Ohio State's 2014 National Signing Day Wish List
Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class is filling up fast, but with around four scholarships still up for grabs, Urban Meyer is looking to go out with a bang on national signing day.
With 21 outstanding commitments already, Ohio State boasts the No. 2 recruiting class in the country. To build their desired depth, the Buckeyes want one more lineman on both the offensive and defensive lines. With all other needs met, Meyer can use his two remaining spots as proverbial cherries on top of an incredible group of recruits.
As national signing day nears, the Buckeyes still have a number of highly rated prospects on their radar.
Here's Ohio State's 2014 National Signing Day Wish List.
All recruit rankings and stats per 247Sports.com.
No Unpleasent Signing-Day Surprises
For starters, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes want to avoid any bad news on signing day.
Ohio State got an unwelcome signing-day surprise last year when punter Johnny Townsend, a longtime Buckeyes commit, failed to fax his letter of intent. The following day, Townsend spurned the Buckeyes for Florida, which offered him a scholarship right before signing day, according to Doug Lesmerises of The Plain Dealer.
None of Ohio State's 2014 verbal pledges appear to be wavering on their commitment, but considering the Townsend news blindsided the Buckeyes last year, it's never a done deal until the fax comes in.
A perfect signing day starts with no defections.
Ohio State is absolutely loaded along the defensive line, but that hasn't stopped Meyer from going after 5-star defensive end Solomon Thomas.
A perfect signing day would include Thomas choosing the Buckeyes over Stanford and the home-state Texas Longhorns.
The Buckeyes would be giving new defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. a chance to mold one of the most talented prospects in the country. Thomas, ranked the No. 2 strong-side defensive end and the No. 23 prospect overall, possesses elite speed and pass-rushing skills.
Adding Thomas to a defensive line that already include a young star like Joey Bosa, in addition to some older players such as Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, Michael Bennett and Tommy Schutt, would give Big Ten offenses fits for years.
John "Juju" Smith
Ohio State's defense gave up an average of 268 passing yards per game, which ranked 110th out of 123 teams in 2013, according to NCAA.com.
That's why the Buckeyes desperately need game-changing defensive backs. Five-star safety John "Juju" Smith certainly qualifies.
While landing Smith is a long shot, this is, of course, a wish list. This playmaking safety recorded 51 tackles and six interceptions during his senior campaign, and although he's not the fastest safety prospect, his awareness and vision make him an elite prospect.
Penn State earned 4-star tight end Mike Gesicki's commitment under former coach Bill O'Brien, who ran a pro system that featured the tight end position.
It was a tough blow for Ohio State, which recruited Gesicki hard early in the process.
With O'Brien gone, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes would gladly accept the 6'5", 236-pound tight end.
Gesicki had a sensational senior season, hauling in 50 passes for 954 yards and nine touchdowns. The Buckeyes could use his athleticism at the tight end position, especially with Jeff Heuerman entering his senior season.
With one last scholarship and a need for an offensive linemen, Ohio State would gladly take 4-star offensive tackle Roderick Johnson.
The 6'6", 315-pound standout is expected to choose Florida State over offers from schools such as Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. But with the unexpected returns of linemen Cameron Erving and guard Tre Jackson, the Seminoles' offensive line is more crowded than what was anticipated.
If that scares Johnson away, it could be the Buckeyes gain. Johnson would cap an incredible offensive line haul for Ohio State, joining 4-star prospects Marcelys Jones, Jamarco Jones, Demetrius Knox and Kyle Trout.
Landing Johnson, along with the additions of Solomon Thomas, John Smith and Mike Gesicki, would be Ohio State's best-case scenario.