Recruiting has picked up this past week with Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes adding linebacker Nick Conner. a four-star prospect, as rated by Scout.com.
But it takes just a quick glance at the Buckeye’s recruiting list for the class of 2015 before finding a glaring hole: No five-star commits.
Granted, these players don’t grow on trees, and the program has just one five-star player in its 2014 class (Raekwon McMillan). The importance of having five-star caliber players was examined by Marcus Hartman of BuckeyeSports.com.
In a recent post, Hartman concluded what he thought was obvious all along. Five-star commits tend to be better players, but he decided to look into the subject deeper after Meyer admitted he pays attention to how many stars a kid has next to his name during the recruiting process.
Hartman found that from 2002-2009, the Buckeyes landed 23 five-star players, and about 69 percent (16) went on to be starters. During that same time, 165 non-five-star recruits came through the program, and only 51 percent became starters.
“…Five-star players had higher percentages of being starters, being first-team All-Big Ten, first-team All-America and drafted by an NFL team than the group as a whole, and they transferred out or simply did not make it through to the end of their eligibility (or the draft) at a lower rate.”
Conner marked the fourth four-star recruit to commit to the Buckeye’s 2015 class. For comparison’s sake, Alabama has 16 four-star recruits, while Florida State, has one, five-star recruit and four, four-star players committed to the 2015 class.
Ohio State could get another boost by the end of the month when Cincinnati St. Xavier linebacker Justin Hilliard, who’s listed at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, is expected to make a decision. Hilliard is listed as a four-star prospect by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. He is rated as the No. 1 linebacker by both websites.
Buckeye fans can still hold out hope a five-star recruit will find his way into next year’s recruiting class, as running back Damien Harris has yet to make up his mind. The Kentucky prep standout has made several trips to Ohio State, according to Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com
Landing the 5-foot-11, 205-pound prospect would be huge, not only because of talent, but because Harris once committed to Michigan. The program is also hoping to score a coup from Alabama, by offering Crimson Tide defensive end commit Mekhi Brown.
For Wasserman’s list of players with Ohio State left on their radar, click here.