It’s now been 48 hours since Ohio State’s football program signed pretty much all of their 2019 recruiting class. A class that has presented some mixed emotions to many, it’s still impressive and that’s just the cold hard truth. In fact, the class is so impressive that it boasts the fourth highest average player ranking in the country. While it’s ranked at 12th nationally by 247sports, keep in mind the number crunch the Buckeyes are seeing this cycle. When you do the math, it’s obvious that other programs have “higher” ranked classes, but it doesn’t mean the players are better. When you sign 25-plus guys your overall score will be higher. For the Buckeyes though, be proud. It was quality over quantity this cycle due to the youth of their current roster and that should do nothing but excite you. As Ryan Day and his staff look to fill the few holes still in the class before February, there’s some ideas to where he may start to look.
An in-state move?
One prospect they don’t need to dig too deep for is right down I-70 West in Dayton, Ohio just over an hour from campus. Dayton Dunbar prospect Jonathan Allen has a long recruiting history with Ohio State. Over the summer it was pretty much Ohio State as the main school linked to Allen. A player with several encounters with this Buckeye staff, Jonathan knows Ohio State and they know him. In fact, they may know him better than any other recruit on the offensive line that’s unsigned and still available in the class.
Having camped at Ohio State multiple times, Allen has really done all that the Buckeyes coaching staff has asked of him. He’s been a player that has seen some mixed reviews and has long thought to be a guy that’s not a guaranteed “take” in 2019. For a while, it was the Buckeyes staff that was wanting Allen to compete and camp to develop and show the coaches what he has to offer. With the Buckeyes cooling on him after the summer camp season, the writing was pretty much on the wall that he may not have been a player Ohio State wanted to take at the time or thought they could find another player at the position with more upside. Whatever the case, the lines of communication could “possibly” come open again.
Allen is the highest rated recruit left in the state at his position that is not already signed to their school of choice. Of course there’s no word that the Buckeyes are back in play for Allen, but if the offensive line is truly a priority for 2019 and it sure seems to be, Allen is a guy they already know very well and he’s local enough that he could get back to campus at any time. If the Buckeyes don’t go this route, it’s also possible they could take a look nationally at the remaining guys unsigned.
Another option in the secondary
It’s doubtful, but if you somehow needed more proof at how incredible former cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs was for Ohio State, look no further than right now. That’s no slight against current position coach Taver Johnson, but the reality is that Coombs was not only a developer at the highest level, but he could also recruit with the best of them—which is why Coombs had multiple years in a row with first round draft picks in the NFL. The challenge though is getting back to that level regardless of who the position coach is.
This year in the 2019 cycle, Jordan Battle’s signing day flip to Alabama over Ohio State wasn’t a surprise, but in all honesty, it still hurt this class and at a real position of need. With Battle being out though the Buckeyes have to look elsewhere and with so many prospects already signed with other programs, it’s going to be tough to land the typical four-star the Buckeyes have come so used to bringing in each and every year. If they do though, Florida, which is home to Jordan Battle, may be the very place the Buckeye staff goes back to as they try to take care of a need in their defensive secondary recruiting.
Yesterday, we talked about one option in Kaiir Elam. Now, let’s look at another option.
Tyrique Stevenson, a higher ranked four-star and the fourth best corner in the country, according to 247sports, has been most notably linked to Georgia, but as the Buckeyes look to zero in on possible guys, Tyrique is too good of a player to not at least give it a shot. Georgia does have one corner already committed for their 2019 class, and with over 20 guys in the class, maybe a numbers crunch could help Ohio State. It’s pretty easy to see why Georgia would make room for him regardless; the pitch Ohio State can offer is their success with Florida natives and the ability to come in and compete as the only corner in their 2019 class.