Ohio State eyes more speed, backfield of the future

Under head coach Urban Meyer, Ohio State has assembled the No. 5, No. 2 and No. 3 classes the last three recruiting cycles.

One of the trademarks in the Buckeyes’ hauls has been the addition of elite speed, particularly in the 2014 class, which is deep with versatile, speedy playmakers that immediately boost the athleticism of the overall roster.

In the early stages of the 2015 cycle, Ohio State has its eyes on its future backfield- and once again, it’s all about speed and with that, potentially landing two of the No. 1 overall prospects at their positions.

Five-star quarterback Torrance Gibson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./American Heritage) is a 6-foot-4 prospect with dynamic playmaking ability that can run. He’s got similarities to current Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller in terms of his elusiveness and he’s got the size and feet of former Ohio State star Terrelle Pryor. Throw in that his skill set fits offensive coordinator Tom Herman’s offense and it’s not a surprise that the Buckeyes want him badly. Currently, the U.S. Army All-American is predicted to Ohio State by 247Sports Crystal Ball (which measures the predictions trends of recruiting analysts across the country) at 63 percent. Miami, Auburn and LSU also received picks. Like the Buckeyes, the (Auburn) Tigers are an excellent scheme fit. Gibson is the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback prospect in the 2015 cycle according to 247Sports Composite Rankings.

The push to add even more speed doesn’t stop with Gibson. The nation’s top running back prospect, Damien Harris (Berea, Ky./Madison Southern) recently ran a blistering hand-timed 4.36-second 40-yard dash time at the Best of the Midwest Combine in Indianapolis. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Harris was an early commit to Michigan before backing out of his pledge and now Crystal Ball has him predicted to Ohio State at 48 percent. His recruitment currently is a three-way battle with the Buckeyes, Wolverines and in-state Kentucky with new offers like Alabama and Florida State pouring in daily.

Adding Gibson and Harris to the roster not only would add more speed to the overall roster, but would give Ohio State a potentially lethal backfield combination during the latter part of the current decade. Granted, it’s early. Auburn, Miami and others are real threats to land Gibson while the aforementioned Wolverines and Wildcats are in the mix for Harris. In fact, Harris is scheduled to make an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor this week, so while Ohio State has been what we call in recruiting “trending” with both, it’s not a lay-up. But still, the chances of Meyer and company landing this dynamic duo are at least 50-50 and it’s Feb. 21- 16 days into the cycle.

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