Here at Land-Grant Holy Land, we have talked at length this week about recruiting at the running back position. Much of the talk has been focused on guys in the 2021 class, but the door is not quite shut on some of the top talents that remain unsigned in 2020. When it comes down to it, how Ryan Day and Ohio State approach the running back position will really be determined by how things go this weekend with Jahmyr Gibbs.
If you haven't been keeping up with all of our recruiting coverage, Gibbs is set to make an official visit to Ohio State this week. The four-star recruit is the No. 16 RB in the 2020 class, and despite being committed to Georgia Tech, the Buckeyes must still feel like they have a shot if they’re hosting an official visit this late in the game. Gibbs has been on campus once already, making an unofficial visit for this season’s game against Maryland in November, and clearly liked what he saw enough to make a return.
Gibbs has said he remains in constant contact with Day and RB coach Tony Alford, and if the two are able to flip the talented recruit out of Georgia this weekend, it would be a huge feat and an incredible win for the program. If not, it would likely shift the focus in one of two ways.
Ohio State could still try and snag the No. 1 RB recruit in the 2020 class in Zachary Evans. The five-star recruit out of Texas is a huge question mark, having recently been released from his Letter of Intent at Georgia for reasons not publicly explained. The Buckeyes were originally included the back’s top five, but Evans did not wind up making a visit to OSU, and so the program shifted its focus elsewhere. It isn’t clear if the Bucks are looking to rekindle the relationship, but it is worth mentioning that Brian Hartline recently followed the recruit on Twitter.
Nobody really knows what is going on with Evans right now, but there has been a third intriguing option thrown into the mix: 2021 four-star RB Evan Pryor. If Ohio State is unable to land Gibbs or Evans, then the focus will have to shift to getting their guy in the next class. The No. 6 RB in the cycle is certainly an enticing option, and has just recently received a Crystal Ball prediction for Ohio State from Eleven Warriors’ Andrew Ellis. Pryor visited with the Buckeyes for the Penn State game back in November, and attended an OSU camp back in June.
Only time will tell how this running back situation plays out. Should Gibbs flip to Ohio State this weekend, then the Buckeyes will certainly not pursue Evans. If neither of the two wind up in Scarlet and Gray, then it will become imperative for Day to scoop up a top-tier RB in 2021 like Pryor.
- 2021 four-star defensive tackle Michael Hall teased Buckeye Nation on Twitter on Tuesday, posing alongside Ohio State commit Ben Christman with the caption “future teammates???” An Ohio native, Hall is the No. 9 player in the state, and the Buckeyes hold all five Crystal Ball predictions for his services.