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January 13, 2014

Meet Ohio State's seven early enrollees

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The move for players to enroll early at their college choice and get a semester up on the rest of the incoming class has been a continuing trend through the years and the Buckeyes welcomed seven new freshmen to the football team in January. All seven players will get that extra semester with the strength and conditioning staff as well as the ever-important opportunity to go through spring football as they try and make a name for themselves when the coaches start trying to figure out who will be in the mix for the 2014 season.

There are terms for pretty much everything set by the NCAA and the term for the early enrollees is "green shirt" (think opposite of red shirt which stops a player from playing). Being granted a green shirt does not mean that a player is guaranteed to play and a subsequent redshirt still can follow but it still allows the chance for the player to get acclimated to college life, college practice and just as important college coursework.

A team cannot push everyone through for early enrollment or a "green shirt" however and the players will count against the 25 scholarship limit from the year prior (but this is a running count and players who were granted early enrollment in 2013 count against the 2012 class and so on) so there are limits to how many players are able to take advantage of this. Not all high schools are on board with allowing players to graduate in 3 years (Kyle Berger would not have a chance because Cleveland St. Ignatius will not allowed early graduation) so it is not a case of where everyone is able to get that head start.

All seven players are able to sign financial aid paperwork and are officially enrolled but do not sign a National Letter of Intent. The remaining 14 members (plus any additions that could come) of the class will sign their National Letters of Intent on February 5th and have until April 1st to sign (the end of the signing period). Let's meet Ohio State's seven early enrollees (Ohio State Commitment List).

Player Info
Stephen Collier
6-foot-3, 206 lbs.
Leesburg (Ga.)

Collier committed to Ohio State in June of 2013 and will be one of four scholarship QBs on the roster in 2014. Collier held double-digit offers and passed for more than 2200 yards his senior season while running for more than 1000 yards while accounting for more than 40 touchdowns via run/pass. Collier was named the top player in SW Georgia as well as being voted the Albany Herald People's Choice Player of the Year award winner.
Johnnie Dixon
Wide Receiver
6-foot, 175 lbs.
W. Palm Beach (Fla.)

Dixon committed to Ohio State over Miami (Fla.) and Alabama in mid-December and now is in the mix for time in the Buckeye receiving corps. Dixon has a lot of versatility in his game and is not limited to one role as a receiver in the Ohio State offense. He possesses a great mixture of speed, strength and hands. Dixon could be in line for immediate playing time as a freshman in some aspect of the game either on offense and/or special teams.
Marcelys Jones
Offensive Lineman
6-foot-4, 354 lbs.
Cleveland (Ohio)

Jones was the first commitment for the class of 2014 with a Christmas day commitment in 2012 and made some people sweat it out with some flirtations with Kentucky and several other programs. Jones comes from Glenville high school and will be one of three Tarblooders joining the program in 2014. Jones will benefit from the extra semester with the S&C staff as he works on finding a comfortable playing weight.
Raekwon McMillan
6-foot-3, 235 lbs.
Hinesville (Ga.)

McMillan picked the Buckeyes over Clemson and Alabama on national cable television in mid-December and fills a major need for Ohio State in the linebacker room. McMillan could have picked any school in America but always felt at home in Columbus with the Buckeyes. He is someone who will be looked to shore up a linebacker position that has been high on promise but maybe a little short on results through the last couple of seasons. He is a definitely candidate to see immediate playing time.
Sean Nuernberger
6-foot-2, 230 lbs.
Buckner (Ky.)

Nuernberger came up to the Ohio State kicking camp in June and earned an offer and committed almost immediately. The new Ohio State kicker set a Kentucky high school record with a 57-yard field goal and will be stepping in for Drew Basil who is out of eligibility. Nuernberger can also punt but will be asked to focus on kicking with Cameron Johnston holding down the punting duties.
Curtis Samuel
5-foot-11, 180 lbs.
Brooklyn (N.Y.)

Samuel committed to Ohio State in August and held major offers on both coasts and points in-between. He is listed as an athlete and played on defense at the Army All-American game but he will get his first look on offense where he could be used in the pivot role in the Buckeye offense. Samuel ran a reported sub-4.4 but even if you don't buy into hand-timing there is no denying he is fast and will give the Buckeyes even more speed on offense to stretch the field.
Kyle Trout
6-foot-6, 280 lbs.
Offensive Lineman
Lancaster (Ohio)

Trout committed to Ohio State shortly after National Signing Day 2013 and held several major Midwestern offers. Trout has no shortage of toughness on the field and seems to be a player that is tailor-made for Ed Warinner's system on the offensive line. Trout comes from a high school that is no stranger to producing Ohio State talent and Trout should have a solid career in the Scarlet and Gray.

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