Versatile offensive playmaker Noah Brown committed to Ohio State on Monday, bolstering a Buckeyes 2014 class that ranks among the nation's best. The 6'2", 212-pound Sparta, N.J. star spurned home-state squad Rutgers when it came down to his final decision, according to Sam Hellman of Scout.com.
Brown also considered scholarship offers from Boston College, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State, South Carolina, Notre Dame and Missouri, among others, per 247Sports. He becomes the 18th commit of the 2014 Ohio State class, which is currently ranked second in the nation behind only two-time defending champion Alabama in the 247Sports composite rankings.
The offensive leader of Pope John XXIII comes off a well-rounded 2012 season. Brown rushed for 846 yards and 14 touchdowns and picked up another 630 yards and four scores through the air as a junior, according to Joe Kania of NJ.com.
Brown, the No. 7 player in New Jersey and the No. 14 athlete nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings, adds increased firepower to a heralded group of incoming freshmen at Ohio State. He's hardly alone as an offensive weapon in Urban Meyer's arsenal.
He will vie for early playing time with a slew of other commits. The wide receiver position is stocked with talent, including 5-star recruit Curtis Samuel and 4-star talents Terry McLaurin, Malik Hooker and Parris Campbell.
Meyer made his mark in Florida with astonishingly loaded depth charts at offensive skill positions. He is clearly intent on doing the same at Ohio State, where Brown could also line up in the backfield.
Brown has the size to withstand the rigors of physical Big Ten Conference action, which often hinges on rushing attacks when wintry weather arrives. Brown isn't a burner—he runs a respectable 4.58 40-yard dash, per 247Sports—but he hits a crease with authority and doesn't waste time dancing in the backfield before darting upfield.
Senior Jordan Hall is currently entrenched in the starting running back position, while sophomore Bri'onte Dunn and freshman Warren Ball vie for carries behind the veteran. Freshman Dontre Wilson is an emerging presence at the position, while aforementioned 2014 recruit Curtis Samuel may play running back if he doesn't land on the defensive side of the ball.
Brown will face a significant challenge to creep up the depth chart at both running back and wide receiver. His skill set lends itself to either role in an explosive Ohio State offense.
He's a physical receiving threat in the flat, displaying sure hands and disciplined route running. If Brown does join the Buckeye backfield, he'll be pressed to improve as a blocker in pass protection.
Regardless of where Meyer ultimately envisions Brown playing, it's another crucial pickup for Ohio State. Brown is a natural scoring threat from anywhere on the field, and those kind of players don't come in bunches.