Ohio State: Luke Fickell top recruiter

Recruits and colleges can be fickle friends. At Ohio State, Fickell friends are the best friends to have.

If there is anyone in Ohio who understands what scarlet-and-gray fever is about, it is Luke Fickell.

He played nose guard for Ohio State in the 1990s. He was the interim coach for the Buckeyes in 2011 and has been with the team in some facet since 2002.

That’s why the Columbus (Ohio) DeSales graduate was the heavy hitter this year for the Buckeyes coaching staff when it came to recruiting top-flight athletes.

It seemed like every time a big name landed, Fickell was somewhere in the mix, be it in-home visits, trips to schools or simply reaching out to a target to see how things were going.

January showed just how important Fickell was to Ohio State when he landed two ESPN 150 linebackers on back-to-back days.

The first came in Trey Johnson, who had decommitted from Auburn in November. With Johnson choosing among Florida, Penn State and Tennessee, Fickell slammed the door on the other schools.

The next day -- Jan. 5 -- Fickell flexed his muscles again in grabbing Mike Mitchell out of Texas. In procuring the ESPN 150 linebacker’s services, he got Mitchell to say “no” to Texas A&M and Oregon.

As big as those two were, Fickell was also instrumental in landing ESPN 150 defensive tackle Joey Bosa over the likes of Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan and Wisconsin.

All three are expected to help the Buckeyes sooner rather than later.