And just like that, the 2018 recruiting cycle is in the rear-view mirror. National Signing Day 2018 is less than a week behind us and without skipping a beat, the Ohio State football coaching staff has already begun focusing on next year’s class and beyond.
Ohio State hosted a plethora of talent this past weekend that focused mainly on the offensive line. We briefly touched on this in the latter part of Monday’s State Secrets column and today we will be going more in depth on how some of the visits went.
2019 four-star offensive lineman Ryan Jacoby (Mentor, OH / Mentor) found his way to Ohio State this past weekend and has quickly emerged as a priority for Ohio State. Offered just last month, the budding relationship between Jacoby and Ohio State has strengthened in a short time
Bill Greene of Scout.com spoke with Jacoby following his first unofficial visit to the program and the weekend trip appears to have left a strong impression.
“I thought everything was amazing, and they are definitely towards the top of my list,” Jacoby told Greene when discussing his thoughts following his visit. “It’s too soon for me to even think of committing, and I want to see a few more of the schools that have offered.”
Jacoby listed both Purdue and Northwestern as schools he plans on visiting before making a decision and he also holds offers from programs like Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State and Oregon.
While Ohio State certainly appears to have a leg up on these other programs, it is still early in his recruitment.
One of the bigger names visiting Ohio State’s campus was 2020 offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. (Cincinnati, OH / St. Xavier). The Ohio native has been an Ohio State target for a long time and is quickly becoming one of the biggest priorities for the team in his class.
In fact, Johnson was the first recruit in the 2020 cycle to receive an official scholarship offer from Ohio State, receiving it in December of last year. Urban Meyer and his staff have become great at recognizing talent early on in the recruiting process, so Johnson being the first recruit to receive an offer from the Buckeyes speaks largely to how the staff views his potential.
Ohio State isn’t the only program to take notice of Johnson’s talent however. He has already racked up an impressive 19 reported offers with a list of suitors including the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Nothwestern, Notre Dame, Louisville, Clemson, Cincinnati and Iowa State.
This was Johnson’s second unofficial visit to the program and currently the Buckeyes have the edge in the 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions, holding 44-percent of the votes.
Of all the recruits to find themselves on Ohio State’s campus last weekend, there might not be a bigger name than Justin Rodgers (Oak Park, MI / Oak Park). The 2020 offensive guard has already earned a fourth star from 247Sports and is listed as the No. 1 OG in the country as well as the No. 25 overall recruit in his class.
Despite heralding from unfriendly territory, Rodgers has already unofficially visited Ohio State’s campus five times since receiving his offer letter in the summer of last year, including two visits since the start of the new year.
Because of this constant contact between the two, the Buckeyes are pegged as the runaway favorite to land to blue-chip prospect, holding 100-percent of the 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions.
However, Rodgers is attracting attention from some of the best schools in the country including Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Florida State, Oregon and plenty of others. Ohio State stands out above the rest, but Rodgers’ recruitment is still very young and anything could happen.
Other notable visitors:
Position: Offensive Tackle
Town: Dayton, OH / Dunbar
Size: 6-6 / 315
Notable Offers: Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Cincinnati
Position: Tight End
Town: Milford, OH / Milford Sr
Size: 6-6 / 270
Notable Offers: Ohio State, Purdue, Cincinnati
Position: Running Back
Town: Washington, DC / St. Frances Academy
Size: 5-10 / 210
Notable Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin
- Ohio State offered 2020 running back Lawrence Toafili (Largo, FL / Pinellas Park).