We have finally reached the early signing period in college football. It’s uncharted territory, as something like this hasn’t been done before.
On the bright side, though, it seems like the Ohio State Buckeyes have a handle on things. Going into the the signing period, the Bucks are projected to have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. According to 247sports, Urban Meyer’s squad is projected to get 17 recruits to submit their Letter of Intent over the course of the next few days.
We know some of the best will be coming to Columbus, however, there are still storylines unfolding. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
The Cali Kid
Five-star safety Jaiden Woodbey has the makings of an elite college football player to be. The question is simply: what program will he be playing for. Over the last few days, roughly nine Crystal Ball picks on 247sports have pointed to the five-star being part of either USC or Florida State.
Back on Sept. 8, Woodbey made his official visit to Ohio State. However, recents visits with the Trojans and Seminoles have put them at the forefront of the race for the defensive back. In his senior campaign on the high school circuit, the California native had 57 tackles, a fumble recovery, and two interceptions.
Woodbey was an Ohio State verbal commit, but now it looks like the tide has turned against the Buckeyes. If there is a silver lining, it’s that the Buckeyes would still have the No. 1 class if Woodbey in fact didn’t sign to be a Buckeye. USC and FSU have top-50 recruiting classes, but neither are in the top-25 right now.
Keeping talent in the state
With Woodbey being a West Coast kid, it wouldn’t be a shock if he stayed close to home for college. If we’re using that logic, then it wouldn’t be a surprise if the No. 1 prospect in Ohio, Jackson Carman, signed on to be a Buckeye.
USC is in the running for the five-star offensive tackle, too, and we’ll find out at 10 a.m. ET whether or not he will make the trek out west, or if he chooses Ohio State. (There’s also a slim chance he goes somewhere else).
Unlike Woodbey, a miss on Carman would be a huge blow to Ohio State, as they would’ve failed to keep the best player in the state. Meyer has made it a point to get Ohio prospects, and a potential miss on the best OT in the class would be a huge setback.
But let’s look on the positive. If Carman does come to OSU, he would be the highest graded prospect in the class, according to 247sports. If Woodbey does commit to another school, a Carman commitment to the Bucks would basically offset that from a class rankings standpoint.
A crowded QB room
At 11:30 a.m., we’ll also find out where four-star Emory Jones will be signing his Letter of Intent. Like Woodbey, he’s verbally committed to the Buckeyes, but recent developments have shifted toward the Georgia native staying in SEC territory.
Florida is seen as a very real landing spot for the dual threat QB. The overwhelming majority of Crystal Ball predictions for Jones have him headed to the Gators—with the latest of those predictions coming on Dec.18.
The saga of whether or not Jones was actually going to stay with the Buckeyes has been going on for quite some time. He’s been verbally committed to the program since Sept. 30, but his visit to Alabama back in October sparked a belief that he was looking to go elsewhere when the signing day actually arrived.
The quarterback room at OSU is already packed. Joe Burrow, Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell already occupy room, with Haskins looking to be the starter heading into next season.
If Jones does in fact sign somewhere else, how bad does this affect OSU’s ranking in the recruiting race? According to the 247sports calculator, it’ll have a small effect, considering Jones was a top-6 commit for Ohio State. But, if Woodbey, Carman and Jones all decide to not become Buckeyes and all things stay equal with the other schools, then it appears that Ohio State would have a slim lead for the best recruiting class through the early signing period.
Recruiting is a very fluid situation. We’ll see how it all breaks down over the next 72 hours.