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Ohio State: With seven early commits, 2020 class off to quick start

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Cincinnati prospects Paris Johnson and Darrion Henry are two of Ohio State's top 2020 targets. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Ohio State: With seven early commits, 2020 class off to quick start

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. Wednesday’s question asks about how the Buckeyes will fill out their 2020 recruiting class.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

I am not entirely sure what qualifies as a slow start for anyone else. But in a class that could number 25 or more, Ohio State is already 25-percent or more done with the Class of 2020 — and we’re not even to February. In fact, only Alabama (11) and LSU (9) have more commits to this point, and those two SEC schools are the only programs ranked ahead of the Buckeyes in the 2020 team rankings right now.

But there was a time last summer when it seemed the 2020 class could blast into the record books as one of Ohio State’s best signing classes ever. That effort was spearheaded by a trio of early commits who were hellbent on bringing the cream of the crop along with them to Columbus. When the Buckeyes added Paris Johnson to that group in late June, things seemed ready to take off.

Then Urban Meyer retired on Dec. 4. Two of those three pillars fell away, and suddenly there were questions about exactly who would be the leaders of the class would be, especially as uncertainty around the commitment of Paris Johnson came with it.

But despite visits to Notre Dame, Tennessee and Georgia Tech in the last seven weeks, Johnson seems content with the direction of Ryan Day’s program. The 5-star offensive tackle will return to Columbus this Saturday as one of a handful of Ohio’s best prospects, where he’ll work on recruiting priorities like DeaMonte Trayanum, who will be heading into town from Akron. The Buckeyes had a larger junior day weekend planned two weeks ago, but that was canceled because of inclement weather. Now they’re looking to put together some smaller, more intimate groups over the next month as they head into spring football.

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Deamonte Trayanum is an intriguing prospect for Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

That’s when things will really crank up on the 2020 class. The Ohio State coaching staff has been on the road almost nonstop since December, checking out players they’ve already offered and getting to know the prospects that they’ve been evaluating. As the weather begins to warm up, so will the Buckeyes 2020 class. But as it is currently comprised, it’s not off to any kind of slow start.

Ohio State already has its quarterback, half of its expected six-man offensive line class and half of its expected four-man receivers group — and only two of the first seven verbals are from Ohio. There will be a concerted effort to land Cincinnati’s Darrion Henry and the aforementioned Trayanum in the near future, and adding more of Ohio’s best 2020 players as the cornerstone of Ryan Day’s first class is a priority now rather than waiting until November or December. Players like Fairfield’s JuTahn McClain, Cincinnati Princeton’s Jaheim Thomas and Dublin Coffman’s Mike Drennen could all become Buckeyes if the coaching staff makes a real push soon. Get to 11 or 12 commitments with a focus on Ohio early, then let coaches spend their time developing the harder-to-cultivate relationships nationally.

Bringing in those guys now, then turning the focus to the best of the best around the nation as the summer hits is a good way to lose any possible perception of a slow time in the 2020 recruiting cycle.

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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.