This weekend’s conference championship games will be the last college football action for a few weeks, but that does not mean your favorite program is just hanging out for a month. The break between the conference title games and the first playoff and bowl games may provide some stress relief for fans, but for coaches across the country it gives some additional free time for recruiting.
With the Early Signing Period rapidly approaching, December will feature a huge focus on recruiting for many of the nationwide programs fighting for some of the top talent in the upcoming class. We are also at the point of the year when recruiting rankings are at their most fluid, as the player ratings are constantly changing among the different talent evaluating sites.
Rivals.com has a bunch of updates coming this week, having just released its top 100 prospect rankings on Tuesday. The updated list saw a bunch of movement among the nation’s top recruits, and Ohio State was a big beneficiary of many updated player evaluations.
2020 wide receiver earns a fifth star
One of the biggest stories from the ranking shuffle is the addition of a fifth star for wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith-Njigba has flirted with being a five-star wideout for quite some time now, and his historic senior season has finally given him the boost needed to enter elite company. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound WR comes in at No. 32 in the Rivals100, and is the No. 4 receiver on the list.
Smith-Njigba was one of eight players to receive a fifth star in the penultimate rankings update. Here is what Mid-South recruiting analyst Sam Spiegelman had to say of the future Buckeye:
“Smith-Njigba enjoyed a lights-out senior campaign. He showcased the ability to stretch the field vertically, make plays in the short and intermediate passing game, make spectacular catches -- and in doing so, make it look routine -- and consistently create separation downfield and eat up in YAC situations. Simply put, Smith-Njigba is on a historic pace in which he’s proven to be un-guardable.”
Nine Ohio State commits in the Top 100
The new Rivals100 was not just kind to Smith-Njigba, as the Buckeyes have verbal commitments from nine different players on the list of some of the nation’s most talented prospects. Here is where the OSU commits landed:
- Julian Fleming, WR: No. 6
- Paris Johnson Jr, OT: No. 7
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR: No. 32
- Gee Scott, WR: No. 36
- Mookie Cooper, WR: No. 50
- Darrion Henry, SDE: No. 61
- Clark Phillips, CB: No. 63
- Lathan Ransom, S: No. 81
- Kourt Williams, OLB: No. 87
Incredibly, Ohio State currently holds commitments from four top-50 recruits at the wide receiver position in the 2020 class, as Justin Fields will have no shortage of options to pass it off to next season. Fleming in OSU’s top-rated player in the Rivals100, and is the No. 1 WR. The biggest boosts to overall ranking were Smith-Njigba, who jumped a whopping 46 spots, and Williams, who quietly got bumped up 12 spots.
- Ohio State is always looking to snag the next great defensive line recruit in its seemingly never-ending pipeline of elite NFL talent at the position. It isn't a bad idea to showcase Chase Young as what you could become if you play on the Buckeye defensive line, and they are certainly using him as a bargaining chip in their pursuit of Korey Foreman.
Interesting.. very very... interesting pic.twitter.com/w4SKB8zIwf— Korey Foreman (@koreyforeman54) December 2, 2019
Ohio State would be elated to add Foreman to the Rushmen, as he is currently the No. 1 recruit in the 2021 class according to 247sports composite. The 6-foot-4, 245 pound defensive end from California is currently projected to wind up at USC, but the Buckeyes could definitely put together a convincing pitch given its recent stretch of phenomenal success at producing NFL defensive lineman.