There’s a stretch in every recruiting cycle where the class takes shape.
Last year it can be argued a three-week stretch that began in mid-December and stretched to the first week of January was the key time period, as ESPN 150 targets Gareon Conley, Mike Mitchell, Trey Johnson and ESPN 300 lineman Donovan Munger committed. However, nabbing ESPN 150 targets Dontre Wilson and Vonn Bell in the final week, while holding onto ESPN 150 running back Ezekiel Elliott and nabbing four-star recruits James Clark and Corey Smith, was big for the Buckeyes.
As the 2014 recruiting class nears the halfway point, there’s still plenty of time to go. But an eight-day stretch, when ESPN 300 defensive end Jalyn Holmes committed and was followed by quarterback Stephen Collier, wide receiver Terry McLaurin and ESPN 300 offensive tackle Jamarco Jones, could define the 2014 class.
Here’s a look at the four commits and what they meant:
Jalyn Holmes (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor)
Vitals: 6-foot-5, 235 pounds
When he committed: June 20
Why he chose Ohio State: Holmes fell in love with the family aspect, but it was the education he will receive that really won him over. He already has a great relationship with line coach Mike Vrabel and that factored in as well.
Who else was in the mix: Florida State and Clemson
What it means: Life after Noah Spence will be all right. Holmes is being recruited to play the viper role for the Buckeyes and his athleticism and length should transition well to the college game.
Stephen Collier (Leesburg, Ga./Lee County)
Vitals: 6-3, 205
When he committed: June 21
Why he chose Ohio State: Like Holmes, he felt like Ohio State was home. He also believed the coaching staff could push him to new heights. He mentioned the chance to compete for a national championship as playing a role.
Who else was in the mix: Auburn, Cincinnati, Harvard and Wake Forest
What it means: The belief is a quarterback should be taken every year, and Collier is a good one. He’s coming out of a spread offense, so the transition should be easy. He’s got great size and can run, which helps in the move from high school to college as well. Collier is also very smart and can make quick decisions.
Terry McLaurin (Indianapolis/Cathedral)
Vitals: 6-foot, 180
When he committed: June 23
Why he chose Ohio State: The idea of playing for Urban Meyer and winning a national championship was big. He felt strongly about the Buckeyes as he worked out at the June 9 and June 21 camps and picked up a coveted offer.
Who else was in the mix: Missouri and Purdue
What it means: Fans saw what it meant at The Opening when McLaurin finished second to only Speedy Noil in the SPARQ Championship. Though underrated, McLaurin is as fast as they come, can leap to a high point like no other and has the shiftiness to get open. This was a steal for Ohio State.
Jamarco Jones (Chicago/De La Salle)
Vitals: 6-4, 300
When he committed: June 27
Why he chose Ohio State: Championships and Meyer go a long way with recruits and they did with Jones as well. He also has a great relationship with line coach Ed Warinner that played into his decision.
Who else was in the mix: Michigan and Michigan State
What it means: A ton. With four starters gone after this season and Jones coming in, he could make the depth chart as early as next year. He’s not coming in and starting, but Jones’ impact could be felt sooner rather than later.