November 28, 2011

Reshuffle the deck

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With Urban Meyer now in the fold as the next head football coach at Ohio State, the last two months leading up to National Signing Day are sure to be an interesting and exciting time for Buckeye fans everywhere. Meyer is known as one of the nation's best recruiters and is one of just a handful of coaches in college football that has a recruiting reach that can extend across the entire country.

With Ohio State fans everywhere wondering what Meyer's impact will be on the 2012 recruiting class, the biggest impact will likely not be with the current recruiting targets but with out-of-state prospects that have not yet been heavily linked to Ohio State.

For anyone who may question Meyer's ability to recruit nationally, look no further than his final true recruiting class at Florida, the 2010 class. In that class, Meyer landed four five-star prospects from four different states. Defensive end Ronald Powell out of California, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd out of Pennsylvania, defensive back Matt Elam out of Florida, and defensive tackle Dominique Easley out of New York. Meyer didn't stop with just those states however, as in that class he also plucked major talents out of Maryland, Georgia, and Alabama.

During Meyer's tenure at Florida he landed five-star prospects from ten different states; California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia. From the 2006-10 recruiting classes (a five class period), Meyer landed an astonishing 19 five-star prospects and during that time span, he never had a class with fewer than three five-star prospects.

Meyer's reach expanded well beyond those 10 states, however, as he also landed highly ranked prospects from Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Texas.

Moving forward, Meyer will almost certainly follow a similar recruiting formula to that of Jim Tressel, and really, not so different from the one he used at Florida with Ohio now acting has his home base instead of the Sunshine State. Meyer will attempt to land the top prospects from the state of Ohio and then 'cherry pick' from the rest of the nation. However, Meyer's earliest impact, in terms of the 2012 class, will almost certainly be on a national level.

What Ohio State fans are about to see is that the deck is going to be completely reshuffled when it comes to filling the remaining spots in the 2012 class. Certainly some of the currently undecided targets will continue to be pursued. Prospects that are currently committed to other schools will likely be getting a call as well, but the scope is about to broaden to national levels for the last handful of spots in this class. Buckle up.


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