On Monday, the Buckeyes had quite the memorable night as they claimed their eighth National Championship with a win in Arlington over the Oregon Ducks. But not only did Ohio State secure their first National Championship in the Urban Meyer era, they also received commitments from three prospects; '16 RB Kareem Walker, '17 ATH Bruce Judson and '17 CB Shaun Wade.
But they weren't the only ones that were tuned into the big game. I caught up with many of the best high school football players who hold an offer from the Scarlet and Gray to get their reaction to the win.
Austrian Robinson, 2015 DE, Trinity-Pawling (NY)
Robinson, a three-star prospect from New York, came away very impressed with the win. "They played really good as a team on both sides of the ball," Robinson said. The second overall player in New York continued by saying "They were locked in and ready to go the whole game." Robinson is scheduled to make an official visit to to Columbus on January 30th. The good news for Ohio State is that they will get the final official visit from him and as things stand, they will have to overtake Maryland for the top spot in his recruitment.
Amani Bledsoe, 2016 DE, Lawrence (KS)
"I thought they played a great four quarters and didn't let up," Bledsoe said. The four-star prospect and Kansas' best player in the 2016 cycle also admired the Buckeyes ability to remain connected through taxing times. "Good job sticking together after all of the turnovers and anchoring on defense."
Parker Boudreaux, 2016 OT, Bishop Moore Catholic (FL)
The overall 208th ranked player in the 2016 class thought last night's win for Ohio State was "absolutely amazing." Boudreaux is a four-star prospect and holds about 50 offers from programs around the country. "They sure do deserve it," the Orlando native told Land Grant Holy-Land. Leading the way in the Buckeyes pursuit for Boudreaux would be TE coach Tim Hinton and OL coach Ed Warinner. Boudreaux finished by saying "They completely out-teamed them."
Liam Eichenberg , 2016 OT, St. Ignatius (OH)
One of the bigger targets in 2016 class comes in the form of in-state, 6'6, 280-pounder Liam Eichenberg. Among the list of top juniors in Ohio, you'll find the St. Ignatius big man sitting at seventh. The nations 10th ranked offensive tackle for next year kept things short and sweet on Ohio State's 42-20 victory over Oregon. "If I want to win, I know where to go," the four-star prospect said. Eichenberg will be on campus on the 25th for Ohio State's Junior Day.
Jordan Fuller, 2016 ATH/QB, Northern Valley (NJ)
"I thought it was a great win," Fuller said. One thing that stuck out to the 6'2, 190-pounder was the Buckeyes ability to bounce back after committing four turnovers. "Everybody came together when mistakes were made and their defense played really well." The 6th ranked player in New Jersey hit the nail on the head. Holding Oregon, the No. 1 team in total offense, to just 20 points went a long way in Ohio State coming out victorious on Monday night. Fuller finished by saying the win for the Buckeyes was "great to see."
Eddie McDoom, 2016 WR, West Orange (FL)
"I got to give Ohio State a huge thumbs up after that game," McDoom told me. Despite growing up a fan of Oregon, the three-star recruit admitted that the Buckeyes had their way with the Ducks. The Floridian went on to say that Ohio State "controlled the game on both sides of the ball." The West Orange pass catcher added that he hated seeing Oregon come up short but he loved the way Ohio State came out. "It showed me a lot," McDoom concluded.
Steven Smothers, 2016 WR, Franklin (MD)
This four-star speedster from Maryland wasn't shocked at how the game unfolded on Monday. "They did what I expected," Smothers said. As we all know, Oregon had a tough time dealing with sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott, who piled up 246 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries. Smothers took notice, like the rest of us did. "(They would) run the ball five yards a pop and Oregon couldn't stop it."
Nigel Warrior, 2016 SAF, Westlake (GA)
The outcome wasn't a surprising one for Atlanta native Nigel Warrior either. "From the start, I knew that Ohio State would win because of the physicality and speed that they had." The Buckeyes were the very first program to extended an offer to Warrior and he has checked out the campus previously. The four-star ended by saying "they earned that win and that's why they are the best of the best."
Robert Washington, 2016 RB, Southlake Christian (NC)
"I felt like Ohio State's style just over powered Oregon," Washington said. The seventh ranked junior in North Carolina and 15th ranked back in his class had to have come away impressed with the running success the Buckeyes had on Monday. The 5'10, 215-pounder was most recently on the Columbus campus in November for "The Game" against Michigan. Much like Smothers and Warrior, this is what Washington was expecting. "I was not surprised by the victory."
Maleik Gray, 2017 ATH, Lavergne (TN)
Gray started by saying "I think that Ohio State was the better team." Despite being projected to wind up at Tennessee, which is the in-state school, Ohio State has been intrigued with Gray. The Lavergne standout is currently listed as the 26th best player in 2017, as well as the best at the "athlete" position and in the state. Gray had his eyes locked in on the National Championship game and noted that "Oregon could not handle (Elliott)."
Anthony Hines, 2017 OLB, Plano East (TX)
"Ohio State had a great season and executed to a tee in the National Championship," the former Mississippi State commit told me. Hines, who is currently graded as a four-star prospect, also talked up Luke Fickell's linebacker unit. "I was mostly impressed by the LB's dominating performance."
Jordan McNair, 2017 OT, McDonogh School (MD)
"I thought it was a great team win," the four-star prospect said. McNair also raved about the performance up front on the offense line stating "The offensive line really stepped up and took over the game." He continued by saying "They dominated up front." McNair also came away impressed with the adjustments in the second half, which put the cap on the game. "They really established the run game in the second half and were able to adjust to the tempo of Oregon."
Will Lawrence, 2018 OT, Harding Academy (TN)
Lawrence will be a household name and one of the top offensive tackles in the 2018 class. The 6'4", 260-pounder already claims offers from 10 Power Five programs. The Buckeyes sent out an offer to Lawrence about one month ago, so surely he was tuned in on Monday. "I thought that Ohio State played an incredible game and I was very impressed by their offensive line," the Memphis native stated. Lawrence also brought up perhaps the most impressive thing about this years Buckeye team when he said "I heard that Coach (Ed) Warinner had to replace four offensive lineman this year, which makes it even more amazing." Sure enough, Ohio State came into the season with only one returning starter in Taylor Decker.
Ricky Slade, 2018 RB, C.D. Hylton (VA)
Slade quickly brought up the success that the Buckeyes had on offense. "Their offense was really clicking." Another thing that stood out to the high school freshman was the ability to hold the Ducks to only 20 points but partly because of what they were able to do on offense. "(The offense) did an awesome job of keeping Oregon's offense off of the field." It's worth mentioning that Slade was teammates with current Ohio State commit Matthew Burrell this past season. The Virginia prospect is definitely one to keep an eye on in future years.