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Today’s Ohio State recruiting Question of the Day
Good afternoon friends and welcome back once more to The Lettermen Row recruiting question of the day.
We’re going to look back a few recruiting cycles — to the Buckeyes class of 2015 — and how try to see how the current crop of Ohio State verbals may, or may not, feel somewhat familiar.
Is the 19 class like the 15 class? I see a lot of commits and targets ranked in the 400s and higher
— Steven h (@lpn1983) July 30, 2018
Ohio State signed 26 total players in 2015 and finished that year with the seventh-ranked class in the nation. For most folks, that’d be pretty good and an excellent starting point to build a program but that group has been, to put it mildly, inconsistent since arriving on campus and has not produced that many contributors at Ohio Stadium. We’ll break down that class into three groups: The Haves, The Have Nots and The Never Wills.
We’ll consider “The Haves” as any player that’s been a regular starter or has played a lot of meaningful minutes. The “Have Nots” will be those still on the roster but who have, to this point, not made any major on-field contributions. That final group will be the players that have transferred or left the program for other reasons.
The Haves: Jerome Baker, Mike Weber, Isaiah Prince, Dre’Mont Jones, K.J. Hill, Denzel Ward, Robert Landers, Branden Bowen, Damon Arnette and Liam McCullough
The Have Nots: Justin Hilliard, Jashon Cornell, Josh Alabi, Rashod Berry and Davon Hamilton
The Never Wills: Torrance Gibson, Eric Glover-Williams. Matthew Burrell, AJ Alexander, Alex Stump, Nick Conner, Joe Burrow, Jamel Dean, Grant Schmidt, Kevin Feder and Joshua Norwood
You can see there why Urban Meyer and his staff have regularly pointed at the 2015 class as “misfits” and in some cases, just a “bad” class. I don’t subscribe to that theory entirely, because there are ten or more guys that could make the NFL from it. Still, it’s hard to look at that group and not be a little disappointed when you consider many of the biggest names — and highest ranked players — are from the “have nots” and the “never wills.”
When you look at the Buckeyes current, 15-man class of 2019, there are some areas that feel familiar. Ohio State signed the country’s No. 2-ranked class in 2017 and 2018, setting them up with a loaded roster for the next two to three seasons. There have been key coaching staff changes, losing key recruiter Tom Herman after the 2014 season and Kerry Coombs and recently Zach Smith, each of whom were vital recruiters as well. Overall, it’s a class that feels lacking in momentum and that could be made worse if the Buckeyes somehow lose Zach Harrison to one of its two biggest in-conference rivals.
That said, Ohio State has a couple of major stars committed in 2019, a class that’s currently ranked No. 8 nationally.
There’s 5-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson, of course, but there’s also center Harry Miller, who could be the country’s best interior offensive lineman in this cycle. 12 members of the Buckeyes class sit with a ranking of 4-stars or higher and if you went solely by the 247Sports.com “points” rating system, Ohio State’s class would be No. 3 in the country, behind only Alabama and Georgia.
Again, that’d be pretty good for most folks, but the Ohio State program isn’t most folks, is it? The real proof in this proverbial pudding won’t be known for a few 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.