few weeks away, more should be coming.