Does Black Monday Influence Recruiting?
By Michael Chung
There have been some dark moments in Ohio State history: Maurice Clarett’s suspension after leading his team to a national championship, Jim Tressel’s retirement due to tat-gate, and now this past Monday where four members of the Ohio State football team were associated with legal misfortune. The biggest concerns are the status of Carlos Hyde and Bradley Roby. Both opted to pass up the NFL returning for this season in hopes of raising their draft stock and pursue a national championship. Monday can be recorded in Buckeye lore as a dark moment. The story is not completely over and players can either be exonerated or reprimanded even more.
Hyde was originally reported as being dismissed from the team but it looks like this report was premature and the facts are still not completely on the table.
Roby was arrested in Bloomington, IN and will likely be suspended for an indefinite amount of time. Baugh will miss the Buffalo game and Tim Gardner was dismissed.
How would these incidents influence recruiting? Timing could not be any worse.
Recruiting hits a fury during the summer where many high school athletes would like to make a decision and then concentrate on their senior year. OSU already has 14 commits for the 2014 class and could add a few more before the high school season officially kicks off.
A lot of recruiting is based on image. Nick Saban could not best many people on pure image but the reality is, Alabama’s image is hot—they are the “king of the hill”— the tide has turned in their “image favor.”
OSU embarks on one of their biggest recruiting periods of the summer and top targets Raekwon McMillan, Marshon Lattimore, Erick Smith, Noah Brown, and Curtis Samuel will be gracing the OSU campus along with a slew of others this week.
People are influenced by image. In high school, people determine whether or not they will attend a party based on who is going. If popular people attend, so will others. This is very similar to football recruiting, people want to go where the image is popular.
The national sports media loves it when schools like Ohio State experience conflict and many resort to tabloid-ish tactics to spur readership/viewership. Seeing all this play out on TV, radio, the Internet etc. cannot be helpful to OSU’s current image.
Meyer will move on and Ohio State will put this week behind them and finish with another top 5 class but the timing of all these legal misfortunes could not have come at a worse interval.
Other Repercussions of Black Monday
Are there other factors Black Monday will have on recruiting? How about the number of scholarships? Does OSU target a running back like Jonathan Hilliman with Hyde’s uncertainty?
Carlos Hyde is in his last year of eligibility and no one expects Bradley Roby to return for his final year of eligibility so there is no direct scholarship impact.
Marcus Baugh has not been dismissed and could redshirt anyway but Timothy Gardner’s dismissal is significant. An already depth challenged group prior to 2013 has become even more depleted; Gardner was one of only two OL recruits to commit in the 2013 class. Ohio State was already going to take 5 OL for 2014, now they will take six unless a member of the DL will switch over which could happen.
Will they take 2 Jucos now? Jermaine Eluemunor should be making his final decision soon. Most likely, they will still take one Juco but try to recruit another underclassman consisting of: Demetrius Knox, Alex Booker, Damian Prince, David Sharpe, Damien Mama, Donell Stanley, Natrell Curtis, and Roderick Johnson.
One name that does not have an OSU offer but could receive one if he blows away the coaches is Frank Ragnow out of MN, who will be attending FNLs. With Gardner’s dismissal, the OL recruiting just increased by one.
The timing could not be worse for this news to come out, especially since hope abounds for this 2013 football campaign. The image of Ohio State is temporarily tainted but this challenge should bring the team even more together. If adversity breeds champions, the Buckeyes are well on their way to hoist the crystal.