It’s Thursday Morning, and man is it a great day to be a Buckeye fan. Yesterday Urban Meyer and Co. received 25 signed National Letters of Intent, giving Ohio State a recruiting class that’s almost universally ranked in the top 3-5 nationally. There are a lot of cynics out there who will tell you that National Signing Day is a farce. “Many of these kids will never play meaningful downs for the team that they sign with,” they say. And in some cases they’re right. Others feel the need to state the glaringly obvious by warning fans to temper their enthusiasm saying, “You really won’t know which classes are good for another few years.” They’re right too, to an extent.
I look at it differently, though. How many life-changing days does a person typically have? A handful? For these signees, yesterday was one of them. It’s the same for programs. How many days can you wake up knowing that a team is measurably better than it was when you went to bed the night before? In college sports, National Signing Day is pretty much it. Will Brionte Dunn ever rush for 1,000 yards in a season? We don’t know. We also don’t know if Kyle Dodson will ever earn a starting position or if Noah Spence will ever record a sack. What we do know is that the Ohio State football program is in better shape today than it was this time Tuesday, and I think that that’s pretty cool.
I thought about using the Thursday Morning Hive to recap how Ohio State closed out its recruiting class, but I decided not to. By the time this hits the Web, most of you will already know. In fact, on this very site, Vico has already done an outstanding job of outlining everything that happened Wednesday. Instead, I’m going to highlight five(ish) smaller stories from National Signing Day. It will be a mix of OSU news and some other items that I found either interesting or amusing. So without further ado, let’s join together and embrace the morning after.
Dude, You’ve got to Ask your Parents First
This afternoon linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons, Georgia’s top-ranked prospect, committed to the Bulldogs. It was a huge score for Mark Richt who beat out a gaggle of SEC and Florida schools to land Harvey-Clemon’s services. Unfortunately, Josh is only 17 years old, so he can’t sign his own NLOI. His grandfather and legal guardian has to sign for him. This presents a problem for the Bulldogs, because Josh’s grandfather went MIA after his announcement and is refusing to sign the document. It seems that something like this happens every year, and it’s a bad situation for all parties involved. The saga is still unfolding and the Atlanta Journal Constitution is providing up-to-the minute updates. Check out the article, then sit back and appreciate that most of Ohio State’s NLOI’s were received by 10:00 a.m. yesterday.
Few Tears are as Sweet as Bielema Tears
Get used to hearing this guys: Another Big Ten coach is upset with Urban Meyer. This time, it’s Bret Bielema (again). Earlier this summer Bielema complained about the access Meyer had to the Badger program when he worked with ESPN. Yesterday, he complained about Meyer’s recruiting. More specifically, he said that he had “issues” with Meyer’s recruiting, even tossing around the word “Illegal.” Here’s more on the story from CBS Chicago. Obviously, he wasn’t taking the loss of 4*OL Kyle Dodson very well. I say Bravo Urban. When you land a top recruit and tick off the second most ridiculous coach in the conference, you have done well. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If opposing coaches are mad now, how bad do you think that it’s going to be when Meyer actually starts coaching games. One more thing before I move on… In honor of Bret Bielema, I present this gratuitous Braxton Miller TD video!
He Moves Like He’s in a Video Game
The problem with National Signing Day is that once a recruit signs his NLOI, it is months before fans will get to that recruit in action. Well, most fans anyways. Not University of Washington fans, though. Husky fans who are itching to see Shaq Thompson in action need wait no longer. The school has released a series of “Virtual Highlight films” featuring the 2012 recruiting class. These are essentially “Create-a-Players” built using NCAA 12 and given a recruits name. It’s pretty odd, and I’m surprised that they did it, but the nerd in me still finds it kind of neat. Check out the Video below to see Thompson take one to the house against the Oregon Ducks.
One Spot Left, Two Options to Fill it
Throughout the day yesterday, it appeared that Urban Meyer might have ventured into Nick Saban territory and oversigned by one scholarship. As it turns out, there are actually a few transfers that haven’t been publicly announced yet, and the Buckeyes have one scholarship remaining (81 of a possible 82 are filled). The two names that are circulating in regard to the final spot are Davonte Neal (WR 4* scout) and Stefon Diggs (WR 5* Scout). Both are shorter (Neal is 5’9” and Diggs is 6’0”), fast receivers that would seem to fit the “Percy Harvin” mold. If I had to put my money on one of the two signing it would be Diggs. Diggs visited OSU last weekend, and by all accounts the trip went well. Furthermore, there is a rumor floating around that Neal was ready to commit to OSU, but was told that there was no longer a spot available for him. Again, the story hasn’t been confirmed by anyone not named “anonymous source,” so take it with a grain of salt.
Wait, This One’s Not About Football
You know I couldn’t let a Thursday Morning Hive go by without mentioning the Buckeye Wrestling team. This week’s dual meet is a showdown with #12 Michigan. The match will be held at 6:00 Friday evening at St. Johns Arena. Luke Fickell, a former 3x OHSAA wrestling champion at heavyweight, will serve as Honorary Coach for the evening. The match will be broadcast live on the Big 10 Network, so if you can’t be there in person, at least check it out on TV. This is a tough, young Buckeye team, and I’ve got a feeling that they’ll do us proud.
A Few Quick Hits for the Road
In a stunning turn of events, Michigan has been removed from Ohio State’s 2012 football schedule…kind of. The final slot on the official 2012 schedule reads simply “Nov. 24 – That Team up North.” As with all things rivalry (including Brady Hoke’s refusal to call the Buckeyes anything but “Ohio,” I approve. After all of the NLOIs were in yesterday, Urban Meyer held court with the press. The Ozone has an outstanding summary of what was said. Finally, I’ve got a really good feeling about OL Recruit Kyle Dodson. While some recruits bring live animals to the stage to announce their college choice, Dodson brought his high school teammates. Check out the video below to see how the whole thing went down.
If one thing is for certain about Dodson, it’s that his teammates care for him, and that bodes well as he moves to the next level. The difference between a successful college career and a disappointing one is often in a player’s head, and it seems that Dodson’s is on perfectly straight.
This has been one of the most exciting Buckeye signing days in recent memory, and with Neal and Diggs still out there, it may not be over yet. I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve got my Spring Game tickets, and April can’t get here fast enough.