It’s been a little while since we’ve taken some time to decompress and look at Ohio State’s class on the whole. Now, as we sit in early July, is maybe the best time to reflect on what the Buckeyes have in the 2020 class, and where I think they’re headed with about 10 spots left to fill in the group. More clarity is coming sooner than later, but for now, let’s put on the prognosticating hat and look at who I think the last 11 pledges in the class could be.
This list is ordered by position, not likelihood to commit, commitment date, or anything like that. I’m not including current commits, so this is only the guys I think still could join the class. Ohio State currently sits at 16 pledges, following last night’s commitment from tight end Joe Royer.
HB Bijan Robinson: This is the big target for the Buckeyes left on the board. The five-star Arizona prospect is obviously one of the best players in the 2020 class, and he’s just about a perfect fit for Ryan Day’s system. For a while, Ohio State seemed to be a distant contender, behind a bunch of Pac-12 schools and Texas, but a June visit completely flipped this recruitment.
Now, I’m not 100 percent confident in this, but I think Ohio State has done enough to land Robinson. He’s expected to announce anytime this month, and I think the pick will be Ohio State when he does.
HB Jaylon Knighton: Of the two, this is actually the running back I’m less confident in. Knighton is a Florida kid, and he’s right in the stronghold for both Miami and Florida State, and both seem to be pretty major players here. That’s why I have to add this with a bit of caution. I think that when Knighton announces his commitment this month, as he expected to, the pick will be Ohio State.
I think the Buckeyes lead, and that would be my prediction for his pick. However, Miami and Florida State aren’t going to just give up, and that’s why I have to add some caution. Right now, I think Knighton will be in. However, I think he’ll continue to look at the local schools, and if the Buckeyes lose out on him, they may look towards someone like Jalen Berger, Michael Drennen or Miyan Williams.
WR Mookie Cooper: I’m much more confident in Illinois slot receiver Mookie Cooper being a Buckeye than I was about a week ago. He’s said that he plans on visiting the school of his choice soon, and I expect that visit to be to Columbus, rather than to Illinois. Playing in Day’s offense was a huge sell here, and I think as long as that offense keeps churning out results, Cooper is staying put in the class.
OL Josh Fryar: I think there are going to be two more decisions this week, and this is one I have marked down as likely. Fryar announced a few days back that he has an announcement to make on July 4, and while it could be a final list, I expect it will be a commitment to Ohio State. The Buckeyes wowed him on his recent visit, and I think they want him as the final offensive lineman in the class.
OL Paris Johnson: I’m going to break my own rule of not mentioning currently committed players, because there was some news today regarding Johnson’s commitment.
Paris Johnson Jr. just told me he is sticking with Ohio State, plans to sign with Buckeyes. Story coming.— Ari Wasserman (@AriWasserman) July 2, 2019
DL Jacolbe Cowan: Cowan is admittedly tough to get a read on, but I think he’s likely to choose Ohio State when he makes his commitment decision pretty much anytime now.
DL Kendrick Bingley-Jones: Bingley-Jones has said that he plans to commit on Aug. 3, and barring any major changes, I think Ohio State will be the choice for the North Carolina product.
DL Vernon Broughton: Call it optimistic, call it a pipe dream, call it whatever, but I’ve got Broughton down as my late game steal for Ohio State. Think Enokk Vimahi, or Vonn Bell. Broughton has been heavily favoring Texas and Texas A&M for months now, but I think his recent visit to Columbus has really put the Buckeyes in the race, and I think Day and Larry Johnson will get the job done here.
LB Kourt Williams: Williams is, firstly, a bullet rather than a linebacker, so excuse the crude position assignment. He happens to be essentially a perfect fit for that position too, and he’s claimed that scheme fit is his number one priority. Because of that, I think the Buckeyes are the choice, and I think they’re the choice within just a few weeks.
LB Mitchell Melton: Melton is set to commit later today, and I’m comfortable in predicting that the Buckeyes will be the choice. He’ll likely play middle linebacker in Columbus if the Buckeyes are indeed the pick.
DB: Lathan Ransom: Ransom, a four-star safety from Arizona, who happens to be teammates with Bijan Robinson, has said that he plans to make his commitment on his birthday, July 16th, if not earlier. Given that he has taken his final official visit, and given that Ohio State led after that final official visit, I think you can likely see where this one is headed. Jeff Hafley did an incredible job here, and deserves a ton of credit.
ATH Cameron Martinez: The last name on my list is currently without a position, but I think he’ll probably end up as either a safety or slot corner in college, and I think he’ll shine at either spot. Martinez has yet to set a date, but the expectation with him, as it is with so many others on this list, is that he’ll be in by the end of the month.