Fall is officially here, and it couldn’t have come sooner. With the Big Ten and specifically Ohio State football set to take the field in just a couple of weeks, the long wait for the Buckeyes is almost over.
As you all know, the players and coaching staff at Ohio State are hard at work in their preparations for the 2020 campaign. With freshmen losing their black stripes and officially becoming Buckeyes, it’s a sign that development is already well underway.
Even with the first game nearing, recruiting continues to be a priority as the staff looks to finish up their 2021 class with more elite players they can bring to Columbus.
Davis Jr. sets an announcement date
Having held an offer from the Buckeyes since February of 2018, Derrick Davis Jr. is no stranger to Ohio State and what they have to offer. After visiting multiple times, Davis has likely seen all that he needs to see from the Buckeyes. This has been a recruitment that has been down to two main schools for some time now in Penn State and Ohio State, but yesterday the update that many have been looking for finally came to the surface for the four-star safety.
Davis has announced that he will be making his official commitment on Nov. 14. After previously narrowing it down to five schools — LSU, Georgia, Pitt, Penn State, and Ohio State — it does truly feel like a two horse race for Davis. The Buckeyes have a long lasting relationship with Davis, having offered over two years ago now. Ohio State is also throwing out their best recruiting pitches to Davis’ father, who went to high school in Cleveland at the one-time OSU pipeline Cleveland Glenville. Adding all of this to the fact that Ohio State churns out NFL defensive backs better than anyone, you’d think they’d have a great chance at landing the four-star prospect.
On the flip side, the Buckeyes in their 2021 class have five legit defensive backs already committed in the class, with three of them listed as safeties. Add in the chance that Denzel Burke, who is listed as an athlete, will likely also be in the defensive secondary by time he gets to Columbus, and you see what looks to be a crowded position group.
While Ohio State is still recruiting Davis, he may see the writing on the wall in terms of quantity and potential playing time. However, it is worth noting how talented the Gateway product is. Checking in as the No. 2 safety in the country and the No. 53 overall player in the class, he is not going to shy away from any competition. Obviously a huge target, the Ohio State staff is going to do all they can to reel him in even with loaded room in the current class.
That being said, the in-state program Penn State is the leader on the 247Sports Crystal Balls, and that may be a good indication for the direction that Davis is currently leaning. Still, Ryan Day and Kerry Coombs will be putting in the work for the next month to get Davis to come to Columbus and be yet another Pennsylvania native to spurn the Nittany Lions and head west for Ohio. It may look unlikely now, but there’s still over a month for things to change.
Coach Stud talking to in-state four-star
Though Ohio State’s 2021 class is loaded in basically every account, the Buckeyes are missing the five-star offensive tackle that is coveted by every program in the country. While the staff is still hopeful they can get Tristan Leigh, who greatly fits that bill, it isn’t exactly looking too promising at the moment.
To negate having to look for elite linemen this late in the game in the 2021 cycle, position coach Greg Studrawa is doing his best to lock down top talent early in 2022 to help anchor the offensive line for the future. Fortunately for Ohio State, their in-state recruits in the junior class have plenty of tackles that are high-caliber players.
In fact, the Buckeyes already hold a commitment from four-star prospect Tegra Tshabola who is the 12th-best offensive tackle in the country and the No. 4 player overall in Ohio. As it just so happens, one spot above Tshabola is another in-state offensive tackle that Ohio State has eyes on: Aamil Wagner out of Huber Heights Wayne High School.
Wagner is the nation’s 11th-best OT and the No. 3 player in Ohio, giving him a high four-star grade. The interesting aspect about Wagner is his frame right now. At 6-foot-6, Wager of has the height of a desired tackle, but his weight of 240 pounds makes him a little thinner than the typical Power 5 linemen. That said, with two full years of prep ball still to play and the chance to gain good weight, by the time he signs with the school of his choice, Wagner could easily put on the pounds required to play tackle at the next level.
Wagner has been in touch with Studrawa as recently as this past Tuesday. He has yet to earn an Ohio State offer, but one may soon be in the works. Having guys that highly ranked in your home state just under two hours away at a program who has been very kind to the Buckeyes, the interest is surely there between the two parties. If an offer does in fact pop soon for Wagner, the Buckeyes could find themselves having a serious one-two punch in their 2022 class at a position of extreme need with two home-grown offensive tackles.