Tuesday was a better than usual day for the Ohio State Buckeyes on the recruiting trail. Early in the morning, a BOOM arrived as four-star linebacker Reid Carrico (Ironton, OH / Ironton) verbally committed to the program.
A highly-touted recruit, Ryan Day has pulled off another big recruiting win. Not only is this a win for the ‘21 cycle, but for in-state recruiting. But before we look at the picture from afar, let’s take a look at the impact of Carrico’s commitment.
Whoa, buddy, he can do it all. Some places he’s listed as an athlete. Some have him as a linebacker. Carrico can run with the ball, and chase down runners with the ball. At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, it’s kinda crazy what he can already do.
In the highlight reel posted on Hudl, the first few clips are him running with the football. As soon as he breaks the line of scrimmage he, literally, trucks defenders out of the way. And when he gets to open space, he’s gone. Strength, agility and determination to get into the end zone are clear as day in the highlights.
But when he comes to OSU, Carrico is more than likely going to be on defense. According to the 247sports Composite, he’s the 126th best overall prospect in the class, the third best linebacker in 2021, and the fifth best recruit in the Buckeye State. But when judged by just 247Sports’ metric, he shows up as the 34th best overall prospect, best LB, and third best player in Ohio. Either way, Carrico is seen as the real deal in both the LB position and Ohio football landscape.
Looking at what he can do on defense, it’s very easy to understand why he got the rankings he did. He’s incredibly tough to block because of his size, and has an instinct for finding the ball carrier. Whether getting to the running back or quarterback, Carrico takes his blocker out of the way, and then proceeds to stop whoever has the football.
If all stays the same on Ohio State’s end, co-defensive coordinators Jeff Halfey and Greg Mattison, and linebackers coach Al Washington are going to have a field day with Carrico in the equation. His speed will be huge in stopping runners and receivers from busting out huge chunk plays. And with the regime that goes into becoming a Buckeye football player, he’s going to put on more muscle after a while in the OSU system.
On field production is just part of the Carrico picture. The Buckeyes have found someone who is committed to getting better, and given a couple years, could become a leader on the team. Take a look at the tweet from 247Sports recruiting guru Allen Trieu:
Carrico's high school coach:— Allen Trieu (@AllenTrieu) September 10, 2019
“He’s the first guy in the weight room and the last guy to leave. He is a leader in all aspects – on the football, in the classroom, even in the community. He is an attention-to-details guy, always doing something to try to better himself...” https://t.co/gvEQorGt0W
Carrico is the ideal player on and off the field, and it’s big news that he stayed inside Ohio for his college career.
What the class looks like now
The Buckeyes currently have five verbal commits for 2021. Four of those recruits come from inside Ohio lines, and all four Ohioans are at least four-star prospects. Using the 247Sports average rating, Ohio State rings up an average recruit score of 0.9747. That’s pretty darn good.
When Day talked about recruiting in-state, he walked the walk. Considering that Carrico had over 30 offers, including the likes of Alabama and Clemson, this was not an easy win. With a solid 2020 class nearly wrapped up, and a great showing through two games this season, Day is stacking the blocks for a dominant recruiting class in ‘21 and beyond.
For the 2021 class, OSU currently ranks No. 3 overall in the country—trailing only Miami (FL) and Texas. In the Big Ten, they are running away from the pack. 247Sports has the Buckeyes with 132.73 points, leading the B1G. Wisconsin is second with 68.27 points. That’s a wide margin, and the Bucks only have one more recruit than the Badgers.
Once again, this was a big recruiting win for Day and the Buckeyes.