Ohio State's football recruiting commitments sure have soared since Urban Meyer took over the program, and so has the Buckeyes' national recruiting status, which has jumped all the way up to No. 3 on the Rivals.com team recruiting rankings as of 5 p.m. Thursday.
That comes after two more major commitments this week. Offensive lineman Jerry O'Connor from Colorado decommitted to Penn State two months ago in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and David Perkins, classified as an athlete or multi-position player from South Bend, Ind., who's seen as a linebacker in college was plucked right out from under Notre Dame's nose. Both are rated four-star recruits by Rivals.com
With National Signing Day only 11 days away on Feb. 1, the Buckeyes' oral commitments have ballooned to 22 as Meyer literally ''hit the ground running'' trying to salvage a 2012 recruiting class that was expected to be small after the NCAA socked OSU with a post-season ban for next season.
But despite that obstacle, Meyer - who one Buckeye fan referred to in a blog as the Pied Piper of recruiting for his uncanny ability to gather a following in a short time - has been able to convince quite a few previously-committed blue-chippers to switch their allegiance to the Buckeyes.
Just listen to O'Connor, an Under Armour All-American, the most-sought-after prep lineman in Colorado and judged to be the overall second-best player in the state by the Denver Post. ''I had to do what was best for me," he said, "and going to Ohio State is what's best."
"It's just because we all love what coach Meyer is all about, and we want to win a national championship.''
Another Notre Dame recruit -offensive lineman Taylor Decker from Vandalia, Ohio, near Dayton - recently opted out of his verbal to join Meyer in Columbus.
That came on the heels of Meyer hiring two former Notre Dame assistants, Ed Warinner and Tim Hinton, for his staff as co-offensive coordinator/line coach and tight ends/fullbacks coach, respectively. The duo in turn persuaded Decker to turn to the Buckeyes.
From outside the top 20 to No. 3 now, behind only No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Texas, in just a month and a half since Meyer's hiring is nothing if not mighty impressive.
Other notable current team recruiting rankings are Florida, Meyer's last school, at No. 4 with Michigan fifth, Notre Dame 13th, LSU 17th, WVU 23rd, wisconsin 36th, Penn State 39th, Pitt 40th and Michigan State 49th.
So far, Ohio State has apparently landed - remember, nothing is binding until Feb. 1 - only a pair of five-star recruits, but 12 players rated as four-star and eight as three-star. And all but six of the 22 recruits are from inside the state of Ohio, a necessity at Ohio State - like at any other largest state university in any state - where you have to try and recruit the best players in your home state first and foremost.
Contact Steve Hemmelgarn at firstname.lastname@example.org