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Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State taking steps to bolster future offensive line

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Dawand Jones has Ohio State as his top school. (Dawand Jones via Twitter)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State taking steps to bolster future offensive line

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise! Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more. 

OL recruiting progress

I’ll talk about each specifically in below sections, but the big news from Monday is that Ohio State’s future on the offensive line is starting to look less dire.

The Buckeyes are currently trying to work their way out of depth problems, especially at the tackle spots. As of now there will be just 11 scholarship offensive linemen on the roster in 2019, and two of those are fifth-year seniors. That means a race to add a couple more players to the 2019 class if possible as well as building on the 2020 class. The 2020 class offers some hope with 5-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson and 4-start center Luke Wypler both committed, but losing 4-star tackle Jake Wray after Urban Meyer’s retirement was a blow. However, Ohio State has had some positive developments in both recruiting classes recently:

  • The Buckeyes appear to be in solid position to land 2019 3-star offensive tackle Dawand Jones
  • Ohio State gained a commitment from 2020 3-star offensive tackle Jakob James on Monday

Let’s discuss both below.

Jakob James commits

Ohio State wants to land Ohio’s best football prospects, and the Buckeyes took another step toward achieving that goal when Cincinnati Elder 2020 offensive lineman Jakob James committed to the program.

James was offered early on Monday and wasted no time accepting his place in the rising 2020 recruiting class, becoming the second Cincinnati-area offensive lineman to commit to Ohio State, joining fellow Queen City prospect, 5-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson. James is Ohio’s 17th-ranked prospect in the Class of 2020, and though he plays offensive tackle at Elder, is likely to line up at guard for the Buckeyes. The Cincinnati star held offers from twenty programs, including Michigan, LSU, Boston College, Purdue, West Virginia, Nebraska and others.

“It’s really a dream come true,” James told Lettermen Row. “I just felt like it was the right place for me and it felt like home.”

Jakob James’ impact

Here’s part of what Lettermen Row recruiting czar Birm had to say about Jakob James and his fit at Ohio State:

At 6-foot-4 and 270-pounds, James is a big kid who is getting bigger. He’s an offensive tackle at Elder, but he’ll be a guard prospect for the Buckeyes and a player who has proven each time that coaches have seen him that he’s willing to do the little things to get better and be the type of player they want in their program.

James is versatile, athletic and has good upper-body strength that he uses to control his opponents at the point of attack. He will continue to grow and get stronger, and the fact that he has done that already is a major part of the why Ohio State offered today.

“One thing they want me to work on is putting on good weight,” James said in June. “Just keep working on my craft in the weight room and on the field.”

He weighed 245 pounds at that camp in June, so he’s taken Ohio State’s advice and run with it. He’s got a high floor as a prospect and is someone that plays much meaner than his nice guy off-the-field demeanor would indicate.

Dawand Jones has Ohio State No. 1

Dawand Jones, a 2019 3-star offensive tackle from Indianapolis Ben Davis, made an official visit to Ohio State this past weekend despite some rough weather. Jones spent most of his weekend with Buckeyes offensive lineman Josh Alabi, but also was happy to get to know players like Harry Miller and Doug Nester. Heavily recruited by Ryan Day and Wilson, Jones is confident that offensive line coach Greg Studrawa can get him to be the best lineman he can be, even if he hasn’t yet spent much time getting to know Studrawa.

“I haven’t spent a lot of time with [Studrawa],” he said. “But I know he can develop me like he’s done everybody else.”

At this point, the Buckeyes are well-positioned to land him when his decision comes in early February.

“Ohio State is still my top school,” he said. “It’s between Penn State and Florida for my last official visit.”

For a full Ohio State recruiting recap, check out the Monday edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes.

Which Young Bucks will make the leap?

The offseason is a time of hope and potential, but it’s also when young players start making moves. Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward took a look at five players from the Class of 2018 who could make a big jump heading into their second season of college football.

Counting down

  • Ohio State hoops vs. Purdue: 1 day
  • National Signing Day: 15 days

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Ryan Ginn

Ryan Ginn has covered Ohio State football and recruiting since 2013, having done so previously for Buckeye Sports Bulletin and Landof10.com. He is currently a student at Tulane Law School and resides in New Orleans, La.