Thursday, August 24, 2006

Buckeyes let one slip away

The Buckeyes let a WR prospect from South Carolina slip away to Michigan today, as JR Hemingway announced his intentions to play for the bad guys up north. Hemingway is a 4 star player, and is ranked as the 14th best receiver in the nation and the 7th best player in SC overall by Rivals. Hemingway could best be described as a "possesion receiver" being 6-2, 202 pounds with what isn't exactly breakaway speed. The last WR that chose the boys in blue over the Bucks was Mario Manningham. I have a pretty solid feeling, however, that we won't be kicking ourselves much over this loss. Manningham was a gamebreaker and everyone knew it. This guy looks to be another Roy Hall/Jason Avant kind of guy that, while he is a threat (especially in the red zone), doesn't require an entire defensive scheme to stop.

But a bigger issue that goes along with this, is the state (or lack thereof) of Michigan's 2007 recruiting class. While Jim Tressel seems to have a chain-linked fence around the state of Ohio, players from Michigan are going seemingwhere everywhere but to Ann Arbor. What makes this even worse is that this is one of the most talented classes that the state of Michigan has had in quite some time, and Lllloyd Carr can't seem to get any of them. Here's a look at how the maize & blue are doing with the state's top 10 prospects (Rivals):

Jospeph Barksdale, DT - Probably one of the best defensive line prospects in the entire nation, and far and away the best blue chipper out of that state up north, Barksdale eliminated Michigan from contention long ago, and has narrowed his list to two teams: Texas and Ohio State.

Ronald Johnson, CB - Ranked by rivals as the second best cornerback prospect in the entire nation. At this point, he's the only player in this list who has a chance to go to Michigan, but even that isn't certain. Michigan will be pushing real hard to get this guy after missing out on Dionte Allen. Right now he is leaning towards Michigan, but OSU is right in the rear view mirror.

Dionte Allen, CB - Already commited to play at FSU. From the same high school as Ohio State safety Aaron Gant and to-be wide receiver Taurian Washington.

Keith Nichol, QB - A highly touted dual-threat quarterback. Already commited to Michigan State. Didn't even have Michigan on his list of colleges to begin with.

Chris Colastani, LB - Commited to Penn State. His profile lists him as a very "dedicated young man." But it appears he's also quite the athletic specimen. A speedy prospect who needs to put on just a few more pounds, he could become pretty good.

Darris Sawtelle, OL - He's gone to Tennessee. He's already big enough to play line in college, but he should be able to put on a few more pounds with ease. 12th ranked lineman overall.

Cedric Everson, ATH - All it says about him is, "fastest man in the state." In this day and age of the spread offense, speed rules. He could probably end up playing corner at the next level, a position of great need for the Wolverines. He's not commited anywhere yet, but Georgia Tech appears to be the team to beat.

Taurian Washington, WR - I've already posted a lot about this guy. He could be the next Santonio Holmes. Since Michigan stole Manningham away from us, maybe this is just returning the favor.

Mark Dell, WR - Michigan is already eliminated from his list of colleges, and appears to be headed to East Lansing.

Quincy Landingham, ATH - Will either play running back or defensive back in college. Commited to Michigan State.

So that leaves Michigan with a realistic shot at exactly one player in their state's top 10. In case you were wondering, Ohio State has two players in their top 10 locked up, with Antonio Jeremiah and Devon Torrence not far behind. We also have outstanding shots of landing Eugene Clifford and Ben Martin, the top two prospects in the state.

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