Baldwin is one of the potential stars of this class. (Via Cleveland.com)
Drew Thurman (2:49 pm)

Yesterday capped off a disappointing month in recruiting for the Buckeyes, with the only positive being the fact that none of the 17 unsigned players backed out. Rather than sit around and complain more about who the Buckeyes didn't get, I want to breakdown the players that the staff did indeed reel in. Obviously, Henderson or Anderson could switch their minds, but at this point it appears that will not happen, so let's go ahead and grade out every position. By the way, I'm not the first to do this (as I found out after writing this), but here is my spin on the class:

Quarterback: Taylor Graham (Possibly Verlon Reed)

The staff made the decision early in the process that they wanted a pro-style quarterback in 2010. I'm not sure why they made that decision, because Tressel has proven he is much better with dual-threat QBs, but they did. They struck out with Nick Montana and Cincinnati product, Andrew Hendrix, and would end up grabbing up Graham. He does have a solid arm and good size, but the injury problems he has struggled with are concerning. I personally wish they would have gone after Devin Gardner or another great athlete here. Honestly, I even think Dominique Brown would have projected as a better quarterback in Tressel's system. Grade: C+

Running Back: Roderick Smith (and technically Carlos Hyde)

I really only count Smith in this class, at least for the grade, because Hyde was recruited in last year's class. Anyways, Smith is a player that should excite everyone in Columbus. At 6-2 220 pounds, he fits the mold of some of the most successful Buckeye runners in Beanie Wells and Eddie George. He joins a stable of runners at Ohio State, which should be the deepest position on the field for Tressel. With that said, I expect him the ascend the ranks very quickly because of the style of running back he is. Grade: A-
Wide Receiver: Corey Brown, James Louis, and Tyrone Williams

For the second class in a row the Buckeyes have stocked up on talent at wideout. As impressive as the Carter, Jackson, and Fields combo was a year ago, I think I like these three guys better. First of all, the Buckeyes brought in a serious possession receiver in Tyrone Williams. At 6-6 215 with a 4.6 forty time, he has all the intangibles to eventually become a big time receiver. The staff also nabbed Louis and Brown, who are very similar in many ways. Not only do both guys have major speed, but each has some unique playmaking ability. It because of that ability that I look for both of these guys to have big impact in their first few years at Ohio State. Grade: A+

Offensive Line: Andrew Norwell

Offensive lineman are a need in every class because you can never have enough depth there. The staff obviously knew that, but made a decision to go after some of the premiere lineman in the country. If you haven't been in hibernation over the last 6 months, you will remember the names of guys like Brandon Linder, James Hurst, Chaz Green, Matt James, and Seantrel Henderson. Not one of those young men decided to come to Columbus, leaving the staff with just one lineman in Andrew Norwell. Now Norwell is an impressive prospect, in fact he is one of the best players in this class, and his attitude will make him into a very solid player at Ohio State. With that said, the staff came up very short here. 2011 isn't a great year for offensive lineman in the state of Ohio, and missing the mark in '10 could come back to bite Tressel and company in the butt. Grade: C-

Defensive Line: Darryl Baldwin, Jonathan Hankins, J.T. Moore, and Jamel Turner (Possibly David Durham)

The defensive line was also an important need for 2010, and the staff did answer the call here. Now it will be interesting to see who actually ends up playing where, because many project Turner as a linebacker and Durham as a defensive lineman. No doubt each guy fits the hybrid role that Bobby Carpenter dominated so well. Anyways, this whole group isn't that flashy, but they all are very solid players. I think Baldwin (pictured) and Hankins project the best at the next level, mostly because of the size they already bring to the table. Don't count out Moore or Durham either though. Each of those guys have played some excellent football, and have had little national respect to show for their efforts. Grade: B

Linebackers: David Durham and Scott McVey (Possibly Jamel Turner)

Like the defensive line, it is hard to give an exact grade until we know who is playing where. I like this group a lot though, and think the staff did a great job adding to an already deep group of linebackers currently on the roster. Getting Jordan Hicks would have been a nice bonus, but there is some major talent here. First, I really like McVey as I stated last week. The guy has a motor that never stops, to go along with his speed and instincts. Add a guy like Turner to outside linebacker, and four or five years down the road we will look back with more respect for this class. Bell, Klein and Newsome were all big grabs at linebacker last year, and the staff looks to have added a few more studs this year. Grade: A-

Defensive Backs: Christian Bryant, Chad Hagan, and Bradley Roby (Possibly Verlon Reed)

It's hard to believe after bringing in four defensive backs last year (Brown, Barnett, Clarke, and Wood) that the Buckeyes needed go grab a few more, but they did. Not only have the Buckeyes been plagued in the secondary with transfers and dropouts, but several years in a row the staff had to settle for projects here. The outlook didn't look that great at defensive back a month ago, with only Chad Hagan committed to the Buckeyes. Then the staff stole Roby from Vanderbilt and locked up Glenville product Bryant. Both guys have a major upside at the next level, and should have fans excited. Bryant is a leader and a guy who just seems to get it done, and has "Tressel kind of player" written all over him. Roby has good size and speed, and was picking up major SEC offers following his commitment to OSU. Don't forget eiter Roby or Bryant's names. Grade: B+

Special Teams: Drew Basil

Most people would overlook the commitment of a kicker, but Basil is an important piece in this class. Not only is special teams a major priority to Tressel, but the depth here is as thin as I remember under in his tenure. There always seems to be a few good kickers waiting their turn, and that really isn't the case right now. Basil is a very solid kicker, and will fill the need the Buckeyes currently have. Grade: B+

Overall Class Ranking: B


02/04/2010 18:31

i agree on the graham thing, the staff missed out on getting a real athlete at QB. i know they wanted to really go after braxton miller in 2011, but missing out on him will put this decision in question.

02/04/2010 18:46

I give the class a C, and I don't see how it can be any higher. The debacle on the offensive line is enough to show how average this class really is.

02/04/2010 18:55

Rittenberg sees the class a B


02/04/2010 19:56

Baldwin looks like a 5 year being forced to take pictures at Olan Mills in that picture. hahaha!


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