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Published: Wednesday, 2/6/2013

Some of nation's best recruits ready to fax letters to Ohio State football coaches

BY DAVID BRIGGS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Central Catholic safety Jayme Thompson could vie for playing time immediately at Ohio State. Central Catholic safety Jayme Thompson could vie for playing time immediately at Ohio State.
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COLUMBUS — Soon, Urban Meyer will take a break from his day job and get back to coaching the Ohio State football team.

But first things first.

"What do I really do for a living? I convince 17 and 18-year olds to go to school here," Meyer said Tuesday in a speech at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

He’s pretty persuasive. A year after needing only two months to transform a pedestrian 2012 recruiting class into one ranked among the top five nationally, Meyer and his Buckeyes staff have come back with an even stronger encore.

A 24-member class that spans 12 states is ranked second nationally by Scout.com and tied for second by Rivals.com, with the potential to rise further depending on eleventh-hour tremors.

The biggest will be the decision of five-star safety Vonn Bell. Ranked No. 25 overall by Scout and 32nd by Rivals, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Rossville, Ga., native will reportedly choose between OSU and Tennessee in a live announcement at 10:05 a.m. today on ESPNU.

"This could be a heck of a class," Meyer told the Chamber of Commerce in an address recorded by 610 WTVN in Columbus. "... There will be some 55-year old [assistants] that are going to be sitting around like 2-year olds waiting around a fax machine [Wednesday] morning at 7 a.m. That's really what I do for a living."

A tense finale has featured it all for OSU, from the swaying of a top prospect to change his commitment — four-star Texas running back Dontre Wilson announced late Monday night he is switching from Oregon to OSU — to the struggle to keep other programs from doing the same to them.

Buckeyes commits with a tinge of indecision include Missouri running back Ezekiel Elliot and Maryland wide receiver Taivon Jacobs.

Elliott, a four-star St. Louis native regarded as the Show-Me State’s top prospect, is a long-time Ohio State commit. He recently made an official visit to Missouri, where his father played football. Though most recruiting analysts believe he will still stick with OSU, he has arranged a press conference today to announce his decision.

So has Jacobs, a four-star prospect who will reportedly choose between OSU and Maryland.

Yet in any case, analysts laud the Buckeyes’ class, which includes eight players in Rivals’ top 100 and, in a show of national muscle, the top recruit in Texas (Plano linebacker Mike Mitchell). They also landed the top three prospects in Ohio — Middletown athlete Jalin Marshall, Trotwood-Madison cornerback Cameron Burrows, and Centerville offensive lineman Evan Lisle — along with four-star Central Catholic safety Jayme Thompson, who looks to challenge for immediate time in the Buckeyes’ nickel packages.

Rivals analyst Marc Givler called Ohio State’s haul, which includes dual-threat Texas quarterback J.T. Barrett, a "major home run."

"The only position they would have liked to do better is offensive line," he said. "They probably have liked a third lineman. But in terms of getting playmakers on offense, getting a quarterback to take the reins from Braxton Miller down the road, filling in big needs at cornerback and linebacker and then putting together a great defensive line class for a second straight year, I thought they did a great job."

Contact David Briggs at: dbriggs@theblade.com, 419-724-6084 or on Twitter @ DBriggsBlade.



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