Covering High School Sports in America
There's reason to celebrate in Columbus. And no – it's not for a Rose Bowl win or National Championship…yet.

On the eve of National Signing Day, Ohio State – despite NCAA penalties that include a 2012 bowl ban and lost scholarships – is hours away from landing a Top 3 recruiting class in Urban Meyer's first crack at recruiting in Scarlet and Gray. When Meyer took the job in December, Ohio State's 2012 class wasn't in the Top 20.

Photo by Tom Lemming

Noah Spence

The Buckeyes, who tied Alabama with six MaxPreps Top 100 commits, were uber-successful at one position in particular. Wednesday, Ohio State will sign arguably its top DL class in history with the additions of four MaxPreps Top 100 players: No. 3 Noah Spence (Bishop McDevitt, Harrisburg, Pa.), No. 47 Tommy Schutt (Glenbard West, Glen Ellyn, Ill.), No. 49 Adolphus Washington (Taft, Cincinnati) and No. 66 Sevon Pittman (Mickinley, Canton, Ohio).

Pittman originally committed to Michigan State and Schutt was Penn State bound.

Talent overload indeed.

RB Bri'onte Dunn (GlenOak, Canton, Ohio), No. 85 in the MaxPreps Top 100, is already enrolled. OL Joey O'Connor (Windsor, Colorado), No. 97, rounds out OSU's Top 100 recruits.

Stacey to UC, not Michigan: Oak Hills (Cincinnati) offensive lineman Caleb Stacey committed to Michigan last March. Turns out he won't end up there. Stacey decommitted from Michigan last week and used his Facebook account to inform the public of his plans to stay home and attend Cincinnati. Stacey was the third verbal to bolt Michigan's recruiting class and caused the Wolverines to slide in several national rankings.

Cincinnati, however, continues to climb.

The Bearcats don't have a Top 20 class but come tomorrow will land a deep and talented one. Although the top two recruits – Plant City (Fla.) QB Bennie Coney (already enrolled) and King (Detroit) RB Dennis Norfleet – are from out-of-state, a class-high 11 are from Ohio. Florida is second with eight.

One recruit to keep an eye on is North (Akron, Ohio) TE Deshawn Dowdy, who wasn't on anyone's radar last year at this time and could be a steal. He's already enrolled.

Two Oregon Recruits: Oregon's 2011 roster didn't include any players from Ohio. Its 2012 roster will have two.

Taft (Cincinnati, Ohio) WR Dwayne Stanford and Brush (Lyndhurst, Ohio) DE Pharaoh Brown both plan to sign with the Ducks.

Stanford (6-4, 190), ranked No. 92 in the MaxPreps Top 100, caught 44 passes for 865 yards and 10 TDs as a senior. He also had offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee and others.

Brown (6-6, 230) originally committed to Michigan as a tight end but flip-flopped positions and schools after visiting Oregon in November. Brown never officially de-committed from Michigan but Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke has a policy that says recruits (who have verballed) will not take visits to any other school. Brown violated that with his trip to Eugene and tweeted that Michigan "said they don't consider me a commit because my (official visit to Oregon). That's their policy."

And loss.

Speaking of Michigan…: Due to Ohio State's DL haul and the defection of two OL recruits (Stacey and Brown), it is imperative that the Wolverines go for depth on the offensive front in this class. They've got a good foundation in commits Kyle Kalis (St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio), Erik Magnuson (La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad, Calif.), Ben Braden (Rockford, Mich.) and Blake Bars (Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville, Tenn.), but look for Michigan to add another OL recruit tomorrow. One other option is TE recruit A.j. Williams (Sycamore, Cincinnati) who many already perceive as an eventual tackle and arguably Ohio's top OL prospect.

Michigan has nine verbals from Ohio high school players, including the state's No. 2 prospect Chris Wormley Whitmer (Toledo, Ohio). The DE ranks No. 52 in the MaxPreps Top 100.

Kalis is ranked No. 99 in the MaxPreps Top 100.

Big Gains for Bobcats: Ohio University appears ready to ride the momentum of its first ever bowl win through signing day.

Ohio and head coach Frank Solich landed a huge recruit – literally – this past weekend when Colerain (Cincinnati) DL Trae Clark (6-4, 330) committed. Clark also had offers from Arkansas, Michigan State, Pitt, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina State and Illinois.

OU also got a commitment from Benedictine (Cleveland) TE Mike Roberts (6-5, 235). Roberts had offers from Louisville, Kansas, UC and UConn.

MaxPreps 2012 National Signing Day page