Every year, it feels like the recruiting cycle goes by faster and faster. We’re already in mid August, meaning that in just over four months, 2019 recruits will be able to sign with their schools during the Early Signing Period. That also means, as it relates to Ohio State, that the Buckeyes have some work to do on the recruiting trail for the next couple months.
Ohio State currently has 15 commitments in the 2019 class, putting them at eighth in the national team rankings. They want anywhere from 22 to 25 members in this class, so we could see as many as 10 more commitments in this class. I think eight more additions is the more likely option though, and with the talent left on the board, Ohio State may still be headed for a top five class.
Obviously it’s too early to call all of this, with plenty of official visits and other developments yet to happen, but we’ve got a pretty good idea of who those final eight to ten commitments may be. Let’s take a look at who could be finishing out the 2019 class for Ohio State.
Peyton Powell, ATH: While he may have postponed his early August scheduled commitment earlier this month, Peyton Powell is still very much an option for Ohio State. The Odessa, Texas product may not have a true position on the field, but he certainly does have a spot in this class if he wants it, likely as a defensive back.
Oklahoma extending an offer earlier this month complicated things a bit, but I think that Ohio State is still the team to beat in this one.
Jameson Williams, WR: Williams is one of the commitments on this list that I don’t think will happen until at least after the high school season, but I do eventually see him as a Buckeye. While his fellow St. Louis receiver friend Marcus Washington is likely headed to Missouri, not Ohio State, I do think that Ohio State receivers coach Brian Hartline can get this one done.
Williams is one of two or three more receivers in this class (more on that later), and if the Buckeyes finish at wideout with what I expect them to, it’ll be a huge deal for Hartline and the whole staff.
Elijah Higgins, WR: Continuing on the theme of wide receivers, Elijah Higgins may be the biggest long shot in this entire list. The Texas native has a ton of top schools on his list, including the homestate Longhorns, Stanford, and Florida, while Ohio State is relatively new to the chase. Hartline is more interested in Higgins than his predecessor was, and because of that, Ohio State has made up some ground here.
I don’t think they lead yet, but his friendship with Garrett Wilson, and another potential visit this fall could make this recruitment very interesting. Ultimately, I think the Buckeyes make Higgins their third receiver in the class, along with Williams and Wilson. That means that there’s one more spot, and I think it goes to a familiar face.
David Bell, WR: The last receiver in the class is somebody who has been on and off the recruiting board at Ohio State for more than a year now. The Indianapolis product was once considered a heavy Buckeye lean, but the sides seemed to move apart earlier this year. However, like with Higgins, Hartline is a big fan of Bell. That means that he’s in play again for the Buckeyes.
He hasn’t scheduled one yet, but I do expect him to visit Ohio State for a game this fall. I wouldn’t be surprised if he joined the class shortly after that.
Tyler Davis, DL: It’s not a great year for defensive linemen. The 2019 class is relatively weak on big guys, and most of the best ones are either already committed or not really looking at Ohio State. However, there are two on this list that I think land in Columbus, and the first of them is Florida tackle Tyler Davis.
Davis isn’t talked about a ton, and I’m not entirely sure that the Buckeyes lead right now (I think Florida State does), but I do think he eventually lands in Columbus. They need a couple more linemen in this class, and he’s one of the best ones left on their board.
Zach Harrison, DE: Easily the biggest recruit left for Ohio State in 2019, Zach Harrison doesn’t really need an introduction. Ohio State fans know how important it is for Ohio State to land him. Ohio State knows how important it is for them to land him. He’s a massive deal, and there are plenty of worried people around this commitment, for good reason.
Harrison could still go any way. Michigan is still an option, as is Penn State. He is in no way a lock to any school. However, my pick is still Ohio State for the Olentangy Orange star.
Kaiir Elam, DB: Ohio State doesn’t really need a ton more in the defensive backfield. They’ve recruited it super well over the past few years, and they have several talented safeties and corners committed already in 2019. However, I think they may want to add a true lockdown corner, and in Florida corner Kaiir Elam, they’d have that.
He won’t be easy to take from Dan Mullen and the Gators, but if Ohio State goes all in, I think they get him.
Noah Cain, RB: I’m not at all confident in this one. I don’t think Ohio State is pursuing Cain all that much at this point, because they’ve got several good backs in the class already. With that in mind, we do know that Urban Meyer* almost always has a signing day trick up his sleeve, or a late cycle recruit that he pushes for and steals at the last second. I think Cain may be that guy in 2019, and while I wouldn’t be willing to back that with any kind of confidence, I do think it’s a possibility. Darnell Wright, Brenton Strange or Jakai Moore are also candidates for this spot.
*All of this should be taken with the qualifier that Urban Meyer does remain the head coach at Ohio State. If he’s out, the game changes completely, and most of these guys would no longer be options. That also applies to a large amount of the current commits.