Ohio State’s staff and players are now officially on to the 2020 campaign, and hoping to finish things off the way they wanted to this past year. While the defeat to Clemson won’t be out of their minds anytime soon, the offseason gives everyone the hope that spring football is coming.
Right now, the Buckeyes are weeks away from National Signing Day, hoping to soon hire a new defensive coordinator, and of course starting winter workouts for the players. Even though the season is now over, the work that goes into creating continued success as a top national program both on and off the field doesn’t stop.
The last RB update of the cycle?
The Buckeyes running back recruiting saga in the 2020 cycle has been one that’s not only been unpredictable, but also seemingly never-ending. From countless targets Ohio State has had the inside track on to the present day, this year has not quite been a disaster in terms of the outcome, but following it as fans has probably made you lose your mind here and there.
So many twists and turns have made this roller-coaster ride pretty unforgettable, and with what seems like a new update every single passing day, it can be hard to keep up. However, Thursday’s news may finally mean things have come to a close. Yes, that is said sparingly, but it appears that is the destination we have reached.
For the past several weeks now, current Georgia Tech commitment, Jahmyr Gibbs (Dalton, Georgia/Dalton) has been a name associated with Ohio State. A running back who blew up thanks to his senior campaign, Gibbs has been linked to the Buckeyes for some time now as Day and his staff looked to take two running backs in the 2020 class. While Georgia Tech has been his pledge since last May, many of the nation’s best programs have been after him. Of the programs to potentially sway Gibbs away from his commitment, Ohio State was thought to have a real puncher’s chance even though distance from home was a clear factor.
Thursday, however, shed some serious light onto the subject when 247Sports’ Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong released the news that Ohio State is no longer hosting Gibbs’ official visit this weekend. Ironically, this comes just hours after Wiltfong himself said the best chance of Gibbs rescinding his commitment to Georgia Tech would be in favor of the Buckeyes.
The reasoning the important factor here, as OSU seems to be facing a number crunch when it comes to available scholarships. Of course coach Brian Hartline following Zach Evans on Twitter had people talking over the past few days, but for the same reasons this is another move that is likely off the table. With this year’s RB fiasco nothing is out of the question, even this late in the game, but this latest update looks to all but seal the deal.
Looking ahead to 2021
Speaking of running back, Ohio State is in on quite a few of the nation’s best next year, and surely will do its best to land two at the position. Fortunately, the Buckeyes don’t have to travel far, as there are some elite talents within driving distance that will be key components from here on out.
In fact, on Friday Ryan Day will be in the state up north to check in on Donovan Edwards (West Bloomfield, Michigan/West Bloomfield) the nation’s second-best running back in the 2021 class and a top-50 prospect overall. A target any program in the country would love to have in the fold, Ohio State is putting in work early in an attempt to sway this one away from their rival. As it stands right now, Michigan leads in the Crystal Ball predictions, but if Edwards pays attention to what happens on the field, he’d be wise to leave his home state. This recruitment battle has only just begun.
In addition to Edwards, Day and crew will spend more time in Michigan Friday to see other top national guys such as Rocco Spindler (Clarkston, Michigan/Clarkston) the No. 6 offensive tackle in the class and the No. 2 player in Michigan for 2021, and his Clarkston teammate Garrett Dellinger, the No. 14 offensive tackle in the country in the same cycle.
There is clearly talent in Michigan, and the Buckeyes are wasting no time at all making their presence felt behind enemy lines. When you win eight-straight on the field against the Wolverines and also have the Spartans’ number, coming into hostile territory is a little bit easier. Ryan Day is proving his recruiting chops everyday, and when he has a chance to potentially steal a player or two from the rivals of the north in the process, he is certainly going to take it. He has already done so in the 2020 class, and 2021 looks to be no different.