Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class is starting to gain momentum. With a total of six commitments in the month of April, the Buckeyes doubled their total number of commits in the class, skyrocketing the class ranking to No. 8 in the country and No. 2 in the Big Ten.
The Ohio State coaching staff will continue to build on this year’s class but being that this coaching staff is one of the best at recruiting in the country, the Buckeyes will also be working to ensure the 2020 class follows suit.
The Buckeyes have already been successful in securing their first commit in 2020 when four-star OT Jake Wray pledged his services to the program. The coaches want to continue on this run and did so Monday by offering one of the top safeties in the class.
Makari Paige (West Bloomfield, MI / West Bloomfield) may only be a sophomore in high school but he has shown enough to gain the attention of some of the top programs in the country. Already holding a reported 10 offers from schools like Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Pitt, Kentucky and Boston College, Paige can now add Ohio State to that list.
Being so early in Paige’s recruitment, the two in-state schools Michigan and Michigan State are the favorites in this race, with Michigan holding all four of the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions.
However, with a moniker like “DBU” it can be assumed that an offer from Ohio State will give him something to think about at the very least. He has so far taken an unofficial visit to Michigan State and if the Buckeyes want to have a shot in landing him, getting him on campus multiple times is a must.
While many national recruiting databases haven’t released their rankings for the 2020 recruiting class, Paige will likely be one of the bigger names to follow. 247Sports views him as the No. 189 overall player in the class and the No. 9 safety. If Paige has a successful next two seasons, his name will only shoot up those rankings.
Update on the 2019 QB class
Urban Meyer has gone on record stating that this year’s crop of quarterbacks is not very deep. That being said, there are multiple names that the Buckeyes are looking at. The past few days have been vital in regards to how the position will pan out for the team.
Over the weekend, the Buckeyes hosted Michigan State QB commit Dwan Mathis (Belleville, MI / Oak Park) only days after receiving an offer from the school. Mathis visited the program after participating in a nearby camp.
Mathis has been committed to the Spartans since September of last year and is the No. 11 pro-style QB in the 2019 recruiting class.
However, Mathis isn’t the only QB the Buckeyes are looking at flipping from a Big Ten school. First reported by Adam Friedman of Rivals.com, four-star QB and Wisconsin commit Graham Mertz (Mission, KS / Blue Valley North) took an unofficial visit to Ohio State Monday.
Mertz is a four-star QB and is one of the more talented pro-style QB’s in this year’s group. The 247Sports Composite Rankings have him listed as the No. 5 pro QB in the country and the No. 148 overall recruit.
“I’m going to stop by Ohio State on Monday and check it out,” Mertz said to Friedman. “We’re here for an extra day because that’s how our flights worked out so we figured we should go over there and check it out. The coaches are excited. They’ve been pushing for a visit for a few months. I’ve never been there before.”
Ohio State is not the only program ramping up their communication with Mertz though, despite the commitment to Wisconsin. More than 10 schools have offered the QB since his pledge to the Badgers and the thought is that his commitment is not as strong as it first was.
While the increased attention is likely giving him something to think about, he continues to say the things Wisconsin wants to hear. He told Friedman that the Badgers still sit atop his list.
Though the Buckeyes are increasing their contact with both Mathis and Mertz, their No. 1 at the position is four-star QB Grant Gunnell (Houston, TX / St. Pius X.) Ohio State is viewed as the favorite to land Gunnell who is listed as the No. 3 pro-style QB in the class and the No. 96 overall recruit.
Gunnell is expected to announce his decision in about a month and if everything goes as planned, the Buckeyes will have their desired QB. However, if Gunnell spurns the Buckeyes and decides to head elsewhere, expect Urban Meyer and assistant coach Ryan Day to go all in on Mertz.