Three key recruits to Ohio State

Urban Meyer is closing in on another top-notch football recruiting class for Ohio State.

Previously, he had filled the majority of the Buckeyes’ most-pressing on-field needs, but was still a couple of prime-time linebackers short.

However, Meyer was able to check that position off his want list in the last week or so, as a pair of promising linebacking prospects he sought after decided to cast their lot with the Buckeyes.

That plus the Cleveland Glenville-OSU football pipeline was again able to supply the Buckeyes with another versatile Tarblooder ”athlete” on Friday to bring Meyer’s 2013 recruiting haul so far to a total of 22.

The Buckeyes’ new linebacking recruits – 6-2, 220-pound Trey Johnson from Lawrenceville, Ga. and 6-4, 225-pound Mike Mitchell from Plano, Texas – announced their college intentions at the Under Armour All-America Game Jan. 4 and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 5 respectively.

Nationally-rated as the No. 2 middle linebacker available in the 2013 college recruiting class by, five-star or top-level prospect Mitchell recorded an amazing 186 tackles as a high school senior last fall, with 11 sacks, seven forced fumbles and three blocked punts.

”Ohio State was one of the first schools on me, and they were with me from the beginning,” said Mitchell. ”They went 12-0 this season, and have the team on the right track.”

Four-star recruit Johnson first committed to Auburn, but then switched to OSU after backing out on the Tigers in November.

Just like Mitchell, Johnson sees the opportunity to play early in his career with the Buckeyes.

Plus his bond with Ohio State defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell proved to be a major selling point for Johnson as well. ”We’ve developed a strong relationship since my official visit up there (OSU), when we talked a lot about football,” said Johnson, ranked as the country’s No. 3 inside linebacker and the No. 13 college prospect in Georgia.

Four-star recruit Christopher Worley from Glenville comes in as an ”athlete,” meaning the 6-3, 190-pounder could possibly play a variety of positions proficiently in college, which he did in high school at outside linebacker, safety, tight end and wide receiver.

As of now, the Buckeyes may be looking at Worley – tabbed as the country’s No. 29 athlete and the No. 21 overall prospect in the state of Ohio according to 247Sports – as a strong safety, but that pretty much depends on how the rest of the recruiting class shapes up.

  • The Toughman Contest will be back – and soon – in Parkersburg, as the annual rock ’em, sock ’em event at PHS Memorial Fieldhouse is just a little over three weeks away on Feb. 8 and 9.

Weight classes are lightweight (up to 139 pounds), middleweight (140-159 pounds), light-heavyweight (160-184) and heavyweight (185-400) for both men and women age 18 and over.

Contact Steve Hemmelgarn at