Ohio State’s spring game has always been a bonanza for Ohio State’s recruiting efforts. It is not uncommon to see the Buckeyes pick up a recruit in the wake of the spring game, even multiple recruits. Whereas this was the first spring game for all-star recruiter Urban Meyer and his high profile coaching and recruiting staff, Saturday’s event had the potential to be huge. In less than 48 hours after the spring game concluded, the Buckeyes have already picked up three huge commitments from Alex Anzalone, Joey Bosa, and Lewis Neal. All three out-of-state recruits attended Ohio State’s spring game and came away impressed.
Anzalone was the first to commit, making his decision known shortly after the spring game finished on a cold Saturday afternoon. Anzalone, a linebacker from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, had been no stranger to Ohio State fans. Indeed, the spring game was his third unofficial visit, which must have been the “charm” to secure a decision from a guy who also held offers from damn near everyone else in the country.1 Fickell thinks Anzalone is capable of playing any of the three linebacker positions. His film (below) underscores why.
Joey Bosa committed this morning after arriving home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bosa is a big fish nationally. 247Sports, Rivals and Scout each have him as the #2 strongside defensive end nationally in this year’s recruiting class and Ohio State fans are fortunate that he was interested in Ohio State somewhat early. Importantly, his mother is from the Midwest and his uncle is Eric Kumerow, a Bruce-era linebacker. He is also the type of recruit that Ohio State rarely lands. Also holding offers from regional heavy hitters like Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Florida State (among others), the Buckeyes have struggled in past years to pluck a player from the sun belt with an offer sheet like that. Though Bosa’s decision went public this morning, he said he committed to Ohio State in the wake of the spring game. The delay was an attempt on Bosa’s end to communicate his decision to other college football coaches and his high school coaching staff before going public. Make no mistake: Bosa is a big addition to a recruiting class that, like last year’s recruiting class, will stockpile future defensive lines with enough talent to bombard and overwhelm opposing offensive lines. His film is below.
Lewis Neal’s decision went public shortly after Ohio State fans started to celebrate the Joey Bosa commitment. Neal, a linebacker from Wilson, North Carolina who may fit the bill for a weakside defensive end (or LEO) in Ohio State’s scheme, attended the spring game with his mother, grandmother and brother. His brother, I think, is this adorable little guy in the picture Neal tweeted from his visit. Seeing everything to his liking, Neal pulled the trigger, selecting Ohio State over offers from places like Clemson, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The addition of Neal gives Ohio State its second straight commitment from a kid from North Carolina, a state with a great pool of talent that is open for pilfering from in-state “powers” like North Carolina, NC State, and Wake Forest. It is also new assistant coach Everett Withers flexing his muscle on the recruiting scene, much to the delight of Ohio State fans everywhere. Neal’s film is below.
Ohio State’s recruiting class is nearing completion, mostly because of scholarship reductions that followed as the Tatgate thing was finally resolved. I expect Mike Heuerman to be the next commitment, giving Ohio State a two TE class. The hope is that Ohio State uses what might be 6 to 8 remaining spots to find a wide receiver or two to add to the fold. Until then, this was a pretty good weekend that spilled into Monday.
- These offers include Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, and USC, among many others. [↩]