Signing day is 10 days away and Ohio State is closing as strong as it ever has in the Jim Tressel era.

"Jim Tressel classes tend to start great and slowly pick up a few players as time goes along," said analyst Duane Long, the recruiting editor for Ohio High magazine and "This year, they're finishing with a flourish."

Last week, Ohio State picked up three oral commitments: Glenville lineman Bryant Browning, safety Aaron Gant of St. Mary Prep in Michigan, and Aram Olson of Irmo High in Columbia, S.C. That brings the Buckeyes to 18 players in this class, with another four or five scholarships available.

Long said three players are the key to this week's final push: Euclid linebacker Thaddeus Gibson, Glenville receiver Raymond Small and Derrell Johnson from Youngstown Cardinal Mooney. Another prominent possibility is junior-college linebacker Larry Grant. Small has said he'll announce his choice on signing day, on Feb. 1, though Long believes both Gibson and Small are leaning toward the Buckeyes.