On the first day high school football recruits could sign with their prospective universities, Ohio State announced the signing of 23 new Buckeyes for its 2011 class.
Coach Jim Tressel is satisfied with how the recruiting class rounded out, he said at a press conference Wednesday.
“When you get into the last two weeks of January and you get a good finish, you feel good about that,” he said. “I liked the beginning, and I loved the end.”
Of the 23 signees, three are listed as five-star recruits on Scout.com.
Linebacker Curtis Grant (Hermitage High School, Richmond, Va.) committed Wednesday afternoon to play for Tressel’s squad. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Grant is the top outside linebacker in the country, according to Scout.com.
Another five-star recruit is quarterback Braxton Miller (Wayne High School, Huber Heights, Ohio). The 6-2, 185-pound Miller is the No. 2-ranked quarterback in the nation, according to Scout.com. However, Rivals.com considers Miller a four-star recruit.
Miller is one of 13 recruits from Ohio, and one of five players who enrolled early at OSU for Winter Quarter 2011.
“At first it was hard to adjust (to college), but now I’m cool,” Miller said. “Now I’m just getting the hang of it.”
Defensive back Jeremy Cash (Plantation High School, Plantation, Fla.), defensive tackle Joel Hale (Center Grove High School, Greenwood, Ind.), tight end Jeff Heuerman (Barron Collier High School, Naples, Fla.) and linebacker Ryan Shazier (Plantation High School, Plantation, Fla.) also enrolled early.
With starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor suspended for the first five games of 2011, Miller will compete for Pryor’s spot with Joe Bauserman, who will be a senior, and Taylor Graham, Ken Guiton and Justin Siems, who will be sophomores.
“It’s an opportunity to put in the work,” Miller said, “and see who wins out.”
Tressel emphasized the amount of repetitions each quarterback will receive in practice this year.
“These guys are going to get good reps,” he said. “(We’ll see) the evolution of who steps to the front. There’s going to be days where one person does, and there’s going to be days when another doesn’t.”
Defensive end Steve Miller (McKinley Senior High School, Canton, Ohio) rounds out the five-star recruits and is the No. 9-ranked defensive end, according to Scout.com. He is one of 13 defensive signees.
Tressel said the 2011 class had good balance on both sides of the ball.
“What we try to do every year is just get a little bit of everything so that, within your classes, you have a few of every position,” he said. “Therefore, when you look at the total roster, you’ve got the kind of depth and age variance within positions.”
But the Buckeyes did not land all the high school players they coveted. Offensive lineman Aundrey Walker (Glenville High School, Cleveland), a four-star recruit according to Scout.com, committed to Southern California and is widely regarded as the top offensive line recruit in Ohio. Overall, Scout.com ranks the Buckeyes’ class No. 3 in the nation; ESPN ranks it No. 7; and Rivals.com ranks it No. 10.
Nebraska and Michigan also appeared in the top 25. Nebraska is ranked No. 14 on ESPN, No. 15 on Rivals.com and No. 23 on Scout.com. Michigan is ranked No. 21 on Rivals.com.
Zack Meisel contributed to this story.