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Ohio State priorities unchanged heading into February signing period

Ryan Day-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ryan Day and Ohio State are getting back to work on finishing up the 2021 class. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Ohio State priorities unchanged heading into February signing period

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 inquiry is about the lead up to the February signing period and what the Buckeyes are trying to get done on the recruiting trail.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

To start, there’s not expected to be much in the way of surprises for the Buckeyes as the February signing period rolls around two weeks from now.

Ohio State has 21 signees in the Class of 2021 and no current commitments unsigned. Of that group, 15 of those players are set to arrive on campus this week for the Buckeyes. In a normal year, those freshmen would have arrived on campus at the start of last week — but since all classes are virtual right now and the coaching staff in Columbus earned a little break following the nightmare 2020 season, they’ve been pushed back.

What has not been pushed back is the aforementioned February signing period. To be honest, it probably would be in Ohio State’s best interest if it were. The attempt to land the two primary recruits still being pursued by the Buckeyes in the 2021 class would be made much easier if either of them were able to get to campus and spend some time with Ryan Day and his coaches before the signing period starts.

That said, neither 5-star defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau nor 4-star linebacker Raesjon Davis have to sign next month. There’s been at least some discussion that Tuimoloau, the nation’s top-ranked overall prospect, will hold off from doing so. If that comes to fruition, it’s only because the 6-foot-5, 290-pound lineman has decided he needs to make a visit to Ohio State and other schools. And if that occurs his recruitment could stretch into April or even May since the NCAA dead period isn’t scheduled to wrap up until April 15.

Ohio State-Larry Johnson-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Adding another big-time defensive lineman to the fold remains a priority for Larry Johnson and Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Davis joined Lettermen Row’s Birminology a few weeks back and indicated that he plans to decide in February. But he is hoping to make a visit to Ohio this month with his parents in order to give them a look at the school. He visited in March, a short two-hour stop as part of a bigger bus tour with other recruits, but definitely would be well served by a longer, more thorough visit.

But like everything else in the 2021 recruiting cycle, it’s not likely that things work out in an ideal way for J.T. Tuimoloau, Raesjon Davis or anyone else. Decisions will be made based on the strength of existing relationships and the opportunity to get on the field early and often. Both players are active in conversations with the Ohio State commitments, and according to those familiar with the situation, there’s been an uptick in participation for Tuimoloau. That is a good sign, but ultimately that isn’t enough to make the Ohio State coaches entirely secure in his eventual decision.

With uncertainty around exactly who is returning from the current roster of Buckeyes, the mass of early-enrollees coming into town and an expected busy period exploring the transfer portal, there’s going to be a lot on the plate of the Ohio State staff when it returns from vacation. Adding to the 2021 class is also on that list, but there’s no need for the Buckeyes do more than cap off the 2021 recruiting class with these two outstanding West Coast prospects.

Need more Ohio State recruiting #Stuff? Join the conversation below in the comments and sign up for Scarlet Sunrise, Lettermen Row’s morning newsletter that will get your day started with all the important Ohio State news you need to know. Prefer video? Follow Buckeyes football on YouTube with Lettermen Row. You can also get your recruiting fix by subscribing to Talking Stuff: The Ohio State Recruiting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher.

Birm

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.