The most glaring hole on Ohio State’s defensive depth chart this season is at linebacker.
Whether injuries or youth is at the forefront, it’s likely the one position coach Urban Meyer and his assistants will comb through in the next two recruiting classes to shore up. They've even moved a fullback -- Zach Boren -- to linebacker to compensate this season.
A once proud position, the linebackers for the Buckeyes have taken a back seat as the team looks to improve.
With that in mind, here are the strongest linebackers in the 2013 and 2014 classes for Ohio State.
As has been the case before, this top five is based on signability as well.
1. Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian): The ESPN 150 senior continues to be the talk for the Buckeyes as his statistics -- he has more than 125 tackles this season -- impress. Mitchell has said he wants to make an official visit and that might be all it takes to land the 6-foot-4, 216-pound outside linebacker.
2. Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty): Forget the fact the Buckeyes need help now as McMillan will likely be a top-10 recruit when he becomes a senior. The 6-3, 235-pound ESPN Watch List inside linebacker already has more than 20 offers. The good news for Ohio State fans is he has the Buckeyes No. 1 on his list.
3. Skai Moore (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./University School): The 6-3, 195-pound outside linebacker keeps moving up the charts and the Buckeyes will have a chance to impress Moore when the senior makes an official visit this weekend for the Illinois game. He has more than 20 offers and has Ohio State in his top four. Moore is scheduled to see the Buckeyes again in November at Wisconsin.
4. Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary): The ESPN Watch list outside linebacker has seen the Buckeyes twice and keeps them high on his list. By the time his junior season wraps up, the 6-3, 215-pound Booker will likely already own the school record for career tackles (296). He’s a sideline-to-sideline athlete who is rarely ever out of position.
5. Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South): The ESPN Watch List inside linebacker racked up 18 tackles in a game this season and has high interest in Ohio State. He’s already seen the Buckeyes in action and liked what he saw. Like McMillan and Booker, Garrett will be a hot commodity as a senior. The 6-2, 218-pound junior already has nine offers on his plate, and that includes Ohio State.