Top 5 Recruiting Needs for Ohio State in 2014
5 Biggest Recruiting Needs For Ohio State
It is no secret that the defense of the Ohio State Buckeyes needs some help before the 2014 season starts.
It’s bad enough that their secondary gave up over 1,100 yards in their last three games, two of which were losses to the Michigan State Spartans and Clemson Tigers, but what makes it even worse is cornerback Bradley Roby’s early departure for the NFL. Linebacker Ryan Shazier will be gone as well. Ohio State has loads of young talent in the secondary that has shown plenty of potential, so hopefully they will be able to help a struggling defense improve in 2014 even without star players like Roby or Shazier. Defensive players are no doubt one of the biggest needs for the Buckeyes heading into next season.
Another big need for the Buckeyes will be on the offensive line. Four out of their five starters were seniors last season and will not be back in 2014. Taylor Decker will be the lone returning starter on what will be a young offensive line next season. The talent Ohio State puts up front will need to play with the same intensity as those departing seniors if they want to be able to protect Braxton Miller.
There is no question that Urban Meyer knows how to recruit and will make sure he has plenty of depth at every position. National Signing Day is coming up in a week, and Ohio State has 22 verbal commitments with room for two more. Which positions do they need to concentrate on the most to fill those last two spots?
5. Wide Receiver
The wide receiver position is not a huge need heading into 2014 even with the loss of their star senior receiver Corey “Philly” Brown. Young receiving talent will not be a necessity until 2015 since wide receivers Evan Spencer and Devin Smith will be seniors in 2014 and tight end Jeff Heuerman will be as well, but why not start now and get these young receivers some experience? Dontre Wilson is always a receiving option since Meyer has been converting him from strictly being a running back to being more of an all-around player. He has been coming along well and the younger players could be like him and learn from experienced players like Spencer and Smith.
The most talented safety on the Ohio State roster last season was Christian Bryant. Bryant was a senior in 2013 and will not be back in 2014 despite trying for a medical redshirt that would bring him back for another season. That redshirt was denied even though he spent most of his senior season on the sidelines with a broken ankle he suffered against the Wisconsin Badgers. His on-field leadership was missed by the Ohio State defense and will continue to be in 2014. Ohio State needs to find a safety to fill Bryant’s shoes which will not be easy, but it is definitely something they need if they want to fix their struggling secondary.
With Shazier gone a year early, the Buckeyes will need help at the linebacker position. It will be hard to find someone with Shazier’s level of talent, but the Buckeyes will certainly try. Noah Spence showed some promise on the defensive line as a pass rusher and so did Jamal Marcus, who played in Spence’s absence when he was suspended for the Orange Bowl. The Buckeyes certainly have plenty of linebackers waiting in the wings, but can they make Ohio State fans forget that Shazier is gone or will Meyer need a young recruit to step up?
An already struggling Ohio State secondary took a big hit with the loss of Roby to the NFL. Ohio State has plenty of talent in the secondary, but they will need more depth if they want to try and find that perfect cornerback to replace Roby. The secondary can use all the help they can get for 2014, and it wouldn’t hurt to prepare for the future so the Buckeyes don’t repeat their disappointing 2013 season because of a secondary that gives up too many passing yards.
1. Offensive Line
Four out of five of Ohio State’s starters on the offensive line were seniors in 2013. Decker is the only returning starter on an intense offensive line that did an outstanding job of protecting Miller and Carlos Hyde. Meyer will need to make sure he has some great young talent on the new offensive line that can protect Miller just as well or better and allow him to be successful as more of a pocket passer. Talent on the offensive line is very important for the Buckeyes to have a great year in 2014 and is their biggest need right now.