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Past Ohio State Recruiting Classes


Darryl Baldwin

* DE Darryl Baldwin, Solon (Oh.)
* K Drew Basil, Chillicothe (Oh.)
* WR Corey Brown, Philadelphia (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara
* DB Christian Bryant, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* DE David Durham, Charlotte (N.C.) Christian
* QB Taylor Graham, Wheaton (Ill.) North
* DB Adam Griffin, Columbus (Oh.) DeSales
* LB Chad Hagan, Canonsburg (Pa.) Canon-McMillan
* DT Johnathon Hankins, Detroit (Mich.) Southeastern
* RB Carlos Hyde, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy/Naples (Fla.)
* WR James Louis, Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic
* LB Scott McVey, Cleveland (Oh.) St. Ignatius
* DE J.T. Moore, Youngstown (Oh.) Boardman
* OL Andrew Norwell, Cincinnati (Oh.) Anderson
* ATH Verlon Reed, Columbus (Oh.) Marion-Franklin
* CB Bradley Roby, Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge
* RB Rod Smith, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Harding
* WR Tyrone Williams, East Cleveland (Oh.) Shaw

Comments: This class was not rated high by Ohio State standards. The Buckeyes missed out on several high-profile Ohio and out-of-state recruits that they offered and were also hurt when one of the highest-rated players in the class, DE Jamel Turner of Youngstown Ursuline, was seriously injured in a shooting incident. Six players from this class -- Basil, Brown, Bryant, Hankins, Hyde, Norwell -- saw playing time as freshmen, with each of those but Hyde seeing significant playing time.


* DB C.J. Barnett, Clayton (Oh.) Northmont
* LB Dorian Bell, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
* DT Adam Bellamy, Aurora (Oh.)
* RB Jaamal Berry, Miami (Fla.) Palmetto
* FB Zach Boren, Pickerington (Oh.) Central
* DB Corey Brown, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
* WR Duron Carter, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
* CB Dominic Clarke, Frederick (Md.) Tuscarora
* DE Melvin Fellows, Garfield Heights (Oh.)
* TE Reid Fragel, Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South
* QB Ken Guiton, Aldine (Texas) Eisenhower
* RB Jordan Hall, Jeannette (Pa.)
* OL Marcus Hall, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* FB Adam Homan, Coldwater (Oh.)
* WR James Jackson, Grand Ledge (Mich.)
* LB Storm Klein, Newark (Oh.) Licking Valley
* OL Corey Linsley, Youngstown (Oh.) Boardman
* OL Sam Longo, Bellbrook (Oh.)
* OL Jack Mewhort, Toledo (Oh.) St. John's
* DE Jonathan Newsome, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* DT John Simon, Youngstown (Oh.) Cardinal Mooney
* LB Jordan Whiting, Louisville (Ky.) Trinity
* DB Jamie Wood, Pickerington (Oh.) Central

Comments: The Buckeyes made it back-to-back top five recruiting classes with this bunch. The class had several All-Americans and highly-rated prospects, and Boren, Carter, Jordan and Marcus Hall, and Simon were all able to make a mark as true freshmen. Carter, however, did not make the grade academically and wound up transferring to a junior college. The class has the makings of being a productive one for Ohio State although a few of the most sought-after players, such as Bell, Berry, and Fellows, have had to wait their turn due to injury and/or depth.


* OL Mike Adams, Dublin (Oh.) Coffman
* OL Michael Brewster, Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater
* P/PK Ben Buchanan, Westerville (Oh.) Central
* TE Nic DiLillo, Madison (Oh.)
* S Zach Domicone, Beavercreek (Oh.)
* DT Garrett Goebel, Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic
* CB Travis Howard, Miami (Fla.) Krop
* ATH Orhian Johnson, Gulfport (Fla.) Boca Ciega
* RB Jermil Martin, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* DE Willie Mobley, Eden Prairie (Minn.)
* WR DeVier Posey, Cincinnati (Oh.) LaSalle
* QB Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette (Pa.)
* DT Shawntel Rowell, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* LB Etienne Sabino, Miami (Fla.) Krop
* OL J.B. Shugarts, Klein (Texas)
* WR Jake Stoneburner, Dublin (Oh.) Coffman
* LB Andrew Sweat, Washington (Pa.) Trinity
* WR Lamaar Thomas, Ft. Washington (Md.) Friendly
* DE Keith Wells, Gainesville (Ga.)
* DE Nathan Williams, Washington Court House (Oh.) Miami Trace

Comments: This class was rated among the top five in the country as it brought the Buckeyes top 50 prospects in Adams, Brewster, Pryor, Sabino, Shugarts, and Sweat. This class is a strong collection of talent that got off to a good start, with Pryor and Brewster starting as true freshmen and Posey, Thomas, and Williams all seeing solid playing time. The majority of this class wound up being solid contributors although Martin, Mobley, Thomas, and Wells transferred out while Rowell never made it.


* OL Evan Blankenship, Monaca (Pa.) Center
* DB Eugene Clifford, Cincinnati (Oh.) Colerain
* DB Donnie Evege, Huber Heights (Oh.) Wayne
* RB Dan Herron, Warren (Oh.) Harding
* DT Cameron Heyward, Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge
* LB Jermale Hines, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* DB Nate Oliver, Lakewood (Oh.) St. Edward
* DB Rocco Pentello, Westerville (Oh.) South
* LB Brian Rolle, Immokalee (Fla.)
* RB Brandon Saine, Piqua (Oh.)
* WR Dane Sanzenbacher, Toledo (Oh.) Central Catholic
* CB James Scott, Daytona Beach (Fla.) Seabreeze
* DE Solomon Thomas, West Chester (Oh.) Lakota West
* DB Devon Torrence, Canton (Oh.) South
* WR Taurian Washington, Orchard Lake (Mi.) St. Mary's

Comments: Despite missing out on the top Ohio prospect (DE Ben Martin of Cin. LaSalle), this undersized class finished rated in the top 20 nationally. Clifford was a consensus All-American and Saine won Ohio Mr. Football. Scott was rated as one of Florida's top prospects, and in a surprise, the Buckeyes beat out the Florida schools for his signature. Heyward, son of late NFL running back Craig Heyward, was a coup from the state of Georgia. The class got off to a shaky start, with two if it's most acclaimed players -- Clifford and Scott -- transferring from Ohio State. This class brought some major contributors though in Herron, Heyward, Hines, Rolle, Saine, Sanzenbacher, and Torrence.


* TE Jake Ballard, Springboro (Oh.)
* OL Bryant Browning, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* CB Chimdi Chekwa, Clermont (Fla.) East Ridge
* DB Kurt Coleman, Clayton (Oh.) Northmont
* DE Walter Dublin, Sarasota (Fla.)
* DB Aaron Gant, Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary's
* LB Thaddeus Gibson, Euclid (Oh.)
* LB Larry Grant, CC of San Francisco (JUCO)
* QB Antonio Henton, Fort Valley (Ga.) Peach County
* LB Ross Homan, Coldwater (Oh.)
* LB Mark Johnson, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey
* DT Dexter Larimore, Merrillville (Ind.)
* TE Andy Miller, Washington Twp. (Pa.) Trinity
* LB Tyler Moeller, Cincinnati (Oh.) Colerain
* RB Aram Olson, Columbia (S.C.) Irmo
* DE Robert Rose, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* DB Grant Schwartz, Dana Point (Calif.) Dana Hills
* WR Ray Small, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* OL Connor Smith, Cincinnati (Oh.) Colerain
* RB Chris Wells, Akron (Oh.) Garfield

Comments: The class started off with a bang as Wells, one of the higest-rated Ohio prospects in years, was the first to commit. OSU did well in Ohio, landing five-star prospects in Gibson, Rose and Smith and highly-regarded prospects in Ballard, Coleman, Homan, Moeller, and Small. The Buckeyes scored in California, grabbing a national top 15 linebacker in Johnson, a five-star JUCO prospect in Grant and a Buckeye legacy in Schwartz. OSU secured a commitment from Henton before his junior season, and his stock rose with a standout senior season. Dublin, Henton, and Johnson were gone from OSU before the end of the 2008 season, but many of the players in this class proved to be contributors early on.


* CB Andre Amos, Middletown (Oh.)
* OL Alex Boone, Lakewood (Oh.) St. Edward
* OL Jim Cordle, Lancaster (Oh.)
* DT Todd Denlinger, Troy (Oh.)
* WR Brian Hartline, Canton (Oh.) GlenOak
* CB Malcolm Jenkins, Piscataway (N.J.) Twp.
* LB James Laurinaitis, Plymouth (Minn.) Wayzata
* LB Fred Lenix, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* DB Jamario O'Neal, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* WR Brian Robiskie, Chagrin Falls (Oh.)
* RB/DB Anderson Russell, Atlanta (Ga.) Marist
* QB Rob Schoenhoft, Cincinnati (Oh.) St. Xavier
* LB Austin Spitler, Bellbrook (Oh.)
* DB Donald Washington, Indianapolis (Ind.) Franklin Central
* RB Maurice Wells, Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood
* DE Ryan Williams, Mission Viejo (Calif.)
* DE Lawrence Wilson, Akron (Oh.) St. Vincent-St. Mary
* DL Doug Worthington, Athol Springs (N.Y.) St. Francis

Comments: A smaller class ranked in the teens that has shown a strong success rate to date. OSU landed the top Ohio prospects in Boone and O'Neal along with an All-American running back in Wells and an Elite 11 QB in Schoenhoft. Worthington was a major out-of-state coup for the Buckeyes. Perhaps the highlight of the class has been the emergence of the players who were not as highly-rated -- major out-of-state finds Laurinaitis and Jenkins, a true diamond in the rough in Russell and late additions Robiskie and Washington. Lenix never made it academically and wound up at Cincinnati, while Williams left the program after two seasons.


* DT Nader Abdallah, Metarie (La.) Archbisop Rummel
* DE Alex Barrow, Dublin (Oh.) Coffman
* QB Todd Boeckman, St. Henry (Oh.)
* WR Albert Dukes, Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central
* LB Marcus Freeman, Huber Heights (Oh.) Wayne
* DE Vernon Gholston, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech
* WR/DB Ted Ginn, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* RB Erik Haw, Columbus (Oh.) Independence
* LB/TE Chad Hoobler, Carrollton (Oh.)
* FB Dionte Johnson, Columbus (Oh.) Eastmoor Academy
* RB Dennis Kennedy, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranahan
* RB/DB Shaun Lane, Hubbard (Oh.)
* WR/DB Devon Lyons, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Woodland Hills
* OL Kyle Mitchum, Erie (Pa.) McDowell
* TE Rory Nicol, Beaver (Pa.) Area
* DB Nick Patterson, Hazelwood (Mo.) Central
* OL Ben Person, Xenia (Oh.)
* RB Antonio Pittman, Akron (Oh.) Buchtel
* OL Steve Rehring, West Chester (Oh.) Lakota West
* OL Jon Skinner, Mount Caramel (Pa.)
* LB/TE Brandon Smith, Euclid (Oh.)
* LB Curtis Terry, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* P A.J. Trapasso, Pickerington (Oh.)
* DB Brandon Underwood, Hamilton (Oh.)
* DB Sirjo Welch, Columbus (Oh.) Beechcroft

Comments: This class was rated a top ten class nationally, but it is arguable if it has lived up to the ranking. The class was led by No. 1 Ohio prospect and All-American Ted Ginn and also featured All-Americans in Abdallah and Freeman along with Ohio State breaking through into Pennsylvania to land four of the state's top prospects, including national top 100 players Nicol and Mitchum. The Buckeyes also scored a coup in grabbing Gholston from Michigan and Dukes from Florida, while the majority of prospects landed from Ohio were highly-rated. Four players from this class -- Haw, Hoobler, Underwood, and Welch -- transferred from OSU while Kennedy never made the cut academically. This year will also be remembered by recruiting fans for the highly publicized recruitment of Toledo Rogers star and No. 2 Ohio prospect Fred Davis, who surprisingly left the state to attend USC.


* OL Kirk Barton, Massillon (Oh.) Perry
* DT Sian Cotton, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
* TE Marcel Frost, Lyndhurst (Oh.) Brush
* WR/DB Anthony Gonzalez, Cleveland (Oh.) St. Ignatius
* RB/DB Ira Guilford, Hoboken (N.J.)
* DB/WR Dareus Hiley, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* TE Louis Irizarry, Youngstown (Oh.) Ursuline
* WR Devin Jordan, Massillon (Oh.) Washington
* LB Curt Lukens, North Canton (Oh.) Hoover
* OL/DL Brandon Maupin, West Chester (Oh.) Lakota West
* DL David Patterson, Warrensville Heights (Oh.)
* LB Anthony Schlegel, United States Air Force Academy transfer
* LB Reggie Smith, East Cleveland (Oh.) Shaw
* S Donte Whitner, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* CB Ashton Youboty, Klein (Texas)

Comments: An undersized class that yielded some crucial players as well as some colossal disappointments. Irizarry, Hiley, Maupin, Patterson, and Whitner were all top 100 prospects and top 10 Ohio players. Guilford and Youboty represented the top out-of-state coups for the year for the Buckeyes while Schlegel was a rare transfer into the program. The Buckeyes missed out on four key in-state prospects: QB Brady Quinn (Notre Dame), DB Prescott Burgess (Michigan), LB Shawn Crable (Michigan), and DE Ray Edwards (Purdue). Only six players became contributors (Barton, Gonzalez, Patterson, Schlegel, Whitner, Youboty). Guilford and Irizarry were involved in an embarrassing off-the-field incident which resulted in both players seeing their OSU careers come to an end and Irizarry being sent to prison. In addition to Guilford and Irizarry, Cotton, Frost, Hiley, Jordan, Lukens, Maupin, and Smith all saw their OSU careers come to a premature end due to injury, transfer and/or academics.


* LB Bobby Carpenter, Lancaster (Oh.)
* RB Maurice Clarett, Warren (Oh.) Harding
* TE R.J. Coleman, Clarksburg (W.V.) Byrd
* LB Mike D'Andrea, Avon Lake (Oh.)
* OL Doug Datish, Warren (Oh.) Howland
* OL T.J. Downing, Canton (Oh.) GlenOak
* DB Tyler Everett, Canton (Oh.) McKinley
* WR Roy Hall, Lyndhurst (Oh.) Brush
* LB A.J. Hawk, Centerville (Oh.)
* WR Santonio Holmes, Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central
* DE Mike Kudla, Medina (Oh.) Highland
* OL Nick Mangold, Kettering (Oh.) Alter
* DB Brandon Mitchell, Atlanta (Ga.) Mays
* OL Derek Morris, Huntersville (N.C.) North Mecklenburg
* DL Joel Penton, Van Wert (Oh.)
* DT Quinn Pitcock, Piqua (Oh.)
* DE Jay Richardson, Dublin (Oh.) Scioto
* CB Michael Roberts, Toronto (Ont.) Central Tech
* DB Nate Salley, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
* OL/DL Tim Schafer, Upper Arlington (Oh.)
* OL Rob Sims, Macedonia (Oh.) Nordonia
* QB/ATH Troy Smith, Cleveland (Oh.) Glenville
* CB E.J. Underwood, Hamilton (Oh.)
* LB/FB Stan White, Baltimore (Md.) Gilman
* QB Justin Zwick, Massillon (Oh.) Washington

Comments: Not every super-hyped up player lived up to expectations from this class, but this class, rated No. 2 nationally, was very successful and was the foundation for OSU's 10- and 12-win teams of 2005 and 2006. OSU cleaned up in-state during one of the deepest years for talent in recent Ohio history. This class saw 12 players drafted into the NFL, four of them (Carpenter, Hawk, Holmes, Mangold) being first-round picks. The most hyped players of this class -- Clarett, D'Andrea, Morris, Zwick -- all didn't work out quite as expected at OSU for various reasons. Of the 25 signed players, only Clarett, Morris, Roberts and Underwood wound up leaving the program. Coleman and D'Andrea and saw their careers cut short due to injury but saw playing time. All other players went on to be solid if not spectacular contributors while at Ohio State.


* LB/DE/TE Redgie Arden, Ironton (Oh.)
* WR Angelo Chattams, Dayton (Oh.) Chaminade-Julienne
* OL Ryan Cook, Martinsville (Ind.)
* DB Dustin Fox, Canton (Oh.) GlenOak
* DE Simon Fraser, Upper Arlington (Oh.)
* WR Chris Gamble, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard
* DL Marcus Green, Louisville (Ky.) Male
* RB Maurice Hall, Columbus (Oh.) Brookhaven
* TE Ryan Hamby, Cincinnati (Oh.) Moeller
* K Mike Nugent, Centerville (Oh.)
* OL Adam Olds, Dublin (Oh.) Coffman
* RB JaJa Riley, San Diego (Calif.) Mission Bay
* RB Lydell Ross, Tampa (Fla.) Gaither
* FB Brandon Schnittker, Sandusky (Oh.) Perkins
* WR Chris Vance, Ft. Scott (Kan.) CC

Comments: New OSU head coach Jim Tressel did a fine job of picking up the pieces after being hired to replace John Cooper with just a few short weeks left in the recruiting season. The class was looking shaky in early January but wound up being rated in the top 20 nationally. Tressel was able to keep two players who were wavering -- All-American Dustin Fox and four-star receiver Angelo Chattams -- as well as add a handful of fine prospects in January in Gamble, Green, Hall, Nugent, and Ross. Ross in particular was viewed as a major out-of-state coup. The top players from this class ironically turned out to be two of the lesser-publicized players -- Gamble and Nugent. Fox lived up to his billing and Fraser, Green, Hall, Hamby, and Schnittker became either starters or solid contributors for the Buckeyes. Vance produced well in his first season but had a bit of a rough senior year both on and off the field. Arden was a very highly-rated prospect but battled a series of injury and off-the-field incidents at OSU. Cook and Riley transferred early in their careers while Olds was forced to give up his career due to injury. In Ohio, the Buckeyes lost defensive ends Pat Massey (Cleveland St. Ignatius) and Pierre Woods (Cleveland Glenville) to Michigan and prior commitment Brandon McKinney (Dayton C-J) to Michigan State, but Arden, Chattams, Fraser, Fox, and Hall were all viewed as top 10 players in the state.


* WR Corey Adams, Stone Mountain (Ga.)
* DB Will Allen, Huber Heights (Oh.) Wayne
* DB B.J. Barre, Toledo (Oh.) Whitmer
* CB Bobby Britton, Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines
* TE Jason Caldwell, Mentor (Oh.)
* ATH Brandon "Bam" Childress, Bedford (Oh.) St. Peter Chanel
* LB Marco Cooper, Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech
* WR John Hollins, Huber Heights (Oh.) Wayne
* K Josh Huston, Findlay (Oh.)
* CB Harlen Jacobs, Atlanta (Ga.) Douglass
* WR Michael Jenkins, Tampa (Fla.) Leto
* RB Branden Joe, Westerville (Oh.) South
* OL Larry Kinnard, Alliance (Oh.)
* WR Andrew Lee, Columbus (Oh.) Brookhaven
* RB Sam Maldonado, Harrison (N.Y.)
* LB Thomas Matthews, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard
* QB Rick McFadden, Struthers (Oh.)
* LB Jamal Muhammad, Stone Mountain (Ga.)
* OL Shane Olivea, Cedarhurst (N.Y.) Lawrence
* RB Terry Pogue, Dayton (Oh.) Colonel White
* LB Robert Reynolds, Bowling Green (Ky.)
* DL Darrion Scott, Charleston (W.V.) Capital
* DE Will Smith, Utica (N.Y.) Proctor
* OL Alex Stepanovich, Berea (Oh.)
* DL Alphonso Townsend, Lima (Oh.) Senior
* LB Jack Tucker, Cerritos (Calif.) CC

Comments: The recruiting class of 2000 was a bit of an oddity as it was pushed into the top 10 nationally on the strength of its out-of-state haul rather than the Ohio crop. Head coach John Cooper missed out on a couple highly-publicized blue-chip Ohio prospects in offensive linemen Antonio Hall (Kentucky) and Michael Munoz (Tennessee), although perhaps the biggest loss proved to be a late-rising Findlay quarterback by the name of Ben Roethlisberger. But an out-of-state haul that included the three top prospects in New York in Maldonado (who was rated as high as the No. 1 RB nationally by some), Olivea and Smith, a five-star linebacker in Cooper, a top 100 prospect in Reynolds and top 250 prospects in Jenkins and Scott helped push this group up the rankings.

This class proved to be a hit-and-miss bunch but the hits were some major contributors on OSU's great teams of 2002 and 2003. Smith and Jenkins went on to become two of the better players at their positions in OSU history, while Olivea, Reynolds, Scott, and Stepanovich were all multi-year starters and Allen will always be remembered for his big plays. Each player was drafted into the NFL with Smith and Jenkins being first-round selections. Childress, who was Ohio Mr. Football, and Huston also made noise as free agents. Joe battled injury but made valuable contributions at fullback before his career was done. Britton, Caldwell, Hollins, Jacobs, Matthews, and Tucker saw most of their playing time on special teams.

Adams, Barre, Kinnard, Pogue, and Townsend were all academic casualties, with Adams, Pogue and Townsend never putting on a uniform and Kinnard transferring to Mount Union after a week. Transfers from this class were Lee (Cincinnati), Maldonado (Maryland), McFadden (Akron) and Muhammad (Bethune-Cookman). Lee would become one of the most despicable individuals to ever attend OSU as in 2003 he wound up convicted for aggravated murder, rape, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery. Cooper proved to be not worth the risk as his career was cut short due to drug and gun charges that eventually put him in prison.


* DT Tim Anderson, Clyde (Oh.)
* OL Bryce Bishop, Miami (Fla.) Killian
* WR Ricky Bryant, Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison
* WR Drew Carter, Solon (Oh.)
* OL Adrien Clarke, Shaker Heights (Oh.)
* CB Curtis Crosby, Columbus (Oh.) Eastmoor
* DB Mike Doss, Canton (Oh.) McKinley
* RB Richard Hall, Cincinnati (Oh.) Wyoming
* WR Maurice Harris, Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines
* TE Ben Hartsock, Chillicothe (Oh.) Unioto
* RB Jesse Kline, Upper Arlington (Oh.)
* QB Craig Krenzel, Utica (Mich.) Ford
* WR Maurice Lee, Cleveland (Oh.) South
* RB Kelton Lindsay, Lebanon (Oh.)
* QB Scott McMullen, Granville (Oh.)
* CB Richard McNutt, Park Forest (Ill.) Rich East
* LB Pat O'Neill, Cuyahoga Falls (Oh.) Walsh Jesuit
* LB Fred Pagac Jr., Dublin (Oh.) Coffman
* P B.J. Sander, Cincinnati (Oh.) Roger Bacon
* FB Nate Stead, Marion (Oh.) Harding
* DL Fred Sturrup, Plantation (Fla.)
* DB Ziyier Walker, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy
* LB Matt Wilhelm, Elyria (Oh.) Catholic
* OL Matt Zahn, St. Henry (Oh.)

Comments: Rated No. 2 nationally across the board by recruiting analysts, this class, like the 2000 class, was a mixed bag in the end. The class provided some key building blocks to the 2002 national championship team but also saw its share of disappointments. This class made negative national headlines early when six players -- Bishop, Crosby, Harris, Hall, Lee, and Walker -- failed to qualify academically as freshmen. Bishop and Lee eventually made their way back to the team and finished their careers at OSU, while Crosby, Harris and Hall each stuck around in Columbus for varying degrees of time trying to qualify but were unsuccessful. Others who eventually wound up transferring and/or not finishing their OSU careers for various reasons were Kline (injury), Bryant (transfer - Hofstra), Lindsay (transfer - UC), McNutt (injury), O'Neill, Sturrup, Stead, and Zahn (transfer - Marshall).

The highest-rated players in this class nationally were Lindsay, who was rated by many as Ohio's top player, Clarke, Crosby, Doss, Anderson, Pagac, Kline, O'Neill, and two out-of-state coups in McNutt and Bishop. Each player was at one point or another listed as a top 100 national prospect, with Bishop, Crosby, Lindsay, and McNutt consistently listed towards the top of the list. Anderson, Bishop, Clarke, and Doss along with Krenzel, Wilhelm, and Hartsock were multi-year starters for the Buckeyes.


* QB Steve Bellisari, Boca Raton (Fla.)
* OL LeCharles Bentley, Cleveland (Oh.) St. Ignatius
* CB Nate Clements, Shaker Heights (Oh.)
* DT Mike Collins, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy
* DE James Cotton, City College of San Francisco
* OL Ivan Douglas, Cleveland (Oh.) Benedictine
* ATH Willie "Cie" Grant, New Philadelphia (Oh.)
* OL Scott Kuhnhein, Ft. Thomas (Ky.) Highlands
* FB Jamar Martin, Canton (Oh.) McKinley
* DB Donnie Nickey, Plain City (Oh.) Jonathan Alder
* DL Kenny Peterson, Canton (Oh.) McKinley
* DT Ryan Pickett, Zephyrhills (Fla.)
* DB Derek Ross, Rock Hill (S.C.)
* DT David Thompson, Patterson (N.J.)
* RB Jonathan Wells, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis
* DE Julius Yeast, Harrodsburg (Ky.)

Comments: Rated in the teens because of its small size, this class was still highly thought of due to the number of blue-chippers signed. Bellisari, Clements, Kuhnhein, Peterson, Pickett, Wells, and Yeast were all regarded as top 100 players. The class proved to have a good success rate. An impressive 11 out of 16 players -- Bellisari, Bentley, Clements, Cotton, Grant, Martin, Nickey, Peterson, Pickett, Ross, and Wells -- were drafted into the NFL. Each of those players along with Collins and Douglas were starters. Thompson saw solid minutes as a senior after battling academic problems. Kuhnhein played sparingly. Yeast transferred from OSU early in his career.


* DE Rodney Bailey, Lakewood (Oh.) St. Edward
* DT Paul Breed, CC of San Francisco
* LB Courtland Bullard, Miami (Fla.)
* ATH Tim Cheatwood, Cleveland (Oh.) Collinwood
* RB Derek Combs, Grove City (Oh.)
* LB Joe Cooper, Columbus (Oh.) Independence
* OL Henry Fleming, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy
* FB Scott Fulton, Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha
* WR Reggie Germany, Hazelwood (Mo.) East
* OL Tam Hopkins, Winter Park (Fla.)
* OL Jim Massey, Cleveland (Oh.) St. Ignatius
* DB David Mitchell, Westerville (Oh.) South
* QB Austin Moherman, Mission Viejo (Calif.)
* LB Jason Ott, Cincinnati (Oh.) Elder
* RB Sean Penny, Youngstown (Oh.) Ursuline
* QB David Priestley, Cypress (Calif.)
* OL Ben Pulfer, Sidney (Oh.)
* DT Heath Queen, Lodi (Oh.) Cloverleaf
* WR Ken-Yon Rambo, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
* TE/ATH Darnell Sanders, Warrensville Heights (Oh.)
* RB/DB Greg Simpson, Dublin (Oh.)
* CB Ashanti Webb, East Central Mississippi CC

Comments: The 1997 haul was a top 15 or higher class that wound up not producing any real stars for OSU but did bring some solid contributors. The class was led by four out-of-state blue-chippers in Bullard, Hopkins, Germany, and Rambo. Each was rated among the nation's best at their position, and some had Hopkins and Rambo in the national top 10 overall prospects. Even though none wound up being superstars, each player finished their eligibility at OSU and were multi-year starters, and each caught on with an NFL team for at least a short time. The Buckeyes were also thought to have landed two potential quarterbacks of the future in Moherman and Priestley but both wound up transferring, as did Fulton.

The highest-rated Ohio prospects OSU landed in this haul were Ott, who was rated as a high top 100 player by some, Bailey, Penny, Sanders, and Combs. Cheatwood and Cooper were lesser-known prospects. Breed and Webb were expected to help right away but neither did much in their OSU career, and Breed was an academic casualty who later got caught up in an off-the-field purse snatching incident. Massey, Ott, Penny, and Queen each ended their careers early due to injury.


* DB Gary Berry, Columbus (Oh.) DeSales
* WR David Boston, Humble (Texas)
* DL Joe Brown, Tuscon (Ariz.) Catalina Foothills
* DB Mike Burden, Palantine (Ill.)
* LB Na'il Diggs, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey
* DB James Dumas
* QB Mark Garcia, Modesto (Calif.) JC
* OL Ben Gilbert, Lancaster (Oh.)
* RB Nick Goings, Dublin (Oh.) Scioto
* TE Mike Gurr, Hamilton (Oh.)
* TE Kevin Houser, Westlake (Oh.)
* DE Brent Johnson, Kingston (Ont., Canada)
* DE Kevin Johnson
* LB Andy Katzenmoyer, Westerville (Oh.) South
* OL Jefferson Kelley, Cincinnati (Oh.) Colerain
* OL/DL Paris Long, Columbus (Oh.) Beechcroft
* OL Kurt Murphy, Columbus (Oh.) DeSales
* DL Marcus Perez, Medina (Oh.)
* WR Vanness Provitt, Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy
* WR/DB Garrett Shea
* DB Roland Steele, Dublin (Oh.) Scioto
* K Dan Stultz, Orville (Oh.)
* OL Tyson Walter, Chagrin Falls (Oh.) Kenston
* WR Darik Warnke, Cuyahoga Falls (Oh.) Walsh Jesuit
* DL Clinton Wayne, Brampton (Ont.) Centennial
* ATH Jerry Westbrooks, Boca Raton (Fla.) Pope John Paul II
* RB Michael Wiley, Spring Valley (Calif.) Monte Vista

Comments: This class was rated by many observers as the number one class in America. The Buckeyes landed many coveted players, led by Berry, Boston, Burden, Diggs, Goings, Katzenmoyer, Kelley, Westbrooks, and Wiley. Katzenmoyer was the big catch, rated by many as Ohio's top prospect and was USA Today's national defensive player of the year. Burden, Boston, Diggs, Westbrooks, and Wiley were major out-of-state coups. This class produced seven NFL draft picks in Berry, Boston, Diggs, Houser, Katzenmoyer, Walter, and Wiley. However, many players from this class did not pan out. Burden, who some felt was the class's most talented player along with Katzenmoyer, could not stick academically. Dumas and Shea were gone from the class early, while Goings eventually transferred to Pittsburgh. Kelley and Garcia never developed, while Westbrooks was always lost in the depth chart. Others from this class, such as Brown, Murphy, and Wayne, contributed throughout their careers. Stultz had a very good career as a kicker and punter.

The class will also be remembered for one of the strangest recruiting stories in history. Running back Durrell Price of California was set to be a member of this class, but his letter of intent did not go through on signing day when he attempted to fax it. He took it as a sign and decided to fax a letter of intent to UCLA instead.


* P Brent Bartholomew, Apopka (Fla.)
* DL Tony Eisenhard, Tiffin (Oh.) Columbian
* OL Drew Elford, Garfield (N.J.) St. Mary
* QB Joe Germaine, Mesa (Ariz.) Mountain View
* LB Darren Hester, Dallas (Texas) Hillcrest
* DT Randy Homa, Pottsville (Pa.)
* LB Kevin Johnson, Northeastern Okla. A&M
* RB Matt Keller, Cincinnati (Oh.) Moeller
* DB Percy King, Columbus (Oh.) Marion-Franklin
* LB Chris Kirk, Westerville (Oh.) South
* LB Matt LaVrar, Maumee (Oh.)
* OL Rob Murphy, Cincinnati (Oh.) Moeller
* CB Ahmed Plummer, Cincinnati (Oh.) Wyoming
* WR Jimmy Redmond, Lee's Summit (Mo.) Blue Springs South
* RB Charlie Sanders, Rochester Hills (Mich.) Adams
* OL Eric Smith, Columbus (Oh.) Walnut Ridge
* LB Marc Willis, Phoenix (Ariz.) JC
* CB Antoine Winfield, Akron (Oh.) Garfield
* TE Steve Wisniewski, Eastlake (Oh.) North

Comments: The OSU recruiting haul disappointed some this year but the Buckeyes did land some key players for their great teams in the coming years. Germaine, Keller, Murphy, Plummer, and Winfield are all familiar names to Buckeye fans and Winfield, of course, is one of the all-time great Buckeye defensive backs. Bartholomew went on to become a starter at punter. Hester, Kirk, and Smith failed to finish their eligibility due to academic reasons, while Redmond had off-the-field issues and eventually transferred.


* QB Steve Baird, Hilliard (Oh.)
* DL Calvin Brown
* DB Che Bryant, Canton (Oh.) McKinley
* OL Brooks Burris, Logan (Oh.)
* LB Roedell Dupree, Jersey City (N.J.) Ferris
* DL Winfield Garnett, Riverdale (Ill.) Thornton Township
* DL Dan Gibbons
* OL Eric Gohlstin, Cleveland (Oh.) St. Ignatius
* RB Kevin Griffin, Redmond (Wash.) Kirkland Juanita
* RB Jermon Jackson, Ironton (Oh.)
* TE John Lumpkin, Trotwood-Madison (Oh.)
* WR Dee Miller, Springfield (Oh.) South
* RB Joe Montgomery, Robbins (Ill.) Oak Lawn Richards
* DB Damon Moore, Fostoria (Oh.)
* OL Orlando Pace, Sandusky (Oh.)
* RB Pepe Pearson, Euclid (Oh.)
* LB Jerry Rudzinski, Kettering (Oh.) Alter
* DL Marcus Spriggs, Edgewater (Md.) South River
* OL Jamie Sumner, Coffeyville (Kan.) CC
* DL Jeff Wilson, Deerfield Beach (Fla.)

Comments: A top 10 class that provided some important players for the Buckeyes. Chances are you'll recognize several names that played big roles in the outstanding 1995 and 1996 squads. The big prize was Pace, Ohio's top prospect and the top-rated lineman in America, who more than lived up to his billing at OSU. The Buckeyes also got several players out of this class who started at least one season -- Burris, Garnett, Gohlstin, Lumpkin, Miller, Montgomery, Moore, Pearson, and Rudzinski. Three of the higher-rated players in this class -- Bryant, Dupree and Spriggs -- didn't pan out.

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