In trying to track down Ohio State's numbers, which by the way would be 1,000 times easier to do if Ohio State would release them or the B1G office would release them, we decided to see if Kevin Noon, Managing Editor & Publisher at the Ohio State Rivals site Buckeye Grove could help shed a little light on last year's numbers at year end. Here is his play by play for the scholarship numbers from the end of last year to the addition of this year's class.
The team ended with 80 scholarship players last season... (not including the walk-ons getting the one year).
Players that left:
17 seniors (that adds Moeller back into the mix) (63)
Dionte Allen goes against the count for 1 year (64)
Longo leaves March 9th (63)
DiLillo leaves (can't date it... he had 4 years on schollie, was mutual) (62)
Seven players enroll (Cash, Shazier, Heuerman, B. Miller, T. Brown, R. Tanner, J. Hale) (69)
Jackson leaves (68)
Pryor leaves (67)
Ohio State has 15 more players enroll (D. Smith, Spencer, Vannett, Bobek, Underwood, Carter, Farris, Hayes, S. Miller, Bennett, Crowell, C. Grant, D. Grant, Gambrell, Haynes) (82)
Even if there is a question as to when Jackson and Pryor go into the count there is no way that it goes above 84.. let alone 85... Longo was gone before Spring quarter and DiLillo was out of the program after the bowl game as well... even if we do count him for winter quarter.
Here is our take on the numbers based on what Kevin has provided us, how we look at rosters, and how we define oversigning:
(Note: the senior class listed above would have been the signing class of 2007 in which there were 15 guys signed. 3 of that 15 were no longer with the team at the start of the 2010 season: Clifford, Scott, and Pentello. The rest are divided up into the senior and junior classes above based on redshirting.)
We start with the number 64. That is the number listed above after the 17 seniors leave from the pool of 80 and you add the FSU transfer (80-17=63 + FSU transfer = 64). That is the pre-NSD number, but that number does not include the departure of Dilillo who was not on the team at the end of the 2010 season despite still being on scholarship, according to Noon. So that takes the number to 63.
Prior to NSD, on January 20th, Sam Longo announced he was transferring. http://www.thebuckeyebattlecry.com/2011/01/breaking-sam-longo-to-transfer/ now the number 62 prior to NSD.
On NSD Ohio State signed 24 (23 for this class and 1 as a grayshirt signee for next year). 62+23 = 85 plus Cardale Jones who was a grayshirt signee. Technically you could say that Ohio State went over by 1, but the 1 that they went over would not result in forcing anyone out of a scholarship because it technically doesn't count until next year. The 1 over was clearly for next year -- how you view that is up to you, if you want to call it oversigning you can, by our definition it is, but clearly it doesn't result in anyone being pushed out. Now had Jones announced at the end of July that he is taking a grayshirt then things would have been fishy.
Update: Cardale Jones signed a letter of intent but with the understanding that he would enroll at Fork Union in the fall and then rejoin Ohio State in January of 2012 on scholarship. It is unclear as to when his LOI became void, but it had to in order for him to enroll at Fork Union. This is slightly different than him enrolling at Ohio State for the fall and paying his own way. With Jones being released from his LOI, he is allowed to be recruited by anyone and can go anywhere he wants should he decide after Fork Union that he doesn't want to go to Ohio State.
After NSD you have Jackson, Pryor, and Price leave the pool of 85 which is why you see Ohio State currently at 82 here: http://ohiostate.rivals.com/content.asp?SID=917&CID=1176611.
This still leaves Adam Griffin. He is included in the numbers above, but as we mentioned earlier, he was a walk-on freshman last year that was given the scholarship saved for Seantrel Henderson and when he didn't sign it went to Griffin. From Griffin:
News of you signing with Ohio State was kind of a shock to most fans. How did the process unfold and how did the opportunity to become a Buckeye come about? "Things unfolded pretty randomly. I called coach Tressel and asked to walk-on. Then, he called me back with a scholarship."
We don't know the details of Griffin's situation, but it is reasonable to think that he gets to remain on scholarship provided there is always room. Now technically, by our definition of oversigning, if Ohio State were to go over by one and then release Griffin from his scholarship we would call it oversigning.
This is as close as you will ever come to getting the numbers nailed down without having the official numbers from Ohio State. Obviously, Nic Dilillo's status was the missing piece. Being that he was not on the team at the end of the 2010 season and was not invited to spring ball, it is reasonable that both he and Ohio State knew that his scholarship would be filled by someone in the 2011 recruiting class and that is probably what Ohio State reported to the Big 10 office when they turned in their recruiting budget for 2011. If Dilillo comes out and says he felt he was pushed out to make room or that he was treated unfairly, we'll certainly report it, just like the James Jackson situation, but to date there have been no reports on Dilillo to our knowledge.
Special thanks to Kevin Noon at Rivals for providing the scholarship chart and the time to bounce emails back and forth.