It was just about a month or two ago that some of the Buckeye faithful and other national recruiting experts had some doubts for Ryan Day’s recruiting abilities. Now the doubts were never there. Having a couple years under his belt that showed nothing but offensive success and last season especially, prized recruits all over the country are wanting to play for Day and be part of the explosive Buckeye offense.
Defensively though is where the questions came up. Fast forward to now, after landing a handful of elite defensive players and all of Buckeye Nation are thrilled with what Day and his staff are accomplishing on the recruiting trail. This current cycle is another top national class for the Buckeyes and while there’s limited space remaining, Ohio State’s staff isn’t stopping their momentum any time soon. In fact, they’re likely to catch fire again as in the coming weeks several key targets will be announcing their decisions.
Without further adieu, let’s take a stab at predicting who the Buckeyes are likely to end up with before summer’s end in the 2020 class.
When Ryan Day hired Jeff Hafley to co-coordinate his defense, not many knew how he would be as a recruiter. Now though, it’s evident that not only can Hafley recruit, but he can do so with the best of them. His young mentality and personality has cultivated many of Ohio State’s top targets and the 2020 class is reaping the rewards of his early abilities and success.
In just four days, one of the top remaining uncommitted players in the country will making his college decision. Lathan Ransom, a high four-star prospect from Tucson, Ariz., will be deciding where he will play his college ball. Due to an incredible official visit in Columbus, the Buckeyes are the clear favorite to land the fourth best safety in America as well as a top 100 player overall regardless of position for the current class. At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Lathan can do it all. Whether it’s playing he ball in the air like a receiver or coming down hill to help in the run-game, Ransom is a can’t miss prospect and will be a huge addition if he does in fact do as most believe and pick Ohio State.
On July 16, all signs point to the Buckeyes landing another elite level safety.
This 2020 class has been a whirlwind when you consider the running back position. There’s been several names that have come and gone, but Ohio State has always wanted to take two backs in the class due to current depth. While the current running back list is very talented, Ryan Day knows that another successful season by Dobbins could have him leaving early for the NFL making plenty of room for more elite talent to restock the shelves. As the Buckeyes have targeted two types of backs to have in their class, decisions are coming soon for one prospect they have wanted from the very beginning.
Deerfield Beach, Fla., native Jaylan Knighton is a 5-foot-9, 195-pound star that is down to Florida State and Ohio State. Lately and once again after an electric Ohio State visit, the buzz has Knighton leaving home and heading to Columbus. The nation’s third best all-purpose back is scheduled to commit to the school of his choice on July 30 and the “booms” are already sounding great for this addition. The race isn’t yet over as the Buckeyes do have to fend off the much closer to home Seminoles, but if this past month is any indication of Jaylan’s thoughts, the Buckeyes have to like where they stand.
In keeping with the trend of the running back spot, just days following the aforementioned decision of Knighton, the nation’s fourth best running back, Bijan Robinson, will commit to his school of choice on Aug. 2. At 6-foot, 200 pounds, Bijan has all of the tools to be Ohio State’s next great runner. With the combination of size, speed, and strength, Bijan can give the Buckeyes the last piece to their offensive 2020 class.
This recruitment has gone in many directions, but from the beginning Ryan Day and Tony Alford had Robinson atop of their board and have kept it that way while entertaining others. Bijan has been most notably linked to Texas, but his official visit in late June may have really sealed the deal ending in a Buckeye pledge. If the Buckeyes can land both Knighton and Robinson for their 2020 haul, there’s not another program that has two better backs in the current cycle. Time will tell, but all looks very well for the Buckeyes.
With the new hires to the defensive side of the ball for Ohio State, the scheme has been switched up a bit to fit how the new staff plans to do things. The “bullet” position is probably the most notable nuance of the new regime and there’s a California native prospect who has fit the bill from the beginning. Kourt Williams, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound outside linebacker checks in as a top 200 player nationally and the 12th best player at his position for the class. Visiting the Buckeyes in late June, the visit has played a huge role in his recruitment.
Williams took all five of his official visits and plans to announce relatively soon. While he has not set a specific date, many have thought the decision will come before his senior campaign begins. Just last week Williams announced the final five schools he will be deciding from and not ironically, each program was one of the five official visit destinations. Besides Ohio State, Tennessee, Penn State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma round out his final top five. What the Buckeyes have going for them though is the fact that they laid out how Williams will fit into the new “bullet” position. Not to mention, Ohio State was the last of his five visits so it’s clearly the one that his freshest in his memory. While the 247sports crystal ball is not a guarantee, only two schools hold predictions in their favor. Of those two, only one is left in the top five. That is Ohio State. As it was for many, it looks as if the late June recruiting weekend has paid off big time and will see more rewards in the near future.