COLUMBUS, Feb. 5 -- Ohio State coach Jim Tressel brought nearly everyone except the night janitor at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center up to the microphone at his press conference on Wednesday to say a few words about the 25 recruits who had just signed national letters of intent to play football for the Buckeyes. A proud father, a fightinghard-not-to-cry mom, players who have enrolled early, the recruiting coordinator and even a recruiting office manager had their say. The final word on the recruits won't come until a year or two or three down the road. But just like every year at Ohio State, and at every NCAA Division I school, signing day was a day for great optimism. "I think this is an outstanding group," Tressel said about his haul of 14 in-state recruits and 11 from beyond Ohio's borders. Most recruiting analysts rate Ohio State's incoming class as one of the top five in the country. At least one had the Buckeyes as the nation's No. 1 recruiting class going into Wednesday. Linebacker Dorian Bell, of Monroeville, Pa., his high school teammate, defensive back Dorian Gray, and Garfield Heights defensive tackle Melvin Fellows have all been rated 5-star prospects by recruiting services. Running backs Jaamal Berry, of Pinecrest, Fla., and Carlos Hyde, of Naples, Fla., might push their way to the front of the line with the departure of Chris Wells to the NFL. And wide receiver Duron Carter, son of former Ohio State and NFL great Cris Carter, certainly has name recognition going for him. Tressel pleaded really bad predicting skills, though, when asked which of the recruits might offer immediate help to OSU. As for the lofty rankings of his recruiting class, he said, "In those recruiting things, the more guys you have, the more points you pile up. So that year you have 17 guys who are very, very good but you're 14th in the country, a little bit of it is numbers. "I think this group is mature, I think they're focused, I think they're talented. It's going to be a good group," he said. Coldwater's Adam Homan, a fullback/linebacker, is among the 25 recruits. He is following his older brother Ross, a starting linebacker for OSU. Former Buckeyes quarterbacks Bob Hoying and Tom Hoying are also cousins of the Homans. Homan called deciding on Ohio State "an easy thing" and said, "I always loved Ohio State. I've had a few relatives play here. It's a thing that has been ingrained in me since I was born." Ohio State signed three players from Pennsylvania, three from Florida, two from Michigan and one each from Kentucky, Maryland and Texas. Maybe someone should notify the governors of surrounding states that Tressel is claiming parts of their states when it comes to recruiting. "As we think about recruiting, we think of Pittsburgh, Louisville, Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis as being in state," Tressel said. "We consider that inside that realm where a family can come back and forth to a scrimmage or a banquet or come have lunch with their son or their son can sneak home a birthday party. I think our group from inside that 200 miles would be like 18 or 19 players. Maybe it's more than that," he said.