The Spring Game approaches. On Saturday, Ohio State fans will get a glimpse of what they can expect in 2011. Beyond the problems pertaining to the five game suspensions for much of our offensive firepower, Buckeye fans in attendance and watching on TV will see some of the new faces that will compete to replace a very senior-laden defense of a year ago. One of those new faces is Jeremy Cash, a safety prospect from Plantation, Florida. Cash is a winter quarter enrollee who, rather than enjoy relatively balmy South Florida winter weather and do most of the things that high school kids do in the spring, decided to graduate early and enroll at Ohio State. 6AM workouts just mean more to a kid than prom, especially when you’re pursuing the dream. Cash’s story is detailed below in the fashion to which you are hopefully accustomed by now. After all is told, I conclude he is better known.
Academics: 4.0 GPA
High School: Plantation HS; Plantation, FL
His Recruitment: Jeremy Cash’s recruitment was an odd one. In fact, I say it is quite unusual for Ohio State to enjoy such early interest from an out-of-state recruit, certainly one in prime territory for the Big 3 Florida schools. Further, Cash has no connection to Ohio State beyond his step dad apparently working for Travis Howard’s mother. Of course, Buckeye fans were not ones to complain about this. Instead, they just enjoyed the updates as they came to them.
Buckeye fans’ first exposure to Jeremy Cash came in the summer of 2009. Cash, just removed from his sophomore year of high school and recent transfer to Plantation from Ransom Everglades, signaled serious interest in Ohio State. He traveled, via automobile, to Columbus, Ohio and arrived at a summer football camp in a suit. The signal was that Cash was serious and that Ohio State should be serious about him in turn. He looked the part off the field, and on it. Ohio State was soon interested, following the lead of the home team Miami Hurricanes as well as the other two big name Florida schools.
Cash returned for the USC game in the 2009 season. Ohio State fans remember it as a rather ugly affair on the field, resulting in a regrettable, and avoidable, loss on national television. Ohio State recruiting fans add the qualifier that it was a huge event for recruiting, notably giving us the immediate commitment of breakout freshman Philly Brown. It was also where Cash received his official scholarship offer from the Buckeyes. Cash loved the visit, specifically praising the campus as beautiful and praising the “big brother” support staff the football program maintains. At the end of the visit, Tressel pulled Cash aside and told him that he only had five scholarship offers out at the time to kids in the 2011 class. He told Cash he was one of them. It was Cash’s second offer, following the Miami Hurricanes.
Cash did indicate he wanted to commit sooner rather than later, but Buckeye fans hoping that it would be in their favor had to wait a little bit. Understandably, this an important decision, especially for a kid thinking about packing his bags and venturing outside the state for college football. He sat on it for awhile, though I don’t think many Buckeye fans seriously felt he was slipping from their grasp. For example, while mentioning that the South Floridian in him is naturally drawn to the Seminoles and Hurricanes, he also expressed that he was in constant contact with Ohio State’s coaching staff. He was especially excited for the 2009 team that had just booked its ticket to Pasadena by beating Iowa on Senior Day. Still, no commitment immediately came, even when Cash already had plans for a December graduation. In the interim, Cash acquired plenty of offers. Before it was all said and done, he had offers from Nebraska, Florida State, Stanford, Wisconsin and LSU, among many others.
The winter of 2010 eventually moved toward a conclusion for Cash. He was again expressing that he wanted to commit soon, knowing he would be a December grad and winter enrollee wherever he committed. He made visits in succession to Florida State, Ohio State and Miami. Rumors prevailed that he had committed then and there, though it was not the case that his recruitment was over by the end of February. It was over, though, at the end of April.
His Commitment: Ohio State finally got its man on April 18th. Therein, Cash ended all doubt as to whether or not the Buckeyes had lost their position with him and verbally committed. He discussed his reasons.
“Myself, my parents and my mentor really shut down the recruiting process and sat down and talked about what would be best for me,” Cash said about his new commitment. “Ohio State has it all with the coaching stability, winning aspect and being able to put me in a position where I can better myself after football.”
The reaction from Tressel was one of excitement. If you have followed these features over the past few years, you will know Tressel can geek out once in a while (according to recruits). This was apparently one of those occasions.
“He was shocked and excited,” Cash said of Tressel’s reaction. “He told me I am the type of player that they are looking for when it comes to being a student athlete.”
Cash was the second defensive back recruit of the time. He is the first of two (likely) safeties in the recruiting class, the other being Ron Tanner.
Where He Excels: Public evaluations of recruiting rankings can be a fickle thing. If the recruiting rankings bear out in your favor, you will claim a “recruiting national championship” that Alabama fans claimed back in 2008. If they do not mirror your own perceptions of the recruiting class, you will claim they are bogus and imperfect (even unreliable) indicators of quality. The trick is to not fall in love with either extreme. I say that, and yet I wonder, loudly, how Cash is rated as low as a 3-star. I think he’s a good 4-star recruit, though it is immaterial now.
Cash played a unique role for his Plantation defense, most of it appearing as something akin to a Rover back. He would line up as a center fielder of sorts. Therein, he was the last line of the defense, but would read, and come down hard, on anything underneath to a tailback and attack the run. Other times, he would line up in a clear blitzing capacity, thriving in a high school scheme that would allow him to pressure. As such, most reports on Cash note that he can make up a lot of ground and cover a wide area. As he transitions to either free safety, or maybe Star, for Ohio State, this should certainly help him. The word “ballhawk” routinely appears in conversation.
Further, Cash takes run support seriously. Defensive backs have a lore of being meek tacklers (especially cornerbacks), but Cash hits through his hits (if that makes sense). In essence, he drives through the ball carrier with his hips, wrapping well and doing more to ensure the tackle is made. If he is to succeed at this position, he will be asked to mix it up in the run game. There is some confidence that he should be up to the task.
Must Work On: I wonder if Cash could take better angles to the ball. He is fast enough to come in flying in run support, but I don’t think he’s quite where he wants to be or should be in his approach. As he transitions into a defensive scheme more structured and nuanced than what he played at high school, I wonder if this will be a learning experience for him.
I also don’t know how minor this point is, but his transition from pedal to pursuit is a little clunky. You will read that Cash is explosive in pursuit and that he can cover a lot of ground. I also see no real problem in his backpedal. But, those moments where he immediately transitions from the backpedal and into attack are awkward. Rather than flying out of his breaks, he looks as if he has stuck one foot into the ground. I suspect this may be what is causing him to be just off in taking the correct angle. Again, he doesn’t take bad angles. It’s just that he’s a bit off.
Redshirt? I wrote that I think Ron Tanner redshirts in 2011 because, in large part, I think Cash is good enough to play right now. I am not expecting him to play immediately in our secondary, though Cash has been the beneficiary of some snaps with the twos in spring practice. He could conceivably benefit from some garbage time snaps just to see what it’s like, assuming we will have garbage time in our five games without Tressel. Ultimately, I think Cash plays on special teams. He is just the type of athlete to play there and use that as a springboard for bigger and better things as a sophomore.
Highlights: We got that senior year footage.
More Embeddable Videos, Because I Can: Here is a sample of some interviews with Jeremy Cash. First, an ESPN.com interview. Second, a Rivals.com interview. Third, Eleven Warriors’ footage of his interview during the Signing Day press conference.
- Cash did take an official visit to Arizona State in his senior year, but no one really pondered the potential of him jumping ship. It would be one thing if he took an official visit to a school closer to home, like one of the Big 3 Florida schools or even a program like Alabama. I also cannot find a synopsis of this visit.
- Wore #8 to the Signing Day press conference, which is his preferred number. He will instead be #17 for the season. Dionte Allen, the Florida State transfer, has one year of seniority (at Ohio State) on Cash and claimed Aaron Gant’s number in the offseason.
- He missed five games as a senior with a knee injury, which is now 100% healed.
- The high school should sound familiar. We strongly recruited Brandon McGee out of there before he decided to stay local with the Miami Hurricanes. Vladimir Emilien, a 2009 recruit, was thought to be strongly in our grasp before interested cooled and he signed with Michigan instead. He since transferred and, after a few flirtations with Maryland and Colorado, is now at Toledo.
- His high school teammate is Ryan Shazier. Everyone was hoping that Cash’s interest in Ohio State would also infect Shazier. Ultimately, Urban Meyer’s retirement did the trick for us. Cash and Shazier are the latest out-of-state recruiting tandem, following Howard-Sabino (2008) and Bell-Brown (2009).
- Participated in the Offense-Defense Bowl, along with Nick Vannett, Derjuan Gambrell, Kenny Hayes, Chase Farris, Tommy Brown, Ron Tanner and Cardale Jones. He was noted as one of four top performers for the East during the game and was pegged as 9th best performer in the observed practices.
I will consider Jeremy Cash better known, now. I look forward to seeing what he can do this Saturday, and for Saturdays to come.
Of course, let’s put him on the board.
|Class of 2011|
|Name||Position||Hometown||Better Known?||Name||Position||Hometown||Better Known?|
|Michael Bennett||DT||Centerville, OH||Bryce Haynes||LS||Cumming, GA|
|Brian Bobek||OL||Palatine, IL||Jeff Heuerman||TE||Naples, FL||02.13|
|Tommy Brown||OL||Arkon, OH||Cardale Jones||QB||Cleveland, OH|
|Chris Carter, Jr||OL||Cleveland, OH||Braxton Miller||QB||Huber Heights, OH|
|Jeremy Cash||DB||Plantation, FL||04.18||Steve Miller||DE||Swingtown, OH|
|Conner Crowell||LB||Waldorf, MD||Ejuan Price||LB||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Chase Farris||DL||Elyria, OH||Ryan Shazier||LB||Plantation, FL|
|DerJuan “PeeWee” Gambrell||DB||Toledo, OH||Devin Smith||WR||Massillon, OH|
|Curtis Grant||LB||Richmond, VA||Evan Spencer||WR||Vernon Hills, IL|
|Doran Grant||DB||Akron, OH||Ron Tanner||DB||Columbus, OH||03.29|
|Joel Hale||DT||Greenwood, IN||Antonio Underwood||OL||Shaker Heights, OH|
|Kenny Hayes||DE||Toledo, OH||Nick Vannett||TE||Westerville, OH|