Ohio State’s 2019 class has picked up its first skill position commitment. Just minutes ago, on his Twitter account, Avon (Indiana) running back Sampson James announced his pledge to Ohio State, on the heels of a visit to Columbus this past weekend.
James, ranked as the 142nd best player nationally and the 8th best running back in the ‘19 cycle, is the third member of Ohio State’s class, as he joins a pair of tackles: Doug Nester and Ryan Jacoby.
James picked Ohio State over a packed list of offers from other top level schools, including Louisville, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn State, TCU, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee, among others.
After landing three halfbacks in 2018 (Jaelen Gill, Master Teague and Brian Snead), the Buckeyes will likely grab just one or two in 2019, and James is one of their top targets at the position, along with IMG (Bradenton, FL) Noah Cain, who would be my pick to join James in this class, as of right now.
This commitment comes as a welcomed surprise for the Ohio State Buckeyes. With Tony Alford spearheading the recruiting efforts here, Ohio State was able to fend off in-state opponents like Notre Dame, Indiana, and Purdue, as well as their rivals to the north: Michigan and Michigan State.
The aforementioned weekend visit really sealed it for Sampson, and thanks to a great effort from Alford and the entire offensive staff, the Buckeyes have now locked down one of the nation’s best running backs very early on in the recruiting cycle.
Sampson had a phenomenal junior season for Avon, putting up 1782 yards and 20 touchdowns on 243 carries, and is primed for a huge senior campaign as well. You can watch his highlights below.