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By Matt McCoy
To hear the latest from Bucknuts.com's Bill Kurelic on Buckeye recruiting click HERE:
It was a great season on the field for Buckeye football and the momentum has continued in recruiting.
"Ohio State's got a rock star and I mean literally, to these recruits, a rock star," Ohio State recruiting expert Bill Kurelic of bucknuts.com said. "It's been amazing what he has done in such a short time recruiting-wise. Last year he comes in and takes a class that wasn't even in the top 25 nationally and ends up with a top five class. This year it's just been amazing."
The Buckeye class will become official on national signing day February 6th. There are 22 prospects in the class (see it here on bucknuts.com) and five are already enrolled. It was already highly touted, but the class got a boost with the commitments recently of four-star linebackers Mike Mitchell and Trey Johnson and linebacker/safety Christopher Worley.
"(Ohio State) is up to number two in the country in our rankings at 24/7 sports, behind only Alabama," Kurelic said. "They've moved ahead of Florida, USC and Notre Dame, so certainly getting those commitments has given Ohio State a boost and they're hoping to finish strong."
Kurelic says there are about a half-dozen prospects the Buckeyes are still in on. The biggest fish is safety Vonn Bell out of Georgia, who is expected to choose between Alabama, Ohio State and Tennessee on signing day.
"He could come into Ohio State, I believe and play day one," Kurelic said. "Maybe not start day one but he's going to play day one, somewhere."
Kurelic said Ohio State would also like at least one more wide receiver and another offensive lineman...but how much space is there?
Because of the NCAA sanctions handed down on the program last year, Ohio State can only have 82 scholarship players, rather than 85, on its roster when fall camp opens and the Buckeyes are pushing the limit.
"As things stand right now, they could only take one more prospect in the class, however there's always some attrition to a program so I think realistically Ohio State could, without question fit two more players in this class and they could go to three if things are right," Kurelic said. "For instance, if Vonn Bell were to decide on national signing day that he wants to be a Buckeye, there's just no way in the world that Ohio State would turn him away."
It's a talented Ohio State class across the board, but Kurelic said if you're looking for a strength, it's the defensive backs and defensive linemen that Meyer and staff have stockpiled.
"In Eli Apple from New Jersey, Cam Burrows and Gareon Conley from Ohio, they've got three of the country's premier cornerbacks coming into Ohio State and that was an area of need," Kurelic said. "And then on the defensive line, you've got Joey Bosa coming in from Florida, Mike Hill out of South Carolina is a top defensive tackle, Billy Price is a great prospect out of Austintown-Fitch and Tracy Sprinkle is a defensive end from Elyria. They've once again done just a super job on the defensive line."
Meyer also has a head start for 2014, with two commitments already. This past weekend, defensive back Damon Webb out of Cass Tech in Detroit, committed to Ohio State. He's considered one of the top prospects in Michigan. Marcelys Jones, an offensive lineman from Cleveland Glenville committed last month.