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Ohio State’s 2019 class is smaller and lower rated than its previous two recruiting classes

...but that’s a historically-elite standard to live up to.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes finished the 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes ranked No. 2 in the country. Last year’s team was also the second-most talented team in the country top to bottom, by both total talent and average player ranking.

Those past two classes were historically great. In fact, they rank 6th and 9th for all-time recruiting classes.

So how does Ohio State’s current 2019 class compare to that ridiculous standard?

The Buckeyes have accepted commitments from four players with a 247 Composite rating lower than .9 — Noah Potter, Steele Chambers, Craig Young, and Bryson Shaw. Is that more than usual for this point in the recruiting cycle?

The numbers

3-Year Recruiting

Year Number of Commits Decommits Average Total Rating Decommit Rating Blue Chip %
Year Number of Commits Decommits Average Total Rating Decommit Rating Blue Chip %
2017 18 5 0.9382 0.9026 0.83
2018 16 4 0.9527 0.9612 0.94
2019 12 N/A 0.9255 N/A 0.83

I looked at the last two recruiting classes at this point in their cycles compared to the 2019 class. However, this year’s Friday Night Lights was about a month earlier than in previous years, and since the Buckeyes can usually count on a few commits following that event, I also included those FNL-related commitments from 2017 and 2018 (Jeremy Ruckert and Marcus Hooker committed in the week following FNL last year, and Chase Young and Amir Riep committed in the week following the 2016 FNL).

Here’s the same recruiting data in box-and-whisker plot form (the whiskers are the highest- and lowest-rated recruits, the box shows the upper and lower quartiles, and the line in the box shows the median rating):

Some notes:

  • The 2019 class has roughly five fewer commits than at the same point in the previous two recruiting classes.
  • The 2019 class also has the lowest mean rating — .9255 compared to .9527 and .9382. However, the 2019 class currently has the same blue chip percentage as the 2017 class (83%).
  • The 2018 and 2017 classes would eventually have 4 and 5 decommits, respectively, that were committed at this point in the year. Last year’s decommits were especially highly rated, including Emory Jones, Jaiden Woodbey and Brenton Cox. The 2019 class hasn’t seen any decommits yet, but it’s interesting to think that some percentage of the current class may not stick.
  • 2019’s median rating (.92) is roughly the same as 2018’s bottom quartile (.9212), while 2019’s upper quartile (.96) is a little lower than 2018’s median (.9624).
  • 2019’s interquartile range (the middle 50% of player ratings) .0645, between the much smaller 2018 class IQR (.0598) and 2017’s large one (.0777). So, the 2018 class was both higher rated on average and had less variability than 2019’s, while the 2017 class had more variability than either class, but was also higher-rated on average (both mean and median) than the 2019 class too.
  • If you take out the 2018 and 2017 FNL commits, the mean averages change to: 2019 (same, .925), 2018 (.957), and 2017 (.936) — so not much different, but with two more commits in each class.

All in all, not only is the 2019 class smaller at this point than in the previous two classes, but it is also ranked a little lower on average — whether you look at the mean, median, or the interquartile range of commit ratings.

But Ohio State’s class is still ranked No. 10 overall and has the third-highest average rating in the country (behind Alabama and Georgia). Also, the Buckeyes could get more commits in the next month (if you didn’t care about Friday Night Lights). In fact, IMG Academy safety Lejond Cavazos (.9199) is set to announce on the June 27, with 100 percent of the crystal ball votes for Ohio State.

Also, we’re comparing player ratings from before the 2019 class plays their senior seasons. Ratings will change. So it’s entirely possible that some of the lower-rated 2019 commits get ratings bumps by the time the 2019 class 247 Composite scores are finalized.