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Next recruiting class has historic potential if Buckeyes close strong

tristan leigh-tristan leigh ohio state-tristan leigh football-tristan leigh virginia-tristan leigh offensive line
Tristan Leigh is one player who could push Ohio State to a historic recruiting class in 2021. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Next recruiting class has historic potential if Buckeyes close strong

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 asks about the Class of 2021 and its ability to finish as one of the best Buckeyes recruiting classes ever.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

A rudimentary scan of the country’s best recruiting classes in the last 15 years shows that in the 2018 recruiting cycle, Georgia finished with a whopping seven 5-star signees, the most of any program in one class during that timeframe. A number of programs have reeled in six in one year during that time, with Alabama doing it multiple times recently.

Ohio State’s highest total in one class is five. That was the 2017 recruiting class that included Chase Young, Jeffrey Okudah, Shaun Wade, Wyatt Davis and Baron Browning. That class also included players like Trevon Grimes, Tate Martell and Josh Myers, each of whom also spent time in the 5-star club throughout their recruitments but ultimately finished outside of that ranking when the final numbers came.

As we look back at historic Ohio State recruiting classes, it’s worth noting that the final two of Urban Meyer’s tenure were two of the top three-ranked recruiting classes in modern football recruiting on a per-player basis.

The point is to make sure readers understand that the bar is set pretty high when it comes to comparing classes against one another. Hell, even the 2013 recruiting class which finished second nationally in the 247Sports.com composite rankings only had two 5-star signees: Vonn Bell and Jalin Marshall. That class, which included NFL first-round draft picks Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Darron Lee, Billy Price, Eli Apple and Gareon Conley, may be hard to beat when it comes to production and living up to star status.

While we can’t compare production yet, we can look at the Class of 2021 and see the potential for something truly historic at Ohio State — if the Buckeyes can close the class as they’ve started with Ryan Day bringing in a few of the remaining 5-star talents that he and his staff are targeting.

Lettermen Row talked about this topic close to a month ago, highlighting a handful of the remaining 5-star targets that Ohio State is recruiting. But today we’re going to take it even a little further, and using the 247Sports.com Class Calculator, determine exactly how a potential Buckeyes 2021 class would finish in the historical rankings.

Now, none of these non-committed selections are sure things. But Lettermen Row feels good enough about each and the current status in their recruitments to suggest that it’s realistic to consider the player eventually picking Ohio State. We are utilizing the industry-composite rankings here in order to level the playing field and give the most accurate composite ranking.

Ohio State commitments, current:

  • QB Kyle McCord • ★★★★★
  • WR Jayden Ballard • ★★★★
  • WR Marvin Harrison • ★★★★
  • TE Sam Hart • ★★★
  • OL Donovan Jackson • ★★★★
  • OL Ben Christman • ★★★★
  • DE Jack Sawyer • ★★★★★
  • DL Michael Hall • ★★★★
  • LB Reid Carrico • ★★★★
  • DB Jaylen Johnson • ★★★

This current crop of commits has a 95.61 per player average, which would best the 2017 class at Ohio State and be the best in modern recruiting history using that metric.

So who is a real option to join them?

Ohio State targets who are realistic eventual commitments

I’m going to suggest that the 2021 class ends up at 24 players, so let’s scour the remaining targets and see who fits as a potential commitment, add them to the current group and see how the Buckeyes could finish up in this cycle.

  • RB Donovan Edwards • ★★★★
  • RB Evan Pryor • ★★★★
  • WR Emeka Egbuka • ★★★★★
  • TE Jack Pugh • ★★★★
  • OL JC Latham • ★★★★
  • OL. Jager Burton • ★★★★
  • DL J.T. Tuimoloau • ★★★★★
  • DL Demeioun Robinson • ★★★★
  • DL Marcus Bradley • ★★★★
  • LB • Barrett Carter • ★★★★
  • DB • Jakailin Johnson • ★★★★
  • DB • Jordan Hancock • ★★★★
  • DB • Derrick Davis • ★★★★
  • DB • Devonta Smith • ★★★

Some of the names selected here are almost interchangeable with other similarly-ranked players. Some, like Jack Pugh and Devonta Smith, don’t yet have offers but are in-state prospects who seem to have a real chance of landing one this summer. That group, as it stands, would bring Ohio State up to four 5-star commitments in 2021 — but with a total class score of 325.30, which would surpass Urban Meyer’s 2010 Florida class as the best in modern history.

The per-player average for this hypothetical recruiting class? 95.73. The Buckeyes 2017 class, the highest-rated modern class: 94.6.

So to answer the original question: Could Ohio State land more 5-stars in the Class of 2021 than anyone ever has? Sure, they could. That’d require the addition of guys like Tristan Leigh, Tunmise Adeleye and Tony Grimes in place of other players on the list above. But to finish with the best recruiting class in modern history, they don’t need the 5-stars. They need to keep themselves right where they are with the players they’ve already spent years building a relationship and eventually land those signatures.


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.