Now, I know Urban Meyer has already had a couple of outstanding recruiting classes at Ohio State, but I didn't realize that so far this year, he has landed verbal committments from 10 of the top 100 players available nationally on the Scout.com 100 list.
Ten recruits out of the top 100. Not bad, not bad at all.
Of course, that contingent includes Raekwon McMillan, a 6-2, 230-pound middle linebacker from Hinesville, Ga.. He's No. 53 on the Scout.com 100 list, but the recipient of the 2013 high school Butkus Award, presented annually to the country's best prep linebacker.
McMillan, a four-star recruit, is already enrolled at Ohio State, as are six of his 2014 classmates, including another Scout.com 100 choice. No. 76, in four-star 6-0, 185-pound wide receiver Curtis Samuel from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Heading up the others on the Scout.com 100 list who are Buckeye verbals is OSU's lone five-star, or top, football recruit thus far in No. 33 Sam Hubbard, a 6-6, 221-pound outside linebacker from Cincinnati Moeller.
The rest of the Buckeyes' 21 recruits who are on the Scout.com 100 list are:
No. 39: 6-0, 175-pound Damon Webb, 4-star cornerback from Detroit
No. 45: 6-1, 180-pound Marshon Lattimore, 4-star cornerback from Cleveland Glenville
No. 61: 6-5, 285-pound Jamarco Jones, 4-star offensive tackle from Chicago
No. 67: 6-1, 195-pound Erick Smith, 4-star safety from Cleveland Glenville
No. 68: 6-2, 215-pound Kyle Berger, 4-star outside linebacker from Cleveland St. Ignatius
No. 81: 6-3, 217-pound Dante Booker, 4-star outside linebacker from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
No. 82: 6-1, 180-pound Parris Campbell, 4-star running back from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
But we'll know how good this recruiting class turns out for Meyer and Ohio State when National Signing Day comes around Feb. 5. Currently, this year's OSU group is ranked fifth in the nation behind Alabama, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Florida State.
With several coaching departures (Mike Vrabel to the Houston Texans and Everett Withers to be head coach at James Madison), Meyer has hired not only longtime and widely-respected Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. in the same capacity at OSU, but also Arkansas' defensive coordinator Chris Ash as a co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
Both are aggressive, no-nonsense coaches that Meyer hopes will bode well as OSU tries to find the solution to its defensive woes, especially with Ash, whose speciality is the secondary, the major focal point in the Buckeyes' late-season collapse.
Ash too, like Johnson, is familiar to Ohio State. Until moving to Arkansas from Wisconsin with head coach Bret Bielema for last season, Ash previously served as the Badgers' co-defensive coordinator with Bielema.
Plus, while at Wisconsin, Ash's defenses finished in the top three in the Big Ten in total defense and top four in scoring defense.
Contact Steve Hemmelgarn at email@example.com