Covering High School Sports in America
When Urban Myer became head coach at Ohio State, Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio) coach Jay Minton said the biggest difference between the Buckeyes last regime and new one would be line play – both sides. On National Signing Day, Meyer made Minton look like a genius.

Netting a strong national class, Meyer excelled in his home state signing seven of Ohio's Top 10 players according to JJHuddle.com‘s Top 200 rankings. Since his hire, Meyer has gotten three of Ohio's Top 10 recruits to switch verbals – the most recent being Cleveland Heights (Ohio) lineman Kyle Dodson, who flipped from Wisconsin to Ohio State. Dodson's commitment was the most highly anticipated in Ohio on signing day.

Dodson joins McKinley (Canton, Ohio) defensive end Sevon Pittman and Butler (Vandalia, Ohio) lineman Taylor Decker as Top 10 Ohio recruits to switch to OSU in the past month. Pittman and Decker were committed to Michigan State and Notre Dame, respectively. It shouldn't be considered a coincidence that all three players are linemen.

BCS and Big Ten Battle Ground
Every Big Ten Conference school except Wisconsin signed a player from Ohio. Ohio State led the way with 15 Ohio recruits, while Michigan was second (nine). Michigan State was third (seven), followed by Illinois (six), Northwestern (four), Indiana (three), Iowa (two) and Nebraska (two). Purdue, Penn State and Minnesota each signed one Ohio recruit. In all, more than 150 Ohio seniors (2012) signed to play NCAA D-I football on signing day. Other schools Ohioans committed to include Oklahoma, Oregon, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri.

Buckeyes keep the ball rolling
Photo by Michael Noyes

Jalin Marshall, Middletown

Next year expect Ohio State to notch another impressive haul on signing day. The Buckeyes are off to a fast start. In the last two weeks Ohio State has received verbal commitments from two of Ohio's top 2013 recruits: Trotwood-Madison (Trotwood, Ohio) defensive back Cam Burrows and Middletown (Ohio) quarterback Jalin Marshall. Burrows and Marshall are Top 200 MaxPreps 2013 players. Head coach Urban Meyer also extended OSU's first 2014 offer recently when he offered St. Ignatius (Cleveland) lineman Jimmy Byrne.

Early Look at Top Ohio 2013 prospects
* Shelton Gibson, WR, Cleveland Heights (Ohio): Gibson, who caught 27 passes for 518 yards and four TDs last year, has rare speed (finished fifth in the 100-meters in 10.72 seconds at the state track meet last year). He has seven offers including Ohio State and Auburn.

* Malik Zaire, QB, Archbishop Alter (Kettering, Ohio): One of the nation's top 2013 dual threat QBs, Zaire has nine offers, including Ohio State, Wisconsin and Nebraska. He lists OSU as his leader.

* Billy Price, OL/DL, Austintown-Fitch (Youngstown, Ohio): Price has 12 offers including Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska, Michigan State, UCLA and Tennessee. He tabbed OSU as his favorite this week and also mentioned Michigan State and Oregon as potential finalists.

* DeVeon Smith, RB, Howland (Warren, Ohio): The punishing back has two offers right now – Ohio State and Michigan. Enough said.

* Dymonte Thomas, RB/DB, Marlington (Alliance, Ohio): Thomas has committed to Michigan, choosing the Wolverines over Michigan State, Notre Dame, Iowa and Tennessee.

* Evan Lisle, OL, Centerville (Ohio): Lisle got an offer from Oklahoma on signing day to bring his total to seven.

* Ben Gedeon, LB, Hudson (Ohio): Gedeon ran for 1,418 yards and 19 TDs and had more than100 tackles as a junior. He has 10 offers including Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Stanford and Michigan State.

* Jake Butt, TE, Pickerington North (Ohio): He already has 18 offers including Stanford, Michigan, Iowa, Tennessee, UCLA and Northwestern.

* Jacob Matuska, TE, Bishop Hartley (Columbus, Ohio): Oklahoma and Michigan are among Matuska's seven offers.

* Mike McCray, LB/TE, Trotwood-Madison (Trotwood, Ohio): McCray has 10 offers including Michigan, Penn State and Tennessee, but he covets Ohio State. His father – Michael McCray – was a Buckeye captain in the 1980s.

* Taco Charlton, DE, Pickerington Central (Ohio): Charlton has 10 offers including Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Iowa.

* Tra'Von Chapman, QB, Roosevelt (Kent, Ohio): So far, only Kent State has offered. That will change. Chapman's father, Thad Jemison, is an assistant coach at Kent.

News, Notes & Nuggets

* Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) kicker Ross Martin signed with Duke. Martin, an All-American selection by USA Today, Under Armour, Sports Illustrated and ESPN, was 95-for-95 on PATs in his high school career. He also had offers from Texas, Pitt and Northwestern.

* Bedford (Ohio) defensive end Myles Hilliard flipped from Pitt to Syracuse. He cited the Panthers' coaching change as the reason why.

* Marion-Franklin (Columbus, Ohio) defensive lineman Terrell Jackson finally landed at Pitt. After originally committing to Duke, Jackson also considered Iowa and Illinois before choosing the Panthers on signing day.

* Roosevelt (Kent, Ohio) offensive lineman Curtis Black signed with Akron. Why's that of note? His senior year was Black's first season of high school football.

* To date Ohio State has offered nine Ohio 2013 prospects. Michigan has offered 13.

* More than 50 Ohio juniors (2013) already have a D-I offer.