It’s College Football Signing Day! As we wait for the first letters of intent to roll in this morning, let’s take a look at the Buckeyes early enrollees…
Buckeye fans may have panicked a bit when they saw Eli Woodward was no longer a part of the Ohio State recruiting class, but there was no need to worry. Woodward wanted to honor the man who raised him, and to properly recognize the role that Tim Apple played in his life, Eli changed his last name. “He’s been my dad since I was 2,” Eli told Rivals.com. “Since my real dad left us, he’s been my dad. I wanted to have his last name before I started playing on TV. I wanted to find a way to pay him back for everything.” And Eli Apple has been very busy getting his name out there. He attended a Nike Football Training Camp in Columbus, participated in The Opening in Oregon and was part of Gridiron Kings in Florida. That was all part of his efforts to improve as a lockdown corner, but he also played some receiver at Eastern High School in New Jersey, where he had 43 catches for 841 yards. Now he’s on campus and working out with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Other notable offers: Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin
Recruited by: Ed Warinner
Once the era of Braxton Miller vs. Devin Gardner is over, it’s expected to be JT Barrett and Shane Morris battling it out in The Rivalry of rivalries. Both Ohio State bound Barrett and Michigan man Morris are members of the 2013 recruiting class, and they’ve already started playfully trash talking one another. Barrett is all business on the field, however. He was 38-of-73 passing for 764 yards with 5 touchdowns and added 573 yards rushing with seven touchdowns his senior year, before a torn ACL ended it after just 5 games. During his last full season, he accounted for more than 3,000 total yards and 23 touchdowns, and ran a 4.6 40-yard dash. He’s hoping an early arrival on OSU’s campus will help him get back to that form. He’s already enrolled.
Other notable offers: LSU, Nebraska, Kansas State
Recruited by: Tom Herman
As Elyria defensive lineman Tracy Sprinkle thought about where he wanted to play his college ball, he would turn to former teammate Chase Farris with questions. There was no question, Farris told him, that he would fit in with him at Ohio State. That’s how the Associated Press Co-Defensive Player of the Year ended up in Columbus, where he’s already enrolled and working out with the team. Sprinkle accounted for 103 tackles his senior year and recorded 19 sacks. On top of that, he accomplished all this despite seeing a number of double teams.
Other notable offers: Arkansas, Louisville, Arizona State
Recruited by: Stan Drayton
Ohio State’s first verbal commitment for this latest recruiting class was defensive back Cam Burrows, who held a ceremony announcing his decision last January, and who’s already enrolled now at OSU. During his high school career, the Under Armour All-American was part of a Trotwood-Madison program that went to three straight state championship games. Burrows has already gotten into the spirit of The Rivalry, saying it’s been a dream of his to play against Michigan and betting his Trotwood-Madison teammate (and Wolverines recruit) Mike McCray regarding the outcome of the 2012 Ohio State/Michigan game. It was McCray wearing Scarlet and Gray the Monday after the game. It will Burrows in those colors this fall.
Other notable offers: Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Wisconsin
Recruited by: Tim Hinton
Defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis told ESPN, “I expect to win a national championship. Year after year after year.” And why not? For Lewis, winning seems to come naturally. From his freshman to senior year, his high school team in Tarboro, North Carolina lost a grand total of just four games. They garnered three straight state championships and came just one win short of a fourth title this past year, a season during which Lewis recorded 13 sacks. Lewis also won all-state honors from the Associated Press. At the collegiate level, he says he expects to play the hybrid defensive line/linebacker position Ohio State football refers to as the “Viper.” Lewis has also played tight end, and caught a touchdown pass in the state finals his junior year.
Other notable offers: North Carolina, LSU, Virginia Tech, Clemson
Recruited by: Everett Withers