Urban Meyer has built an impressive reputation for himself as one of the best recruiters in all of college football. He didn’t disappoint in his first full recruiting cycle with the Ohio State Buckeyes, bringing in one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. One member of that impressive class, cornerback Eli Apple, should pay dividends for the Buckeyes as early as next fall.
Generally, corner is the easiest spot for freshmen to step in and start right away because they are athletically gifted enough to play in man coverage. That gives defensive coordinators to get a premier athlete out on the field, but forces them to scale back coverages as they young defensive back learns to play football. Ohio State will not have to worry about that with Apple.
The New Jersey native brings that top-shelf athleticism to the position, but he is so much more than just a great athlete. Apple has shown great instincts and anticipation in his game, allowing him to do more than just fall back on his physical ability. He stepped onto campus as an early enrollee with a football maturity beyond his years and the combination of athleticism and awareness will allow him to play in just about any defensive scheme the Buckeyes can come up with.
Apple, the No. 3 rated cornerback in the country and No. 11 recruit overall, will headline a stacked secondary for the Buckeyes for years to come. In addition to Apple, Meyer was able to get commitments from No. 9 rated corner Cam Burrows (who also enrolled early) along with No. 7 corner Gereon Conley, No. 4 safety Vonn Bell and No. 12 safety Jayme Thompson.
Of all the excellent recruits hitting Columbus this fall, however, Eli Apple has the tools to make a significant impact right away.