Re-Evaluating Ohio State's Recruiting Class After the 2014 Opening

David RegimbalFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2014

Credit: 247Sports

Ohio State's recruiting class was well-represented at The Opening—an exclusive football camp for 162 of the nation's top high school prospects.

Three of the Buckeyes' 12 current commitments made the trip to Beaverton, Oregon, to compete against an elite field of talent. A number of Urban Meyer's top targets were also in attendance, proving that Ohio State has its sights set high for the 2015 recruiting cycle.

For Meyer to sign his fourth consecutive top-five class, the Buckeyes need to cover a lot of ground.


Top Targets

Many of Ohio State's top remaining targets competed at The Opening, but none were more impressive than Josh Sweat.

The 6'5", 240-pound bruiser out of Chesapeake, Virginia, is rated the nation's top defensive end and the No. 2 prospect overall. He has offers from more than 50 schools, including programs such Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Michigan and Notre Dame.

Credit: 247Sports
Credit: 247SportsJosh Sweat showed why he's one of the nation's top recruits at The Opening.

Virginia Tech leads for Sweat over Florida State, Ohio State, Tennessee and Georgia, according to 247Sports' Crystal Ball, but he told Max Preps that he doesn't have a top-five or 10 list yet. 

Whether he has a list or not, current Ohio State commits Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell spent a lot of time recruiting him—and others—on behalf of Meyer at The Opening.

In addition to Sweat, the dynamic duo connected with 5-star quarterback Torrance Gibson, 5-star running back Damien Harris, 4-star wide receiver Christian Kirk and 4-star offensive tackle Matthew Burrell

Each player ranks inside 247Sports Composite's top 60, and landing a commitment from any of them would be a huge boost to Ohio State's class. The Buckeyes, though, have the best chance of landing Burrell and Harris, according to 247Sports' Crystal Ball.

Other players on Ohio State's radar—such as 4-star offensive tackle Drew Richmond, 4-star defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and 4-star wide receiver Van Jefferson—made waves at the Nike camp. Gallimore, in particular, benefited greatly, as the Canada Prep Football Academy in Ontario doesn't provide the top-end coaching he received in Oregon.

"I know that unlike a lot of these guys, I haven't had a lifetime worth of training and teaching, but I learned so much from being here," Gallimore said, according to Jeremy Birmingham of Eleven Warriors. "I'll never forget this experience and it will make me a better player for whatever school I end up at."

Meyer, who has recruited along the defensive line very well throughout his career, is hoping that school is Ohio State.


Ohio State's Commits

Hilliard and Cornell spent a good portion of their week backing up their 5-star rankings. 

Hilliard, the nation's top-rated outside linebacker, showed off his speed and strength in the SPARQ preliminaries, and his playmaking ability was on full display during the seven-on-seven competition. 

Cornell impressed as well. His versatility is his greatest strength, and he proved that by showing an ability to play on the edge rushing the passer or moving to the inside to clog the run. 

The Buckeyes' other commitTyler Green—had a big week.

Rated the No. 522 recruit in the country and the No. 35 safety, Green could have been overshadowed among some of the top defenders in the country. Instead, he shined, showing instincts and skill that suggest he's highly underrated.

While the Buckeyes are hoping to land new commitments, one of the current members of their 2015 class could be on the verge of shooting up the rankings.


All recruiting information per 247Sports.

David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412