There are a lot of great places to get Ohio State recruiting news. Lettermen Row brings the best Buckeyes analysts to one spot for a pressing question on the Buckeyes every Friday at 3:oo p.m. Check in weekly for thoughts from some of the country’s most respected college football recruiting analysts about all kinds of Ohio State-related questions. This week we’ll discuss whether the Buckeyes have a chance to overtake Michigan as the Big Ten’s best 2019 recruiting class.
Welcome to this week’s Lettermen Row 3 for 3.
After dominating the Big Ten on the recruiting trail every single year since his arrival at Ohio State, Urban Meyer finds himself in an unusual position: Trailing the Michigan Wolverines.
Not on the field, of course. But right now, the Buckeyes are behind in the recruiting rankings. As of today, the Buckeyes have the Big Ten’s third-ranked recruiting class, trailing Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines andJames Franklin’s Penn State Nittany Lions.
Yes, things have been kind of slow for Ohio State on the recruiting trail in 2019, and that’s not even really related to the events of the last month and a half. It’s just been the natural state of things this cycle, though the reasons for that are varied. Still, it’s only September and there are five months to February when the class will be complete.
For Ohio State fans, however, it’s an uncomfortable reality based on how Meyer’s tenure has gone in Columbus. That leads us to today’s 3 for 3 question:
Do you think Ohio State will finish the 2019 recruiting cycle with the Big Ten’s best class? How can they pass Michigan?
Andrew Ellis, elevenwarriors.com:
At this point I’m actually leaning toward Ohio State not ending up with the No. 1 class in the Big Ten. However, I do think they will have the best class in the conference. Basically what I’m saying is this: I believe Michigan will end up with a bigger class and thus could very well have a higher score in the team rankings. The Buckeyes, however, should have the top-rated class in terms of average rating per player.
I have long assumed that Ohio State would sign a full class of 25, but I’m now having serious doubts for a few reasons. Primarily because there’s only 14 in the fold now and – outside of a few big names – I’m not seeing too many likely additions between now and February. A lot is bound to change in the coming months (as it always does), but overall I think it’s a bit of a weak class and there’s a very real chance the staff won’t push for someone just to add another warm body.
The Buckeyes should add Jameson Williams in the near future and all eyes will continue to be on Zach Harrison. Outside of that, there will still be needs at wideout, defensive back and in the trenches. Ohio State will sign yet another talented class, but there’s a lot of work to be done and there are a number of factors that may put an end to Urban Meyer’s reign atop the Big Ten recruiting rankings.
Alex Gleitman, Bucknuts.com:
I definitely think Ohio State can finish with the top class in the Big Ten this cycle.
In fact. I would say it’s likely they do just that. Right now they’re not too far behind Michigan for that designation, and the Wolverines have 9 more commits than the Buckeyes. Urban Meyer always does his best work late in the cycle and I expect just as much this year.
We can go through a bunch of names like Jameson Williams, Zach Harrison, and others, but to me, just knowing how Meyer operates on the recruiting trail, once they get their numbers up, this class will be the best of the Big Ten.
Birm, Lettermen Row:
It’s very unusual to see Ohio State in this position, for sure. We’ve mentioned here at Lettermen Row dozens of times over the last few months that, in general, this 2019 recruiting class isn’t exactly a great class. That being the case, the Buckeyes have had a decided lack of momentum over the last few months, and I think a lot of that starts with Zach Harrison’s delayed decision. Adding him to the class in August could’ve served as a major boost heading into the season, but I believe seeing a local guy like him delay his pick may provide a reason for national players interested in the Buckeyes to do the same thing.
Why? That’s clearly a personal choice for each player, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Ohio State should get off the schneid sometime soon with Jameson Williams, and if that happens other players may get the idea that it’s OK to once again say yes to the Buckeyes. Michigan has nine more commitments than Ohio State, and Penn State has just two more — but the Buckeyes have a run in them over the next few months.
If Ohio State were to add just Zach Harrison and Jameson Williams, they’d pass the Wolverines and retake first place in the conference. Then add in other players like Wandale Robinson, D’Von Ellies, Brenton Strange and others, and the Buckeyes could pull away. I think it’s reasonable to assume they’ll find a way to leapfrog Michigan in the next few months, presuming that Harbaugh doesn’t turn over a few of his lower-rated recruits in order to replace them with higher-ranked guys, as he usually does.