Ohio State Football: Should Urban Meyer Be Concerned with Slow Recruiting Start?

David RegimbalFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 07:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks down during the Big Ten Conference Championship game against the Michigan State Spartans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

When Urban Meyer met with the media to discuss the signing of Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class last Februaryhe was upset.

He wasn't angry about losing a prospect. He wasn't dissatisfied with any of his new players. 

He was mad because he wasn't No. 1. That spot belonged to Nick Saban and Alabama. The Buckeyes finished at No. 3 behind the Tide and LSU.

According to Mike Herndon of AL.com, Meyer said that recruiting rankings matter.

I hear people say it's not important. I disagree. I think ... as long as you're keeping score we're going to try to win. (It's) disappointing we weren't the number one recruiting class in the country. Our staff knows we're disappointed about that. 

So how is Meyer's quest for the top spot coming along this year?

Ohio State's current class boasts two members—4-star cornerbacks Eric Glover-Williams and Jamel Dean—coming in at No. 53 in the national rankings. 

In comparison, Alabama's class is loaded with 15 current commitments11 4-star prospects and one 5-stareasily putting the Tide at the top of the standings.

At a glance, Ohio State is way behind on the recruiting front. 

Should the Buckeyes be concerned about their unusually slow start?

Meyer took over the recruiting efforts at Ohio State late in the 2011 season, giving him two full recruiting cycles in Columbus. At this point last year, the Buckeyes had secured commitments from seven prospects (five 4-star recruits and two 3-stars). Those numbers don't include 4-star defensive end Lawrence Marshall, who committed and decommitted in the middle of February.

The Buckeyes' 2015 class also suffered a decommitment. Four-star safety Ben Edwards pledged to Ohio State in February, but last weekend he flipped to Auburn.

With the prospects that have a high interest in Ohio State, though, it's hard to imagine Meyer panicking.

The Buckeyes are going hard after a number of the nation's best recruits. That group is highlighted by 5-star quarterback Torrance Gibson (the top dual-threat signal-caller), 5-star running back Damien Harris (the top running back in the country) and 5-star linebacker Justin Hilliard (Ohio's top prospect).

Five-star quarterback Torrance Gibson would be the crown jewel of Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class.
Five-star quarterback Torrance Gibson would be the crown jewel of Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class.Credit: 247 Sports

Jeremy Birmingham, the director of recruiting for Eleven Warriors, is anticipating all three to sign with the Buckeyes. Birmingham isn't alone, either—Ohio State is the top choice for each 5-star stud, according to 247Sports' Crystal Ball predictions.

Landing that trio would more than make up for the Buckeyes' slow start. It obviously doesn't stop there, however, as Ohio State is in good standing with a host of other elite targets.

Tony Gerdeman of The Ozone wrote that if history is an indicator, these next three months could be huge for the Buckeyes.

Based on Urban Meyer's history at Ohio State, we should be seeing a few between now and the end of June. In the 2014 class, the Buckeyes landed eight commitments in these three months, and in the 2013 class they landed nine. Those numbers might be tough to match this year, but June has been productive by itself, with five commits in June 2013 alone.

Alabama has certainly raced out to a huge lead, but when it comes to recruiting, few can close faster than Meyer and the Buckeyes.


All recruiting information via 247Sports.com.

David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.