Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class is shaping up to be one of the best in the program’s history. With six five-star commitments, the Buckeyes have been able to successfully bring in players of an elite caliber. On Monday, two of the classes biggest members were recognized as the Gatorade Player of the Year for their respective states.
Four-star quarterback Tate Martell (Las Vegas, NV / Bishop Gorman) and five-star defensive back Shaun Wade (Jacksonville, FL / Trinity Christian Academy) were recognized as winners of the award, which were announced via HUDL.
For Martell, this is the second time he has been honored with the prestigious award. The four-star QB led the Bishop Gorman Gaels to a third-straight national championship this season and has accounted for more than 60 touchdowns in his renowned career.
The accolade was a first for Wade, who reaffirmed his commitment with the Buckeyes late Monday afternoon. The blue-chip prospect comes in as the fourth best DB in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, and is the No. 22 player in the 2017 class. Wade originally committed to Ohio State in January 2015, but continued to visit other programs throughout the past two years. Alabama was seen as the best bet to flip Wade, but in the end, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes prevailed.
Along with Martell and Wade, another big-time target for Ohio State in the 2017 class received the accolade for best player in the state. Five-star running back Cam Akers (Clinton, MS / Clinton) was the recipient of the award for Mississippi. While it would be surprising to see the No. 2 overall RB in the class and the fourth-best player overall choose Ohio State, the Buckeyes are still very much in play.
Donovan Peoples-Jones sets announcement date
The Buckeyes have already been able to secure two of the country’s top five wideouts in this year’s recruiting class, but it appears Urban Meyer is doing his best to add another one.
Meyer and Buckeye Nation would love to see the No. 1 wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (Detroit, MI / Cass Tech) join Tyjon Lindsey and Trevon Grimes. However, Michigan has been the team to beat in his recruitment for a while now, and it would be very surprising to see him commit anywhere else at this point.
That being said, Meyer has been able to pull off crazier things in the past, and he is doing his due diligence to try and pull off a miracle of sorts. As we reported earlier, Meyer and his coaching staff traveled to The State of North this past weekend for an impromptu in-home visit with Peoples-Jones and it seemed to go over well.
Fast forward to Monday and we are now in a recruiting dead period, meaning coaches cannot physically speak with recruits. With that in mind, Peoples-Jones confirmed that he will be announcing his decision this Thursday.
Regarding Donovan Peoples-Jones' commitment on TV, it is not on ESPNU, it's on ESPN. It will be on 8:30pm on Thursday on RecruitingNation— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) December 12, 2016
This is definitely one to keep an eye on, as People-Jones is one of the best overall players in this class and to secure three of the top five WRs in a class would be game-changing for an already elite program.
While Michigan is the likely choice, Meyer and the Buckeyes can’t be counted out.
Ohio State is all over the new Rivals Top100 for 2018
Rivals’ updated recruiting rankings for the 2018 recruiting class onMonday, and the list is littered with Ohio State commitments and targets.
Both of Ohio State’s commitments for the class were recognized as top 20 players, as five-star QB Emory Jones (Franklin, GA / Heard County) came in at No. 14 and four-star RB Brian Snead (Seffner, FL / Armwood) was listed at No. 18.
Also making the cut were plenty of Ohio State targets, including the No. 2 overall player in Jackson Carman (Fairfield, OH / Fairfield). Carman is a five-star offensive tackle and is a heavy Buckeye lean at this point. The Buckeyes will need to continue recruiting Carman though, as he has offers from pretty much every recognized program in the country.
There were also plenty of other Ohio State targets to make the list Monday. And as Mark Gilver of BuckeyeGrove.com put it, the Buckeyes have a realistic shot with at least 11 of the top 25 prospects.