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Ohio State awaits decisions from several 2018 stars on National Signing Day

Can the Buckeyes put a bow on their 2018 class?

Javontae Jean-Baptiste
247Sports

National Signing Day is finally upon us. While NSD doesn’t have the usual importance that it did in past years because of the newly introduced early signing period, hundreds of recruits will still be signing tomorrow all over the country, several of which are very important as it relates to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Scarlet and Gray will be signing defensive ends Tyler Friday and Tyreke Smith, and wide receiver Chris Olave tomorrow for sure, but the Buckeyes still have a number of players left on the board that they’re hoping to add on the final day of the 2018 recruiting cycle. While there are some players that were considering Ohio State but will be signing elsewhere for any number of reasons (players like Tavion Taylor, Maurice Washington, DJ Brown, Christopher Oats and Solomon Tuliaupupu), three main names remain for Buckeye fans to watch tomorrow: Nicholas Petit-Frere, Rasheed Walker, and Javontae Jean-Baptiste.

We took a look at all three of these players yesterday, and while nothing has really changed on the Rasheed Walker front (our pick is still on Penn State), there is news to talk about surrounding both Nicholas Petit-Frere and Javontae Jean-Baptiste.

Nicholas Petit-Frere

Petit-Frere is, as he has all recruiting cycle, keeping his decision close to the vest. He made his decision last night with his family, and will be announcing it today, on ESPN, at 10 a.m. ET. The general feeling around his recruitment is that he could land at any of his four finalists (Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame and Ohio State), as all four schools are confident that they’ve done enough.

All four schools offer certain things that appeal to NPF, which is what makes this recruitment so tight. Florida offers the location, and a solid chance to play early, both of which he’s very interested in. Notre Dame has the elite academics he’s looking for. Alabama is, well, Alabama, you know exactly what they have to offer, and Ohio State has formed the best relationships with Petit-Frere.

As we’ve seen so many times, relationships are absolutely crucial in recruiting, and while I wouldn’t be willing to put a crystal ball pick on it (also I don’t have one of those), this feels like one of those instances where relationships win out over all other factors. As of this moment, I feel that Ohio State will win the Petit-Frere sweepstakes, putting a great finish on their fantastic class, and all but locking up the top spot in the team rankings.

Prediction: Ohio State

Javontae Jean-Baptiste

If you’re looking for an absolute roller-coaster of a recruitment, this is the one for you. For several weeks in January, Ohio State seemed to be the favorite to land the New Jersey defensive end, but that connection dissolved seemingly as quickly as it formed. Both parties looked elsewhere, the Buckeyes towards Christopher Oats and JJB towards Virginia Tech, Nebraska and Texas A&M.

However, after that slight hiatus, the Buckeyes seem to have a renewed interest in Jean-Baptiste, and as of writing, they absolutely have a chance to land the four-star end. Jean-Baptiste has narrowed his focus to the Buckeyes and Texas A&M, and will be announcing his decision at 7 a.m. ET.

While it’ll be tough for Ohio State to find enough room to accommodate two more commits in their class, they’ll make it happen if both NPF and JJB want in, and at this point, I think they both do. Unless something changes, I think Jean-Baptiste will pick Ohio State this morning.

Prediction: Ohio State

Quick Hits

  • Ohio State landed Broadview Heights wide receiver Sam Wiglusz as a preferred walk-on yesterday.
  • The Buckeyes extended an offer to 2019 four-star receiver John Dunmore, as well as 2019 three-star cornerback Jeffery Carter.