COLUMBUS — It’s been a while since things have happened on the recruiting trail for Ohio State, but it’s now less than 50 days away from signing day and the Buckeyes are narrowing in on the end of the 2021 class.
While that’s happening, Ryan Day’s program is in the early stages of what could be an early burst in the 2022 class. As Urban Meyer was fond of saying: “The future looks bright at Ohio State.”
But there’s a lot of work to be done for Ohio State in the next month as it looks to build on the serious momentum building in the Class of 2022 and works to finish out the Class of 2021 as strong as it started.
There’s not a ton of time remaining to do that, and though it’s been a while since we’ve updated the recruiting to-do list, the time seems right to do that. What does Ohio State need to accomplish on the recruiting front in November? Lettermen Row is taking a look at that very topic.
Ohio State needs to lock in early commitment from Quinn Ewers
Anyone paying attention to the recruiting world in the last few weeks has heard about the recent Texas-sized decommitment from the country’s top-ranked 2022 quarterback, Quinn Ewers.
Now all eyes are on Ohio State as it looks to be in the pole position to land Ewers, a decision that would give a massive boost to the Buckeyes emerging 2022 class and provide the first huge win on the recruiting trail for first-year quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis. Dennis never stopped working on the relationship with Ewers despite his early commitment to Texas, the school that the Southlake Carroll star grew up dreaming of playing for.
The 2022 cycle is going to be a wild one on the recruiting trail as it seems the recruiting dead period is going to extend maybe into March of 2021. So opportunities to evaluate quarterbacks in person are going to be extremely limited. Ewers is about as can’t miss as prospects can get, and the Buckeyes did get to evaluate him in person two years ago, so they have more actual data on him than anyone else at the position.
Buckeyes need get clarity on numbers
The Class of 2021 has 20 current commitments, and the Buckeyes have been slow to add anyone to that mix over the last few months. Saturday, long-time target Derrick Davis will announce his commitment and the Buckeyes could have No. 21 if he picks them over Penn State and LSU.
So, exactly how many will Ohio State take and how does the free year of eligibility on the roster impact Ryan Day and company as they try to sort out the incoming class? According to Day on Thursday, the Buckeyes don’t feel like they’ll enter the 2021 season over the 85-scholarship threshold — even though for next year they’d be allowed to if they chose.
That helps shed a little bit of light on where things are headed and should underscore the priority of players like Emeka Egbuka and J.T. Tuimoloau, who have been top targets for more than a year and who will undoubtedly have a spot in Columbus if they wanted to take it. How many players beyond that pair would the Buckeyes be willing to take?
That’s something that they probably need to sort out, and maybe they already have, because any late needs or additions to the class won’t have much time to be recruited.
Ohio State needs to locate a 2021 offensive lineman
One of the big reasons for needing clarification on the numbers in 2021?
Ohio State probably still needs another offensive lineman in the class, though the recent flip from Zen Michalski helps take some of the pressure off in that regard. The Buckeyes have regularly used senior film as an important factor in recruiting late-in-the-cycle line prospects, and that’s going to be more important than ever in 2021 for guys like Tomas Rimac and Terrance Rankl, who are committed to West Virginia and Pitt respectively.
Maybe the free year of eligibility for the class of 2020 helps Ohio State stand pat at this position. But finding a way to pull off a big flip or somehow getting Tristan Leigh into the class would certainly be a welcomed outcome for the Buckeyes and would put them in position to win the 2021 recruiting “championship.”
The Buckeyes are currently second, trailing Alabama, with two fewer commitments. Time is running out to catch the Tide.