There are so many 4 Star recruits for the Buckeyes this year, I’m going to break them up. First, we’ll do the skill positions (QB/RB/WR/TE) first, then come back and cover the rest.
1. J.T. Barrett, Quarterback
At 6’2, 205 lbs, Barrett gets knocked for being a little on the thin side. Barrett more than makes up for this by being such a truly unique dual threat. He is perfectly balanced in his passing and running abilities, making him an ideal candidate to run a spread style offense. He is remarkably accurate and consistent in his passing, and is extremely quick and mobile when he pulls the ball down to run. Outside of his outstanding skill set as a Quarterback, he has excellent poise and is a true leader. He is an excellent replacement for when Braxton Miller leaves for the NFL, and promises to continue the growing tradition of awesome dual threat QB’s at Ohio State. These Highlights are from his junior year, but you get the idea:
2. Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back
Coming in at 6’1″, 200 lbs and running a 4.4 40, Ezekiel Elliot is a special kind of athlete. He’s got the build of a prototype running back, but has amazing top end speed with great burst ability. What really puts him over the top is his ability to break tackles, keep his balance and run through traffic. Not to mention he has a freakishly effective stiff arm. He also has excellent hands, and is a receiving threat out of the backfield. Great vision, great acceleration, if he finds a hole or crease, he’s going to score. His highlight reel is probably my favorite of any player the Buckeyes picked up:
3. Dontre Wilson, Running Back
The 5’10”, 180 lb Wilson was expected to commit to Oregon prior to Chip Kelly’s departure, but changed his mind once the coach left for the NFL. What was a loss for the Ducks will prove a great addition for the Buckeyes, as Wilson has remarkable speed (legit 4.4 40), and has shown himself to have a great playmaking ability. He can play receiver as well, as he has good hand quality, but plays primarily out of the backfield. His speed cannot be understated, as his ability to burst past defenders and win virtually any foot race puts him ahead of most others at the position. Highlights:
4. James Clark, Wide Receiver
At 5’11”, 170 lbs, James Clark has a some true standout qualities. He makes an ideal inside receiver, primarily because he has amazing quickness off the line. More importantly, he has a near elite speed, and this helps make him one of the most dangerous players in the country with the ball in his hands. He is a walking big play after the catch, and can explode at what seems like virtually any time. His lack of girth makes him lacking as a blocker, and is something he needs to focus on in the offseason. He has great hands though, and his explosiveness cannot be overstated. Watch:
5. Corey Smith, Wide Receiver
At 6’1″, 190 lbs, Corey Smith is a great physical specimen of a wide receiver. He has a year in Junior College under his belt, and has shown a himself to be a big play threat. His downfield speed, as well as his ability to make defenders miss and ability to break tackles make him good on the outside or inside. His experience at the collegiate level is also worth mentioning, because of the relative lack of experience in this OSU receiving corps thus far.
6. Marcus Baugh, Tight End
At a huge 6’4″, 230 lbs, Marcus Baugh is incredibly athletic, especially for a guy his size. He’s fully capable of playing Defensive End or Linebacker, and is also a solid basketball player. He’s been compared to Kellen Winslow with his great hands and difficulty to match up with (too fast/elusive for linebackers to cover, too big for safeties to tackle), but has a much better head on his shoulders. He’s ranked 3rd among all TE prospects in the nation, but the margin between him and #1 is razor thin. He should bring a good deal of chaos to opposing defenses for the Buckeyes.