February 16, 2012

No fly zone

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Follow Noon on Twitter | Rowland | Givler

The Ohio State football program is off and running in the 2013 recruiting cycle, particularly at the cornerback position. The Buckeyes had previously landed five-star prospect Cameron Burrows out of Trotwood (Ohio) Madison but on Thursday afternoon the Buckeyes added another national level prospect in four-star Voorhees (N.J.) Eastern Regional product Eli Woodard. The commitment of Woodard gives Ohio State a tandem that could very well end up number one at this time next year when the positional recruiting rankings are released. Burrows has welcomed Woodard into the fold with open arms and looks forward to making the Ohio State defensive secondary a 'No Fly Zone'.

"It's going to be a great thing to have," said Burrows. "To have the two sides of the field locked down by two corners, who's going to throw the ball on us? And where? It's going to put more pressure on (the opposing) offense."

When Burrows committed back in mid-January, he wasted little time reaching out to other key targets. One of the very first recruits he contacted was Woodard.

"He sent me something on twitter," Woodard said. "I was surprised. I never thought he was going to commit real early. I thought he would be one of those guys that would wait it out so I was surprised that he committed before I did. When he committed I was just like 'OK, I guess I have to hurry up and get in there as well'."

For Burrows, reaching out to Woodard just seemed like the natural thing to do as he tries to fulfill his promise of being Ohio State's top recruiter.

"The coaches said they wanted him and I wanted him too," Burrows said. "He's a great player and knowing that it's possible for me and him to both start, me on one side and him on the other, that's great right there. I'm just thinking about creating the perfect dynasty. I also contacted Jalin (Marshall) too, I've been recruiting since I committed."

Woodard said he appreciated Burrows reaching out to him so quickly after committing and the two have spoken regularly over the phone and the internet during the last month. Though the two prospects play the same position, Woodard says there is plenty of room for both to excel during their time at Ohio State.

"We have each other's numbers and I talk to him a couple of times per week," Woodard said. "We've built a pretty nice relationship; he's a really cool guy. I don't feel like you (shy away from a school) because the competition might be too high. At the end of the day, we're both going to get on the field so I don't even worry about that aspect of it. Every college has great competition so I feel like it's not a big factor to me."

Overall, the Ohio State class is off to a blistering start with all four commits being ranked four-stars or better. Burrows says this is simply the plan coming together.

"It's starting to come out great right now, I'm very excited," Burrows said. "For the first three commits to be ranked in the top 40 or top 50, that's fantastic and for Eli to come in now and put his spin on it, it just goes with everything that I've been saying, that we're going to shock the world."

Givler's analysis:

The big thing right now that all college coaches are looking for is the taller, longer, cornerback prospects. It's a year until National Signing Day for the 2013 class but Ohio State has already locked up two prospects that fit that mold in Burrows and Woodard. Both of these prospects have safety size with corner cover skills which makes both of them unique. What makes them even more special is the physical nature in which they play the game. They can support the run and they can also deliver the big hit to receivers going across the middle or to the backs in the flat.

Overall, if you're a college coaching staff, you hope to be able to bring in one guy like this every year and you feel pretty good about things if you can do that. Ohio State already has two, it's simply a special cornerback class already, regardless of any additions that are made in the next 12 months.


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