Ok, so since the basketball season isn't exactly showing much promise, I've decided to write something with a bit more of a positive slant. We are a day away from National Signing Day and for the first time in as long as I can remember, OSU doesn't look like it is going to have any recruits stolen at the last minute. I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment but in truth it is actually a very good sign. Hell, half of the offensive coaching staff is gone and not one player has been swayed to leave. Not too shabby.
I think most people will look at this class and fear there aren't many big names. Herschel Sims and JW Walsh are obviously the gems but other than those two, not many of the recruits are popping up in national news clippings. While this may seem like a bad thing, people need to look at the class as a whole to understand that this is probably the best recruiting class on paper that OSU has ever had.
Click the jump for the world's greatest explanation.
*Disclaimer: Let's pretend for a moment that stars matter and eliminate that whole argument*
In years past, OSU has had classes that have been very top heavy. What I mean is that there have been four or five 4 star guys but then a significant drop off after that. This class, on the other hand, has a ton of 3 star guys that are on the cusp of being considered 4 stars. So while it doesn't look like the great recruits are there, in actuality the bottom side of the class is closer to the top. And in this case, that is a very good thing.
- Take a look at 3 star Desmond Roland. Recruited as an athlete, he is listed at 6'2" and 199 pounds. He was also recruited by Arkansas, Nebraska, A&M, and Texas Tech among others. This guy is going to be a stud on offense. He played both receiver and running back in high school and in watching film, you can see why. Great acceleration, great ability to change directions on a dime, and great hands.
- Another 3 star guy is Lyndell Johnson. At 6'3" and 195 pounds he is going to be the next big hitting safety. Apparently OSU wasn't the only school to think so. He was also recruited by Arkansas, LSU, TCU, Notre Dame, and OU among others. I fully expect to see this guy cracking the two deep by his sophomore year.
- One more 3 star to take notice of is linebacker Ryan Simmons. At 6'1" and 218 pounds, he is extremely quick from sideline to sideline and does very well when he drops into coverage. He was also recruited by Oregon, Stanford, A&M, and Texas Tech.
These are only three examples but the class is loaded with guys like these. On top of that, the coaches did very well to hit all of the team needs. OSU has been thin at defensive tackle so Mike Gundy got verbal commitments from FIVE defensive tackles. Add to that the two defensive ends in this class and it is pretty clear where the coaching staff was focusing. In fact, the entire defensive side of the ball is getting much more attention than ever before. Of the 28 verbal commits, 17 will be playing defense.
To sum up, this class is loaded starting at the bottom going up. The coaches did an excellent job filling the holes and needs of the team. More important than anything, it looks as if every single commitment is going to stay true and sign with OSU. No last minute drama or stupid hat spectacles. Just loyal kids who really like where this program is headed.
I'll be writing a couple more articles specifically on some of the recruits in the next few days. Let me know in the comment section if you have any specific players in mind that you are curious about.