The laundry list of players scheduled to visit The Horseshoe this weekend is a virtual who’s who among the top recruits in the nation.
In fact, it would have been even stronger if some individuals weren’t still in their respective high school playoffs.
Add unofficial visits from 2014 recruits such as Da’Shawn Hand, Myles Autry, Raekwon McMillan, Marshon Lattimore, Marcelys Jones, Clifton Garrett, Drew Barker, DeShone Kizer and possibly Nick Glass and the fervor for Saturday is almost out of control.
And those are just some of the recruits.
“I expect it to be more, especially with Ohio State being 11-0,” said Ohio State commit Billy Price, who will be there as well. “It’ll be as intense as it’s ever been, especially with Michigan coming off a big win against Iowa on Saturday.
“There will be 108,000 people there screaming. Just being a fan, that atmosphere is intimidating. You have to be able to handle it. If you can’t, Ohio State’s not for you.”
Others such as ESPN 300 target Donovan Munger will be making a return the trip to the Horseshoe as well. Ditto for Buckeyes commits Cam Burrows, Jalin Marshall, Ezekiel Elliott, Evan Lisle, Jayme Thompson and Johnny Townsend, who will be taking unofficial visits.
“It’s probably the most exciting game I’ll be at all year,” Jones said. “I talked to a lot of the recruits -- everyone is looking forward to just coming down and hanging with the team.
“It’s attracting a lot of recruits. It’s great to see them undefeated. Just watching them, it’s amazing how they play.”
ESPN 300 wide receiver Shelton Gibson and ESPN Watch List junior Thaddeus Snodgrass will be taking in the game and are no strangers to Ohio Stadium. But they'll witness a new level of fan fervor as the Buckeyes look to make Urban Meyer only the second coach in Ohio State history to start out 12-0.
“It’s two good teams and I’ll be able to sit down on the 50-yard line or somewhere close to there,” Gibson said. “This will probably be the biggest game I’ve ever been to.
“If they can win this year without the possibility of a bowl game, then they’re gaining respect because next season they can go to a bowl game. If they can beat this team, they’ll really be big time next season.”
There also will be players such as Jimmy Byrne, who is headed to The Horseshoe for the first time. The ESPN Watch List junior has the Buckeyes in his final two along with Notre Dame. He’s seen the Fighting Irish, but now the Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius offensive tackle will watch the Buckeyes live.
“The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is one of the biggest rivalries in Ohio and the nation,” he said. “My entire childhood has been about this game. I’m looking forward to it. I’m really looking forward to it.”