There are few college football head coaches as adept at recruiting as Ohio State‘s Urban Meyer. A simple perusal of team rankings on the major websites (Rivals, Scout, 247Sports) which track the best prospects in the land serve as confirmation.
2017 is set to be his 12th season in charge of a Power Five program (he spent six seasons at Florida from 2005-10). In that time, eight of his classes were rated consensus top five nationally. Five of his six recruiting classes with the Buckeyes, including this year’s, fall into that category.
As of right now, Meyer and his staff have 20 commits lined up for 2017. Six are five-star prospects according to Rivals, trailing only Alabama who have seven. All in all, Rivals and 247Sports ranks the class second while Scout has it at number four.
But here’s what could make it truly historic. Per Mike Farrell of Rivals, the current average star ranking of the class is 4.21. That’s just one-hundredth of a point behind USC’s loaded 2007 group that included highly-touted running back Joe McKnight.
Marvin Wilson Could Cap Historic Ohio State Recruiting Haul
McKnight rated as the second-best prospect nationally that year. A decade later, defensive tackle Marvin Wilson finds himself in the same position. Rivals also ranks him number one in the state of Texas. That’s quite the accolade in a state well-known for being a veritable treasure trove of high school talent.
— Sam Khan Jr. 😷 (@skhanjr) January 25, 2017
Wilson will announce his school choice as part of Wednesday’s National Signing Day festivities. He’s scheduled to do so at 4 PM ET. The Buckeyes are in the running along with LSU, Florida State, Oklahoma, and South Florida.
The Tigers appear to be the frontrunners and his commitment would a huge statement for Ed Orgeron in his first year as full-time LSU head coach. But the process isn’t finished until Wilson picks the hat off the table and puts it on his head. If OSU is in his future, what can Buckeye fans expect at the next level?
Marvin Wilson High School Background
Wilson made a name for himself at Episcopal High School in the Houston area. His play was crucial on a Knights defense that gave up fewer than 14 points in six of their 11 district games the past two seasons. In that span, Episcopal went 10-1 in district play and 18-4 overall, making the state playoffs both years.
It’s within this framework that Wilson began appearing on the big-time collegiate radar. Though he didn’t play at the highest level of prep football in Texas, his overall package has coaches raving about his potential. Standing at 6’4″ and weighing 320 pounds, he has the ideal build for an interior defensive lineman at the next level. Couple that with his dynamic skill set and you have one of the most sought after recruits in the country.
Breaking Down the Tape
Wilson has a multitude of qualities which make him such a highly touted prospect. The first thing that jumps off on the tape is how explosive he is off the line of scrimmage. This makes it extremely difficult for opposing offensive lineman to establish leverage at the point of attack. He boasts edge defender quickness which will give college quarterbacks another dimension to deal with when it comes to diagnosing pressure.
Another distinguishing characteristic of Wilson is how active his hands are. Combined with his dynamic lateral movement and aforementioned explosiveness, it gives him the ability to swoop past blockers in the trenches. All of this presents myriad challenges when it comes to keeping square to him both in run-blocking and pass protection.
It should also be noted that Wilson is a high motor player who rarely takes a play off. He has great energy but also exhibits balanced demeanor so he doesn’t let his emotions get the best of him. Personal foul penalties tend to be momentum killers and having players not susceptible to them always gives coaches peace of mind.
The Last Word
Wilson is far from a surefire pickup for the Buckeyes at this point. As discussed above, he appears to be the crown jewel of Eddie O’s first class at LSU. But anyone who follows college football recruiting knows it’s a fickle business. Recruits de-commit regularly and some who are solid verbals end up faxing their letter of intent elsewhere on signing day.
With Wilson uncommitted, it’s even more of an unknown. But the fact of the matter is the Buckeyes are in the running. He has the potential to contribute immediately with OSU much more stacked on the perimeter of the defensive line than inside. And with top prospects like Wilson, that can be a determining factor as to where he goes.
In summary, Wilson’s decision will generate perhaps the most hype among the top uncommitted recruits The cameras and media will be fixated on his high school in Houston leading up to it. That, in and of itself, is kind of ironic given the hoopla surrounding another football event taking place nearby this coming Sunday.
Either way, Ohio State football looks set to reap the fruits of another bountiful recruiting hall on National Signing Day 2017.