Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? This is the place for you, five days a week. Submit your questions on Twitter or on the Lettermen Row forums. Check in daily to see what’s on the mind of Buckeyes fans all over the country. Today’s question is about the Buckeyes most important targets in 2020 and 2021.
Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day
Hey there, friends. Welcome to a frigid Thursday in Ohio and another edition of the Recruiting Question of the Day.
Not to bring up bad feelings and all, but earlier this week we talked about 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison and his recruitment. In that piece, we mentioned that right now things aren’t really looking positive for the Buckeyes. If that continues and Ohio State missed out on Harrison, it’d mark the second straight recruiting cycle that Ohio’s top prospect turned down the Buckeyes and headed elsewhere.
Jackson Carman, anybody?
In an effort to not belabor the point, we’ll move on from 2019 and jump right ahead and answer today’s question.
Who are the 2020 Ohio kids that are " must gets" and where does OSU stand w them.
— Ryan Lentz (@GrChZebo) October 15, 2018
If you don’t mind, Ryan, I am actually going to expand your question into the 2020 and 2021 classes, because I think there are likely a few players in each class that apply.
Fortunately for Ohio State, the first player on the list for 2020 is Cincinnati St. Xavier 5-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson. He’s already committed to the Buckeyes and has turned into one of their most valuable recruiting assets since then. He’s been on campus nearly every weekend this football season working on the top targets in attendance, trying to showcase the strengths of the Ohio State program. Paris Johnson is a top priority and already offered a verbal pledge.
Must get? Got him.
Beyond Johnson, the only other must get in the Class of 2020 right now is Cincinnati Princeton’s Darrion Henry. I truly believe if Henry was a Florida native he’d be a top-10 player in the country, and I’ve got no doubt that Ohio State sees him the same way. The Buckeyes are going to be very hard to beat in his recruitment, but Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State and all the usual national suspects will give it their best shot.
It may be early to spend too much time stressing about the Class of 2021, but there are three prospects in the class already offered by the Buckeyes. It’s important in each case for Ohio State to land them.
The first is defensive end Jack Sawyer. The early 5-star prospect from Pickerington North is a regular at Ohio State and it’s in good shape. But the Buckeyes would love to land him early and see him play the part that Paris Johnson has in 2020.
Beyond Jack Sawyer is Dublin Coffman’s A.J. Kirk. Kirk is another early 5-star prospect per the 247Sports.com composite rankings, and he’s been to at least three different Ohio State games this season. His big brother is former Buckeyes All-American Mike Doss, which certainly doesn’t hurt the cause any.
The final 2021 prospect that I’d add to this list is Massillon Washington’s Jayden Ballard. He’s a very skilled young receiver who has a couple of years ahead of him to get bigger and stronger, but he’s well ahead of where the average in-state receiver has been in recent years.
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Birm is Lettermen Row's Director of Recruiting and the site's primary Ohio State sports photographer. A Toledo, Ohio native, Jeremy has been in similar roles for elevenwarriors.com and Landof10.com and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.