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Is Ohio State making progress in getting an elite defensive end for the 2018 class?

Signs are pointing to yes.

SB Nation

Tuesday was a big day for the Ohio State Buckeyes. First they got a commit from four-star wideout Kamryn Babb. Then, they got another verbal commitment in four-star defensive tackle Tommy Togiai.

What are the odds that Urban Meyer’s crew can keep up the hot streak on the recruiting trail?

Well, according to the latest predictions from the 247sports Crystal Ball, another ‘Boom’ could be on the way. And this time, it may be in the defensive end position.

It’s a little less cloudy...

Four-star weak-side defensive end Tyreke Smith (Cleveland, OH / Cleveland Heights) is someone the Buckeyes have been locked-in on for quite some time. There’s only one problem though: Penn State is also locked-in on the Buckeye State product, too.

Close to 40 programs have made him an offer, including the likes of Alabama and Oregon. However, it’s being viewed as a Buckeye-Nittany Lion race for the third best player in Ohio.

On Wednesday night, a duo of predictions came in for Smith on 247sports’ Crystal Ball. (The Crystal Ball is a collection of predictions from recruiting experts). This is good news for OSU fans—as well as the program—as both predictions pointed to the Buckeyes being the ones that land Smith. Those predictions counter two predictions that went Penn State’s way on Dec. 11. Those PSU predictions make sense, as Smith took an official visit to Penn State on Dec. 8.

The recent predictions look good for the Scarlet and Gray. Now, can they seal the deal and get another top-100 player (Smith ranks 59th) in the 2018 class to commit?

If so, it’ll make Director of Player Personnel Mark Pantoni happy. This is what he tweeted on Tuesday night:

...and while we’re talking about the Crystal Ball

Another Buckeye target had votes casted on his Crystal Ball profile, too. This time around, it was four-star defensive tackle Tyler Friday. Friday is one of the top players from New Jersey in the 2018 recruiting class, and comes from Don Bosco Prep.

On Wednesday, a trio of predictions came in for Friday; two of them were in favor of Ohio State. They other vote was casted in favor of the Michigan Wolverines, a program that is seen as the leader for Friday. Currently, a total of 14 votes have been submitted for the Jersey native, with the Wolverines holding 11 of those votes—and the Buckeyes holding just two.

Even though the Buckeyes appear to be down in the Crystal Ball standings for Friday, having the latest picks fall their way appears to be a positive sign.

Teammates get OSU offers

As the 2018 class gets ready to enter the early signing period, that didn’t stop the Buckeyes from looking into the future.

Wide receiver Aydin Henningham (Boynton Beach, FL / Deerfield Beach) is a 2020 prospect that’s garnered attention (and offers) from the likes of Florida, Florida Atlantic and Virginia Tech. Wednesday night, he posted on Twitter of another offer—this one of a Scarlet and Gray variety.

Henningham wasn’t the only one from Deerfield Beach that got an OSU offer. Running back and fellow 2020 classmate Jaylan Knighton got one, too.

Just like his offensive teammate, news of Knighton’s offer was posted on Twitter.

The 5-foot-10 RB already holds 15 offers, including ones from both Iron Bowl programs, Auburn and Alabama.

Recruiting sites have neither graded Henningham nor Knighton, but the fact that they are getting offers from elite schools show that they’re the real deal.