Wednesday, March 28, 2007

2008 Recruiting class off to a hot start

This will likely be my last post for over a week. I am leaving on vacation early Saturday, and will be too busy with pre-vacation stuff as well as school tomorrow to post.

The 2008 Buckeye football recruiting class is already shaping up to be one of the top classes in Jim Tressel's tenure. Despite having only 13 scholarships to give out (that number may rise depending on early NFL entries, transfers, etc.), the Bucks have already gained five commitments, all of whom are regarded as some of the top prospects in the state of Ohio.

The commits:
Player rankings via Rivals

Mike Adams, Offensive Tackle, Dublin Coffman (#1 in state)
When this class officially signs on next February, Mike Adams will probably considered the "star" player in this class; the guy who is the most well-known and highly anticipated by the fans. He's considered by many to be not only one of the top linemen in the state, but the entire country as well. At an overwhelming 6'7" and 308 lbs, Adams has already drawn comparisons to the likes of former great OSU linemen Orlando Pace and Korey Stringer.

DeVoe Torrence, RB/LB, Massilon (#3 in state)
The younger brother of 2007 recruit DeVon Torrence, DeVoe brings a bit different style of play to the table than his speedster brother. However, despite being 215 lbs, DeVoe has been clocked in the 4.4 range in the 40 yard dash. As a junior, DeVoe had over 1,600 total yards, while tallying 17 touchdowns. Defensively he may have even been more dominant, with 127 tackles, six sacks, three recovered fumbles, and one interception. However, the Ohio State coaching staff recruited him primarily as a running back, promising that if he committed, they would not recruit another tailback in this class.

Jake Stoneburner, WR/TE, Dublin Coffman (#5 in state)
See below.

DeVier Posey, WR, Cincinnati LaSalle (#6 in state)
DeVier Posey is every bit as good a person as he is an athlete. And he's a great athlete, too. At 6'3" 190, Posey is a prototypical wide receiver that will be a perfect fit as a Buckeye. His 1,900+ all-purpose yardage gained him All-Ohio honors and a serious look from the coaching staff. His GPA, a perfect 4.0, is icing on the cake. We've seen what strong students (Krenzel, Gonzalez) capable of, especially in crunch time. His athleticism on top of those academics could make him a great one.

Ben Buchanan, P/K, Westerville Central (#15 in state)
It's sometimes odd for a kicker to receive a scholarship so early in the process, especially when scholarships are already so tight. Buchanan has spent plenty of time working with numerous kickers that you may remember, including a guy named Nugent. There's no denying the importance of a solid kicking game in Tressel's system, as Nugent, Huston, Groom, and Sander have all become celebrities despite small roles. Buchanan could easily be the next in line of great Buckeye specialists.

Other top players with offers that could commit:
OL Michael Brewster, Edgewater, Florida
OL J.B. Shugarts, Klein, Texas
OL Kyle Long, Charlottesville, Virginia
QB Terrell Pryor, Jeannette, Pennsylvania
WR Cordale Scott, Cleveland Glenville
LB Shayne Hale, Monroeville, Pennsylvania
LB Andrew Sweat, Washington, Pennsylvania

Exclusive Interview with a 2008 commit
Jake Stoneburner is one of the most intriguing prospects in this class. He's tall (6'6), big (223 lbs), and fast (4.53 forty). Essentially, his versatility makes him any coach's dream. There has been much debate as to whether Stoneburner will be used primarily as a tight end, or as a Roy Hall-type receiver that will create mismatches in the secondary. Jake recently took the time to discuss this and a few other things with me, the interview is posted below.

You're being recruited as a wide receiver, but most would consider you a tight end in the long run with your height/weight. Where do you expect to be lining up when you're playing on a consistent basis?

I think i will end up as a Flex TE, because I think that I can get up to about 240 in weight, but be able to keep my speed.

Pfef: What's the best part about being a Buckeye?

Jake: Best part of being a buckeye is getting to play at the shoe.

Pfef: Everything is bigger at the college level: The players, the fan base, the media exposure, and perhaps most importantly, the pressure, are just a few. How do you plan on handling the transition from High School to College?

Jake: I plan on handling the pressure by asking fellow teammates for help, asking my parents for help when I need it. Its going to be tough, but I'll have to stick through it because it will only get me ready for the NFL.

Do you expect to make an immediate impact on the field, or do you think you'll redshirt?

Jake: I think that I can make an immediate impact because they really don't have any players like me on their team.

Pfef: Tell us all a bit about Mike Adams. He's widely thought of as the top prospect in the state. What makes him such a great player?

Jake: Mike is one of my great friends and he is just a huge monster. He is very big, yet very agile for his size and really has unlimted potential.

Pfef: Of course, you still have one more season of high school before you don the Scarlet and Gray. With you, Adams, WR Trey Fairchild, and LB Steve Gardiner all having major D-I offers, the talent on the Coffman team is unquestionable. How realistic is a state championship for you guys?

Jake: The State Championship is our #1 goal. We all seem to think it is very achievable especially with what we have coming back from last year's team that made the regional finals.

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