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.
C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba earn five-star rating
The rankings don’t matter. Once each of Ohio State’s signees steps into the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, stars and composite rankings mean nothing.
But recruiting is the lifeblood of college football, and for the country’s top prospects, earning a fifth star from a major recruiting service is a big deal. C.J. Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are the latest Buckeyes signees to earn their fifth star. Their promotion to five-star status gives the Buckeyes four five-star prospects in the 2020 class, according to 247sports’ top 247 rankings, which were released Tuesday:
- Wide receiver Julian Fleming — No. 4 overall prospect
- Offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. — No. 8 overall prospect
- Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba — No. 15 overall prospect
- Quarterback C.J. Stroud — No. 29 overall prospect
The latest rankings also helped boost Smith-Njigba to five-star status on the 247sports composite rankings, although Stroud remains a four-star according to those composite rankings. Either way, the strength of Ohio State’s 2020 class was shown with Tuesday’s rankings release, as other Buckeyes saw their position among the country’s elite players rise.
Linebacker Cody Simon saw a 49-spot bump into the top 100, and Ryan Watts made his way into the top 150. 247sports also gave linebacker signee Mitchell Melton his fourth star, giving the Buckeyes an even stronger class.
Cameron Martinez reaffirms commitment to sign with Buckeyes
Ohio State’s 2020 class is now complete.
Cameron Martinez, a four-star athlete from Muskegon, Michigan, reaffirmed his commitment to the Buckeyes on Tuesday afternoon, giving them their 25th pledge in the class. Martinez will sign with the Buckeyes next week and join this summer as one of the final members of the class.
Martinez has been a priority for the Buckeyes for a long time now, one that Ryan Day and the Buckeyes coaches felt they had to have. Now, they have him, and Birm has every angle of Martinez’s final decision to stick with the Buckeyes.
Northwestern, Notre Dame, Minnesota and others, buoyed by the possibility of Martinez defecting in the wake of Jeff Hafley’s decision to leave the Buckeyes for Boston College, couldn’t convince the 5-foot-11, 195-pound athlete to change his mind.
That didn’t happen and the two-time Player of the Year in Michigan never made any other visits. Instead, he remained in regular conversation with Day and the Ohio State coaching staff. And in the end Martinez found that what had drawn him to the Buckeyes didn’t change — even though his position coach did.
For full coverage, check out Birm’s breakdown here.
Tim May, Joshua Perry break down Buckeyes outlook
Former Ohio State linebacker Joshua Perry joined the Tim May Podcast this week to break down Ryan Day’s first season as head coach at Ohio State. Perry, who can provide a unique perspective as an analyst for Big Ten Network and also an Ohio State alum, also provided commentary on the sudden passing of Kobe Bryant and his impact on the sports world. As always, Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward joined May to talk about the latest happenings within the Buckeyes football program.
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