The recruits have signed and the recruiting analysts have spoken.
All of the major recruiting analysts agree that Alabama signed potentially the best group of college football recruits on Wednesday, followed by LSU.
Ohio State’s recruits were rated anywhere from No. 3 to No. 7 overall.
Of course, the accuracy of such forecasts is always questionable. For example, last year one national recruiting analyst said Ohio State and Michigan had the top two incoming classes in the country and a surprisingly high number of those recruits were redshirted or did not make big contributions.
Will this turn out to be a great recruiting class for Ohio State? Check back in a couple of years. But until then, here are a few awards already won by the recruiting class of 2014:
• The Michael Wiley Award: When former Ohio State running back Michael Wiley, who grew up in California, was a freshman, he got so cold one day that he called a cab to take him back to his dorm after a class.
This year’s winner in the warm weather guy meets winter category is OSU early enrollee Johnnie Dixon.
The four-star wide receiver recruit from West Palm Beach, Fla., enrolled at the start of Ohio State’s semester in January. He said this winter was only the second time in his life he had seen snow.
• The Man Behind the Scenes Award: Urban Meyer and his assistant coaches get the credit for Ohio State’s recruiting success, but there are many people behind the scenes helping to put down a foundation for the Buckeyes’ ability to attract some of the best talent in the country.
That list starts with recruiting coordinator Mark Pantoni, who is as relentless as his boss. Other than a one-week vacation every year, Pantoni says he works on recruiting every day. He compared it recently to brushing your teeth. If you don’t do it every day, bad things happen.
On National Signing Day last Wednesday, OSU offensive coordinator Tom Herman said about Pantoni, “He’s worth whatever they’re paying him times two.”
• The WWWT Award also goes to Pantoni. That is the What Would Woody Tweet Award.
Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, have become huge in recruiting high school athletes and Pantoni works those things hard.
Can you imagine someone trying to teach Woody Hayes how to send a tweet? OMG. For that matter, can you imagine Earle Bruce on Twitter?
Pantoni says social media is huge because “A lot of kids hate talking on the phone.”
• The Even Brittney Spears is a Better Mom Than This Award. This goes to the mom of five-star recruit Malik McDowell of Southfield, Mich.
He wants to go to Michigan State and announced that Wednesday. But his mom, who is his custodial parent, refuses to sign his national letter of intent.
She is adamant she doesn’t want him to go to Michigan State. She prefers that he go to Ohio State or Florida State.
The biggest question after why wasn’t this discussed and settled long ago in the McDowell household is why would Ohio State or Florida State want to bring in a player who obviously doesn’t want to be there?
• The I Hate To Disappoint Anyone Award. This one belongs to D.J. Law, a four-star running back recruit from Haines City, Fla., who faxed signed national letters of intent to Utah and Mississippi on National Signing Day.
Mississippi announced his signing at 9:22 a.m. Wednesday, then Utah announced he had signed with the Utes at 4:54 p.m.
Mississippi says it will release Law, who put on a Utah hat at his signing ceremony. No word if Utah would have been OK with him having sister teams.
Law also signed with East Mississippi Junior College, which indicates he might have some academic issues to take care of before he is able to enroll at Utah. Ohio State was among the schools who offered Law a scholarship, according to espn.com.
• The I’ve Got Nothing Award. This one goes to Purdue coach Darrell Hazell. Looking at a 19-player recruiting class that included only one player rated higher than three stars by the recruiting analysts, he said he liked the fact that 18 of those players had been captains in high school.
The only four-star recruit was linebacker Gelen Robinson, son of former Purdue basketball great Glenn Robinson.
• The At Least Wait Until Spring Training Is Over Award. The winner of this is any fan who is already hyper-excited about who will be in Ohio State’s 2015 football recruiting class.