Ahh, the monster arriveth. I've spent so much time in these past few months parsing together narratives about every B1G class; whether it's the ascending Northwestern, the crumbling Rutgers, the transitory Penn State- no matter what team you root for, your recruiting class says SOMETHING about the direction your program is headed. The argument can even be made about Michigan, whose lackluster finish to the 2014 recruiting cycle was somewhat of a statement on the vibes surrounding this staff. In just a few years at the helm, Meyer has shown a certain transcendence above these narratives.
There are a few things we've grown to expect from Meyer's recruiting classes. The headliners in the class will probably come from outside of the B1G footprint, such as was the case in 2013 (Mike Mitchell and Vonn Bell) and this year (Raekwon McMillan, Demetrious Knox, Jalyn Holmes). The top talent in the state of Ohio is going to be represented in some way or another (Erick Smith, Dante Booker, Marshon Lattimore). There's GOING to be a WR from Florida (2012- Ricquan Southward, 2013- James Clark, 2014- Johnnie Dixon). Of course, there's going to be a lot of speed (Curtis Samuel, for example). And lastly, they'll be the B1G representative at the top of the Team Rankings come February.
It's a formula that results in a lot of talent to pick favorites from, and makes my job a lot harder. As such, I'll try to structure this by giving you a rundown of some of the position groups, then delving into specific prospects. Plenty of these groups got national attention for the talent within- for example, 247Sports called their linebacker haul the best in the nation. Also receiving accolades were the offensive line, "athletes", defensive backs, and wide receivers. In short, most of the field. The linebackers truly are an exceptional group. With 5* GA LB Raekwon McMillan, you get the tough, inside the box, run stuffing linebacker- ala Desmond Morgan++. In 4* LB Sam Hubbard (one of my personal favorite in the class), you get a 6'6 athletic freak who can develop into a lineman or SAM 'backer, while currently being able to play safety as well. 4* LB Kyle Berger is coming off of an ACL tear, but he's the prototypical linebacker- no specific assets of his game will jump off the screen at you, but he's well rounded and instinctive. 4* LB Dante Booker is a bit of a cross between the last two- he's got athleticism, but he's a bit more refined in his game than Hubbard.
As for my favorites in the class...well I already mentioned Hubbard. There's just so much talent, it's hard to pick. So bear with me here.
OH RB Parris Campbell committed early, and as a result, didn't get the same fanfare of later commit NY ATH Curtis Samuel. However, he's an explosive, quick twitch athlete that's probably looking at the same career path as Dontre Wilson (minus the ejection.. maybe).
For the third year straight (2012-Armani Reeves, 2013-Gareon Conley), Urban snatched up one of my favorite CBs in the class from Michigan. Although both of the previously mentioned players were rumored to be heading to Michigan or committed at one point or another, this one stung in that he came from Cass Tech. I am, of course, speaking of Damon Webb. Although he might lack the hype of Peppers, he brings a very complete game to Columbus. He's physical, excellent in man, and quick as a jitterbug. OSU probably could have used him against Sammy Watkins.
Lastly, there's VA DE Jalyn Holmes. I had heard about Holmes in the Virginia football community for quite some time, but it had always been assumed he was headed to Florida State or Virginia Tech. A trip to Columbus changed his mind, however, and now Urban has yet another pass rushing freak on his stacked defensive line. As talented as the players in front of him are, I have to imagine the coaching staff will toss him out on some passing downs at some point in the season and see what happens. At 6'5, 240ish, he certainly has the frame to grow into a full time DE down the road, as well.
So there you have it. It's another phenomenally stacked class coming to the B1G. There's plenty of excitement surrounding this group, and it's no wonder why. This Ohio State team is all about speed, and with every passing day, they're getting faster.