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 the Class of 2019 and how many players could help finish it.
Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day
How many scholarships are left for this class? Are there any Offensive lineman who the Buckeyes are still looking to land? Do you anticipate any signing day surprises?
— Jess 🅾️☕️💫🥂 (@Buckeyetxgrl2_0) January 7, 2019
Throughout the Urban Meyer era of Ohio State football, there always seemed to be a “February surprise” on the recruiting trail. Meyer’s recruiting usually produced a dramatic conclusion, whether it was landing a 5-star from the south or flipping a player from a rival.
I’m not going to entirely rule out the possibility of that happening this February, but I would caution against expecting it. Ryan Day was very vocal in his signing day press conference that the size of Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class was going to be dictated by the numbers.
“We had three guys right now declare,” Day said in December. “So there’s some moving pieces there. There may be another couple — a few — guys that we’re obviously going to recruit going into the February signing period, but we’re going to keep working through January, and then as that number moves around, we’ll adjust from there.”
The majority of the moving pieces have settled into place.
On Dec. 20, we wrote about understanding “the numbers” and tried to speculate as to what would happen with the Ohio State underclassmen who were considering the NFL Draft. While we’re still waiting on official word from cornerbacks Damon Arnette and Kendall Sheffield — with both expected to leave school — the numbers have, for the most part, clarified themselves.
Ohio State had 10 seniors on its team and has lost Dwayne Haskins, Mike Weber, Michael Jordan, Nick Bosa and Dre’Mont Jones already to the NFL. K.J. Hill shocked everyone by deciding he’d return for his senior year. If Sheffield and Arnette are added, that means seven total players are giving up their remaining eligibility — but Ohio State added Justin Fields, bringing the total number of openings to 16.
Of course, there are likely to be transfers and players leaving for other reasons as well. I am not going to speculate on those types of things, but there’s always attrition — always. So, don’t be surprised if the final number ends up more than 16, but if it does, it won’t be much more than that.
In my mind, there are three to four more spots the Buckeyes are hoping to fill in the Class of 2019. That’s just about the most they’d feel comfortable taking. Doug Nester, the lone unsigned commitment, is the most important piece of the puzzle. Ohio State seems likely to add another offensive lineman as well, despite there being some differing opinions with the program about who that could or should be.
Beyond the offensive line, I think you’re likely to see the Buckeyes focus on defensive backs in the next few weeks and that’s about it. Two or three more signees in February seems like the limit at this point.
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