Every day, something seems to change in the world of college football recruiting. Ohio State certainly isn’t exempt from the tumult that can make or break a recruiting class, but for the most part, the Buckeyes have been able to maintain their spot atop the Big Ten’s recruiting rankings.
Every year since Urban Meyer’s arrival, Ohio State has finished with the conference’s top-ranked recruiting class but is struggling to maintain that spot to this point in 2019.
What players would ensure another first-place finish? There are dozens of prospects still getting major attention from Ohio State, so as we try to pare down the list to just a few key names, we have to acknowledge that things — as always — can change.
Here’s the Lettermen Row most wanted recruits for the Buckeyes class of 2019, as of Oct. Nov. 2, 2018.
Previously, defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele and cornerback Kaiir Elam were on this list, but they’ve dropped off as new names have been added.
- On Oct. 12, 2018, this list was updated and tight end Brenton Strange, defensive tackle Tyler Davis and running back Trey Sanders were removed. Strange has committed to Penn State, Davis has eliminated Ohio State and will decide between Clemson and Florida State and the Buckeyes appear to have more interest in other running backs ahead of Sanders.
- On Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, this list was once again updated and dropped from a Top 10 most wanted to a Top Nine list instead. Wandale Robinson, who checked in at No. 2, was removed following his commitment to Kentucky and Peyton Powell, an athlete from Texas, was removed after committing the Longhorns. North Carolina defensive tackle Jaden McKenzie was removed as well. Two new names, offensive lineman Nick Broeker and defensive tackle Cavon Butler, were added to the list.
No surprise here, Zach Harrison, the 5-star defensive end from Olentangy (Ohio) Orange High School is the most important recruit on the board for Ohio State in 2019.
The Buckeyes are fighting off Michigan and Penn State to land him. A decision will come whenever Harrison has made up his mind, and he’s already made an official visit to all three of his top schools.
Harrison took an unofficial visit to Penn State on Sept. 29 and to Michigan on Oct. 13 and returned to Ohio State on Nov. 3 for the Buckeyes home game against Nebraska.
Right now, there isn’t a lot of reason for optimism on the Harrison front, but Urban Meyer and Larry Johnson aren’t walking away.
A Miami commitment, Crowley has quickly become a hot target for Ohio State after the Buckeyes lost running back commitment Sampson James to Indiana.
A former teammate of current Buckeyes Shaun Wade and Tyreke Johnson, Crowley is making an official visit to Ohio State on the weekend of Nov. 3 and the Buckeyes are hoping that they can pull of a quick flip of the 6-foot-1, 200-pound tailback.
For Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class to end up a success, they’ll need to find a way to lock in one of their running back targets from here on in.
A new addition to this list is recent offer Tommy Eichenberg.
A 3-star linebacker committed to Boston College, Eichenberg has been a force in the middle for St. Ignatius High School and has shown himself to be too good for the Buckeyes to consider passing up.
Eichenberg visited Michigan the weekend of Nov. 2, and the Wolverines are definitely in the mix. He’ll be in Columbus for an Ohio State visit on Nov. 24.
The Buckeyes are searching far and wide for another offensive tackle and the country’s No. 2-ranked player at that position is Wright, who has visited Ohio State regularly for the last two years.
Alabama and Tennessee are the main competition for Ohio State, and right now the Buckeyes are probably slightly trailing that pair.
He has an official visit to Ohio State remaining, if he chooses to take it. There’s not much of a chance Wright ends up at Ohio State, but he’s the best available player at a position of major need, so he stays on the list.
Thanks to the decommitment of Avon (Ind.) running back Sampson James, Ohio State once again finds itself in the hunt for a running back and in my opinion, Noah Cain is the one at the top of the list.
The Buckeyes never stopped recruiting Cain, and he’ll take an official visit on Nov. 24, but LSU, Texas and others may have a slight advantage at the moment. He will make his college decision on Dec. 21, 2018.
This spot on the list could just as easily be filled by Katy, Texas 4-star running back Deondrick Glass, who visits Ohio State officially the weekend of Nov. 2.
Toledo’s Cavon Butler was offered by Ohio State during a visit to the school on Oct. 6, 2018 and the talented defensive lineman has become a real option for the Buckeyes since.
Butler is committed to Kentucky, but he will visit Ohio State and Michigan State at some point this winter. He also visited Kentucky over the weekend of Nov. 2. Ultimately, his spot in the Buckeyes recruiting class may be a matter of him taking care of some academic issues that plagued him earlier in his high school career.
The Buckeyes could’ve had a commitment from Ellies in late July had they decided to accept it, but now — thanks to recent offers from Florida and Penn State — the waters are a bit muddied in this race.
The Maryland native doesn’t have the recruiting accolades, but the country’s No. 27-ranked defensive tackle has big offers and more are going to come his way as he enters his senior season.
Ellies will make his official visit to Ohio State the weekend of Nov. 24.
The Buckeyes have failed in their efforts — so far — to flip offensive guard Nick Samac from Michigan State and are now trying to accomplish that feat with Strongsville’s J.D. Duplain.
They offered the interior lineman in early October and he immediately made a return visit to Michigan State but has not yet shut down his recruitment. That’s a pretty good sign for Ohio State, if you’re into reading tea leaves.
The optimism around an eventual flip will grow exponentially if and when Duplain makes a visit to Ohio State. If he does that, a flip should follow soon after.
Ohio State recently offered Broeker, an Ole Miss commitment, and he’s told Lettermen Row that the two sides have been in regular contact since. To this point though, Broeker has not yet visited Columbus but intends to do that whenever his high school football season is over.
Broeker, the country’s No. 65-ranked offensive tackle, is Illinois’ ninth-ranked player in the Class of 2019. He committed to the Rebels in June.