Head coach Urban Meyer and Ohio State, to put it lightly, are rolling on the recruiting trail for this year's cycle. The Buckeyes' class currently features 16 members and all but two are of the blue-chip variety at this moment. Highlighting the group is the trio of five-star prospects: defensive end Brenton Cox of Stockbridge (GA), athlete Jaelen Gill of Westerville South (OH), and defensive tackle Taron Vincent of IMG Academy (FL). They also have four guys that were this close to achieving five-star status in Georgia quarterback Emory Jones, Virginia linebacker Teradja Mitchell, New York tight end Jeremy Ruckert and California safety Jaiden Woodbey.
Right now, Ohio State has the top recruiting class in the country with 288.00 points. Not to be forgotten, the Buckeyes still have a lengthy list of elite prospects that they are in strong position for in hopes of bringing them to Columbus. But just how good could this class end up come National Signing Day?
|Taron Vincent||DT||IMG Academy (FL)||✩✩✩✩✩||0.9934|
|Brenton Cox||DE||Stockbridge (GA)||✩✩✩✩✩||0.9884|
|Jaelen Gill||ATH||Westerville South (OH)||✩✩✩✩✩||0.9838|
|Emory Jones||QB||Heard County (GA)||✩✩✩✩||0.9812|
|Jaiden Woodbey||S||St. John Bosco (CA)||✩✩✩✩||0.9803|
|Teradja Mitchell||LB||Bishop Sullivan Catholic (VA)||✩✩✩✩||0.9762|
|Jeremy Ruckert||TE||Lindenhurst (NY)||✩✩✩✩||0.9737|
|Matthew Jones||OG||Erasmus Hall (NY)||✩✩✩✩||0.9693|
|Brian Snead||RB||Armwood (FL)||✩✩✩✩||0.9605|
|Max Wray||OT||Franklin (TN)||✩✩✩✩||0.9589|
|Josh Proctor||S||Owasso (OK)||✩✩✩✩||0.9574|
|Dallas Gant||LB||St. John's Jesuit (OH)||✩✩✩✩||0.9403|
|K'Vaughan Pope||LB||Dinwiddie County (VA)||✩✩✩✩||0.9304|
|Sevyn Banks||CB||Jones (FL)||✩✩✩✩||0.9109|
|Master Teague||RB||Blackman (TN)||✩✩✩||0.8814|
|Marcus Hooker||CB||New Castle (PA)||✩✩✩||0.8603|
Meyer has a history
If you sort through years and years of 247Sports Composite Team Rankings, which dates back until 1999, the year 2010 will catch your eye. That’s because Florida’s class that year, Urban Meyer’s final class in Gainesville, has actually received the most points of any recruiting class since the industry has began ranking them. That Gators' class of 28, featured guys like Ronald Powell, Dominique Easley, Shariff Floyd, Matt Elam, and a host of other highly rated prospects and ended up garnering 324.62 points.
So, the question here is simple: Is it possible that Ohio State could actually surpass that mark and finish with the highest-graded recruiting class ever? Yes, they can.
The most likely scenario would be if the Buckeyes could reel in three more five-star guys in Pennsylvania defensive end Micah Parsons, in-state offensive tackle Jackson Carman, and Texas cornerback Anthony Cook. This definitely seems to be a tall task for Ohio State but the Buckeyes are presently the 247Sports Crystal Ball favorites for all three of the elite talents.
At wide receiver, the Scarlet and Gray would like to add four-star Kamryn Babb of Christian Brothers College (MO), who just suffered an unfortunate ACL tear that will finish his high school career but he is undoubtedly the top pass-catching target on Ohio State’s board. Another would be L’Christian “Blue” Smith of Wayne High School in Dayton, which is just about an hour away from Ohio Stadium.
With an already loaded haul in the front seven, the Buckeyes are also focused on in-state defensive end Tyreke Smith of Cleveland Heights High School. Smith, much like the other five players mentioned above, is also expected to choose Ohio State when all is said and done.
For the time being however, with last night’s departure of defensive end Andrew Chatfield who is expected to head to Florida, Ohio State would likely have to add another prospect outside of these six to join the class.
Can they pull it off?
Not only is this a realistic scenario, some would call this one of the more likely finishes to the 2018 class. In the event that those six that we focused on did make the call for the Buckeyes, it would put the class at 323.52 points right now, which would fall just short of Florida’s record mark. That would mean Ohio State would have to keep everyone currently committed on board and while there have been some worries with Emory Jones of late, though I believe they are overblown, and even with Chatfield now out, the chance is still very much alive.
As stated above, the Buckeyes still might have to add another prospect outside of the six mentioned above. I say might because senior seasons are right around the corner for these kids. Rankings are going to change multiple times before National Signing Day this upcoming February. Some players will see increases, which I believe someone like Master Teague is surely in-line for, and some players will see their current grades take a hit.
The good news here is that Ohio State also has some other guys that are still very in much in play outside of the main six that could help boost them past that Gators’ class. Some other names to watch would include offensive tackle William Barnes, cornerback Tyson Campbell, wide receiver Jahan Dotson, linebacker Christopher Oats, defensive end Jayson Oweh, defensive tackle Tommy Togiai, linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu, and more.
One thing you always have to be aware of in recruiting is that you can never count out Urban Meyer. It will be interesting to see just how close Ohio State actually gets to the top spot.