By Matt McCoy
To listen to Urban Meyer recap the 2014 recruiting class click here:
Some college football coaches say they ignore the recruiting rankings. Those coaches are not named Urban Meyer.
"I hear people say it's not important. I disagree," the Buckeye football coach said as he discussed his highly touted 2014 class. "As long as you're keeping score, we're going to try to win. I'm disappointed we weren't the No. 1 recruiting class in the country."
While Meyer's Buckeyes aren't at the very top, they're close. Services like Rivals, Scout and 24/7 sports all consider Ohio State in the top five. It's not Meyer's ultimate goal but he'll take it.
"I think we won today and I made it clear to (the coaches) that I'm very pleased with their efforts," Meyer said. "I think it was a great class."
In particular Meyer is pleased that the class seems to address Ohio State's biggest areas of need --- linebacker, defensive back and offensive line.
Overall, 23 players were locked up, including four highly regarded linebackers and four defensive backs and five offensive linemen. Meyer made it clear, the prospects in this recruiting class, especially those on defense, are not in Columbus to sit and watch next year.
"They have to play for us," Meyer said. "There's no redshirt plans for those players at all...unless something happens, they're playing."
Headlining the linebackers is Raekwon McMillan, a 6'2 245 pound inside linebacker out of Georgia. According to most recruiting services, he's the top player in this Buckeye class. McMillan is one of seven in the class who graduated from high school early and enrolled at Ohio State this winter.
"Coach Meyer told me (when I came here) nothing's going to be given to me. I have to compete just like everyone else" McMillan said. "Yes, I have a good chance of starting but it's all going to go to waste if I don't put in the work right now."
The linebacker class also includes Dante Booker of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Sam Hubbard of Cincinnati Moeller and Kyle Berger of Cleveland St. Ignatius. Meyer also singled out defensive backs Damon Webb from Detroit Cass Tech and Marshon Lattimore from Cleveland Glenville as prospects he expects to immediately contribute.
The 2014 Ohio State recruiting class
1) Kyle Berger, 6'2 215, LB, Cleveland St. Ignatius
2) Dante Booker, 6'3 220, LB, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
3) Noah Brown, 6'2 215, WR, Sparta (N.J.) Pope John XXIII
4) Parris Campbell, 6'1 180, RB, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary
5) Jalyn Holmes, 6'5 240, DE, Norfolk (VA) Lake Taylor
6) Malik Hooker, 6'3 185, ATH, New Castle, PA
7) Sam Hubbard, 6'6 220, LB, Cincinnati Moeller
8) Jamarco Jones, 6'5 285, OL, Chicago De LaSalle
9) Demetrius Knox, 6'4 305, OL, Fort Worth (TX) Saints Episcopal
10) Marshon Lattimore, 6'1 180, DB, Cleveland Glenville
11) Terry McLaurin, 6'0 175, WR, Indianapolis Cathedral
12) Darius Slade, 6'5 240, DL, Montclair, N.J.
13) Erick Smith, 6'1 175, S, Cleveland Glenville
14) Brady Taylor, 6'5 285, OL, Bishop Ready
15) Dylan Thompson, 6'5 265, DE, Lombard (IL) Montini Catholic
16) Damon Webb, 6'0 175, DB, Detroit Cass Tech
The following 7 prospects are already enrolled at Ohio State
17) Stephen Collier, 6'4 210, QB, Leesburg (GA) Lee County
18) Johnnie Dixon, 5'10 195, WR Palm Beach Gardens (FL) Dwyer
19) Marcelys Jones, 6'4 340, OL, Cleveland Glenville
20) Raekwon McMillan, 6'2 242, LB, Hinesville (GA) Liberty County
21) Sean Nuernberger, 6'1 235, K, Buckner (KY) Oldham County
22) Curtis Samuel, 5'11 185, WR, Brooklyn (NY) Erasmus Hall
23) Kyle Trout, 6'6 295, OL, Lancaster
Who's The Best??
Based on recruiting services like 24/7, ESPN, Scout and Rivals, the Buckeyes knocked it out of the park with top defensive players. If you believe the rankings, linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Dante Booker and defensive backs Damon Webb and Marshon Lattimore are considered the best players. Recievers Curtis Samuel and Johnnie Dixon are right there as well.
Here are some highlights of each of those top guys.