The Buckeyes have started the 2011 recruiting class with some major momentum. Nine prospects have already committed, and the Buckeyes have done a great job thus far of locking down the state of Ohio. With a good start in place, the Spring Game on Saturday gave the staff (and fans) a good idea of where the Buckeyes stand with other important pieces.
The most vital of those pieces is at tight end. After coming up empty in 2010, tight end talk will surround this class. The staff is going after a few different guys, a few of which were present on Saturday. The first was Nick Vannett, a 6-6 230 pound prospect from Westerville, Ohio. This was an important visit from Vannett, who was expected to attend Notre Dame's spring game instead. Luckily he showed up on a day where Pryor and the staff did a great job of utilizing Jake Stoneburner. Vannett was impressed, which makes you wonder what kind of tight ends the Buckeyes could pull in if they threw to them once in awhile.
The other tight end visitor was was Jeff Heuerman (6-5, 240) from Naples, Florida. Heuerman had been on a Midwest swing visiting schools like Michigan and Notre Dame, and Ohio State was the last stop on the road trip. His trip went well enough to name the Buckeyes the leader at this point. In fact, it would not surprising if he was the next commitment in this class. If that does indeed happen, it will be interesting to see what happens to Vannett and blue-chipper Ben Koyack, who has narrowed his list to OSU and Notre Dame.
* Aundrey Walker from Cleveland Glenville was in attendance Saturday, with a whole host of Tarblooders. The Buckeyes have landed four offensive lineman, but Walker is still an important piece that the staff is recruiting hard. Not only is he arguably the best offensive lineman in Ohio, but outside of Brian Bobek, there is some star power missing among those four. Walker was impressed with the atmosphere in the Horseshoe, and it is hard to believe any team can pluck him away from the Buckeyes.
* Defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds (Washington, DC) had some awesome things to say about his visit to Columbus. In fact, the visit has made the Buckeyes the team to beat for his services at this point. Unfortunately, he didn't commit this weekend and the staff will have to battle a host of ACC and SEC schools to get him in the end. Personally, I really like McReynolds and think he is a quality young man. It would be huge to reel him in, especially with all the troubles with defensive tackle recruiting in 2010. Watch his name over the next few months.
* Columbus Eastmoor defensive back, Ron Tanner, was on campus yet again. He enjoyed the visit and had high praise of the attendance at the game. One has to wonder if 90,000 plus showed up like a year ago, what he and the other recruits would have had to say. Regardless, Tanner likes the hometown Buckeyes, and would be a nice addition to what could be a strong defensive back class for Ohio State. With Gambrell and Cash already committed, the staff is hoping to grab up Tanner, Doran Grant, and/or Eilar Hardy.
* Linebacker Chris Crowell (Waldorf, Maryland) was one of the under the radar names in attendance Saturday. Most the attention at linebacker in this class has been focused on Trey DePriest and James Vaughters, but Crowell does hold an offer from the staff. Like all the other recruits mentioned, Crowell was impressed, especially with all the fans at the game. No commitment came this weekend though, and multiple sources are reporting that Crowell wants to take his time with the recruiting process.
The Take Away
The Buckeyes didn't grab any commitments this weekend as fans would have hoped, but they did leave a strong impression with everyone. Maybe the most important news came at tight end, where the staff appears to have picked up some momentum with several guys. So don't worry Buckeye fans, 2011 is going to be a very strong class!