Ohio State officially announced the arrival of the first seven members of the 2014 recruiting class Friday, a group including more than one player who could make an early impact for Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes.
The early enrollee who figures to get the most attention during spring practice is Raekwon McMillan, a four-star prospect from Hinesville (Ga.) Liberty County. Scout.com rated the 6-2, 242-pounder the No. 5 middle linebacker prospect in the nation, and he joins a position group that is short on experience and proven performers and has lost star Ryan Shazier early to the NFL.
McMillan is not the only member of the early enrolling group from the Peach State. Also making the trip north from Georgia to begin classes in January was Stephen Collier, a three-star quarterback prospect from Leesburg. The 6-4, 210-pound Collier gives Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman four quarterbacks to work with this spring with the return of senior Braxton Miller, sophomore Cardale Jones and redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett.
Along with a potential quarterback of the future, Meyer hopes he found two more playmakers for the passing game in the form of four-star wide receivers Johnnie Dixon and Curtis Samuel.
The 5-11, 185-pound Samuel is Scout’s No. 9 receiver in the nation and is listed as a hybrid receiver/running back by Ohio State. That would put him in the mix with a group of slot receivers also including sophomore Dontre Wilson and potentially redshirt freshmen James Clark and Jalin Marshall, two highly regarded members of the 2013 class who saw injuries derail their chance to contribute last season.
The 5-10, 195-pound Dixon is rated the No. 30 receiver in the 2014 class. If he is ticketed for the outside, he will join a group that is very young after seniors Devin Smith and Evan Spencer. That includes sophomores Mike Thomas and Frank Epitropoulos as well as Corey Smith, a junior in eligibility who redshirted after transferring from junior college last year.
Two offensive linemen from Ohio are among the group of early enrollees as well in Kyle Trout and Marcelys Jones. Trout is a four-star prospect rated the No. 23 offensive tackle in the country while Jones is a three-star and the No. 39 guard according to Scout. Playing on the line as a freshman is a tall task in the Big Ten, but the pair will join a group in transition after the graduation of four seniors who were multi-year starters. Taylor Decker returns to start at one tackle while Jacoby Boren and Pat Elflein seem like locks to step in at center and one guard, but the other two spots appear to be wide open.
Finally there is Sean Nuernberger, a kicker from Buckner, Ky., who will hope to claim the spot vacated by the graduation of Drew Basil.