Seventeen commitments are in the bag for 2011 and things are looking great for the staff. This week though, the message boards have started to be filled with some worrying and complaining for the first time with this class. Let's take a look at some of those issues and dive into them a little deeper...
1) Did the Buckeyes miss out on Shaq Washington?
Today Cincinnati got a huge commitment from Maple Heights star Shaq Washington. He didn't have an offer from the Buckeyes, and his list of offers mainly featured MAC schools (with some BCS schools like Colorado and UCLA). Yet, there are a lot of people that believe the Buckeyes may have missed on Washington's talent. Not only did he put up some serious stats this last year as a quarterback, but his film showcases how incredible he is as a wideout. Watching him in one-on-one drills during camp shows you a young man who has speed, acceleration, and the ability to change direction like few players I have watched.
Washington's problem is that he is listed at 5-9 163 pounds and is in the same class as Glenville's Shane Wynn (5-7 150). Wynn by many accounts is a much better prospect, mainly because of his speed and play making ability. He did run a 4.37 forty! I find it interesting though that Ohio High/Scouting Ohio rank Shaq Washington No. 17 in the state, while Wynn comes in at No. 37. No doubt Wynn is the more explosive player, but Washington could transition better to the next level. Who knows?
Regardless, if Wynn gives the Buckeyes the cold shoulder there will be many that wish the staff had gone after Washington.
It seems every year this same question gets asked by Buckeye fans. Last year Latwan Anderson headed elsewhere, even though the staff got their guy in Christian Bryant. The year before fans worried about Marcus Hall, and though rumors had him leaving the Buckeye state, he came to Columbus. Even with all the worrying and rumors, the only Glenville player in recent memory that got away (that the staff wanted) was Cordale Scott. Yet here we are again worrying about the same question.
Obviously this year the panic has been thanks to the comments of the players themselves. OL Aundrey Walker has hinted that he is open to heading elsewhere and is no lock to tOSU, but then again so did Marcus Hall. The bigger rumor came from the aforementioned Shane Wynn. In a recent article on Rivals.com he claimed that Miami (FL) was his clear leader, which has made him a message board phenom the last few weeks. Since then though, he has backtracked on those comments to Bucknuts.com.
So is there reason for worry? I don't think so. The Buckeyes will most likely reel in Walker, and both Sturdivant and Jones will be on board, as well, if they can figure things out academically. The question mark is Wynn, and history says he will be a Buckeye. Don't respect my opinion? Well fine, but these guys agree with me.
3) Will the Buckeyes grab any big names out of state at this point?
Twelve of the 17 commitments thus far in 2011 hail from the Buckeye state, and that ratio doesn't appear to be getting any smaller in the future. Guys like McReynolds and Mangiro have cooled on the Buckeyes quite a bit, leaving mostly in-state players on the big board for OSU. There a few out of state players left, but nobody earth shattering. The guys to pay attention to are LB Ejuan Price, LB Michael Caputo, DB Dondi Kirby, and DB Jabari Gorman. If the staff lands more than two of these guys I would be shocked.
The interesting thing to watch will be the response from Buckeye fans when this class finishes out. Last year the complaint was that Tressel waited too long for big name players while missing out on some solid in-state players. With this class the opposite has happened, and some rumblings have already started to occur. Honestly I can't see why anyone is complaining at this point because when the dust settles the Buckeyes will have a top five class. With Ohio talent like Doran Grant, Trey DePriest, Shane Wynn and Aundrey Walker left, who cares what is going on elsewhere?